Ok, so this post is officially on restriction... I was very close to being done with it, having looked up all but two of the links I needed and written out all my lovely commentary. However, that post was not meant to be. Somehow it managed delete itself and then auto save before I could hit undo.... so, the original is lost somewhere in the sea of ones and zeros that is the internet. Hopefully I can remember all the neat things I was going to share now that my temper tantrum is over, lol. Well, here goes...
The actual Ten on Tuesday topic for today is 10 Things I want, but wouldn't buy for myself, but I decided that it wasn't particularly my style. I always end up feeling a little bit like a greedy monkey at this time of year, with everyone asking what I want for Christmas, so instead of focusing on what I want, I decided to focus on ways I can be creative in December. Fortunately for me, there are lots of great ideas out there. Here are ten that I thought would be worth sharing. I do want to put in a disclaimer here... while I have tried out some of these crafty projects and I do plan to try out others, I have not tried them all, so.... I refuse to be held responsible if you project is CraftFail worthy : P Believe me, I've had plenty of those moments myself.
1) Knit a Christmas stocking - As part of my knitting insanity this year I want to make Christmas stockings for my little family. I just love the idea of those really cool multi-colored faire-isle ones that have your name knitted into them and look like they took hours to make. So, I hopped on Ravelry and found the pattern for Cascade Christmas Stockings. This pattern is great because it allows you to customize your stocking by section and color. For each section, the pattern offers a few options so that way you can mix and match your favorite designs. Now, if you don't want to dive into a project like that, but you like the idea of a stocking, you can try out this pattern for Mini Knitted Christmas Stockings.
2) Make ornaments for your tree - I love getting new ornaments for our tree and making them can be a lot of fun too. Other than the mini stocking listed above, you can try making this Button Wreath Ornament or these cute Button People and Animal Ornaments. Another one you can try are these Snowy Ballon Ornaments.
3) Make an eco-friendly garland - You can make a cool eco-friendly garland out of all sorts of things you can get at the grocery store, or even in your backyard. Some good ideas are cranberries, popcorn, dried fruit, cinnamon sticks, pine cones, and acorns. Instructables has directions on how to make a Delightfully Dehydrated Garland of dried fruit slices and Ocean Spray gives some good tips on how to string up cranberries and popcorn. What's great about these garlands is that when the holidays are over you can put them out on your bushes in the back yard and they will mysteriously disappear!
4) Bake cookies for your friends and family - This is something I do every year with both my mom and friends because baking for people is a great way to give them something special when your budget might be a little tight. In early December the girls get together for cookie day and we each make enough cookies from recipes we each pick so that everyone to bring a dozen home. It really makes getting all that baking done fast and fun! My current favorite recipes are the Lemon-Honey Drop Cookies and Molasses Cookies from Cooking Light magazine, but I have also made a family favorite, Chocolate Crinkles. A really great resource for recipes in general, but in this case cookies is MyRecipes.com.
5) Make your own holiday cards - Now, I have tried to do this for several year, each year with different levels of success (or failure). I love card making, but I am not the best designer so I tend to do most of my paper crafting and stamping in the classroom with Jenn our instructor (who is awesome). But, when I do endeavor create on my own I stick with stamps from one company and that is A Muse. They offer the cutest stamps ever and their slogan is perfect... think simple. think a muse. I can't speak highly enough of their quality stamps, papers and other accessories. So, go to their site and check them out. They have excellent examples of holiday card ideas you can check out at their design studio.
6) Show off your holiday cards - By making a pinup card wreath or by hanging your cards down lengths of wide ribbons.
7) Cut out paper snowflakes - Now, I know this sounds just silly, but they are a lot of fun! You can either find a pattern and follow it to get a snowflake to look exactly how you like or you can be a rebel (like I normally do) and fold your paper and attack with the scissors. I honestly haven't come out with a bad one yet doing it this way. You can also try your hand at making a 3-D Paper Snowflake.
8) Make soap that reminds you of the season - I have never gotten the chance to make soap and there are many ways to do it. You actually have a few options if you are interested in soap making, first you can just melt down pre-purchased soap and add other ingredients such as dyes, exfoliants or the scent of your choice. You can also purchase the ingredients to make glycerin soaps (this is the one I really want to try). Lastly you could make lye soap (which I really wouldn't recommend). Idea Queen has some recipes up on her blog for you to try out. You should be able to get most of the ingredients at Michael's or AC Moore. The only thing I would stress is that anything you use for these recipes should NEVER touch food again! So, once you have used a pot or a wooden spoon in soapmaking, it is married to that function or the trash for life.
9) Make a wreath for your door - Either go the traditional route with tree branches or use something you already have, extra scarves. You can see some great ideas here at Country Living or at Martha Stewart's website.
10) Make a fruitcake - Nah! Just kidding :-) I'm scared of those, but here is a neat article on the Great Fruitcake Toss held every year in Manitou Springs, Co. Also you can listen to Robbie O'Connell sing about Mrs. Fogarty's Christmas Cake (one of my favorite Christmas folk songs):