Monday, January 07, 2008

One last thing or two about the holidays

Jammed into one photo-filled post, here's my holiday wrap-up:

Crafty Holiday

Now that I have given my gifts out to friends and family, I am free to share what I made.

I got really inspired by all the ideas posted on Sew, Mama, Sew! during November. In addition to the apron I made for Ellen, I made a bunch of zippered wristlets:

zippered wristlets

wristlets showing insides

I also made a bunch of heat therapy bags (muslin bags filled with orange-oil splashed rice). They can be tossed in the microwave and then used as heating pads for sore muscles. For each one I made a linen and cotton bag to go over the "ugly" bag. I had a lot of fun making these, but then completely forgot to take pictures. Luckily I realized that I actually made one more than I gave away. I made four in linen and cotton, and one in all cotton. The last one I didn't give away, because I thought the linen version made a better gift. After literally sniffing around the house for the orange-scented bag, I found it and snapped this picture:

heat therapy pillow

I also made a couple of eye bags filled with lentils and lavender. No photos, because other than the nice fabric, these rectangles aren't much to look at. (Mike, if you are reading, know that I have one in my dining room with your name written all over it.) Here is a small photo of one of the trapesoid bags I made for a couple of women at work. I found a quick and easy "one yard, one hour" pattern for a lined bag, but it was so boring I ended up using velcro to adjust the shape a bit. I also made a great little bird shaped sachet for Ada (who had requested a smelly pillow after seeing me make the eye bags and rice bags). Sadly, I forgot to take a picture, and the thing is upstairs with her now while she sleeps. I got the idea from this tutorial.

Christmas Eve White Elephant, or was that Dusty Duck?

Chris's family always spends Christmas eve with his aunt's family. We catch up on family news over egg nogs, eat dinner (ham and turkey), and retire to the living room for a white elephant gift exchange. This is not one of those exchanges where everyone brings something nice and bland and cheap (movie tickets or bon bons). This white elephant is an attempt to out-weird one another. I was sure I had a winner with my Home Face-Lift Kit (picked up at a white elephant exchange last January), but then I was met with several really impressive entries, including a Ukranian sunflower plate, a set of cat-butt magnets, old-lady doilies, a sexual board game, and this:

Dusty Duck

As you can see from the finger-prints, this one had been in the garage for a while. My 12 year old nephew had three separate gifts stolen from him (part of the game, but really, he's twelve!), but one of them was some card games that my mother-in-law and I got back to him. All in all, a nice evening.

(My brother-in-law ended up with the duck, which he intended to take home as a "treat" for his family's cats. Ten days after Christmas, my sister-in-law reported that the duck was still intact. Apparently the cats are more frightened than delighted by the stuffed bird. Funny, so was I.)

Christmas was a success

This first year of Ada understanding that Christmas involved lots of food and presents went over well. Exhibit A:

C is for Christmas Cookies

She only ended up icing two cookies, because she could not understand why you would ice a cookie if you weren't going to immediately eat it.

Exhibit B:
My in-laws saved this Fisher Price town from when Chris was a kid. I had one too but mine went to a goodwill somewhere in LA the moment my interest in it flagged. Not only does it have the police car and fire engine, but a bunch of "little people", furniture and playground equipment. Plus, my mother-in-law made a felt park and, because she could not find the original letters that came with the set, made new letters. Each laminated letter is addressed to one of Ada's friends or family members. She loves delivering the mail, and the process has solidified her sight knowledge of her own name and that of a couple of other people named on the envelopes.

Her Town

New Year, New Projects

Mostly because I have no idea what to get her, I am making my mom a farmers market bag. I stopped by my favorite fabric store today to pick up material for the handles, and found they were having a sale. I ended up buying a bunch of material for several planned projects.


Traci - the fabrics on the left are for the bag you hoped I'd make you. We can take it out in trade or blood, whatever works for you.

Karen - do you like either of the two middle fabrics on the right for a skirt? Depending on which one you like I will make myself a skirt with the other fabric.

The orange fabric will become a shirt from a pattern my essentially-sister-in-law gave me, and the bottom one will become a table runner for my mother-in-law. I will give it to her for Christmas next year, so I think I have a little time. (Yes, I can not resist a bargain.)

Somehow writing that all up was more exhausting than actually living it. I hope everyone is recovering nicely from their holidays.

(Chris - can you help me fix this dang blog so that everything I post doesn't end up like this, with edges trimmed in a messy and unwanted way?)


  1. so very lovely! the fabric is all great. i am so jealous of those who can sew.

  2. Love the projects. The white elephant exchange was hilarious. So sad the duck isn't in your living room...

  3. Wonderful stuff you made!

    And the white elephant is terrific...we may have to institute a similar thing in my family.

  4. oooo, oooo, oooo, I love the fabric. Blood sounds good....we can discuss it soon!

  5. I was inspired by your crafty Christmas goals. We made own cards and are still making our custom 'hand bags' -- family handprints on canvas shopping totes.

    I had my order kind of screwed up by ecobags but they were good in making amends but only for Ukrainian Christmas so more work to be done.

    I loved the project and think I might actually try to sew the bags myself for a repeat next year. Do you have pattern you like for 'market bags'? Are they like the canvas tote?

    You are an inspiration

    And that original little people set up... It is adorable. I just handed down a dress from my 5th or 6th birthday to my daughter.. I gag everytime I have to say how old it is but it is a secret smile since I am sentimental and a half.

  6. (un)relaxeddad1/08/2008 9:49 PM

    For a second, I thought you'd taken up taxidermy. Which would have been a trip. Dudelet's favourite present so far is a particular Brio train which technically he got for his birthday. He's also been doing icing but the problem isn't so much eating as the amount of icing he feels is necessary. And silver balls which are becoming a bit of a hazard in the kitchen.