Beginning January 1, 2013

Stop by and let us know what you think of the new look!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest: Donna Alward

Christmas projects

I have always maintained that I am not crafty. When it comes to hot glue, I usually suffer multiple burns. If it required painting or drawing, it looks like something my kids did in kindergarten. If it requires great dexterity – forget it. I’m all thumbs.

But it doesn’t stop me from trying just the same. Because while I’m not crafty, I AM creative. Add that in to a thrifty streak that hates to throw anything out, and…

Well, sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.

One thing that usually works out is treats. A holiday can full of baked treats is never a bad idea…so Chocolate Peanut Butter balls, shortbread, Gumdrop Cake…this is a great idea for neighbours, teachers, and PWHE: People Who Have Everything. A variation of this that is really festive is to buy a holiday jar and fill it with homemade peanut brittle, fudge, or bark. This year, I made white chocolate pistachio cranberry bark that is delicious.

I do like to knit as well, but I’m horribly slow. I think it’s because I’m the only lefty in the family and I learned right handed (and I’m too old and confused to try to switch now!). Last year I knit some of my gift bags from holiday yarn I bought on sale at the end of season. When the nieces and nephews were younger, they sometimes got mittens and scarves. I’ve got cute ornament patterns for stockings and bells that have found their way on the tops of packages. Then there’s dishcloths knit in Christmas colours. This year I’m knitting a Christmas wreath. If it turns out well, a lot of people might get one in their box next year.
My kids often get bead kits as well, so we usually have a fun afternoon putting together bead ornaments. I tried my hand at candles this summer and they turned out quite well, despite the number of cuts on my thumbs from the sharp edges of the molds.

The one thing I’m REALLY not good at is sewing, but that doesn’t necessarily stop me from making presents, especially if I’ve come by material. This year, I made tea towels out of white cotton waffle fabric and put inside each family basket. We also started making our own wine, so I made really cute wine bottle bags out of the plum drapes that hung in my daughter’s bedroom – and some pretty silver and purple wired ribbon from Michaels.

All in all – I finished more projects than I expected to this year, and that’s a good thing! The one thing I haven’t finished? A cross stitch I bought ages ago. Every time I think about working on it, I somehow find something else to do.

What about you? How crafty are you, and what are some of your favourite projects? Let me know and I’ll draw for a copy of my e-book, OFF THE CLOCK – the first novella in my FIRST RESPONDERS series from Samhain Publishing. Look for the second book, IN THE LINE OF DUTY, out in 2012.

Bio: A busy wife and mother of three (2 daughters and the family dog), Donna Alward believes hers is the best job in the world; a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist.

An avid reader since childhood, Donna always made up her own stories. She completed her Arts Degree in English Literature in 1994, but it wasn't until 2001 that she penned her first full-length novel, and found herself hooked on writing romance. In 2006 she sold her first manuscript, and now writes warm, emotional stories for Harlequin's Romance line.

Donna loves being back on the East Coast of Canada after nearly 12 years in Alberta where her Harlequin career began, writing about cowboys and the west. Donna's debut Romance, Hired by the Cowboy, was awarded the Booksellers Best Award in 2008 for Best Traditional Romance.

Donna loves to hear from readers; you can contact her through her website at , on facebook as Donna Alward, Romance Author and on twitter @DonnaAlward.


Michelle said...

I'm more of a baker myself but get creative/crafty when decorating my holiday packages to make them special...

Michelle B. aka koshkalady


jls0622 said...

Years ago I was more crafty with plastic canvas, now I do more baking of cookies and fudge for the holiday's.

Donna E said...

I'm really not crafty, or creative. And altho years ago, I would have made cookies and fudge, I doubt I have the want to to do that now.

I do (did) like to cross stitch. I would buy the kits (little projects - nothing big) because that gave me the correct colors, etc [as I said, I'm not creative or artistic]. And I'm slow, so the little projects would take a while to finish. But it's been even years since I've done any of that. [Still have some kits to start too.]

I read about the things and projects you've done and I marvel at how MUCH you accomplish! I'm awed. I have trouble just keeping laundry done.

Merry Christmas to you and to your family!

Donna Durnell
304 S 6th St
Henryetta OK 74437

Judith said...

I love to draw and would dearly love to paint but I am terrible at it!
I see no improvement so it is back to the drawing board, lol.

Brenda Hyde said...

*snicker* I too have had more than my share of hot glue gun burns! I don't knit, crochet or do cross stitch. I'm not very coordinated but I love working with dried herbs and flowers.

brenda at standbesideher dot come

Debby said...

I love to crochet. I used to do all sorts of crafts with my girl scouts. I was famous for none of them coming out exactly right.
Debby236 at gmail dot com

shadow_kohler said...

I like doing crafty things. Art class was my favorite class in school. My favorite thing to do was glass etching. So fun! Thanks for the fun! Happy holidays!

RoyalCheryl said...

I love making good ole Rice Krispie treats. They always seem to delight.

Donna Alward said...

I'm having a secret giggle at the comments because there are so many times I feel so INADEQUATE for not being more crafty. Like when you walk into someone's home and it seems to be decorated just right with lovely little place always looks distinctly LIVED IN I guess- I just don't have that magic touch. My sister-in-law does and knows just what to put where...

And I'll rice krispie treats got made here this year too!

GladysMP said...

I love handmade gifts. They just tell me that someone has thought enough of me to try to give me a portion of their time. I often make different crafts and making ornaments for the Christmas tree is lots of fun and makes your tree different from any other.

Happy New Year!

Frank said...

Hi, Donna! I love the idea of craftiness and I do love some crafts, but I just haven't had much time lately--my favorite fall back is probably either cookie baking or crochet; I enjoyed making lace snowflakes, but can't even find my crochet hooks at the moment! (We moved a couple months back, and it seems like things are in boxes not at all where I'd expect ;))

Hope your celebrating was merry and memorable, Donna!
--flchen1, using DH's account
f dot chen at comcast dot net

VampedChik said...

I wish I was creative! LOL but I totally must have missed that branch on the tree. :( Thanks for sharing!

Kathryn Merkel said...

I'm very creative in the kitchen. My best friend tells me she doesn't know anyone else that can make a dish with none of the original ingredients that still tastes good. Call me the queen of ingredient substitution.

I can't draw to save my life & I'm only good at machine sewing if I the pattern calls for all straight seams. I do like to cross stitch & have a crazy collection of embroidery floss to prove it.

drainbamaged.gyzmo at