I think it's kind of weird that I had already designed and named this year's ornaments before we had any idea that we'd be away from home at all this summer (and this upcoming fall). As we prepare to leave again soon, this little collection feels particularly poignant to me right now, and just makes me happy.
Please meet my 2011 ornament collection, SWEET HOME!
It includes a Blue Door, with a wreath to welcome you home . . .
A Glowing Candle, to light the night . . .
And a Wild Bunny, playing with his woodland friends in the yard.
Each Sweet Home Felt Holiday Ornament Craft Kit contains materials to make one of each of the three ornaments, including:
20 pieces of wool blend felt in assorted colors
12 skeins coordinating DMC cotton embroidery floss
1/4 yd imported French gingham ribbon (for hanger)
1/2 yd imported French eyelet lace (for hangers)
Beads and sequins
Illustrated embroidery tutorial
You will need to have your own:
Wool batting or Polyester Fiber-fill
Sharp embroidery needle
Dressmaker's chalk pencil or fabric marker
Dressmaker's chalk carbon paper
Sharp fabric scissors and paper scissors
Television to watch the new season of Psych if they ever start it for goodness sakes!!!!!!!
We have also put together limited editions of previous years' kits, including:
2010's kit, SNOW DAY:
It includes a Red Wool Coat, to keep you warm and dry . . .
A traditional Norwegian Selbu mitten, to keep your hands toasty . . .
And a Polar Bear, far from the Arctic Circle, peeking out from behind the trees.
2009's ornament-making kit, WALK IN THE WOODS, is also available:
It includes the Cozy Cottage, with the wood fires burning:
The Snowy Tree, sparkling with ice crystals:
And my favorite, the Little Deer, who watches shyly from the trees:
And there are also a few of 2008's kit, ICE-SKATING AFTERNOON, as well!
There's the Hot Cocoa Cup, to warm you up:
The Ice Skate, with pom-pon for good measure:
And lastly, the Gingerbread Girl, the sweetest of all:
Please click on the links for each of the kits above to take to you the web shop pages, which list what's included in each and what you will need to have. All ornament kits cost $30 each. I must tell you a couple of VERY IMPORTANT THINGS before you order, though:
1) Because our life in the near-future is extremely unpredictable, we originally decided that we would not ship these overseas this year. But NOW we have changed our minds, and have decided that we will ship kits overseas and to Canada, but only electronically through Paypal, and not by handwriting customs forms and standing in line at the P.O. they way we usually do. This means that your overseas shipping will be very expensive, because shipping internationally on-line is more than three times more expensive than taking your package to the P.O. International shipping is pricey, complicated, and time-intensive process when you are sending hundreds of kits overseas, as we do, and we just don't have the ability right now to take on the extra hours of work it takes to keep the international shipping costs lower, the way we usually do. I don't know why there is such a difference in cost when shipping international on-line or at the P.O. counter, but there it is. I sincerely apologize, but I promise that this is the best we can do right now, honestly.
2) If you do place an order, please (begs, pleads) make sure that your shipping address in Paypal is entirely correct. Every time we ship kits, I get dozens of emails asking me to change an address that has been placed on an order. Tracking and accommodating these changes is a complicated process (for reasons I won't bore you with right now), and I definitely won't be able to do it this time. It may happen that someone other than me (hi Julie) needs to take over the shipping process in coming days, and with close to 1,500 individual orders expected to ship all over the world, I cannot trust that your kit will get to you unless you have an accurate address on your Paypal account. If you do send in an order and realize later than you need to change it, you can email me, but the best I will be able to do is cancel and refund your original order (if it hasn't already shipped), let you make your changes with Paypal (not me), and ask you to place another order with the corrected information. If you are in the process of moving, perhaps you can have a friend or a relative order a kit for you with their account, and then they can ship it on to you when you know your new address?
About the skill level needed to complete these: In previous years I said that, while I don't think of these kits necessarily as a children's or a beginner's project, if you have some experience working some basic stitches, these ornaments take more time and patience than skill. I will include directions on transferring the designs to the felt, and basic diagrams for completing the types of classic embroidery stitches you will need to know — backstitch, lazy-daisy stitch, satin stitch, French knot, and blanket stitch — but once you are comfortable working those stitches, if you just take your time and settle in, you will be fine.
If you are interested in ordering any of these kits, the very best advice I can give you is do not wait to place your order. Unlike previous years, we are not taking pre-orders this year: We have instead made up a limited number of each kit, and will ship them out as fast as we can. In previous years, these kits have sold out every year long before Christmas, and once they are gone, they are absolutely gone until next year (and even then, there are no guarantees that we will continue to do them, of course). Usually, Andy and I put these kits together ourselves, sourcing all of the materials, cutting the felt and the ribbons, packaging the embroidery floss, scooping beads and sequins, winding yarn, and then doing all of the shipping. This year, we are so lucky to have a lot of people helping us with every aspect of this operation, because the reality is that we could get a phone call summoning us to Illinois any day now, and we'll have to pack up and go as fast as we can (and then we'll be gone for several weeks). My trusty assistants will take over, but this is a big job, and if at any time they (or I) get too overwhelmed, we'll stop taking orders. So, all that said, my advice is to order early, because I'll start packing up orders for some of the kits tomorrow, and do as much as I can before that important phone call comes!
I also don't think I'll have time to write postcards for everyone the way I usually do for all of my orders. But I'll do them next time, I promise!
I will eventually be offering all four patterns as downloadable PDFs — but I do not know exactly when they will be available. We usually make them available sometime in October, but again, I'll just have to see how everything goes.
THANK YOU again, everyone, for your patience and for your very generous enthusiasm for these projects. I absolutely love making these ornaments and these kits, and I can't tell you how cool it feels to imagine you at home making these for yourselves. It's one of my favorite things, and I'm so grateful that you collect them, year after year. I really like how each collection stands alone, but I also really try to make each of the collections work together as part of the larger group. It's just fun to see them all together, and they are SO much fun to make. I really, really hope you enjoy these!