Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Handmade Holidays

Tree skirt from the granny squares
I learned to crochet on & ornaments
made by my son & grandma
Now that the rush of out of town family and last minute projects has settled, I can finally get in a little writing time. Although I did not plan to make any handmade gifts myself this year we certainly had a lot of handmade gifts under (and on the tree).
The end of school snuck up on me, as it always does, but I had fortunately thought to buy a gift card for my son's teacher when I was near Learning Palace a couple weeks before. I had planned to crochet her a mug cozy for the constant mug of coffee I have noticed she keeps near her desk. So the night before the last day I found myself whipping up a little mug cozy, and of course put her name on it in intarsia. Did you know that a mug cozy makes the perfect wrapping for a gift card? Just add ribbon!

The Monday after the kids got out of school, I hosted my annual Crafty Kids Gift Making Workshop at the local community center, helping 3 dozen kids make 5 gifts each. This year they made Cocoa in a Jar, Candy Filled Cookie Cutters, Mitten Ornaments made from recycled felted sweaters, Beaded Cord Bookmarks, and Glass Magnets. The following day I used up some of the left-over materials by inviting my neighbor to bring her nieces and grandkids over to make more Cocoa and Cookie Cutters in my craft studio. She is always looking for activities to keep the kids busy when they visit during vacation.

When my visiting family began to arrive, my mother brought along a bird house which she had only just begun to cover in bits of glass, beads and charms. After sitting quietly for about half an hour, watching his grandmother work, my crafty 7 year old son spent the rest of the afternoon helping his grandmother finish the project to add to my sister's collection of birdhouses that decorate her living room.

My grandmother arrived first, so she had the whole week to find gifts, and finish plastic canvas ornaments for every member of the family. She quietly asked my husband if he could procure four bricks for her, which we later discovered went into plastic canvas doorstops that look like houses, complete with window awnings and flowers planted along the fronts.

On Christmas Eve my 20 year old cousin, who I taught to crochet when she was 11, remembered one more gift she needed. She asked if I had some yarn so she could make something for my mother in law, and (with just a little help) she whipped up a bottle cozy that night. My MIL tends to walk everywhere she goes, and carries her bottle of coffee with her, so I knew it would be useful.

Finally, the big project for me this year, which I finished and delivered just yesterday, was a group project for the young son of a friend of ours who recently had surgery. Six other moms helped me make squares for an afghan including a few of his favorite things and colors, which should be keeping him very cozy.

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