Thursday 15 November 2012

Thursday Think Tank Holiday Hop

A big hello to anyone who has come over from Making Rebecca Lynne for the holiday blog hop. This blog hop is not about tutorials but about ideas. Each person who is hosting a day in the hop is providing some inspiration to get your holiday making, baking and entertaining ideas jump started.

Thursday Think Tank Holiday Hop

Today I am talking about holiday decor. I don't know about you but I love decorating for Christmas. There is genuine joy in digging out the boxes of Christmas ornaments and digging through. Since having children there is a whole new element to it. Each year my two girls receive one or two new ornaments and these go in their special boxes, so one day when they leave home (we won't think about that now as I fully expect to reach that milestone with my head buried firmly in the sand) they will already have a box full of traditions and memories to take with them.

I also have a small tradition of my own of sending something holiday themed and handmade to family and friends each year. Therefore whenever I see a new idea I pin it. Pinterest is fabulous for anyone who wants a place to keep track of all the crafting inspiration that is out there on the internet. My Pinterest boards can be found here.

This year I have several favourite ideas. First up is this gorgeous star garland -

Link to the tutorial at selfsewn.
I love this garland and it is so simple and easy to make. I have already crocheted some stars and they literally take a minute per star. You can knock them off with your eyes closed. They are genius! Selfsewn's tutorial is easy peasy to follow. I have made quite a few with leftover bits of yarn, though when I went to take a photo of them my supply seemed depleted. I need to talk to one of my girls after school! All these stars need is a dip in Stiffy (yes, it is a real product as shown below - great name, huh!) and some string. Once I have dipped them I will pin them into their star shapes and leave them to dry. Some starch would do the same job; I just like my Stiffy!

Next on my list of makes this year are some holiday hoops. There are some brilliant ones to be seen out and about in blogland. Here are a few I love.

Pilli Pilli link for the left hand photo; Country Kitty link for the right hand photo
I actually meant to have some of these hoops started by now. But apparently one week is not enough time for an eBay seller to get my hoop order to me from one part of the UK to another part of the UK by first class post. I have about a dozen hoops on order. These are going to be one of my gifts of choice this year.

I pinned this handy dandy tutorial for paper stars - though I am contemplating making them with stiffy soaked charms squares. But some bright paper and a pair of scissors, a piece of string and some glue would be all you needed to add some new holiday colour to your home. I like the idea of making these in all different sizes.

Found at Christmas Your Way.
My tree ornament make of choice this year is going to be inspired by these gorgeous wee houses made by the incredibly talented Fiona, my fellow Brit Bee and friend. No need for Christmas fabrics, just bright cheerful colours and a bit of ribbon, buttons and some string. Apparently string is a running theme through so many of these makes so if anyone has a great source of said item that they think I should know - please pass it on!

Fiona blogs at Poppy Makes and if you don't follow her you should
Inspiration can be found there
 year round.
All the photos in this next mosaic come from the same blog. It is written in German, but you can use Google translate for an imperfect idea of what is being said. Or you can just look at all the beautiful photos and get lots and lots of lovely ideas. I know I have. The advent calendar ideas are inspirational. And I am going to  make some of those snowmen.

All found here on natuerlich kreativ.
I hope all these links have given you some wonderful ideas for what to make for Christmas this year. If you need some energy while you are doing all this making then why not bake some cookies to boost your sugar levels and keep you going that little bit longer.

Vanessa over at V and Co blogged this recipe and I have to say - the idea of making cookies with a box of cake mix as their base just goes against everything I do in the kitchen but I still really, really want to try this. Because they looks so good! Not everything has to be made totally from scratch. And is is not like I eat healthy from dawn to dusk each and every day. Far from it!

Recipe from Vanessa found here.
The Thursday Think Tank Holiday Hop is going on right until Christmas to fill you with ideas to make your holidays as fun and inspirational as possible this year.

Don't forget to check out all these chances to link up your Think Tank ideas for a giveaway.  Winner to be drawn on December 27th. You can add a link to these posts, every week your link will earn you another chance in the giveaway.

1. November 1 - Making Rebecca Lynne DIY Christmas Cards
2. November 8 - Piecemeal Quilts Thanksgiving Etiquette (when you are lucky enough to be a guest!)
3. November 15 - Canadian Abroad Holiday Decor
4. November 22 - Seriously...I Think it Needs Stitches or MRL free pillow cover pattern
5. November 29 - She Can Quilt Gifts for Tweens/Teens/Twenties
6. December 6 - Missy Mac Creations Christmas Gifts for Kids from Kids
7. December 13 - Rainbow Hare Quilts Wrapping it Up
8. December 20 - YOU!  DIY Christmas Party Link Up


  1. Link up any post from the past week that features some creative thinking going on in your creative world.   It can be anything, quilting, home improvement, fashion, crafting, DIY gifts, cooking...whatever you have recently thought "hmmm, you know what I should create" is perfectly appropriate for the Think Tank.  TTT is all about whatever you are currently brainstorming and would like feedback or encouragement on!
  2. Somewhere in your post, link back here to my blog. (Or grab the T.T.T. button for your sidebar.)
  3. Comment on at least a few of the other links—because what fun is a linky party without comments?

(Submissions close in 42d 8h 53m)
URL:(URL of your blog post)
Email:(Not visible)
Trouble linking up?
Try here
Link tool by
'); + new Date().getTime() +


  1. stiffy!!!!! bahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaa!!!!!

    (lovely ideas, thank you!!)

  2. Ooh thanks for adding my stars..arent they easy?

    Where on earth did you get your stiffy (hehe) I want some!!

  3. I love all your ideas! Re string, I recently splashed out on a big spool of divine twine from Joe&Flo on Etsy - they're in the UK so postage isn't too bad and they sell lovely washi tape too (AND it arrived really quickly!)
    R xx

  4. My what a lot of fabulous ideas! Your crochet stars are beautiful! Jxo

  5. Your stiffy always raises an er, smile! Some fabulous ideas, you have been doing some thinking this week. What a pain to wait so long for your hoops, i always get really grumpy if i have to wait more than a couple of working days for UK online orders! I will definitely be trying the crochet stars this year, and as I make my little girl a personalised christmas tree dec every year, the hoops will get done too. Thx Susan. : )

  6. I was just popping in to have a look at what you are up to and lo and behold I'll have to make another cup of tea to check out all those fabulous links! Thanks for the distraction :o)

  7. Ahh, tis the the time of year for a good stiff one...

    PS, found some not so bad for you desserty things that I can use my new toy with

  8. You and mum would get on so well, she too is awesome at homemade christmas :-) I might manage to decorate the pot plant again on the 23rd december... :-p

  9. ...just in time for the Stitch Tease swap - thanks for the inspiration!

  10. The tiny stars are beautiful on the string. I bet if I used wool I could avoid the need to stiffy them. Maybe I will do some thinking today and link up later. Thank you for all the ornament ideas.

  11. Fantastic ideas!! I love your garland.
    I fancy making all of these!

  12. That star garland is such a great idea... We don't generally decorate much for Christmas, but I think these little stars would be a good way to add some holiday cheer without making the boyfriend grimace about too many Christmas-y decorations :)

  13. Love the wee stars. Some lovely ideas here Susan.

    PS - We have the same tradition re the Christmas dec box for your girls going on here, though it is harder to convince a boy that it's a cool thing to do!

  14. I've had those hoops pinned to make since, um, this time last year!! They are on my To Do list, again!

  15. so many great ideas. I want to try to make one or two of those hoop ornaments.

  16. Your stars look wonderful! (You've beaten me, I didn't even get as far as picking up the box with them in!)

  17. I NEED STAR GARLAND!!! NEED!!! Not want, seriously need. Would look perfect in my new house... Susan your TTT post rocks. My favorite holiday and I love decorating for it. Thank you for the ideas!

  18. Thanks you for posting these wonderful ideas - off to check out your pins on Pinterest too!

  19. Oh, lots of great ideas! I really like those crocheted stars too. Wonder if I'll have time to make some before Christmas...

  20. Great ideas! I really like those little houses!

  21. Love all of these projects! :) Esp. the little houses, and the cool advent calendar.

  22. Okay, I'm inspired. I three cross stitch ornaments I made for my kids when I only had three of them. I'll find some hoops and put them in them. How do you back the hoops?

  23. I love Christmas, and I am definitely going to make that garland! Stiffy sounds like a great product with a very dodgy name...

  24. Love all the idea especially the hoops!!
    Tee hee, you said stiffy!!! Tee heee.
    Channeling my inner 9 year old!!

  25. Fantastic finds, Susan, I've pinned them :) Thanks for sharing!

  26. You've got a wonderful collection of ideas here. I don't know which is my favourite. I love all the stars and those houses but the hoops are lovely too..Where to start! Thanks for your inspiration :)

  27. I'll have to make another cup of tea to check out all those fabulous links! Thanks for the distraction.
    Tank Car Loading


Thank you for leaving a comment. I read them all and I love them all. I do my utmost to reply to comments as often as possible. If you comment and never receive a reply from me there is the possibility that you are a no-reply commenter.