Monday, December 31, 2012

Hello ...

Hello ... (7 am) Good Morning. I'm half expecting Jerry to call and tell me he's on his way back home... He heard a lot of the men were going to not go in even though they didn't put in for the day off.  It does seem sensless to Work Saturday, Take Sunday off, Work Monday, then have Tuesday off, then work the rest of this week and have the weekend off. If He does get the day off, I think he'll end up spending this afternoon in bed, sleeping. He's so very tired.
I've been up since Jerry left, mainly just doing a few things on my computer, then I got my shower, brushed and styled my hair for the day, then made my breakfast.
Outside my door ... (7 am) It's still dark outside.  But we did notic that we still have just a bit of sun at 5 pm, last night. So yes, the days are starting to get a bit longer each day. It was very chilly when I walked the dogs and I could easily see my breath in the air in front of the head lamp I use when I take the dogs out that early
The Dogs ... (7 am) Are all asleep right now. They didn't want to go out this morning for very long but they did get done what they needed to do. 
Barney and I have a routine that, once he comes back in from frist morning (in the dark) outside he had a few minutes to get some water and to eat if he wants to, then he has to go back into his kennel until next time to walk.. Well, this morning I was a little slow and he found Jerry's cola bottle.  He started to try to take the lid off but he reailsed it wasn't empty just yet. He left it when I told him to leave it, Then he found a piece of the knuckls from Rocky's bone that all the dogs have been chewing on. It sounded just like a bottle cap in his mouth and he had to give it to me to be sure it wasn't a cap. I gave it back to him then he had to go into the kennel. He's sound asleep now.  Barney's bone is gone and Macon has hardly touched his.
The Cats ... (7 am) I had a hard time getting the cats outside this morning. They didn't want to go. But with no catbox inside right now, they had to go outside. They all came back in when the dogs came back in and now they are asleep on the same bed that Rocky and Macon are sleeping on. One of the reasons the cats were hard to get out was they found Macon's bone and wanted to chew on it now that they could see it. They spent the night in the kennel it's in.  They just didn't want to go outside where it's cold ! 
From the kitchen...  (7 am) Not sure but unless Jerry changes his mind, we will have boneless pork chops coated in crushed crackers and dry Ranch Dressing mix, baked in the roasting over along with a large potato each. and a salad.
Egg roll filling, I bag Cole Slaw fixings. I sm cal crushed Pineapple, I sm Can Tuna. I pkg Crab or imatation Crab meat, Terikie Sauce Vinegar Ginger, 3 Tablespoons Sugar (or sugared Ginger)
open and drain Pineapple juice into wak. Add a few dashes Teriackie Sauce, heat to a boil then add Slaw mix, allow to cook a few minutes then add pineapple and tuna.  Add a dash of vinegar for tartness.Allow to cook down, Add ginger and or Sugar, cook a few more minutes then add in Crab meat. Allow to boil long enough to be sure Crab meat is cooked. Serve over rice, or cool and roll up in egg roll wrappers and then deep fry one or two at a time until golden. Drain on Paper towels.
I am hearing... (7 am) The fan on the heaters, the T.V. (CBS Morning News)
I am wearing... (7 am) I'm still in my flannel gown. I'll be changing clothes here in a bit.  Sweat Pants (of course since that's all I have) and a dark colored top. I want to pick up a few new tops that  are not so dark in color over the next few weeks.
I am reading... (7 am) I've read a chapter in the Bible (Exodus 16) and emails.
I am thinking...  (7 am) about setting my goals for 2013.  I know I want to work more on making crafts and , of course, to eat healthier and walking more.
I am thankful for... Jerry working so much. We are caught up on our bills again. Now we can start saving money again.
I am hoping... Today is a short day for Jerry so he can get some more sleep. I doubt he'll be staying up with me to watch the new year begine.
I am creating... A plan on doing crafts for the year and cleaning out the craft items I may no longer need.
One of my favorite things...
A few plans for today... Cleaning the camper, getting out the serger again and trying it out on some scraps of material.
I fould the Singer needles finally, at Wal-mart.
A few plans for the rest of the week... (7 am) A working plan on crafts for at least the first half of this year. The goal is to complete at least one craft a week, More if possible. Put away all our Christmas Decoratons.
Time to put plastic over all the windows. Our highs for the next few day to only be in the 30's.
Traditional New Year's resolutions are for considering areas in your life you want to make better. Give careful thought to what you truly desire in your life. "A life not examined is a life not worth living." -- Socrate

Billie C

The sun has rise for the last time in 2012. Here is my last good morning and good night for 2012. In 2013 make the world your ship, Heaven your harbour, the Bible your map, God your guide,Belief your flag, Prayer your compass and you will never run aground on rocky shores! May your footprints leading out of 2012 and into 2013 be perfect with God by your side and leading you.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Good Afternoon

Hello ... After we went to Wal-mart we came home and just stayed in as much as possible. Jerry has a cold and I'm worried about him having to work outside in this weather. He slept almost all afternoon and went to bed early, as well.  We are suppose to get more rain on Saturday and although we have bills to pay, I hope he gets rained out. Jerry's suppose to have New Year's Day off, Not sure about New Year's Eve just yet.  I've just come back in from taking the dogs out this morning. It's cold enough I had to zip up my coat. They wanted to play... well Barney wanted to play and the other two wanted to keep away from him.  He's jump running trying to see where the cats are, trying to run up a tree after a cat, using Rocky as a launching pad.. that is until Rocky moved and Barney fell on his back. By the time Barney got back up Fuzzy was up a different tree glaring down at him.  He had a good workout before we got back into the house. I sat on the my bed and petted both Macon and Rocky for being such good dogs. Barney tried to  steal their attention. Oh wait, there's a cat who needs sniffed from nose to tail tip.. another cat.. oh no... Rocky is getting attention, have to hog up some of that... oh wait. Barney is in trouble  and hiding in a kennel. Now he's trying to wrestle with Macon.
All three cats are now content to come inside and warm up each morning when Jerry leaves for work.
(2 PM)
I've gotten the Kitchen cleaned up, dishes done and things put back where they belong. I've started my dinner, as well (see below) I'll have to put together a salad in a bit, and warm up some rice and my dinner will be done.
The dogs want to stare at the new camper.  Jerry said he saw a toolbox in the back of the truck when it passed us, so I doubt I'll see him here often.  Now that I've gotten the kitchen done, I need to go take a walk. I'll be back in a bit.
(3 PM)
Just got back in with the dogs. One round of this area's  driveway and down to the lake and back to the camper. Letting the dogs "Play" at the back of the camper until I felt a bit cool. Brought the dogs in and put them in the kennels and then fed the cats, two inside (Fuzzy and Tupelo) and one out ( Strips) He just refused to come inside at all for his can of cat-food. 
It's bright and cool with a bit of wind with a bit of bite to it. A good day to spend a few minutes outside.  The lake is a bit protected from the wind. Barney enjoyed jumping into the water but I think he was a bit surprised at how cold the water was. I wanted to walk along the lake a bit but the dogs had other ideas. That is why we came back up to the camper.
From the kitchen.. (11:00).  I won't know until I clean the fridge.
(2 PM)
 I'm making a 1/2 batch of this....
Crock Pot Meatballs
Easy and delicious.
Meatballs (either frozen or homemade)
2 cans cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
seasoned salt and pepper
minced onions
Mix two can of cream of mushroom soup with 1 can of water. Put meatballs (28 or so) in crock pot and pour soup mixture over them. Add salt, pepper, and minced onions. Cook on high for about 4 hours or low for about 8 hours. Serve them over rice or noodles or mashed potatoes. So very good. We love them.
I always make more than we need for one meal, then we can have the leftovers the next night for supper!
Servings: 4   
Time: 5 to 10 Minutes Preparation Time
4 to 8 Hours Cooking Time 

I am hearing... (11:00).  I watched one of the Christmas movies I DVR' d before Christmas "A Kincade Christmas"  I cried when the children sang Silent Night because it made me think of those 20 who are no longer here.  I had bought a card to send but I saw on the news that the town is asking for everyone to not send any thing. The post office and town are over whelmed with the items that are coming in every day. 
(3 PM) Jeff Probst.. but not sure I'm going to keep it on.  The story is about a woman who was raised in a storage unit for over 10 years by her father.
I am reading...(7 am) I have to get back in the habit of reading a Bible Chapter a day. Today I read Exodus 14
I am creating... (10 am)Green Glittered nail polish.  I read about it on the net.. I first tried with ultra fine Green Glitter.  It tinted the  clear polish green but didn't give me the glint I wanted.  I picked up a larger glitter while at Wal-mart Yesterday. I added it to the polish and it I love how it looks over white polish.  I'll be looking for a better white polish, I Think.  I can use green for so many holidays.  Not just Christmas, but Mardi Gras, Easter, St Patrick day.. I'm sure there will be other days as well when I want just a bit of shine on my nails.
(2 PM), It took me an hour to find the index cards I wanted. I figured I can hand write (as neat as I can which isn't very neat) many of the recipes for Bailey that I use this year.  I have a Sugar Cookie one already written out and I just made up some Italian Seasoning for my meatballs. I have a box already to put the cards into, I just need to fancy it up a bit..
One of my favorite things...  Taking the dogs down to the lake. They love going to the water.
A few plans for today... Cleaning the camper and getting my Serger out. Checking out the material I bought
A few plans for the rest of the week... find all my patterns . enjoy some time outside, walking.

Billie C

Christmas countdown banner

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas time

I have a list of people
All written in a book -
And every year at Christmas time
I go and take a look.

And that is when I realize
That those names are all a part -
Not of the book they're written in
But of my very heart.

For each name stands for someone
Who has crossed my path some time -
And in that meeting they've become
A treasured friend of mine.

And once you've met some people
the years can not erase -
The mem ory of a pleasant word
Or of a friendly face.

So when I send an email

That is addressed to you -

It's because you're on that 'Special list'

Of folks that I'm indebted to.

And you are one of several folks

In times past that I've met -

And happen to be one of those

I don't want ever to forget.

And whether I have known you

For many years or few -

In some way you have had a part

In shaping things I do.

So this is the Spirit of Christmas

That forever still endures -

May it leave its richest blessing

In the hearts of you and yours.


Billie C

Christmas countdown banner

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Colorful Christmas Crafts for Kids

Colorful Christmas Crafts for Kids

A red and green Christmas? Not this year! Deck your halls and walls with candy-colored crafts that are simple enough for kids to make

Jolly Elves
Jolly Elves

All you need are chenille stems, beads, and felt.

What You'll Need
* One whole chenille stem and half a stem
* Small and large beads
* Wooden face bead
* Small jingle bell
* Felt
* Glue gun and hotmelt adhesive
* Scissors
* Ribbon

Make It
* Hat: Cut a 1-1/2-inch-diameter semicircle from felt. Wrap the semicircle around from point to point to form a cone, leaving a small opening at the tip; hot-glue to secure.
* Scarf: Cut a 1/2-x-4-inch piece of felt; fringe ends with scissors. Cut a small lengthwise slit about 1 3/4 inches from one end for opposite end of scarf to pass through.
* Body: Bend one chenille stem in half and, in the following order, thread materials over the bent point to about halfway down the stem: large bead for body, face bead, felt hat, small jingle bell. Leave about 3/4 inch above the jingle bell and shape the stem into a loop. Then, starting on opposite ends: Thread 4 small beads onto each leg and bend the ends to form feet. Use the half chenille stem to make arms by centering and twisting around the elf's neck area. Thread 4 small beads onto each arm and bend the ends to form hands. Wrap the scarf around the elf's neck, then thread ribbon through the top loop and hang.


Billie C

Christmas countdown banner

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hello ... And Good Evening

Hello ... And Good Evening. I forgot to tell Jerry "Happy Birthday" this morning before he left for work. I called him to tell him "Happy Birthday" and he had just gotten off the phone with his twin sister. She's doing fairly well. Nothing tastes good to her any more. Not sure if that will change after she finishes Chemo but the doctor said most likely not. She's still loosing weight.
I've hung up some of the wet clothes and need to go see what's dry and hang up more. I took the dogs out for a long play time
My bedroom looks like a Chinese Laundry now. I strung some clothes line (I got it for a craft) back and forth between two shower rods I have up at each end of the bed area and the line goes between them 4 times. I have the rest of the whites on the line and I hope they dry quickly since I still have at least one more tub to hang up (it's not full but it's enough to fill the lines I think) and I have to put Jerry's jeans up on lines as well.
Outside my door ... (7:30) It's still pre-dawn outside. Still a bit too dark to really see any color outside of what's in the edge of the horizon and I can't see that through the trees here. I'll be so glade when the days start to get longer again.. only a few more days and that will happen.
(12:00) It's SUNNY out!!! and breezy. I have the door open since the breeze is from the south and our door faces north(ish) and I have all the blinds open I didn't need a jacket while I had the dogs out although it was a bit coldish it wasn't un-pleasant. There are a few high clouds in the sky right now and it's suppose to get much cloudier but I'll take this any day. I'll take the shield out of my window when I go back to take care of more laundry. I would tie a rope between the trees but I'm sure I would forget I have stuff outside and then I would have to re-wash.
The Dogs ...(7:30) Rocky slipped his collar last night. Good thing he's not one for running off. Jerry had come home from work just after I took the dogs out and Rocky got excited and wanted to greet him. Jerry waited until I opened the camper door before getting out of the van. Rocky came back to the door for me to slip his collar back on him, then was outside again to meet Jerry.. then all three jumped back in the camper and I had to call them all back out so Jerry could get into the camper, then the dogs jumped back it. Jumping in and out of the camper is part of a game we sometimes play. Rocky sometimes will slip on the step so he's more than willing to jump over that step most of the time.
The dogs had a blast with some play time outside this morning. They got to run, chase each other and play tug of war with a knotted rope toy we have for them. I traded the older two out to play with Barney on longer lines so that Barney would be worn out. The older dogs are now sound asleep on the beds and Barney is still trying to find something to get in to.
The Cats ... (7:30) Are all sleeping on my bed. They spent the night outside last night but were more than willing to come in at 5 am to drink some water, then curl up on my bed and snooze. Fuzzy was insisting that she was suppose to sleep on the couch beside me, but I finally convinced her that I need the space on the couch to put a few things and she's better off with her siblings. Last night, I fed them in a kennel because it was just too damp outside to feed them on the picnic table
(12:00) The cats have learned that, When the dogs play, They may as well find a high place to watch from. They were sitting on the picnic table watching the dogs run amok for a few minutes each.
From the kitchen...(12:00)
Well, I made a version of Mix Fruit Smoothies. I used 1/2 of a banana, about a 1/2 cup of frozen mixed Fruit instead of strawberries and I left out the honey. I need to find a better way to crush ice. I have large chunk of ice in my glass but that's ok.
Mixed fruit smoothies
1/2 medium banana
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries (unsweetened)
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup crushed ice
Place all ingredients in blender container. Blend on high until smooth.
(7:30) Yesterday, I crushed up a couple of handfuls of pretzels and put them on a small baking tray, I then covered them with chocolate, red and green chips then sprinkled a few pecans over the top of them, then I mixed them together a bit, and put them in my roasting oven set at 250 for about 7 minutes. Long enough to soften the chips but not to cook them. When I brought them out, I mashed them together a bit more, then put in the freezer to become solid again. I removed from the freezer and broke it up into many smaller pieces, then put into two small containers I picked up over the weekend. They were part of our dessert last night. Today, I have to make a German Chocolate cake for Jerry. It's the one cake he really, really loves, and Jerry loves cake. He had a piece of Red Velvet Cake when we ate out Friday and I had one bite of it. I fixed me to hot dogs for dinner last night. I may have two more for my dinner tonight. I did bring out the hamburger to make meatballs with, once it thaws.
I am hearing...
(12:00)I have Y & R on right now. I'll have to remove it from the DVR after it's finished. I'm all caught up with it, now. I have a few other shows I need to catch up with but only one other is a daily show (Rachel Ray)
(7:30) I am Not watching much of the news shows right now because they are all about Sandy Hook and Gun control. I agree that assault rifles had no place in the average home. Blaming guns for what that young mad did is like blaming cars for drunks driving them. This young man had a problem. No one took care of his problem. Not sure if it was how his mother raised him. but again, that would be placing the blame someplace else than on him for his actions. She is gone and can not defend or speak up about how he was raised. Speculations will continue until something else takes over the news.
I am wearing... (7:30) My house dress that Donna gave me. Not the flannel one but the pastel one. It's so warm that the heaters are not running much.
(12:00) Black Sweat pants and a dark blue top. I'll wear my Christmasy tops this weekend. I have two sweat shirts (I wore one last weekend) A button up shirt. (needs a button on the sleeve) and a red sweat shirt I may decorate up for next year.
I am reading... (7:30) emails and I did my chapter in the Bible
(12:00) Reading more emails
A few plans for today... bake Jerry's cake, hang out the things that didn't get dry when I did the laundry Sunday (hoping they are not smelling) Wrap Jerry's Birthday Gift. Clean the camper, vacuum the floors

Billie C

Christmas countdown banner

Monday, December 17, 2012

Snow Globe Necklace

Snow Globe Necklace

Sometimes I get these project ideas in my head that I just HAVE to make. If I don't make it right away, the project keeps bugging me until I finally get around to it. Case in point: this snow globe necklace. It was kind of a crazy idea considering the glass jar pendants I have are SUPER tiny. When I told Shannon and my mother-in-law about wanting to put a Christmas tree in a jar they thought I was nuts. My unofficial motto has been "make it work," so I knew there was no giving up. And I'm glad I didn't, I'm totally in love with my little winter wonderland in a jar!

SUPPLIES: 1 small bottle brush Christmas tree (found at most craft stores), 1 small glass bottle pendant (I got mine in a pack of 2 from Hobby Lobby), jewelry chain, jump ring, glitter, hot glue gun and glue, toothpick, wire cutters and round nose pliers.
ONE: use your wire cutters to trim the tip of the tree (put your jar next to your tree to determine how much you need to trim off.)
TWO: (this is the tricky part) put a glob of hot glue on the tip of your toothpick and carefully put the hot glue on the inside bottom of your jar. Put your tree in immediately to secure, using the toothpick to position it properly. Let dry.
THREE: carefully fill your jar with glitter.

This is the glitter I found at my local Michael's craft store. You want to use an extra fine glitter so it looks the most like snow. This one is conveniently called "snow." It's perfect for this project! After you've poured the glitter in, put some hot glue on your cork and insert into the bottle to seal. Add your jump ring and chain.

Now you have a perfect little snowy world in miniature.

Here's the necklace in my hand to show you how tiny it is! It's a really fun Christmas accessory and would make a great gift as well.

Billie C

Christmas countdown banner

Clay Pot Soldier

Clay Pot Soldier

This clay pot soldier is a fun Christmas craft that will be wonderfully festive for your mantle, or table centerpiece. There is an assortment of craft items and paint types that work for these soldiers, depending on the look you would like to create. The directions below should serve as guidelines for your own style.

What you will need:

-- 5 flower pots of the same size (I used 3 inch flower pots)
-- Acrylic paint or spray paint
-- Silver or gold ribbon
-- 1 large black pon-pon and four small pon-pons
-- 1 sheet of red felt
-- 1 sheet of skin-colored felt
-- glue gun with craft glue sticks and Elmer's glue (or any brand of squeeze-glue)
-- 2 googly eyes


How to make your easy and fun Christmas crafts:

1. Begin your soldier by gluing your pots together end-to-end, with your first pot upside down. The second pot will be right side up, and so on until your fifth pot is upside down. Be sure to use just enough glue to hold the pots together without squeezing glue from between the pots. Number your pots with a pencil from top to bottom, starting with the number 1 at the bottom and 5 at the top.

2. Once your glue is dry, it is time to paint! My directions will guide you through using acrylic paint and a brush. Paint your first, second (minus the rim), and fifth pots black. Paint the rim of your fourth pot black, as well. Next, paint your second pot's rim and entire third pot red. Your fourth pot (minus the rim -- which is already painted black) is painted skin color.

-- To make skin color, mix two parts white paint to 1 part pink and 1 part yellow.

3. Paint a thin, black line on the joint between the second and third pot (for a belt). Finish your painting by completing your soldier's face with a smile, nose, and eyes. If you are working with small kids, let them glue googly eyes at the top of the fourth pot. To make a simple nose, dip your pointer finger into pink paint and dab once on the soldier's face, centered between the eyes and a half-inch lower than the eyes. Draw on the mouth with a small, pointed paintbrush or a black, permanent marker.

4. Cut two mitten-shaped hands from your skin-colored felt (about 1 inch in size if you are using a 3-inch pot). Next, cut a 3 x 3 inch square of red felt, place the edge of your hand just inside the end of your red felt square, and glue into place. Fold the square over in thirds, around your soldier's hand. Attach your soldier's arms to the upper, rear side of the third pot, and glue the hands to the front of the third pot.

5. Glue two strips of ribbon, crossed over each other to form an "X" in the center of the third pot. Measure and glue two strips of ribbon around the rim of the first pot and between the joints of the fourth and fifth pots.

6. For the final touch, glue your four, small pon pons at the ends of your ribbon "X" on the third pot. Glue your large pon pon on the top of the soldier's head for a completed soldier!

7. Stand back and admire your work!

Congratulations on completing an easy and fun Christmas craft that your whole family can take pride in! Click here for more fun Christmas crafts for you and your family.


Billie C

Christmas countdown banner

Divine Dressing

Divine Dressing
"From Our Home to Yours"
Ozark First Church of the Nazarene"
4 cups crumbled Cornbread
3 eggs, beaten
3 cans Chicken Broth
3 1/2 cups Herb Stuffing
1 large Onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups Celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Poultry Seasoning
Combine all Ingredients, place in a grease 3 quart baking dish and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F for 1 hour or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and let stand about 10 mintues before serving.

Billie C


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Utensil Holders for Christmas Dinner

Utensil Holders for Christmas Dinner

IMG_7290Christmas dinner.....can you believe I'm thinking that far ahead??? Not only am I thinking that far ahead, but I've created that far excited! I work in funny ways though, I may be done the table decor for my dinner on Saturday, but I haven't given any thought to the crafts I have to do in Nathan and Mark's class this week! Isn't that always the way???

IMG_7292So these little gems are made with the pillow box Big Shot die....cute, eh? I punched the front part of the box with the 2 1/2 inch circle punch. The rest of the supplies are as follows:

  • Basic Black - 5 1/2 x 1, 3/4 x 3/4, Itty Bitty Punch Pack Circle
  • Silver Glitter Paper - 1 1/4 x 1 1/4

These are as simple and cute as they appear.....making a whole whack of them took no time at all! Hope you like them!

Thanks so much for stopping by this morning! Remember to check back this afternoon to see Adam's cheesy little 12 days of Christmas gift!


Billie C

Christmas countdown banner

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Hubby. just needs a red coat.



Billie C

Cornbread Dressing

 Cornbread Dressing
"From Our Home to Yours"
Ozark First Church of the Nazarene"

1 skilletfull of cooked cornbread (2 Jiffy box if you don't have a recipe)
Cooked biscuits or light bread (toast the bread)
8 boiled Eggs
chopped Celery
chopped Onion
Cream of Chicken Soup
salt and pepper, to taste
Broth (chicken or beef)
Pountry Seasoning
Baking Powder
Crumble cornbread and biscuits (or light bread) Set aside. Boil onion and celer in broth until tender. Add to cornbread mixture. Add chopped boiled eggs, one at a time. Add salt and pepper, Cream of Chicken Soup, poultry seasoning. More Chicken broth may be needed to make mixture moist. Add one heaping teaspoon of Baking Powder. Make sure you mix everything up good, pour into a lightly greased pan. Bake about 45 minutes in a 425F oven.

Billie C

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Elf on the shelf

Elf on the shelf tutorial

I'm sure many of you have heard of "Elf on the Shelf". For those who haven't it's an answer for us parents whose kids ask "So how does Santa really know we have been naughty or nice?" The idea is that one of Santa's elves is sent from the North pole to act as Santa eyes and ears reporting back to him your kids' behavior. So that only families who want an elf receive one, the elves are instructed to hibernate in a box until they are adopted and only when they are given a name then they will receive their Christmas magic. The only rule is that the children may not touch the elf or the Christmas magic will disappear. Parents are encouraged to move their elf around when the children are sleeping so it appears that they have been travelling to the North Pole. Not only is a fun tradition but also a way to curb naughty behavior at least for part of the year ;-)

Instead of purchasing our elf I thought it would be fun to make our own. We haven't named ours yet. And instead of hibernating in a box I told my oldest that for some families with crafty moms Santa asks that the moms make their own elf and once it has it's Christmas magic it won't be doll anymore even though it looks like one. This explanation seemed to satisfy my daughter. The best case scenario would to make the elf without your kids seeing and then have it show up one day. And for those of you who don't have kids, grand kids etc. it still makes a really cute Christmas decoration.

So without further ado, here she is...

Ready to make your own? Other then a sewing machine and associated notions here's what you need:

Fabric for dress body and sleeves
Fabric for tights (legs)
Fabric for shoes
(I used fat quarters for the above)
Twill or similar fabric for face
Felt for hair
Felt for mittens
Felt for ears (I used the same color felt for the ears that I did for the mittens, ivory)
Felt for trim on shoes, mittens, collar, and hat.
Felt for hat
18mm jingle bells
Poly fil
Poly beads or rice/lentils
Embroidery floss
Hot glue gun

1. Print out your templates (click on template tab located below blog header). I like to use freezer paper for my pattern paper, so much easier to iron it down then to pin, seems more accurate for me too.

2. Cut out your pieces. You need 2 dress bodies, 4 sleeves, 4 mittens, 4 tights, 4 shoes, 4 ears, 1 face, 1 back of hair, 1 front of hair, 1 hat.

3. I started with the legs but you can start with whatever appendage suits your fancy. Take one shoe and one leg line up edges with right sides together and sew using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I used 1/4 inch for the whole project. Iron seam flat.

4. Repeat 3 more times making sure you sew 2 with the toe of the shoe facing towards you and two facing away so that they match up when you sew the two pieces of each leg together.

5. Take your two pieces of one leg and put right sides together. Make sure your seams match up. Pin if you want.

6. Sew around.

7. Clip toe point on shoes and clip curves

8. Turn inside out. I have to admit this isn't the easiest but it can be patient and take your time. My secret weapon is a bamboo knitting needle or if you have a tool specifically used for turning then that works too.

9. Once turned fill with poly fil. Take care not to over stuff otherwise when you get to the step where we make a doll sandwich it will be really tough to close and sew around. It just needs to be squishy not stiff. I also did not stuff the toes of my elf's shoes but this is a personal preference.

Now on to the arms.

10. Line up edges of one mitten and one dress sleeve with right sides together and sew together. Iron seams flat.

11. Repeat 3 more times, again making sure that 2 are with thumb towards you and 2 with thumb facing away.

12. Put RIGHT sides together making sure seams match and sew around.

The picture above shows wrong sides together proving that I should never sew before having coffee. Ha! I was so frustrated with myself that I forgot to take a corrected picture. So please use your imagination.

13. Turn inside out...the felt is bulky so for me rolling up the mitten was helpful.

14. Fill both arms with poly fil, again taking care not to over stuff.

Now that the legs and arms are done we can move on to the head and body.

15. Take front hair piece and place on top of face piece.

16. Sew hair to face. You can either machine sew or embroider. I chose to embroider using a chain stitch.

Before doing this elf I didn't know many stitches including this one until I found Stitch School by way of Homemade by Jill. It's a very helpful website for novices.

An elf just isn't an elf unless it has those cute ears.

17. Take two of the ear pieces and sew together. Since they are out of felt they will not fray so no need to turn them inside out (YAY!)

18. Trim edges.

19. Take face and one dress body piece and place them right sides together.

20. Repeat with back of hair and other dress body piece. Iron seams flat.

Hungry? Cuz now it's time to make an elf sandwich. :-)

21. Take the face and dress piece and place on surface right side facing up. The next step is easier to show with a picture.

22. Do the same with the arms (and yes those are drawn in arms-again, coffee before crafting!)...make sure thumbs on each arm are facing each me it is not fun to realize this after the fact.

23. Place other dress body and hair piece on top with right side facing down.

Please notice in above picture ears are pinned the wrong way (Aaarghh!)...see below how they should be.

24. Sew around leaving opening at top of head and turn right side out.

25. Take some poly beads or rice/lentils and put in doll body. This will help weigh it down so that it sits better on your shelf. Next fill with poly fil as little or as much as you like.

26. Stitch opening closed using a whip stitch. Don't worry how it looks since it will be covered by the hat.

27. Take hat template and the felt you chose. Fold felt and place one of the longer sides of the template along fold. Cut around.

28. Sew edges together using a blanket stitch. Set aside.

29. Take the felt you chose for your collar, mittens, shoes, and hat trim and using a disappearing ink fabric marker trace around templates.

30. Cut out and then hot glue onto doll and hat.

31. Take buttons of your choosing and glue onto front of dress.

Almost done only a couple more steps!

32. Take your jingle bells and with a needle and thread or embroidery floss, thread through the tip of the toe and then through the loop of the bell. Pull off needle so that you have two ends of the thread. Tie a tight knot to secure bell. Repeat on other toe and tip of hat.

33. Hot glue hat to head.

34. Draw the face I provided or your own using a disappearing ink fabric marker. Using a very small bristled paint brush, paint on face using craft paint.

Here is a close up of my elf's face.

35. Now pat yourself on the back and go introduce this new tradition to your family! And don't forget to name her!

Billie C