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Popsicle Stick Christmas Ornaments

It's November, which to many over-enthusiastic holiday lovers means CHRISTMAS! Yes, I love Thanksgiving as well—it's just one big holiday celebration for me from now to the end of the year. So far, I've refrained from putting up my Christmas tree, but that doesn't mean I can't prepare, right? This past weekend, I spent some time making some ornaments. I love to create handmade ornaments to add to my little tree each year. 
Lately I've been interested in popsicle stick crafts. I found some super cute ideas on Pinterest (see the links to my Holiday Crafts and Food board and specific posts below). I like that such a simple material can have so many possibilities. Just add paint and glue!
I was able to get my kids involved for part of my craft day. They are ages 2 and 3, so they didn't do much beyond just paint a few popsicle sticks. I turned these painted sticks into little Santa Claus ornaments—two for each daughter as they're bound to ruin some of them …

Learning New Things

Is there anyone out there who misses getting ready for a new school year? Maybe I was just a huge dork (well, I still am...), but when I was young, I always found it exciting. Buying school supplies. Getting my first-day outfit ready. Anticipating meeting my new teachers and seeing all my fellow classmates again. Don't get me wrong, I loved my summer vacations and was sad to see them end just like every other kid, but each new school year was a clean slate of possibilities and a welcome change of pace.

me = huge dork

I also kinda liked school. I loved learning and challenging myself to do well. I was that straight-A nerd. (Told you I was a dork.) But while I miss getting ready for school nowadays, I do not really miss actual school because by the time I'd completed my four years of college (10 years ago—whoa), I'd had enough. Boring lectures, homework, tests...yuck. So over it. I mean, entering adulthood and "real life" was hard, too, but once I figured that out, it wasn't so bad. At least with a regular nine-to-five, I could just go do my job, then come home every evening and not have to worry about the ten-page, single-spaced paper that needed to be written, you know? My time was mine again, and I was a grown-up, so I could do whatever I wanted!*

Being glad to be done with school doesn't mean I don't still love to learn. There are so many things in the world to explore and inspire. Obviously, I am mainly drawn to different creative pursuits. I will always have my old standbys, like drawing and knitting, but I have an ongoing list of new skills I would like to learn or improve upon. Here are just a few I've been contemplating recently:

• Spinning yarns
As in, from fleece and wool, not telling stories (But, actually, that would be fun, too.) I've never tried spinning, but it seems like a natural progression from my love of knitting.

Sheep shearing demonstration at the 2015 Hopkinton State Fair

• Doll making and miniatures
If you've been to this blog before, you know I've played around with this already, but the obsession continues. More to come on that soon, in fact...

• Typography and hand lettering
I've dabbled a little bit with this, but still have so much to learn.

• Writing
This blog is a start. Going forward, I am hoping to add more writing and anecdotes behind what I do along with my projects, as a way for you all to get to know me better.

• Baby clothes and toys
For obvious reasons relating to new developments in my life. As you may know, I've begun with some hand-knit baby sweaters, as seen in my previous post.

• Photography
I love to take pictures, but I've mostly been limited to the iPhone and point-and-shoot variety. One day when I have the money to splurge, I would like to get a fancy schmancy camera and learn how to use it. But for now…Instagram will have to do.

So as you can see, I'm always on the lookout for new things to try and explore. This list is just a start, and there's so much more I could add. Learning is a lifelong journey, one that never ends. I hope I never find myself bored with life because there is no reason to be. Besides, now I have a husband starting college, and a few years down the road, I'll have a little one to shuffle off to school. I'm already excited for an excuse to go school shopping again. And maybe one day, I will even decide to further my own formal education...who knows? Whatever happens, I'm excited to keep learning and making things, and I'm so happy that I can share my journey with you through this blog. I hope you feel free to share what is on your own creativity wishlist, as well.

Now let's go learn something new.


*within reason, of course



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New Etsy Shop and Free Pattern

I opened up a shop on today. I've posted some sweaters for 11.5-inch dolls (I hope to post other types of items in the future). You can visit the shop here. These miniature sweaters were very fun to create. They are all designed and handknit by myself.

Most of the sweaters are knit using size 10 crochet thread and sock knitting needles. I like using the crochet thread because it is relatively inexpensive, comes in a wide array of colors, and is readily available from any store that sells craft supplies.

Here is a free pattern for a basic sweater, for those who would like to try making one yourself!

**UPDATE - 2015** The miniature sweater knitting pattern has been revised.  View/Download the new pattern here:
A gift tag template for creating a Christmas ornament from this sweater can be found on my Templates and Patterns page. Additional sweater patterns are available for sale in my Etsy shop.

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As I revealed previously, I am currently pregnant with my first child, a girl. I am due in December, and my husband and I are so excited.

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Much of the appeal of making baby clothes (besides the obvious adorableness) is similar to why I like making doll clothes. They are fun to design and execute, and the small scale keeps projects relatively quick and easy, which suits my short attention span. (Case in point: my adult-size fisherman cable sweater that I've been working on for probably 5+ years...not to mention all the other projects I've abandoned altogether because I got bored with them.)

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