Saturday, January 23, 2010

Busy Week

In the past 10 days I've been to baby showers for four women, and birthday parties for two little girls.

I need to write a post about everything I've learned while making "quick and easy projects" gone slow and complicated. But all's well that ends well, right? So for now, I'll just post the pictures.

For the babies:

For the three-year-olds:

If you're counting, you may notice that there are only three baby gifts pictured. I didn't bother taking a picture of the fourth, but I'll tell you about it because I think it's a pretty great idea and you might want to use it sometime. Get a package of disposable freezer containers and wrap them up with a list of your favorite meals that freeze well. Write a note telling your friend to pick five (or whatever) and return the list so that you can stock her freezer before the baby arrives. Bonus gift: stock your own freezer while you're at it, cause you might as well.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Black Apple Dolls

I may be the last crafter on the Internet to discover Emily Martin and her Etsy shop, The Black Apple. But I'm sure glad I finally did, because making these little dolls (as featured on Martha) just might be my new addiction.

This first set went to a couple of strawberry blond cuties who just turned one.

Turning those skinny arms and legs right-side-out is a bit of a pain, but other than that these dolls are a breeze to make. Unless of course you have a giant stash of fabric. Then it will take you hours to contemplate all the possible combinations. Everything here came from the stash -- most of it from the stockpile I swindled from little old ladies. These vintage prints are perfectly suited for this sort of thing, aren't they? I'm already planning more for an almost three-year-old I know. Shhh! Don't tell Grace.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Ornament Exchange

One of my favorite Christmas craft traditions is the annual ornament exchange. I've been to several now with friends in multiple states. Every year is different; every year is fun.

I love decorating my tree with all the handmade goodies I get to bring home. Seeing all those treasures on my tree reminds me of friends near and far, and because I'm silly and sentimental like that, I feel like I've brought home a piece of them (but not in a gross, body-parts-hanging-from-the-tree kind of way).

Anyway, I should have taken pictures of all the ornaments I've brought home through the years, but I didn't think of it until we'd put away all the Christmas decorations. But I did manage to get pictures of the ornaments I made. Miles was my assistant for the photo shoot.
I wanted to make a beaded snowflake. I've had it in my head for years, but I've never succeeded in making that vision a reality. This year I thought with a little help from Martha, I could make it happen.

I was wrong.
Feel free to click and make it bigger. You really should see it close up, in all of its spindly, awkward glory.

I would have taken it apart to salvage the beads, but I actually spent quite a bit of time on it. I found myself in that awkward position of trying to convince myself to like it to justify my investment of time. To make mattes worse, Sam and Grace loved it. It was kind of funny actually. I make stuff all the time, and the kids hardly pay attention. They're hard to impress, usually. But this one, they carried around like some precious object. They called it a starfish, and wanted to give it a place of honor on our tree.

I thought it might still be passable to take to the ornament exchange, until I heard Shane's feedback. He tried so hard to be diplomatic as he offered suggestions to "make it look better." By then I was over it. I just said I'd try to make sure it went to someone I didn't' like.

Unfortunately, there wasn't anyone on the guest list I could wish it upon.

In the end, I came up with something a little more presentable, and no one had to pretend to be excited to take the starfish home.

These beaded wreaths and icicles were quick and surprisingly easy to make while holding a baby. I made them mostly with beads and ribbon from the stash. I purchased a couple strands of filler beads, and some wire to hold it all together. I spent less than $10 on the whole batch.

Cheap. Crafty. Sparkly. My favorite.

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