Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sew and Tell: Christmas stocking

Here’s a twist on a traditional red and white Christmas stocking. The cuff of the stocking is a mane of white yarn.

To make this stocking, you’ll need:
  • Red felt
  • White embroidery thread
  • Yarn 
Make a stocking pattern and cut 2 pieces out of red felt. Stitch around your stocking with embroidery thread.

To make the yarn fringe, wrap yarn around a 3 inch piece of cardboard approximately 10 times. Slide the yarn off and tie the top of the loops together. Make several of these and stitch the loops to the top of the stocking. Fluff the yarn and trim.
Hang your stocking and hope for goodies.

This project is linked at:

This project has been submitted to the handmade holiday challenge at:

Visit thecsiproject.com

Monday, November 29, 2010

This just in: the stationery place and crane & co.

Here’s exciting news… If you like beautiful, classic stationery, head on over to The Stationery Place. This week, The Stationery Place is featuring Crane & Co’s holiday stationery complete with a Crane & Co. beautiful giveaway at the end of the week.

You can enter to win each day this week so you have several chances to win. I’ve already entered today and will be checking back daily.

Inkling: advent calendar book

It’s time!  If you’re counting down the days until Christmas, it’s time to break out the advent calendar.

Back before Thanksgiving, I created an envelope garland and I received many comments suggesting I use the envelopes for an advent calendar. Since I had already made a garland from the envelopes, I decided to do something a little different for an advent calendar.

I made an advent booklet. Each page has an envelope marked with the date. In each envelope is tucked a coupon good for a treat.

Treats can be anything – candy, extra play time or a special outing.

Stay tuned as we count down the days until Christmas. I have a lot of holiday projects to share with you.

This project is linked at:

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Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden handmade projects

Friday, November 26, 2010

Etceteras: Thanksgiving – the day after

I’ll be back on Monday with a brand new post as we race into the holiday season. In the meantime, here are some more photos of things that make me thankful.

paper whites

geranium cutting

perfection - first camelia of the season
There will be a lot of great holiday themed projects coming up between now and the new year - stay tuned.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Etceteras: let us give thanks

Today, like so many of you, I’m cooking, cooking, cooking! And while we feast and give thanks, I wanted to share some images of things I’m thankful for or remind me to be thankful.

I wish you all a very, very Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Inkling: it’s a wrap – take two

Here’s another idea for holiday gift wrapping.

Plain white gift wrap is as versatile as brown kraft paper. You can use it for any occasion and transform the look with a few embellishments.

A single strand of mini pom poms and a crafted flower dress up this package. As with my first package, this look can be used for any occasion or for the upcoming holidays.

To make paper flowers, you simply cut out flower shapes. Layer them with the largest at the bottom and the smallest at the top. Poke a hole through all the flowers and add a button, berry or brad to secure. Gently curl the petal for a more natural look.

Plan ahead and make your embellishments in advance. The holidays can be hectic. If you wait until the last minute to wrap - and I’ve been there - you’ll be digging for last year’s gift bags to re-use.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Inkling: corrugated paper ornaments

Have you seen the cute corrugated ornaments at West Elm? Here’s a picture…I love the owl.

The store is filled with great décor and they have a terrific holiday section. But the corrugated ornaments caught my eye. Definitely something I could try to make.

I made a snowman and a heart. I used corrugated paper that I had on hand. My paper was thinner than the kraft box type corrugated paper used in the West Elm ornaments but it worked fine.

To make these, you simply cut strips of paper and roll them using glue every now and then to hold the roll together. To make a shape other than a circle, start rolling and shape as you roll.

The heart and snowman were fairly easy to make - so next up, I’m going to try to make the owl.

This project is linked at:

This project has been submitted to the handmade holiday challenge at:

Visit thecsiproject.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

Good Taste: cranberry conserve

Here’s one dish you can make ahead of time for Thanksgiving – cranberry conserve. A conserve is a fruit mixture cooked to jam like consistency with sugar. Once cooked, you can freeze your conserve or store in a mason jar as you would jam or jelly.
This conserve is so pretty because the apples and mandarin oranges become stained by the cranberries and turn a bright berry color.

You don’t have to celebrate Thanksgiving to make this. Whip up a batch and use as a side dish or a garnish for breads, pastries or meats - or as a gift.

The recipe is under the Goodie Bag tab. Enjoy.

This project is linked at:

Friday, November 19, 2010

From the Archives: handmade gifts

If you want to make some handmade gifts for the upcoming holidays, now would be a good time to get started. Here are some of the projects that I’ve posted about that you may want to consider making.

1. Gift card storage box. A perfect way for someone to file and keep all their gift cards. Add a few gift cards to get them started.
2. Homemade tea bags. For an extra touch, add a tea cup or tea pot or both.
3. Paper flower wreath. Wrap up with scented soaps or potpourri for a pretty, feminine gift.
4. Handmade photo book. Leave blank or fill with photos. Perfect for grandparents or far away relatives. 

5.  Paper Bead Bracelets. Kick up the wow-factor and give several matching bracelets.
6.  A Zen Terrarium. Provide a little stress relief to someone special.
7.  Moss Covered Cans. Add bulbs, flower seed or herb seed packets because spring is just around the corner.
8.  Craft Block Shadow Box. Spotlight a special item in a handmade shadow box.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Inkling: wine charms

Wine charms are a great way to cut down on the amount of glasses you use when hosting a gathering. At one time or another, everyone sets down their glass, forgets about it and gets a new glass. The glasses pile up which means more dishes for the hostess. You can buy wine charms almost anywhere or you can make your own.

Wine or water glass charms can be personalized with your guest’s name or you can use symbols or pictures on the charms. The trick is for your guests to remember which charm is theirs. 

For my wine charms, I decided to go with a deck of cards. I found clipart and printed out the face cards and aces. (There wasn’t a joker in the clip art – darn!) You can find the deck of cards clipart here. Be creative, you can use celebrity images, sports teams or fun names.

I used a small circle punch and added another gold circle for decoration. I twisted the wire around a pencil and then twisted the charm around the wine glass stem.

Then, let your guests decide if they’re the Queen of Hearts, King of Clubs or Ace of Diamonds.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Inkling: it’s a wrap

As we head into the holiday season, I wanted to share an idea for gift wrapping a package and making it look special.

This gift wrap can be used year round or enhanced with seasonal embellishments, like berries to give it a more holiday feel.

To gift wrap a package like this, all you need is brown kraft paper, string, tape and a twig. For the bird, I printed out an image I found online and cut it out. I had all the materials in my supply stash, so wrapping this package didn’t cost me any additional money.

(Updated 1/26/11) - Note: the source of the bird is an artist named Geninne Zlatkis.
Purchased gift bags are quick and easy but can add up. With a few items you have laying around, it only takes a few minutes to create a unique package.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Etceteras: miniature berry and peppercorn wreath

There’s a tree in our backyard that drops berries. A lot of berries. We sweep them up and then the next day, the ground is covered with them again. I decided to make the best of the situation and try to make something out of them.

The berries are small so I made a miniature autumn wreath and added colorful peppercorns and moss here and there.

As for the tree, there are still a ton of berries waiting to drop - and I’ll be ready, either with my broom or glue gun.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Inkling: gold leaf candle holders

Adding a splash of metallic décor can dress up a room and instantly change the look.

I made these gold leaf candle holders and was surprised at how such a small object changed the feel of my table.

To make these candle holders, you will need:

  • Candle holders – any type
  • Wire
  • Paper
  • Metallic Stamp Pads
  • Glue

  • Print out a leaf template and cut out several leaves. I used regular printer paper so that that I could curl the leaves.
  • Place your cut out leaves on the ink pad and press gently. I used three different ink pads to get a variegated look – gold, copper and silver.
  • Let your leaves dry.
  • Twirl wire around your candle holder. 
  • Once your leaves are dry, gently curl them around a pencil or other round object to give them a natural look.
  • Add a dab of glue to the bottom of each leaf and glue them to the wire.


These gold leaf candle holders make me want to get out the white linen tablecloth and good silverware.



This project has been entered in the CSI Project of the Year Challenge
Visit thecsiproject.com