Friday, December 27, 2013

Gift Reveal!

It's hard to believe that Christmas has already come and gone! I started making gifts back in October and was still frantically hooking up a storm until Christmas Eve. Since [almost] everyone has received his or her gifts, I wanted to share them with you! I tend to be overly ambitious when I dream of things I'm going to make people and it usually takes twice as long as I imagine it will take me. Because of this, I wasn't able to get one of my gifts done in time to be given, but it is done now. I'll share that one in the future. Until then, here's a look at all of my gifts handmade with love.

Above you'll see a picture of some fake cupcake ornaments BJ and I made for advent one night. Speaking of Advent, after the first couple of weeks, everything seemed to have gone downhill and the event planned for the day got put off or just disregarded altogether. This was one such project, but it was something that I had planned on doing since Thanksgiving, so it had to get done. I used this tutorial to make them. I made the little silver candies out of beads spray painted with metallic silver, which I had on hand. The cherries and candy canes are made of polymer clay. I used Martha Stewart cupcake liners. If you plan on doing this, I suggest trying to find liners that have foil on the inside because they keep their shape much better than plain paper ones. BJ didn't believe that the expansion foam would expand so he filled them much more than halfway full. Well, they did expand, just like the instructions said... I wasn't surprised. We had to cut the tops off of most of them, but the "frosting" covered it anyway. I gave one each to my sister, mom, and dear friend, Miira. Since Valentine's Day and my birthday fall in February, I'm going to use them as decorations then as well because I used colors that work for both holidays. Talk about a bang for your buck!

This is off the topic of gifts, but this year was the last Holidazzle parade in Minneapolis. I had never gone in the 21 years it has been put on and decided it needed to be added to our Advent calendar. The I Love Lucy Christmas special was airing on CBS the night that we had planned on going. We went the next night instead, the final ever. Boy was it crowded. It was warmer than I had expected, but I went super bundled up. Everyone's body heat actually seemed to warm the outdoor space. I had a guy and his small child behind me. He was either talking on his phone- giving a play by play to his wife watching from somewhere else, complaining about how cold he was, complaining about is it over yet, how he couldn't see anything, or yelling at his kid to lean back on his shoulders because he was making his neck hurt (most frequent complaint.) He got there a few minutes after the parade was supposed to have started so, complaining about your spot is hardly valid and if you have been in this state for any amount of time this winter, then you should know the weather conditions. At one point he began elbowing me every time his son moved. After it was over, BJ thought it would be faster to take the street instead of the skyway that we came in on. We got lost and walked several miles in the cold before we could finally find an entrance to the skyway and got lost some more... I will always remember my first and only Holidazzle. By the way, I have no idea how my collage became twinkly. Strange.

Back on track, the first gifts I made this year were for my mom and sister. When I went down to visit during our Thriftcation, my sister had mentioned to me that she would like fingerless gloves. Since she also likes coffee, I made her a travel mug cozy. I made a mug cozy and boot cuffs for my mom. She happens to collect Coke things and especially likes the Santa stuff. When I saw an original 1956 ad at Urban Cottage, I was really excited to pick it up! There was a little shmutz on it, but was in great shape other than that. 

Urban Cottage had their final sale of the year last weekend and you know I had to go see what holiday goodies I could find on sale! I scored pretty big on ornaments. The striped and swirly ornaments are Shiny Brite, the tear drop one is marked Germany, and the quadruple reflector is marked Made in US of A. I also found vintage candle holder clips that I had actually been telling BJ I wanted to find for a project I have in mind. I guess you'll have to wait until next year to find out what they will become! The little snow capped ornament below is also Shiny Brite. BJ spotted pins in the checkout counter when we were being rung up and wanted to get me one. I picked this adorable Mr. + Mrs. Frosty one. If you also love pins/brooches, you should read Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box by Madeleine Albright.

The next gifts I made were for my youngest nephew. I've been told he likes Buzz Lightyear so I thought hooking up a Lil' Buzz and a Toy Story alien would be fun. How lucky that I happened to have a rocket ship cup for a photo shoot!

Next up were scarves. I made BJ a sushi scarf from Son of a Stitch 'n Bitch and my oldest nephew a pizza scarf from Twinkie Chan's Crochet Goodies for Fashion Foodies. When I was cleaning out my craft closet, I found a huge take out box and thought it would be perfect packaging. We keep our Galactic Pizza boxes to use for coupons, so I used one to wrap up the pizza!

BJ has been drinking a lot of tea lately, and he loves TMNT. When I saw this pattern, it was a done deal.

BJ got a hat also from Son of a Stitch 'n Bitch. I made Annabelle a doe rat toy from a downloadable pattern on Ravelry. It is one continuous piece of yarn, nothing to sew on- so cool!

This is a terrible picture, I'm sorry about this. The wallet is now in use, so I don't want to hassle BJ to take everything out so I can photograph it better. :/ This one I did without a pattern. I made him one for our anniversary a couple of years ago and thought it was time for a new one. This time I didn't put in the ID window and just did more card pockets instead. I cut out a silhouette of the Minneapolis skyline that I made for my "Get Lifted" Society6 project and stenciled it onto the exterior of the wallet.

For my dear friend, Agent I, I made an amigurumi Totoro. This pattern can also be found on Ravelry as a free download. He introduced me to Studio Ghibli films. When I found this pattern, he was the first person I thought of!

I made a last minute scarf for one of BJ's aunts. That's the project I was still working on Christmas Eve day. It was a race to the finish, but everything got done on time.

In between, when I thought I had time to crochet at my leisure, I made a panda ornament. On the way down to Redwood, I started a polar bear and finished it off yesterday afternoon to unwind from the hectic holiday.

As for the gifts that I received this year, I got many of the things I had hoped for. Most of my wishlist included kitchen items- I think almost all of them were addressed to both of us, but let's be realistic about who's going to be using them the most. We got a cast iron skillet, an immersion blender, a silicon baking mat, a teapot, and a vintage glass pitcher with diagonal teal stripes. BJ's mom surprised me with a vintage white cat butter dish!

BJ got me a few toys I've had my eye on and some other little things like a melting snowman from Lush. Our Christmas was sort of low-key since Annabelle's bladder infection was higher priority in the budget. I got the Tia Mowry yoga DVDs from my sister. I think I'll crochet some special socks to use with the video! My oldest nephew, who is 14, surprised me with a Monster High Frankie Stein ragdoll/blanket combo. I'm not sure how he knew I would like it, but it was very thoughful! :)

Next up is New Year's and making resolutions. Last January, Leslie Sansone issued a 365 walk challenge. There's only five days left and I still have skipped one! I'm hoping that I can commit myself to new goals just as well as I did the walk goal. For 2014, my resolution is to be awesome everyday. By that I mean to stick to my guns, be productive, and push myself to be successful in my craft- because who's going to believe in you if you don't even believe in yourself?

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