a stitch

I come from a long line of women who love to sew.

My grandmother Tess was a talented seamstress.  Her specialty was wedding gowns.  I remember her teaching me and my younger sister how to cross stitch and knit.  She was always giving us projects to do.  My grandparents’ house in New Jersey was a tiny little Capecod, but she had a whole room devoted to her sewing projects.  It was filled with her creations, floor to ceiling. I remember the dresses, the dolls and doll clothing the most.  A collection of threads and buttons and yarns.  It was dreamy to my young eyes.

My mother also sews.  She made my sisters and I our Halloween costumes every year.  She was a kindergarten teacher and for her students every year she would sew them each a dinosaur stuffed animal.  In the final days of my first pregnancy, a few days after my due date, my mother came over to my house and we sat at a table and sewed burp cloths together to help keep my mind off the fact that I was SO pregnant.  When Robert and I bought our first home, it was my mother who sewed curtains and pillows for us, helping us make our house a home.

My sisters are also very crafty with needle and thread or yarn.  My oldest sister Kamie taught me how to needlepoint and she also hand paints the canvases that I stitch now.  My older sister Jodi is an amazing knitter and crocheter.  She always working on something that she will give to someone she loves.  My younger sister Alissa is so talented with her knitting and sewing as well.  Alissa is constantly creating amazing things!  She made Abby an adorable doll, Will a dinosaur stuffed animal and Christmas stockings for me and Robert.  She also made us all awesome hats and made little booties for baby Gus when he was born.  All of these items are made with such love, and they will be cherished forever and ever along with the memories they hold.

wearing a scarf Jodi made for me

felted wool stockings Alissa made for me & Robert

Sewing relaxes me.  It is a hobby I wish I made more time for.  These days my favorite way to sew is to do needlepoint projects.  I can sit and do them just about anywhere.  Keeping my hands busy helps my mind mellow out.  It is therapeutic and soothing to sit on the couch by the fire and do needlework.

I have made several projects over the years including this very special Christmas stocking for my daughter.  It took me about 9 months to complete.

I’ve needlepointed belts for my husband and father-in-law.  I want to make one for Will next.

My favorite things I have stitched are the canvases that my sister Kamie paints for me.  Kamie has her own business called Dizzy Daisy Designs.  She is an amazing artist and I am so proud of her!  You should visit her blog HERE to get a glimpse of her latest artwork (my favorites right now are her watercolours) and her company web site HERE to see all that she has to offer.  It is really truly incredible.

Here are some pictures of the ornaments I have stitched.  Most of them were painted by my sister.  I try to make one a year for my kids, so some day they will have them to hang on their own trees.

a Santa for Will

an angel baby for my sweet Abby

Abby loves bunnies….

Will loves robots…

Abby and Will together

my beach baby

my first ever needlepoint project
for Will of course!

this makes me think of my mother

of course, for Abby

race car for Will, when he was 2 he looooved them

our sweet angel dog, Riley

a mermaid for Abby

I am working on finishing up this one …

Abby loves pandas

And cannot wait to get started on this one …

this one is for ME!

And I am so excited because Kamie recently painted a stocking for me to sew for Will!  It is so incredibly special – filled with her creative drawings of his favorite things (Star Wars, dragons, sports, robots, cars, etc).  It will take me a long time to do, but my goal is to have it hanging by the fireplace next Christmas.  And then, of course, I have to get started on ornaments and a stocking for Mr. Gus!

Do you have hobbies besides running?

a bit of christmas

This time of year is so very special.  I am overwhelmed and busy beyond belief.  Time is moving so fast that I often feel like I can’t keep up and I fear I won’t be able to get it all done.  But every day is filled with simple pleasures and sweet joys, and in my heart I know it will all be okay.  I need to let things go, enjoy the ride and watch Christmas unfold in the eyes of my children.

We got our Christmas tree last weekend.  It has taken me all week, but the ornaments are finally (mostly) all on it now and most of our other decorations are in their place too. I look all around my home and I see so many memories. Traditions in the making.

We are decorating with crafts we have made over the past several years, and are also taking on new fun projects too…

sewing a popcorn garland with Daddy    
proud of their gingerbread house creation  
paper house from two years ago, on display again
gingerbread man garland i made last year, in the dining room
paper trees from two years ago, still in good condition!
stocking i hand stitched for abby

These are just a few examples of the special things around our house at this time of year.  Last year we made fun salted flour ornaments and this year my plan is to make a bunch salted flour “cookies” and either put them on a plate or in a glass jar as decoration.  When we get around to that project, I will post it here.

I love this time of year.  It is without a doubt one of my very favorites.  It is getting cold and wintry out, but the warmth and coziness of being with my family makes it so special.

Do you like to decorate at the holidays?  What are your favorite crafts to do with your children?