November Means the Holidays Are Here! And New Christmassy Things in the Shop.

The beginning of November is always the most exciting time for me because it means pulling out my Christmas decor and spicing things up for the holidays. I LOVE the holiday season, and I love making everything in my house festive and cheerful. This November is even more special for me because in a few short weeks my wee babe should be making his appearance in our lives, and I can’t wait to bring him home to a beautifully decorated house.

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This year I’ve got a whole new collection of Christmassy items in the shop. Christmas decor and ornaments are probably my favorite things ever to make. Christmas is such a happy time of year, and I love the possibility of helping people achieve that with handmade decor!

For this season, I have created a new line of book-inspired Christmas ornaments, because books are ❤ and deserve a special spot on your tree. Right now, I’ve got a number of titles including Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and Macbeth by William Shakespeare, among many others. I will keep adding more as I make them, and I’m thinking about giving them a permanent, year-round spot in the shop. These ornaments compliment my classic book cover tapestries.

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I’m also really excited to be offering fully customizable Christmas stockings, complete with a pocket displaying a hand-painted shelf of your favorite books. Obviously, books are a big part of my life and I love including them in my Christmas festivities. I made a stocking for my husband, one for myself, and one for the baby – who doesn’t have a name yet, so I’ll be adding on his name after he’s born!

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I hope the beginning of your holiday season is amazing, and please consider shopping small this Christmas! Etsy is a great resource for any number of handmade goods, and supporting small businesses is what makes our world go round. Remember to order your handmade decor and gifts far in advanced so they ship to you in time!

My Favorite Thing to Make: Book Spine Bookmarks

People often ask me what my favorite thing to create is. After pondering it a while (I don’t want to give a rash answer on this one), I think I finally came up with an answer. I love any and all sorts of creative activities, but my favorite thing to make is my book spine bookmarks (which you can find here in my etsy shop).

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I really enjoy making these because they exercise my brain as well as my hand. I majored in English in college, but even before then books were monumental in my life. Every English class I ever took was my favorite – there was just something so exciting about delving into a novel, discovering its secrets, its themes and symbols and essence. Book discussions are what I lived for in school. Now that I am out of school I find myself longing for those days of book discussions and intensive reading, and one thing that helps is painting book spines on bookmarks.

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Painting a book spine bookmark is like my creative version of a book discussion. I decide on (or am commissioned) a book to make, and then I stew over it. What color is this novel? What style? Is it classical or new agey or abstract or fantastical? What are the most important or deep-sitting symbols in the book?

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Some books are easier to make than others, but I love this sort of challenge. When in the middle of one of these bookmarks, I find myself flipping through the pages, looking up quotes, and re-meeting the characters. Pure bliss.

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My favorite books to do so far have been the Harry Potter series, but to avoid being cliche, my runner up is Ethan Frome. This was my favorite book in high school.

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Bookmarks are also a great gift option for people who would much rather have their nose stuck in a book than be out partying – we all know the type! If you have a specific book in mind for a loved one, let me know and I can start a custom order for you. Cheers!

unwrap your unique gift etsy

I’m So Glad I Live in a World Where There are Octobers

Happy October, everyone!

October Bookmark by Peels and Posies on Etsy
October Bookmark by Peels and Posies on Etsy

Since all my flowers are dead after that freak winter storm a few weeks ago, the area around my front door was looking depressingly barren. So with the ushering in of October, I decided to get some beautiful…PORCH PUMPKINS!

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Grant and I meant to go to the pumpkin patch outside Sheridan on Sunday, but we were foiled by the rain and cold. Instead we picked out these beeyoooteeeful pumpkins from Walmart. I love the blue and white combo because it takes a step back from the stereotypical Halloween decor while still being festive. And of course miniature pumpkins have always been my favorite. So tiny and cute.

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In the meanwhile, I’ve also made some limited edition tribal print pumpkin fridge magnets, available in my Etsy shop just for the month of October! Get them while supplies last. 🙂

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Limited Time Only Pumpkin Fridge Magnets by Peels and Posies on Etsy

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Blog Anniversary, A Cat-Shaped Crossbody Purse, and Tending the Herbs

Hello lovelies!

It’s been a while since I have posted anything on here, and in my neglect, I failed to realize that yesterday was the one-year anniversary of my dear Consider the Peel. One year! A year ago I was unmarried, living with my grandparents, and experiencing my first real winter in about ten years!

Yesterday was a good first birthday for my blog (even though I didn’t realize that’s what it was at the time). It got up to 60 degrees in Gilbert, and the sun was beating brilliantly down. I went on a 4 and a half mile run, which was absolutely fantastic even though my shoes got soaked through.

When I wasn’t outside, I was spending my time making this cat crossbody purse.

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I will admit it took me forever to figure out how to do, since I made up my own pattern. I have this handicap when it comes to following someone else’s patterns – okay, so it’s less of a handicap and more of an impatient, pig-headed independence and a disposition of boredom while reading instructions. I don’t know how people normally come up with patterns. I am sure there is a science in there somewhere, but I’ve never had the patience to read about it. So I used my own method and fashioned this paper purse instead.

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Then I cut out of paper the same shapes with about a half an inch extra on every side, for seam allowance. I decided to use three layers of fabric (including a lining) to give the purse more structure and durability. After the fabric pieces had been cut out, it was all just a matter of thinking reeeaaaallly hard about which way to sew everything so it came out with all the sides facing the right ways. The lining was particularly difficult for me to figure out, but this informative video really helped me out.

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One of these days, I will figure out how to sew a buttonhole on my sewing machine, but for now it is handsewing for me. I don’t really mind it, of course.

In other news, today I finally decided to be a good plant mother and prune my struggling herbs. This winter has been a tough one on them (the window on who’s sill they sit is constantly frozen over on the inside) resulting in the demise of my basil, and the others worse for wear. I’m not sure my chamomile will survive. 😥  Nevertheless, after pruning, I now have this luminescent plate of fresh parsley and lavender leaves sitting on my window sill and smelling all spring-like. Wonderful.

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I have planted more basil, oregano, mint, rosemary, and dill and they are just now tiny little sprouts. Unfortunately, I do not know which is which anymore, as all my labels washed off.

Other than running, purse-making, herb-tending, and wife-being, I have been keeping busy with my Etsy shop Peels and Posies. Recently, I’ve made a lot of brooches, badges, fridge magnets, and little wall hangings. Now I have a question for you: Are cat purses something you would like to see in my Etsy shop?

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Sherlock Silhouette Brooch, Peels and Posies on Etsy, $11

🙂