welcome Quilting Arts holiday blog hoppers!

Can you believe it’s autumn already?

I blinked and summer flew by. Before I know it the cold and the holiday season will be here.
It’s got me thinking.
(uh oh – that’s always dangerous!)
beaded_snowflakes2_lyric_kinardSo many people get stressed out about the holidays but it’s my favorite. Believe it or not it’s one of my slowest and most relaxed times of the year. I’ve worked hard to make it that way. I don’t travel and I won’t take on deadlines from Thanskgiving until mid January. My husband and I did something years ago that has made a huge difference for our family. We sat down together and figured out what parts of the holidays we loved and what parts made us crazy.

love_every_momentFor us it is family time, service, and music that bring joy. We absolutely love Christmas and concerts (we play in and go to as m any as we can fit in) and the trees and decorations on the homes and especially the joyfulness of giving – but the commercial aspect of giving has turned us off. Shopping went waaaaaaaaaay down to the bottom of the list. So we decided not to shop. Since they were born our children have only ever received one “Santa” gift and a few small things to fit in their stockings on Christmas morning. The kids know to only ask for one thing and have never come up with long lists of items they are craving. Instead, they come with us for the service projects we take on. They do the shopping with us for the giving tree at school and help us go all-out to help other families. Their favorite thing to do is dressing up like spies (all in black) and doing the ring-and-run-gift-basket-drop on someone’s doorstep. And no – we are not the angelic perfect family you are imagining… we’ve had our full share of whiny toddlers and surly teenagers at all of these events. Getting them to participate in all the things we love isn’t easy. What has amazingly and surprisingly worked is that nobody has yet thrown any fits about what stingy parents we are. At least not where we could hear it. 🙂

beaded_snowflakes6_lyric_kinardAs they have gotten old enough we also MAKE STUFF! We live in the usually temperate mid-atlantic region of the United States where we rarely see snow so often we will have a full day of snowflake cutting and every window of the house will be full of intricate paper beauties. And of course because I am a textile artist and just happen to have, oh, five hundred thousand yards of cloth in the house, we often make things from fabric. My two youngest (I have five!) have been begging me to do some more screen printing with them so this year I do believe we will be printing snowflakes as well.

beaded_snowflakes4_lyric_kinardIt works out wonderfully well as that just happens to be the project that I’ve shared with you all in this year’s Quilting Arts Holiday magazine. Convenient eh? We might even get as far as beading the snowflakes – the kids are perfectly capable of doing it so long as nobody requires perfection. (We definitely don’t do perfection at our house!!!) 

Lyric_kinard_QA_holiday_magazine_2014In the magazine I describe how to use the screens (there are also video tutorials available here on my website) and some basic beading techniques. (You can see lots more beading instruction on my DVD, Bead It Like You Mean It.)

QAHol14 coverYou can find the issue HERE. It is chock full of other fabulous projects for you to create.

And here is a gift for YOU!
I will be shipping out a copy of the magazine to one lucky reader who leaves a comment here. (If you are an international reader please only enter if you are willing to pitch in on shipping costs.)

Leave a comment here telling me your favorite thing about the holiday season.

Really think about it.
What do you love and what stresses you out.
Then DO SOMETHING!
Find a way to eliminate or minimize at least one thing that gets in the way of what you love about the holidays.

update – congratulations to Lauren MacDonald for winning a copy of the magazine!
Thank you all for your thoughtful comments!

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 8.47.24 AM

 

And…. if you want to create your own sweet little beaded snowflake ornaments you can purchase a kit from Interweave here.

http://www.interweavestore.com/beaded-snowflake-kitsnowflake_kit

It contains all the beads you will need, beading thread and needle, and two 5″ snowflake thermofax screens. Can’t you just see this with blue snowflakes on a white background? I might need to go make some more.

beaded_snowflakes1_lyric_kinard_And just in case you love these four sweet little snowflakes they are available for purchase.
Four printed, stitched, and beaded snowflakes. Framed at 6.25″ x 6.25″ each.
$210.00 includes shipping.
Please e-mail  me if you are interested.

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Comments

  1. I always make something for my sister and niece for Christmas. I love the planning and the making!

  2. Rachel Parris says:

    I love surprising someone, who has no real reason to expect a gift from me, with a small carefully chosen or made gift.

  3. Seeing and celebrating with my grandchildren. We’ve had to adopt the flexible holiday schedule over the years. Passing on the family tradition of “when we get together, it’s Christmas, no matter what the calendar says!” Twenty years ago, I made fabric bags with muslin tags inside, every year the recipient signs the name and year, so now a part of Christmas is looking over who has had the bag in the past. Sweet memories.

  4. Amy Eileen Koester says:

    I love family traditions. Making tamales with my daughter’s, singing carols, sewing Christmas pajamas for my children.

    I love your snowflakes, can’t wait to try them.

  5. I love seeing the lights in the snow covered trees outside. Not the gaudy ones, the plain white lights in a pine trees with the snow falling gently. Love your snowflakes! Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. Antoinette Brown says:

    My favorite tradition is decorating the tree with ornaments that carry memories and decorating the trees outdoors with treats for the animals. The grandchildren like to help with both activities.

  7. I would love to win a copy of Quilting Arts “Holiday”. There are so many things to love about the Christmas holidays. All the cheery music, snow, decorating, and of course the children’s anticipation of the big event – Christmas lists to Santa, cookie baking, making presents for loved ones.

    Your snowflakes are awesome!

  8. Lauren Macdonald says:

    I’m glad I read Carla’s response about the fruitcake! I pick one or two things from a Holiday gift magazine ( the yoyo wreath and little gift bags from last year) and make a bunch for family members. And then I bake and deliver to my friends and family – cookies, biscotti (so easy to make at home and so expensive to buy), fruitcake. Add an iTunes card to that for my grandson and my pension can cover it all! I love Christmas and REALLY love the issues with lots of gifts to make!

  9. Making gifts for everyone used to stress me out a whole lot. The solution has been to simplify the gifts I make so that they get done in a timely manner.

  10. Margaret Millar says:

    What lovely family traditions you are setting in place for your children to remember and pass on.
    We have two sons 22 & 20yrs, the younger one and I always delight in decorating the house and tree and the older one contributes by checking out the decorations and saying “you need more gold / red etc there”! He doesn’t like the doing but enjoys being around us and the results! Over the years we have made many ornaments for the tree and as gifts to special friends. We wait until we are all together to put on the last ornaments which have our names on them and those of grandparents who sadly are no longer with us.
    Our other “must do” at Christmas is baking. Since he was very small, my younger son and I have made various cookies and shortbread which we package and label with love for family and friends. It is often late at night now when we make it but he tells me it’s not really Christmas until we have finished them.
    We live in Sydney Australia so Christmas is HOT Hot hot. Often around 100 degrees. I remember so many years of helping my Mum slaving over the stove to prepare traditional winter Christmas fare (which was always delicious) until one year Dad suggested we have seafood instead. Since then we have wonderful salads, a feast of king prawns (large shrimp), smoked salmon and pavlova, trifle, seasonal fruits and freshly made mango ice cream for dessert. Our one tribute to the winter Christmas is English style Christmas pudding and custard.
    Lots of Australians like to have a Christmas in July party when the weather here is cold and they can enjoy traditional fare!! I think your star ornaments would be great for winter decorating in my home.
    Last year we lost Mum just before Christmas and my brothers and their families all went in different directions. It was weird to be just 4 instead of 18!! This year I will be encouraging them to come to my home to re_capture that family feeling to the holidays. So when your weather is cold and snowy think of us “down under” in the midst of summer!!!

  11. I like to make gifts for family and friends. Just buying things doesn’t appeal to me as much as making something special for each person.

  12. Paula Lee M. says:

    I think the most stressful thing about the holidays is that I want to please everyone and gift everyone I work with. Most years I spend too much time trying to get things together for my co workers, and slacking on my family and friends. My co workers, with a few exceptions, I only see at work and don’t really share in their lives. This year I am going to reverse it.

  13. Christmas – what a serene, wonderful time. (Did I say that?) I “stockpile” gifts throughout the year for family & close friends when I find something: (a) they must have, (b) it’s on sale, or (c)I like it myself! As Christmas gets closer, I somehow feel that the “purchased” gift might not be enough (my thought, not theirs). I then go about the frantic task of creating something a little more personal….Christmas trees made from fabric, a small lap quilt, a Christmas-themed wall hanging, placemats, etc. When the gifts are given (with so much love), I realize that all the “extras” were not necessary, and it is completely enough to be together with the ones we love, celebrating the real reason for the season. This year my motto will be “One & Done.” Thanks for the reminder, Lyric!

  14. Tracey Zimmerman says:

    With so much going on on the holidays, I decided to have a day for just my kids and myself on a day that no one else in the family makes plans. On the winter solstice we eat dinner by candle light then head out for a walk around the neighborhood to look at all the lights. Santa always visits to set up our tree and fills stockings with decorations, mostly homemade ones. Nobody misses gifts because it is so fun to look for new decorations hiding with old favotites and then decorate the tree.

  15. Every year I struggle with too many things to do at Christmas. Shopping with all the crowds with Christmas carols booming and crazy people everywhere makes me crazy too! We have started ordering most stuff online. We also have only done one big gift for each. 4 kids, a minister’s salary, and a dislike of all the commercialization. I also like to make something for friends, rather than buying. It’s about Christ not gifts or special programs or parties etc.

  16. I miss snowflakes since I moved to a desert community. These would help.

  17. Favorite: making holiday cards to start the season, then going forward to create the gifts—typically beaded jewelry, then book shopping. Least favorite: umm…wrapping all of the above.

  18. Carol Mcdowell says:

    I love making things for people – this is both my favorite thing and the thing that stresses me out. No matter how early I start, I always seem to be behind. But it’s worth it in the end. A handmade gift is from the heart not a big box store.

  19. My favorite part of the holiday is family gatherings. The thing that stresses me most is trying to make everything perfect. I had to stop that. Now I just try to love the time as it passes. I think making gifts and decorations and cookies helps. I don’t have children or grandchildren, so I shop for Toys for Tots. I love to do that every year. I can buy whatever I want and know that some child will love it.

  20. I guess the part I like about winter is when Christmas is over and I hope for snow.

    Love your little snowflakes.

  21. Your snowflakes are amazing!! I stress out with shopping… which is why I love to do handmade as gifts!

  22. Suzanne Gwynne says:

    We enjoy making handmade gifts as well. The most special family tradition for me is the storytelling that happens around the table all through the holidays as family and friends drop in and we reconnect and retell those important stories.

  23. I love the holidays making gifts, sharing meals with family and friends the smiles on peoples faces who could ask for more 🙂

  24. The last couple of years, has been the hardest for our family. Sewing and Quilting has made the time go day easier. I enjoy quilting for my grandchildren and see them wrapped up in a quilt that I made with my very own hands. Judith, Texas

  25. I love so much about Christmas! Look forward to cookie baking/decorating, the tree, the Santa collection, lots of delicious food, and most of all, my family, some I see only once a year at Christmas.

  26. Tradition! Turkey for Thanksgiving. Ham at Christmas. Catch-and-release shopping in downtown Seattle on black Friday followed by standing in the street singing carols at the tree lighting. Lights and decorations and sparkly window displays and cinnamon … But mostly I love slowing down to celebrate the Advent season and the retelling of the Christmas story. Add a performance of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” and I’m a happy girl.

  27. So many things I love about Christmas, but probably the most important to me is making cookies and fruitcake from the recipes my mother used. Mother was an amazing baker and her cookies were works of art. I use her recipes every year as well as some of my own, and my daughter is starting to ask for copies of the recipes, so the tradition continues.

    A new tradition I started last year that I look forward to is Christmas Day dinner dessert. I made a cake in a house-shaped pan, frosted it and turned it over to my granddaughter to decorate. She was four last year, so the decorations were gloriously eclectic. The house cake will continue each year to be Kaylee’s contribution to Christmas dinner. Before we cut the cake I took pictures of her holding it. I only see my granddaughter a couple of times a year, so I was thrilled to create this special connection.

    I applaud you for keeping presents such a minimal part of your celebration. I finally instituted drawing names for gifts within the extended family and that has been such a stress reliever I can’t believe I didn’t do it years ago!

  28. Christmas is the time our family gets together. The kids renew their friendships with distant cousins and each family helps with all the meals and getting into the Christmas spirit. We have had up to 18 people at our house for a week and manage to keep the drama and anxiety to a minimum. Gift are only for the kids. EVERYONE loves it and I can’t wait for this year’s get together. Christmas is so much fun when there are kids involved.

  29. Heather Sinclair says:

    I love the change in the weather and the days getting shorter so the evenings are dark and therefore i tend to cocoon- and work on a project in the evenings instead of being outside.

  30. WOW….these are wonderful snowflakes. I do snowflakes too….. no two are alike.
    It’s refreshing to read about your thoughts and activities during one of the biggest, most commercialized holiday around the world. I’m glad you have taken the time and effort to SPEND TIME and energy with your family in a more personal, meaningful and actually joyous way. I’m looking forward to this year’s issue myself! Congratulations getting into this issue.
    Enjoy and Merry Christmas (a little early)…cheers su ‘-}

  31. I love putting the ornaments on the tree. Most of them bring back family memories or places we’ve traveled to together. It is like going through a family picture album. This year we will travel a great distance to be with our son and his family. Having three grandchildren to hug will be the best part of Christmas. They make me feel that all is right in the world!

  32. The snowflakes came out very nice. I live not far from the Snowflake Bentley museum. I love most everything about the Christmas season. The songs and programs. Decorations, I love making them. My favorite thing is to come up with new items to make each year. I bet I have enough ornaments to cover 3-4 trees. I love to watch the people bustling about trying to find the ultimate gift. I love the joy of our Savior’s birth.I love sleigh rides in the freshly fallen snow. I don’t like that everything has gotten so commercialized.It is my favorite holiday. Not much stresses me out about it. Most of my gifts that I give are hand made. I sew, sew, sew. So let it snow, snow, snow!

  33. I so enjoyed reading this, and couldn’t help smiling about the simplicity of the holiday. And I loved the snowflakes!

  34. I love our Christmas eve extended family gathering and the excitement of all the children. Your snowflakes are lovely!

  35. gjeneve hopkinson says:

    Like so many, my favorite part is the family time. My son flies from MN to CO to spend time with us and his sister and her family. The best thing ever, FAMILY.

  36. I love baking and cooking special gifts for neighbors and friends.

  37. I love spending time with my family. The boys come home from school and we have a few weeks of “family time”. The snowflakes are really beautiful btw!

  38. I just love the snowflakes!! They would be a beautiful addition for decorating during the holidays…and after, during those snowy months of winter.

  39. I just love spending time with my family and with our first grandson, it makes it all the more joyful.

    Debbie

  40. I like having a quiet Christmas day with my family and sitting in the dark with the Christmas tree lights on.

    Over the years, I’ve tried to ask family to not exchange gifts feeling that it would relieve stress and save money and keep the focus away from the commercialism, but some just don’t like that idea.

  41. Tabitha Keener says:

    I absolutely love everything about the Christmas season from the music to the weather! My family doesn’t make a fuss about gifts either, we do what we’re able to or just make something! I stopped stressing years ago and my fondest memories are the Christmas that we made things and didn’t get much except togetherness. The only thing I think I hate would be below zero temperatures and crazy last minute traffic! Thanks for the giveaway!

    tdkcarpenoctem@hotmail.com

  42. I’m a Minnesota Girl transplanted to Texas so snowflakes are very special to me as well.

  43. Robin Parton says:

    My favorite part or the holiday season is the joy the grandchildren have, makes it all worhwhile.

  44. I love Christmas eve service, hot chocolate while opening gifts, packing Operation Christmas Child boxes with my teenagers, and decorating cookies. I don’t like the extra workload year end brings at my job.

  45. Getting together with family that live far away, but come join us for the holidays, makes it special. Christmas without the grandkids is really boring, with them is slightly stressful but so worth it.

  46. Christmas cookies!

  47. My favorite things about the holiday are the times spent with family, priceless!

  48. Your post made me think!
    I rush around trying to be superwoman at Christmas when all that really matters to me is having all my family at home – perhaps a simple celebration this year!

  49. It’s great that you’ve identified priorities when your children are younger! Years ago, we too got out the “gift list” and stopped buying/making for those who’ve never made any gesture of thanks. Why stress? If they come back around to share their lives, we add them back on of course.

    My favorite part of ChristmaQuanzaHanukkah is the joy that goes into handmade presents. The tighter the budget, the more creative the gift, right? I’ve always chosen something special to each person–a task that gets us sharing before the holiday–and then made each a meaningful gift. It might be a house-tree inhabited by flower fairies, personalized fleece pillowcases with zippered hiding places within, or photo-laminated guitar picks…

    My joy is in the making! I often leave something about the gift unfinished and bring materials with me to further the fun when they want to share the process. And year after year, whether they’re 2 or 25, they usually push aside the big-ticket presents after a day or so to “work” on art… Sigh… That’s my favorite part. Thanks for asking!

  50. Always wish for more time off at the holiday season to travel and visit family, but alas, it isn’t to be quite yet. For now, have to settle for blog posts and Skype calls, of which I am very grateful for. Making things to send off is a joy. Love the snowflakes.

  51. I love the peacefulness of the snow falling, covering the land in a blanket of snow. I love Christmas, seeing friends and family opening the gifts I have made them, bringing warmth to my heart!

  52. We do travel at Christmas, so the decorations at home are minimal: a 4′ tree in the bay window, wreaths inside and outside of all doors, poinsettias, and ceramic angels. I usually take about 6 Snow Village houses to our destination along with a small tree to create a warm holiday environment without the work a bigger tree would cause. The holidays bring family members together. We also find a friendly church at our destination and go to Christmas Eve service. We love the warmth of fellowship and decorations in a candle-lit sanctuary and we love singing all the hymns and carols. This is our favorite thing about the season. I usually take sewing projects with me to enjoy during our stay. The snowflake projects would be ideal as they are small, but gorgeous! We minimize the shopping and exchange a few gifts only with immediate family. In two years we will probably stop travelling at Christmas as my husband will be retired and no longer tied to traveling at school holiday times.

  53. Rhonda Davis says:

    My favorite thing about the holidays is the family get togethers!

  54. My favorite thing is seeing family.

  55. Decorating the tree with handmade ornaments is my favorite. Takes forever because I have to look at each one and remember who gave it to me. One year when no one would help, I hung the tree upside from the ceiling and the ornaments looked so much better swinging free in the air – it became the most talked about tree ever. Memorable for sure. Getting a tree home and in the stand are a pain, so last year I found a place that delivers and the stand was guaranteed to be easy. It was and I’m doing that again this year. Worth every penny for the tree and I still have the stand. Hooray for choosing to do only what you like and finding an easy way to do it.
    Diane

  56. Barb Peters says:

    Love your snowflakes–sometimes I miss living in the snow belt. My favorite thing about Christmas is the music–love, love, love making and hearing it!

  57. My favourite thing about Christmas is spending Christmas day with my husband just relaxing and Boxing Day when all the kids come over and we sit and chat and nibble all afternoon.

  58. My favorite thing about the holidays is having my family with me!

  59. I love sitting in the family room with the light out and the Christmas tree lit. The soft glow from the tree feels perfect. My husband and I both like this. It is our quit time to sit and talk. It is very restful and helps to center us.

  60. Barb Ingersoll says:

    My kids are grown and scattered but each Christmas brings at least some of the family home. ‘Traditions’ that might have easily slipped away resurface and the tree is always decorated with the ornaments we made together over the years, along with the inevitable stories behind each one. Music, food and family stories abound and we all hold fast to the feelings, memories and blessings the holidays bring.

  61. I love Christmas Eve –probably the busiest day of the year. We help at our church’s three services that last until about 10 PM, then come home to put the final touches on the Christmas meal we will take to grandparents’ house the next day.

  62. deb Berkebile says:

    Now that the kids are all grown, I love when they come back to visit they’re good ole mom and we ate known to break out some type of craft. These snowflakes would be the best for this years homecoming.

  63. Loretta Bedia says:

    I LOVE having my family for a Christmas dinner sometime in December. I come from a large family so of course in includes my seven siblings and spouses, my two daughters and son-in-laws, my son, and four grandchildren. When the children lived at home they would invite friends. Some of my nieces and nephews close in age to my children so they can catch up. I usually have 25 – 30 people and it is wonderful. I love your snowflakes.

  64. I save up most of the year to bake the 14 different kinds of cookies my mom baked (she did lots more but these are my favorites), real butter, cream cheese, frosting, huge ginger people, trees and of course stars….3 of my grandkids are close enough for us to cook together which is the best bonus!!….Like you shopping is less than a pleasure so we go to museums where we are all surrounded by beauty. Thank you for the chance to win!

  65. Jennifer Barkand says:

    I really enjoy the Christmas Cantatas, I have to admit the lights and decorations. I have not been able to decorate for over 4 years, so taking a “lights ride” has been something I have added to my list!

  66. My kids are tracked out of school for all of December so I absolutely LOVE doing all of the fun holidays activities around town with them… seeing Santa and all the lights & decorations, and making crafts and gifts for each other!

  67. Pamela Reim says:

    What a great perspective. I do love unwrapping all the Christmas ornaments along with the memories. Christmas baking is at bottom of list anymore as my grandkids are far away and who needs the cslories…

  68. I love how you’ve created Christmas to focus on what’s most important. One of my favorite things is to make our own Christmas cards.

  69. Thank you for a glimpse into your family life. I congratulate you on your priorities.

  70. Deanna Ellett says:

    I love the christmas family get togethers and the festive foods that go with them. I could do without the shopping too. Your snowflakes are lovely. Thanks for the chance to win

  71. Kathy Plourde says:

    I love Christmas…except for buying presents…I love the music, food, family…

  72. Julia Elliot says:

    The thing I love is unwrapping the nativity scene and placing each piece in a formation a little different from last year. I love turning the house into a magical Christmas place.

  73. The snowflakes are lovely and perfect for winter decor, even before the holidays!

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