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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Gift DIY 2014

As is generally the case, I did a few DIY projects for Christmas this year.  Not as many as some years, but the impromptu trip to Stephenville got my crafting schedule all mixed up and the first few days of my break were spent doing nothing but-----into the week hours of the night, actually.  Here are few of the projects that I completed.

Inspired by a "pin" that Valine sent me, I made my own mantel decoration based on my very most favorite word, JOY.  Here's the pin:
(source:  Tatertots and Jello)
And here's my process.  I searched high and low for wooden letters, little deer and white trees, and pretty much came up empty at first.  I finally found the letters at Michael's (they were out the first time I stopped)  I painted the front with Mod Podge and coated them with glitter a couple of times.
 Since I was unable to find the little deer, I purchased a tiny Nativity set at Michael's instead, along with a small wreath.  I stopped in at Dollar Tree and found a set of small white trees.
I also found a package of plastic deer that were too large for the wreath, but perfect for my mantel display.  I really love how it all turned out and will probably keep it up for a while as my "winter display".  (that frame thing is a vintage ceramics mold that I purchased at Canton a while back)
I especially love how it looks with the candles lit.
For my co-workers, I gathered some cute disposable dishes---plates, napkins, cups and cutlery--and gathered them into a quick and easy gift.  I used cookie tray bags from Big Lots for the wrapping and downloaded a cute tag, here.
For Archer, I made a soft book, using a panel of pre-printed fabric, so it was easy and cute.
For Callie and Jordan, my big project was making a set of stockings.  They have stockings at my house---Callie's from when she was a child.  But, Luke didn't have one yet and since this was the first year for them to host Christmas morning at their house, they wanted a complete set.  I used this pin as inspiration:
Truthfully, I might have just ordered the ones for Callie and Jordan if I could have found them, but the link that went with the pin was dead, so I created my own version----and was quite pleased with the result.  I used ordinary muslin for the base and a red fake-suede for the cuff.  
The patterns were cut from Silhouette files (I actually learned how to use my machine finally and cut out paper patterns to trace onto the fabric).  
I added a little cardinal on each one as my own personal touch. :-)
I finished them Christmas Eve----just in time for Santa to come!  
And I think they look really great on their mantel!
Funny thing---when we went out to Ron's sister's house last weekend for the "Perkins Christmas", she had the actual stockings hanging for each of her grandkids!!!  And the nice thing about that is, that after seeing them closeup, I like my version better!

The last major project I undertook as a Busy Book for Luke.  I had been pinning ideas for a while and narrowed down my selections to what I could reasonably complete in time for Christmas.  Well, I use the word "reasonably" loosely since I definitely burned some midnight oil with this.  But it was so worth it!  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures once it was completed late Christmas Eve night, but here are a few pictures of the almost completed version.  (All of the pages were sewn into a cover with room to add more pages)
The House Page----the windows/door open to reveal clear plastic slots where photos of family can be added.
The Ocean Page----the fish slide back and forth on the ribbons
The Penguin Page----Penguin goes in and out of the igloo and the seal velcros to the ice
The Mailbox page----Each letter was embroidered with family names and stamps and can be placed in and out of the mailbox.  This page was especially interactive since I sewed it in upside down---he has to turn the book over to use it!  ;-)
The Ribbon page---(My personal favorite) pull the ribbons back and forth through the holes
I Spy Page---Look through the beads and buttons to find particular items, letters, etc.
The last project was actually the first one I completed.  I had never made a quilt for Luke, so it was time that he had one made by his "Lovey".  Since they love music and have a record player in his room, it only seemed fitting to make his quilt with that theme.  
Once again, I don't have any photos of the finished product, but here it is without the binding.

11:59 PM

December Details 2014 - Day 31 - 11:59 PM
I rarely have special New Year's Eve plans and this year is probably not going to be different.  But, I'm okay with that.  I kind of like spending a quiet night at home in front of the fireplace.  But, the last day of December is still a time to reflect and to think about the past year----and to make plans for next year.  What will you be doing at 11:59 P.M.?
I have come up with a list of prompts for January and would be happy if you'd like to join me in posting on a regular basis.  While I won't be sending out daily emails or posting prompts on this blog, I am going to try to use this list to guide my daily photos.  Here's the list!  I'll send out one last email tomorrow morning with a list that you can download and print out or click on the photo below and print from there---and share it with a friend, if you'd like.  This time, I'm using the hashtag #LPJanuary2015InstagramChallenge.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Silent Night

December Details 2014 - Day 30 - SILENT NIGHT
The Christmas celebration is over and a new year is on the way.   It's been a busy season for me, but one that I have loved.  But, I have to admit that I am looking forward to the unhurried-ness of the next few days and to have a SILENT NIGHT or two.  On our trip down to San Antonio earlier this month, we traveled through several small towns along the way.  It was late at night and most of the towns were pretty much shut down for the night.  As we passed through Rockdale, we passed the prettiest antique store all decked out for the holidays.  Ron turned around and stopped the car (he does that when he knows I'm going to want to take some pictures) and we jumped out of the car.  We were the only people in sight, enjoying the SILENT NIGHT with beautiful lights and decorations. 
What is your favorite way to spend a SILENT NIGHT?   

Tomorrow is the last day of the month, and the end of December Details.  Thanks for joining me these last few months!  As we move into 2015, I am planning a list of photo challenges, but have decided to stop the daily emails/posts so that I can get back to regular photography, editing and posting.  I will share my list with you and hope you'll still post pictures as you are able---I love seeing what you are doing and keeping up with your families and lives.  

Monday, December 29, 2014

Holiday Highlights - Part Two

On Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, I picked up Dan and we headed towards Atlanta as soon as Ron got off work.  It was quite a journey, but so worth it!  Not long after we arrived on Thursday, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving Feast with both my entire family and most of Sally's as well.  It was quite cold outside, but we all just bundled up and enjoyed being together and the delicious food Sally had prepared.
On the following days, we joined Jana, Rob, Callie, Jordan, Luke and Toby for a walk at Piedmont Park, went on a 6-mile run/walk there the next morning, worked a puzzle, hiked up Stone Mountain with David, Leslie and Laura and played with the new baby in the family.  It was the first time all of my family had been together since my dad died in 2009 and it was wonderful!!!
(don't worry, he didn't really do it)

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