Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas: Jesus, Sewing and Decorating

Happy Saturday!

Have you been doing anything special for Christmas yet this season?

 I know December has just begun, but I'm already thinking about it!

Our family has been trying to have family worship every day and read scripture about Jesus' birth, and I've been singing Christmas songs to the kids at nap time.  Ellie especially loves "Away in a Manger". She says, "Mommy winging 'bout beebee Deedus. " (singing about baby Jesus) :)
We want them to know the real reason for Christmas, that it IS about celebrating Jesus' birth and how without him being born and later dying on the cross for our sins and rising again, we couldn't have the relationship with God that we now have.
It's been cool, because in teaching our kids about Christmas, we've been learning and re-visiting the real reason too. It's so easy to get caught up in the other stuff and miss out on the true joy of Christmas- Jesus!


Of course, I still love to decorate and make our house pretty to celebrate Jesus' birth!
I did some decorating for Christmas today with the kids. It was a fun family activity, and I love the result!

But first; we're going to talk about those bird ornaments that I said I was going to make.
I actually had trouble with the ornaments at first. It took WAY longer than I thought it would to make the first one and I contemplated not even trying to do the other eleven I'd already cut out. But I really wanted to at least try a bit harder, so I kept on and the rest of them ended up going much faster. (Hallelujah!)

With the first several birds, I sewed the fabric  together wrong side out, leaving a hole at the bottom. Then I  turned them right side out, stuffed batting from an old pillow into them, and sewed wings and eyes and a string to hang them up on their backs. This was kind of hard though, because the darn ornaments were so stinkin small, my fingers couldn't really stuff the stuffing in very well. I had to use a pen to get to the tail, and then still it looked a little weird on a few.

I like how this one turned out.

I personally think this one looks kinda like a seal with wings...

I decided to try something different for a couple of them, and sewed a denim bird and a wool bird right side out, just zigzagging around the edges so they wouldn't fray. I really like how these turned out! The tail points are nice and crisp, and they are so cute.

I may make a few more like this in the future, they add a lot of character to the tree! They are SO much easier to make, too. I may end up just keeping the ones I've made so far, because I like them a lot.

On to today's project: re-vamping our wreath for Christmas!

 Remember what it looked like before??

 I loved it, but it was definitely more of a fall wreath and it's December now; people!

Time for a new look.

Last night as I was lying in bed trying to go to sleep, I was thinking about ways to make a Christmas wreath and decided that this would be today's project. There was only a bit of hand sewing involved, but since I used a needle and thread, I figured it counts towards my Christmas Sewing week.   It took well over an hour too, which is another of the criteria that was filled. :)

I found this felt flower tutorial on Pinterest and just knew it would look fabulous on a wreath.

So I made a few.

 (Of course they didn't turn out as nicely as in the picture, because when does that EVER happen? Especially when it's from Martha Stewart.)

I used the template from the website to make the petals. (I enlarged it a bit, but still would probably make it a little bigger next time. Or just make your own shapes. It's not that difficult!)

The white ones are from a scrap of fleece I had lying around.

I decided to make one out of foil too, for some extra shininess. And I sewed some beads into the middle to cover up a little unevenness and make it look more festive, then hot glued those suckers onto my grapevine wreath.
Little feet always add to the cuteness too..;)

I used an old dress of Ellie's for the plaid fabric and I really like how it turned out! Festive and simple.

Keep reading for an explanation of why they're in their's warm out today, remember?

I was going to put pinecones on the wreath too, so the kids and I gathered them out of the back yard. The pinecones were still closed up so I thought maybe if I put them in the oven on low heat, they might open.
Nice try, but no go.

They stayed exactly the same. Oh, well.
We mixed some acrylic paint with water, stripped the kids down so they wouldn't stain their clothes, got out our foam brushes and painted the pine cones a nice white...

then realized that they would look weird on the wreath. They just didn't sit very well and overpowered the flowers.

So I put them in a wooden box lined with foil and set them on the porch.

letting the paint dry...

I"m not sure if I like it or not; we might make them into ornaments instead. The kids had a lot of fun painting though and so did I; so just because of that I'm glad we experimented! :)
Our next project may be some kind of nativity set, so stay tuned!!  I just need to figure out how we'll make one!

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