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Out with the “OLD” – but let’s be nice!

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Where did 2017 go?!  Wow – time really does fly when you are having fun – or just plain old. LOL

So here we are at the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one.  Many of us celebrate Christmas – and with that comes a Christmas tree and all the ornaments we put on it.  Some people like just some lights and fabric bows – others collect ornaments from past years – or ones their children made for them.  Sometimes it’s a real trip down memory lane!  I used to have a box full of memories – many of them breakable – that found a spot on my tree.  Hubby and I also used to insist on a “real” tree each year when the kids were small.  Along with the real tree came a real mess – and the need to dispose of the tree after Christmas was over.  We used to take off all the lights and ornaments, put them in a box and store them away – then cut up the very dry and hazardous tree and burn it in our fireplace on New Year’s Eve.  A “Yule Log” that would bring us good luck in the coming year.

Then one year after I packed all our breakable memories in a box and placed the box by the top of the cellar stairs (to bring down to storage later when I finished taking down more decorations), I went back to the living room to vacuum and tidy up.  Hubby’s brother was visiting and they were both well into celebrating New Year’s Eve.  As I was running the vacuum, the men decided to go out to the shed to get the saw to cut up the Christmas tree.  Hubby decided to use the back door to do this – which happens to be the door by the top of the cellar stairs.  He saw the “ornament” box – red & green Rubbermaid – and thought it strange that I didn’t bring it down the stairs.  He decided to help it on it’s way by nudging it with his boot till it toppled over the edge and rolled, bounced, twisted and opened all they way down the stairs.  I could hear it happening – even over the dun of the vacuum – and alas, knew I was too late to save the day.  All of our memories were broken into tiny little pieces all over the stairs.  When I got to the scene of the crime, Hubby was standing there with his jaw hanging wide and the guilty look a child gets when he’s caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  Well, nothing could be done to reverse the moment – so he continued out the door with apologies – to go get the saw; and I started vacuuming up all the pieces of the last 20 years from the cellar stairs.

For many years after that, we put up an artificial tree with nothing more than lights and some plaid fabric bows – with an occasional felt ornament here and there.  Then along came the grand children and some more lovely ornaments that were gifted to us from various people.  Then after many years of “fake” trees, we decided to go “real” again – and take the grandchildren “Christmas Tree Hunting” as a fun activity on a sleepover night.  I also chose this year to start a new tradition that I’d like to call a “Making Ornaments with your Grammy Party”.  We took a trip to the local pottery painting spot just a mile from my house – and painted our own ceramic very special ornaments.  Treasures I hope the children will keep and remember me by someday when they have their own homes and are decorating their own trees.  So, I thought – how can I make this a possibility – how can I keep these treasures safe – how can I teach the children to preserve and protect what we spent so much time painting and having fun making?  That’s when this quick idea came to me.  “Safe Pockets” – zip them up in a comfy soft bag of fleece and store them in a special box.  I went right out and bought decorative boxes for the children and then made a bunch of safe pocket sleeves.  My ornaments fill my sleeves and my box, but the children have big almost empty boxes with one sleeve that holds 6 ornaments.  This is so that they have something to look forward to in years to come.

Enjoy this quick tutorial “Safe Pockets – Fun Project #20” video.  Maybe you can use this method to preserve and protect your own breakable memories.  😉

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Lobster Fingers! Fun Project #15

What?! More like “save our fingers” when shucking that yummy lobster!  This is a very useful “fun project” if you like eating boiled or steamed lobster.  So quick to make – you can make a couple sets in just an hour!  Makes a great gift paired with some lobster eating tools and a fresh live lobster!  Click on this link:  Lobster Fingers for a FREE PATTERN  to make a few sets for your next lobster bake.

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Recycle – Reuse! Make something useful!

Old towels are a fact of life – we all find them in our laundry eventually.  I’ve decided never to throw them out – but reuse them instead.  Sure, you can cut them into squares and use them as rags; but why not make something useful AND cute out of them?  Here are 3 ways to make a bib – but once you get started, I’m sure you’ll think of many more styles and uses for “the bib”!  If you are not sure of size – then make sure you click on the link below for a FREE pdf pattern to get yourself started!

Towel BIB pattern

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Satin Flowers

I’ve had the pleasure of making satin and silk flowers to dress up ball gowns and to create wedding veils.  It’s really not all that difficult.  You just need some scraps of beautiful fabric and a needle and thread!  Thought I’d share the process with all of you who follow The Masquerade’s “Fun Project Series”.  Here is #12 – How to make Satin Flowers!  Click on the link below the video for a FREE pdf pattern of the flower pieces.

FREE Fabric Flower Pattern

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Floppy Bunny

Here’s a cute and cuddly fun little bunny to make!   I found the panel of fabric in my mother-in-laws very old stash. I’m guessing it’s probably 30+ years old. LOL  So I decided to make it on a really old sewing machine!  I bought myself a little Willcox & Gibbs hand crank chain stitch machine to celebrate a great year – and thought this would be the perfect “first project” to test it out.  What a great success!  The machine worked fantastic and the bunny is adorable (as I guessed it would be before I cut it out) – so I scanned in the pieces and made a PDF pattern to share.  So Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you!  Here is the tutorial and the free PDF pattern – just click on the links and HAVE FUN WITH THIS!  I can see it made from plaid flannel or printed fleece or what about minky?!  There’s no end to how cute and cuddly this bunny can be. 😉

http://themasquerade.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Flop-Ear-Bunny-instructions.pdf

http://themasquerade.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/FloppyBunny-pattern-pieces.pdf

Make it “Crinkle Rattle & Jingle” in a few easy steps!  Here’s a link to upgrading your Floppy Bunny!