Saturday, December 27, 2008

My homemade Christmas gifts

The original idea was to save money and make Christmas gifts instead of buying them. I don't know if any money was actually saved after all my trips to fabric stores, craft stores, and Wal-Mart. But it was fun and I think a homemade gift is always appreciated.

I made three different things: rice heat therapy bags, eye pillows for headaches, and lavender sachets. Most of my ideas came from this page on Sew Mama Sew, which is a great site if you sew or try to like me! Although some of the stuff was too difficult for me, so I simplified a lot! (They tell you to cut fabric into 2 x 7.75" strips!? So I just cut them into 2 x 8" strips and it seemed fine to me!)

Here's my little set up with my ironing board on the floor and laptop readily available. I was making my first rice heat therapy bag cover.

And here is the bag that goes inside with rice.

I put these on the floor to take a picture and Toby thought they were pretty cool. They close with Velcro. (Yeah, I sewed Velcro!!)
Then I started cutting about 100 fabric squares for the sachets. Okay maybe not 100 but it felt like it.

Here are the finished sachets. I was pronouncing them "sash-ets" until I told my little sister Karlie and she sweetly said, "um, do you mean sash-ays?" Oops. I wanted to put real lavender in them and I went to florists and everywhere I could think of but no luck. So I ended up putting batting inside and then a couple drops of essential lavender oil.

As an afterthought I whipped up these little headache pillows. You are supposed to put them in the freezer. (Don't you like how I say "whipped up" like it was no big deal?!)
I don't have a picture of this but to finish off the gifts I put a little tag tied with ribbon to each of them. It gives directions on how to use them (heat the rice therapy bag in the microwave for 2-3 minutes) and says "Homemade with Love!"

I will definitely be making gifts again. Next time I probably won't wait until 2 days before to get started!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Backdoor makeover

So much to blog about...but I'll start with this. Here's my backdoor before. Nice, pretty, maybe a little bland...

And now...
Nice, isn't it? I'm so happy with the change. It really looks better in real life than it does in this picture. I love the rich colors! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sew Katie Sew

I've been frantically sewing up a storm due to my crazy procrastination skills. Seriously, I sewed for about 4 hours straight last night. I am dying to post pictures of what I'm making but then 4 out of the 5 people who read this will know what they are getting for Christmas!

And if you read that you might think that I actually know how to sew but truthfully I have no idea what I'm doing. But I'm having fun and it is cool to see something come together that I made!

But don't you fret, I will tell you all about it after Christmas! And now I am out to do one last minute shopping run.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Why are you...?

This is what God is asking me today...

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let Me lift up your face
Just don't turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough
To where will you go child
Tell Me where will you run
To where will you run

Cause I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
So please don't fight
These Hands that are holding you
My Hands are holding you

"By Your Side" by Tenth Avenue North

Thank You, Lord, for this reminder today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gifts? What Gifts?

I seem to wait until Christmas break to actually do any real Christmas shopping. Or thinking about shopping. Or planning what to buy.

Problem is, this year we are getting out later than usual! Tomorrow is the last day, and then I'll only have until Tuesday to shop. Right now I have a whopping 3 presents under the tree. Somehow I don't think that's going to cut it!

So I know what I'll be doing this weekend! Also, I bought some crafty supplies to make some homemade gifts, so that's on my to-do list. I wonder, will I ever be one of those people that have all their shopping done at the beginning of December?

One more thing, so many people are telling me, "Don't worry about buying me a gift!" And they actually mean it, because they know I'm saving up money for my Thailand trip. The problem is, I just love giving gifts! I love watching people open them and making them smile. It is so much fun, especially with the people I'm closest to. So, money or not, they'll be getting a gift! So there!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Tour

This is the first year that I am participating in the tour of homes. This is where I found so many of my new favorite bloggers last year, like Kelly's Corner and Jessica McCash. So I'm so excited to be taking part this year!

Here is my tree!
Here's Santa peeking through the branches.
I love these two ornaments with dangly legs.

Here is the reason I live!

This little poinsettia wreath makes me so happy! It adds color to the blank wall next to my tree.

I don't have a fireplace, so this little ledge is where I hang my stockings. The little one is for my dog Toby and the big one is for me of course!

I like a simple coffee table without a lot of stuff on it, so I put a ribbon here with these tealight candle holders. (Just be careful when you put paper next to the candles - whoops!)
This makes me happy too! Berries and snowflakes on my kitchen light.

My fun centerpiece

I couldn't end my tour without a picture of the best Christmas decoration in my house:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Just call me party central

For a low-key, laid back person I have a lot going on lately. So does everyone, right?! Something about the Christmas season just makes me want to extend invitations to everyone I know to come over to my house! Last night, I had a little party for my Bible study girls. We had some soup and brownies and ice cream, and then we played phase ten laaate into the night.

And tonight I'm hosting the party for my church group. But its much easier (in some ways) because everyone is bringing something so I'm just providing the place and the fun and games!

And tomorrow my 3 little sisters are coming over for dinner!

And, next Saturday I'm having a family party at my house!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT! But if you see me wandering in circles around Wal-Mart (for the 3rd time in one week) with a glazed look and mumbling to myself you'll know why.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bow-Making 101

This is what happens when you decide that your bows from last year are way too wrinkled to hang up. And when you learned how to make the bows about 5 years ago and have no clue how to do it now...

But, after much trial and error, I was successful!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why I love Thailand

The word Thailand brings a smile to my face! I know there is lots of turmoil there lately, but the people that I encountered where so special. Here are some pictures that show some of the reasons I love Thailand! They are from the summer of 2002.

These two girls were probably the best English speakers at their school, so naturally I became close to both of them! First, to practice English, but then we became friends!
The beaches in Thailand are dreamlike. They are so perfect...the sand so white and the water so blue. This picture doesn't show that, but you can see the neat islands that are all over the coast. Also, what we are wearing is what you swim in: shorts and a t-shirt!

This precious girl, Fon, just wanted to be held each week during Sunday School. She was too young to know any English, and she just giggled when I spoke Thai (tried!) But the language of love is universal!
I loved the culture in Thailand! This is a picture of my partner, Jenni, and I at the Temple in Bangkok. I had to wear a rented skirt because I was wearing capris and too much of my legs were showing. (I had to pay about a dollar to rent this skirt, I just put it over my capris!) I love how modest Thai people are.
There is something in me that just loves learning about new cultures! I love learning all about Thai customs and history, manners and ways of life. I also loved learning the language. (Too bad I've forgotten most of it! Maybe it will come back?)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Need $500?

Arianne at To Think is to Create is giving away a $500 gift card.

So click here to sign up...