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!)
So 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.
For 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. 🙂
As 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.
It 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!!!)
In 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.)
You 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!
And…. if you want to create your own sweet little beaded snowflake ornaments you can purchase a kit from Interweave here.
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.
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.