Quick, go get yourself a hot cup of coffee or tea and a small plate of Christmas baking or a handful of chocolates ... you're gonna need them! I've gone through two cups of Chai tea and a half a dozen truffles writing! LOL!
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Before I get started, I have to say that I've had THE biggest kick out of your reponses to my question yesterday about Martha Stewart projects. Talk about a trip down memory lane. I don't think it would be a stretch to describe me as a Martha disciple from the mid 90s when I discovered her to about the early 2000s when I had kids and no time to have that sort of fun anymore.
I used to record her show and watch each episode several times. I loved everything about it. I learned a lot and was constantly inspired.
Suz, you are quite right. Classic, understated elegance is everywhere! :)
Rosemary, no question some of her projects were VERY intense. I remember reading in an anniversary issue that said of all her "good things" projects, the one rated most difficult were these little lidded, nexting boxes made with paper. I had to laugh because I went to town with a neighbour friend with those! The measurements were finicky, but I thought the boxes were fairly easy because I had all my quilting equipment. My mat, ruler, and the bone folder I bought because of her (that thing has come in so handy over the years! Among other things here and there, I use it all the time for turning out corners on my sewing projects) for scoring the fold lines made that project so much fun. I remember photocopying sheet music to make the boxes. Because they were made of regular paper, they slowly succumbed to use and abuse over the years, but I kept office suppies in them on my desk in my home office for a long time. Loved them.
Marcella, so sorry for you/happy for me to hear that the buckwheat hull pillows were noisy! LOL! I wanted to make those too, but they were too expensive (although that cranberry wreath cost me a pretty penny!). Thank you for permission to no longer regret not making those.
Stacy, realistic is how I feel about it now too. I can't bear to get rid of all my old issues. But I have no time for new projects. I know that if I am ever in the mood to do something crafty, I have 10 years worth of Martha to go through to satisfy myself. :)
Pam, yes I remember that cake. :) But more importantly, YOU HAVE BEEN TO TURKEY HILL???!!! Lucky duck. (Hard Copy! LOL!!! I would have been right there with ya!)
Sue, your dogwood wreath sounds absolutely dreamy with the hand painted blossoms. Sigh. Her mom really was adorable. What a no-nonsense, entertaining lady.
Jenn, oh those Christmas specials! I always looked forward to them. So dreamy and lovely. I miss them. I have most of her Christmas books. Geez, I should pull them out and put them on my coffee table right now! Funny thing, before I was a mom and didn't have worry about how I decorated my coffee table, I would keep a stack of my Martha magazines out and I'd switch them every month. All the Januarys in January, etc. Yes, I used them as decoration. And I read and reread them countless times. (Wow, was I ever nerdy!)
Sherri, O.M.G. that marzipan garden cake!!! I LOVED that cake! That picket fence?! Oh I wanted to make little marzipan things in the worst way. But I didn't have the tools. I actually toyed around with the idea of making them with Fimo, but I suck at sculpting, I found out. :( Funny story, just a few weeks ago my daughter asked me what marzipan was made of. First thing that popped into my head was that cake. Too bad marzipan tastes so gross (apologies if you like it).
Ann, those gilded walnuts. I remember those too. Who else other than Martha would think to pair walnuts with pearls, I ask? Gorgeous. Something else I wanted to make. Not sure why I didn't. Glad you did, though! It's fun doing things like that with a friend. Even though you only have 2, they put a smile on your face every year when you remember that afternoon, don't they? :)
Helen, the world is full of so many other lovely creative and inspiring people. You will never want for that sort of entertainment, now that the internet gives you access to all!
Holly, oh I wish you would tell me stories! I love them. I have most of the baby issues too. I remember embroidering burp cloths when I was pregnant, thanks to the first issue. How ridiculous that sounds to me now! LOL!
Sigi, your wreath sounds absolutely delightful, Martha or not. I do give her credit for teaching me to appreciate wreaths in all forms. This year I actually made a cedar bough hanger for my front door. Turned out a little wonky, but it's fine for one season. Would never have done that without her inspiration. I think the first wreath I made from fresh branches was from a Mountain Ash tree in the backyard of our first house. I got a wire frame and a paddle of green floral wire, as per her instructions, and made a pretty awesome fall berry wreath for my front door. It actually lasted a few years! I also learned to wire all the glass ornaments on my tree from her. I keep that same paddle of wire in my xmas decoration box. And yes, I wire every single glass ball ornament (100+) to my tree. I like how it looks like they "grew" off the branch. (Am I starting to sound like a total nut job?! LOL!)
This may make me sould like a bad mom, but I've never let my girls decorate the tree before. I mean, I always put on all the breakable stuff first, and then I let them put all their special ornaments on. This year, my youngest, who is 12, really wanted to do the tree from the beginning. So I showed her how to wire the ornaments to the tree, starting with the large ones at the bottom, medium size in the middle, and small at the top, etc.
Then I went through all my "rules". I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I surprised myself at just how neurotic I am about decorating the tree. Ornaments have to be free hanging, placed according to size, colours evenly distributed, no crowding, no hanging ornamants from the garland, all ornaments with a front need to face front, angels near the top because they are flying ... I have a TON of rules. I think I need to lighten up a bit.
Anyhow, she finished one box of balls and was so proud of herself for finishing them ... until I pulled out the other 7 boxes! Poor thing. I ended up finishing the job alone.
Anita, that ribbon poinsettia wreath was FABULOUS! So happy you made it. I think you should dig it out, dust it off and enjoy it again. I know you put lots of time and effort into it!
Please keep your stories coming. I love reading them. :)
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Did I lose anyone? That was a rather long preamble that I didn't expect to write. Thanks for sticking around.
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One of the reasons I haven't been here as often as I'd like is because I somehow got myself some magazine work this year. Getting published is always fun, but it means I have to keep my projects a secret until the magazines are published. So now that all the cats are out of the bags, here they are ...
First is a table runner I made with Little Joys by Elea Lutz for Penny Rose Fabrics. This design is a coordinate for this stockings pattern I published a few months ago.
Super simple, super quick, machine applique, glue on some buttons and there you go!
Next, the stockings I showed on IG. These are my favourite. Also made with Little Joys from Elea Lutz. May was a busy Christmas month for me! LOL!
A few things about these ...
See the lace cuff on Stocking #1? Jodi at Pleasant Home gifted it to me a few years ago. That was such a special surprise. Read about it here.
And then just yesterday, my adorable friend Greg from Greydogwood Studio used this pattern as a jumping off point for a cute rendition of Lori Holt's Granny Squared improv! Oh they turned out so cute. You really need to check them out here. This sort of thing right here is what makes our amazing online community so wonderful. :)
Ok, next is a little EPP hexie pencil case I made for Love Patchwork & Quilting. I remember finishing this off in August while on vacation in Palm Springs this summer. Good times. :)
And finally, Australian Homespun. I can't say that this one took me any time to do. They asked if they could publish this project that I blogged a few years ago. Here's the original post. Those cute little leggings are long gone now, and the weird thing is that I can't remember which one of my daughters belongs to the legs in the photo! LOL!
So there you have them. I hope you're inspired to make one, a few, or all of these projects. They all came from my heart and hands for you.