A Winter Manifesto

 

Winter 2014

1.  Make mini gingerbread houses  2.  Make Fire Cider  3.  Make a snowflake curtain 4.  Hand write letters  5.  Read by the fire  6. Go sledding  7.  See the ice flows on Lake Michigan  8.  Roast chestnuts  Photo credits: snowflake, “Winter”

 

 

 

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Christmas List

Over the years, and especially since working with The Rocking Yak, I’ve become increasingly intentional with my purchases.  Even more so in this last year as my desire to simplify and travel has become more pressing in my life. This holiday season has found our family craving more shared moments and adventures over things. Even so, there are a few items that have found their way onto my Christmas list this year.

2014 Christmas list

1.earth paint 2.apron 3.blanket 4.plant dyed watercolor paints 5.gourd speaker 6.iphone case 7.messenger bag 8.woven bag

Advent Capsules

adventWe have one of those advent calendars where you open a different door for each day of advent, so every year, I am trying to find creative ways to fill each space in a way that won’t matter if my children open all the doors on the first day of advent. One method I have come up with is to seal each days activity in it’s own decorative capsule.  Here is how I make the capsules.

Advent materials copy:: Materials ::

* Advent notes * Washi Tape * Plastic straws * Pliers * Lighter *

Advent collage

1.  The first step is to seal one end of the plastic drinking straw. To do this, hold the tip of the straw shut using the pliers.  There should be a small of amount of straw sticking out of the pliers.  This is the section that is going to be melted.  Hold the straw tip to a flame until the end is melted down to the pliers and sealed shut.

2. Write out the messages and activities that you want to open each day of advent onto strips of paper.  Roll these up tightly and secure them with washi tape.  Cut the sealed drinking straw so that it is slightly larger than the note. *You can find a few of my favorite advent activities below.

3.  Insert the note, and seal the other end of the drinking straw in the same way that the first end was sealed.

4.  Cover each end of the straw with washi tape.  Then continue to cover the rest of the straw until it is completely covered.  You may want to use the pliers again to press down on the sealed ends to ensure that the washi tape is stuck down well and the ends are properly sealed.

To open each note, carefully cut off one of the sealed ends of the straw and pull out the message.

advent 2My favorite advent activities:

* Drive around & look at Christmas lights on the “Minivan Express”

* Make a snow globe

* Unwrap & read a Christmas book each night.  Here is a list of books with crafts!

* Make a sugar cube house

* Make garland and ornaments out of gumdrops, popcorn, Cinnamon sticks, orange slices and/or cranberries

Share with us your favorite Advent activities in the comments!

knitted tissue cozy

IMG_0039 copy

mka101536_wi08_tissue_lAs I was looking for some handmade stocking stuffer ideas on Pintrest, I came across these felt hankie holders made by Martha Stewart.

It gave me the idea to create some knitted ones.  Here is a pattern I came up with while making some.

Materials:

worsted weight stash yarn in 2 (or more) colors (or any yarn that you prefer for the project)

a pair of straight needles US9 ( or an appropriate size for your preferred yarn)

a yarn needle

>>>>

i-cord co front

Using an i-cord cast on, cast on 20 stitches in the contrasting color (cc).

IMG_0028Switch to the main color (mc) yarn and knit in stockinette stitch for 6.5″ ending with a knit row.

With the cc yarn purl on row.

icord BO frontBind off using an i-cord bind off.

Turn the knitting wrong side out and fold so that the two i-cords overlap slightly in the center and sew the top & bottom shut with a mattress stitch.

Weave in all the loose ends.

Embellish with a crocheted edging, or embroidered designs.  You could also add some ribbon or buttons.

boys tissue cozy

Santa baby . . .

. . . slip some needles under the tree, for me
I’ve been an awful good girl
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

This year for the holidays I am introducing these fabulous Santa Knitting Needles to the shop. They are fantastic.  Each set has been masterfully crafted using Blood wood & Maple to create a striped effect. Each set includes 1 needle with a Blood Wood cap & 1 needle with a Maple cap.

There are only 8 of these special edition knitting needle left. So place your orders now!

Also, on Monday, Honey over at Mondorfment is hosting a give away for one of my portable weaving looms.  If you would like to have a chance at winning one of these, make sure to remember to hop on over & sign up!

great gifts for knitters

1. Circular Needle Holder by Sevenannine

2. Row/Stitch Markers by Scarletfoxfibers

3. Silver Knit Ring by Aimeepawluk

4. Yarn Sewing Needles by Lesliewind

5. Vintage Figurine by Northwestnesters

6. Large Knitting Bag by Simplesmiles

7. Knit Notes by Papersheep

8. Knit Mug by Finnish Design Shop

9. Handspun Yak Yarn by The Rocking Yak

10. Knitting Needles by Joe’s Fiber Tools

11. Knitting Needle Bracelet by Sewnewthings

12. “Because I Love You” Tags by Lonelytreedesign

a handmade holiday

Today I was inspired by the words of Elizabeth over at The Sitting Tree as she shared with her readers the reasons why she has chosen to live a handmade life. She wrote:

“I know we each have our own individual, deep seeded reasons why we buy handmade gifts each year, but I wanted to share what has inspired us to live a handmade life….

*I live a handmade life, because… I have to create.  Like I have to breathe.  Or eat.  To survive.  When you purchase handmade from us or someone else, you’re allowing an artist to carry on.  To nourish the soul.  To find joy.  Achieve dreams.  

*I live a handmade life, because… I know exactly where my money is going.  No middle men.  No giant corporations.  Just people trying to make a difference in the world.  To real families, like us, who are paying the bills, putting food on the table, and reaching goals.  

* I live a handmade life, because… I believe in quality over quantity.  Purchasing high quality, well made items, means they will last for years, sometimes even a lifetime.  Attention, detail, and a lot of love is infused into each item that passes through our hands.  

* I live a handmade life, because… I want art to be unique and original.  I love that when I wear one of my husband’s Tree Branch Necklaces, I know I’m never going to see anyone else wearing it.

*  I live a handmade life, because… I care about the environmental impact of mass produced goods on our earth.  From manufacturing, transporting, and disposal; the destruction is astronomical.  All our items are either made of recycled materials or are organic material and can be composted back into the earth.

* I live a handmade life, because… I value connection.  Through this blog and our shop we’ve met folks from all over the world.  Becoming a part of each other’s lives, in some small, significant way is one of my favorite parts of living handmade. “

My husband & I chose to have handmade holidays when our children were born. We love the traditions that we have made with our kids involving them in making gifts for others. This year will be our first year having an entirely handmade Christmas.  I have already enjoyed the challenge of finding gift ideas big & small that I can make to give away. I’ll be sharing some of these ideas over the upcoming weeks.

How have your holidays been handmade?

knitted tissue cozy

IMG_0039 copy
mka101536_wi08_tissue_lAs I was looking for some handmade stocking stuffer ideas on Pintrest, I came across these felt hankie holders made by Martha Stewart.

It gave me the idea to create some knitted ones.  Here is a pattern I came up with while making some.

Materials:

worsted weight stash yarn in 2 (or more) colors (or any yarn that you prefer for the project)

a pair of straight needles US9 ( or an appropriate size for your preferred yarn)

a yarn needle

>>>>

i-cord co front

Using an i-cord cast on, cast on 20 stitches in the contrasting color (cc).

IMG_0028Switch to the main color (mc) yarn and knit in stockinette stitch for 6.5″ ending with a knit row.

With the cc yarn purl on row.

icord BO frontBind off using an i-cord bind off.

Turn the knitting wrong side out and fold so that the two i-cords overlap slightly in the center and sew the top & bottom shut with a mattress stitch.

Weave in all the loose ends.

Embellish with a crocheted edging, or embroidered designs.  You could also add some ribbon or buttons.

boys tissue cozy