If you're like to recall some of last year's projects, you can go here.
|These are for keeps. Next year I'll make them some snow kids.|
Most commonly I am asked how I find time. Yes, I'm a mom to two very busy kids but I'm also a full time graduate student. Well, I'd like to say I'm pretty good with time management. But I also have help from my wonderful and very supportive husband, a mom that sometimes helps with the projects or just plays with the kids so I can finish them up, and kids that are also good about playing and allowing me time to finish. They know these projects often mean new things for them to play with.
Here are some other methods I use to find crafting time:
- Stay up late. (Julie in CT, you can attest to this!) Rarely am I asleep before midnight.
- During breakfast. I always drink protein shakes. I cannot eat breakfast. After 8 months of morning sickness while pregnant with Bebe Sister, I still cannot bring myself to eat in the morning. Crocheting and drinking my shake are the way to go for me.
- While sitting at the foot of my little girl's bed waiting for her to drift off to sleep - sometimes this takes 15 minutes and sometimes it takes 2 hours. I just keep a tiny light handy so I can work.
- During arts/crafts or playdough time with the kids. Alas, one of my major projects ended up with markers on it. Such as it is. Still, I could not get too upset as the little bean said she wanted to help.
- While listening to school lectures. This past semester I usually had 2-4 hours of lectures each week so I would often crochet during some of the not-so-challenging subject matters. Actually, it did a great job keeping me from falling asleep.
- While working out - while I'm on the elliptical I can do some simple crocheting.
Needless to say, often my items are not perfect (and I'm a perfectionist - hence, a life learning lesson to deal with less-than-perfect work). As I said, sometimes there are marker stains or even dropped stitches due to poor lighting conditions. However, each item is crafted with love and care for the person who will be receiving it. At this point in my life, I don't have much in the way of monetary items to give but I do have my crafting skills and very precious time and that I can share.
I hope you enjoy seeing the projects as much as I had making them.
I present to you the 2011 Crafted Gift Preview...
My nephew wears this sock monkey hat in his favorite team's colors. Thus, I made him a matching sock monkey. This one is my own design. I used a pattern for another one I made in the traditional sock monkey colors but I cannot seem to find a photo of that one.
I also made a bag to wrap his gifts in. I kept with the blue and orange theme. (Don't worry, he does not read the blog.)
As I mentioned in an earlier posting, I restored one of my old dolls to pass along to Bebe Sister. This was my most treasured Cabbage Patch Doll from 1985. Yes, I know some of you were not even born then. Well, I was about 7 years old when I was given this doll. I loved her for so many years. Actually, she was quite dirty. I read a few online tutorials about cleaning and restoring dolls. She came out looking great. I dressed her in an outfit I purchased months ago on Etsy. I cannot take credit for her outfit. However, I did make her more clothes which I can take credit for. Her name was Julie. We'll see if Bebe Sis wants to keep the name or change it.
Then, I made a dress and some pajama pants for Bebe Sister with matching clothes for her dolls. I had to also make a Hello Kitty to go with that particular set of clothes. I was very pleased with that result.
I found a local artist who made this baby doll cradle. It was only $15. Love shopping local. I went ahead and made a mattress pad for it and a doll blanket. The blanket will match one of Bebe Sister's which she received from her great-aunt L, a very treasured item.
I used one of T Rex's old long sleeve shirts along with a snowflake I made to pull this little item together. This took such a small amount of time yet our daughter has LOVED wearing it. I gifted this to her early so she could enjoy it this winter season. I also made several more of these snowflakes to tie around gift packages. The snowflake is an "advanced pattern" - I guess I am achieving higher crafting status!
These little mailboxes filled me with giggling glee as I made them. I saw these somewhere online and thought they were really cool but I was not going to pay a stitch of money for something I knew I could make with some felt that was crowding my closet. They are a little on the small size but only because I was using tiny scraps of felt. I really think the kids are going to get a kick out of them as they've pulled the three mailbox ornaments we have off the tree and have been trying to mail letters out of them.
Another project with the kids in mind - baking/crafting aprons. I really wanted to find a set at the local craft show but there was nothing with full clothing coverage which I think is needed - my kids make huge messes. I basically used an appropriately sized t-shirt as a template and made these. Little crowns for my girl and rockets for my little guy. Again, I think they'll get a kick out of them - especially with the pocket in front.
I made several of these wash cloth/face cloth sets to pair with my homemade lavender frankincense soap. I am not terribly happy with the soap but at least it turned out alright. Next time, I'll double check my recipe so I don't have to rebatch it. It does sud up nicely but I don't like the fragments of lavender in it - clogs up my sink. It does smell nice, though.
Every year for the past 15 years, my dearest friend and I trade packages. It's really become a tradition and we look forward to seeing what we come up with each year. Before kids the packages were really about us. These days it's more about the kids. She has four so I always need to start early so I'll be able to get the package sent out in advance. This year I asked her to have her kids send me a list of their favorite animals. The list included: elephant, baby elephant, King Cobra, and a shark. It took some creativity for some of these (the snake pattern is my own design) but these are the end results. Note the baby elephant has a pacifier around it's neck.
The yarn on the shark was awesome to work with. I used it to also make this wolf for Bebe Sister's little friend who's in the UK celebrating his 2nd birthday this week.
Another dear friend received this before she embarked on her Europe trip. I thought it would be the perfect size for her passport. It's 100% wool. I just loved the color.
On the past couple outings to "the big Joann's store" T Rex has spotted this red monster. I think a child stitched it during a crafting class or something as it really is asymmetrical and kind of ugly. But he just loves it and always goes on and on about. So, last time we were there I looked at it, made some mental notes, and made one for him. I tried to make it a little less hideous and at least kept the eyes about the same size (unequal pupils are not a good sign when I see someone in the clinic with them). Here's the result. Behind him is the fabric bag made to go along which I'll be wrapping T Rex's homemade gifts in. He loves the Rudolph movie.
Taking an idea from Caboose Cloth, I devised this Cars carrying case for T Rex. It folds up so he can take his Cars on the road or unrolls to reveal little slots for up to 5 Cars. It is intended for the larger Pixar Cars but will also hold the smaller Hot Wheels. Honestly, I think he'll be most excited about the fabric pattern.
I still have a couple of items to finish up this week. My goal is to not be crafting on Christmas Eve. Dear T Rex has big baking plans for us that day so I don't want to be sewing and missing out on baking.
This will likely be my last posting until after Christmas. Please let me wish you and your family the very best this holiday season. We celebrate Christmas so a very merry Christmas to you. Thank you all for the kinds words and support you bestow upon us here. It does warm our hearts.