Saturday, November 14, 2009

She's Crafty

Every year I like to make Christmas gifts for close friends and family. 
I told you about the paper houses in a post a day or so ago, 
below is the first one I ever made.
Those were fun but way too time consuming, therefor I was not able to check off as many gift recipients as I would have liked on my Christmas list.
  I need something a little easier to knock off, especially as my work schedule is filling up with a new cookbook to shoot, a few new shows to prop, some web videos to film..., work certainly gets in the way of my Christmas Craftiness!

This year I am stumped but I do have a few themes I can work off of. It is the first year we launched our restored boat 'Nellie' so I could do either something nautical or relating to 1903. I thought about sailboat shaped felt ornaments or anchor embellished scarves but neither one of those really tickles my fancy.

Here are some examples of Christmas gifts
 I have made in years past. 
Maybe they will inspire me. 
Or Inspire You!

This is a 'Christmas Bulb' and ornament made out of fuzzy pillow stuffing, wrapped and tied with twine around some wool felt "leaf straps" and a loose pom-pom made out of root colored yarn. Made the year I planted thousands of daffodils bulbs on our property. 
These were a bit hit with my gardener friends.
I planted so many bulbs that year, like a crazy person
I could not buy those bags of Ice Folly Daffs at Home Depot fast enough.
Pretty in the spring but ugly for my carpal tunnel.

Ah....the felt balls. 
These were fashioned after a vintage one I bought at an estate sale.
The fantasy:  isn't that cute?! 
I could sell these all day long at
the MoMa gift shop
and make a million!
Reality: takes about an hour EACH just to pin the felt squares on.
I know it's cute and all but really...
how much could you charge for that?
The balsam pillows
filled with fresh balsam from the Maine woods
I love how my nephew said that his pillow was the first thing he packed
before he left on a mission trip to Belize.
It makes me all warm inside when I see the ones we made for Jeff's parents
in their cars, years later.
This one was made out of some old ticking fabric for my sweet surrogate Mother Jane.
AJ heart JG
The big bags of balsam scented the house for weeks!

the dog I made for my niece Evie
out of pieces of old sweaters
She had just given up their pup Quentin 
after training him to be a seeing eye dog for 18 months or so.
I thought this little boy, with his own bed and bone, would make her smile.
She is a dog whisperer and wants to be a vet.
That was a few years ago.
I think she may want to be a clothing designer now.
(Quentin was also returned home after passing out from a hypoglycemic episode with his charge)

That year I also made Eugenia, hedgehog at top of post, also out of old sweaters I had boiled along with some random fabric samples from my interior design days.
I sent Eugenia off to my friends in Portland, Oregon
They love cookey creatures
and Eugenia likes the rain.

Well.  Hopefully by the end of the weekend 
I will have come up with my 2009 Christmas Craft.

If you have any ideas or suggestions I am all ears.


RNSANE said...

You sre so wonderfully creative! I wish I had that kind of talent. It seems like you come up with all sorts of imaginative and beautiful ideas that are sure to please. Folks on your gift list are quite lucky recipients!

Purple Flowers said...

You are so very creative! Everyone is as nice as the next. I am sure you will think of other items to make from via your creative brain and hands! :)

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

I so love the felted fabric creatures! And the balsam bag is ansolutely lovely! I too, wish I had suggestions for you. Alas I have none... I am of no help.
To answer your question on my Mary Poppins bag, I made that. An old snap closure purse from the thrify shop I was able to remove the metal framing and reuse in this. The Upholstry fabric from the clearance aisle in my local fabric store. And the straps from an over loved and falling apart purse my daughters left outside one too many times. The handles were the only salvagable piece.
I wish the metal purse frame was larger but worked with what I was able to find. Recently I found an online source and plan to make up a few for the New year/Valentines day timing on my Etsy. I so love the looks of those bags and plan to imitate the old ones which will be easier with the new larger metal frames source.
I am adding you to my whereI hop list so I may come back for more inspiration. I love what I am seeing! And thank you for stopping in at my place. I am a bit off on my normal themes but hopefully will be back to our regular scheduled programing by the holidays. LOL.

diane said...

I don't know how you find the time to do all of these. My gifts are usually things like home cooked sauces/jams because I have to cook anyway, right?

My grandmother was from Fairfield Conn., small world.

Gaston Studio said...

Love the paper house. I used to make "fantasy houses" from polymer clay but it was soooo timeconsuming, I couldn't sell them for anywhere near the amount of time and effort I'd put into them, so dropped them altogether. Now, I stick primarily to handpainting ornaments, boxes, wall hangings, etc. and am much more successful at it. Whew!

Chrissy said...

Good morning from Canada!!! Just saw your note and had to stop by,your very kind and I thank you!!! Speaking of talent,hello!!!! So many treasures here,hope to talk again,till next time,all the best!

Katie Runnels said...

such a lovely goal to strive for...i especially looove your fabric bulbs and sweater puppy! I posted a how-to for yarn wreaths on my blog- and for a few quicker ones- yarn pomanders and nests are fun too! XoX And thxs for visiting my blog! I'm glad to find you!

Robin Sears said...

Hello Abby J-
It's Robin - I love your hedgehog! This year I am going to buy inexpensive nutcrackers from the Christmas Tree Shop (do you have those in CT.?) and re-paint,clothe, accessorcise them to be personalized for each receipient - i.e. the tennis player will get yarn hair, some sort of racquet, a tennis skirt and a whimsical paint job - I am thinking they could be used as placecards at the dinner table - that's this year's present!

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

All of them are darling...I really love that felt ball....would be so cute in all Christmas colors...and I have a huge crush on balsam bags from beloved....

And the picnic in the back of the Falcon wagon with the red plaid it...what would we serve?