Monday, December 24, 2012

A Merry, Mindful Christmas Eve

Well, that special time is upon us.  We all knew it was coming and we worked hard on our lists of to-do's and what-to-makes and tried our best to get it all done. 
I've tried to be mindful of making it a more balanced  time this year.  Less rushing, less frivolous details, more time for calm and meaning. 
But no matter how I try to plan or stay ahead, I always seem to add more as I go along. 
 One thing done = 2 projects added. 
It's been good though.  I've enjoyed slower days with the Little People.  I've enjoyed making some gifts with them.  We've had fun making some ornaments and I finally made this very simple Farmhouse Chic Christmas Rose Wreath.  It actually turned out simpler than planned, but again, that's what I've been going for this year.  I think it's worked. 

 Of course, with every little thing we do, my heart still breaks for all of those innocent lives lost in Connecticut, as well as the families affected.  As I try to be mindful of the  time spent with my little family, and as I continue to worry about and pray for my sweet grandparents, I can't help but include them in my thoughts and prayers as well. 

I also can't help but be reminded of the song lyrics, "Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men..."

Wishing you a peaceful and Merry Christmas.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Swap Ornament Love 2


Oh, joy, joy, joy!
My second secret swap ornament package arrived and I was more than thrilled to tear it open and see what handcrafted goody was tucked inside!  Of course, I didn't actually 'tear' it open...  I was very careful.
This sweet little package came from Kate at Sunny Day Reverie
This beautiful, fabric snowflake sparkles with little pearls and shiny beads.  I love to see it glimmer on my little tree in the Hearth Room.  I think it's going to be very happy here.  I know I'm happy to have it here.  Snowflakes are one of my favorite things!
Thank you, Kate!  Thank you so much for your handmade goodness!
And now that I have seen your sweet blog and that honey ice cream, I can't wait to come visit again!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Granny Tree Skirt Only Better!


Hi there!  Well, I made it back with the old Granny Tree Skirt again, which can only mean that we are getting along fine.  It does lay flat (on a carpeted surface) and after I stared at it, somewhat unimpressed for a good bit, I decided it was NOT complete after all. 
This sweet bit of granny just needed a little something extra.  I mean, it is  Christmas after all.  So Granny needed to dress for the occasion.  That may seem silly, to want an old rustic looking granny square anything to take on a more Dressed Up appearance.
But I think that little chunky picot edge did it right.  I don't think it made Granny look at all pretentious, just more interesting.  And maybe feminine...
The pattern calls for a border of half-double crochet around the whole thing and then a row of slip stitch around.  I did one row (the red) in half-double, then went back around for a second row of half-double in the off-white.  I used the same color to make the picot edging.  My picot was a *chain 4, sc in first ch, skip one, sc in next.  Repeat from *. 
I tried again to capture those jewel tone colors and to show how the picot edging turned out.  I also tried to show it's size by laying it in front of the fireplace.  It fits nicely under a full sized tree, and folded in half, it makes a good size to place under the skinny tree here in the Hearth Room.   
Ah, I'm glad it's done.  Now it already occurs to me how much trouble I will have packing it away at the end of the season.  If only I could find a way to wear it!  Ha!
Hope you are having a lovely day!  Maybe the sun is shining where you are.  It certainly isn't here!  It's one of those cozy days for tea, books and crochet.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Swap Ornament Love 1


Who doesn't love a little airmail?  I have to admit it is so exciting to receive something special from far away!  I was so happy to open this little package, knowing a handmade goodie was waiting inside.
I'm talking about the ornament I received from Ornament Swap 2012, of course. 
This amazing ornament was made by Peta from Just Crafting My Day Away.  You can see more about how she made this on her blog.  And once you are there looking at her gorgeous stars you will definitely want to stay and visit around her other posts.  She has a wonderful blog full of happy colors and good things.  I can't wait to go visit again myself!
So, I'm absolutely in LOVE with this beauty of an ornament and and it seems very happy hanging on the Hearth Room's Christmas tree. 
Now I need to make a little note to attach to it so I will always remember whose hands made this and  from where it came. 
Handmade is special.  And I'm so thankful for this neat blogging community that shares their goodies with the world.  It's such a fun and amazing way to connect with others.  And that's what made it possible for me to have this sweet star from Australia sitting in my Hearth Room. 
I'm grateful.
Thanks, Peta...  And thanks, Christina, for making this swap possible!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Granny Tree Skirt Comes Together


Good golly, this tree skirt is finally getting itself together!  Well, I'm getting it together...  Sort of.
None to soon, I have to add.
I can't say "Ta-Dah!"  It's really not complete yet.  I've pieced it together and made one round of border, but have another round to go.  It's really wonky and needs a pull or a pinch here and there.  But I HAD to throw the wonky thing down under a tree at least to see what it's going to be like!  Had to get a feel for it, you know?
It's made of left over acrylics (although I did have to break down and pick up a green and lavender).  It's a fun, easy, FREE pattern over at Red Heart
Now if I can get mine to play nice and lay flat and look as stunningly gorgeous as the one on their site, I'll be back with a better picture!  Not to mention I'm sure my hubby would be happy to see me use the actual camera to take a picture now and then and let up on my Hipstamatic craze. 
If not, you will know I am enjoying my perfectly wonky tree skirt creation in silence and we will just move right on to the Farmhouse Chic Christmas Rose Wreath. 
Love and Wonkiness to you all!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thank you, Nancy


This is what I was gifted through the virtual Tea Party on Splitcoast.  It's all about enjoying a 'cuppa' with your crafty friends via the net and it's been a really fabulous way to connect with people you enjoy that are just too far away.
I love to do paper crafting, although I'm not so great at it.  So it's loads of fun for me to see everyone else's creativity with ink and paper.  Nancy made me a beautiful tea box, filled with teas.  A lot of time and thought went into this sweet project and I'm so glad to have it on my kitchen counter.  She also sent a nice bag of coffee that I can't wait to try.  I was equally thrilled to see a candy bar, but as I was taking the pictures of my goodies the candy seemed to start moving...
Thank you, Nancy, for a wonderful Tea Party gift!  I hope you enjoyed the 'cuppa' and chatting with friends. 
Now I am motivated to do some paper crafting of my own with all the sweet notions she sent me. 
Right after I finish that tree skirt!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Tea Party Swap



Ok, I need to make a 'light box' or at least some fairly acceptable spot with light I can go to in order to obtain a half decent exposure.  It's on the to-do list!
Anyway, over at Splitcoast today we had a little Christmas Tea Party, virtually of course....  And part of the fun was to make a little giftie for our swap partner according to their likes.
I was very pleased that my swap partner likes to go out for coffee with friends and brews yummy teas at home.  Perfect!  She needed a to-go coffee cozy and a tea basket, right?!
Well, I hope she did!
She also likes the color red, which is always on hand here at the Hearth Room. 
I love crochet, little flowers, and buttons.  I love handmade things because they are handmade and they are never perfect.  Every piece is so unique.  And I really love to share handmade goodies with others.  It's fun to make something for someone else and hope that they get as much enjoyment out of using it as you did making it. 
As Young Man always says, there's love in every stitch.  Gosh, I love that boy.
Are you making any handmade gifts?
I'll have to come back and show you what my swap partner made for me!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Farmhouse Chic Christmas Rose


Ornament Swap 2012 has been a lot of fun.  From the simple creative process to 'meeting' some new  bloggy friends and discovering their lovely blogs, it's been a real joy!
Now that these little lovelies have been packaged up and sent with love on to their new homes, I can share more about them.
Just as this Swap had begun and I had various creative ideas swirling in my head, I happened to be reading this magazine, Mary Jane's Farm, Dec -Jan 2013 issue.  Yep, right on the front you see a wreath made of burlap.  Inside you get to see other things to make with burlap.  I can honestly say it has never really occurred to me before to make anything out of burlap, (well, ok, maybe a purse once, but I didn't actually attempt it....).  But these little flowers were firmly seated in the creative space in my head.
So with the little image in my head and a crochet hook in my hand, the little burlap flower became my Farmhouse Chic Christmas Rose. 
I absolutely love them and truly hope the recipients will, too! 
The pictures don't actually show them very well, but it was the best I could do at the time.  They are lightly dusted with a fine, sugary, white glitter, like a light dusting of snow or frost.  Just enough to catch a sparkle from the lights on the tree. 
I am now making a wreath for the Hearth Room's door.  Oh, I can't wait to get it done!  I will come back and share what I come up with.
Have a Happy Friday, all!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ornament Swap Peek


I do love to Make Things.
I find inspiration almost everywhere. 
But when it comes to swapping I tend to over-think things.  I definitely want to make something the recipient will actually like, love, adore...! 
I often question whether my rather whimsical, rustic, handmade ways will appeal to another.  I fall into the trap of trying to find different ideas, something from a source not my own, something more suitable...?
Then I return to what feels right to me.  And I still genuinely hope the sweet folks on the receiving end will smile when they hold in their hands a little bit of whimsy from the Hearth Room. 

These have been so much fun to make, and I love their simple beauty.
I'll share more just after I get them all packed up for their new homes. 
They have a big trip to take tomorrow!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Handmade Oranment Swap 2012

Hello Friends! 
There has been something fun going on over at Christina Lowry Designs and I've been working on trying a few different types of ornaments for the swap over the past month.
It's been fun (and challenging, given that school is in Full Swing here at the Hearth Room)!
But I very much like the pretties I've been working on and I'll be back later to post a little more about them. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Pumpkin Day


Hello Lovely Friends.  I feel as if I have been fast-forward-ed to the end of the month. 
 The gray, bleak sky today reminds me it's time to carve out pumpkins for our little family 'contest'.   Considering that I left town to visit my favorite Grandparents and returned home just in time to greet FrankenStorm Sandy, I've needed to play catch-up once again. 
Armed with a hot cup of apple mint tea to keep my fingers warm, I managed to help the little people make some ghosts to hang over our apple bobbing table.  I'm not at all a scary Halloween kind of girl.  No, I'm a silly pumpkin and candy kind of girl.  Nothing gross or scary here.  Just silly, sugar-filled fun to spin our memories with.   
We also put together some bacon fat/seed/fruit cupcakes for our feathered friends today.  It's been a fun, chilly, outside kind of day.  And once we had our birdie treats hanging around in the trees outside the Hearth Room, do you know what I heard?
  The hawk. 
And how about this late-bloomer?  One last little sunflower planted by dropped seeds at the feeder has opened her bright face just in time.  I'm afraid this lonely little bee is a bit cold.  It moves when I 'pet' it, but it doesn't seem to do anything more. 
Well, I had better be off to gather the carving supplies and cheat just enough to plan what we can do for Sweet P's pumpkin before Hubby gets home.  I'm sure he's got something up his sleeve for his pumpkin.  I know Young Man does. 
Boo to you!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Crochet Christmas Ornament 1


Ok, it's a start.  It's a bit wonky, (no, it's really wonky!), and this prototype proves change is needed, but it's a beginning!
The 'tube' I crocheted was meant to be fairly slender, but then when it came time to 'stuff' it there was considerable difficulty.  I used a Tunisian crochet hook to stuff the filling, but it became too 'stuffed' and stretched looking.  Regardless, I now had a form on which to practice some leaves and berries.  But now that I can see all that's wrong with this one, it will make a great Christmas toy for Sweet Pea or a cat.  Maybe I'll dip it in some catnip. 
As much as I love the traditional Christmas colors, this leaves me craving some bright colors with a bit of whimsy. 
I'd better get to work!

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