Christmas Sheep

I found this cute little guy on a torn out page of “Country Woman” magazine–from 10 years back.  He’s basically made from scraps of yarn, felt, cardboard and a couple of clothespins. Pretty darn easy too.

Materials Needed:

Heavy cardboard

Ball of white, tan, or black yarn

2 Wooden, spring type clothespins

Scrap of black felt

Scrap of batting

Small bow, or strip of ribbon

1/4 inch bell

Tacky glue

Directions:

Click here or on the pattern itself to print out pattern pieces.

Trace the sheep’s body pattern onto heavy cardboard and cut out. As you can see, I used cardboard from an empty legal pad. It made enough for six sheep…a nice little flock.


Use a permanent marker to color both sides of the cardboard head black–like the pattern shows. Also color the straight ends of the clothespins black up to the hinges. At first, I worried because the marker didn’t color into the lines on the bottom of the clothespins. But every time I saw them, they looked like little stripey socks and it made me smile…so I just left them.

Clip the clothespins onto body where the pattern shows. Push them all the way up until they are securely in place.  I put a dab of glue between the cardboard and the clothespins to keep them stable…for eternity.

Next, wind a small amount of batting around your little sheepy. It will help your yarn go much further.


Start wrapping yarn around the body–starting at the middle. Continue wrapping down the neck until about 1/4 inch of the tip of the nose sticks out.

Wrap figure-eight style around the clothespin legs so the hinges on each is covered. Continue wrapping until your sheep looks nice and fat or your yarn is all gone–whichever. Tuck in end of yarn.

Cut one tail and two ears from black felt. Tacky glue wasn’t doing it for me, so I used my evil glue gun to the stick ears to each side of the sheep’s face and to put the tail where it belongs. String a bell onto same colored yarn and tie around sheepy’s neck and tuck the knot into “fleece” at the top of the head. Glue a bow on–wherever you’d like. There you have it–incredibly low maintenance sheep. Unheard of.

Christmas “Lists”

Searching around online at all the “stuff” there is to do, to see, to make, to buy, to have at Christmas time–can be a bit overwhelming. In fact, sometimes it feels like my brain’s going in 17 directions at once. A person can blow up that way.

There’s just so much. But sift through it–I did–and bookmarked everything that made me sigh or smile or slow down for a minute and think happy thoughts. The rest can just blow away.

Now, understand–all I can really show you are things that work for me–but that’s ok. People have been scooting closer to whisper good ideas in each others’ ears since before the flood.

I think it’s how we keep each other warm.

Quick~Easy~Fabulous:

Gifts in a Bottle About a hundred ways to pack joy in a jar.

Recycled Paper Ornaments This should keep little hands pretty busy.

Salt Dough Ornaments Other food-ish ornaments as well.

Simple Christmas Simple, low cost Christmas Projects–just click past the ads.

Felt Cookies I know, I know…again with the felt!

So much fun stuff.

If you get a good idea from any of this–I hope you’ll share it with us.

Glass Pebble Magnets

These little fridge magnets were so easy and fun to make…

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I couldn’t get myself to stop…

Start with clear, glass craft pebbles–size 3/4″ and 1-1/2″ worked well with 3/4 in magnet buttons. I found all this at Walmart–but I’ve seen them at the dollars store too. You just have to keep your eyes open and snag them when you can.

Next, decide what you want as your pictures. I used stickers, fabric and tiny words from magazines. The original idea was to use photos, but I’m getting low on printer ink, so I had to improvise.

Cut your pictures out and glue them on the back. I just used Mod Podge–anything that dries clear will work. Next–once the glue is dry–use a hot glue gun to stick the magnets on the back. Be careful here, especially with the tiny pebbles. I thought I had finally made friends with my evil glue gun…

I was mistaken.

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Let the cute little things sit and settle for a day or two before making them hold the plum pudding recipe on the fridge. It will seal the bond to let it rest a bit. An Altoids box is a great storage case for your magnets–and also makes it easier to wrap them up as a gift.

Filled Glass Ornaments

Gather your family and make these pretty glass ornaments–filled with just about anything. The possibilities are endless…

Step 1: Buy a pack of clear, glass ornaments. You can find them nearly everywhere, but if you go to a craft store like Michael’s or Robert’s–they were a bit cheaper. Laurie says, to try the dollar store too. These ones were about $3.00 for 12.

Step 2: You must solemnly swear not to skip this step–even if you think you are very careful and brave. Just mind me anyway. Take a small strip of masking tape and put it around the top of the ornament. Fold the top of the tape down inside so that no sharp edges are exposed anywhere.

This could actually be a project that you do with a middle aged child–as long as the edges are covered and they remember to handle the glass carefully. I know, I know…I sound like somebody’s mom. Sorry.

Step 3: Curl and cut up tons of curly ribbon…no kidding…tons. Kids would love this part too.

Step 4: Wad up bunches of ribbon and stuff it in the glass ball. Snap in the gold ornament topper. It’s that simple–you’re done!

Try filling some of the ornaments with random things—we used old video tape, yarn, raffia, and yes…those are push pins. Just be OK with letting everyone’s personality come out. Lyndi thinks gummy bears would be good. I’m a Cheetos kinda gal myself, but they won’t fit…I know. I tried.

The good thing is that you can always empty it again if you don’t like how they look. Chances are—you’ll just love them!

Photo Journal

While looking through a ton of old pictures the other day–I noticed that we had quite a few in the folder marked “Ghosts of Thanksgivings Past”–but they are all online and so I’m constantly having to say to family and friends, “I’ll email you a copy.” Sounds noble, yes? Well it would be more noble if I had a clue how to actually email pictures.

Hence, the Thanksgiving Photo Journal was born.

First take a hardbound journal or blank book—whichever…

Trace around it on to scrapbook paper.

Cut out to the measurement of your book. I had to work around the spiral binding of mine. Cutting out 65,000 tiny notches was a bit of a pain, but it turned out ok.

Glue the paper on to the cover of your book–being careful to keep the edges straight.

Secure a piece of ribbon to the back with glue and tie a bow in the front. And ta-da! Your book is finished. Except that now you can make copies from your computer–and stick them in the book for all to see.

So, bring it with you to the turkey dinner and share the book around. If you are really brave you can let people write their comments or memories on the blank pages. If you have a few of these books and lots of printer ink, they would make a great gift for the Thanksgiving hostess. Never hurts to butter up the lady with the pie…

Heh…heh.