I have a lot to be thankful for this year. Most of all I’m happy to have put further roots down in Portland and feel like I have a great group of friends that I’ve grown closer to this past year.
J and I had the chance to do a huge amount of traveling this year. More than even we realized. So we’re looking forward to a quiet holiday season here at home.
Hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving if you’re celebrating today.
‘Tis the season for making presents. I tried to get started early this year, because I always feel rushed the last few weeks before Christmas trying to get everything done. I’m not sure that I’ll be successful at keeping myself from getting stressed out or just put more expectations on myself. Time will tell. If there’s a secret to not getting stressed out at this time of year, I’m sure I haven’t discovered it. Luckily I get to spend a lot of time with people I care about and eat lots of delicious food, so it totally balances out.
I’ve been slowly working on these napkins for a few weeks now. I wanted the embroidery to be almost as pretty from the back as that front. You can’t hide the back on napkins the way you can on some other things. Plus I was worried about them going through the wash with all my stitches in tact, but joy of joys, these napkins survived a trip through my washing machine without issue. So slow careful stitching was the name of the game with these. I think the extra care really paid off though.
This is the basis for the pattern I used*. (Click on image to open and save.) I drew in crazy curved lines to fill in the heart instead of a more traditional satin stitch and I added initials to each of the hearts. I wish I’d made the letters slightly larger. I’m afraid there isn’t enough negative space in the letters to really understand what you’re looking at. But live and learn.
I’m hoping the recipient of these enjoys them. I know she uses cloth napkins every day, and I love having monogrammed napkins so that they don’t get mixed up between meals.
*I modified a free pattern from Flamingo Toes to make these.
I wanted to do something a little different this year for a Christmas Card. And while this doesn’t leave a lot of room to write a note, it does give the recipient a small bit of holiday cheer to hang where they please. J and I will write small notes on the holly leaves to personalize them.
I don’t usually start my Christmas cards until after Thanksgiving. But I know some people like to get a head start on these things.
They’re really simple to make. I’ve made a Printable Download for you.
Print this on heavy card stock.
Cut out each piece carefully. (I left a little white, but it’s up to you!)
Use approximately 36″ of string or bakers twine.
Tape (with tiny pieces of scotch tape) the string to the back of each letter.
Carefully fold up and put in an envelope to mail!
Don’t forget to make one for yourself to keep.
One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving has always been setting the table. Growing up it was one of the few times that we brought out the fine china and I was tasked with making place settings and decorating the table. While it might have been an excuse to keep me busy and out of the kitchen, it was also something that I loved.
If you’re planning to bring out the china and cloth napkins for the upcoming holidays, here are some lovely napkin ring tutorials for you.
These colorful napkin rings from Ruffled are made from popsicle sticks. You could decorate them to match any color scheme.
Almost Makes Perfect has an easy tutorial for these Faux Ceramic Napkin Rings. They’re made from oven-bake clay with a glaze painted on top to give them a professional ceramic look.
These Fresh Flower Napkin Rings from Paper & Stitch look pretty spring-like, but with the right flowers and leaves, they could be entirely autumnal. I love the fact that they use natural materials.
Fresh cranberries make a beautiful place setting, as Say Yes shows in this tutorial, but would also be lovely as a napkin ring. While it was originally intended for a Christmas DIY, cranberries scream Thanksgiving to me, maybe without the bit of pine though.
All photos in this post belong to their respective and linked sites.
As it starts to cool off outside, I’m thinking about being a homebody; curling up with some tea and a book. In honor of these autumn days (and lack of sunlight), here are some crafts to make out of discarded old books. I like to use the weird books you can find at the thrift store for these kinds of crafts. Cheap and probably if it’s ended up at the thrift store no one wants them for the quality writing anyway.
These cute clutches from See Kate Sew use the outside from a hardbound book with all the pages cut out and any kind of fabric you can imagine. Kind of makes me wish I’d thought of using this for a Librarian Halloween costume, last month.
If you buy a whole book for just the cover (to turn into a clutch of course) save the pages and make some origami out of them. I made some really fun origami ornaments for Christmas a few years ago. They were great pops of interest on our Christmas tree.
A Beautiful Mess has a great tutorial for Invisible Bookends using complete hardbound books. The perfect disguise! I’ve also seen something similar with L-brackets to make a vertical bookshelf.
This Hollowed Book Tutorial for an e-reader from Salt Tree is brilliant and easy to follow. J made one of these a few years ago and definitely could have used some of the hints included in this tutorial to take it from serviceable to stylish.
All of the photos in this post belong to their respective and linked sites, except the origami ornament which belongs to me.
Wishing you all the Halloween puns you can find and cavity inducing sweetness you want for this ghostly holiday.
I had planned to show off my Halloween costume here today, but, while it is finished, I haven’t put it all on yet. Stay tuned to my instagram to see photos this weekend!
I’m having a pumpkin carving party tonight. I suspect we’ll get a whole bunch of crazy pumpkins. Last year we had multiple sugar skulls. I’m interested to see what people come up with this year.
In case you need a little help deciding what to carve on your pumpkin this year. Here are some suggestions with instructions and stencils too.
These anatomy pumpkins from Brit + Co are sufficiently creepy. I love the lungs, but it looks like pretty finicky cutting work; I wonder if my skills are up to it. Also you can find a round up of great stencils from Brit + Co here.
I love the creepy cuteness of this Frankenstein’s Monster Pumpkin from Better Homes and Gardens. It would make me happier if they realized this isn’t actually Frankenstein, but the monster Frankenstein made, but you can’t have it all. Click through the slideshow for lots more stencils of ideas ranging from simple to complex.
Design*Sponge has a tutorial for Cross Stitch Pumpkins! Aren’t these amazing? I’m pretty much in love with them.
Still looking for some more ideas? I’ve got a bunch more pinned on my Halloween Pinterest Board.
All photos in this post belong to their respective linked sites.