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Dec 28, 2013

Our First Christmas of Two

Christmas this year was nothing short of wonderful. For the first time, my husband and I decided to stay in New York instead of joining in the hectic traveling to spend time with family. That got me very excited to try some new craft projects and decorate our home. My favorite accomplishments were a funny looking Santa, made with felt and yarn, and our new quilted stockings. They were both very easy to make and I mostly eye-balled everything. 

Santa has a pyramid-shaped body filled with batting to help it sit nicely. I considered adding something heavy inside, like beans, but it turned out not to be necessary. I first cut the arms and legs, sewed them together, and added batting to fatten them up. Don't forget the shoes and the gloves! I made the head with two big circles and embroidered the eyes. I sewed the members and the head to the body and Santa was finally ready for the hot-glue-gun fun used to add the details to Santa's suit, glue his beard, hair and nose, as well as the hat. Simple simple, I promise!

The stockings were very entertaining to make. It was my first time quilting and I was very surprised by how each step fell into place naturally. I used this video as a general guide, and was able to fast forward through it. I decided to make the stockings very last minute, on Christmas day actually, and they came together very quickly. Luckily, a few weeks earlier I had bough a bunch of Christmas themed fat-quarters at The City Quilter and had all the material I needed on hand. Now, my only frustration continues to be the rotary-cutter, which I can't seem to learn how to use - maybe that's a resolution for 2014.

In addition to my personal craft time, we also got our first Christmas tree ever, which we decorated with handmade ornaments, to the sound of seasonal songs and hot chocolate. We also went to see a musical on Broadway, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet, where we set on a comfortable little table, drinking raspberry vodka and being mesmerized by the wonderful music and acting happening all around us. 

We cooked a delicious Christmas dinner, which started with a baked brie appetizer and homemade Glühwein, and followed with lamb and roasted vegetables. My mother-in-law shipped us some of her famous Christmas cake, which was better than ever, and made for the perfect desert. We caroled for ourselves and took our sweet time opening beautiful gifts. The next day, we went to dinner at friends' house and the fun started all over again. To make it truly especial, we went ice-skating in Central Park in the last hour of the day and stopped for fancy drinks at the unique Bemelmans Bar. It was very special to be able to create our own traditions and enjoy the holidays in such a beautiful city, in the hassle-free comfort of our home. We missed the families, but we'll make up for it next year! Merry Christmas everyone!

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