Thursday, January 17, 2019

some belated 2018 handmade Christmas gifts to show you

Unfortunately, December was not the leisurely, fireside, cozy crafting hiatus that I always always hope it will be. Always. Every year -- hopes dashed. It was of course (yes, of course, Larissa, you know this), a completely manic series of holiday events, graphic design deadlines, schoolwork, school events, speed shopping, gift wrapping, packing, traveling and cooking, the endless COOKING. With my birthday wedged in there in the middle.

But THIS year will be different. It's going to be magical and I'm going to have time to take it in and savor it! *squelching sound of slightly battered hope springing eternal*

Anyway, I did manage to make four small things, which I'll show you now, slightly after the fact. This pair of Twelve Days ornaments represent ALMOST the end of my serial gifting to my bestie, Robyn. I started this whole thing with the first gift to her in 2009 of a partridge and pear, so it's only been like 10 years. During the interim I designed the complete series of retail patterns, so now I feel I need to go back and redo the ones I sent her before I designed the patterns, because they don't match. She insists she does not need the redos and loves the originals, but it's really not about her anymore. LOL. No, just kidding, it is, but this way she gets a set that makes me happy and also a few extras that she can hide at the back of the tree.

I just had to redo her French Hen because this was the first one I gave her and I just like this new one so much better! I pulled in more corals to tie in her goose. These closeups show the sparkle I added in the form of glass beads and iridescent sequins.

And this is her yellow bedecked Lady Dancing (nailed it on the first try, at least until further notice), with the addition of some sparkle also.

On to the next pair of handmades:

Because I had the unbending desire to make my girls a handmade ornament that would be unique and special and different, I found myself staring at a pile of craft supplies at 1am on December 22nd (the day were leaving to go out of town), willing my exhausted muse to get off her fanny and make magic.

After some false starts, I pulled over a bin of wool balls (Benzie Design) and crafted these two Christmasy snowman... things... for my girls. They were supposed to be ornaments, but somehow ended up on mason jar lid stands. So now they are just figurines or something.

I pondered adding a clip underneath to clip them on the Christmas tree branches, but my girls say they prefer them freestanding. In that case I need to go back to IKEA and get another tiny cloche for the other one. If they still have them.

To make them, I used some acorns and acorn caps I had on hand, and these adorable painted wood Erzgebirge bunny and bird figurines I scored online a while back.

Isn't the tiny bird cute? The snowman's eyes and buttons are straight pins glued on. The nose is a cotton pipe cleaner. The scarf is a bit of wool felt.

I wasn't super happy with the finished products at the time, but maybe that was because it was 4 am and my frazzled muse was glaring at me while calling her union representative. They've grown on me since then. I think next time I make them I'll trim the bottoms off the wool balls (which are surprisingly dense) so the snowman parts can seem a bit more squashed together.


  1. So cute! I make my kids ornaments every year and even though I started them IN JANUARY I was still scrambling in December to finish them. Good grief.

    1. Hey, Skooks, we seem fated to skate in at the last minute! I'm sure your kids will treasure yours. I wish I had been more consistent to make my girls one a year, but seriously they'll both be getting a set of Twelve Days Ornaments so that's like 15 years worth. *dusts hands*

  2. I am loving the snowmen and amazed that you finished them in time to give away. I'm with you on the whole planning to do better this year. I only managed to get to 'six geese a-laying' in 2018 so stil have another 69 items to make. Hmmmm. I'm going to need a bigger tree..... Wishing you a happy and successful 2019!

    1. Wow, it’s so completely amazing that you are making the exact number of each! You’ll have enough to cover several trees. You are a rockstar!

  3. Super cute Larissa. December already has so much going on, it has plentiful birthdays to celebrate and I always try to slow down and enjoy the specialness of Christmas. It never gets easier, unless we start preparing in April.
    I love your adorable snow men and the little wooden bits. So sweet

  4. So cute... This is the real art of crafts. I like your creativity. good work.

  5. Awww. too cute. Beautiful pictures and nice information too :)


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