xmas shirt

jenjoycedesign© Christmas shirt 2016 (2).JPGEvery  Christmas I make a shirt for Jeff.   I finished this one belatedly on new year’s day, then as soon as I finished sewing on the last button Jeff had to try it on, and then of course… he was so cozy in it … it was too dark to photo…. he wore it to work the next day,  and I never got to photograph it. Now it has been already washed, and being flannel it’s already lost its crisp allure and gotten a little fuzzy ….

jenjoycedesign© placket & cuff detail.JPG

What is so funny is that every time I make one of these Christmas shirts I seem to mess something up badly, if not disastrously.  This year the buttonholes were okay, plackets and collar okay … but….  the plaid was so wavy as it was probably the last on the bolt and warp/weft apparently is terminally twisted, and so the plaid did not/could not/ would not stay square. Thus I did a horrible job of matching up in front (like if I make it match at side seams, the front is wonky). Whatever! Who cares! (except that I kind of do care).  A bit dissymmetric, but I will just let it be what it wants to be.

jenjoycedesign© collar detail.JPG

Needless to say, since my sewing machine is already out, I may have to sew some other crazy  new-from-old shirts, so watch this space for some fun upcycling!

Christmas Eve

jenjoycedesign© snowman ornament

There is rumor that it will snow  tonight!  I’m watching the skyline over the ridge and it is indeed darkening, and the temperature is dropping. The mystery of Christmas Eve enchants me still, and every year the magic of the tree decorated with old and new  ornaments makes me giddy as a young girl. Merry Christmas everyone!

jenjoycedesign© ornaments


One-And-A-Half Days


Dazzled by the spirit of the holiday, and all that I’ve been busy with.

I can’t believe this pile of gifts I made . . .

((  My heart is about to burst with pride that I sure turned around when I thought I could only manage the kitty   which got sent off over two weeks ago, and the felted bag which went to Mexico with Jeff. ))

Since then I really went into making overdrive.


All of my hand-made Christmas gifts are finished,   as of yesterday,  and tucked under the tree,  waiting for family to gather.  I hate to seem all smug & self-satisfied, but now that I am finished, I can’t help but just be elated, and enjoy myself !!!  This folks, is not something that happens every Christmas, as I am usually always making up into Christmas Day itself, and beyond.  But this year…. I just put my nose to the grindstone and did it.

( Interesting lights photo at top of page was accidentally shot while I was moving in front of our Christmas tree. )

Sending out loads of love and encouragement to all those elves busy still making, hoping all gets finished and that you may too relax ! ~~ xx.

Christmas Bits & Bobs

I never really thought of myself as a holiday kind of person, in fact, I’m pretty grouchy around holidays. But this year I am welcoming the cheer from our Christmasy bits & bobs . . .

Everything out of boxes, queuing up for a little decorative cheer in our house in the coming week.  Our tree ornaments  are integrated,  his & mine together, in a sentimental sort of chaos.  Such a perplexing emotion these objects evoke, these bright colorful new & old baubles shuffled together, our childhoods super-imposed upon each other’s, representing Christmases Past, separately & shared.  Two snowy white sheep from the late 80’s given to me when I first learned to spin wool . . .  an airplane wth lost propeller and a merry skier on its ski lift of Jeff’s from the 70’s . . .  a bicycle from my bike shop days in the mid 90’s . . .

Our dog Emma is familiar with these strange and intriguing Christmas things too, she makes our little family a trinity, she even has a stocking put out for Santa which gets filled with doggy goodies, and she loves unwrapping presents, is quite the ace at it !  Emma recognises all these seasonal sparkling & feathery oddities spread about our the table, and perhaps she anticipates a succesful heist from all the tempting things to steal from on and under the tree . . .

Strands upon strands of shiny golden stars get ready to be flounced about the evergreen branches . . . shiny red painted paper mache’ apples , a dozen of them,  will hang on the tree as if ready to pick and bite into.  A few antique toys will sit beneath the tree, inviting anybody’s child-like bewilderment to bubble up , bidding good-bye the imposed sense of stodgy ‘grown-up-ness’ ~ at least  for a while.

A doll’s doll which was my mothers as a child, and which I decided to put a hook on and hang on a branch, an old painted cast metal toys hang on the tree . . . and many feathery birds ready to perch on the branches. . . many miniature mandolins & guitars too, given in encouragement of my learning to play … and little painted nutcrackers.  Most of all I think I love the jewelled tones of the really old glass balls in varying sizes of crimson, ultramarine blue, spruce & moss greens, burnt orange, indigo & violet purple. The colors just tickle a place inside of me which only gets tickled for a couple of weeks a year,  when I bring them all out, it almost seems as if I’m bringing my past to life.

I am glad to say hello to the holiday boxes for another Christmas,  and glad to very soon bring in a fragrant tree who’s fresh needles perfume the house so sweetly.  The magic begins when the forgotten boxes emerge from behind musky suitcases in the furthest recesses of the closet, and these little things find their place among the house, as every year they do. Let the lights sparkle on the holiday ornaments , it is soon to be a brand new winter season ! And you can bet I’m knitting in a frenzy for holiday gifts !