Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Decorations!

I know I'm not the only one, but I feel like decorating for Christmas is so much fun!  And, since the kids love it too, I actually have real help (not just airquotes "help") when we put up the decorations every year.  We have the nativities (thirteen, I think?  Or fourteen?) from all over the world (thank you, my traveling family and friend!), and the tree, and the garland I bought my first married Christmas to be a substitute tree.  We have the new advent calendar house I bought 75% off at Target last year.  But this year, we've added some new classics.

Olivia made this wreath in her first grade class.  Torn construction paper -- check!  Plenty of Elmer's glue -- check!  Paper plate base -- check!  Glitter -- check, check check!  Seriously, people, it's the wreath on my front door.  I love it that much.

We have the plaster of paris handprint Mimi made in preschool, molded in a coffee can lid (John loves that).  Mimi was supposed to give it to us as a Christmas present, but she just couldn't wait.  She could barely wait the two hours for John to get home.

And I've been busy, too.  Intrigued by this post from Leisy Miller, inspired by this calendar from Pottery Barn kids, and enabled by nine of my closest friends, I put together this.

It was so fun.  Each of us made a few pockets (well, a few pocket designs, but 12 of each one) and then we all swapped one night at sewing group.  They're so much cuter for not all being made by me.  I have to say, maybe the little ballerina is my favorite.  (Bonnie is our resident artist.)

I did add a large Baby Jesus (or "bee-bee EEEzuz", as Bella now says) pocket to the bottom, to be our token religious element.  :)  I do occasionally try to remember the reason for the season.

Also inspired by Pottery Barn Kids, and enabled by my good friend Sara over Thanksgiving, I sewed these.  (Sara, of course, designed all the appliques with her superior artistic abilities.  And, also of course, she completed her stockings three weeks ago.  But mine are up in time for the big day.)

They are probably my new favorite decoration.  I love them.  Love them, love them, love them.  Everybody got to pick their own design.  John got the train, complete with button wheels.

I got the partridge in the pear tree.  (It's my favorite!  Even if I don't really think partridges are red.)

His beady eyes had to be done and redone several times.  He either looked sneaky or unintelligent.  I had never realized eye placement was so important.

Olivia picked the snowman, and loves his blue snowflake background.

I love his crazy patchwork scarf.

Mimi picked Rudolph.  She actually wanted the Pottery Barn ballerina, but with three girls, I had to put my foot down.  Only Christmas elements--no girly stuff!

His perky little tail is my favorite element.

Bella got the gingerbread man.  I tried to draw a gingerbread man that looked pleasantly plump, but not too chubby.  Never could do it.  Sara wasn't even going to make a gingerbread stocking, and she still had to save my bacon.  Isn't his shape perfect?

I wasn't going to do the running stitch detail because it was hurting my fingers embroidering through all the quilted layers, but I think it was worth it when I look at it now.

If you consider making either a felt tree advent calendar or a set of appliqued stockings, I have a few tips to make your life easier.  I always like to learn the hard way, but maybe some of you are smarter.


Logan said...

We bought a bunch of these Pottery Barn stockings "on clearance" two years ago. They are cool...but I like yours better. Seriously, your partridge in a pear tree stocking is awesome! (They all are...but that one is my favorite.) Nice work.

Also, is it wrong of me to zoom in on your picture to see if I could recognize who any of the Christmas cards of from? (I couldn't recognize anyone.) Anyhow, excellent work on the stockings. Oh, and I love the wreath, too. I want one.

Irish Cream said...

I am SO GLAD you posted these so I can share your amazing talent with all my friends, oh and Emilee's, too! ;)

I might just have to redo (or start over?) and make Christmas stockings. I absolutely LOVE how they turned out! VERY cute.

I'm also glad you put up a pic of your advent calendar. Where are you hanging it? What did you stuff it with? It's also adorable.

Ahhh, to be surrounded by so much talent- maybe some of it will rub off....

But, you didn't post the dresses you sewed your girls! They are also amazing... colors, decorations, styles, how well they complement your daughters' coloring... Just perfect.

Merry Christmas!

Mags said...

yes i want to see the dresses too please! i love your stockings. i've been perusing the internet looking for some on clearance and none are as cute as yours. love them! merry christmas!

ps i also enlarged the picture to see who i recognized! saw quinton's head and kell's fam, no one else i know.

Sara said...

So dang darling! And I might have had my stockings sewn weeks ago, but where is my advent calendar? Still in pieces inside a gallon sized zippy. Ugh.

Tell Liv I love the wreath.

Merry Christmas my dear friend!

Shelly and Ken said...

You are amazing! So, so, so cute. I wish I had such talents to make such cute things. I love them all. I want them all. Very cute!

Bonnie said...

Your home is so cute! You have done an amazing job!!! You make me so happy that you love the Ballerina. No way was I going to give you ladies one with noodle arms! I am going to do new stockings this year and would love help to make them as cute as yours! I think I will start in January so they will be ready for next year!

Denise said...

I LOVE those stockings! They are super cute. Cuter than anything I have every seen at pottery barn or any other store.

Kent and Leisy said...

oh, emilee- you make me sick. so amazing. so so incredible. your tree looks just great!! maybe one day I'll attempt something so crazy.

Jenny said...

Wow, you are an inspiration! I love seeing all the cute things you make!

Lindsay said...

I LOVE your stocking! The partridge in a pear tree is my favorite also. Sooo cute!

Lyndsay said...

We've recently been in the market for some cute Christmas decor--your post makes me simultaneously ambitious and ambivalent all at once. I think inaction will be the end result.
Love love all of your handiwork!

Brian and Martha said...

your creativity and craft skills never crease to amaze me. Also, I forgot which zoo you have a pass to that has a great reciprocation package. Can you remind me?

john-n-jess blomstedt said...

I LOVED your stockings when I saw them Christmas Eve! I will definitely hit you up for some advice as I hope that after I move and get settled that I will finally have time to sew again! I miss it. But, alas, having your house on the market and having sewing stuff out where children can make a mess out of it do not go hand in hand. So sad. I'll be in touch!

Mags said...

if you don't post soon, i think i shall go nuts. love mags

Shannon said...

Cute decorations Emilee! I'm kindof offended that I'm not on your "Monticello" list and you never leave a comment on my blog!!

Liz said...

I love the Christmas socks! I know you are the busy mom of three girls, so HOW do you find time to do so many creative things!?!?!

Shanda said...

You are so incredibly talented! I moved too soon! I actually asked in Relief Society if there was someone who knew how to sew so I could start up takers yet. I'm hoping to help set up an sewing relief society group like what you guys have really soon. Hope you're all doing well! You have such a cute family.