Friday, December 10, 2010

Handmade Christmas

A few days before our guests arrived for Thanksgiving a squirrel got into the house. I'm writing this calmly and rationally but I screamed bloody murder. It was hilarious. The little guy was so fat and slow too. Yet, I hit octaves I didn't know I could reach. E. thinks I let him into the front door while bringing in the new dining room chairs. Um, no sir.

He gnawed the window sill and shredded the wood. I've left the pile of matchsticks and this precious nutcracker that I found in San Francisco as an ode to the squirrel's visit. I just asked him to leave and he tipped his hat and left out the breezeway doors. A Stone Hill neighbor that recently moved emailed to ask if I took photos of the squirrel for "the blog". Sadly, I wasn't thinking of a photo op at the time. So this will have to do. We found it in Napa at a fantastic antique store called Heritage Culinary Artifacts. Any family members reading? You can get me ANYTHING from this incredible boutique. The owner, Lisa, was delightful and gave me a great deal on my little port wine cordial goblets that I used for Thanksgiving. Now I just need to buy some almonds and pecans to crack. 

I am slowly getting out the Christmas decorations. One year I asked  Uncle Charlie  what his favorite Christmas Song was and he answered, "A Partridge in a Pear Tree." My precious husband. I love the Twelve Days of Christmas too but would never in a thousand years have guessed that was his fave. I asked him yesterday and he said, "Silent Night". This is funny, because I've been getting E. partridge themed ornaments and cookie cutters for five years.

Last weekend we went to the Charm City Craft Mafia Holiday Heap and found this darling partridge.

I found this fancy dance partridge at the Kate Spade store in Georgetown the first Christmas we were dating. We also received the Twelve Days of Christmas hand painted  paper-mache balls from Mary T. two years ago and love them. It's fun that we actually have three pear trees. So the gift theme works with our little Stone Hill Farm. "Bring us some figgy pudding" is next. 

I love how ornaments bring up memories of past trips and stories. We got him on one of our two trips to West Virginia. We love this bar called the Purple Fiddle and this little hippie with his yellow turtleneck just epitomizes the joint perfectly!

I'm a big Martha Stewart fan but had never really tried any of her crafts . A few years ago I found this Christmas ornament craft. It is the coolest because you get to recycle your old Christmas cards and have way-cool, handmade, unique "balls" verses the shiny ones that are so commercial. It is so fun to see my Uncle Dick's handwriting on this card too.

This one was made with a tiny little circle punch that I got at a craft store with our 2007 card. Martha now makes her own "branded" punches that I'm sure are at Michael's.

You can use any size hole punch. I like the two inch size. Find any extra cards you have left over from holiday's past. I love to use Tiny Prints. The matte finish cards work the best. You can't make this with photo cards unless they are paper photos with a matte finish.

We gave our parents each a wedding ornament. I over ordered my Christmas cards that year. 

I am by no means a hoarder, but I do save a lot of paper. My craft closet houses one of my most favorite collections. I don't even know what to call it but super-crazy-paper-obsessed-collection. I have multiple binders that hold this collection of awesomeness.

Each plastic sleeve holds one friend with their wedding invite, their thank you note for the present I gave them, their baby announcements, baby thank you note, Christmas Cards and any fun letters they've written me over the years. I have a great memory. My friends make fun of me for having such a great memory and remembering tiny details. I think it is only because I have letters that I can reread. I have all of the dates of weddings and birthdays in one place to refer back to as well. 

Amy and John were some of my first friends to get married. I've had this stuff for so many years it is crazy and I LOVE looking at how their kids have grown through the photos. E. finally got to meet them in California while we were in San Francisco this past February. So if you are anything like me and want to do something memorable with your old Christmas cards, try this crafty little project.

Thanks to all of my friends who still write me letters. It warms my heart. Our Christmas cards get here on 12/20/10 so I'll be frantically sending them out this year. This blog has become a big, fat letter that will hopefully be a great reference to what the heck we were doing in the winter of 2010. 

4 comments: said...

Nelle, I love your blogs. What a treasure we found with Stone Hill Farm. wishing you and Eric the Happiest of Holidays.

Nelle Somerville said...

Oh Bonnie! What would we have done without you? We just heated the breezeway and are converting the shed into an office. You have to come see it when we are done! We love our home and you were the best realtor ever for finding this place for us.

annechovie said...

What a cool ornament with so many cool memories, Nelle! Hope you're having a good weekend. xx

Heather Stouffer said...

You (and your blog) are such an inspiration! I have never seen someone so organized. I love that you have a folder for each friend where you keep all their cards and invitations. Your watercolor cards and Martha Stewart ornaments are adorable. It makes me want to come spend an afternoon in your craft room. How fun!!!
Merry Christmas to you and Eric!