Gift tags, socks, party planning and cute Christmas trucks

Last weekend I made gift tags from last years Christmas cards. They turned out really cute. I blogged about this last year. But I still love this idea, it’s resourceful, recycling and cuteness all rolled into one.

gift tags

I finished my son’s socks that I was working on. Remember how I told you I picked the yarn out 5 years ago? It felt really good to finish them up last weekend!! I tried to take a photo of them. Here they are and then he took off!!!

sockcollage

We’ve gotten to visit Ft. Worth for the first time recently and I have to say it is a fun place. Lots to see and do and eat – even if you are the littlest of hipsters!

ftworth

We’ve decided to have our New Year’s Party again and so my mind has been in party planning mode. I think this year I’m going to keep it more simple than last year but we are going to have a children’s toast again this year. We had a toast for the kids a few hours early thinking some people would want to go home early with their kids but everyone stayed!
We did a balloon drop and bubble wrap pop at around 9 pm. It was tons of fun. I couldn’t believe how long it took the kids to pop the bubbles!  I thought they would all be popped in seconds!

balloonjump

I brought out a big sheet of bubble wrap and we did a count down.  At the same time we dropped balloons down on them and they got to jump up and down on the bubble wrap.  It was a fun time so I’d definitely like to do it again!!

And last but not least, I received the cutest ornament at a recent ornament exchange and ironically it was something that has been on my brain lately.

littlechristmastrucks

This is my favorite cute symbol of Christmas time.  I had even found cookie cutters that you could order.  And I also saw the cutest red truck in our hometown Christmas parade.  Funny how things get stuck in your head and then you see them everywhere!
So what holiday thoughts are swirling around in your head?

 

 

Christmas Treasures

Wow, Thanksgiving flew by and now we’re already two weeks from Christmas! All I’ve managed to accomplish is put up our two Christmas trees and hang our new wreath on the front door. I should be working on Christmas dining table arrangements and something for our mantel, but while I’m still thinking about that, I thought I’d share with you my favorite Christmas tree ornaments. They are hand-carved wood ornaments made by my dad.

santa collage

I love, love, love the Santa stuck in the chimney. I think it’s such a clever detail to have his face at the bottom of the ornament. I also have several Santa faces whittled on cut branches. Santa snoozing on the crescent moon is adorable. I put all of these handmade ornaments on our old small tree. The tree itself looks a little Charlie Brown, but it’s made extra special by these ornaments.

Three Santas

My other Christmas treasures are three Santa figurines, also carved by my dad. I have to say my favorite is the one in the middle because of how my dad followed the natural shape of the wood to make it. I’m not sure where he came up with the idea to insert a golf ball into a Santa carving, but he did really enjoy golf and would even carve ornaments out of old golf balls.

I’m sure I’ll change the color scheme or theme of our Christmas decorations several times over my lifetime, but these pieces handcrafted by my dad will always be at the center of my holiday décor. What treasured pieces do you bring out year after year?

Pom-Poms for Christmas

I have been noticing lately that pom-poms seem to have reached the height of their popularity at least for this go round!  So to take advantage of this pom-pom fun before we are totally over it I thought they would make for a great – quick and fun Christmas gift.  I was actually inspired by my and my daughters bedroom shoes/boots!

bedroomshoes1

To make the pom-poms themselves takes little to no skill at all.  Just some yarn and your hand, a fork or if you want to get all fancy a pom-pom maker! I love an inexpensive craft that gives you a lot of bang for your buck. I think I have said that a time or two around these parts!

I used the 2 1/2 inch pom-pom maker for a good-sized pom.  You can vary the size according to your pom-pom maker or hand or fork!

I thought instead of the pom-poms just dangling from the string that you use to make them it would be fun to beef that up a little bit and hang them from some i-cord that you make yourself.  Even if you don’t know how to knit you can quickly learn to make i-cord. In fact I think making i-cord could be a rather satisfying first knitting project.  You only use the knit stitch and you only need 3 stitches on your needle.  Super simple.  Here is a link to a great i-cord making video.  Check this out. (But at the end when she pushes the yarn tail inside the cord only do that on one end so you have the other end to tie to the pom-pom.)  The only thing you will need besides yarn is a set of double-pointed needles which you can find at any craft store.

I used a 3.5mm sized needle and worsted weight yarn.  The size needle you use and how many stitches you cast on and knit will determine the size of your i-cord.  The bigger the needle the bigger your i-cord and the more stitches you cast on the larger your bigger your i-cord also.  You want to make about 12 – inches of i-cord for this project.

After you make your i-cord it is time to make your pom-poms. Here is a good video for making pom-poms with a pom-pom maker.  And here is a video for making pom-poms with a fork! And here is a video for making pom-poms with your hand!

Ok, now that you’ve had fun making your pom-poms attach your pom-poms to your i-cord.  You can use the cast on tail of the i-cord and tie that to the long pieces of yarn that you used to tie your pom-poms.  Just tie them together into a knot.  Make sure you make the knot very close to the – so it looks like the i-cord comes right out of the pom-pom.

Now you have a nice set of pom-poms that you could use in tons of ways.  As a bookmark, on a lamp switch, dangling from a dresser drawer, on a gift…. the list goes on and on!

I decided  I would give these away as a gift so I cut a large rectangle of card stock and made a slit at the top for the pom-poms and thread the i-cord through.  I printed the words Pom Pom out on the side just for fun.  Now these are ready be used as a gift topper or to be given away all on their own!

final pom

You can make a second set or you could have the recipient cut the i-cord in half so you have two poms with equal amount of i-cord.  You would just need to make a knot in the cut ends so that they don’t unravel.  That way if they wanted to put them a pair of boots or bedroom slippers they would have one for each boot or slipper.  I think these make for a sweet simple gift.

pompom3
So are you making any simple gifts this Christmas?