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CeeCee and the Bea has a new home! After much discussion and thought, we have decided to create a new space to continue blogging at. You can find us here at Goodbye Bernadette.

We have spent the last few months refining our purpose and point-of-view as bloggers, and chose to create a completely new blogging identity to reflect that! We will continue to blog about our life and our love of handmade and homemade things. Please pay us a visit!

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Handmade Holiday: Christmas Stockings

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Our second project in our Handmade Holiday series is a set of coordinating stockings! The two of us thought long and hard about what we wanted our Handmade series to be comprised of, the most obvious answer being items we needed for decorations and for gifts.

Well, we were utterly bereft of any stockings for this Christmas.  My sister had some felt stockings floating around that she had made a few winters’ ago that we excavated and used to make a pattern for the new stockings…and ran into so many bumps and hiccups thereafter that I am truly surprised I got all four stockings made in time for Christmas morning!

I must tell you that this post isn’t a tutorial. I’ve got to do some major revision on the pattern and my overall sewing process to make it worthy for a how-to,  so instead I give you some tips if  you’re new to sewing of everything I learned, in the hopes that it saves you from experiencing the same extreme frustration.

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1. When you create a prototype in order to see if your pattern works, and the result is excellent, then sew the real deal as you sewed the prototype. Don’t do what we did when we decided that the fabric was too soft and the stockings needed more structure; this led to a trip to Joann’s and a huge waste of money as the interfacing purchased was the wrong weight and totally wrong in the general scheme of things, seeing as how we really didn’t need the interfacing. 

2. Take the time to create your pattern. The two of us became completely impatient after we drafted our pattern and began cutting material hither and thither, never stopping to really think about what we were doing until something inevitably went wrong; then we would try to fix that mistake but simply make everything worse! (I’m pretty sure one of us cried at that point.)

3. Be sure to use sharp, sharp scissors. Seriously. I have a really nice pair of scissors but the best pair in the world won’t cut correctly if they aren’t sharp which mine decidedly are not. Every time I  cut out a pattern piece it would come out with jagged edges and would never line up flush with its mate. More fabric than I care to remember was wasted because we persisted in using dull scissors. I had to bust out my sister’s stocking stuffer, a new pair of Fiskars, to see this project done.

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We were so happy and excited to begin this project and have cute stockings this Christmas that we lost our heads in the process, but this experience certainly taught us a thing or two about patience and thoughtful planning, something we never would have learned if we hadn’t made a big mess out of everything.

And in the end, we did get some pretty cute stockings out of it all.

Happy holidays!

Love, Bea

Handmade Holiday: DIY Winter Wreath

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Hello!

The two of us have had so much fun decorating for the holidays this year! Here’s a secret for you: not even a week into November we drug out our decorations and hung them up, just to see how well everything went together.

It’s a very good thing we did because we were able to see the whole picture and determine if we needed any extra thingamabobs or doodads to complete our wintery scene.

Which, as it turns out, we did. And thus, we have embarked on numerous holiday projects and bring you the first part of our Handmade Holiday 2012 series: a winter wreath!

We knew that a wreath would help tie everything together, but we didn’t want to go out and buy a wreath from a craft store. Those tend to be rather expensive (not to mention contrary to our general style)  and we’re both on a budget.

So, we decided we had to make one and whipped up this lovely Winter Holiday Wreath. And good news: we spent around $25 for supplies. That means more Holiday Budget to go around (and around and around and around . . . so many gifts to make/buy/bake)!

Here are the directions for a simple wreath that you can tailor to fit your style and general trimmings and trappings this season.

Supplies:

one Styrofoam form

two bags of fluffy feathers

hot glue gun/sticks

material in a neutral color (we already had this on hand, so it’s not included in our Projected Project Price!)

accent branches or other baubles

coordinating wide ribbon

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The first thing you’ll want to do is take your material and tear it into strips–set two strips aside  to use during later steps. Tearing cotton fabric is super easy–just make a snip where you want to start and rip away! It helps make things straight without being too tedious. Take your fabric strips and wrap them around the piece of Styrofoam, hot gluing as you go.

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After the Styrofoam is wrapped, start gluing the feathers around the circle. We started on the inside of the circle, moved to the outside, and then finished with the front, leaving the backside feather free. To make this step easier, be sure to glue each feather over the bottom half of the one before it.

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Next, take your accents and position them as you like. (Make a note of how you placed them because you”ll have to take them off for the next step!)

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Take one of the strips of material you saved earlier and wrap it around the middle of the wreath and glue. We wrapped it around three times and then cut off the excess. This provides a base onto which your accents will be glued.

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IMG_3052Place your accents onto the strip of material. Rearrange and trim off any extras if need be then attach them onto the wreath with glue. Take your second strip and wrap around the ‘ends’ of the accents to cover them, gluing in this step also. Next, take your ribbon and glue it directly over the strip.

Because of the delicacy of our wreath we thought it best to hang it inside our apartment using only two command strips, but if you want to show off your fabulous wreath to the outside world then a door hanger would work best!

Happy Holidays!

Love, Bea