Super Mom – No Cape!

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Archive for the ‘Christmas on a Budget Series’ Category

We Had a Wonderful Christmas

Posted by supermom on December 27, 2011

We weren’t sure how we were going to manage to do Christmas this year living in our temporary housing, but it turned out wonderful in so many ways.

Our Christmas celebrations started on the 18th with the decorating of the Christmas tree.

Earlier in the week, we found a tree stand at a thrift store for $5 and then Saturday, accompanied by our youngest son we went in search of our tree.  It’s been many years since we’ve had to shop for a tree in temperatures below 0 degrees Celcius (windchill minus 14) but we got lucky and found that “perfect” tree at the first lot we stopped.

Then it was back to the apartment to get it set up and allow the tree to thaw and the branches to relax.

Next was the little adventure of trying to find the box of Christmas decorations in our oldest daughter’s storage unit with only the light of a flashlight.

As well, that evening of the 17th, our oldest daughter and her partner flew in from Shanghai where they both have teaching jobs.  They were picked up at the airport by his parents.   It was such a joy to get the call that they had arrived safely… tired from the long flight but safe.    And to also know that they were only a half hour drive away.

We made that drive on Sunday afternoon to pick them up and bring them back here to join in the fun of decorating the tree.

The angel on top was another thrift store find.  Our daughter has a tree topper that we brought back with us when we were posted to Germany many years ago, but for me a Christmas tree needs an angel on top.  If you look closely you may be able to spot the little house ornaments I made on FNSI with Sandra and Nancy.

The week before Christmas was a blur of the usual pre-Christmas grocery shopping and last minute gift shopping mixed in with searching for and applying for jobs.

We had to get creative while doing the Christmas baking.  This apartment came fully furnished but in amongst the dishes and pots we found only one bowl large enough to mix cookie dough in.  It was not, however, large enough to mix the dough for the Christmas rolls.  So I used the roaster insert from our roaster oven.

And was I ever glad that we decided at the last minute to bring the roaster oven with us.  This apartment’s oven has temperature control issues that made baking without burning things another challenge to be dealt with.   I was glad not to have that to contend with while cooking the turkey on Christmas Day.

As it was… I should probably have used the roaster oven to cook the lasagna for our Christmas Eve supper.   It took well over an hour to cook as I had to lower the temperature, raise the rack and check it every 15 minutes to make sure the bottom wasn’t burning.

Our oldest daughter and her partner and our son joined us on Christmas Eve for supper and exchanging gifts.  Our son also stayed overnight Christmas Eve.

Our middle daughter had a work function she had to attend on Christmas Eve but we picked her up from the GO station on Christmas morning to share a late breakfast with us and to open the rest of the gifts.

The turkey went into the oven around 1 pm and then it was just a matter of waiting for it to cook before we could have supper.

I even managed to short nap later in the afternoon while Dave, middle daughter and son watched a TV marathon of The Big Bang Theory.

While we were preparing the rest of supper, I got a call from our oldest.  The celebrations with her partner’s family were over a little earlier and they were on their way to spend the evening with us.

For me, that was the best Christmas gift of all… having all of us together.

The knowledge that we’d get to spend time with our children over the Christmas season was one of the bright spots that has kept me going through this time of transition.  But while I had hoped to have us all together at some point during Christmas week, now that our children are grown with partner’s families and other commitments, I hadn’t allow myself to get my hopes up that day would be the 25th.

Later in the evening, our oldest and her partner returned to his parent’s place and our son went back to his apartment.  But our middle daughter decided to stay the night which allowed us to spend some rare one on one time with her on Boxing Day.

So, yes indeed, we had a wonderful Christmas.  The uncertainty of where our future is taking us was set aside for a time as Dave and I enjoyed the company of our children.

I hope that you, my readers, had as joyful and loving a Christmas as our family did.

And on that happy note, I have some news to share.  As we approach the New Year, you’ll be noticing some changes on my blog.

Our son, the Web Design and Internet Applications student will be updating and revamping my blog to give it a more current look.  It’s a change I’m looking forward to and one which I hope that you’ll like as well.

There are other changes coming but I’ll announce those when the time is right.

As we look to the future, my wish and hope for you all is for a Joyous and Prosperous 2012.  It’s going to be a great year!

Posted in Christmas on a Budget Series | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Quilt-As-You-Go Christmas Stocking Tutorial – Part Two

Posted by supermom on November 27, 2011

My blog Super Mom – No Cape and all its content has moved to

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For the contents of this particular post click on the link below:

Quilt-As-You-Go Christmas Stocking Tutorial – Part Two

 

 

Posted in Budget Savers, Christmas on a Budget Series, Gift Ideas, Quilting, Sew easy projects | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Quilt-As-You-Go Christmas Stocking Tutorial – Part One

Posted by supermom on November 27, 2011

My blog Super Mom – No Cape and all its content has moved to

www.supermomnocape.com

For the contents of this particular post click on the link below:

Quilt-As-You-Go Christmas Stocking Tutorial – Part One

 

 

Posted in Budget Savers, Christmas on a Budget Series, Gift Ideas, Quilting, Sew easy projects, Sewing | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Christmas on a Budget – Make Your Own Christmas Stockings

Posted by supermom on November 25, 2011

Have you seen the price of Christmas stockings?  Not the plain red ones with a bit of fake fur at the top (our kids had these when they were little) and can be picked up at the dollar store.   I’m talking about the really nice ones.  I’ve seen them priced anywhere from $20 on up.

You can make your own stockings that will last for years and not fall apart after a couple of years of use.   And you can do it for a fraction of the cost of the fancy ones you buy in the big box or department stores.

For example, these stockings that I made for the Stocking Drive run by Lyanna of Purple Panda Quilts cost about $6 each.

A few years ago, I decided it was time to replace our children’s little kid stockings with grown up stockings.  I waited for a really good sale on fashion fabrics and I purchased velvet and satin.

Oldest Daughter's Stocking

Middle daughter's stocking

Youngest Son's Stocking

I even made two new stockings for Dave and I.

Dave's stocking

My stocking

I know… you may be thinking velvet and satin are not cheap fabrics even on sale.  But the great thing about stockings is that each one takes just a little over ½ yard to make.  And if you’re making several stockings, you can mix and match, using scraps leftover from one stocking to trim another stocking.

For example, for Dave’s granddaughter’s first Christmas I made this stocking out of the scraps leftover from making the stockings I made for her father, mother and big brother a couple of years prior (I would have posted pictures of those stockings but I couldn’t find them in any of my files.)

And speaking of scraps, the stocking that I made for the 2011 Stocking Giveaway (link in my sidebar) was made from scraps and batting leftover from other projects.

All of the stockings pictured were made using Butterick pattern #5783.  I’m not sure if it’s still available, but each of the pattern companies will have patterns available (Hancock Fabrics has a sale running right now until the 30th… 99 cents on all McCall’s, Simplicity and Butterick patterns.)

You could also download any one of these patterns (or several others available on-line):

http://www.craftandfabriclinks.com/xmas_stocking/Christmas_stocking_pattern.html

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/christmas-ideas/christmas-stockings-craft

http://dsquilts.com/uploads/StockingInstructions.pdf

Or you can trace around a stocking you already have.

Once you’d found the basic stocking pattern that you like, print it out and come back Sunday when I’ll be posting the tutorial for how I made that Quilt As You Go (QAYG) stocking in the last photo.

 

This post has been added to Frugal Friday over at Life as Mom.

Posted in Budget Savers, Christmas on a Budget Series, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

How to Make a One Hour Table Runner

Posted by supermom on November 1, 2011

My blog Super Mom – No Cape and all its content has moved to

www.supermomnocape.com

For the contents of this particular post click on the link below:

How to Make a One Hour Table Runner

Posted in Christmas on a Budget Series, Gift Ideas, Sew easy projects, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Christmas on a Budget – One Hour Gifts to Sew

Posted by supermom on October 25, 2011

My blog Super Mom – No Cape and all its content has moved to

www.supermomnocape.com

For the contents of this particular post click on the link below:

Christmas on a Budget – One Hour Gifts to Sew

 

 

Posted in Christmas on a Budget Series, Gift Ideas, Sew easy projects, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Christmas on a Budget – Decorating the Tree

Posted by supermom on September 25, 2011

Last month, for my Christmas on a Budget Series, I wrote about Building Traditions by repeating memory building activities year after year.  One tradition that I started when our children were little was to make them a new Christmas ornament every year to hang on the tree.

The idea was that by the time they left home, they would each have a collection of handmade ornaments to hang on their first tree in their first apartment or house.  And then each Christmas after that, no matter where they were in the world or where Dave and I were; they would have those little pieces of Christmas past.

And even now that our two oldest have homes of their own and our youngest is attending college, I continue to make them a new ornament to add to their collection each year.

None of these ornaments were/are expensive to make.  In fact, many of them cost only pennies.

All that’s needed to make the crocheted ornaments pictured above and below is a pattern, some crochet cotton and a stiffening agent.  There are tons of free patterns available on the net.

I embroidered four of these two Christmases ago; one for each child and one for our own tree.

The top two oraments are done on 10 count plastic canvas with yarn while the bottom one is worked on a finer mesh plastic canvas using embroidery floss.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, “But I don’t know how to crochet or embroider or cross stitch.”

For this next ornament I simply cut a yard of lace, folded over 1/3 lengthwise, ran a gathering stitch along the edge of the fold with needle and thread and then pulled the thread tight and knotted it.  The lace circle was then glued onto a circle cut from white cardstock.  You could also cut a circle from an old Christmas card.

I finished the center of the ornament by gluing on some loops of ribbon and the little bear. A short length of ribbon was glued between the lace and the card stock to hang the ornament.

And think of all the ornaments you can make with no more than a pair of scissors, some glue and squares of felt.

Transform a couple of pieces of felt into a dove or cardinal like the ones pictured below:

Templates for these birds can be found at: http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/flying-bird-ornaments-669408/

Remember the paper chains we made in grade school?   This would be a great project to do with your children or grandchildren.

Here’s a link to a how-to using old books.

http://oursuburbancottage.blogspot.com/2009/12/vintage-paper-chain.html

I’ve also seen paper chains made out of sheet music.

Don’t happen to have any old sheet music laying around the house?  Print some vintage sheet music courtesy of the Graphics Fairy.

And while you’re printing off sheet music to make paper chains print a few extra pages to make some small wreaths from this tutorial:

http://domesticali.typepad.com/domesticali/2008/11/origami-wreath-tutorial.html

Finally I’d like to share with you one more simple idea using no more than a few rolls of wired ribbon you can find at the dollar store and a bit of floral wire (or I must confess… the twist ties from bread.)

To make the bows, cut a 2 ft or 3 ft length of the wire ribbon depending on how long you want the tails to be.   Make two loops and wrap a piece of wire around the middle to form the bow.  Wire the bows to the tree.

For a few dollars you can make enough to cover the entire tree.

If you have a few more dollars, pick up some Christmas floral picks and add them in between the bows like this:

I hope I’ve  inspired you to make some Christmas ornaments this year; either for your own tree, for your children for their future trees or to give as gifts to family and friends.    Join me again next month for more Christmas on a Budget ideas.

Past Christmas on a Budget Series posts can be found by clicking on these links:

Building Traditions

Two No-Sew Christmas Ideas

Buy Christmas Fabric Only When On Sale

Christmas Fabric – Part 2

Gifts for Less than $2 Each

Homemade Gift Tags

Post #1

Posted in Christmas on a Budget Series, Gift Ideas | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 4 and the Giveaway

Posted by supermom on August 27, 2011

My blog Super Mom – No Cape and all its content has moved to

www.supermomnocape.com

For the contents of this particular post click on the link below:

Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 4 and the Giveaway

Posted in Christmas on a Budget Series, Sew easy projects, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 3 Installing the Grommets

Posted by supermom on August 27, 2011

My blog Super Mom – No Cape and all its content has moved to

www.supermomnocape.com

For the contents of this particular post click on the link below:

 Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 3 Installing the Grommets

Posted in Christmas on a Budget Series, Sew easy projects, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 3 Installing the Grommets

Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 2

Posted by supermom on August 27, 2011

My blog Super Mom – No Cape and all its content has moved to

www.supermomnocape.com

For the contents of this particular post click on the link below:

Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 2

Posted in Christmas on a Budget Series, Sew easy projects, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Grommet Bow Gift Bag Tutorial – Part 2