Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Our First Tree

It was a balmy fall afternoon.  The perfect weather to cut down our very first Christmas tree at H&Z tree farm.  We spent hours tromping around the property in search of our tree.  There was a variety of firs, but we chose the one that smelled the best, which turned out to be a Fraser Fir.

 Once found, Josh started the initial cut.
 But I got to finish it!  He also humored me with matching hats!

Once home we decorated with  lights, glittered pinecones, candy canes, a pom pom garland and homemade paper ornaments. I set everything up on an automated timer, so I can come home to a lit tree.  The scent fills the room and I like having a touch of Christmas tradition to cheer us through the darkening days.  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Craft Retreat and a Pom Pom Garland

After reorganizing my ever growing stash of stray yarn.  I found the perfect project for all those little bits of thread.  Pom Poms!  A bit mindless and a bit tedious but worthy of the effort. 
 I had plenty of volunteers to mind the collection.
 Some sneaky buggers may have even swiped a few for their own.

60 Poms and 14 yards of twine later and my garland was done.  Each pom pom represents a past knit project or gift. I love having these little reminders strung around my house. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Weekend Fun Carving Spoons

A couple months ago, my friend Emily and I took a wooden spoon carving class in quaint Decorah Iowa.  I had won a $50 gift certificate for a class at the Vesterheim from the Minnesota Weavers Guild silent auction earlier in the year.  It was the jump start I needed to plan a trip.  Emily, graciously agreed to all my proposals.  We camped along the river at Pulpit Rock Campground and opted for the wooden spoon carving class.
 We learned kolrosing-a carving technique to add embellishment.  You first press the wood with a kolrosing tool and then rub with finely ground coffee or tree bark.  The design appears when you finish with oil.  I chose a traditional Swedish Dala horse.
 I especially loved carving my teeny tiny salt spoon.  It was just what my salt dish needed.
 It was sunny but chilly camping weather.  The morning walk to class was particularly fun along the foggy river.
 One of the class highlights was our excursion to the museum archives.  The museum archiver focused on the hand carved wooden spoon collection.
 In Sweden each person gets one spoon.  All of these spoons were day to day eating vessels.  I love the attention to detail on the handle and the elaborate kolrosing.
The highlight of the collection were these wedding spoons.  A typical Swedish gift; the entire spoon set is carved from one piece of wood!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Braided Bracelet

On my recent trip to New England  I read the Martha Stewart Living summer edition back to back.  And once again Martha introduced me to something new and exciting that I just had to try.  The 4 stranded braid!  It is so easy and fun to do.  It makes a bubbly round braid perfect for jewelry.  I, of course,  got obsessive about it and made 5 for all my friendlies that celebrated my birthday weekend with me.