Christmas At Our House {2}

 

A cheerful kitchen windowsill with a collection of old, very old bottles, a chippy santa mug, vintage (there’s that word again) santa candy mold and, of course, my handmade candy cane ornament.  You can make one too, there is still time.

I bought these chenille stems at Hobby Lobby as is.  They were with the Christmas crafts and may be sold out but you can twist red and white ones together yourself.  Get the extra fluffly chenille stems.  They just look better for this project.

I gave mine a tea bath overnight to give them that “vintage” look.  See the difference?  Then you can tumble them in the dryer (by themselves so they don’t get all bent), for a few minutes to dry and fluff them.  It really doesn’t take long.  Or you can air dry them, which does take a while, and fluff them by hand too.  I’ve done it both ways, the dryer is easier.

Cut each stem in half, curl the end to make the cane shape.  You can use the mouth of a bottle as a form to wrap the end around so they are all uniform and you aren’t forever fiddling with the shape, because you know you will.

Overlap two canes, put a dab of glue between them to hold them together.  Let that dry and tie with a red bow.  And if you’d like, brush the tops with glue and sprinkle with glitter.  I used Martha Stewart’s “Snow” glitter.  It really is flakey and sparkly, just like last night’s snow.

Below you can see my inspiration, a very old and brittle ornament from an estate sale.

Now, what to do with all these little lovelies.  Hang them on the tree, or a cabinet knob, or a wreath.  Display them in your chippy santa mug or an apothecary jar.  Layer them in a bowl with starfish, tie them onto gifts, give them as holiday party favors.  Put several in a clear bag, tie with a bow and give as a hostess gift.  Print out the Legend of the Candy Cane, attach the ornament and give that as a gift.

Or leave one in an unexpected place to give a little holiday cheer.

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 10:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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Christmas At Our House {1}

 

I love starfish and use them year round, in bowls, perched on piture frames, propped on window ledges.  Add a vintage looking, but made yesterday, candy cane ornament and they become holiday festive.

Published in: on December 20, 2010 at 11:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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It Was Such Fun

Thank you so very much to everyone who attended my Christmas Open House this past weekend.  Many of you know I have been working toward this event for a while, creating some handmade goodies for you to give as gifts or keep for yourself.  And this weekend was the big reveal.  Since I never posted a preview last week as promised, this will be a sneak peak for Christmas in Kaneville, December 4th.  So much to see so grab a cup of something warm and take a few minutes to see what I’ve been working on.

Greeting cards, where the whole handmade adventure began for me.

A few autumn and harvest inspired things.  The playing card garlands have found happy homes.

Some whimsical, girly things.  Oooh, kind of blurry.

Lovely French inspired greetings.

 

Vintage sheet music and china.

A pear tree.  No partridge.

Hairpins and bracelets.  Vintage button rings too.

Repurposed children’s blocks.

Pretty things and glittery things.

 

 

Journals, flower pens, art collages, gift tins.

And many one-of-a-kind art pieces.

As you can see I love to make things.  And chances are good that if you receive a gift from me it will be handmade.  My hope is that you, dear reader, will give something handmade this holiday season, perhaps you’ve made, or even something I’ve made.  And though you will likely have to purchase supplies for whatever it is you make, you will know that the end result is a gift that is original, one-of-a-kind and heartfelt.

 

Happy Tuesday!

Published in: on November 23, 2010 at 7:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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Needle Felted Autumn

Thought I would share some photos of the pretty shelf my mother-in-law recently purchased and hung in her dining room.  She saw it in an antique shop and knew it would be perfect for this collection of china.  (Click to enlarge the photo.)  These very few pieces were her grandmother’s and now have a perfect place to be appreciated.

 

After one of our fun Saturdays spent running around the countryside, trying to find a certain barn sale, which we never found, and a quick apple cider donut at an orchard, we stopped at Esther’s Place in Big Rock.    She waited in the car with P, who had fallen asleep, while I poked my head in.  But I knew they both would enjoy it as well, and before we knew it an hour had passed.  After I narrowed my choices down to four balls of wool (all in shades of green), we arrived home and decorated the shelf with the little pumpkins we bought at the orchard.

 

 

I thought the shelf could use some needle felted acorns (with real acorn hats) and pumpkins, so I made more and delivered them to her the next day.

 

 

A fun reminder of the day.

 

Happy Friday!

Published in: on October 22, 2010 at 9:11 am  Comments (1)  
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Fun Fair Basket

This is the second year I have donated a collection of handmade goodness to the Freeman Elementary Fun Fair.  What a fun way to give back to the school I attended and that our daughter now attends.   The name of this collection is “Autumn Memories.”  Take a look at what I’ve created.

Here you see a sewn fabric bunting, perfect to decorate your mantle,

or to hang over a window.  Sorry the photo is dark but I think you get the idea.

Some candles for your table and a decorated box of matches,

Handmade cards to send Thanksgiving greetings,

A journal and photo album to record family memories,

A pretty photo frame,

And a little sign for your door or to add to a wreath.

This is basket #54 (Autumn Memories by PK Handmade) if you are purchasing raffle tickets.   The Freeman Fun Fair is the largest fund raiser for the school and there are some amazing baskets being offered again this year, so go ahead and buy a $1 ticket, you just may win!

Published in: on October 4, 2010 at 8:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thrifted Quilt Pieces

Found these recently at the thrift store, two Dresden Plate quilt pieces that are finished on the back.  Each measure 32 inches across, but what shall I do with them?

I thought I’d applique one of them onto a tablecloth.  Any suggestions?

Published in: on September 27, 2010 at 8:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Felted Fall Decorations

A couple weeks ago, after a visit to a friends home (Hi Karen), and seeing her darling felted pumpkins and witch, I was inspired to get out my felting supplies and make  some myself.

In the end, I made five pumpkins and 20 little acorns with real acorn hats.  This is what I kept.  The rest have been given to family and friends.  This is seriously fun and easy, though I would not  let our seven year old try it.   Little fingers and sharp felting needles, not so good.   So I gave her complete artistic direction and ended up with some very colorful acorns, magenta, chartreuse, turquoise, gold, which were gifted to very specific family members.

Perhaps there is something you’d like to give a try.  Go ahead.  You may discover a new hobby.  And we all know what is just around the corner. . . .

Have a crafty weekend!

Published in: on September 17, 2010 at 6:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thrift Score

Latest thrifty find, less than one dollar for the box.  They will likely become something other than what they were intended for.  Stay tuned to find out.  Meanwhile, enjoy the darling graphics.

Published in: on September 7, 2010 at 8:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Craft Show Sneak Peak, Part II

I am ready and patiently waiting.  The weather forecast is good.  And I have many new PK Handmade things to share with you.

Here, bracelets in all colors.  Earrings too.

And button rings just for fun.

There will also be playing-card garlands.  For those of you have seen these before, they go fasty fast.  Plus some new card designs and unique gift items.  And of course  journals for recording your child’s school year or upcoming holiday memories and hair clips in new Autumn designs.  But I can’t show you everything now.  For that you will have to visit me at Kaneville Fest this Saturday (by the Community Center) or Sunday (by the historic buildings), August 28 and 29.  And tell me you read the blog.  I’d love to meet you!

Hope to see you!

Published in: on August 26, 2010 at 5:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday’s Field Trip

This past Friday we took our annual visit to Sycamore for the Steam Show and Threshing Bee.  I have come to really look forward to this day in the country, learning how things used to be done before modern technology made things faster and more efficient for farmers.   When I am  there I am always reminded not only of my husband’s family history of farming, but also of my uncle who was a fruit farmer in California, and my grandpa who worked on a farm in Michigan as a young boy.  They both would have enjoyed this day.  I miss them both.

If you remember the children’s books by Richard Scarey,  especially What People Do Storybook, the Steam Show will show you what the book illustrates from threshing wheat all the way to grinding it into flour.  Growing up I loved these books and it has been fun re-reading them with P.  We like to trace with a finger the “path”  the wheat takes in the story “Where Bread Comes From”.

Row upon row of tractors, and farmers and their families walking among them to see what’s old.  They gather here every year  for a chance to use their, in some cases, 100 year old farm equipment, as it would have been used when these were the height of technology.  My favorite part of the day is the “noon whistle “, when every implement with a whistle or horn or bell, sounds it for several seconds.  It is the coolest cacaphony of sounds, I can’t even describe it.  Back in the day though, this was the lunch signal for farm hands to come out of the fields to eat.

Farmers visiting and sharing stories, wearing denim and plaid, shirts tucked in always, caps on.

Hay wagon waiting to be threshed.

P fell in love with a five-day-old calf.

There is a flea market and gathering of artisans, soapmaking, loom-weaving.  This woman shared that her pieces are woven out of old clothing, blue-jeans and chenille bedspreads.  Recycled beauty.

This steam engine is being driven by father and son.  They have just filled their engine with coal (the black stuff in the foreground) and water.  Now they will take their turn threshing wheat, or shucking corn, or sawing wood.

There was even a steam powered water pump.  Couldn’t just turn on the faucet.

What a great lesson.  I learn something new every year.

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 9:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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