Xmas in July

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately…I mean, a LOT of blogs lately. And it seems there’s a trend in posts this week: Christmas in July. Seeing everyone kick off their holiday crafting inspired me.

It’s really nice to have a focus for crafting; it gives me something to search for on the ol’ blogs. There’s this list from last year (scroll to the bottom)–I can literally spend hours surfing the links there alone. There’s this amazing Xmas e-zine. One Pretty Thing has a jillion round-ups with Xmas gifts, crafts, and decor. I really want to make giant Jenga for someone from here. I’m almost overwhelmed.

I kicked into the ornament making into high gear this weekend. Well, relatively speaking. It was the weekend, after all. I made 2.5 ornaments, for yet-to-be-determined recipients:

two pink knitted balls decorated with white yarn cross-stitched snowflakes, and one deflated green yarn ball

And I’m not burnt out, a rarity after a weekend of crafting. I think the key was small bites and variety; it took me 2+ hours to knit up the balls, and another 1/2 hour-45 minutes to stuff and decorate them. Those are three very different tasks–knitting, stuffing, embellishing. They have varying levels of difficulty: knitting = doable without looking, sewing = tricky for me. It made for a very satisfying activity.

So, I’m going to seek out similar small-ish interesting projects to make for people this Xmas. What kinds of crafts do you like to make?

Oh, and only 6 more days left to win a Michaels gift card! Thanks to the 200 awesome folks who have already taken the survey!

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Yay!

Response 100 just arrived! It’s like the flood gates have been opened…I love checking in on the website and watching that number go up! Thanks so much to everyone who has posted, tweeted, and taken the survey. You guys are great!

It’s a scorcher again up here in NH. I’m headed to the air-conditioned library to cool off. In the meantime, here’s a classic DIY video for you all…

Put a bird on it!

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Paper heart garland

I’m headed to a wedding this weekend. Is it just me, or is everyone getting married this weekend? I wanted to share a little project I made to decorate my bff bride’s pre-marriage party. I was inspired by this paper heart garland, even though I haven’t gone for the whole garland thing (I do like birds, though!). I don’t get the newspaper but I do get Cosmo–typing that made me feel like a terrible person–so I decided to cut up old magazines to make my garland. You can see the results here:

Heart garland made from cut out magazines and zig-zagged on a sewing machine.

 

 

Paper hearts are surprisingly easy to sew on a sewing machine. I used a zig-zag stitch, kept the needle going on medium speed, and just pushed each one through. It was fun to pick out the next heart and try not to get a dozen orange ones in a row or a bunch all the same size right next to each other.

close up of zig-zagged magazine heart

 

To transport the garland to MO, I wound the hearts around an empty toilet paper roll. Piece o’cake!

magazine heart garland wound around empty toilet paper roll

 

I’m going to hang them up in the doorway or around the table like you would streamers, but it would be fun to hang them down in a doorway like a 60s beaded curtain, too!

 

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Portsmouth Open Market

Sunday was the last beautiful day here on the Seacoast, with gorgeous 70-something weather. Now we are firmly in the 80s, and I do not like it. Luckily, the A/C was fixed at the coffee shop where I work. Unluckily, our ice maker broke at home.

But back to Sunday…I saw a poster for the Portsmouth Open Market downtown and last weekend, I checked it out. The market is a combination farmers’ market/craft fair and is connected to the New England Open Markets, who put on SoWa. Strawberry Banke, where the fair is held every Sunday, is  a

collection of colonial buildings next to Prescott Park, a waterfront hanging-out area with gardens. Basically, it’s a beautiful place. Andrew went to the Jazz Festival while I walked around–perfect scheduling, Portsmouth!

Prescott Park trial flower beds
Thanks to InAweOfGod’sCreation on Flickr for the photo!

The vendors at POM are a mix of regulars and newbies; the application process is fairly low-key. Sellers get their spots on a first-come, first-serve basis, so one vendor told me she had moved around for each of the past four weeks. Not a bad idea, I think–get to try out all the different locations.

I talked to a few friendly local crafters, including Bark from Boston; Laura from Thornton, NH; Uma Joy from Rollinsford, NH (practically neighbors!); Heather, who had an awesome screen-printed quilt backdrop; Sibel from Newburyport, MA (lovely town); and Leanne from Lowell, MA. The business cards I had made got some positive reactions, which was just lovely, having spent a couple of days sewing them.

I was impressed with the variety of crafts: there were fishing lure earrings, organic soaps, New Hampshire-roasted coffee, homemade pasta, owl-printed pillowcases, spun and knitted yarn, and hand woven scarves. I couldn’t resist some soap from Clayton’s Way or a sweet purple headband from Robinwoods Design. I’m wearing it now to keep the sweat from getting into my eyes as I sit here and type. OK, slight exaggeration…but only slight.

I hope to hit the market again in a couple weeks and see who else comes to town. In the meantime, have you taken the survey?

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