November’s Projects…Month Three!

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Many of my memories as a child include Raggedy Ann.

She was a constant companion and a source of comfort. She fit snugly in the crook of my arm and snuggled under my chin when I slept. (Unless we were on a car trip and then she was a pillow.)

Car trip – circa 1970. I’m in the blue coat.

Note: This post was first published on November 5, 2017 and updated on August 31, 2020.

I called her Raggy and loved her until her yarn hair fell out, the well-worn fabric of her shoes were covered in embroidery flowers my mom used to cover up holes so her stuffing wouldn’t come out, and her face became dark and splotchy from all of our adventures (and my kisses).

At that point, a new Raggy would come to live with us and the fun would continue. Raggedy Ann holds a special place in my heart.

Another memory of my childhood are Christmas ornaments. My mom started a tradition when my sister, brother, and I were little.

Every year for Christmas she bought us an ornament for the tree. She selected every ornament carefully so it had a connection to us during that year in our lives.

As we got older, decorating the Christmas tree was a walk down memory lane as we opened up the boxes and rediscovered ornaments that reminded us of our past.

When we each got married and moved into our own homes, Mom sent us our childhood ornaments and continued the yearly tradition by buying ornaments not only for us but for our spouses and eventually our children.

Because Raggy was such an important part of my life, about 25 of my ornaments are Raggedy Ann and Andy.

In 2014 I decided that I wanted to have a second Christmas tree in our home dedicated to Raggedy Ann.

We waited until the artificial trees went on sale and I found the perfect tree. I used red beads as garland, a paper plate angel my son made as the star, and lovingly hung all my Raggy ornaments.

The one thing missing was a tree skirt. I went to my fabric stash and found a red and white striped fabric that looked like Raggy’s legs. I wrapped it around the tree stand and was happy with the result.

When we took down the Christmas decorations in January of 2015, I decided to make a special tree skirt for my Raggy tree.

However, once the Christmas boxes were up in the attic, life went on and I forgot about making a special Raggy tree skirt.

I didn’t remember until we put up the Christmas decorations for 2015. Then it happened again.

History repeated itself in 2016. No Raggy tree skirt was made.

In January of 2017, I got smart and decided not to put up the tree stand with all the other decorations. I thought if I kept the tree stand where I could see it, I would remember to do the tree skirt for my Raggy tree.

Well, I see that tree stand every day. It sits under a table in the entry way which opens into my sewing room.

Have I made the tree skirt for my Raggy tree? Sadly, no, but I haven’t forgotten about it and that is progress!

These two stories about my childhood are the inspiration behind one of November’s projects…

A Tree Skirt for the Raggy Tree

This project is definitely going to get done this year! I need to do some research to see if I can find a tree skirt pattern I like or one I can modify.

There are a few pieces of fabric in my stash that I want to use that remind me of the flowers on Raggy’s dresses. Plus I’m thinking of maybe using eyelet lace as an embellishment because it would be reminiscent of her apron.

Adirondack Chairs and Footstools

Refurbishing this outdoor furniture was originally an October project. It didn’t get done but I would love to iccomplish* it in November.

I can visualize relaxing with Douglas in these chairs while basking in the warmth of a chiminea fire.

I need to figure out how to stabilize the chairs because they are wobbly and lean slighty.

Though I like the weathered look, the paint is flaking off and they are fairly rough to the touch. Therefore, I want to sand and repaint them.

BONUS PROJECT – Large Christmas Ornaments

Three years ago we were in Houston and stumbled upon a Macy’s store that was closing in a local mall. They were on their last day of a store-wide-everything-must-go sale. The 3-story Macy’s was almost empty of all merchandise and fixtures.

Douglas and I walked through the eerily vacant store and came across a section of Christmas decorations that were used to decorate the store during the holidays.

There were boxes and boxes of humongous red Christmas ornaments in various styles. They were being sold at $1 each. They were such a deal and I could envision them hanging from the mature trees in our front and back yards. I even bought enough so my sister and mom could have some. In all, I bought 30 ornaments! What a find!

Ornaments as big as my head!

Well, my sister and mom haven’t jumped on the giant ornament band wagon, but their ornaments are in my attic just in case they change their minds.

My ornaments never made it on the trees in the yard but have at least hung from the front porch. Since getting the ornaments I have contemplated painting them but was paralyzed by color choices and intimidated by how to actually do it.

Learning about spray painting from Rust-Oleum’s how-to videos eliminated much of the the fear and trepidation I felt about spray painting. I found it was actually fun to spray paint the metal table and chairs in October!

The bonus project for November is to spray paint the ornaments in a colorful manner. I’m actually looking forward to doing some research on this creative project!

Though technically these three projects are not connected to a room (which was my initial approach to the School Year Challenge), they all are related to the Christmas season that is quickly approaching and will require me to turn my thinking into doing!


Douglas and I continue to make progress on our financial goals so I want to set a realistic and doable budget for the projects.

My mom is a master quilter, has an extensive fabric stash, and is very generous when I ask to “shop” in her “fabric store”. So, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to find what I need for the tree skirt at her house if I don’t have it myself. Budget = $0

The Adirondack furniture is another story. I need to do research on the best way to stabilize the chairs as well as the best way to paint them so they can withstand the elements out on the deck. I believe we will be able to find materials in the garage to brace the chairs. So the main part of the budget will be paint and related supplies. Budget = $100.00

The price of a can of Rust-Oleum spray paint ranged from roughly $4.00-$6.00 at a local store. I’m not sure what colors I want to use but I don’t think I will need more than 6 cans of spray paint. Budget = $36.00


Creating a Project Wall for September and October helped keep each month’s projects and my progress in front of me.

The note cards that make up my Project Wall are in my line of vision when I wake up every morning and when I go to bed every night.

This Project Wall went up FAST for November because I reused the cards for the Adirondack furniture.

Project Wall for November

November is going to be a great month for iccomplishing* the projects. I will have an entire week off for Thanksgiving! It is great to be a public school educator!

Read the previous post in the School Year Challenge.

Read the next post in the School Year Challenge.

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