Merry Christmas!

This year has certainly been one for the books. Dispite all the negativity I have tried to remain positive, devoted my time to the arts and my spirit to my Lord.

My wish for you is that you and your families will remain safe and well and that the future will be full of hope.

More importantly, keep Christ in Christmas.

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Christmas For Pets

You know I could not resist the temptation to create something for my dog, Rocoe. While it is not the best design I have come up with I did it in less than thirty minutes so what can you expect.

He was all snuggled up in his quilt when I disturbed him to try this on.
While he was less than excited about his new attachment, he tolerated his Mommie’s desire to be crafty.
His very large ears make it not easy to wear conventional hats.

While this was done in humor, do not forget your pets during Christmas. Provide them with an extra toys, snacks or even hats. Rocoe was very sleepy when he modeled this but was very cooperative.

Do something special for your pet today! They deserve your love and respect. In addition to the hat, Rocoe got lots of his favorite treat.

The Christmas Star

In anticipation of the magical event the media predicted, I took my camera and went out into the field behind my house. I got these shots of the sunset.

The interesting events were at 4:30 EST it was still very cloudy with no blue sky to be seen. At 5:00 when I went out the first time to set my camera up the sky was completely clear.

There was no planet alignment seen until about 5:38 EST. It was underwhelming to say the least. You may still be able to see it for a few more minutes depending on where you are. While in the field it suddenly appeared when it had not been there even minutes prior. If you looked at the center of the horizon and then halfway to your left and a quarter of the sky up, you could clearly see a planet. I was undecided as to whether or not that was it until my husband said, “see there’s another one beside it”. Sure enough when I looked again I could see a shadow of a ring on the right hand side of it.

It was not nearly as bright as I had anticipated but I still thanked God for the opportunity to view it because I am certain it must have some meaning that I am not aware of.

I am sure you will get a better view on your local news as my camera was too small to get a picture of it.

Happy star gazing.

And Then There Was A Tree

It’s not very pretty and is very small. There are only a few ornaments on it and a few I made.

My former coworkers would be proud of me because this is the first tree I have put up in almost thirty years. Oh I tried a couple of times only to turn right around and take it down!

The problem with me and Christmas is that a tree and gifts is not what I celebrate. When my son left home as a young man I was devastated. He didn’t just move down the road, he moved several states away. I opted not to put up a tree because I had no other children and no grandchildren that were close enough to celebrate with.

Over the years our relationship became more strained and eventually nonexistent. I went through the motions with my family but enjoying celebrations of faith meant more to me than a tree and commercialized Christmas.

This year has been so different. Two weeks before Thanksgiving my son contacted me. Already my miracle of Christmas has happened so I decided putting up a tree could not be so bad.

While my main focus of Christmas is still celebrating Christ’s birth, guess I will try to now add a little tinsel to my life.

Keep Christ in Christmas!

Christmases Past

Parades
Family and kids galore
A Father’s Love

Our Christmases of the past make me wonder what this Christmas will be like, for sure nothing like the last.

My Mother always enjoyed Christmas and last year was no exception. She laughed and ate well but somehow I knew it would be her last and three days later she did pass.

The parades we may have no more. As a family we have decided to take a risk and still get together. Family is not something we are willing to comprimise on or have the government tell us what to do. Families shape us in a way nothing else can. They define our moral structure, they support us when we are in need and celebrate us when we succeed.

After all, in sickness or in health our Heavenly Father still joins us. He still supports us and still celebrates with us even if our earthly family is unable to. Even if you do not have family, reach out to help someone to have that special Christmas.

This year is particularly hard. We have had many losses. Our Mother was our greatest loss but we have also lost our freedom to show our face, our religious rights and the right to an honest election. The old saying “what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” is true for the most part. While we struggle to regain our footing, our faith is something that will never waiver even if we can’t attend church. I carry my faith with me. I am not ashamed of it and will always protect it. I am very vocal about my rights and desires to live a normal life and do not apologize for that. Dispite the evil in this country, I still stand for American and what our forefathers fought for.

Whatever your plans are this Christmas, keep Christ in your plans and hold your family close to you even if that means being six feet apart!

God bless you all.

The Meaning Behind Gifts

Typically I am not very good at choosing gifts for other people. While I try to choose gifts that are unique I sometimes feel that is not enough. This year while so many thousands of people have been affected by the pandemic, I feel the choice of the gift could be very important and those people feel particularly pressured to provide gifts.

This year I chose to make my gifts, not for lack of money but more for meaning. So many times in the past I found myself buying just to check off a name on my list. This year I thought it was more important to really give a gift. Here is an example.

Gift of the Magi

When I made this earring I made it in a simple design but the colors I chose were the colors of the Magi’s gifts. The outer edge is gold, the lighter gold represents frankincense and the dark center is for Myrrh. When I gift this I will include a card explaining the colors.

With the complexities of this year, it will be nice to give the simple things like time, friendship, and most of all LOVE.

While wondering what to give your family and/or friends consider what you already have. While material things are nice, there are things you can give that you can’t buy.

Consider what you real gifts are and give those. For example if you are a photographer consider photographing a family that cannot afford to have their picture taken and gift them a photo that they will always cherish. The money you won’t make from it will gift you a memory as well. If you are a crafter, make a gift for a child or a single mom or a person in a nursing home that is shut in. The time you spend will be well worth it. Give a blessing and receive on in return.

The true gifts of the Magi: a baby could not use the physical gifts they brought but they brought the best that they had. Think about it when choosing gifts.

God bless you all.

Christmas Crafts 3

Beaded Ornament

This creation just flew into my head today. This is an octagon plastic canvas piece with various types of beads worked into it.

It is not perfect nor is it meant to be. You will need: beading wire, beading thread and beads of your choice mixing up sizes and shapes and needle nose pliers.

Starting at the first row closest to the outside, push up with threaded needle through the hole leaving about a 2″ tail to the back and form a knot with the thread in your right hand and the tail on the left. Continue up into next hole thread through a bead and back down to back (going up through one hole and back down through next). Continue working around until you close center. Knot at back and cut thread. You can glue a piece of felt on the back to hide your stitches.

For the hanger take a piece of beading wire or floral wire and with needle nose pliers roll one end to curve. Pull up through hole in a point in the canvas and close with pliers.

At the other end, form a Shepard’s hook and just create spirals for any remaining wire. You will still be able to see the canvas but will not be that noticeable compared to your design.

Hang on your tree. There are about 6 of the plastic canvas pieces in a package and they are not very expensive.

Happy beading.

Christmas Crafts 2

Oversized Coaster

Guess you never saw a star like this? Need somewhere to put those Santa cookies? This oversized coaster will accommodate a cup or saucer. It is worked on plastic canvas.

To start you will need five diamond plastic canvas pieces, a yarn needle and scissors.

This is what the canvas looks like.

Start at the top point with your needle threaded and push your needle up from the back and to the hole under it as shown above. Leaving about an inch or so of yarn at the end do not knot but pull it down in back of your work so that you are making your stitches over it. When you get to the end of the row drop down to the block on the next row and work up. Continue in pattern until diamond is covered. With last stitch completed on the back side stick your needle under the last two stitches worked and pull tight. Cut yarn.

To join: I actually joined these as I went so taking the next blank diamond line it up with the top points together. Working from the bottom up you are going to just make a whip stitch (going through stitch on one diamond and across to the same whole on the new diamond. When at the top you will be in position to begin as you did with the first diamond. Continue around completing and joining diamonds until yours looks like mine in the very first image above.

Edging: With white yarn begin by sticking your needle in the back of any block at the edge and whip stitch around. Tuck in your yarn in the back and cut.

This project is not real difficult but does require some time to do.

Happy stitching.

Christmas Crafting

Need a little something to add to your home made stockings or glue to your packages instead of bows. I have to admit though it is not one of my original ideas but it is so easy and cute I just had to share.

Mini Poinsettia

Take large rick rack (found in fabric stores and some craft stores) and measure 13 points and cut. With quilting or button thread start at the top of the first point and put your needle through that point and all 13 points. After going through the thirteenth point pull tight to gather, pull your thread to the back and knot but do not cut. Put your needle back through the center and string four white beads. Carry your needle back down through the center and tighten, knot and cut.

If you do not sew, you can make this using a glue gun. It just takes longer.

Happy Crafting