Holiday Crafting 2010

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This year I haven’t been crafting nearly as much as in past years. Between an arthritic wrist (and I am not even 40 yet!) and two kids demanding my attention, I haven’t had the time or energy to do much. But, as usual, I had to at least do a few things crafty for Christmas!

It has become a yearly tradition that I sew pajamas for the kids. This year they both needed new ones desperately! I asked them each what they wanted. My son wanted shorts and a shirt sleeve button up shirt. Yep, he was that specific! I was not planning to actually make the shirt. I was hoping to get by with appliqueing a picture to a matching T-shirt. But thankfully I found a patter and it went quickly. My daughter decided on a nightgown. She actually had the honor of picking out her own fabric and pattern with me this year. She chose a flannel backed satin. It wasn’t bad to work with, but it was EXPENSIVE! It would have cost significantly less to buy her a nightgown! But, she loves it, so I can’t complain too much! Here they are in their new jammies! (So sorry about the horrid pictures! They were getting ready for bed on Christmas night when I snapped the pics.)

Both kids also needed new scarves. I had knit one for my son some time back and it has been lost. My daughter had one her aunt made her, but the yarn used shed terribly! So, I purchased some fleece for both and made simple tubes of fleece, then cut fringe and tied them together. Quick and easy!

My daughter has been dying for a Snuggie since I got one for my husband last year. I found one pre-made (although it was a very cheap fleece) in a kids’ size for my son at Target. But they were out of the girly ones. So, I used the same fleece I used for her scarf and made her a blanket with sleeves. It is NICE! And I didn’t realize I made it quite so large, but I can almost wear it myself! She loves it and it will last her a long time.

I also had fun making some protective cases. My husband bought an iPad in September and has been carrying it around in an inter-office envelope. I made him a new case. I used the basic tutorial here, but used fusible fleece and made my top fabric longer (I used felt) and sewed down over the edge of the lining. I love the way it turned out!

Stitch Detail for the iPad Case

Lining fabric

My mom got a Kindle this year. She also needed a case for it. I used a tutorial from this site. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture! I hope to get one this weekend and will add it soon! Promise!

And the last piece for this post was made for my father-in-law and his wife. His wife is Chinese and they spend several months each year visiting China. They have only been married a few years now and I wanted to do something special for them. I recently had fun with paper cutting and decided to be ambitious. So, I found a pattern for a paper cut with the character for double happiness – a traditional symbol for married couples to hang in their homes. I cut it out of red scrapbook paper and mounted it on black. Sorry about the terrible picture. It took me until the last moment to finish and frame it and I snapped the pictures quickly, so they didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. Hopefully you can see some of the details. This was all cut using a craft knife.

Double Happiness Paper Cut

At least there were some handmade gifts under the tree! I don’t think Christmas would be the same without them!

(By the way, sorry for the picture quality. Central Ohio isn’t exactly know for it’s sun light this time of year, especially this year! All of these pictures were taken with less than ideal lighting, most on my iPhone. I do need to work on my photography skills!)

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My Crafty Resolutions

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It is hard to believe another year has come and gone. I will admit that 2010 was a very hard year due to a family tragedy in July that has continued to affect our family, and probably will for some time. But I am determined to make 2011 a much better year. So, I decided to make a list of resolutions I want to keep this year, all with the aim of improving me or my family. I won’t list them all here since this is a craft blog and most are not craft related. However, I will mention that I do have one major crafty goal. I thought I would write more about it here.

The main goal for this year is to just craft more. I know that crafting is a wonderful stress reliever for me. It acts as an antidepressant. I love getting lost in a craft project and spending time doing the very thing I love the most. So, in order to make this year the best one yet, I know that crafting is going to be a very important component for me.

But within that goal, I have some smaller goals. Some of them I have touched on in years’ passed, and I want to either repeat them or actually do them!

My first mini-goal is to work from my stash as much as possible. With the economy, two growing kids and a growing grocery budget, I need my crafting budget to shrink if I want to make it a priority. While I know at times I will require the purchasing of some materials, I am hoping to use my stash whenever possible. I have tons of roving to spin, lots of yarn to knit with, and plenty of material for sewing. I also have a big pack of card stock suitable for paper cutting should I wish to do more of that. I do have several gift cards that I received for Christmas, so I plan to hold on to those when the stash is lacking something I need. Coupled with coupons and wise spending, I am sure I can make them go far!

Second is to try to continue to challenge myself. I need to stay challenged, at least a bit, in order to stay interested. New techniques, new crafts and new ideas will keep me challenged. I am sure there will be times when I will want to fall back on an old stand-by and that is OK, but challenging and pushing myself is one of the surest ways to find satisfaction in my crafting.

Third is branching out in my crafting. My first love is knitting with sewing a close second. I could easily spend all of my crafting time doing either of these things. But keeping things mixed up a bit is another key to beating crafting boredom. I want to keep improving my spinning. I would like to do some more needle felting. And I am just beginning to learn the art of paper cutting. Plus I have clay to play with, too! Gotta keep it interesting! Plus, my wrists and arms will thank me if I don’t spend all of my time knitting or sewing.

Fourth, I want to craft more for me. I have sock yarn, a new sock knitting book and new sock knitting needles and I need socks! I need more in the drawer! So I need to spend more time working on things I need and want. I have beautiful handspun that I need to become more creative with and create something for myself. I have some gorgeous fabric I want to use to make myself something. I can always create for others, but creating for me is something I do very little of.

Fifth, have fun! I don’t want to spend any of my crafting time doing something I don’t enjoy. I want to have fun creating!

And finally, blog more! I need to get better at blogging. It will prompt me to keep creating and documenting what I am doing. I don’t know if I will ever blog more than once or twice a week at most, but even once a week will make me feel more accomplished. Even if I write them all in one or two days and schedule them, having a blog post weekly will make me feel better.

So, there you have it! My main goal and my mini-goals! For some reason, I think this is one resolution I don’t think I will have much trouble keeping!