Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

Think on th' eternal home,
The Saviour left for you;
Think on the Lord most holy, come
To dwell with hearts untrue:
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise.

--from Keble's The Christian Year, Thoughts in Verse

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rip-Roaring Toward Christmas

When I think how ambitiously I kept up blogging during the 2012 Christmas season I shake my head in wonder in how on earth I managed it. This year I'm still scrambling around just coping with the basics of preparation. Ah, well! It's my 3rd Etsy-free day and I'm loving the break! I was getting orders right up until December 15 and spent most of the day Monday getting those packages out, and then I had to scurry about getting presents off to my family members on the east coast. My brain's still a bit scrambled, but the proverbial dust is beginning to settle.

Last night I whipped out that stuffed cat I mentioned a post or two ago. I had a brown wool sweater I had cut up for this one, plus some scraps of the felted white mohair sweater left over from the first cat I made several months ago, so I attempted a child-friendly, hand-washable, squeezable sort of fellow, tweaking the pattern somewhat to try and get a more feline head. I can't say I succeeded, but for a quick project, it came out tolerably well and I think my granddaughter will enjoy her gift. 
Peppy poses with Christmas Kitten.

A few more views...
One difference between this cat and the first one I made (shown below) is that the brown sweater was "washable wool" and so it didn't felt like the angora sweater did. This was both an advantage and a disadvantage--the brown, stretchable cat body was definitely much easier to turn right-side out and stuff, but it was tougher to sew and keep the seams even.

I notice now I forgot to put a mouth on the brown kitten; I'll have to attend to that today!

And if anyone out there knows of a really good toy kitten pattern, very floppy and child-friendly, I hope they'll let me know about it. This pattern, while easy to make, is not quite what I prefer. I want a more upright head that looks more like that of a real cat. I also need to track down some pink cat noses and medium-sized eyes. The white kitten's are a bit too small, the brown kitten's a bit too large! He's kind of bug-eyed. But sweet.

Another silly thing I've been meaning to show you are some ornaments I was experimenting with several weeks ago. I got the idea for them from this print from a vintage tablecloth:
I found some of the old sixties/seventies style satin tree ornaments at a garage sale, and set about trying to imitate this design. I didn't get terribly far, because I couldn't quite figure out how to make a mouth I liked, and also because I kind of like how these look in their offbeat minimalist state. What do you think?

Now if I just can get around to hanging them on the (a) Christmas tree! I had full intentions of doing a lot of decorating this year, but so far I have only a fraction of my lovely vintage loot on display. 

I'll try and post again soon(ish!) Enjoy your Christmas preparations, and don't forget to take time to just sit quietly and meditate on the One it's all about!

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