About the blog

Welcome to my blog. The main focus of this blog is to share my explorations into handmade goods, mostly of the needlework kind. My interests are varied and include reading fantasy and urban paranormal romance, cross stitching and keeping hamsters. I must inform you that all of the pics and text on this blog are copyright protected unless otherwise stated and are not to be used in any other written or pictorial form without written permission from me. I give credit to the creator of the chart or the publication that published them in the caption. If you feel I have infringed on a copyright, please contact me ASAP. Whew..OK, now on to the fun...Thank you and Welcome.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Tree Decorating Instructions

I thought to share a few tree decorating ideas that seem to be very effective in getting that "wow" factor. These instructions have been tested in my own home using a real tree. Please do try this at home!

Your ornaments should be mended, whole and in general, in good shape. Lights should be in working order and your tree trimmed (if its natural) or properly splayed out if artificial.

1. Find your Christmas music and put it on. If you haven't any, make one the kids put a hamster on the piano key boards and let it run up and down the boards. The kid needs to provide constant supervision or the hamster may fall to its death and that would make for a crummy tree decorating memory, but maybe a good laugh or two in a few years... maybe not, hard to tell with kids these days.

2. Pour 3:1 parts of eggnog and scotch whiskey into a shaker. Shake until well blended, pour into a glass and take a sip.

3. If using a natural tree, make sure to water it at this time if you haven't done so already.

4. Decorate tree - start with the lights. Test them first! The lights should be the same, that is, the same size, the same style, the same color. If using white, then use all white, if using red, then all red, if using multicolor, then all are multicolor. Start on top and run the first string of lights closer to the trunk. Use as many strings as necessary to wrap around the inside part of the tree. Then take additional lights, beginning at the top, and lay them on the branches, more towards the outside. This will give the tree a layered look of lights and will make your tree glow inside and out! Take a sip of the eggnog.

5. Next, add the garlands. I use beads. You can use smaller diameter beads on the top third, then medium diameter in the 2nd third and larger diameter beads on the lower third. The key is to use the smaller garland towards the top and finish the bottom of the tree with the large ones. I like the effect of the garland hanging in a curve between the branches but you can lay them straighter across the branches. The key is consistency. Lay them in the same way all around the tree.  Step back from the tree and make any adjustments necessary and take another sip of the eggnog.

5. Next, start adding the ornaments. Separate the ornaments by size. I pack them away by size so its easier, but if you are not that obsessive, then rummage thru your ornaments and pick out the smaller ones and put those towards the top of the tree. The medium sized ones go in the middle of the tree, and the large guessed it, they go towards the lower part of the tree. The key is start on top with small and then work your way down the tree finishing with the larger ornaments.

As you are doing all this, take a few steps away from the tree every few ornaments and check on placement; filling any gaps as necessary.  If you are getting so called help with decorating the tree, you will want to step back more often and move things around, but do this discreetly so folks don't get all bent and start yelling at you and stomping off. I also advise that you do not allow any drunken guests or family members to help with this crucial evaluation step as I find that their wobbling makes them incapable of determining if anything is off kilter.

6. OK, take one last look and reposition any ornaments or garland until its perfect. Your not done, yet!

7.  My sister introduced me to adding little red bows to the tips of the branches. I find that this part is the piece de resistance. Of course, your bows should be a color that complements the general colour theme of your tree. You have two options here, place the bows randomly or place them in rows so that they appear to wrap around the tree like a ribbon or garland. The first method is easier, the second is a nightmare and borders on the psychotic (no offense to those of you out there that are doing it this way as its quite impressive and I am sure that your are not actually psychotic - not that there is anything wrong, necessarily with being psychotic - I think I will stop now). If you decide to try the latter method, you might want to have several sips of the eggnog as you do this and not wait til the end for your treat. Of course, this means that you might have do it all over again if you drink too much!

If placing randomly, the key is to make sure that an ornament hangs from just under the bow. So that as you go around the tree (again, starting from the top) you want to reposition the ornaments to fit on the same branch as the bow so that bow appears to sit on top of the ornament. Very cute! Take another sip of the eggnog. You might need to fix yourself some more eggnog depending on how big your sips have been. You could switch to drinking Ponche Cuba, instead.

8.  Place the tree topper on the tree, using whatever methods necessary to make sure the darn thing is on straight and securely.

9. Sweep up the space under and around the tree.

10. Place the tree skirt around the tree. You can now decorate under the tree.  

Well, that's it and I hope you find these to be helpful. If you have any suggestions for making these instructions better, please do share!

General Update

Greetings to all,

Had a bit of a stressful week. Hubby has been ill and spent some time in the hospital but he is better. Now, he just has to believe that he is better ...hee, hee.

My TGOS ornament would have been finished last night except that I didn't have the beads... boy, was I in a funk! I have to finish the Sleigh Ride ornament and another I started last night, LHN Pine Tree House, I think its called. Pics later!

As soon as I am done with those, I am going to start on this needle fob by Shepard's Bush. Its not my typical style but I thought it was too sweet (hence the name, sweet stitches fob!).

I am not too sure how to make the ribbon ruched like that. Are there any good tutorials out there?

Thank you for visiting and hope your week is going well! Blessed Be!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ornaments, Past and Present

Hello friends,

I thought to post a few pics of ornaments. My sister, who is a very talented stitcher, made the teacups. You might be able to see the tiny pewter charms in the shape of tea bags that she attached just under the bows on the tea cup ornaments. Just precious!

This is the lovely ornament that I received from my exchange partner, Dianne, in Canada. It's done in a lovely variegated teal floss and its very unique...I love it. Thank you, Dianne.

I received this one and the following two from my exchange partner Kate. She couldn't decide which one to send so she sent three. They are just too cute. The purple one above has sparkly thread in the star and around the lettering. Thank you so much for these, Kate!

These two little stocking will feel right at home amongst my other stockings!

This one is done over one, so this it is very small and cute. =)

You can see the little tea bag in this one.
This is the one from TGOS that I am doing over Aida. The words are supposed to be done over one. Its been quite a challenge but its turning out OK.
Isn't he cute? This one is from the Cross Stitch and Needlework magazine, a few years ago. It's done on a pale blue fabric.

My sister made this one, too.

A freebie from somewhere? Using DMC variegated in a deep red/burgundy.

This one is from the 80's.

From the 90's.

Well, that's my little trip thru the years in ornaments. Ornaments are a great way of seeing the evolution of style over the years.  I like to think that my daughters will pass these on to their daughters. How many years does your ornament collection span?