Category Archives: Gifts
OK, staying out of my office is really hard for me. I enjoy what I do. I like making awesome products for your families. I don’t like not making awesome products for your families. It’s frustrating to not be working.
Actually, what I need to do is take down my Planning Board, because it’s still got my plans through mid December on it, and it yells at me every time I see it, “You’re behind!! You were supposed to restock Cycle Pads last week!!” (And I’m currently plotting to see if I can’t get enough sneak to the office time to get them restocked anyway… shhhhhh.)
It’s not like I’m on bedrest or anything; I’m not. I’m just not supposed to be doing as much work, and I’m supposed to be resting more, and there’s the ever-dangling-over-my-head threat of You Might Need To Have A Baby Right Now.
But I have been sneaking down to my office every now and again to continue plodding along on Christmas presents. As I posted on Facebook recently, knowing that family won’t appreciate their planned handmade gifts doesn’t give me the money to buy them Big Box Store-ish presents like they actually want. Plus, I really do think that one of these years, I just might wear them down and they will suddenly appreciate the thought, time, and effort that goes into their gifts.
(please note: if you believe you are one of these people who might be getting a gift from me this Christmas, I recommend stopping here.)
Over the last two weeks, I was able to quickly bust out quite a few simple gifts. Actually, these gifts started a few months ago, when I happened across a clearance sale at Hanes.com. (No, I don’t normally shop there, I think I saw a post about it at Want Not.) Zip front hoodies were on clearance for far less than I’ve ever seen plain hoodies ever, even at Target on clearance, and these were the nice Hanes ones. Score! So I bought a hoodie for all the kids on my list, and one for me (I wear a boy’s large, lol), and then some adult size ones for a few adults on my list, too.
I was planning to do some screenprinting, but the process of screenprinting, while not difficult, is somewhat labor-intense for what was going to be REALLY small runs. I ended up switching to Wax Paper Stencils and Appliques instead of screenprinting. As a bonus, this allowed me to work in short bursts, whereas the nature of screenprinting pretty much requires the whole process to be done at one time.
This guitar sweatshirt is for my 16 year old nephew (who plays the guitar) and I also made one for Wally (who also plays the guitar). It’s a reverse applique, so the flames fleece was pinned underneath the sweatshirt before I stitched the outline of the guitar and then trimmed away the sweatshirt fabric from the inside of the shape. Super easy, but somehow seems “cooler” than an actual applique. The butterflies and the flowers are also reverse appliques, and are for a friend’s daughter, and my Miss G. (Genna’s flower sweatshirt also has a more traditional applique on the pocket.) I AM aware that these are really bad pictures.
These two sweatshirts are freezer paper stencil. The rocket for a friend’s 4 year old son, and the Jeep for her husband, who is the proud owner of a new-to-him Jeep Wrangler. (A Christmas present AND a gift to welcome him to the Wrangler club.) On the right is a set of four White Sox luggage tags. They, along with a White Sox travel shoe bag that’s not pictured, are for my Father in Law, who travels a lot and loves the Sox.
And I finished these socks for Miss Genna and the Spider Socks for Mr Wally. (Genna’s socks took about a week. Wally’s? The entire month of October.)
And these four little pairs of socks for the new baby, and for a friend’s baby for Christmas.
I’m NOT posting the details of what I made for a friend who I KNOW reads this blog, lol. So I’m all done with the sewn items. Now I need to learn how to make paracord survival bracelets! I’ve still got some knitting that I’m working on, as well - a sweater for the baby, a pair of socks for my doula (just the toe of one sock remaining), and possibly one for whoever shows up to watch the older kids while I’m busy having a baby. Um, and because some idiot (*ahem* me) made needlepoint Christmas stockings for everyone else in the family, I have to track down a nonugly needlepoint Christmas stocking kit that does not feature Santa and get that done, too. Fortunately, the baby won’t know if he or she doesn’t have a stocking for Christmas this year, but I don’t see me having MORE time to do needlepoint once he or she is born, so I’d really rather do it now.
Remaining giftless are all of my brothers in law, who are all really hard to decide about. I have trouble with men’s gifts in general, I’ll be honest. DH is not helping at all with ideas, and since they’re boys and he’s a boy (and two out of the three are from his side of the family), I’ve generally put him in charge. This means that they usually get Best Buy gift cards, and thus the most expensive gifts out of any. We’ll also purchase some sort of small toy for my 5 year old niece, and I’m kicking myself that I wasn’t focused on this need when I hit the clearance aisle at our local Giant Store to find a few small goodies for my own kids (foam bath letters and a suction cup bath mirror for $5!).
Alright, I think I have the ladies in the family covered as far as Christmas gifts go. I’m horribly behind (I like to be done by Thanksgiving!!), but I at least know what I’m going to be making and I have the required “stuff” to make it.
But I’m at a loss for the men. I was thinking about BBQ aprons for those that grill, but not all of the men in the family grill… and I’m not sure that those that do really want a BBQ apron, you know? The husband is no help with ideas. I just really don’t know…
I’m really late in posting this, but a few weeks ago, I sent a set of a small embellished fleece cover and a small bamboo fitted diaper over to Becca at Crooked Gap Farm. They raise hogs, and though we don’t eat much pork here, so we don’t actually buy their pigs, I do want to support local small farmers. Becca is in her third trimester, and I thought she could make good use of the awesomely appliqued Pig cover! Here is her blog post about it.
If you DO eat pork, consider purchasing one of their pastured hogs. I’ve heard from more than one person that Crooked Gap’s pork is super tasty. (And the locker they use is my favorite local locker – and yes, the locker that processes the meat makes a HUGE difference.)
I actually knit two of these, identical to each other. The first one, I made for my friend Abby, and included it as part of my Unexpected Crafty Gifting task for my 101 Things project.
The second one, I made for me, but I am entering it into the State Fair, so I have not worn it. After I got it all done, I noticed a fairly glaring mistake, but I wasn’t about to go back and fix it at that point, so I’m guessing it’s not going to do too well at the Fair. Ah, well.
This little sock monkey was actually really easy to make, if a bit tedious. (Though most knitting has its tedious parts!) I had promised Wally several months ago that I’d make him a sock monkey, because I didn’t want to pay the $20 that the store was asking for one. (Of course, I probably spent that much in yarn, but that’s not the point!)
He really does like it, too.
AND – this is my first foray into knitting without any practical purpose.
I used Knitpicks Swish DK yarn. An awesome pattern by Mummble-Jummble. I went with an oatmeal color for the hands and feet instead of the traditional cream, since, after all, this monkey is going to live a MY house, and is likely to get things spilled on it.
So, felted slippers are my fall-back gift this year. If I can’t think of anything better, I’m making felted slippers, lol. My sister in law, two nephews, and a niece are all getting felted slippers.
They’re actually fun to make – like really giant socks made with thick yarn. Then they felt up in the washer and turn into slippers!
Some shaving and shaping, and they’re just lovely. Actually, they’re really comfortable and cozy. I wore this pair (my nephew’s) around the house for a wee bit. Shhhh.
Christmas Crafting Update. If you have reason to think you might be getting a Christmas present from me (so, if we’re related) don’t read this.
Alright. Here’s where I’m at. (no pictures in this post, the relevant pictures have already been separately posted)
Ballet skirts and legwarmers for two nieces: Done.
Ballet skirt and bun cover for another niece: Half done. (skirt done, bun cover out with a friend)
Camera cozy and assorted fabric pouches for mother in law: done.
Camera strap cover for father in law: done.
(MIL and FIL are also getting a bowl from StellaJames and a picture of my adorable family.)
Slippers for sister in law: done
Tote bag for other sister in law: done. (this sister in law is also getting the gift of our presence at her wedding in March in Arizona. don’t laugh, it’s going to cost us over $1000.)
Slippers for nephews: done
Slippers for niece: done
Hat for soon to be brother in law: not even started.
Project for sister: not started, needed equipment is malfunctioning.
Twirly skirt for niece and sweater skirt for niece: done.
Two brothers-in-law are getting gift cert’s for massage. They could both use one.
That takes care of extended family. So I’m largely done there.
Wally: knit sweater, knit sock monkey. Neither started. New pants (hemp french terry, dyed). Sewn, not dyed.
Genna: knit jacket/cardigan, knit longies. Not started.
Randy: knit fingerless gloves to match his hat. Christmas ornament from Wally. Not started. (though the ornament needs to wait until the 24th, because the child cannot keep anything to himself.) I’m also going to get him a gift card to Itunes for his new Ipod Touch.
And I’ll be doing some crafting for friends and others, too. One of those projects is finished, one is started.
I need to figure out what to do for our postal carrier.
All of my nieces are in dance classes, so this year for Christmas, I decided to make them things that might be useful for their classes. I decided to start with knit legwarmers for two of the girls. Quick, easy, and useful. Each of these projects were about 4 days, all told. And woot!! That’s at least a start on the Christmas crafting!!
The top pair (the brown ones) were knit with Lion Brand Wool-Ease. It’s washable, and it’s at least part wool. The pattern is “Flared Legwarmers” by Desiree Pelletier. The bottom pair (the purple ones) were knit with Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Superwash. The pattern is Winter Legs by Rebecca Velasquez.