Advent Trees

IMG_3968When I was little I always found the countdown to Christmas Day so exciting. Waking up every morning and carefully peeling open the door of my Advent calendar to see what was inside. I loved how the tension would build the closer to the 25th it got. As and adult it’s easy to lose that thrill and get swept up in the commercial craziness. Through my Tiny Terrors I get so see that same innocent unbridled excitement. A little envious this year, I thought the whole family should be in on the fun.

Simple and understated, these little trees have pockets on the back to hold activity cards, everyday pull out the card and have some fun.

Below you can find the pattern and step by step instructions to make the trees and printables for the cards.

CLICK HERE –> Advent for the free download. The PDF includes the pattern for the tree and printable activity cards.

You will need:

1yd of mattress ticking fabric, or fabric of your choice (front)*

1 1/2 yards of solid cotton (back)

16 inches of twine or ribbon

Thread

Colored felt (for star and trunk, optional)

Card stock

24 3 x 4 inch paper bags (Mine were purchased at Michael’s)

*If you cut very carefully you can get all of your trees with just 3/4 yd of the front fabric. Pattern pieces include 1/4 seam allowance.

If you are adding a trunk and star to the tree then you’ll also need a few sheets of felt for each.

I used my sewing machine to embroider the numbers on to fabric scraps and then stitched them on at the end. If you are hand embroidering you may way to do this step after cutting out the front pieces. You could also use iron transfer paper for the numbers, or you could number the back of the cards and/or envelopes.

Cut out and iron all your pieces.

The pocket

The pocket

Fold one

Fold one

Press along fold

Fold two

Fold two

Fold under

Fold under

Open first fold and fold and press on fold 2, hiding the raw edge. Press again

Stitch

Stitch

Stich the fold down, I used a contrasting thread to match the colour of the front of the tree.

Assembling

The back

The back

The pocket

The pocket

Lay the back of the tree right side up, place pocket onto the back of the tree, right side down.

The twine

The twine

The front

The front

Cut an 8″ length of twine, tie it in a knot. Place it on the tree back with the knot touching the top of the tree and the loop hanging down.

Place the front of the tree on top, right side down.

The opening

The opening

The reveal

The reveal

Pin around the edges of the tree, leaving and opening between the markers. Stitch the tree together, with a 1/4 seam allowance. Turn the tree right side out. Press flat, making sure to poke out the tree points fully.

Here is where you’d add the trunk. Cut two pieces for each trunk and pin wrong sides together, and top stitch the two pieces of felt together. Insert the seam allowance of the trunk into the opening left at the base of the tree.

Top stitch around the entire edge of the tree.

Stitch on the number

Stitch on the number

The number

The number

Stitch on the number.

Make the star now, if using. Cut two pieces for each star and pin wrong sides together, and top stitch all the way round. Sew onto the top of the tree.

Pick a card

Pick a card

Print the cards, and sort through which ones you’ll use. There are a lot to choose from and there is a blank page so that you can add your own ideas.

Tuck the activity inside

Tuck the activity inside

Once I’d narrowed it down I wrote numbers 1 – 24 on a sheet of paper and jotted down which activity we’d do on each day. Then popped the cards into the bag and slipped it into the pocket of the corresponding tree.

I decieded to hang mine from a branch I dragged in from the garden, but I think they’d look just as adorable hanging from an old frame with lights wrapped around it or lined up neatly in a box.

IMG_3967

Candy Cane Centre Piece

Last year, in the sales after Christmas, I was lucky enough to get my little mitts on some ornament trees for a great price. They were whisked straight into storage and forgotten about until last week. I used one to hang my 12 days of Christmas ornaments and place it on the mantle, The other I turned into a this;

Candy Cane centre piece

To tidy up the ends of the candy canes I taped up any loose wrappers, and then used bakers twine to attach the candy canes to the ornament tree. It was a little tedious, but ask Marie and she’ll tell you how much I love tiny tedious tasks. As I worked my way down, some of the canes needed to be trimmed. In all, I believe I used around 8 dozen candy canes.

F.

Double Knit Party Chain

 

 

 

Double knit Chain

Snowball_Wreath6

I really wanted to knit something for Christmas, at first I had my mind set on a wreath. I test knit some patterns, however for some reason it wasn’t coming together how I wanted.  I then remembered the paper chains I used to make when I was a child. They had almost limitless possibilities, what with the paper choices and if the paper was blank then I’d just add my own design.

Double knit chain

I started doodling and came up with my first few ideas. I remembered the classic patterns used in those the paper chains – dots, spots stripes. I had some scrap graph paper and charted my first few links, and worked out their order.Dounle knit chain

As I was knitting I wasn’t completely in love with how it was turning out. Even after blocking the edges were rolling, and I was a little unhappy with the look of the wrong side. At first I didn’t think it would show that much, but when I hung it up it was way too obvious.

Learning to double-knit is a skill that has been on my list for a while. Marie had stashed a class for us on Craftsy. I gathered my supplies and plonked myself down in front of the computer to learn. The cast on was a little tricky to master, but overall basic double-knit isn’t that hard. If it’s something you’ve been contemplating I highly recommend taking a little time to learn, and this chain would be perfect as each piece is so small.

I charted all the patterns using Google spreadsheets. I’m a bit techno challenged so once again Marie stepped in and pointed me in the right direction. It really is great having her around.

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 07.17.30

After my initials charts, the links took on a life of their own, and soon I had 24. One for each day leading up to Christmas.

The great thing about these links is they can be knitted on any order, and any colour. I’d love to see them in lots of bright colors for a birthday party. I’m planning on re-knitting them multi colored when I have the time. I also love that they can be flipped inside out to reveal the other side and that changes the look and feel slightly.

I hope you’ll love knitting this for whatever holiday or celebration you’re having! -f

You can purchase the pattern HERE on Ravelry.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

MERRY  CHRISTMAS

Afrikaans: Geseënde Kersfees Afrikander: Een Plesierige Kerfees African/ Eritrean/

Tigrinja: Rehus-Beal-Ledeats Albanian:Gezur Krislinjden Arabic: Milad Majid Argentine

:Feliz Navidad Armenian: Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand Azeri: Tezze Iliniz

Yahsi Olsun Bahasa Malaysia: Selamat Hari Natal Basque: Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!

Bengali: Shuvo Naba Barsha Bohemian: Vesele Vanoce Bosnian: (BOSANSKI) Cestit Bozic 
i Sretna Nova godina Brazilian: Feliz Natal Breton: Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat
 Bulgarian: Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo HristovoCatalan: Bon Nadal i un Bon 
Any Nou! Chile: Feliz Navidad Chinese: (Cantonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun 
Chinese:(Mandarin) Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan Choctaw: Yukpa, Nitak Hollo 
Chito Columbia: Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo Cornish: Nadelik looan na looan 
blethen noweth Corsian: Pace e salute Crazanian: Rot Yikji Dol La Roo Cree: Mitho 
Makosi Kesikansi Croatian: Sretan Bozic Czech: Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny 
Novy Rok Danish: Glædelig Jul Duri: Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak Dutch: Vrolijk 
Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast Eskimo: (inupik) Jutdlime 
pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo! Esperanto: Gajan Kristnaskon Estonian: Rõõmsaid 
Jõulupühi Ethiopian: (Amharic) Melkin Yelidet Beaal Faeroese: Gledhilig jol og 
eydnurikt nyggjar!Farsi: Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad Finnish: Hyvaa joulua 
Flemish: Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar French: Joyeux Noel Frisian: Noflike 
Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier! Galician: Bo Nada Gaelic: 
Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr! German: Fröhliche Weihnachten Greek: Kala 
Christouyenna! Haiti: (Creole) Jwaye Nowel or to Jesus Edo Bri'cho o Rish D'Shato 
Brichto Hausa: Barkada Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara! Hawaiian: Mele 
Kalikimaka Hebrew: Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova Hungarian: Kellemes Karacsonyi 
unnepeket Icelandic: Gledileg Jol Indonesian: Selamat Hari Natal Iraqi: Idah Saidan 
Wa Sanah Jadidah Irish: Nollaig Shona Dhuit, or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat Iroquois:
Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut. Ojenyunyat osrasay. Italian: Buone 
Feste Natalizie Japanese: Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto Jiberish: Mithag 
Crithagsigathmithags Korean: Sung Tan Chuk Ha Lao: souksan van Christmas Latin: 
Natale hilare et Annum Faustum! Latvian: Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno 
Gadu! Lausitzian:Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto Lettish: Priecigus Ziemassvetkus
Lithuanian:Linksmu Kaledu Low Saxon: Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar 
Luxembourgish: Schèine Chreschtdaag an e gudde Rutsch Macedonian: Sreken Bozhik 
Maltese: IL-Milied It-tajjeb Manx: Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa Maori: Meri 
Kirihimete Navajo: Merry Keshmish Norwegian: God Jul, or Gledelig Jul Occitan: Pulit 
nadal e bona annado Papiamento: Bon Pasco Papua New Guinea: Bikpela hamamas blong 
dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu Pennsylvania German: En frehlicher 
Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr! Peru: Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Año Nuevo 
Philipines: Maligayan Pasko! Polish: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze 
Narodzenie Portuguese:Feliz Natal Pushto: Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha 
Rapa-Nui (Easter Island): Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua Rhetian: Bellas festas 
da nadal e bun onn Romanche: (sursilvan dialect): Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien 
niev onn! Rumanian: Sarbatori vesele or Craciun fericit Russian: Pozdrevlyayu s 
prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom Sami: Buorrit Juovllat Samoan: La Maunia Le 
Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou Sardinian: Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou Scots Gaelic: 
Nollaig chridheil huibh Serbian: Hristos se rodi.Singhalese: Subha nath thalak Vewa. 
Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa Slovak: Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok Slovene: 
Vesele Bozicne Praznike Srecno Novo Leto or Vesel Bozic in srecno Novo leto Spanish: 
Feliz Navidad Swedish: God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År Tagalog: Maligayamg Pasko. 
Masaganang Bagong Taon Trukeese: (Micronesian) Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe 
feyiyeech!Thai: Sawadee Pee Mai or souksan wan Christmas Turkish: Noeliniz Ve Yeni 
Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun Ukrainian: Srozhdestvom Kristovym or Z RIZDVOM HRYSTOVYM 
Vietnamese: Chuc Mung Giang Sinh Welsh: Nadolig Llawen Yoruba: E ku odun, e ku iye'
dun!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Christmas Podcast

Marie and I share our feelings towards the big day.Listen as we gab on about it and then take our poll and let us know how you feel.

Country Christmas Tree

It took a few days (lack of preparation on my part), but the tree is finally up and The Croakery decorations are finished.

This is Thor, A Norfolk pine he lives at the top of my stairs

The glow from the lights catches my eye as I walk past the foot of the stairs

 

I went for a palette of icy blue and frost white for the banister

I used snowflake tinsel, mini glass baubles, paper cut out doves and...

 

origami cranes, all strung with ribbon

 

The tree came from a local tree farm, cut down by my own hands. It's a spruce so has prickly needles

 

Finally up ready for Christmas

 

White suede doves are strung together on icord

and spell out the word peace

 

 

I ended up with classic theme of red and white for the tree

 

Oversized shiny silver jingle bells gleam in the twinkling lights

A pail filled with candy canes dangles from a branch for guests with a sweet tooth