Tuesday, December 10, 2013

More Holiday Prep

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I posted this pattern on google as a repost from someone else. It's fun to do and easy to follow and is a departure on the horizontally crocheted scarves I usually make. It's fast to work and these two were done with two different size yarns and hooks.
The black and white is done with a light worsted weight yarn and a G hook. The white and rainbow is done with a chunky yarn and a J hook. Neither took more than a few hours to make even with the addition of the fringe. And both so neat. The possibilities are endless if you have a yarn stash like mine.
Mug rugs and coasters make great additions to a gift basket filled with homemade goodies, a mug or two, some hot chocolate packets and there you have it. These were made from remnant pieces I won online in an auction on  Listia. Here's a link  https://www.listia.com/signup/3799850
They were already cut into squares and rectangles and are upholstery fabric samples. Perfect for a project like these.
 My new Singer has quite a few decorative stitches, so I tried them all out on these. So much fun and, aside from having to re-thread the needle a couple times (which is hard for a far-sighted person like me), it was effortless.
 The last two here are backed with some off white felt I had from another project. I still plan to put a border around them using some blue piping I have.
 Here are some links to more pictures of my latest and greatest (if I do say so myself)  - http://www.facebook.com/CsCraftedCreations
and    https://www.etsy.com/shop/3Csshop
The creche has been updated this past Sunday to include another animal and the shepherd. I put in the cow and the lamb with some straw on the 1st. Next Sunday I'll add the Holy Family, sans the babe, of course; my set doesn't have an empty cradle or manger. I'm not sure whether to add the Wise Men after the 25th or add them along with the appearance of the Baby Jesus. To be correct, they don't appear until quite a while after the birth, but we'll have to play around with those details, I suppose.

Have a good time with all your preparations for the holidays. I know I am.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Advent - A time of preparation

Top piece of wall hanging "The Nativity" by the author. 
A star appears, the angel waits, hovering above the land, a land filled with expectation.

Bottom right of "The Nativity" wall hanging.
Sheep graze while their shepherds watch...


We prepare for Christmas by decorating, cleaning and rearranging our homes. Strings of electric lights help us illuminate the darkness of winter. We hang up wreaths, green garland and put up evergreen trees and boughs, to remind us that even amid the bleakness of these cold months, there is life. Scents of pine, cinnamon and other spices help to remind us of the security of home and hearth that most of us enjoy (and take for granted much of the time).

Perhaps this could also be a time to prepare ourselves -  to face another year; another year to be better to those we love,  another year to nurture our own inner life, another year to do more for those less fortunate.

Perhaps we can keep that illumination, even after the last string of twinkling bulbs has been stowed away. Perhaps the wellness of the earth that we remind ourselves of during wintertime will be cherished for the miracle that it is, even after spring flowers reappear and snow and ice melt away. Maybe we'll think more about those who are not as comfortable as we are, and be more alert for opportunities where we can make a difference when the free turkey dinners and handouts of Christmas food drives subside. Just maybe...

We are counting down the days; the counting starts sooner each year, it seems. Already several Christmas specials sales, animated stories and musical shows have passed. Children are excited and behaving like little angels themselves, or trying to anyway. Some kiddies, good or bad, will get very little, if anything at all, due to circumstances they have no control over; some expect nothing, some will be disappointed. Many youngsters will receive more than they wanted or needed, however, and fail to appreciate any of it.

Yet, Christmas can be a marvelous time to impart life lessons on these future adults. Sure, we've helped perpetuate this myth of the Jolly Ol' Elf; we've bought into the "department store Christmas" just as our parents and their parents did before them. But a mere century and a quarter before now, Christmas presents were handmade and needed, one or two store bought items, if that. We've come a long way from that scenario these days. I'm not saying it's for the worst or for the best, I'm just saying that's the way it is.

But it needn't be that way, if that's not our true vision of the world we'd like to live in. Our children can be taught not to buy into the hype of spend-spend-spend for Christmas. Our families can practice the ideal of giving out of our excess to help those who have less than enough. Our spirits can rise above the frey, our world can become full of light and love, and we can be the cause of that joyous sound that will fill the air. Just maybe...


For the grace to bring the light of Christ to the world by offering lives of service, we pray to the Lord.