Thursday, December 23, 2010

hung by the chimney with [creative angst]

I've had new handmade stockings on my to-do list for years. I have some colossal mental block about it. I've looked at many, many stockings online and trolled for ideas in magazines. I've seen 1000 I've loved, I've collected a folder full of ideas, but somehow committing to making some has been nigh to impossible. I think it is because I suffer under the mistaken notion that whatever I make will have to be cherished family heirlooms as well as match my decor for the next 40 years.

I finally just let go and made some for Pete's sake. I had some dishtowels I bought from here a while back that I had earmarked for festive pillow making, but they were purloined for the stockings instead. They been sitting half finished for weeks in my craft room because I couldn't decide how to embellish them. The sad part is now that the stockings are finished, I'm not sure I like them. Even a bit. (Don't worry, this is all a normal part of my process.) But I made some! So, progress. Some projects are effortless and some take a little pain and suffering. Maybe they need some applique of some kind. Crud. I'll think about it next year.

(well, there were still four days when I took this picture.)

The nibbled one was inspired by these cuties. I love how she made the buttons look like candies with strategic stitching.

We've just been enjoying the days around here lately with no schoolwork. There's been lots of impromptu running around town and running errands. Lots of making of snowflakes, paper chains, and paper plate snowmen, and generally making it look like Buddy lives here. Lots of sitting by the fire, cozying up under quilts watching Christmas specials, and for me, LOTS of crafting and sewing.

I still have one handmade gift to finish up, and I'd dearly love to get some simple dresses done for the girls. Really. I can do it! (denial reigns supreme here) Winter dresses, not something that looks too Christmasy at this late date. I love these gorgeous ones by Amy Karol. We'll just have to see.

Right now I need to go bake some sugar cookies for the kids to decorate later when my company arrives. I hope they turn out, I've never used Joy Of Cooking's recipe. I've got some mulled cider in the crock pot, and egg nog in the fridge. Plus some truly evil chocolate toffee crunch bars that arrived yesterday from my dearest friend along with a bunch of beautiful gifts. There's going to be a grim reckoning in January with all the fattening stuff I've been eating, but for now I don't care.

Postscript: Definitely do use the Joy Of Cooking recipe if you haven't tried it. After refrigeration and a dash of flour, I was able to painlessly use my Christmas cookie cutters to make reindeers, bells, santas, candy canes, stars, etc... I have a lot of cutters. I don't even like sugar cookies, and these taste great. I used salted butter because I like salty/sweet.


  1. I think the stockings turned out to be just gorgeous! Hooray for you! Enjoy the last few days of cutting cookies and snowflakes.

  2. I think your stocking are beautiful! Don't be so hard on yourself!

    And, this is not a criticism whatsoever, but did you know that you can iron paper snowflakes? I only found that out a few days ago and it totally works. You just need to put some fabric on top of them while you iron and they come out so nice and flat!

  3. Thank you, Very Verdant! You do the same.

    Kaye, yep, I actually do know that. But I was too lazy! The iron was so far away. ha.

  4. I think your stockings are pretty--simple and elegant....just like your style. I know what you mean. I have been wanting to make my daughter a stocking for 6 years and have yet to do it for the same reason. What really bothers me is that my mom needlepointed me a stocking when I was a kid. She gave it to me a few years ago, and I've moved so much I cannot find it. It just makes me sick to my stomach that I may have lost it. I love your gingerbread men. Too funny!

  5. Mama Pea, Oh man. I sure hope you can find it! I know that sickening feeling. If you have a picture of it, maybe you can recreate it for your sweet pea.

  6. I don't think you should have doubts about the stockings, they look great! I love the holly leaf cluster and the initial on the one leaf. They look very classy and fresh. I still have one handmade gift to finish up as well, and am no way going to try and make a holiday dress for my little one—good luck with that though :).

    Have a beautiful Christmas with your family!!

  7. Oooh...buttery, salty, sugar cookies sound so good. Might have to make some of those tomorrow. And some paper snowflakes. I've been watching Jamie's Family Christmas (look it up) and his house has been visited by Buddy, too. Love it.

    Thanks for the shout out about the devil cookies. I'm choosing to take that in the best possible way. :)

  8. Oh, duh. Forgot to say how much I like the stockings! Love the color scheme - perfect with your holiday decor. And they're just the right mix of modern and craftsy. Stop stressing and enjoy having them made!

  9. Katie, I like the concept of the holly leaf cluster. Just not thrilled with my execution. I think it is the colors maybe? I need to get some distance and perspective. You have a wonderful Christmas too!

    Robyn, you may certainly take it in the best way. Those things are too too delicious. You are so evil for sending them. And also very nice. The stockings. I'll have to reevaluate later when my insanity has subsided.

  10. I just loved everything!!!! The felt cookies are amazing... This one that was bitten is so cute.

    Vivi Basile - Brazil

  11. Your stockings are so amazing!!

  12. hello...I wanted to pop in and say thank you for offering your Molly Monkey pattern. I made her for my daughter for Christmas and she loved her!!! She is a sweet pattern!I also added it to your Flickr group.Wishing you a Marry CHRIST~mas and New Year ahead. I am a new follower here and a SAHM, homeschooling Mama and Christian myself.So nice to meet you! Hope to get to know you this New Year...Blessings...Mica

    Here is my post with Molly Monkey,


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