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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 …

Life Lately: Babies, Big Changes, and a Bridal Shower

Hey, it's been a while! It's been busy, busy, busy…

I've been taking a little break from blogging to focus on some more BIG changes coming up in my life. In about a month, I'll be moving with my little family out to Utah. It's both exciting and scary. On one hand, I like the prospect of starting a new journey, but on the other, breaking away from what has become familiar and comfortable is daunting. I'll be leaving my support system of extended family and friends, who have been so helpful in my first months as a mother.

My water baby. This photo captures my summer perfectly.

This move also means giving up my long-time office job. This could be a good change, though. I'm going to attempt a career as a freelancer working from home. I've been picking up small jobs on the side to get the ball rolling. At first, I stuck to the same type of book layout work I currently do in the office, but it has taken a pleasant turn into freelance illustration as well. On a whim, I started applying to some jobs creating designs for adult coloring and have already been hired onto a few projects. So it looks like I'll be able to start making a living doing more of the things I love. Most importantly, though, freelancing will allow me to stay home with my baby. Well, babies. Oh yeah, did I not mention that I'm pregnant again?! So there's THAT too.




I'm not the only one having a big year. My sister Shannon will be getting married in August, and I had the pleasure of helping out with her bridal shower this past weekend. It was a perfect day to celebrate outdoors with family and friends. My mom created a beautiful setup with fresh flowers and a yogurt and muffin bar. I was in charge of the game prizes, favors, and activities. I got my craft on, creating some tissue paper flowers with candy inside for the favors. I also put up a photo booth area, complete with cheesy props. It was a fun little party.

The bridal shower setup


Game prizes and party favors


The bride




Sisters


My silly aunts




Adelaide had fun in the photo booth, too!


I won't lie—this past month has been a stressful one, but I have had some beautiful moments as well. This summer is going by so quickly already, and it's hardly even begun. I am grateful for these happy memories I am creating every day. I look forward to these changes coming up. For better or worse, it will definitely be an adventure!

Niki




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New Etsy Shop and Free Pattern

I opened up a shop on etsy.com 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:
VIEW
DOWNLOAD
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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