Cherie Langlois and Sue Weaver, two Hobby Farms contributing editors, share two holiday craft traditions and Sarah Coleman, managing editor of Hobby Farms, offers Santa-making ideas (including one with a goat-fiber beard) and more holiday cheer.
One-of-a-Kind Festive Farm Animal Cards
Sue Weaver has a great holiday card-making idea for hobby farmers.
Our favorite holiday tradition begins in mid-November when we shoot pictures of our animals decked in festive attire.
We pick our favorites (the donkey decorated with blinking Christmas tree lights? The ram with the homemade wreath around his neck?) and make prints, then the fun begins.
Using blank deckle-edged Strathmore cards, rubber cement, Christmas stickers, and felt tip markers, we design a special card for each of our friends.
Are they fancy? Not at all. But they're unique, and each is a one-of-a-kind. ~ Sue WeaverChristmas Yarn DollsCherie Langlois and her 15-year-old daughter Kelsey tell us how to make Christmas Yarn Dolls.
photos by Kelsey Langlois
Each holiday season we bring out our yarn box and create old-timey yarn dolls as gifts or just for fun. With this craft, you can set your imagination free, making dolls of every size, color, and texture. Add handmade or craft store-bought wings and you’ll have a beautiful yarn angel to adorn your tree.
Here’s all you need:
- A book (rectangular, not square)
- Two colors of yarn
- Wings, if making an angel
- To form the body, wrap one color of yarn around the book long-ways twenty to thirty times. Carefully cut all the strands at one end and lay the bundle aside.
- For the hair, wrap your second color around the book short-ways the same number of times. Cut as in step 1.
- Place the two bundles across each other at the center.
- Take the two ends of the bottom bundle and pull them up so they’re even. Pull the two ends of the second bundle down (enlist a helper, if needed). Lay down the two interlocked bundles or have your helper hold them.
- Cut a piece of yarn, tie it tight around one bundle above where it joins the other bundle. Repeat with the other bundle. You now have a head with hair and a bunch of yarn hanging down.
- For arms, make another yarn bundle the same size and color as hair. Tie with a yarn string about ½-inch from one end. Now braid for about four inches. Tie again at the other end and trim to ½-inch.
- Divide yarn beneath the head, center arms in between, and add wings, if making an angel. Close strands below the arms and tie off with yarn “belt.”
- For a skirted doll, trim the uneven yarn ends and you’re done! If you want the doll to wear pants, separate the yarn, then braid and tie off the sections to create legs.
~ Cherie and Kelsey Langlois No Place Like Home ...
Sarah Coleman reflects on home and old and new holiday memories.
Santas ... of All Sorts
Every year for as long as I can remember, my mother and I have made some form of Santa; whether it be a 6-foot tall paper mache Santa formed from chicken wire or Santa ornament, something new and Christmas-y has always graced our farmhouse.
Once we turned an antique quilt into a stocking that featured a Santa with a real goat fiber beard (goat fiber courtesy of the Leicester Longwools from Ann Brown in Kentucky!).
~ S. Coleman
Since my mother is a night shift ER nurse, her schedule is always a bit crazy—when I finally make it home from wherever I'm living, she takes all manner of cookie dough out of the freezers and we bake and bake and drink tea while we catch up on life. I have always been the official “Pitzelle maker!”
On Christmas Eve, it’s usually just my father and I while my mom works a 12-hour shift; something I dreaded as a child (I had to wait for her to get home to open gifts!). But now ask her to do so the younger kids might have their mother home for the holidays.
To me, nothing says “home” like pulling in the driveway, tires muffled by snow, to the sight of our house aglow with Christmas lights, the barn and milkhouse with big welcoming wreaths, and the smell of a fire lingering in the crisp, winter air. There literally is no place like home.
~ Sarah Coleman