I did not enjoy Christmas "marketing" this year. I grew sick of the cries of "more, more, MORE!!!" coming from my television/radio/internet very early on. It was all just too much.


I have always tried to give handmade to close friends and family. My crazy schedule did not permit me to spend much time in my studio, but I was able to make a few things.

If you're looking for a few last-minute ideas, these might be just what you need!

Felted Mum + Scarf

A few months ago, I fell in love with this felted flower brooch, made and shared by Megan Reardon:

Until now, I haven't had the time (or motivation) to sit down and make one. I thought it would be perfect for my dear friend, Elly, who has stepped into the role of mother, comforter, and confidant for me since moving to Pennsylvania.

She has her own style and a flair for the unexpected accessory. I thought this brooch would look great on her.

I followed Megan's tutorial step-by-step. Materials required were:
  • high-quality felt
  • fabric glue
  • chipboard or cardboard
  • embroidery thread
And, lots of time. This is not a quick project!

I did omit the envelope on the back that Megan included on hers. Adorable, but not right for this gift. Instead, I did some simple embroidery on the back to further personalize the flower.

I actually wound up making two of these - one for Elly and one for my sweet neighbor. I paired Elly's with a black and white chevron infinity scarf and my neighbor's with a turquoise and white scarf.

The two items work together perfectly and make beautiful presentation. Great girlie gifts!

Handmade Labels

Another dear friend that I've made since arriving in Pennsylvania is Cristy. Pretty much my entire social calendar revolves around this girl. And... our hubbies really hit it off so that's an added bonus.

Talk about handmade Christmas... Cristy's fingers have been hard at work for months as she's knitted scarves and hats and dishcloths and more for all those she loves. I'm astounded at all she's accomplished!

It only seemed fitting to give her custom labels for her handmade wares.

For this project I used:
  • 100% linen fabric
  • Pellon paper-backed Wonder-Under
  • Inkjet printer

I love the natural, almost burlap, look of this linen.

I designed my art in Photoshop. The font is "Snow," available through CreativeMarket.com.

I cut a piece of Wonder Under to 8.5" x 11" and ironed it on to the back of my fabric on the bias. You can see in the photo that the fabric grain is on the diagonal. This prevents excessive fraying.

I then trimmed my fabric to the size of the Wonder Under and ran the sheet through my inkjet printer. Tip: if you're printing line art, change your printer settings to print 600 DPI or greater.

The results were exactly what I had hoped for.

I used a ruler to guide my rotary cutter as I cut out the individual labels (50 of them!). It was no quick task, but well worth the results.

When she is ready to use one, all she has to do it peel off the paper backing and iron on to her handmade item. She can finish off with an embroidered border, but it's not necessary. The bond is permanent.

I was so excited to give these small gifts because these are women who appreciate the art and personal meaning behind something handmade. It takes more thought and more care to create something from the heart.

This season is not about giving "more, more, MORE!"

Yet, in a way... it is.

Merry Christmas!

Progress has been very slow on the master bathroom. My husband has done everything by himself - except the plumbing! He's amazing! Unfortunately, there is risk associated with doing everything yourself and, sure enough, he hurt his dominant wrist. Despite the incredible pain, he's continued to plow on as he's able.

Additional delay has been caused by the cabinetry. The cabinets came in, but they were wrong! They have been reordered, but we're still another 4 weeks out.


Just in case you need a reminder, here's what we started with:

We (using the collective "we") gutted the entire room...

Added additional lighting (can lights and two vanities) and heating...

Closed off the door to the outside and added a water closet...

And expanded the shower and reworked the plumbing.

It still looks like a crazy mess, but, from this perspective, the improvements are tremendous already.

We have our tub ready to install, right in front of that lovely bay window. This is the tub and filler that we've ordered:

Next on the to-do list is tile for the shower and flooring.

Things are coming together, but we're still 5-6 weeks away from completion. It's going to be fantastic when all is done!! What a great start to the new year.

Every now and again, I have to write a post to remind myself why I blog.

I was interviewed a few months ago about my experience as a blogger and was asked about my goals.

My reply?

"I've read that the typical lifespan of a blog is about two years. I'd like to do what I can to defy that statistic."

However, as I approach my third anniversary, my posting has become less frequent... my motivation has diminished... my inspiration has been funneled into other priorities...

It may feel a bit as though I'm giving up.

But, truthfully, I love blogging. I love engaging with people across the globe. I love having a special place to record my projects.

I also love my family, my job, my friends, and life balance. Without life balance, I can't love anything with the intensity it deserves.

My priorities have demanded more of my time over these past few months so the blog has been put on the back-burner - to help preserve that precious life balance.

I live a creative life. I've never stopped living a creative life.

I look forward to catching up over the next few weeks and posting with more frequency as the new year arrives.

Wishing you peace and joy!