Creative Christmas Trees

The idea of an alternate Christmas tree was first introduced to me in second grade by my teacher, Mrs Bohme.  She read us the Coat Hanger Christmas Tree and the story stayed with me.

I went seeking the book in the late 1990s.  The Internet was a thing, but only the beginning. I somehow found a used book store in Minnesota and ordered a used copy.  I wanted to read the book to my kids.  

I haven't read it to anyone in awhile, but all six of them heard it when they were little.

 I made these "trees" and just photographed them instead of securing the pieces down.  I made posters of them that are for sale now at Old Cottonwood.  I was hoping to add them to a shop like Society 6 yet before Christmas, but I still need to work out some details.

You may remember this book tree from last year.  This may shock some of you, but no one who knows me would be surprised, it's still up!!  Yep.  I liked it and honestly it just looked like a tree, it didn't need to be a Christmas tree.  Soooo....the question is, do I take it down now that it is actually Christmas and put something different there?  I think I may just make some different reader ornaments to adorn it. 

Completely unrelated to Christmas Trees, but related to God, so I guess it is related to Christmas trees:  You may enjoy this series of four podcasts by Father Mike Schmitz   They are given at the University of North Dakota. The series is really good and I think it's just so true and relevant to every person.  He calls the series "Comparisin"  as a pun to Comparison.  On my phone, I find it on the Podbean App.  

He also has podcasts at Ascension Press which are different than the ones he gives to the college students at University of North Dakota. So there is a lot to check out from him.  

Tissue Covers From Vintage Fabric Part 2

Sooooo, eight years ago I posted about making some tissue covers, you can read about it here.
I ended the post saying that I would be making more....

 Eight years later, I did!! 

These were all vintage fabrics again, but I have no idea what sales they came from this time.   Many different ones.

I have fabric sorted very roughly into colors and kept in clear bags or tubs so I can see what is inside.  Most of the pieces are scraps and often quite small so the piecing together is needed.  But, that is what makes them so fun.

I have to say, it's pretty time intensive because of the choices and the limitations on fabric sizes, but time well spent in the midst of all this color and pattern!

I didn't put in the little tab like I did eight years ago because all of these were so different I would have needed even more options of trim that I have.  But I don't think they are missing a thing without it.

When I stacked these up, I thought it was interesting how they look like little sacks of feed and some of the scraps I used are indeed from feed sacks.  :)

These will also be for sale this year at Old Cottonwood.

Pop Crate Advent Calendar (the no candy kind!)

I posted this project on Instagram along with the process to make it in my stories there.  

I saved those stories to one of the highlights so you can go take a look if you'd like to make your own.

I'd had this idea for so long!  

So I was pretty happy to finally bring it to life.

I used vintage music, calendars, and my own hand printed and painted paper to make the collages for the one side.  

On the other side I glued vintage jewelry pieces so day by day, you reveal the sparkle.

I chose gold, silver, red, and green jewelry along with a couple of religious medals.

A couple of years ago, I made a really scrappy advent calendar as a gift for a friend.  You can see it here.  That was a lot of fun to make too!

I also made this one in was that so long ago?!  I ended up gluing all the pieces in place and I still put it out every year and really enjoy it even if we can't "count down" with it.

And then there is this one too, that I still put candy in for the youngest two kids. :) 

This one will be for sale at Old Cottonwood this advent. 

Have a great week!

Sail On Trust

A couple of weeks ago, I posted that I was back to 'making to sell'.  I have a big huge cloud of doubt hanging over my head so what I think I should say is 'making to HOPE to sell'  because of course, it may not go as planned or as hoped.  

It may not. 

 But, here I am, making and making and really believing that's it where I'm being led.

This small fleet of ships will be for sale at Old Cottonwood's shop through the Christmas season.  Along with a number of other items that I have been working on.

The paper I used for the sails are hand printed and hand painted on both sides by me. I made the little boats out of salvaged lathe boards.  Some from the old house turned shop from where I grew up.

I have had these little ships sitting out in our dining room for some time now and am so pleased with how they turned out.  Sail boats and old ships with sails hold a special place in my being.  Some of you may have seen others that I have made on Instagram.  This link shows two I made from a pattern from Ann Wood.

A bit of the backstory:

Our lives are going through a radical change.  My husband is leaving the family farm operation in the near future.  And his future, our future, is a great big, vast unknown.  As you can imagine our conversations over the past number of months have been about this.  About where/how God is leading us.  I think of all the things I hope to do in my life and none compare to my desire to trust.  To fully trust in God.  I told my husband that all I want to do is to sail out the rest of our time on Earth on Trust.  I want to sail on Trust.  
I sure didn't see this coming.  The farm situation for a number of reasons brought my husband to a deep depression.  Whoa.  Did not see that coming.  The answer became very clear, quite literally over night. It was time for him to leave the farm.  Literally overnight.  Had not even seriously considered it before in any fashion and then one of us mentioned that option and we both knew that was the path.  

So when I look at my life and see all that I had absolutely no idea was going to happen...could not have planned for...could not have been prepared for...except for preparing myself by loving and trusting in God, I know that is my goal.  To trust more, to trust completely, to trust so much that I'll set sail on trust.

I didn't chose a specific piece of paper when I stamped the words "sail on trust" on to the front of this sail, but just quickly picked one that appealed to me from my stash.  Later, I realized that the back of this one has a pattern I made from a rain drop stamp that I had carved.  

Rain drops seem to signal difficult times.  

And rain drops look an awful lot like tear drops to me.

A quote from St. Therese of Lisieux.  A very favorite of mine, wood burned into a pine board. ♥

If you are local, check out Old Cottonwood in Utica!  Brent and Leah are great people and they have a wonderful brick and mortar shop!!

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