Day 360: Christmas Day

NieceWe always spend Christmas day at my parents. Around 11 a.m., my sister and her family shows up, and we all get to open presents together. Wahoo! Lately, we’ve developed the tradition of going in age order, with the youngest starting first. My poor mother always has to go last!

RockyMy parents’ dogs were both remarkably good about these ridiculous hats. They kept them on for quite a while!

Big NephewSmokey JonesSmokey Jones was not nearly excited about opening presents as I was. SistersMy oldest sister couldn’t be at Christmas this year so she Skyped in for opening presents. It was fun to have her there “via satellite,” as I kept saying. It was also hilarious because she kept changing into various hats while she was Skyping with us. At one point, she was wearing a sombrero. Hehe!

Niece 2Brother and Aspen

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Day 348: Christkindlmarket

Chicago Christmas TreeMikeBuilding at Night  Lights and Buildings  ShleeOn Thursday, some co-workers and friends headed over to Chicago’s Christkindlmarkt for our annual tradition of celebrating Wĥäłĕņċħőŵĕŋ, a ridiculous fake holiday we made up several years ago. Unfortunately, Lufthansa nearly ruined our celebration this year because they booked an entire tent at the fest, meaning we had to sit outside and freeze for several hours until we couldn’t take it anymore.

We still had fun, though. Lufthansa, you won’t bring us down!

Day 337: Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree StarOn Sunday morning, I put the lights and star onto the Christmas tree we got the previous day at the tree farm. That evening, after cooking dinner for some friends,  I decided to just take pictures of the lights on the tree. It was all I could must, really. I was exhausted!

Bright Lights

Out of Focus Christmas TreeThese out of focus pictures are fun!

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree LightsIf you celebrate Christmas, is your Christmas tree up yet?

 

Day 336: Tree Farm

Tree Farm 2Tree Farm 3Tree Farm 5One of our family traditions is heading out to the Tammenberry Tree Farm in Wilmington, IL to get Christmas trees. This past Saturday, Jim and I drove down to the tree farm to meet my family, even though we weren’t planning on getting a tree. However, after a few hours of helping my family hunt for the perfect trees, Jim and I gave in and picked out a lovely tree. We couldn’t resist.

p.s. We did not pick the dead orange pine 🙂

Day 333: Easy No-Sew Tree Skirt

No-Sew Tree SkirtOn Wednesday, a few friends and I had a craft night, and I made an easy, no-sew tree skirt. The project took me a total of about 2.5 hours, not including the time at the craft store. I used the old “tie-the-strips-of-fleece-together” method, and it worked well. See below for instructions.

Christmas TreeHere’s the tree skirt on the beautiful Christmas tree I got this weekend!Easy New-Sew Tree SkirtIn this close-up, you can see that the strips of my patterned fabric kind of look like bacon. Hilarious.

Easy Tree Skirt

Supplies

  • 1.75 yards of two different fleece fabrics – I bought one solid red fleece fabric and one patterned red and white fabric. Note that you need to ensure that your fabrics will be big enough to make a circle 60 inches in diameter. You may want to tell the person cutting your fabric that you’ll be making a tree skirt this size.
  • Tape measure
  • Pen or pencil
  • String
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors

Instructions for this easy no-sew tree skirt

  • Find the center of the fabric and mark it with a pen. To do this, fold the fabric in half the “tall way” so that the fabric is folded to be tall and skinny. Then, measure the fabric along the tall edge with your tape measure and make a mark at the center. Then unfold the fabric.
  • Using the center you just marked as a guide, draw a large circle on your fabric. To do this, tie a piece of string to your pen (or pencil) and then cut the sting to be 30 inches long. Hold the end of your string at the center you marked in the previous step, extend the string out fully, and draw your circle by slowly moving the pen around the center in a circle. Note: Your resulting circle will be 60 inches in diameter, which will seem very large. It will be smaller when you’re done.
  • Lay your solid circle on top of the patterned fleece, with the pattern facing down. Then use the solid circle as a guide to cut a circle from the patterned fleece. After this, do not separate the circles.
  • Using your same pen and string, cut the 30 inch string down to 5 inches and measure a small circle around the center in the same process. Then cut out the small circle. It will be 10 inches in diameter.
  • Cut a slit through both fabrics from the outer edge straight to the small circle. Using the straight pins, pin the fabric together along both sides of the slit.
  • With the circles still together, cut 1 inch wide strips through both piece of fabric. The strips should be about 6 inches long.
  • Once you’ve cut these strips all around the circle, knot one patterned strip together with one solid strip. Do this all the way around the tree skirt.
  • Then take out your straight pins because you’re done!

Note: If you’d like, you can sew the edges along the slit and around the smaller circle. However it’s not necessary. The solid fabric and the pattern fabric will naturally cling together, and if they get a little out of alignment along the small circle and along the slit, you can just line them back up.

Making Easy Tree Skirt

Finally, here’s the first ever picture on my blog of me in the process of making something! Thanks to my friend Christina for taking this! Can’t believe it took so long to post an “action shot!”

Day 327: Thanksgiving Dinner

Biscuits

Leeks Frying

Soup on the Stove

Biscuits Before Baking

Thanksgiving Dinner

We had a great Thanksgiving at my sister’s house! We did the dinner potluck style, which made it pretty easy on everyone. Jim and I made a pork roast, biscuits, soup, and cranberry chutney (we made the last two the day before), my mom made the turkey, and my sister and bro-in-law made everything else. The food was all delicious, and it was a lovely day with my family!