Tag Archives: Christmas

Frugal and Fun Holiday Activities


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


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


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


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:


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:


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?