Tuesday, November 30, 2010

morning stitches

My handmade holiday season has begun!

Growing up, my Aunt (or, rather, my Dad's Aunt... so this would make her my Great Aunt?) would give intricately stitched felt Christmas tree ornaments to the family every Christmas. One year it would be Santa Claus and the next year, Mrs. Claus. I think there was a Christmas wreath and maybe even a reindeer. They were stitched with mini pearls and sparkling sequins. I imagined her sitting in her sewing room all year long cutting, stitching and stuffing.

And, for a while, I took on this tradition as well. I think it was when I was in High School. One year I stitched up felt earth globes with big red bows, another year it was a felt dolphin with a hand stitched wreath around its neck and then there was the teeny tiny felt goldfish that sat in a clear, plastic globe filled with sand. (This last one had some consequences... the sand, fresh from the beach, eventually caused mold to grow on the goldfish after a year in storage. Should have bought sterile sand!) But then I started college and had no time for stitching.

So it's time for me to jump back into that tradition - what, gosh... 20 years later! But I'm not about the sequins anymore. I want good, old-fashioned stitches. I am still all about the felt, though! Now, however, I know about good felt. I'm all about wool felt. Yes, I line my baby shoes with eco-fi felt which is made from post-consumer plastic bottles, but I always like to use wool felt in places where it is seen because it doesn't tend to get that plastic-y shine. The wool felt always looks soft, and stays soft even after years of going in and out of storage in between holidays.

So, hopefully, for what will be the first of many more holidays to come, here is the hand-stitched ornament I plan to give out this year. These days I'm not entirely about dolphins and Mother Earth, so it's a little more whimsical and fun. But, this isn't something I've been working on throughout the year, so I better get busy. And since these mornings are getting chilly (for California standards, anyway), there's nothing better than starting off the day with a hot cup of coffee, sunshine and stitching.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Here's another little post for Parentella about a project you can do with the kids. This wreath of thanks can be quite humorous when the young ones are asked to name all the things they're thankful for. Read all about the funny things my son added to his wreath - and follow my tutorial for making one yourself: Wreath of Thanks.