The Year in Crafting

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Honestly, 2016 wasn’t my best year for crafting. Or for reading. Or for blogging. Or for other leisure pursuits. *Sigh.* I did have a gangbuster year with my freelance business, so I’ll put that feather in my cap as I close out this year. If life was perfect, I would have worked a bit less and relaxed a bit more. I am aiming for this in 2017!

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I did have an epic craft storm for a few months this fall, which resulted in making several felt ornaments aligned with the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” I stuck with numbers one and two this year, stitching several pears, partridges, and turtle doves from August through November. Part of me would love to bust out the super-cute French Hen for my tree before Christmas decorating passes for another year. We shall see!

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These ornaments are from beautiful patterns designed by Larissa Holland. I am just a little bit obsessed with her aesthetic!

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January Scrapbooking Mission

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Lest you think all I do is brood about my existence, I am back to show you that I actually do things around the house. One of my big “tackle this already” projects for January has been to sort through the pile of kid artwork underneath the desk in my office. At our house, we display preschool projects for a few weeks on the fridge, and then I remove them, toss them in a box, and vow to sort through them at some point, usually a couple of times a year. A majority of the artwork ends up in the great big bulletin board in the sky. The most treasured pieces get displayed in scrapbooks I compile for the kids.

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Updating these scrapbooks takes some time, mainly because the sorting process agonizes me. I hate to toss things my kids created. However, as a pragmatist and nonhoarder, I know that it’s essential to cull through the giant stack of projects and keep only a few. I tend to save projects that involve kid hands and feet, show great enthusiasm with lots of embellishment and detail, and display developmental skills. I updated Nora’s scrapbook with her first drawings of people and faces. Carson’s scrapbook includes some of his first preschool projects.

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In addition to the project pages, these scrapbooks include progress reports from school, class pictures, professional portraits, and birthday party momentos. I hope the kids can see their development over the years and enjoy flipping the pages of the books throughout their lives. Though it’s sometimes arduous to keep up family memory collecting, I consider it one of my household responsibilities.

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Finished: Felt Bird Ornaments

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I am truly thrilled to be closing out 2014 posting about crafts I completed this year. When I began writing here in 2008, my life was much different, and I had so much more time to create things. Though I would never want to go back to that childless, craft-centric life (I LOVE these kiddos!), I am a little jealous of my crafting production at that time. Especially my ability to make so many gifts for the holidays.

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For Christmas this year, I was determined to contribute one handmade ornament to each family household on my gift list (those of whom have Christmas trees!). I showcased my cinnamon ornaments a week ago, and here is my other 2014 production: the Snow Bird ornament by Larissa Holland (I love her blog, MmmCrafts). I created five of these and kept one for my own tree (the purple one, of course!).

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These little birdies sure take a lot of time, but their folk chicness is right up my alley. I used high-quality felt for these avian decorations, which I purchased from Etsy here. Each bird’s construction took about an hour, not including glue-drying time. I worked on them in October, giving myself plenty of time to finish a flock before the gift-giving season. I have learned as a crafter (one with little kids!) that if the project hasn’t been finished by Thanksgiving, it’s better to move on and gift it another time. I hate crafting with pressure. It’s the worst!

I would highly recommend making these as gifts for friends and loved ones. I hope those who received mine enjoy hanging them on their Christmas trees for years to come.