Homemade Ornaments: Pinecone Gnomes

I love making ornaments from found, natural materials. Cat-sitting for my crafty neighbor Jane last week, I spotted these little gnome ornaments she had made from the pinecones that fall on our neighborhood sidewalks, and asked if I could share them on The Tangled Nest. Jane’s gnomes were inspired by …

The Tangled Nest 2011 Holiday Gift Guide

One of the most lamentable things about the corporate takeover of the winter holidays is the co-optation of gift-giving.  Presents under the tree have become synonymous with obscene mobs at Walgreens and Best Buy. In an effort to separate ourselves from that scene, many of us seeking a simple, authentic …

Cardboard Box Gingerbread House Gift Box: A Super-fun Upcycle

Last night I was wrapping a present for Claire, and I don’t know what came over me.  The ugly old box ended up as a cardboard gingerbread house.  When Claire woke up this morning, she thought the box itself was her present.  Now we are plotting a whole upcycled cardboard …

Homemade Knitting Needles, Knitting Evangelism, and a Pretty Scarf Pattern

For my seventh birthday, my mom gave me a pair of light blue knitting needles and a ball of white yarn.  She didn’t know how to knit, but sent me across the backyard to our neighbor’s house, where the retired librarian Marion Milligan took me under her wing.  Marion taught …

Six Simple Homemade Ornaments You Can Make

One day this week we unanimously  decided that Claire was looking much too pale to go to school.  Clearly, she had to stay home, sip hot chocolate, listen to Vince Guaraldi, and decorate the Christmas tree with me (I don’t homeschool, but I do try to keep my priorities straight–if …

Simple Winter Sewing Project: Hot Rice Bags

Warm face, warm ‘ands, warm feet Aow, wouldn’t it be loverly? –Eliza Doolittle Cloth bags of heated grain are great for warming the bed or soothing sore muscles–much cozier than hot water bottles, and a nicer quality of heat.  I kept seeing them in boutique shops with shocking price tags, …

Simple Gifts

  In the world of eco-hip, we are expected to eschew Christmas hype, and I am as cynical about corporate, commercial, factory-made holidays as the next person.  But I love to celebrate the turning of the seasons, and believe deeply in reclaiming the light, richness, and beauty of  Solstice/Christmas time.  …