I always feel very pulled in opposite directions around Christmas time with respect to blogging. I am usually making more things than at any other time of the year. However, so many of them are gifts that I don't feel I can blog about them. At a time when I am receiving awesome inspiration from other bloggers, I offer none.
The best I can do is to offer the after affect of all that was hand made and given. Maybe a few of these gift ideas will end up on someone's pin board for next year's gift making!!!
Here we go with a journey of holiday gifts via photos:
I had a strong desire to work with felt and embroidery for this year's gifts. So, I purchased a holiday pattern set from Betz White. Go here to see Betz's posts about her holiday ornament patterns. They were available separately or as a set. I purchased a set of four ornament patterns but didn't really like pattern #4 so I made only the first three.
Above are the hot cocoa ornaments. OH MY were they cute. Simply adorable. However, the process of making them involved a LOT of gluing. I have wonderful and very tacky fabric glue but it's so sticky and messy that I prefer to only use it in bits. This ornament project involved lots and lots of gluing in almost every step. So, the drying time between glued steps caused these ornaments to take a super long amount of time. I loved how they looked but I probably would design a more sewing-related version were I to make them again. I only made these four. I gave away three and kept one for myself.
Another of Betz's ornaments was this peace dove. I love it! It was a lot of sewing and attaching little parts together. I preferred this one to the cocoa cup in terms of the skills required to make it. However, I only made two. I gave one to my daughter and one to my youngest sister who is just beginning to collect her own handmade ornaments for her tree. I would make this lovely bird again!
A third ornament from the Betz White collection was these felt wreaths - again, so so cute! I made about 8 of them and gave away 7. The pattern involved a lot of individual knot tying which got old after a while. The pattern was ingenious and though I didn't like all the knot tying, it was so cute that'd I'd make them again.
Note the star bunting in the photo with the wreaths... I loved loved loved the star pattern that I found on the MOOGLY blog. It was a free pattern and so simple. It is made in only two rounds and it was super simple and formed the most perfect star. I will go back to this star pattern again and again. I made a multi colored star bunting for my daughter and a red and white and black star bunting (santa star bunting, not pictured) for my other sister.
Another thing I crocheted this year was soap socks. I purchased some special organic scented soaps from Trader Joes and crocheted a little packet for each of them with a draw string top. I gave them as gifts to my daughter, my son's girl friend and another friend. They can be used in the shower with the crochet part becoming a scrubby and the soap re-filled when dissolved or in a drawer as a sachet. I made a very simple rectangle and folded it in half, stitched up one side, turned it inside out, stitched up the bottom, and threaded it with a crochet chain drawstring, no pattern, just winged it.
Here are my projects sitting in my craft room waiting to be finished. Top left corner there are two double sided pot holders for my son. One side was in Maryland State Flag colors and the other side was in Towson University colors. All used 4 different stitch patterns. One of my favorite pot holder patterns is what I call linen stitch. I loved doing it in four colors - it turned out great and I didn't trim any ends when I switched colors, just let the old color hang until I needed to pick it up again. It worked out great and saved time. I wrote up a pdf pattern for my basic linen stitch pot holder but never posted it. I'll see if I can find it and post it on Ravelry. Find me HERE ON RAVELRY and stay tuned for that free pattern.
On top of my son's potholders is a little black box containing 6 Maryland colored coasters. I forgot to photograph those before giving them. Maybe there's a shot of them at Christmas time that I haven't discovered yet.
My daughter also got a set of colored and stripey pot holders. I used linen stitch on the top one as well as just basic single crochet stripes. On the bottom photo, I did a stitch new to me that I also learned on Moogly - it was wonderful and made a sort of a plaid design. I loved it and will use it again! Check that pattern here.
Above are three more close ups of the little soap sock.
Lastly, I made name buntings for my niece and nephew. I used the same bunting pattern that I used last year to make my sons' college buntings. However, I hand cut sticky backed craft foam to use for the letters on my niece and nephew's buntings. My niece's bunting was pink/purple/yellow (her favorite colors) with a white scalloped border that I just made up. My nephew's bunting was green/blue (his favorite colors) with red and a black pointy border that looked like little triangles. I'm really hoping I kept the notecard of how to make the little triangle bunting so I can post it an make it again. It was a great invention and I want to repeat it sometime in the future as well as share it with you.
Here are my sweet little niece and nephew with their buntings! Fortunately my sister snapped a few photos for facebook when they opened them. Oh yeah, I added little silver bells to the tip of Maisie's bunting and little blue bells to the tips of Quinn's.
Hope you enjoyed my holiday making this year. I had tons and tons of other ideas for things I wanted to make for gifts, but... I didn't get to them. SO... I have lots to do for next year!