Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

A Very Merry Christmas
from Miss Abigail's Hope Chest!
This recipe is a favorite one my mother always made at Christmastime and I hope you will try it. I am busily working to finish up Christmas plans and will soon enjoy time off with my family. We are especially happy to have company coming to spend Christmas with us. Abigail misses her brothers and at times hates being the last one left at home.  I hope you will also enjoy this special time of year with loved ones and friends. I look forward to blogging again in January - see you then.
BTW- the pictures makes the first ingredient a little hard to read. It should read "one three-inch cinnamon stick." (NOT a thirteen inch one!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Handmade Dishtowels - from homespun fabric

If you've not thought of using the cotton "homespun" fabric for dishtowels, you're missing something great. I really enjoy making my own dishtowels. Of course, the drawback is that you cannot bleach them the same as white ones. But, I like the fun colors and prints and you can make them whatever size you like. These homespun towels dry dishes wonderfully--they are very thirsty. But you have to be careful to check the label and make sure the fabric is 100% cotton. It also helps if the fabric hasn't been treated with anything. This set of homespun dishtowels will go with the Christmas Star Dishcloths and the Filet Crochet Towels I made last year to begin a Christmas Set for Miss Abigail's hope chest.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Peek Inside - Embroidered Snowflake Ornament

This gorgeous snowflake was created with a embroidery machine. I saw it at a crafts show and spent quite a lot of time visiting with the woman who made it. I took her card and hope she is still in business if I'm ever ready to have monogramming done on towels for the hope chest. She used stabilizer on a stiff gorgette fabric and then cut away the fabric. Brilliant!

This second stocking ornament is just as cute. I love craft shows and creative people. You just never know what you'll find!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Peek Inside - Rocking Horse Ornament

2011 blessed our family with two new grandchildren. I bought ornaments for them last year and couldn't resist adding this one for Miss Abigail's hope chest. I like to imagine her children hanging this on some future Christmas tree.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Peek Inside - Peridot Wreath Ornament

I made this pretty peridot wreath ornament for the hope chest collection this year. I strung peridot chips on three strands of wire, with red glass beads at intervals. Then I twisted the strands together into a wreath and added the jewelry cap on top.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Peek Inside - Clay Angel Ornament

Maybe you can tell that I like angels? This beautiful painted clay angel reminded me a little of Miss Abigail.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Peek Inside - Yo-Yo Angel Ornament

This yo-yo angel was created a couple of years ago with the ladies of the Stanley Homemakers Club. We often do crafts together and Miss Abigail always enjoys these meetings.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Peek Inside - Santo Domingo Pottery Star Ornament

Each day this week I'll post a peek at ornaments in Miss Abigail's hope chest. This handmade star was made by craftspeople of the Santo Domingo Pueblo. The pueblos of New Mexico are well known for their pottery and each pueblo has traditional designs. This dragonfly is typical of Santo Domingo. Hopefully, this ornament will bring Miss Abigail happy memories of growing up in the culture of New Mexico.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tutorial - Raffia Angel Ornament

 I made this charming raffia angel ornament for Miss Abigail’s hope chest last year. But, because of stormy weather, I couldn’t get to the library to post it. So here is the tutorial, in plenty of time to make one for yourself.

You’ll need a package of raffia, twist ties, and scarlet thread or yarn, scissors and glue.

Separate a small to medium bunch of raffia from the rest of the package. Tie it tightly in the middle of the bunch. This will form the head and body of the angel. Set it aside for the moment.

Take another small bunch of raffia and use a twist tie to hold it together on one end, leaving a bit fluffed at the end. Braid the raffia for several inches. This piece will form the arms and hands, so the length will kind of depend on the size of the angel. Measure it against the “body” of the original bunch. The arms will go around and in front. When you reach the length you desire, use a second twist tie to temporarily hold the braid and cut off the extra raffia. Be sure to leave another bit hanging to give the impression of the hand.

Use the red thread or yarn to wrap the “wrists” and then remove the twist ties. Move the knot to the bottom of the wrists and trim closely. Put a dot of white glue on the knot to help hold it. Set the arm piece aside for the moment.

Take another small bunch of raffia and again tie it off in the middle. This piece will form the wings of the angel.

Separate each side of the wings into four smaller bunches. Do this between your fingers.

Smooth the raffia around your fingers to form the shape of the wing and use the twist tie to hold it temporarily. Repeat on the other side and fuss a little to make both side even with each other. Then use the red thread or yarn as you did with the arm piece to wrap and tie off the ends.

With the knot underneath, fold the original body piece in half and tie around the neck to form a head for your angel. Make a second braided piece and tie in a circle to form a small halo. You should now have each of the pieces shown in the photo: a loose body with a head, a braided arm piece, wings and a halo.

Take the body piece and separate the raffia just under the head and slip the braided arm piece through the separation.

Smooth the raffia around and underneath the arms and tie off a waist.

Braid a length of thread or yarn to make a hanger. Fold it in half and glue it to the back of the head. Glue the halo to the back of the head also, on top of the knot of the hanger. Then glue the wings at the base of the neck.

Bring the arms together at the wrists and glue them. Fluff the skirt at bit and you are finished.
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