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vintage craft // crochet for christmas

Crochet for Christmas

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you will have seen this already, but it's too good not to share with all, right? This vintage booklet tells you how to crochet for Christmas, and if my skills went beyond garland, I might just make everything in here.

As it currently stands, I think I'm capable of making maybe three projects from this booklet. Since it's the time of year when I start setting goals for the new year, maybe upping my crochet skills should be on the list. Not that I need more projects going!

This week I've got a lot of Christmas going on, so I'm unsure how much I'll be posting here. But I'll surely be sharing some glimpses elsewhere, so be sure to follow my Twitter and Instagram for updates!

the craft of simplicity

Simple Craft

Earlier this week I posted photos and a mini tutorial for the crocheted garland I made for our Christmas tree. I easily made 20 yards of it. More than once my dad commented, "that's a lot of work." And it wasn't the only time he has said that about something I was making. His tone could imply that he wanted to follow that comment with "and you're crazy to be doing it." But he doesn't say that, and I don't think he's even thinking that.

The thing is, many of the things I do are a lot of work (and I may very well be crazy for doing them). What I've been thinking on, however, is that the art...the craft of simplicity in my work makes me sane.

A complicated project that goes on and on isn't the kind of work I'm talking about, nor is a fast and easy project the simplicity I'm talking about. No, I like something that could be described as monotonous at times. With just enough elements to break it up and keep it interesting. I've found that I need this!

Crocheting garland, piecing hexagons or other shapes, embroidering little designs, hand quilting or stitching a binding...these things all call for a lot of work. But they don't require extensive brain power. They give me the opportunity to chat, watch a movie, listen to music, think on plans, or often, to pray.

Simple hand crafts offer peaceful moments, and I could always use more of those. I know I'm not alone.

And so, in the midst of a swirl of December activity, I cut some pentagons to make a winter wreath mug rug for myself. With a few sequin stars with which I've fallen in love. I shall sew it completely by hand, and enjoy every moment of it. There's not really time for a labor-intensive anything, but that almost seems to be the point. 

As I attempt to stitch some simplicity into my days, maybe you'd like to join me?

printable // wandering camel ornament gift tags

Printable Camel Gift Tags


I think that all of my Christmas shopping is done! But I haven't finished my Christmas making yet. Scratch that...I haven't STARTED my Christmas making yet! I really need to go into elf-mode. But even if there's still a few things to be done, I now am ready to start wrapping the items I have in hand.

Everyone gets a camel on their presents this year, because, well...I really like this camel! You can add a camel to your gifts too, and perhaps hang one on your tree if you've got an extra.


Printable Camel Gift Tags

Print the PDF on card stock, then for each tag, cut out a camel and a blanket. Punch a hole in the top of each piece (there's a little dot showing where to punch). I recommend a small punch, such as a 1/8-inch Fiskars hole punch.

Printable Camel Gift Tags

Align the holes on the two pieces, and loop some string through.

Printable Camel Gift Tags

Write on the camel, and it will be hidden under the blanket! You may want to write on the small-ish side so that it doesn't show.

Printable Camel Gift Tags

Hooray! Your camel is ready to tie onto a gift!

Printable Camel Gift Tags


They also make great ornaments!

And with Christmas creeping up on us, I suppose our camel friend won't be wandering for long...

making garlands for the tree

Making Garlands




Some time ago, my sister and I started creating a handmade Christmas tree each year. We pretty much start from scratch, choosing a new theme every year. And although as the beginning of December draws near, I do stress about getting it done, it's one of my most favorite traditions. This year, we are doing something we've talked about doing for a long time: Garlands.

We aren't making any ornaments; we're only doing bunches of garland.

Three of them are shown above, and we're actually still working on others. The top one is crochet, and it's really easy. I'll show you how below. The middle one is from a Purl Bee tutorial. And the bottom is just jingle bells strung on ribbon. So simple, but fun and sparkly!

Making Garlands

Last week I wrote about playing with sequins, and this is what became of them. Well, that was the plan anyway. I spotted these star sequins and decided that they would be perfect. My crochet skills are severely lacking, but I can make a simple chain, and that's what this is. The only difference is that there are these twinkling stars added in along the way.

Here's what it looks like (the one-handed version, since my other hand was taking pictures!):

Making Garlands
Making Garlands
Making Garlands
Making Garlands
Making Garlands
Making Garlands
Making Garlands

Single chain a few inches (I used thin crochet thread and a size 5 hook). Remove the hook and replace it with a smaller one (it needs to be able to fit through the sequins you're using).

Place a sequin on the hook, then pull a loop of thread through the hole. If you do it just right, you can pull it through and make a stitch in the same motion.

Go back to the larger hook, then continue to make a chain for a few inches. I don't count...I just space them however feels right. Some stars are close and some are farther apart.

Making Garlands

Even with the switching between crochet hooks, it goes quite quickly, and I thoroughly enjoy working on it. Give it a try! I guarantee that sparkly sequin star garland will make you smile!

pattern // wandering camel

Camel Pattern

Any time I make Christmas embroidery patterns, I feel like they really need to be shared early so there's time to stitch them. Today's camel isn't exactly a Christmas pattern, but it sort of is, ya know?


If you're familiar with the Jesse Tree, the fifth day sometimes uses the symbol of a camel to represent Abraham, and so stitching one of these (I'd recommend the smaller camel in the pattern) would be a great activity for today. I'm trying out a felt version too, so hopefully I'll be able to share that next week.

Oh, and if you enlarge the pattern a bit, my wandering camel friend works well with The Stable embroidery pattern in my shop. I keep meaning to add extras to this design, and I suppose this is the start! If you want to make him look a little more fit for a king or wise man, just square off the tuft of fur on his back and stitch it in rich colors and designs as a blanket.

sequins for the soul

sequins

Sometimes you need to take a bunch of pictures of sequins. You need to because it's all you can do when there's so much to do.

Sometimes you realize that it's okay to let a few things slide, because making Christmas decorations is more important. And you're not sure why, but it feels like it's important for your soul. Yes.

Sometimes you have to recognize that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" doesn't mean that you need to do all things. You might need to do one little thing.

sequins

Like playing with sequins and felt and thread.

calendar // print & post a camel for december


December. This month has only just started, and I already feel like it's gonna be a journey of a month. I'm not even entirely sure why, but I feel it. To be honest, I'm a little unsure of it all, but many journeys start that way. My one goal is to not feel tooooooo rushed as I make my way through the month. Will it happen? Time will tell.

But we'll start December with a calendar. And a camel. A camel that might just be on a journey.


To use the iPhone and iPad versions, click the link for the wallpaper you want. When it opens, touch and hold the image until it pops up with the option to save. After you've saved the image, go to your settings, choose wallpaper, then find the image you've just saved.

hello bee // felt tree scape advent calendar

Tree Scape Advent Calendar

A few years ago I bought a Martha Stewart advent calendar kit. It's a really cute paper house with doors to place candy inside. All you have to do is cut the pieces and glue it all together. It remains in the box because I never manage to start it in time for December 1st.

The fact that I haven't even made a kit had me convinced that I'd never make a handmade calendar of my own, and then this year that changed. I designed this tree scape calendar for Hello Bee, and I love it.

My only is regret is that I think I should have out a face on at least one of those trees. But there's still time. And on that note, there still time for you to make one of these this weekend. It's really fast and easy!

Hop on over to Hello Bee for the tutorial.

printable // pineapple turkey table decor

Pineapple Turkey


My family has a Thankgiving tradition of setting up a pineapple turkey. If you do a Google image search for 'pineapple turkey' you'll find that we're not the only family with this tradition. We have an old felt turkey head that would have been part of my mom's thanksgiving table growing up. Then one year it went missing. The tradition needed to live on, so we made a new one.

Pineapple Turkey

We eventually found the vintage turkey, but decided that the new one was cuter. To up the cuteness a little more, I made a set of printable turkey heads so you can have a pilgrim or Native American (or both!) pineapple turkey on your table this year!

Pineapple Turkey

Download the Printable Pineapple Turkey Head PDF.

Print the page(s) on card stock, and cut around the shape. Fold the head in half so the two sides match up.

Pineapple Turkey

Punch a hole in the center of the fold.

Pineapple Turkey

Use double-sided tape (or glue) on one half of the head, then slide a short wooden skewer through the hole and lay it on the tape.

Pineapple Turkey

Fold the other half of the head down and press the edges to hold it together. Try not to press firmly in the skewer, as it will crease the neck.

Pineapple Turkey

With the pineapple laying on its side, stick the turkey head in the bottom of the pineapple.

Pineapple Turkey

If you're feeling extra industrious, add some feathers in the top part of the pineapple. But actually that part works perfectly well as tail feathers all on its own.

Gobble, Gobble!

the annual mollie's turning 29 sale // 2014 edition

This week I'll be celebrating my thirty-*cough* birthday, and one of my favorite birthday traditions is sharing the festivities with you! And what that means is that it's time for...



The Annual Mollie's Turning 29 Sale! I won't tell you how many of these we've had now, but I will tell you that this is your chance to save big on everything in my Etsy shop.

Today through Friday, the 28th, save 29% on your total purchase. Enter the code MOLLIE29 in the coupon code box at checkout, and your discount will be taken off immediately.

If you've been eyeing some patterns, now is the time to order!

Happy birthday savings to you!