Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to Make Scrap Fabric Christmas Tree Ornaments - Day 279 of 365, Tutorial Tuesday

I love the smell of a live Christmas tree in the house. Yet we belong to the group of folks who put up a fake tree every year.

It wasn't always that way. We used to do the live tree thing. We would pick out what we thought was the best tree (which also equaled cheap) at the lot. It'd stay up until right after New Year's and then it would come down. The needles would hang around even longer. I once heard someone say that Christmas tree needles never fully got vacuumed up until Easter. Then at Easter the Easter grass would never get all vacuumed up until Christmas. Depending on the time of year, you had either pine needles or Easter grass in the carpet.

But it wasn't the pine needles that kept us from continuing the live-tree tradition. It was the tree itself. The if you don't make a fresh cut on the trunk so it'll soak up water throughout the season it'll dry up and your house will catch fire warning that stopped us. We took the warning to heart and made sure when we got the tree home to make that fresh cut.

That fresh cut we made never was pretty and never was level. We owned nothing but a hatchet and small tree saw so the cutting took forever. And since my husband can't saw anything straight to save his life and my arms never have been trouble-free enough to do the cutting, making that fresh cut was something to dread which then made getting a live tree something to dread.

Now we're in the fake tree world. A pre-lit fake tree. No cutting required.
Homemade Scrap Fabric Quilted Christmas Tree Ornaments Sewing Project

The trees in today's tutorial need some cutting. No saw required.

For this project you will need:
Disclosure: Deb's Days is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to affiliated sites. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you new sewing and crafting content.

Looking for something else? 
Check out some of my other Christmas sewing and crafting projects!

Otherwise you can watch the how to tutorial for the easy homemade scrap fabric Christmas tree ornaments right here:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 278 of 365

I can't quite figure out the cat these days. I'm about ready to change her name, though. No longer will she be putty or sissy or kitty. She's going to be called bawl baby.

I get the 4 AM morning bawling. She's been in all night and is wanting to go out. She also bawls when she knocks something over like a box or stack of magazines. But there's also the bawling that means she wants:
  • more food in her bowl. 
  • some canned cat food.
  • whatever is in the can when we use the electric can opener.
  • to play.
  • to jump in the window.
  • the curtain opened so she can jump in the window.
  • attention.
  • to sit on my lap.
  • to be petted.
  • help getting out whatever she lost under the couch.

The problem is I'm not smart enough to figure out what all the bawls mean. Just when I think I know what she wants, I'm proven wrong.

Lately she's been bawling more than usual. She's in a lot more during the winter and she eats a lot more. Much, much more. So we've been limiting the amount of food we're giving her. Which in turn makes her bawl even more. (Guess she's like a human.)

Except I'm not sure a human would do this when you pull in the driveway. As soon as I turn off the engine she jumps on the hood and perches at the rear view mirror until we get out.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 277 of 365

I've heard there are people who can't wear a watch. They put it on and it stops. A magnetic or electrical field thing or something. I don't wear a watch anymore, but I'm wondering if I did if it would stop on me now. With a titanium knee and metal anchors in both shoulders I can't imagine the metal won't affect something.

Like when I'm grocery shopping. I can never, ever, grocery shop without getting shocked. Dozens and dozens of times. Every time I touch a shelf, every time I touch the cart. It doesn't matter what time of year it is, it doesn't matter what shoes I'm wearing or clothes I'm wearing. I'd never noticed it much before the knee replacement, but I sure do notice it now.

Something else I've noticed? I'm having issue with electronic things.

In just the past week:
  • I had to get a replacement for my work-issued Blackberry because it stopped working.
  • My Sonicare toothbrush stopped holding a charge. And no way to replace the battery.
  • My poor iron died yesterday. It was resuscitated, but I think it'll be on life support soon.
  • Just today, the needle threader on my sewing machine broke. Fell right off in the middle of my sewing project. For the life of me I cannot figure out how to put it back on.

Thank goodness my machine still worked. Worked well enough for me to finally get one of the kids' projects done, a pillow. A little late in the day made the picture a bit too dark to see the navy blue Navy fabric I used.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 276 of 365

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

I can attest to that.

This past week I told my husband I was planning on locking myself in my sewing room for the weekend. I have three kids' quilts and one pillow to do for Operation Kid Comfort. I have quilts to make for my husband and daughter for Christmas. And I have a tutorial to film for Tuesday.

Last night I spent some time picking out fabrics for the kids' quilts and pillow so I'd be ready this morning to start cutting and sewing. I even got up early today so I could squeeze the most I could out of the day.

Every item on my big to-do list required the use of my iron. I go through irons a lot. As someone who uses their iron almost every single day, I have certain things I expect from it. It needs to get very hot, produce lots of steam, and stay on. This particular iron turns itself off if it has been sitting for a few minutes, which is quite the pain for me. When I'm making quilts, I sew seams, press seams, sew seams. Sometimes I might be sewing for 10 minutes before I'm ready to press, but by then the iron has already shut itself off. So needless to say I've not been happy with this iron for the last two years. But I've put up with it. Until today.

I wasn't able to put up with it today. Not because I didn't have the patience to keep turning it on, but because it wouldn't turn on. Actually, it did turn on. It just didn't heat up. I turned it on and off. Off and on. Unplugged it and plugged it in again. Tried the steam on, tried the steam off.

My iron - the crucial necessity of my everyday life - is a goner.

Which makes the kids' quilts and pillow, my husband's and daughter's quilts, and the tutorial I had planned goners, too.

So instead of doing what I had planned, I wound up spending some time researching irons. I've decided no more cheapos for me - a Rowenta it will be. And Joann's even had one at a great sale price, but it was sold out. While I considered putting it on my Christmas list, I can't go that long without an iron. Folks are counting on me - the kids with dads away in the Navy, my family.

Thankfully after several hours of keeping it unplugged, it sputtered back to life. You can bet I'll be babying it the rest of the weekend.

In the midst of all that, my husband the NASCAR fan, requested a Christmas ornament with some of my checkered flag fabric. It's not the ornament I would have chosen with that fabric, but he's the fan.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 275 of 365

I worked the FlyLady plan a bit more today in, of all places, my sock drawer.

When I'm wearing jeans and tennis shoes, I mostly wear white athletic socks. When I'm wearing my work clothes I'm mostly wearing black, dark brown, or navy blue socks. When I wear sandals, I wear no socks (unlike my dork of a husband).

For quite a long while, I've been wearing white, black, brown, and navy blue socks 99.99% of the time. Yet those weren't the only colors I had in my drawer. I had a collection of green, light blue, and purple socks in a variety of styles. Different shades of green, blue, and purple. Shades I haven't wore in years and years. Colors I probably will never wear again. Really, do I need that many socks in that many different colors?


I now have a half-empty sock drawer with no intention of introducing any additional socks of any color to it. FlyLady proposes that if you bring something new into the house you have to send an old one out the door. So if I do wind up with some new socks (only in my preferential dark colors), some of the old ones will go out the door.

One pair of blue socks I discarded even matched the color of the berries in today's picture. You can be sure I won't be buying that color again. Which leads me to a couple questions. What was I thinking buying that color in the first place?

The even more important question is one I'd appreciate your help with. I don't know what this plant is. Does anyone know the name of it?