Comfort & Joy Day 6: Holding Onto Memories

For today’s final post of our “Comfort & Joy” series, I have a special guest, my mom.  (You can expect to see more from her in 2013, yay!)  Each year she makes this special “scrapbook” to hold onto our most treasured holiday cards, but it could be used for photos or for cards received all year round that you want to hold on to.  

Until Next Year!
P.S. Be sure to check back on the 1st and 5th next week for special blog posts!
For years, we have recycled our Christmas cards and those we have wanted to save, we have put in a box. I decided several years ago to do something a little different … I created a Christmas Card Keepsake album … somewhere to store each year’s cards, pictures and letters in a more organized manner.  This way, the album can be put out each Christmas for all to enjoy along with the new cards, letters and pictures.  
This is a great project to get the entire family involved in or to just enjoy doing yourself!  You can use either scrapbooking paper or fabric.  Last year, I chose scrapbooking materials as you can see below but this year, I decided to change it up a bit and use fabric. This is a great project to use your scrap fabric for!  No matter which you choose, the method is still basically the same although one uses glue exclusively and the other you will need a sewing machine or needle and thread to complete.
Christmas Card Albums ~ Left: Scrapbook Materials ~ Right: Fabric Materials
You will need to collect the following items to complete your album:  two pieces of cardboard, fabric scrap pieces, scissors, pins, matching thread, ribbon and a Crocodile heavy duty punch.  Now, you are ready to begin 🙂
The first thing you will need to do is measure your largest card and then cut two pieces of cardboard so that your front and back cover will encase your cards.  Cut the cardboard to that size … mine was 6 1/2″ by 10 1/2″.  Then take your fabric and cut it so that it is an inch larger horizontally and a 1/2 inch larger vertically … so my fabric was cut 7 1/2″ by 11″.  
You will want to put any embellishments on before stitching your front pieces of fabric to your back pieces of fabric.  For this year’s album, I fussy cut fabric and then appliquéd them to the front and back covers, both outside and inside … you can do as much or as little as you want … make it your own!  
Inside Front Cover
Inside Back Cover
The one thing that I always do is put the year on the front cover.  After embellishing your fabric, put the right sides together for the front and back covers and sew the top and bottom and one of the sides together … you will do this twice … once with the fabric for the front of your album and once for the back of your album.  Turn your sewn pieces so the right sides are on the outside.  Iron your covers.  
Next, slip the pieces of cardboard in between your sewn covers.  Fold the open end of your fabric in and slip stitch the opening so it is closed … again, you will need to do this twice.  
Back Cover
Take your largest Christmas card and decide where you want it to sit in your album.  Mark your cover pieces and then using a Crocodile heavy duty punch and punch two holes in both the front and back covers.  Punch holes in each one of your cards, thread a ribbon through the cover holes and card holes and tie the ribbon at the top … there you have your Christmas Card Keepsake Album to enjoy for years to come!  
I hope you had fun making this project and that you and your family will enjoy it for years to come!
Wishing you fond family memories, health and happiness in 2013 ~ Penny

Comfort & Joy Day 5: Free Quote Print

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!  It’s hard to believe it’s already Day 5 of “Comfort & Joy.”  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are ready for this week’s festivities.  We spent the weekend playing in the snow and buying groceries for our “big” meal preparations.  You can see more of our romping in the snow here.

We love quotes, and each year we like to have a quote that serves as our inspiration for the year.  For 2013 our quote is, “Do what you love.  Love what you do.”  We’ve created a print in three colorways that we are sharing with you today!  There are two size options (4″x6″ and 8.5″x11″).  You can download each of them underneath the pictures below.

The Original







Comfort & Joy Day 4: Quick Gift Tags

I’d like to start this post first by saying how myself along with my family were just devastated by Friday’s events.  There truly are no words to comfort those affected by this senseless act of violence on our country’s most innocent – our children.  To think that it is less than ten days until Christmas and there are packages under trees that will never be opened simply breaks our hearts.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the community of Newtown, the families in grief, and to all those across our country that have been affected by gun violence.

“Beyond the door,
There’s peace I’m sure,
And I know there’ll be no more
Tears in heaven.”
-Eric Clapton, “Tears in Heaven”
One of the things I cherish about quilts is the memories they evoke.  They are more than just practical and decorative.  They offer insight into the creativity and style of the person who made it – a little piece of who they are or were.  Quilts can also remind us of who the quilts were made for and each time we wrap ourselves in them it is as though the person it belonged to and/or made it is giving us a big hug.  In a word quilts can be therapeutic … Just a thought.
During this time we could all use a little “Comfort and Joy” and today’s projects are three fun, relatively easy gift tags.  As you will see there are a variety of packages these can be used on and two of the three can be reused for decorative purposes.

Tree Ornament Gift Tag
First up, there is the tree ornament.  What I love about this project is that in addition to its beauty, it is also “upcycled.”  You can reuse paper from a catalog or magazine – whatever you have on hand – to make it!

What you’ll need:

  • Old catalogs/magazines
  • Scissors
  • Stapler (wide mouthed is preferable)
  • Spray paint
  • Hot glue  and hot glue gun
  • Ribbon
  • Metallic cord
Step 1:  Take out existing staples from the magazine, and cut the magazine in half so all pages are approximately 8.5″ by 11″.

Step 2:  Cut pages in half horizontally and fold to form a “small” booklet.  Staple in middle.  You will want between 30 and 40 pages to create a full tree.

Step 3: Begin folding pages toward seam and fold over towards seam once more.  Follow by folding the sharp edge pointing down up to create a straight edge along the bottom.

Step 4: Once you complete your tree it should look like this.

Step 5: Take your tree to a well ventilated area and spray with your chosen spray paint.  Let dry completely (overnight is best).

Step 6: Tie a ribbon and loop a cord.  Using a hot glue gun attach the cord and ribbon to the top of your tree.  Your gift tag/ornament is complete!

Snowflake Gift Tag

This gift tag I’m really excited about, it is so, so cute!  I could just see a bunch of these hanging from a ceiling … Hmmmm …

What you’ll need:

  • (2) 6″ squares of fabric
  • (1) 6″ square of batting
  • Piece of paper
  • Fabric marking pen
  • Tiny rotary cutter
  • Sewing machine
  • Twine (for attaching it to package)
Step 1: Cut out a 6″ square from the piece of paper.  Fold over 3 times and cut out a snowflake.  Remember to make relatively large holes as you will be cutting these out in the fabric!

Step 2:  Make a sandwich of fabric – batting – fabric with the fabric’s right sides facing out.

Step 3:  Using a fabric marking pen, mark the fabric using your paper snowflake as the template.

Step 4:  Sew along edges of the snowflake’s design and cut out around sides and holes.  Your snowflake is complete!  Simply secure to package.

Scrapbook Gift Tag

For any of you scrapbookers out there, pull your goodies out because you’re going to need them for these gift tags!  These will easily slide over a bottle of wine or any kind of goody bag you may want to make filled with candy, cookies or whatever else you can dream up.

What you’ll need:

  • Decorative paper
  • Scissors
  • Rounded edge trimmer
  • Big, circle punch (approx. 1.5″ diameter)
  • Stickers/Decorations
  • Scoring board
Step 1:  Cut paper out into 3″ by 7″ rectangles.  Trim edges decoratively, if so desired.

Step 2:  Using a scoring board, score the rectangles 3″ down going lengthwise.  This will ease in folding the tag over the bottle/bag.

Step 3:  Decorate as desired and place on gifts!  Easy as that!

I hope that you enjoy making and using these tags on your gifts this year!!



P.S.  If you haven’t already done so, please take time to answer our poll on the top left hand side of this page … Thank you!

Comfort and Joy Day 3: Comfy Cozy

Are you still looking for the perfect gift for special someone?  Would you like that gift to be homemade?  For the third day of our “Comfort & Joy” series we have a super-fast-to-make quilt that you can whip up in less than a day!

The fabric I used is from my favorite quilt store and when I saw it I knew I just had to make a quilt out of it!  When I got home I realized all the fabric was from Buggy Barn.  You may remember Rose’s Palindrome which is also made from Buggy Barn fabric.  Hmmm … I think I see a pattern.

Comfy Cozy

Finished Size:60″ by 75″


  • 5/8 yard each of 4 different fabrics (for 4 small squares)
  • 1-1/8 yard of 1 fabric (for 1 big square)
  • 1/4 yard of binding fabric
  • 4 yards for backing
  • 64″ by 79″ piece of batting
  • Safety Pins
  • You will also need yarn of your choice and a darning needle

Step 1:
For small squares, cut out 15 squares from each of your four fabrics at 6-1/2″.

For large squares,  cut out 15 squares from your one fabric at 12-1/2″.

Step 2:
Sew four of the small squares (one of each color) together to create a 12-1/2″ square.  Repeat until you have blocks.

Step 3:
Use the diagram below to assemble your quilt.

Step 4:
Cut and sew your 4 yards of backing fabric so you have a piece larger than 60″ by 75″.

Step 5:
Assemble a quilt sandwich with your top, batting and backing.  Next, using safety pins begin pinning your quilt sandwich approximately every six inches.

Step 6:
Using a darning needle and your chosen yarn, begin making knots by going all the way through the quilt sandwich and back up.  Put a yarn knot through each block’s corners except those on the outside edge (this is where your binding will be).  Remove safety pins when you’re finished.

Step 7:
Cut off excess batting and backing fabric.  Cut your binding fabric into (7) 1″ strips and sew in a chain. Iron the strips in half lengthwise and then place fold over edge of quilt.  Sew a 1/4″ line down the side going through all layers of fabric.  This will create a raw edged binding – adding to the quickness of this quilt!

Step 8:
Step back and enjoy!  Give to friend or family member!


Comfort and Joy Day 2: A Different Kind of House Tour

Welcome to Day 2 of “The Six Days of Comfort and Joy”!  Have you ever seen those gingerbread houses they feature in magazines around the holidays?  Aren’t they just gorgeous??!!  Every year The Gettysburg Festival hosts a Gingerbread House Celebration as an event to support their main event in June.  If you’re ever in the Gettysburg (Pennsylvania) area around that time of year, you definitely should check out the festival’s events – it is an awesome festival with great music, artwork, food and lots of activities for the whole family! 

Anyways … this past weekend was the Gingerbread House Celebration. We have wanted to go for some time and this year, finally made it!  Fortunately, we were able to take pictures so we can take you along with us as we do a different kind of house tour today!

House 1 …

There was no credit on this house, but it did win 3rd prize!

House 2 …

By “Sarah Dutton,” won 2nd prize!!!  We were told this lighthouse had over 700 individual gingerbread bricks to make the base of the lighthouse!!!  Amazing!

House 3 …

By “Sweet! The Candy Store”

House 4 …

By “Hilton Garden Inn”

House 5 …

By “Koney Island Confections” … This won 1st place!!! Hands down, my favorite!
They even put a little kitten in the top window … how sweet!
 House 6 …
By “Joanie Schaffner”
The organizers also provided a big, “blank” gingerbread house for the kids who stopped by to decorate … how fun!  This would be great to do at family gatherings as a way to keep the kids busy.
This was such a fun way to spend the weekend, we hope you enjoyed coming along with us!  Have you ever made a gingerbread house?  How did it turn out?

Comfort & Joy Day 1: From Our Home to Yours

Welcome to Day 1 of “The Six Days of Comfort & Joy”!  

To kick things off we are going to take you on a tour of our home with a few project ideas along the way.  We aren’t big Black Friday people, we would rather stay in during the crazy weekend following Thanksgiving and decorate, decorate, decorate!

Our Front Door, Welcome!

We made this wreath using a variety of similar-themed ornaments from one of our favorite stores, The Old Crow, located here in Newark, Ohio.  If you are ever in the area or live close by, you should seriously stop by!  This place is loaded with inspiration, but I will warn you, take your checkbook 🙂  The owner does an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G job with the decorations!  We have several decorations from their store throughout our house.

We also have a breezeway and this is the door we like to put our garland over since it has a little covering and will be protected from whatever weather may come our way. 

This garland is Project #1.  Here’s what you will need:

  • A garland (We got ours at The Old Crow.  We used a 9 foot garland, because we didn’t want it going all the way down either side of the door, you may need a longer one depending on the look you’re going for and the perimeter of your door.)
  • A half yard of burlap, cut into 3″ strips (We got ours at JoAnn’s.)
  • At least 5 floral candle wrappers, these provide a denser look on the garland and the backs are flat so you don’t have to worry about what to do with the stems. (We got these at The Old Crow.)
  • A Bunch of Bells in a variety of colors (We got ours at Michaels)
  • Floral Wire – This is seriously my new favorite craft tool! (Again, Michaels)
  • Floral Wire Cutters (Michaels)
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue

Step 1: Using the floral wire, sporadically place the bunches of flowers around the garland.
Step 2: Weave the floral wire down each side of the burlap strips, so the burlap is malleable.
Step 3:  Using floral wire (again! see why I love this stuff, you can use it with so much!), put bells through wire and then in the center of the burlap, twist on back side of burlap.  We made 4 of these burlap “ribbons” and 2 burlap “ribbon” ends – 1 for each side of the end of the garland. 
Step 4:  Tie the burlap ribbons in between the floral bouquets.  Using the wire to mold and glue to adhere, place ribbons decoratively throughout.  Your garland is ready to hang!! You will need cup screws to attach around door.

Next stop, Our Breezeway

The door to our garage has this fun bucket hanging on it.  The ornaments are Santas from around the world, we got them last year at Hallmark.

This is what you seen when you first walk in our breezeway:

I made this using ribbon, 5 ornaments and attached the ornaments using what else(?), but floral wire!  I then tied them around the knob of the cabinet.

Wow! What a little paint will do … this cabinet used to be a peeling, icky grey.  (I took pictures, but no matter where I look I can’t find them! Darn!)  This summer we decided this cabinet needed a makeover.  We’ve had it since we moved my grandma out of her house 20 years ago (eek!).  We are in love with its new look and to complement it, we decided it needed a new lamp.

Notice the wallhanging??!!  It’s the Flashy ornament from our Flashy, Dazzle & Sparkle pillow patterns.  We simply left the pillow front alone, put a backing on it, quilted and bound it!  Voila, you suddenly have a wallhanging!

The lamp is Project #2.  Here’s what you will need:

  • A lamp base and white lamp shade.  (Ours is this one from Target.)
  • 32″ by 9″ piece of Linen (We got our linen at the awesome shop, Sew to Speak, they have an online store, too, but they’re physical store location is in Columbus, Ohio.)
  • Spray glue
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue
  • Sewing Machine and thread
  • Pre-made Bow (We got ours at Michaels)
  • Roll of Ribbon (Michaels, again)
  • Metallic spray paint, we chose a bronze finish

Step 1:  Using a tarp of spread out newspaper, spray paint the base of the lamp.
Step 2:  Fold a 1/4″ of linen over and press down on one of the short sides (9″) of the linen.  Using a zig zag stitch, stitch fold down.  This is your “finished” side that will face out on the lampshade.
Step 3:  Using a glue gun, adhere unfinished short side of linen down on lampshade.
Step 4:  With newspapers underneath your workspace, use spray glue and roll your linen piece on the lampshade.  Finish with the glue gun and adhere “finished” end of linen piece over unfinished side.
Step 5:  Using a glue gun, adhere top and bottom of linen around the inside of the lampshade so, your lampshade is finished.
Step 6:  Wrap a piece of ribbon around the lampshade and simply tie at the end (this will face the back of your lamp), make sure the ribbon is rather taught, but not enough to squeeze the lampshade.
Step 7:  Finish by tying pre-made bow around the ribbon that you used in Step 6.  You’re done, enjoy!

Our Dining Room, Home to the Nutcracker Tree

I love nutcrackers and this white tree, while a bit unexpected, showcases our collection of nutcracker ornaments perfectly.  We use white lights with white wire to make it glow and glued a sequined red star as it top.

The tree is finished with this fun fabric we found several years ago which is adorned in what else, but nutcrackers!  To make this super simple tree skirt, simply cut out an oversized rectangle with pinking sheers (so your fabric won’t fray) and voila, you’re done!  It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Even our Bathroom has Some Bling!

These little presents are on top of our cabinets!

All decorations are from Pier 1 (last year, I don’t know if they still have these exact items).

On the Pie Safe in Our Kitchen …

This cute little tree with the beautiful “tree skirt” my mom designed and made … watch for this pattern’s debut this Spring!!  The Santa was made by a local artisan several years ago, sorry but we have no other information.

Our Family Room

The Bookcase

We’ve had those wire stars for several years and they were a kinda rusted color (I don’t know quite how to describe the color … odd?!)  At any rate, we spray painted these with a deep silver glitter and it made such a difference.  We then used a group of holiday themed, antique postcards we inherited from my grandma.

The candle we simply tied with the same ribbon we used on the lamp from our breezeway and added one of our ornaments.  The top shelf is adorned with fresh greens and our collection of white pitchers.

The Entry Table

Using our Tree Farm pattern as the background, we filled candle holders with ornaments to decorate.

The Tree

Here’s our Christmas Tree, filled with our favorite ornaments.

The quilt rack is hand made and hand painted by my dad, the colors are just perfect for this time of the year!

We’d love to hear, what are some of your favorite Holiday decorations?  Did you go out on Black Friday or stay home?

From Our Home to Yours, Happy Holidays!