10848505_10203973990683776_5501111318032741768_oChristmas cards and ornaments. I love them. They are two of my favorite Christmas traditions. I got my ornament fascination from my dad. Growing up, he always made such a big deal when we decorated the tree; proudly telling me the story of each one, marveling at them. I inherited that appreciation.

All the ornaments on my tree, we are talking close to two hundred by the way, have a story. My favorites are the handmade ones my grandma, mom and other relatives made. There are also many from family trees stretching over the last 70 some years. Then there are the ones I bought as my kids grew up. Every year I give them an ornament that represents them in some way. They each already have their own large box of ornaments to use on their future trees.

I also love Christmas cards. Getting and giving. I display the ones I receive in the den and the next year I will cut them up and make gift tags with some and others I just keep because they are pretty. I collect unusual cards all year round too. They can be beautiful works of art.

Years ago I was wishing I could give all my friends something special for Christmas, but I couldn’t really afford too. I must have been putting up some homemade ornaments on the tree at the same time, because I decided why not make handmade ornaments that could also be a Christmas card! I could make them out of felt and they would be flat enough to mail.

Every year around July I start thinking about ornament ideas. It usually takes a month to come up with what I want to do that year. Around October I’ll get serious about it and figure out how I can decorate it, what materials I will need and fiddling with pattern ideas. They have to fit in an invitation sized envelope, so I cut paper to that size and start sketching. Eventually I come up with the pattern and cut out the pieces. I like to start cutting out the shapes in November. Once all the felt pieces are cut I will start adding the beads and stitching. Because I make a freaking mess on the back with my haphazard non-sewing techniques, I sew a blank piece of felt to the back to hide it. I also include a funny picture of my kids. Usually labeling my oldest Naughty and my youngest Nice.

The ornament this year is the gingerbread house. The pic I included is selfie themed because the only way I get pictures of my girls is if I grab them off of social media <G> . There is a song called “Let me take a Selfie” so I referenced that.

 

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away some ornaments I’ve made over the years, I always make extras in case I forget someone, and a $15 Starbucks gift card.

To enter: Give me an idea for next year’s ornament in the comments below or you can tell me about a favorite ornament on your tree. If you don’t celebrate Christmas then tell me about your favorite holiday decoration.

Sharon Stogner

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Blogger: I Smell Sheep

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