3D Printer Christmas Pyramids

When I was just a kid, my parents started the tradition of giving handmade gifts to others for Christmas. I love making jewelry for my daughters-in-law, but this year we made a joint gift for our family members. Matt is enjoying a new hobby: making things with a 3D printer. Here he is with the mysterious machine.Matt with his 3D printer

At first I was quite befuddled by the whole 3D printing idea. I think it’s confusing because of the term printer. Really, if you think of it as a hot glue gun sort of thing that extrudes hot thin plastic layer after layer as it builds up into a three dimensional item, then it makes more sense to me.  The Christmas presents all started when we visited my parents this fall. My dad had designed a Christmas pyramid and was printing it on his 3D printer. They asked if I would help paint the figurines. Figurines for the Christmas pyramids

I was hooked! These things were mesmerizing! I asked if we could use Dad’s designs and make them for our family too. We had to get busy to complete them by Christmas, but we did it. The printer was running non-stop for days in order to make four pyramids. Then came the painting. I thought the Marys looked so sweet.Mary figurines printed on a 3D printer

And the choir boys just precious.Choir boys, 3D printer

Finally, Matt put them all together and set them spinning. I really could watch them for hours. Here is a video of our completed Christmas pyramids.

Aren’t they wonderful?! I’m so glad Dad shared it with us and Matt made them. Christmas pyramids. 3D printer

Here are my parents holding one that they completed and figurines that were drying. I wonder if the one they are holding is the one they gave me? Burl and Shirley Updyke holding the Christmas pyramid that he designed for the 3D printer

It was a joy to give one to Matt’s parents.Matt's parents with the 3D printed Christmas pyramid

And to our sons.One of our sons and his wife holding their Christmas pyramid

We sure did enjoy thinking of our loved ones as we made these pyramids. And loved contemplating just what they represented: the love of our Father in heaven who sent his one and only son to come as a baby, endure suffering and death and rise again as our Savior, Jesus Christ! Praise God for his incredible gift!3D printed Christmas Pyramid

Who knows what we’ll make next year. This may have started a new trend for us! You can read about the construction of the pyramids on my mom’s blog here: Shirl and You – A Labor of Love and a Keepsake is Made

Happy Campers Hooked Rug

Since I’m always in the pursuit of a new creative outlet, I gave rug hooking a try. After finishing the pumpkin mat from the kit I got at Oktoberfest, I was itching to make a larger project. Looking online made me realize that even though there were several tempting kits available, I really wanted to design my own rug.

Have you noticed all the adorable little camper things out there these days? You can get all sorts of things with a cute drawing of a trailer. But never have I seen anything cute for 5th wheel campers. Not fair! So, I decided I just had to make something myself. I’ve wanted a decorative rug for in front of the sink in our 5th wheel. I drew out several different ideas.DSC_0064 2

I then determined that I needed some help. Rug hooking supplies just don’t seem to be available at craft stores. I sent an email to the woman that I had gotten the original kit from, Caroline Twigg of Eagles Nest Woolens, and she invited me to come to her home. And what a gorgeous, interesting home it is! After driving through one of the most beautiful parts of Maryland, our GPS took us to the end of a cul-de-sac. We followed a long drive with no house in site but after going around a curve, there it was!DSC_9777 2 DSC_9778 2

I wasn’t expecting a historic home! Inside was beautiful too. Caroline had gorgeous hooked rugs everywhere along with interesting antiques.  Her rug hooking studio is in the attic, so I enjoyed looking at the rugs as we made our way up two flights of stairs.DSC_9768 2 DSC_9767 2

Finally we entered her studio. Wonderful fabric, rugs and work spaces! Caroline helped me pick out fabric for my design. Here is my stack of fabric.DSC_9773 2

And then, thankfully, she cut it all for me!DSC_9771

Caroline was my hero! What a blessing for her to cut all that fabric for me. After spending three hours helping me, she still graciously agreed to a photo with me.DSC_9774

So, now I was committed. I had to make this rug happen. First I needed to have a hooking frame. Matt offered to make one for me, but I was on a roll. I found one on the internet and just had to wait a couple days. Some assembly was required. But not more than I could handle!DSC_9784 2

Now I was ready. My design was still on a piece of copier paper and I wanted this rug to be the perfect size for in the camper, 27 x 17. I couldn’t figure out how to make it bigger any other way than to just draw it again on bigger paper. The edges of the linen backing fabric needed to be secured. Hubby to the rescue with blue tape.DSC_9795 2

I was equally mystified as to how to transfer the pattern onto the linen. Matt suggested just laying the paper pattern on the floor and then the fabric and seeing if we could see the pattern through the little holes. Surely it wouldn’t be that easy, would it? Yes, it would.DSC_9796 2

I had been told to hook the main motif first. That meant our lovely camper! So, I worked a row of stitches around the camper and filled it in. So far so good.DSC_9814 2

Wording on a rug can prove to be quite a challenge. I suppose I cheated a bit by working up the wording on the computer to make sure the letters were spaced well. They were coming together!DSC_9840 2

This rug hooking was pretty fun. It’s sort of like coloring with wool strips. No need to count; just fill in the spaces. I was a bit concerned about whether I should have chosen a different color for the tree. It was working up to be darker than I had envisioned. And I had chosen darker blue for sky. Hmmmm….DSC_9845 4

I decided to outline the tree with the window color. I liked it! The tree popped right out and yet didn’t overwhelm. Perfect. I worked the sun as I waited for my son and daughter-in-law to arrive from another state. I hadn’t seen our Marine son since he had gotten home from being deployed. Working on the swirly sun was just perfect to keep my mind from going crazy with the anticipation! That rascal showed up early, snuck up on me and scared me half to death! I will always look at the sun in this rug and have that fond memory.

There was not enough wool for the outline. So, once again it was time to improvise.DSC_9866

A multi-colored border sounded good to me. And it went fast. Too fast. My beautiful, Happy Campers rug is all done.DSC_0052 4

And I love it!DSC_0063 2

Check out my post about my Butterfly rug pattern!