More Slow Progress on Christmas 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.

Christmas Gifts Christmas Gifts Christmas Presents
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.

Christmas Gifts Christmas Presents

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.

Genna Socks spider socks

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.)

Baby Socks Baby Socks Baby Socks Baby Socks

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!).

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Diaper Gift Set

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.)

Knitted Headscarf

Headscarf

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.

Sock Monkey

12/16 12/25

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.