Tag Archives: Christmas

Frugal and Fun Holiday Activities

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As I get older, time goes faster and faster. I know, it happens to everyone, but it still seems surprising to me. Remember when you were a kid and it seemed like Christmas would never come? Now I am always looking back at the beginning of January thinking about how many things I would have liked to have done that we never got around to doing.

It doesn’t help that we are low in funds this year after the unexpected car purchase. Still, I think we can find some fun things to do without breaking the bank. Here are a few things I would like to do between now and Christmas:

  • Putting up the Christmas tree – This is one we do get done every year, but sometimes it is worked in a bit here and there. If we schedule a night for it, we can enjoy an evening of decorating without stress. Cost: Free!
  • banksPainting porcelain banks – Last year we painted some Christmas village figures, and we had so much fun. This year these cute little banks were one of the few things I bought on Black Friday (I also got some yarn to finish some Christmas gifts), and I know the kids will love painting them together. Cost: less than $10 for all three
  • Winter Wonderland at Tilles Park – We have been meaning to do this for a few years, but haven’t made it for some reason. We can invite some friends, too! Cost: $10/vehicle
  • Crafting party – As you may know if you read this blog at all, I love homemade gifts. I love doing crafty stuff with other people, too. We did a kids’ crafting party a couple of years ago, and that was a lot of fun. I have a lot of crafting supplies lying around that we could use, and we could ask our friends to bring more. I think we could do this without buying a lot of supplies. Cost: Maybe $10-$20 for snacks and drinks
  • Family game night – The kids love playing games! We don’t do it enough. We can invite friends, too. This isn’t technically a holiday activity, but it is a good way to reduce the stress of the holidays and put the focus back on the family. Cost: Free!

Of course, I still have Christmas gifts to make and a house to clean, but surely we can get it all in with some good planning, right? What are you doing to celebrate the holidays?

Christmas Project Progress

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button tree

People, Christmas is three weeks from today. Three! I need to get serious about what I want to do and what I will be able to do before that happens. It is definitely time for a prioritized list.

First, here are the things I absolutely want to finish before Christmas:

  1. Any pottery I want for giving needs to be ready for firing by this weekend. It may already be too late–December is a busy time for the kiln! At a minimum I want to finish up some of the small medallions I made to make into magnets and complete whatever coil trees I have already built. These things need to be painted with underglaze and fired, then dipped into clear glaze and fired again. Hopefully I can get them done quickly.
  2. Blanket for my brother
  3. Button tree collage for my aunt
  4. Crocheted coasters for my mother

If I get those things done, I will be happy. If I get them done with time to spare, I will do some or all of these things:

  1. Crochet a wreath for my front door
  2. Find the shawl I started last year for a friend and finish it
  3. Make some jewelry
  4. Make homemade lip gloss
  5. Make sugar scrubs

There is a very good chance that my list of finished projects will look nothing like this list, but I like having a plan to start with at least. I feel pretty good about the first priority items, although not entirely certain.

How are your Christmas projects coming?

 

Projects I Have Done and Projects I Have Yet to Do

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Christmas Countdown R & G Dots

Christmas is 34 days away! Time to take stock and kick into high gear on my remaining projects!

Projects completed:

  • 3 crocheted blankets
  • 9 crocheted scarves
  • 6 crocheted stocking ornaments
  • 18 small pottery plates
  • 1 pottery Christmas tree
  • 4 crocheted spa cloths

Projects in progress:

  • Two crocheted makeup bags – crocheting is done, they just need buttons sewn on
  • Button Christmas tree collage
  • Pottery magnets
  • More pottery Christmas trees
  • More pottery plates

Projects I would still like to do:

  • Coffee mug cozies
  • Homemade lip gloss
  • Jewelry-making
  • More ornaments–both stockings and snowflakes
  • One more crocheted blanket
  • Lavender Sea Salt Scrub
  • Finish a shawl I started for last Christmas
  • Crochet some coasters
  • 1 more crocheted scarf

What do you think? Too ambitious? How are your handmade projects coming?

Making Things: Christmas Decorations

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Warning: this is not my most successful project ever. I like it, but there are issues.

First, why I am making Christmas decorations in January: I was too busy in the last few months of the year making gifts to make any decorations. I am trying to do some quick and easy decorating projects now, because I can put decorations away until next December, but I can’t bring myself to store the perfect gift for someone for months on end. If you look at my post from yesterday, you’ll note I made a Christmas gift for my friend Andrea in August and promptly gave it to her. Yesterday, I finished my gift for my friend Billie and today I drove over to her house to give it to her, even though I will see her tomorrow at the office (I worked from home today). Look at how pretty it is:

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Now that I have demonstrated that I can do a successful project, it is time to move on to today’s project.

Despite my lack of time to actually make any decorations, I had all sorts of projects I wanted to do. I even started one in December, based on this pin. I painted a canvas green and picked out papers, snowflake stickers and ribbon. Today I assembled the project, and it sort of worked, but I had issues with the glue. I am not sure if the problem is the green canvas or the homemade Mod Podge, but as you can see, the glue residue is visible around the trees:

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I am not an experienced user of Mod Podge, so can anyone help me here? Should I have left the canvas white? It seemed like too much white. My homemade Mod Podge is just thinned down glue, is that the problem? Is there a better recipe, or should I just pay the money for the real stuff?

I do like the look of the canvas. I may hang it despite the glue residue. Or I may try to get the glue off some other way (a pencil eraser didn’t work). I want to make at least one more to give to my aunt for Christmas, I think, but I want it to look better before I do that.

Any suggestions?