Ornament Exchange 2012: Peep My Tree, Y’all!

It’s been a hard week here in the States in the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut, and it didn’t feel quite right for me to be enjoying the Christmas season, drinking hot chocolate, and singing carols when so many families are experiencing a heartbreaking loss.  But I guess that’s what Christmas is here for, right?  An unexpected light in a time of darkness, a reason to temper grief with at least a little joy.  So the Christmas tree seems just a little more beautiful to me this year, even more so thanks to Kelli‘s holiday ornament exchange.  I’ll let the photos speak for themselves (click on the photo to be taken to the tutorial for each ornament).

So many fun packages! Man Friend was home when these arrived and texted me that I had “ten adorable little packages” waiting for me– so exciting!

Kelli’s adorable peacoat

Suzanne’s mouse king (and yes, I snagged the Gangnam-Style mouse king… be very jealous!)

Jen’s glamorous narwhal

Mika’s hand-beaded peace dove

Megan’s leather and felt acorn

Miranda’s paper reindeer (don’t laugh at my cereal-box-and-tinfoil tree-topper!)

Maddie’s yarn ball

Let’s pretend like there’s a gorgeous photo of Dixie’s starlight mint ornament (which definitely isn’t missing because it was way out of focus and I’m already out of town… that would NEVER happen).

The tree! Unfortunately it’s blocking our makeshift closet and the entrance to the apartment, buuuuuuut… it’s totally worth it. Yay NYC living!

I look forward to treasuring these ornaments for years to come.  Thanks again, Kelli, for your beautiful idea!

Bonus photos:

A treasured ornament that I made ten years ago or so with my beloved aunt

These ornaments inspired Man Friend to bring me one, too! Rawr!

2012 Holiday Ornament Exchange: Holly Jolly Pug Tutorial!

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I’m so thrilled to be part of Kelli‘s 2012 Holiday Ornament Exchange!  Nine bloggers are making Christmas tree ornaments for each other and sharing tutorials on our blogs t0day!  Look who else is playing along!  How cool are these gals?!?!

Mika of http://savorystitches.blogspot.com/
Suzanne of http://mybeaubaby.blogspot.com/
Miranda of http://www.onelittleminuteblog.com/
Megan of http://blog.megannielsen.com/
Jen of http://grainlinestudio.com/
Dixie of http://dixiediy.blogspot.com/
Madalynne of http://www.madalynne.com/
and of course, our lovely hostess, Kelli of http://www.truebias.com/

Be sure to hop over to their blogs and check out their tutorials, too!  Kelli is one of my absolute favorite bloggers, and she’s one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.  Thanks for asking me to be a part of this, girl!

You guys could probably guess that I’m a Christmas person– I just love it!  Putting up a Christmas tree is one of my favorite things about the holiday.  It’s just so fun to unpack all the ornaments and hang them on the tree one by one, remembering past Christmases and all the special memories attached to each one.  I have many fond childhood memories of making Christmas tree ornaments with my mom and my aunt, so I knew that I wanted to make something very simple that kids could enjoy making, too.  I opted for a flat felt ornament that would be layered a bit to give it a slight 3-d feel.  It’s very childlike and goofy (like me!), and modeled after my pet puggies!  (I can’t help it– I’m hopelessly addicted to my little snorters!)

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Here’s what you need:

  • felt (tan, brown, black, red, and white)
  • felt/fabric glue and/or
  • matching thread & needle
  • ribbon (8″ length of 1/4″ ribbon for each ornament)
  • googly eyes (optional, but don’t tell Man Friend that I said that***)
  • faux fur (optional, but you can use it in place of white felt)
  • pattern (download it here! Please forgive that it’s hand-drawn and messy– I’m not proficient with Illustrator, and I’m no artist!)
Pug parts!

Pug parts!

1.) Print out your pattern (make sure the scaling is off unless you’re trying to get fancy and make a mega- or teensy-pug!) and cut out the pieces.  Place the pattern pieces on the felt and trace around them– a Sharpie works well for this!  Just cut off all the ink!

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2.) Lay down one of the body pieces.  Fold the ribbon in half and secure ends to the body with a couple of stitches, forming the loop hanger.

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3.) Next, glue a hat piece to the body, matching edges and covering up ribbon ends.  Secure with a few hand stitches (or you may choose to only sew and not use glue at all, in which case you’ll need to stitch around the perimeter) and knot on the wrong side.  Add the ears, eyes (whites first), muzzle (lower first), hat fringe, and bobble, in that order.  Place the upper muzzle slightly on top of the lower so you have a little overlap between the two pieces.

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4.) Take your second body piece and flip it over so it mirrors the front.  Glue/stitch the hat piece to it.  Add the fringe and bobble pieces.  Finally, add the tail, but secure it only with a few stitches at one end so the rest is loose to form a curly pug tail!

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5.) Glue/stitch the front to the back, hiding knots between the layers.  At this point, you can secure a jingle bell to the end of the hat if you’re so inclined.

You can see the detail better here-- I like to stitch the muzzle with a few short stitches at the top to suggest a little nose.

You can see the detail better here– I like to stitch the muzzle with a few short stitches at the top to suggest a little nose.

6.) Display proudly, and have a holly jolly Pug-mas!

Pug butt!

Pug butt!

****Man Friend believes that googly eyes are NEVER optional, as, “…you can stick googly eyes to ANYTHING and it will be hilarious!  Try it!  No, right now!”

Holy cow, it's true!  That's hilarious!

He’s right! It IS hilarious!

He further recommends that you place the eyes a little too close together and a bit askew for a little extra derangement (should that be your goal).

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I do not recommend, however, that you get long, crazy fur for your pug hats (unless you want your ornaments to look more like confused canine wizards).

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fail

So there you have it! Hope you enjoyed the tutorial!  Again, be sure to check out everyone else’s tutorials if you’re looking for some fun holiday projects!  Now excuse me while I go sit by the front door waiting for the mailman to bring the ornaments the other girls sent me (don’t worry– I won’t get bored… I’ll probably still be peeling felt glue off my finger tips when the packages arrive).

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