Tag Archives: gifts

Christmas Project Progress

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People, Christmas is three weeks from today. Three! I need to get serious about what I want to do and what I will be able to do before that happens. It is definitely time for a prioritized list.

First, here are the things I absolutely want to finish before Christmas:

  1. Any pottery I want for giving needs to be ready for firing by this weekend. It may already be too late–December is a busy time for the kiln! At a minimum I want to finish up some of the small medallions I made to make into magnets and complete whatever coil trees I have already built. These things need to be painted with underglaze and fired, then dipped into clear glaze and fired again. Hopefully I can get them done quickly.
  2. Blanket for my brother
  3. Button tree collage for my aunt
  4. Crocheted coasters for my mother

If I get those things done, I will be happy. If I get them done with time to spare, I will do some or all of these things:

  1. Crochet a wreath for my front door
  2. Find the shawl I started last year for a friend and finish it
  3. Make some jewelry
  4. Make homemade lip gloss
  5. Make sugar scrubs

There is a very good chance that my list of finished projects will look nothing like this list, but I like having a plan to start with at least. I feel pretty good about the first priority items, although not entirely certain.

How are your Christmas projects coming?

 

Thinking About Christmas: Gift Baskets

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I know Christmas is far away, but I really want to make as many gifts as I can this year, and that means starting early. I am planning on making a few blankets, and those take time, and I am going to finish a few things that I started last year that I didn’t get done in time, but I also need to throw in some easier gifts. Trying to do 15 big crochet projects in about 3 months is crazy– I know, because that is what I tried to do last year!

So, I am combing through my Pinterest boards trying to find some easy projects I can start working on now, and get some things set aside before life gets too hectic with school and work and the holidays. I want to start now while the kids are off for the summer and I am not volunteering at their schools all the time. Plus, if I start now, I will feel motivated to keep going. If I clear out a shelf in my pantry, I can have a growing stash of gifts to look at and feel good about! (Mental note: pantry needs a thorough re-organization and purge….)

With this in mind, I am thinking about making gift baskets/kits. I like the idea of giving several small things I have made grouped together–it makes it easier for me to space out the projects, and it seems like an abundance of gifts, 🙂 .

I am in the early planning stages, but here are some ideas I have so far. I have several similar projects grouped together. I probably won’t do all of them, but I like to have a range of choices when I start to work.

Pampering Kits

Image credit: paulaparrish.blogspot.com

I really love the soap socks in particular–what a neat idea! The sock felts as you use it!

Reading/Relaxing Time Kits

This idea is very crochet-intensive, which sounds more time-consuming. I really like the idea though, and the small projects may be doable. The notepads would be a lot of fun for standalone gifts, too.

Bling/Glamour Kits

Image Credit: foodpluswords.com

I am hoping my daughter will work with me on the jewelry–I like doing things like this with her.

So, those are my beginning ideas. Even with the relatively quick projects, you can see why I need to start doing something about this now! I haven’t even mentioned that I would like to make up a bunch of Christmas ornaments so that I can attach one to the packaging for every gift I give…I guess I should get a start on those, too.

Am I the only one crazy enough to be planning out Christmas gifts in July?

Three finished blankets

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Since the beginning of this summer, I have finished three crochet blankets. I know, it is crazy to be making blankets in the summer, but I can’t help myself, I have all these blankets that I NEED to make–both because I have gift plans, and because I just feel the need to make them.

The first blanket I finished was actually mostly done long before summer:

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I started this Go Graphic throw right after Black Friday last year, after I had gotten a great deal on some of the yarn. I was going to give it to my friend Barb for Christmas, but I didn’t get it all done in time. I made all the squares, but I didn’t get them sewed together, and I obviously didn’t do the border either. Right after Christmas, Barb and her family moved to Denver, so I ended up putting the blanket aside and working on other things. I started sewing together the first row, but I had other projects calling my name.

In June, though, we went to Denver on our vacation! I brought the unfinished blanket along with me, planning to get it done while we there, leaving it as a combined Christmas/hostess gift. I eked it out on our last day there.

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When I first started sewing the squares together, I found it very tedious, but when I got into the swing of it, it wasn’t that bad. Plus, I love the way it turned out! Barb seemed to like it, too, which is what is really important, ;).

Ravelled with a few more details here.

The second blanket I finished was for my son, and it was a huge hit–I made him a Tardis!

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I have made my daughter so many little things–scarves, hats, a scoodie–but it is harder to make things for the boy. When I came across this pattern, I knew it was perfect for my son! Of course, it is perfect for my daughter too, so I’ll need to make another one at some point.  Ravelled here.

I would have finished the Tardis a bit sooner, but I started another blanket on the car ride home from Denver. I wanted to make something quick and pretty for a gift I have in mind, and I got some new yarn, so I couldn’t resist starting right away.

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I’ve done this pattern before, so I knew it would meet my criteria–I finished my last one in about a week. This one took me a bit longer, but not much at 2 1/2 weeks.

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I really need a better camera, or more photo-taking skills (or both!), because I can’t believe how different the colors look in these pictures, but I think you can see that it is a very pretty blanket. Yellow is not a color I use a lot, because I can’t wear it–it makes me look very jaundiced with my warmer skin tone–but I do think it is very pretty, and I particularly like this yellow. It is pale without being washed out or too pastel, if that makes any sense.

So, here is some of what I have been up to lately. I am sure I will do something creative besides crocheting blankets at some point, but these blankets sure do make me happy, :).

Day 5: Comforting a Friend

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My friend Natalie lost her mother-in-law recently. All jokes about in-laws aside, she was very close to her mother-in-law, and I knew she was very sad.

The day before this happened, I had been chatting with Natalie online, and she was looking over some of my projects here. She told me that she liked the spiral scarves, and she loved bright colors, especially pink. Right away I knew I would make her one in Watermelon Caron Simply Soft, because it just seemed like the perfect color for Natalie. I didn’t know when I would get around to it, though, with all the projects I already had going.

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When I heard about her loss the very next day, I dropped everything and started this scarf. I felt so bad for her, and there was not much else I could do–Natalie lives in California, and I am in Missouri, so I couldn’t stop by with a hug or a home-cooked meal. This scarf is my way of sending a hug when I cannot be there.

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Natalie tells me that I did a good job picking the colors, it is just the kind of thing she likes, which makes me happy.

This is one of my favorite part of making things–that I can give a little of myself to a friend in need. Or not in need, too, but especially when I think they need a little extra support.

Making Things: Christmas Decorations

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Warning: this is not my most successful project ever. I like it, but there are issues.

First, why I am making Christmas decorations in January: I was too busy in the last few months of the year making gifts to make any decorations. I am trying to do some quick and easy decorating projects now, because I can put decorations away until next December, but I can’t bring myself to store the perfect gift for someone for months on end. If you look at my post from yesterday, you’ll note I made a Christmas gift for my friend Andrea in August and promptly gave it to her. Yesterday, I finished my gift for my friend Billie and today I drove over to her house to give it to her, even though I will see her tomorrow at the office (I worked from home today). Look at how pretty it is:

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Now that I have demonstrated that I can do a successful project, it is time to move on to today’s project.

Despite my lack of time to actually make any decorations, I had all sorts of projects I wanted to do. I even started one in December, based on this pin. I painted a canvas green and picked out papers, snowflake stickers and ribbon. Today I assembled the project, and it sort of worked, but I had issues with the glue. I am not sure if the problem is the green canvas or the homemade Mod Podge, but as you can see, the glue residue is visible around the trees:

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I am not an experienced user of Mod Podge, so can anyone help me here? Should I have left the canvas white? It seemed like too much white. My homemade Mod Podge is just thinned down glue, is that the problem? Is there a better recipe, or should I just pay the money for the real stuff?

I do like the look of the canvas. I may hang it despite the glue residue. Or I may try to get the glue off some other way (a pencil eraser didn’t work). I want to make at least one more to give to my aunt for Christmas, I think, but I want it to look better before I do that.

Any suggestions?