Christmas plans & frenchy's love

Warning! This is a long one. Grab some tea (preferably along with a cookie, of course) and get comfortable!
Ah, Christmas. The season in which I am completely overwhelmed with inspiration and devoid of extra time. I've come across some fantastic things over the past week or so, though, and I'm going to make the time. And I wanted to share!

Heather from A Handmade Life is brilliant, and I love her blog. (Thanks, Vickie, for linking to her awhile back!) She is always cooking something amazing with healthy ingredients, or sewing something great from thrifted finds. She recently posted a link to a tutorial for felted sweater slippers, and I nearly keeled over, they're so cute. I just might try to figure out this crochet thing, I like them so much. There's so much you can do with a thrifted wool sweater! Speaking of which, if I haven't mentioned it before, she made the most gorgeous wool blanket out of thrifted sweaters - it's absolutely perfect. I've been thinking about making one for awhile but haven't actually started collecting the sweaters... it might be a nice Christmas gift to make one for each of the boys next year. Hmmmm.

More and more, I feel attuned to the changing of the seasons, and I want to make it a bigger part of how we celebrate through the year. There are some great ideas here for how to celebrate the beginning of Winter next week. I think that we might do a candlelight evening, complete with candlelight dinner and baths - of course, I love and appreciate electricity, but I also think it's a good idea to have an evening without it for a change, to reconnect to the 'real' world, you know? Especially important for kids, methinks. Using positive ways to look and the changing seasons (rather than grumbling about all of the mud and slush and salt and outerwear) makes Winter more enjoyable and bearable, too. (I also just found a new wool winter coat for work at Frenchy's, which also makes things more bearable. It fits impeccably, and perhaps best of all - it has a hood! Extremely practical and appreciated when I'm scurrying to and fro for work. A very good find, for $5.)

Next: I love The Artful Parent. Coffee filter snowflakes. Winter ice wreaths. And soooo many more great, artful ideas to tackle with the little ones. (Pssst. I picked up a set of oil pastels for Phillip (new and in the box) at Frenchy's this week. I'm excited to see how he likes them, and for us to learn how to use them! They may end up in his stocking.)

Plan your Peaceful Christmas post: These string ball ornaments look super-easy to make and would be very, very fun to make with a toddler. And the felted garland looks like something I would love to do, cuddled up on the couch while watching a Christmas movie. Again, super easy, and cheap with the abundance of wool sweaters at Frenchy's! And the best part - they aren't ugly. And I'm instituting #6 - the basket of seasonal books. (I found a few new ones at Frenchy's a few weeks ago, and they'll look great!)

New Christmas cookie to try: three bloggers who I admire posted recipes for Rugelach this week. So I'm going to try making it. And that's that. Yum.

And if you haven't gotten your tree up and gorgeous yet (ours fell over the day we put it up, did I mention that? It's fine, now) here's instructions for an adorable tree skirt. It's not what you think - it's simple and burlap and beautiful. I'm thinking this might be a good way to go for next year - I'm currently using a thrifted table cloth.

And if you're still looking for gifts, here's an excellent list of clutter-free gift ideas. I don't know about you, but I'm really, really hoping that we don't end up with a ton of cluttery junk after Christmas. I am planning on going through the boys' toys with Phillip after the holiday to evaluate and decide what can be given away. I've been doing this with him every now and then since he was really young, and it never goes as terribly as I imagine it will. It usually goes very smoothly, actually.

So. I hope that you're having a pleasant pre-Christmas week!


  1. Awesome stuff. I had some coffee while I soaked up your enthusiasm and wonderful links. :)

    You did share that sweater quilt at some point, somewhere and I fell in love and promptly forgot to dig through my sweater stash. Thanks for the reminder.

    What else? I have no short term memory. Oh! The season celebrations. Yes! That is something I want to start in full force next year. We don't have enough "rituals" in our family and I would like to start some fun, nature-oriented ones pronto! Angry Chicken does some neat stuff with her girls and I have gotten a lot of ideas from some of her posts on that sort of thing.

    I'm rambling now, sorry. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

  2. Not a long post at all Sherrie. I enjoyed it so much that I read it twice. So much link love in there. I LOVE the felted sweater slippers. I am off for two weeks at Christmas so I might try my hand at a pair. I think it is so important (and fun) to start family traditions. At our house we've had traditions since the kids were little and we still create new ones now that we are all adults. Ever since I've decided to live a simpler life it's amazing how much less I bring into our home (although I still bring in some Frenchy treasures once in a while).

  3. Hi Sherrie.
    Thank you so much for your kind comments. What a fun treat to pop over here and read that you like the quilt and slippers so much. I can't tell you how much we are all loving the quilt, I really will have to make a few more. I'm going to check out the rest of your links but I've already peeked at the felted garland (am so into things made from felted sweaters just now) and the ice wreath and decided that I must make both. Thanks for those links.

  4. Anonymous12/16/2010

    I am fascinated by everything you blog about...I may not be able to tackle everything you share with us, but it's so much fun to read about other people's creativity! Hey, I have that exact faux-berry wreath!


Thanks so much for your comments - I read and appreciate each one! Sorry about the word verification - the spammers found me and it became necessary. Thanks for taking the time to comment!