Birthday Flair for my girl.

One of the items Edie had on her Christmas handmade wish list was her very own personal ‘flair’. That’s our name for the pennant flag garlands I like to make – ‘flair’. I’ve made them for various holiday events – there’s a Halloween one (pirate skull & crossbones and solid black), a Fourth of July one (made out of a dress I made myself in college from fabric I found that reminded me of the old Love American Style logo) and just a fun little party themed one with florals, more of the pirate skull and crossbones and silver lame.

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Hand made at Christmas.

I’ve had a long tradition, since at least college, of aspiring to make as many of the gifts I hand out at Christmas as I possibly can. In years past, this has led to a furious whirlwind of making in the days leading up to the big holiday (like the year I learned to knit and then knit a scarf for everyone on the list in just over a month), but at some point, it dawned on me to start these endeavors earlier in the year. Actually, that may have been the realization that I could give away things I’d canned over the summer and have them be well received. At any rate, I now attempt to have ideas I can carry out well before the calendar turns to December so that I’m not a complete hot mess leading up to Christmas. Because as we all know, when you are a mom, Christmas is serious work, especially when you are a working mother and you stay put at Christmas, meaning it is all on you to pull that magic out of thin air and throwing the compulsion to hand make a slew of gifts into the mix, well, that’s just a recipe for disaster.

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Aunt Jenny had requested months ago I knit her a scarf, so after I finished Mollie’s birthday gift, I immediately started on this one for her.  Knit of a merino wool in the hourglass eyelet pattern, it has a nice feel and stretch to it. She sent me a photo of herself wearing it Christmas day, so I think she liked it.

For some time, I’ve been kicking around the idea of printing some of my pretty bug and flower pictures on canvases – what’s the point really in taking these images if I don’t do something with them? I took advantage of some online pre-holiday specials and got at least some of my photos printed to share as gifts.  I loved the way they turned out, but more importantly, I loved receiving this photo Christmas day of the gift I sent my Uncle Kevin:
20151225_222204_001My zinnia photo, already hung, right by the front door.  I hope all the flower prints I sent out were as well received.

Edie girl, who has come to expect the mama-made gifts, had a whole section on her wish list of handmade items she would like to see. While I managed to outsource some of it to local crafters (like my friend Jen who was totally down with home delivering her lovely bracelets, as well as stumbling upon the sweetest ceramic gnome ornament from Tasha McKelvey), in the days before Christmas, I managed to pull of a flurry of giftmaking that made my girl quite content.

A cozy for her handle-less teamug, knit up out of scrap yarn while watching a movie one evening (the pattern inspired by one linked to by Food in Jars recently). A beaded necklace inspired by a trip to the bead section at Michael’s one day (where I always seem to think I can do that particular craft, get too ambitious, spend too much money only to come home and realize I bought all the wrong things, but maybe, just maybe since I pulled this one off and my friend Joanne, who does this sort of thing for a living (and does it well!) was kind enough to share some more than helpful hints, I might actually attempt this again?) that we debated about for a few weeks before I sat down one night and just did it. And last, but certainly not least, Mr. & Mrs. Gnome, a Wee Wonderfuls pattern that whipped up quick and easy. I used fabrics and trims from the stash, including the old coverlet from her bed for their hair (last seen in a pillow for purple moose, although I’d forgotten how that fabric really doesn’t respond well to being reused, as it’s an extremely temperamental knit) and while I might not be overly wild about the end result (I skipped a few steps I probably shouldn’t have and definitely got a little too loosey goosey with things maybe I shouldn’t have…), she adores the end result, which is sort of the point, now isn’t it?

I realized the other night as I went to bed, I’ve finished all the books and craft projects I’ve had lined up for months, clearing the deck for me in more than a few ways. The so-called ‘happy corner’ got a little cleaning attention post-holiday,  so that I can jump in and hopefully spend more time making than I have in the last year or so. I’m not one for resolutions, but I’ve decided I’m going to try to and spend more time with my sewing machine this coming year than I have in the past few.

The latest DIY tale.

A new entertainment center for the den gave me the chance to do some re-arranging in there recently.  In addition to moving around the furniture and artwork, I realized we needed another lamp to really make the room work, ideally a floor lamp. I just so happened to have one in the basement I’d been wanting to work in somewhere up here, but it needed a new lampshade.  I have this habit of finding cool old lamps for a song (or less) and then topping them with some uberly expensive lampshade – Exhibit A in this would be the very cool lime green ‘gloworm’ lamp in the living room found in the basement of a college boyfriend’s apartment building back in the day currently sporting a three figure silk lampshade. I assured my dear husband this would not be the case in this particular lamp, one that my friend Bonnie had sitting by her front door one day, awaiting drop off at Goodwill.  Because I cannot walk past a free lamp without bringing it home, I grabbed it of course. I had a shade that had once been custom made for a lamp that had been mine as a girl, that is currently housed in Edie’s room. The shade had seen better days but I knew, with some love, would work fabulously on the floor lamp.  Take a look :

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Hopping to it.

IMG_9439Suzicate is a creative kindred spirit, with her poetry blog, her sewing/quilting/fiber arts blog in addition to The Water Witch’s Daughter.  Suzi is an amazing photographer as well as an inspiring writer.  Whatever the topic of her latest post over on The Water Witch’s Daughter, I find it has some relevance to what is going on in my life, every time.  She approached me a few weeks ago about participating in a creative blog hop with her.  As I often find myself either in some sort of conversation about creativity or following the path of some creative avenue, I thought it was right up my alley. Continue reading