Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Phew! I've been sewing and poking and crafting like a mad woman, but I'm finally done making things for James for Christmas. I've posted a couple of my gifts here and there, but here's a full list of everything I made...

But wait!! Before I show you, promise you won't laugh. I'm brand spankin' new to sewing and I only sew by hand (on account of an irrational fear of sewing machines), so there are LOTS of little mistakes. Also, I never use patterns (another phobia of mine) and I have to wing it and eyeball it and all that good stuff in order to create what's in my head. So, I'm a bit insecure about my sewing skills - be kind will you? :)

I discovered the wonderful world of wool recently, and thought I'd give needle felting a go.

My first and favorite creation, Mama Earth. I just *love* her and she was surprisingly easy to make! Notice her long hair? I imagine she's the kind of gal who likes to let her hair down. :) I plan on putting her in our nature tray (a new addition to our routine come Jan.'10!!). I was inspired to make her after seeing Nicole's Mother Earth.

Le Hoot, another friend who will join the nature tray.

A snowman... this was just too easy to resist making. I've since added sticks for arms, though I expect they'll be pulled off by Mr. James within seconds.

More needle felted creations: dragonfly, nest w/ Robin's eggs, a heart, a couple flowers, and a few balls.

Now onto sewing...

I made these pouches because James loves opening and closing and carrying around little "treasures" (ie dinosaurs, jingle bells, mini erasers - you know important things!). As you can see my stitching skills are embarrassing. I wish someone could sit beside me and show me how to blanket stitch!! (I cannot figure out the tutorials online to save my life!)

A big bright ball. I think James will like this a lot. And if he doesn't, the cats sure will. This was really easy to make and didn't take me long at all.

Some felt food. I'm in the process of making a taco and a sandwich each with all the fixins, but they won't be done for a while. I also made some counting cookies, though these aren't for Christmas as we've already used them during Tot School.

Felt is so forgiving and it's easy to hide mistakes amongst the fuzz. Fabric not so much. But I so prefer fabric to felt. I just love the look and feel of it.

I made this crayon roll a while back. I was actually pretty pleased with how this turned out! I made it so it can fit any size crayon or colored pencil.

Lastly, I whipped up a batch of recycled crayons to use for stocking stuffers. Click here for my tutorial.

So that's it! I REALLY want to learn how to knit and I will make it happen in 2010. I'd also like to get over my fears of sewing machines and patterns because I'm determined to make this awesome barn for James. Pretty big project for newbie me, but I WILL do it! (never underestimate the power of positive thinking!!)


Our Little Family said...

Oh my gosh, Mari-Ann!!! You have your own little Etsy store here! I have always admired needle felting, but to be honest, have not the SLIGHTEST idea how to do it. I love Mother Earth but... I also have a thing for owls and your little guy is ridiculously cute. I am so impressed (off to Google, "Needle Felting"). :) What a treasure trove of gifts for James!

And, thanks for sharing my alphabet box excitement!! My husband woke up and saw all the miniatures on the countertop, hugged me and said I was, "Crazy, but in a good way." Hehehe. I will totally go check out that link.

Do you and James use yours a lot?? I'm really hoping that Maddie will enjoy it (and, for quite a while, too).

Jo Shabo said...

Wow--- I cannot believe you made all those felt things! Those are AMAZING! I was totally thinking ETSY when I saw all your gorgeous stuff!
Funny thing- I am really wanting to learn to knit or crochet too- soo bad! I am determined to start learning in January( I have a church group that makes blankets for new moms and prayer shawls for grieving families that I might join so they can help me learn!)- maybe we can post little things we do back and forth when we start our knitting/crochet journey- To keep us motivated?!! :)
Thanks for super ideas!

Montessori Beginnings said...

Okay I think you are no longer allowed to feel any bit of insecurity about your sewing! You are AWESOME! Those felt miniatures you made are so beautiful. What a lucky boy James is to be getting such wonderful gifts. I really love all things made of felt and you've inspired me to give it a try. Warning, you may be getting a lot of questions about it after Christmas!lol

Leigh said...

OMG!!! I love what you've done! I totally agree with the first two comments...I was thinking you could sell these things too as I was reading! Seriously, too, too cute.

becca jo said...

LOVE IT!!!! you are being too hard on yourself my dear!

did i tell you about ?


when you learn to knit, learn on double-pointed bamboo needles if you have a choice! as someone who has taught 10+ people how to knit, it is EASIEST to use wood to start!!!

Eva said...

wow these are some really great creations! hand-sewing takes a lot of patience, I'm so incredibly used to a sewing machine, and I would love to learn felting one day too :) Thank you soo much for visiting my blog, and making a purchase in my etsy shop!! :) it will be mailed out first thing tomorrow

Counting Coconuts said...

Oh you guys are too good. BIG HUGS to all of you for you sweet words of encouragement!! I sincerely appreciate your feedback!
Jill & Jo, I sent you both emails. :)
Bex, I'll check out whip up now!

Elise said...

Mari-Ann, what gorgeous gifts you have made. Your nature trays sound like exciting additions for next year and they are going to look amazing with your creations.

I really like Mother Earth and your owl is adorable. I oohed and aaahed my way through this post.

XYZZ said...

Everything looks so wonderful. You did a truly lovely job on everything.

Your post is inspiring me to get more crafting done; I've been spending so much time on Montessori lately that I've been neglecting the art of creating!

Rusheika said...

you continue to amaze me! All the things I have on my wishlist to create you have done! I have a stack of felt I was supposed to be turning into food!! Yours looks wonderful! I have made the crayon rolls... yours turned out awesome! I am sure your son will love everything you have made! Great job!!!

Katie from ABC&123: A Learning Cooperative said...

What great work! I love the little critters you've made with wool. Amazing! I also really like your felt food. I've been eyeing such goodies on etsy for awhile, but your are fantastic! Thanks so much for linking to ABC's homemade gifts page.
(Katie from A List Maker's Life)

Susan-Chasing Marcus said...

They look great! I have made a bunch (I think a ton really) of felt food for Sophie over the past couple of months. It is so addictive! I do a combination of hand sewing and machine work. If you still can't figure out the button hole stitch I will upload a video to my sewing blog and show you how to do it. It isn't hard I promise!
Also, don't be afraid of your machine. I love mine and seriously if I don't sew every day I am not a very happy person.
I can not wait to see what the nature trays involve.

Anonymous said...

those Gifts are amazing. I wish that i could sew as good as you

Tilly said...

I love all of your creations! The wool ones are so cute. I love how they are all fuzzy:)
You are very talented and too hard on yourself! I wish I could sew anything....even a button on a shirt would do:)
I love the barn idea. Let us know if you make that too. I had something like that as a kid, but I don't think it was handmade.
James is going to be so excited with all of his new goodies!!

Jen said...

Ok, can I buy any of this? Seriuosly I love everything!! Aiden would be in seventh heaven over that snowman. As always, GREAT job!!

cupcakes & peekaboos said...

I love, love, love your blog! Being a mother of 3 under 3 I hardly have time to get on the internet, much less surf the blogging world, but I have found myself engrossed in your blog site! You have fantastic ideas and I have become a huge fan of yours in minutes! Keep up the great work!

cupcakes & peekaboos


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