Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Cards

Merry Christmas everyone!  

You probably already knew this, but Becky and I are  very crafty!  We love to make little special gifts and trinkets.  Christmas Cards are on my mind these days - Becky has sent hers out and of course, I keep receiving new cards in the mail every day, but my cards still sit in a stack waiting to be addressed and notes written.  I won't get to them, I know - maybe for the New Year!  Meanwhile, I spent most of today making the card you see above.  I did it with free clip art from the internet, a photo editor, some glitter, double-sided tape and lace!  I put up a tutorial to show you how to make your own!  This is a wonderful project to satisfy your artistic side, and to share some special Christmas memories with any children you know!  It's kind of funny making a craft project and stopping every couple of minutes to take a picture.  Drove my poor husband crazy - just when he thought it was safe to look up again, the flash went off and blinded him.  20 times.  

A few weeks ago, we mentioned that we went to tea in Sumner, WA - that same afternoon, we did some power shopping in a wonderful scrapbooking store, The PaperMuse - oh, my!  We found so many wonderful things in this store, and brought lots home to play with.  The one thing we ALL regret not getting, was the Vintage Glitter - we'll have to go back soon!

I DID get this adorable reindeer "ribbon" though - isn't it wonderful?

Now, you DO have to promise not to laugh at this - I can't find my ribbon that I just bought - so had to hunt it down on the internet to get a picture.  Oh - that's just me!  

We got started on this kick with our post a couple of weeks ago about St. Nicholas - the research took us to a Victorian Era site filled with crafts and ideas for spending Christmas the way Dickens did.  I have so many wonderful Christmas illustrations and thought I'd like to try to make my own Victorian Christmas Card.  

Hand-made cards and gifts are something that many needleworkers love to make.  Here are a few I've received over the years.  As you can see, several of them are mail art - spectacular pieces, and treasured mementos of friends.

When looking at Christmas cards and motifs, we see that there are many motifs that stitchers have loved to include in their  work through the years, and which have wonderful symbolism attached to them!  

The following is from  Sampler Motifs and Symbolism by Patricia Andrle and Lesley Rudnicki .

Angel: The messengers or attendants of God. In recent times, the angel has become a symbol of guardianship. 
Angel with a trumpet: the voice of God; an announcement of the Day of Judgment

Candle or Candlestick: The symbol of Christ as the light of the world; devotion, watchfulness; prayer; hospitality; spirtual illumination of the darkness of ignorance.

Dove:  Peace; charity; mercy and tenderness; innocence; marital fidelity because it was thought to mate for life; humility; simplicity and meekness; the Holy spirit as in "And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him" (Luke 3:22)

Hart: Wisdom of God: gentleness; pride and manliness; solitude and purity; Christ as the love of God on Earth.......

Holly: Hope and Joy: winter; the Christmas holidays; the Resurrection.

Ivy: Immortality; tenacity; fidelity; eternal life because it is evergreen 

Finally, we'd love to point you to several blogs that we love to visit.  The creativity of so many people is wonderful, and that we can see what they're doing and share in the excitement through the internet is so terrific!  How did we ever find time to do our research any other way?

Next week, on our appointed publishing day, it will be Christmas!  We will have a pretty slide show to entertain you on that day, as well as the announcement of who has won the contest!  So, after the gifts are all opened, the turkey's in the oven, and everyone else is dozing by the fire, drop by and  see us. 

Don't forget - to be in the drawing for the Blueberry Hill Boxed Set, you must be a follower and post a favorite holiday memory or tradition.  We love to hear your comments, so please, don't be shy!  We will choose a winner on Thursday, December 24th, so please give us your comments before then!

Have the Happiest of Holidays - thoughts of good cheer from our homes to yours!

Becky and Julie


  1. Thank you dear girls,
    for such a lovely place to visit.
    I was given one of your wonderful pins of a mourning sampler as a beautiful little favor in our bags at Most wonderful antique clothing and mourning symposium "Remember Me" at Colonial Williamsburg about 2 years ago. I love it!
    I was so pleased to find your here on the internet and your lovely things,too.
    Thank you for mentioning me in your list of lovelies above.

    Christine Crocker
    18th & 19th century
    Doll maker
    Deerfield Farmhouse

  2. The blog site didn't want to cooperate with Susan today, so she emailed us her holiday memory:

    During the holidays one of my favorite family memories always comes to mind. It was the year my younger brother, Michael, figured out the secret of Santa Claus, which can make Christmas less magical for such a little boy. Daddy came up with a way to still make the holidays fun for him. I was hoping for a new bicycle, so the game became: "Can Susan guess the color of her new bicycle?" Daddy whispered the secret color to Michael and during the weeks before Christmas they giggled while each evening at dinnertime my daily guess was wrong. Finally on Christmas morning, I found a gold-colored bicycle sparkling under the tree while Michael and Daddy laughed and laughed because I had never guessed the color. Daddy, with his love of Christmas and family fun, had kept Christmas special for a little boy who had come to the end of a special childhood fantasy.

    Thanks so much for the opportunity to share holiday memories.

    Posted for Susan by In the Company of Friends

  3. There must be something wrong somewhere - Jill couldn't post, either. We'll try to get that fixed. Meanwhile - here's her post!

    Hi Ladies!

    Your Blueberry Hill box is darling - I love the motifs, the colors and all the little pieces. It reminds me of my grandmother, who was a very accomplished craftswoman. Grandma Gertie did it all - ceramics, knitting, crocheting, flower arranging, and many types of sewing, and she passed this love of arts on to my mother and then to me. I am quite blessed to have had such wonderful inspiration.

    One of my favorite Christmas memories involves Grandma Gertie. Every Christmas Eve my family and I would travel the short distance to her home for dinner. She always made a decadent roast beef, the best macaroni and cheese on the planet, and many other tasty treats. After dinner, we were each allowed to open one gift - so we had to choose very carefully! Then we would all - including GG - pack back into the car and head home. Grandma Gertie didn't drive, so she joined us on our journey home so that she would be with us when we awoke Christmas morning. Christmas day was spent opening gifts, playing with toys, trying on clothes, and eating - there were always plenty of tasty options! The best Christmas was the year I received a yellow skateboard. After I showed her how easy it was to ride it down the driveway, she decided to give it a try. Standing up didn't seem to suit her, so she wiggled herself onto that skateboard while sitting down. That was quite a sight in itself, but when she took off down the driveway and then ended up in a heap we all laughed until we cried! Needless to say that was her last ride!

    Merry Christmas to you both, and best wishes for a happy New Year!

    Posted for Jill by In the Company of Friends

  4. My favorite Christmas memory is from many years ago when my only cousin and family arrived from Connecticut for the holidays. The kids were all laying on our stomachs watching black and white television when my Mom came in with fresh from the oven chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies. I can still smell and taste those was a really fun time of our lives back in the early 50's.

    I'd love to become one of your followers and enter the contest! Happy Holidays to all!!

    Posted for Mitchell by In the Company of Friends

  5. My favorite holiday memory was when my stitching friends, Hoosier Stitchers, honored me one year by stitching ornmants for me. When we gathered for our Christmas celebration, I saw them decorating a tree with all stitched ornaments. I was a bit jealous of whomever owned all of thoese lovelies - and then the announcement was made that they were all for me!

  6. I'm following now too. Love your style!

    My husband and I lived thousands of miles from family when we were first married so we forged some new traditions. Since I didn't have a lot of time to stitch, I decided to stitch one Christmas design during the week between Christmas and New Year's since my employer was closed for the the week. I made a 6 ft. diameter tree skirt out of heavy red felt and trimmed it with wide green grosgrain ribbon. Every year I applique that stitched Christmas design on the tree skirt (with the year). Sometimes the design has meaning, sometimes it's just something I want to stitch. This will be the 28th addition to the skirt! It is now full and I'll have to come up with a new idea next year.

  7. One of my favorite christmas memories is that of years ago, when I was a young girl and had my first boyfriend. I was invited to his family and join their Christmas evening. They went to church on Christmas Eve and, coming back late in the evening, had their Christmas Dinner with the whole family. The whole livingroom was turned into a diningroom and it was filled with laughter. I remember we had chicken soup, nice detail isn't it, remembring what you had for dinner almost 35 years ago?

  8. The Blueberry Hill box and accessories are absolutely lovely and would look so nice sitting by my stitching chair! (Hint, hint!)

    My favorite Christmas tradition as I was growing up was getting together with my Mother's family (grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins) on Christmas Day. At first, the family would take turns having the get togethers at different houses, but as the family grew, they rented a hall each year. Everyone would bring food. Lots of food and deserts and goodies! We drew names and brought presents. One of the uncles would dress up like Santa and hand out the presents. We always had a wonderful time.

    I remember one year when I was around ten, my Aunt Jean made matching black shiny "evening gowns" and "mink" stoles for me and my cousins Lisa and Jean Ann. (The dresses looked like one of my Barbie doll's evening gowns.) We felt so sophisticated! That year, all the cousins decided to put on a show. My cousin Lynne played the accordian, Steve, Jim and Rick did some type of tumbling routine and Lisa, Jean Ann and I sang along and coordinated moves to a Supremes record (it was the 60's, after all!). We received thunderous applause and had a blast!

    We still laugh about all the fun we had on those Christmas days that we all spent together. The memories are priceless.

    Thanks for inviting me to stroll down memory lane. Sending wishes that you both are enjoying Christmas festivites and have a wonderful New Year!


  9. My mother always made our Christmas pjs each year and all of us 3 girls (my brother came later) matched...usually something with red and white stripes. We's all sit at the top of the stairs and wait while dad fiddled with the movie camera and the lights. One year when my brother was very small, maybe 3, my mother decided that we would wait until Christmas Eve after he went to bed to put up any decorations. He hung his stocking along side of ours. put out cookies for Santa, and went to sleep. We, on the other hand, started madly in on the decorations...putting up the tree, winding on the lights, hanging the ornaments and the strand at a time! Then it was time to pull all the wrapped presents out from their hiding places. It was hard work for us girls, but harder on mom and dad who still had to do the Santa thing after we girls went to bed! It was the first and last time we did this, but the look on my brother's beautiful little face in the morning was worth absolutely every single minute!
    Merry Christmas everyone!
    Posted for Marcy by In the Company of Friends

  10. My favourite of our traditions is getting all the presents out on christmas eve and wrapping them after the children have gone to bed and them waking up excited on Christmas morning
    Posted for Jan by In the Company of Friends

  11. I actually have a photo of one of my favorite holiday memories – this picture is from the late 80's. In the years previous to this my Dad had been in and out of the hospital several times with serious heart attacks, so we were all truly thankful to have him home again for Christmas. I think you can see both some anxiety and relief on my Mom's face in the photo. 

    For years my Dad was an avid model railroader (I often think that I got my love of detailed hobbies and crafts from him), so to surprise him that Christmas I gave him an old-fashioned train conductor's cap as a gag gift. My Dad always loved a good joke, so when he laughed and immediately put the cap on and insisted that I take a photo of him wearing his present I was delighted.

    This turned out to be one of the last photos I ever took of my Dad, as he passed away the next summer, just a few days after his 81st birthday. I was always grateful that he insisted that I take that snapshot, and that moment has become one of my most treasured memories.

  12. What a tremendous giveaway..I am so excited for a chance to win. My favourite is a Christmas Tradition. Waking on Christmas morning to an excited little boy (my son) who barely let us get to sleep(as Daddy is screwing on the last bolt or setting up the train) We would pretend we had been sound asleep. Groggily getting out of bed, I would put on the breakfast casserole and as it was baking we would open all of the gifts Santa had left earlier that morning. I love that ...of course our son is now 25 and doesn't live here anymore..but he blessed us with a grandson and now he comes early in Christmas morning and tradition is again restored. Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy New Year to you and yours. Blyn

  13. I would love to win the blueberry hill box set. We have a blueberry screened in house. I grew up in Pgh. in the 50's. After opening presents and having breakfast, we would get dressed up in our Christmas clothes and go to visit my grandparents. I remember my grandpap holding his present on his lap saying, 'I wonder what's in this box?'. It was torture as he purposely took minutes and minutes to open each one. My grandma made the most wonderful cookies. My aunt, uncle and cousins would arrive and more presents were opened. From there we would visit an aunt and uncle on the way home. It was evening by the time we got home and got to visit our new toys again.

  14. My favorite memory of Christmas actually happened on St Nicholas day. We were putting up the tree with my then very young children ages 9, 7, and 5, and we allowed them the full roost of decorating it themselves. Well, I left the room for maybe 5 minutes when I came back in, and the deed was done! They sure didn't waste any time!! They wanted to be sure the tree was decorated before Sinterklaas knocked at the door...something either me or my mom would almost kill ourselves doing by pounding on the front door and running back inside the garage door without notice. Now these same kids are 22, 20, and 18 and I still laugh at this memory...

  15. What a darling giveaway! My favorite family tradition for Christmas is that every year, on Christmas Eve, we open one package. Every year, it is pj's! My kids REALLY look forward to it too!

  16. Favorite memory is the Christmas I didn't get the roller skates I thought I'd die without. All the hints in the world didn't work - I did get books, a game, underwear, a new outfit, nuts and an orange. That Christmas taught me that I don't have to have everything I think I need and has reminded me that my focus should be thankfulness for all I have rather than disappointment over when I don't have.

  17. Hello, first of all, I like your blog and the things you make, they are so lovely.

    Our Christmass Tradition that I love is to put up the Christmass tree. I spend a whole day on it to make it beautifull, add decorations everywhere and write Christmass wishes to everyone to put in the mail.

    The second tradition, I love even more, is spending Christmass Eve with my family in law around their tree and have a nice dinner. We all unwrap gifts, sing songs and have fun. One sad thing though, since this year I work as a nurse, and I need to work the whole Holiday period. I don't have a day off and I work on Christmass Eve aswell, so this year, there won't be Turkey or singing for me :(.

    Maybe better luck next year.

    I want to wish you a Merry Christmass and a Happy Newyear.

  18. Hello,
    My favorite family tradition is our meal. We are fortunate to live close enough, so that the entire family can still get together at Christmas. Our Christmas meal has always been turkey, green beans, sweet potatoes, dressing, gravy, rolls, Christmas cookies and pumpkin pie. It is my favorite meal of the year and with the family present, it is the best day of the year.
    Thank-you for making me realize how fortunate we are!
    Lynn B in IL

  19. My favorite Christmas tradition is our stockings, knit from a Bernat pattern of the early 1950's. Mine and my brother's were knit by a neighbor and his got the date on it but mine never did. The pattern was not mine (obviously, I was 4 at the time) so when I married I had to count off and guess at the stitch count to knit one for my husband. Then I did for my daughter and later for my son. Years later I am still at it and each of their "significant others" (now spouses) got theirs when it looked like they were serious. This year I have the great joy of knitting a stocking to match for my first grandchild. I am still the only one without a date on my stocking.

  20. My favorite family tradition is making sugar cookies and cutting them out in Christmas shapes like trees, bells, snowmen, stars and santas. When they are cool, we frost them and add different kinds of decorations like sprinkles and sugars in red and green. We use different colors of frosting and add eyes and buttons. It just wouldn't be Christmas without these sugar cookies.

    Posted for Diana J by In the Company of Friends

  21. I love the Christmas photos from the early 70's of me and my sister in matching Christmas nightgowns. New ice skates, frosted sugar cookies, and homemade crafts are some of my best memories.

  22. I tried to leave a comment but had to resort to your email. Hope you can get the problem fixed soon.
    My favorite memory is in the making. I will spend Christmas with my first grandchild. As to tradition, we always hide a pickle ornament on the tree. The first person to find it is the one who hands out the gifts. I and my DIL will go to midnight mass and come home to finish the tree. I love the look on the kids faces when they see the tree and their stockings. Thank you for having a wonderful give away. I joined as a follower several days ago. I also posted the pic on my blog. Merry Christmas!!

    Posted by In the Company of Friends for Kate
    I Believe


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