Monday, December 6, 2010

handmade ornaments.

I have been inspired to have a handmade/repurposed Christmas this year. I'm really trying to make things instead of buying them and I'm finding that there is a great deal of satisfaction in doing so. I've been crafting and making gifts late into the night with a dear friend, the enjoyment of crafting made even better by good company, meaningful conversation, and hot tea.

In keeping with the handmade theme of this Christmas I have been making some handmade ornaments most of which have been inspired by this post. This is my simplified version of her Book Page Bird Ornament. I simplified it because I didn't have some of the supplies she used. I also don't have a lot of patience...

My first step was to pester Mr. Gardner about letting me cut up one of his old books {this is tantamount to asking him if I could cut up one of his children}. After some deliberation, he said I could have this book that he had only bought because it was old (circa 1936) which he said he would never read. As you can see the pages are beautifully aged.
Using the bird template from the previously mentioned blog post, I began tracing and cutting. I did have to make my own wing template because there was not one provided. Fortunately, they turned out looking fairly anatomically correct.

Then I distressed the edges with an ink pad and glued the wing to the bird with my son's glue stick :)
Next, I flipped the whole bird over and stuck a cheap ornament hook through the paper. I had to experiment a little with placement so that the bird was not bottom heavy...that wouldn't fly {pun intended}...
Once I had the placement right, I used another wing template and glued it onto that side, matching it up with the wing on the other side.

I'm afraid we don't have a Christmas tree to model it on....I'll post a picture of our tree when it's up.
Aren't they sweet? They won't last long in this house...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

advent tree

I love the idea of having an advent calendar. I have some fond childhood memories of opening the little doors as the anticipation of Christmas Day grew through the month. We haven't ever done one in our home, mostly because it would require planning on my part, but I've been wanting to start some traditions as the boys get older.
So...when I saw this advent calendar tutorial over at maya made that she crafted out of toilet paper tubes I was smitten. Two days after I posted a link on facebook and lamented about how I didn't have enough tubes, I had two bags full of toilet paper tubes donated to the cause (Thanks Pam!)
So I got to work on them. I followed the directions precisely, except that I didn't paint the tubes 1. because I like the brown cardboard and 2. because I didn't have any paint. I also added squares of wintery scrapbook paper I had on hand to the doors. They turned out darling, and I've hidden little tickets with special things to do with my boys behind each door. So far we've had hot chocolate with "mushrooms" (marshmallows), and "helped" mama make some cookies.
The wonderful thing about this calendar is that it gives the gift of time to my little ones. Each day I'm reminded to do something special with them...

What better gift could I give them?