Thursday, December 24, 2009

Memories Around the Tree


The Holidays for my family, are the celebration of two different religions, Hanukkah and Christmas. When my husband and I had our three children, holidays became the blending of family traditions that had been passed down to us growing up and the creation of new traditions unique to our family!

  One tradition that I started when the children were small, happened when I went out to look for a christmas tree skirt and couldn't find one I liked.
So, like any crafter I decided to make one! I chose Snowmen as a theme since I have always loved them!

Never having done a patch work quilt before didn't stop my determination to dive in and create a family treasure that would be updated every year.
With a rough sketch I set out to pickup the materials I needed.  I sewed the skirt without much trouble but decided to use fusible webbing for my Snowmen!  I divided the skirt into 8 sections, one for each child and one for my husband & I, the other four sections I created christmas trees to be placed between each of the snowmen sections and used velcro to close the skirt.

This section of the tree skirt represents my oldest son. Growing up, he played all types of sports, baseball, hockey,soccer, and football.  Our first family dog was chosen by my son from the local animal shelter. This dog was always grabbing his hat, gloves & scarf! In H.S he was the Captan of his hockey team and his varsity letter was added. The buttons represent his college PSU.  The cute guinea pig was his pet that he received from his middle school gym teacher!

This snowman is my other son. He has always been willing to help, even at two years of age he alway had a shovel in his hand. The wheel barrel represents his desire to help me in the garden. It's filled with a truck, soccer ball, paint brushes, hockey stick, and our cat that loved following him around!  He had a hamster(on his hat), has a bearded dragon(on the shovel) and did all the leg work to find our beloved husky online!
For the past two years I've forgotten to put his varsity letter on maybe this year I'll remember!

My daughter's snowman is wearing a big floppy hat, because as a baby she had no hair for a long time so I used to put all these cute hats on her. Teddy bears were her favorite stuffed animal. She picked out our current cat from our neighbors litter and was an irish dancer for several years. Her snowman is holding her irish shoes. She also rode for quite a few years, represented by the riding helmet. All my children played soccer for years, but she is the only one that is playing for her high school. I will be adding a varsity letter onto her snowman after the holidays also!
Her Chinchilla!

This cute snowman couple represents my husband and I! An avid soccer player, my husband coached all our children's soccer teams and little league teams when they were young. That's why his snowman is holding a soccer ball, wearing a coach's whistle and a baseball bat nearby! Buying an older home he is always busy working on something which the tools represent.
My snowman has three hearts running down the front, one for each child. My love of gardening is reflected with the pot of three topiaries. Each topiary represents one of my children, and the pruners sitting nearby, show how I carefully need to shape and prune them as they grow into happy, healthy, mature adults!

The kids love this tree skirt and my daughter already asked if it could be passed down to her! It's funny how traditions start! Every year I love to add some new detail to our snowmen, it truly is our special story told around the Christmas Tree!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! I would love to hear about one of your traditions if you would like to share it! 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Rink is Open!

Our Ice Rink is officially open for the 2009 Winter Season!

And my Kids are ready!

Ice Hockey has been a big part of our lives for the past 16 years! Putting up an ice rink every year is one of my husbands favorite things to do. We don't have a swimming pool, but we do have an ice rink!
I love when my children's friends and teammates stop by to skate! It's a lot of fun to watch them having a great time.

 When they come off the ice, they can always count on me to have mugs of steaming hot chocolate with marshmallows and chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven waiting for them!!

Even our dog will find a treat or two for her!
Compliments from our neighbor!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

One-of-a-kind Holiday Gifts! Part 3 of 4

My Winter Bird Ornament Collection

                 The past two years I have been painting these lovely bird ornaments for the holidays. This year's Winter Bird Collection is featuring the White Breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Eastern Towhee, and the American Goldfinch.

These are some of my favorite birds I see throughout the winter at my feeders or just around my yard.

American Goldfinch 

These unique glass ornaments are handpainted  with acrylic paints. The back is painted a snowy white so a
sentiment, name or date can be written on the back to personalize it.
                    This is a free service!
                                                                                                              Carolina Wren

Each ornament comes in a box with a beautiful tag that has a little description about each bird. All ornaments are signed by me.

This sparrow was part of my Winter Bird Collection from 2008 but it shows how each ornament comes.
        These make perfect one-of-a-kind personalized gifts for that nature lover, bird watcher, or gardener in your life!


                                                                                              Eastern Towhee

Visit my shops for more wonderful handmade items:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

One-of-a-kind Holiday Gifts! Part 2 of 4

I love to recycle items into my artwork, and just like the little Carolina Wren on my logo, I am a scavenger at heart!

Attracted by the colorful shiny aluminum soda cans, I began incorporating them into my bird houses after helping my children with a recycling project at their elementary school. This birdhouse below is the only one I have left from last spring, but I hope to have many more by March, just in time for this spring!

Do you have a favorite drink you would like to see used on a birdhouse? Just let me know!

These unique & fun wine charms can be made in any color combination to represent a favorite team or College.  This set was created to represent Penn State's Colors.
Perfect for the sports lover or college alumni, stocking stuffer or grab bag gift! 
Just contact me with your colors and I will be happy to create them for you.
Sets can also be larger if needed

Holiday Parties: Greens, reds & golds create sets for Christmas. 
Blue, silver and white for Hanukkah!  Think how unique they would be at your holiday party. Or bring them as a hostess gift!

In love? How about these cute heart wine charms! Have them made in your wedding colors. Great Bridal shower gift, stocking stuffer. Possibilities are endless!

These can also be used on coffee cups to keep everyones cup identified. Perfect for the work place, household, or group get togethers such as bible studies, book clubs etc.

Do you know someone that works for a company that creates drinks in a can, or sells drinks labeled with their store logo such as Shoprite? I can create a unique set just for them or a co worker. I created this set below using the shoprite soda cans.

These are so much fun to make! The colors and patterns are endless! Pick a set from my Artfire Shop; ,
contact me with a request:!

First Snow!

Yesterday we were surprised with our first snow storm of the season! There is something so magical about the first snow! The large lacy snowflakes must have been at least one inch at times! It was just beautiful!

These are a couple of pictures my husband took this morning, I'm so happy he had everything shoveled before I got up!! He's the best! :-)