Christmas Countdown!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Christmas Club for June

These are pictures from our June Christmas Club meeting. The photo below is an 8x8" pan that you could bring cookies or perhaps peppermint brownies to a friends Christmas get-together. You start with two 12" squares of fabric, sew them wrong sides together (with or without batting), and bind the edges. The corners are simply tied together with ribbon.   

This quick table runner is a quilt-as-you-go project.

A cute towel with a spiffy snowman on it!

This is the book--Tidings by Art to Heart--that has the casserole carrier and other fun projects in it. 

Are you starting your Christmas crafting?

Till next time, Mary in VA

Sunday, May 29, 2016

I missed May's Rudy Day (May 25) but I decided to post today and 
give you a rundown on activities for May. Perhaps you can find 
a few minutes here and there to be thinking about:

New themes for your decorating or Christmas party.

Peppermint is always a fun theme. 

Set your table with some dishware that carries 
out your peppermint theme.

Image result for peppermint candy

Here's a simple 15-minute project 
to get you started. 
Wouldn't your Christmas 
cookies or cupcakes look 
cute on this Peppermint Candy Tray?

Peppermint Candy Tray
About 60 starlight mints, any color
1 (10-inch) round cake pan
Nonstick pan liner (such as Reynolds), parchment paper or foil
Wire rack for cooling
  1. Heat oven to 350. Unwrap the mints and place in bowl.
  2. Use a pencil to trace the outline of the bottom of the cake pan onto the parchment or pan liner. Cut out liner and place firmly in bottom of pan.
  3. Place mints just inside the rim of the pan, continuing in circles. In the center, adjust mints to make certain all will fit.
  4. Place the pan in a 350 for eight minutes. Do not walk away. Check the pan frequently to make sure the candies do not over-melt.
  5. When done, remove from oven and let cool. After 10 minutes, remove from pan. The parchment or pan liner will peel off the tray. Keep the tray away from wet and heat.
peppermint bowls

You might even make little votive holder bowls to go along with it!
Go to the website for more information.

One of my favorite themes is gingerbread. How about we find a project that is do-able? Some libraries even give classes during November / December on how to make and assemble gingerbread houses. 


Gingerbread themed holiday ornaments 12625-FC

You can make or purchase gingerbread ornaments in all kinds of fun
Christmas designs, with or without names on them. I think this would be 
fun to add to your children's or grandchildren's ornament collection. 
When they grow up and start homes of their own, they'll have
 some ornaments for their tree!

You can purchase gingerbread stocking holders
to hold up their gingerbread stockings!

And don't forget to carry the theme to your table. How about making your meals festive during the Christmas week with a table set like this:

Image result for gingerbread christmas dishes

I bought some blue Christmas tree ornaments at the end of the season last year, thinking ahead to this Christmas. I want a small Christmas tree in my bedroom and would like to go with the "Blue Christmas" theme in that room. Blue is my favorite color, so why not use it during the holidays,too? 

Think more than just blue ornaments...a beautiful blue ribbon on a 
green Christmas wreath, blue linen napkins with white rick rack trim 
and your family monogram, blue packages with blue ombre 
ribbons. Silver and white complement the blue beautifully. Aren't 
the individual white angel food cakes adorable? 

My tree won't be this big, but isn't this beautiful with the different 
shades of blue ornaments? I love how the white deer complement 
the theme so well. Here they've silver and white to contrast, and 
punched the blue up to a gorgeous shade of teal.

I need to decide what kind of design I want for my tree skirt! This one 
is lovely, isn't it? I'd like to see blue balls and white balls and 
white icicles on the tree that goes with this skirt.

Have you thought of a new theme to use this year in 
your Christmas decorating?

Till next time, Keep the spirit of Christmas alive!
Mary in VA

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Early Christmas Sewing Projects

We have a new Christmas club that meets at our local quilt shop on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Oddly enough, that puts the meeting very close to Rudy Day (celebrated on the 25th day of every month)! We had several ideas for small make-ahead gifts. Among them are these cute fabric baskets. You can use them for candy dishes, in the craft room for small items (thread, buttons?), or in the kitchen (with tea bags?) etc. etc. I'm sure you can come up with some ideas, too.

The item on the left is a mug wrap. It wraps around a coffee mug, and gives you lots of little pockets to corral your small items: pens, pencils, small scissors, etc.
I think my mom needs one near her chair with her crossword puzzle pencils and tv remote.

Small potholders and mats for hot pans/casserole dishes are always nice. Choose fabrics in your friend's kitchen colors.

This simple table runner (below) only takes about 30 minutes to make.

The green tablerunner, below, is my version of the simple tablerunner. The 18 inch square pillow on the bed is one of my favorite projects. It says "Dear Santa....I can explain!" It just slips over the pillow that is on display 11 months out of the year.

I've been having a lot of fun making walker bags for my 96-year old mother, who lives in Florida. The first bag was made of bingo fabrics. I will have to dig up a photo of it to show you! Bag #2 has pink flamingos on it. I added the little cell phone pocket to the pattern. You can download the walker bag pattern from Craftsy from a vendor called "BucketsGoneWild." It was free!

Mom is a retired nurse, and I couldn't resist this fabric with Lorlei's nurses on it.

Remember decorating your bike with streamers for the 4th of July parade? They used to decorate mom's golf cart in red-white-blue!

I also found a free very simple pattern to make tissue holders to coordinate with her wardrobe of walker bags. I still have to make her Christmas bag!

Have fun making some home-crafted items for Christmas gifts this year.

Mary in VA

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A real reindeer!

Seeing a real reindeer was on someone's bucket they planned a trip to Lapland, and ran into the real Santa, too!

Okay, crafty friends, time to get out the felt, sewing machine, scissors and pompons. How cute are these stockings?! I want some to hang on my fireplace mantel this year!
Less than 90 days to go, friends, time to get planning! Go check out and get on it....
Seasons greetings to you and yours,

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Check out Ginger at Rudolph Ramblings!

I've been away from my Christmas blog for awhile, but I just discovered that Ginger at Rudolph Ramblings has posted some very helpful Christmas planning pages that you can print out and add to your Christmas notebook. You can visit her at:

Of course, I couldn't resist the Vintage Rudolph party photos, above! That Rudy sure is a cutie! For those of you who don't know, we celebrate "Rudy Day" each month on the 25th. It helps us keep the spirit of Christmas alive, and helps us by taking time to do a little planning ahead.

Check it out, and let me know what you think! I love her "baking list" as that's one of my favorite things to do.

Till next time, may the Spirit of peace, love and joy be yours today and throughout the year!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Magazine and Book Give-Away

Hello Christmas in July friends! I have decided that it is time to pass some of my Christmas magazines and books on to someone else to enjoy. I just have "too much stuff" and it is starting to overwhelm my space. The Farm Chicks books is fun if you like 1950s era Christmas memorabilia.

I have several December issues of Sandra Lee's magazine, Southern Lady, and Food Network, free to a good home. I have enough to break them up into 3 or 4 different packages, sort of spread the cheer around!

These are photos from the "Farm Chick" book. Santa actually brought me 2 of them. Please leave me a comment and let me know if you have a Christmas blog or which Christmas blog is your favorite. I will also need an email address to get in touch with you. I hope to make 3 or 4 or possibly 5 packages to mail out.

Peace and blessings to you and yours! Mary

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Decorating for Christmas-2012

I haven't posted some photos of my Christmas decorations from last year, so I thought I would share a few of them with you now--in the spirit of "Christmas in July." This picture is of our master bedroom, with my "Christmas in the Cabin" quilt. It is a log cabin quilt made from 2.5 inch strips. It's one of my all-time favorite quilts, and one that I actually hand quilted myself. This setting is called the barn raising pattern. The quilt on the wall at the head of the bed is a Fons and Porter pattern. I used all fabrics from my stash, and the brick red and tan fabrics I used for the alternate blocks dictated how big I could make this quilt. The star blocks are 8 inches square, so if you are a quilter it would be easy for you to figure out this pattern on your own. I call it "Scrappy Stars."

This is a little corner of our master bedroom. It houses a small desk with a chair, my Thimbleberries table topper in red/green/cream fabrics, a basket of my favorite Christmas magazines and a few other trinkets.  Establishing a small "Christmas Nook" is step 1 on the "Organized for Christmas website. See the "June Rudolph Club Meeting" post for more information.

This blue dry sink has been in the foyer, the dining room, the kitchen, and currently the living room. It holds my Jim Shore nativity set and a few decorative candles. My goal this year is to make a log cabin quilt (about 13 x 30 inches) for the base of the nativity set. The fabrics are in cream and gold, and I have 26 of the 30 total blocks made already. As a matter of fact, when I finish this post I'm going to make the last 4 blocks and hopefully get it sewn together this weekend. So stay tuned for more, and I will post photos when completed. I think I will add some trees to the setting this year...can't decide between white or green, but we'll see what we can find. Hopefully Hobby Lobby or AC Moore will have some goodies to choose from!

This is our fireplace mantel, decked out this year with a "White Christmas" theme. I grew up in northern Illinois and so Christmas doesn't seem like Christmas without some snow. Here in
Virginia we can pretty much expect to NOT have snow at Christmas! The two little Christmas quilts cover baskets with my favorite magazines. I am a magazine junkie, I admit it. The two little kissing bears are from Hallmark.

Here is our tree this past year with lots of white and some blue, something completely different from all the reds and greens I normally use. My favorite part of the holiday season is enjoying the glow from the tree in the evening with all my presents bought, wrapped and under the tree. It's such a comforting feeling! I think I like the addition of the bow on the top!

My coffee table decoration...a big fat ivory colored pearl-studded candle, in a glass cylinder on a blue plate with white poinsettia leaves. We have a cat, so I can't have real plants or Dusty will eat them.
Rudy and Clarissa say hello! (They're from Build-a-Bear--don't you just love them?!) Enjoy your Christmas in July photo tours! And till next time, love, peace and joy to you and yours!