Happy Christmas

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I’m taking a blogging break so I can focus on spending time with my family and my husband this Christmas break.
This picture is from our February blizzard this year, where about 4 feet of snow fell in about 12 hours.  Now that it’s about 50 degrees outside and all the snow has melted–which means no more white Christmas–I thought it’d be appropriate to share here, ’cause you know this is the only thing we’re all dreaming of when looking outside at our swampy yard.

Happy Christmas to you and your family.
And may your days be merry and bright.

Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Skirt

Remember my patchwork Christmas inspiration board?  Well, I finally made that Anthropologie-style Christmas tree skirt.

What I love most about doing things with my hands is the sense of accomplishment I get when I’m finished making something.  Especially when it turns out as good as this one.  But I also love being creative.  For so long I’ve sought pen and paper or computer keys to get out my creativeness, often thinking that the only talent I really possessed is writing.  But in the past few months of making and creating and sewing I’m realizing that writing is just one way my creative talent manifests itself.  There’s not really anything different between this patchwork tree skirt and a story–one is sewn together with thread, the other with words and plot points.  They are both messy and spontaneously put together.

So here you have it. 

DIY Christmas Tree Skirt

I’m not an expert sewer, and I’ve only really  made one quilt (I still have to do the binding and I’m wicked intimidated by it), but this tree skirt is definitely one for beginner sewers.  If you know how to work a sewing machine, you can do this.

Tutorial in pictures:

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Pick some super cute fabric and cut into whatever size squares you want.  Figure out how you want the pattern to look and sew all the squares together.  Sew it all into a giant square that is the length and width of how big you want you skirt to be.  I figured out mine by taking a ruler and measuring from the tree to how far I wanted the skirt to lay on the floor, and then multiplied by two.  Once your giant square is big enough, fold in half, then in half, then in half, and cut the outside into a rounded curve and do the same to the tip.  Cut a slit to the middle circle so you can put it around your tree.  Put it on a giant piece of material right sights together and trim.  Sew around the outside edges and inside edges, leaving a small opening to flip out, then sew the opening closed.  Put under tree.  Pile with presents.  Bring it out Christmas after Christmas and enjoy.

Happy Christmas to all of you!

I think next year I’m going to tackle those patchwork stockings.  I can’t wait to have more than two mismatched stockings hanging over the fireplace.

And if you end up making your own, post a pic on Instagram or Twitter and tag me so I can see!  (@caitlinmfrost)

Quick and Easy DIY Christmas Garland

One of my December Goals is to just enjoy this season.  Not to worry about money pressures or gift guides or any of the usual stress that I have at Christmas time.  One of the best way to do that–at least for what works for me–is to hand make things.  I don’t know why, but I love creating things, knowing that my little decorations will be around for years to come, and that one day future children of mine will laugh and make fun at all the amateurish and scruffy things I’ve made.

So here’s my handmade Christmas garland.  Much like my Christmas ornaments, this is one of the fastest holiday DIYs I could think of.  I don’t know why but I was super intimidated to put this one together, probably because the sewing machine can’t do anything with me without putting up a grand fight.  But luckily it waited until the end to start botching up everything.

Christmas Garland

There’s all of three steps to this:  punch circles, sew together, string them where you want them.  I used a handy dandy scrapbook hole puncher which I do not own but borrowed from the mother in law to cut holes out of Christmas paper.  Although you could handcut them or punch them out of any sort of shape you wanted and do this for any season.

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This season is probably the toughest that I’m going through right now, and yet it’s also the sweetest ever.  The whole no-money and tons of bills thing is weighing heavily on me.  I also got a second job and while I enjoy the time I get to spend in my community, I don’t like the time it takes away from everything else.  Because the sweet part is I have such a great life–an amazing husband, an impending family, great friends, a wonderful life group, and such an awesome community that I get to be a part of.  So while the mundane is dragging me down, I’m constantly trying to force myself to look on the bright side, because there really are so many bright sides.

And honestly, handmade Christmas garland is totally helping.

 

Linking up  at Living Well Spending Less for Thrifty Thursday

A Few of My Favorite Things: Christmas Music Edition

Is it just me? Or does anyone else hate Christmas music as much as I do?

I’m not a Grinch, I’m just tired of the same ol’ same ol’ every.single.year.  (Don’t tell my husband.)  I think Rebecca (@betterlifebags) is with me, and she wrote this awesome post on the lyrics behind the Christmas music.

My favorite Christmas music are the ones that are more about the feeling that Christmas or winter gives.  I think that Sleeping At Last pretty much wins in this category–you can download their Christmas album here.  But I went on a search for some other winners and here’s my new Christmas playlist:

december playlist

snow . sleeping at last

christmas tonight . dave barnes (with hilary scott)

christmas lights . coldplay

cold december night . michael buble

somethingn about december . christina perri

god rest ye merry gentlemen . barenaked ladies (with sarah mchlachlan)

Dear 2014…

2014

I know it’s barely December, but I’m already thinking about 2014.  I guess you could say failure to plan is a plan to fail, but really I know that so many awesome things are going to happen that I want to make sure I’m ready for them.

For example, my new (still untitled) eBook will be available sometime in January!  Remember all those posts about decluttering my house?  (Like this one, this one, this one, or this one.)  Well you’ll be able to find them all in my eBook–a much longer, more in depth look at the spiritual side effects of decluttering your house.  That sounds really serious, but it’s gonna be pretty fun.

I also have several projects I want to tackle in 2014.  More bold intentions, more goal-setting,  and hopefully some e-courses will be developed, including a workbook to go along with my eBook.  I want to focus a lot more on writing and journaling, and I’m hoping my blog and eCourses will reflect that.

I want to finally give a house tour, now that it’s almost complete, and share some of my diys or decorating projects I’ve done.

And most of all, I want to push this little blog a little bit further, and see what it can do.  I’m enjoying all the creativity that seems to be seeping out of me, and I want to share that and how God is shaping my life with all of you.

So, cheers to 2014.  And here’s to making these last few weeks of 2013 a really big deal.

Quick and Easy DIY Christmas Ornaments

This is our fourth Christmas together, and so far the only tradition that we’ve kept is setting up the Christmas tree the day (or so) after Thanksgiving.  You non-kid married people know what I’m talking about, right?  It’s just so hard to create traditions around here.

The only other tradition we have is that we buy a Christmas ornament for each place we’ve visited.  So we’ve got one from Minneapolis, Disney, Texas, and North Carolina.

Our first tree was glittery black and we put some neon colored ornaments on it.  It sat on our hutch because our living room was about 10 square feet.  I wrapped the presents in black paper with neon colored Christmas trees printed on it.  It was awesome.

But three years ago we decided to go for a different look.  We were in a different place, had room for a bigger tree, and we got a 7 footer at Target.   The problem was, the only ornaments we had were the neon ones.  And it just didn’t look as cool on a green tree as it did on the black one.  So we picked up some filler ornaments at Target.  That’s when I came across these.

Vase Filler
I knew they would be perfect for the tree, so we bought them and I simply made them into ornaments by poking the wire ornament hanger thing through them.

DIY Christmas Ornaments

I love our tree.  It’s a mixture of rustic and weird.  A lot of our ornaments are from when I was a child, so most of the Santas date back to the early 90s.  My grandmother sent me a lot of ornaments, too.  My husband hates most of them, since they’re all from the 60s/70s, but I love it. It wouldn’t be Christmas without such an eclectic tree.

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What are your Christmas traditions?  Are you a classic or retro kinda person?

And check out these other awesome Christmas trees alternatives:

Making it Lovely’s Pink Christmas Tree
12 Stylish Alternatives to the Traditional Christmas Tree
10 Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas for a Cool Christmas

December Bold Intentions…and some goals

 

 

 

I am telling you, I am so glad I started implementing some bold intentions

December

This month I’m dividing my list into two areas:

Goals, which are more concrete and most likely month or season-specific.
Bold Intentions, which are a little more abstract and deal with things I want to practically implement in my daily life and carry over from season to season.

A look at Thanksgiving:

1. Morning routine?  Still going.  Check plus for that.
2. My night routine? Still nonexistent.  I’ll continue to work on that.
3. We went to New Hampshire for Thanksgiving!  And it was one of the best Thanksgivings in such a long time.
4. I took a long week to relax, but didn’t get anything done before hand, being the terrible procrastinator that I am.  So I’m dealing with the fallout this week.

This month’s BOLD INTENTIONS

1. Create a night/evening routine!!!!
2. Don’t let the stress of the holidays get to me.  Actually enjoy it all and take in the awesomeness that is this season.
3. (Re)Start the She Reads Truth advent devotion.  I’m with Jessi on this one, my heart and spirit are not at all ready for this season, but I’m going to work through that with devotions, journaling, and our DNA groups.

This month’s GOALS

1. Get out of the house more:  go for walks, runs, dinners at neighbors’ houses, etc.
2.  Finish my quilted Christmas tree skirt before Christmas.  I was so inspired by the Anthropologie one, I started my own.
3.  Host a Christmas dinner with our neighbors.  I’m really hoping that we will be able to do this.

Once again, the three things list appears.  I’m trying to practice the idea of doing a few things well instead of my normal practice of doing a lot of things halfway.

 

*Linking up with The Tiny Twig