Christmas & Crafting

Christmas was a little different this year, as we went to Nebraska to spend the holiday with Christopher’s brother and his family (they have a little one who was born at the end of October, and he was still too little to travel). Regardless, it was really nice to get to decorate our home knowing that we are going to be here next December, as well.

You see, we’ve never lived in the same place two years in a row – so every year, it’s a matter of finding new homes for decorations and merry-making items.

Surprisingly enough, I didn’t wrap many presents this year and I didn’t take any pictures of the ones that I did. It was kind of an off year because I didn’t have my normal warm-up wrapping at my parents’ house. It was nice to be able to use that time for some other things (some of which you can see over at our renovation blog,, like a ton of crafting and reconnecting with Scripture.

Our camera is fritzing, so I’ve been taking pictures here and there when I feel like putting up with it for a while, but I realized after Christmas that I didn’t take pictures of all of my projects like I probably should have. They included:

  • A sizable counted cross-stitch pattern of a family of wolves (bought approximately 10 years ago for my dad), that I picked up when our power went out in October and continued because (though I was supposed to) I never went back to work in November as planned. I’ll try and grab a picture of it the next time I’m at my parents’ house, where it now lives.
  • A few stuffed foxes for friends’ little ones. Some turned out better than others, but it was kind of tricky because the actual stuffed animal was much smaller than I had anticipated and a little more complicated to sew because of its size. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), no pictures. I used this pattern:
  • Earrings. Seriously, earrings? I never thought I’d see the day when I would make jewelry, but a co-worker gave me a bag of pretty cool beads, so I thought I’d see what I could do with them. I learned a bit about endcaps and spacer beads, bought some tools, and went to work. These are some of the ones I kept for myself, but I made something close to 20 pairs to spread around amongst various friends. Again, some turned out better than others, but it was a great learning experience, and I look forward to learning more.
  • I created an Advent calendar after looking for several weeks for a decent one with which I could do what I wanted – what I wanted apparently doesn’t exist. Nobody does a full four weeks, just in case Advent goes a full four weeks (which it did this year). And they all have Santa on them, which is silly because Christmas is about Jesus and not Santa. In the end, I covered a piece of cork board with some fabric and printed off little triangles with names of God and readings from the Book of Common Prayer for each day. It’s a little awkward to take them off and put them back on, but it’ll work until we figure something else out. Regardless, it helped me remember that Advent is the anticipation of the Savior – and that is always something worth pursuing. The picture I have is bad because I packed it away already, but I’ll hopefully get a better one next year.
  • Back in September, I started cutting out felt in anticipation of our nephew becoming a big brother. Due to my job, it took until November to finish the cape and get it shipped to Nebraska, but it turned out pretty well, in my opinion. Not bad for a first go at clothing.
    I adapted it from this tutorial:
  • Earlier in the fall, we were also trying to find a way to put the people we pray for in a place where we could go and see them and spend some time in prayer. I finally settled on stringing a bunch of ribbons across the walls of our littlest bedroom and using clothespins (some decorated, some plastic) to hang up slips of paper with names. It’s been pretty cool, though we’ve often had a house full of guests – meaning that we don’t go in there as often as we would like. When we’ve prayed for a name, we take it down and put it in the box until all the names are down for a particular row (one row each for the girls and boys from the youth group and one row for friends and family members) and then we put them back up.
  • I also made myself a new cover for my Bible because I got sick of how I had rigged my last one to close; this one’s a little easier to manipulate, and I really like it. It’s amazing how you learn so much from mistakes you make the first time you do things…

All in all, though, it’s been a neat season to see what I can make with my hands. I’ve been frequenting a lot of DIY/lifestyle blogs and they always make me want to make something or try something different with what I have. Pretty cool.

I got a few crochet books for Christmas so that I can teach myself some new patterns, and I’m hoping to learn a bit more about quilting this year and make my way through some of the stash that I’ve had for a few years now in anticipation of such an occasion. I recently rearranged closets in our bedrooms, and finally got all of the crafting supplies into their own arena, nice and tidy.

Easy to find stuff = easy to work.

Got lots of books for Christmas, and I’m excited to start in on them once I’m done with L.M. Montogomery’s “Emily of New Moon” series.

Listening to: On the Altar of Love, downhere
Emily Climbs, L.M. Montgomery


2 thoughts on “Christmas & Crafting

  1. WOW! You are so crafty! I so wish I lived close enough that I could learn from you! All of your projects are things I've thought about doing, but just don't even know how to get started! I love how you set up your prayer chains. I've thought about trying to create a prayer board, but, again, just don't know where to start. I'm so glad you posted all of this, dear Kate. I miss you so much.

  2. Kate! I have the best idea for your advent calendar! This year we did a Jesse tree with the boys instead of a Christmas tree. It traces, over 28(ish) days (depending on which one you use), God's covenant with His people from Genesis to it's fulfillment in the birth of the Christ child. It was totally amazing. We all loved it. And how did you make the Bible cover? I want to make one for myself. Miss you, friend! Laura

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