Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Holiday Crafting & Giveaway

"I will make you brooches and toys for your delight
Of bird-song in morning and star-shine at night"
- Robert Louis Stevenson

Once again we're making as many gifts as we are able this holiday season. We started crafting sometime after SAW in September. That way we could take our time and still be done WAY before Xmas.

I always want to give Satch at least one handmade gift each Xmas, so when Satch was napping, I made him this Chalk Cloth Mat with instructions I found here.

It is the size of a place mat with a little pocket for stowing a box of chalk. It rolls up and ties shut for travel. I didn't photograph the back because it's nothing more than black oil cloth and not very exciting. I bought the Bubble Fabric and Sock Monkey fabric here. And I bought the oil cloth here. I only purchased a yard of each and have enough left over to make several more to give to family and friends. So, a few of you might be finding these in your mailbox.

While I was at it I made some marker/pencil rolls out of dishtowels for a few budding artists. I cut the towel in half and made two rolls per towel, and I only had to sew one seam. I'm guessing if you made these out of cloth napkins it would be even faster because you would only need to sew the lines that hold the markers/pencils.

It's a variation from this book and inspired by this mama who made one for Satch in September.

Last year the snowballs that I made him were such a big hit that we decided to make more this year for some of the tots in our family.

For the wee babes, we made these Peppermint Swirl Jingle Bonbons! They are just the right size for dimpled fists to jiggle.

*Some terrific instructions can be found here!

*I buy my wool here!

And since we still have a half bucket o' broken crayons...I decided to find a soap mold in the shape of river stones and we made some "coloring stones" for the lilliputians. Another terrific way to recycle your broken bits of wax!

*I bought the "River Rocks" mold here! Scroll down because it's near the bottom of the page on the right. This is NOT a food mold, it's rubber and stinky when it arrives. I let it air out on the deck a few days and now it's fine.

*They were inspired by the gorgeous
soy wax Crayon Rocks, that I would very much like to try out, but am unable to find anywhere in our area.

For two adorable, elfin wees, I made a little felted fairy orb necklace...

and some felted barrettes to go with it. (*Instructions from Amy)

And for Satchel's cousins, Hanna & Kiran, we made two Glove-Puppies. I sewed and Satch stuffed. The eyes are buttons that came from my late grandmother's stash and the dresses are made from vintage table cloth scraps.

*Free Instructions and video here

Miyako's book here

The grandparents will be receiving a calendar that I created over at Lulu.

Our holiday postcards that I designed are printed and arrived by post yesterday. We decided on post cards because the text box interface would not open for their greeting card line. But, postcards are inexpensive to print and the postage is less too - so it all works out. *A word of caution regarding Snapfish. My postcards arrived with the white border cut off at the bottom. I'm not sure if they printed them off center or cut them wrong. I've asked if they can reprint them correctly before I return these and am left with nothing and after three email exchanges, they still have not been able to tell me if they will be able to do it right.

My goal was to finish our holiday to-dos before Thanksgiving so I started chipping away at our list in September, doing a little bit each day. Now we're finished, no stressing...Satch had fun helping and we didn't have to set foot in a single store.

*In the spirit of the season of giving, and in honor of crafty mamas everywhere, the very generous folks at Chronicle are allowing me to give away a copy of Amy Butler's, "Little Stitches for Little Ones". Simply leave a comment here by 12pm on Sunday November 16th and my sweet little elf will pick a name from his hat. I'll post the winner on Monday November 17th! (Please include a way to contact you)

I will be taking a short blogging break this week to wrap and package these nifty gifties with Satch, but I'll be back on Monday to announce the winner.

Have a great week!

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posted by Wendy at 4:29 AM


Blogger rachel said...

this post was so exciting to read, you got so much crafty stuff done! I am considering doing the calendar for my parents for Christmas--we've got some crazy nature shots from hiking the Appalachian Trail this year!

PS I doubt you have anything to do with the "word verification" word, but my word is "slyme," which I thought a small person like Satch would enjoy!

PPS my email is rachelkayjones@Hotmail.com

8:44 AM  
Blogger mama to a&n said...

I love all these ideas, I may just have to do several of them for our gift giving list too!

Did you find the wool locally? I really want to try felting but have hesitated because I am never sure if I am ordering the right thing!
I also am now going to find some of those soap molds, the crayon rocks would make great party favors from my son's birthday in February.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

i have nothing to do with the word verification, but that sure is funny.

mama to a & n,
i updated the post with a link to a my source for wool. the prices are good and the wool is divine. there used to be a shop in alexandria, but i heard it's closed. i came across these, but they are a bit far for me.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Beth said...

Oh, wow! All fantastic ideas... I'm so impressed with how ahead of the game you are (I'm most definitely NOT). Where did you get the river rock mold? I saw those months ago and we just can't afford them, but I was sure I could make them. I've looked locally and then online too, and couldn't find a rock mold. I researched how to make one, but didn't think it would turn out the way I wanted it too (lots of instructions out there for making rock molds for model train set-ups!).

As always, you have the best ideas here. Must try the balls ASAP.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

hi beth. i updated the post with a link to the mold. here's the link. the river rocks mold is near the bottom of the page on the right http://www.flexiblemolds.com/everything_else.htm

10:04 AM  
Blogger Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

I can't believe how much you have already done for the holidays...very impressed! We need to get started on ours. Would love to win a copy of Amy Butler's book. Love her fabric and her designs.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Ginger Carlson, author said...

How fantastic! I love crafting with a little person ~ makes it so much more fun and meaningful. I adore the little glove puppies. Zeal's very into using my sewing machine right now for even the smallest projects (and has plenty of mismatched gloves to work with), so I'll have to show him those instructions and video. Congratulations on finishing so early!!

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


What an exquisite website. It really touches my heart, and I can't wait to read more. I am so intrigued by the fact you are an artist, and yet your home (from the pictures on your blog) is so uncluttered and calming. Hope to see you again soon! Angela (Nick - Star Wars shirt, Becca - stars shirt, and Christopher's - Sun shirt - mom)

11:43 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

hey there, ginger. pleeeez send me pics of zeal's creations.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

nosh! welcome back...i hope you win too. satch will pick a name from his hat. he loves giveaways. xo

12:44 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

welcome. the shirts came out so great. satch is rockin' his pirate ship shirt today. hope to see you again too...soon!

12:45 PM  
Anonymous vickie said...

So so into the crafting these days...and now all inspired to make for christmas.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Gemma said...

Wow! I would so like to begin making the gifts I share, but I've always felt intimidated. These projects (at least some of them) seem more do-able to me. I'm lusting after the artist rolls!! I'm feeling inspired! (email ABNewc@gmail.com)

2:15 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

they are so flippin' easy - seriously. the artist rolls especially. the chalk mat was a tiny pain in the bum because the oil cloth is so stiff.

have fun!

vickie, go for it, mama!

4:10 PM  
Anonymous curlywurlygurly said...

hallooo! could you please forward me your mailing address so i could send out your starbucks gift card? sorry i've been remiss...i was sick for a few days. :) thanks again for entering my pumpkin carving contest. it's me, curly wurly gurly.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous amy said...

Love the crafts you guys did. I love amanda soules book and I really enjoy both of your blogs!

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kids crafts are so much more fun!! I'm dying to get my hands on that books!

11:21 PM  
Blogger Cheryn said...

the photos in your last post are beyond beautiful.

and you are beyond beautiful in your creativity...
inspiration galore.....as always....i truly admire your ambition, motivation, abundance of wonderfullness...i never cease to be inspired and amazed by you!

2:42 AM  
Blogger jenica said...

you amaze me woman!

so many new projects to start now!


3:25 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

What wonderful ideas! Wishing you a wonderful leaf-jumping day!


3:38 PM  
Anonymous Stacy (mama-om) said...

These are all such sweet ideas! Thanks for the inspiration.

[[I was trying to find a way to email you and tell you you're welcome for the linky love! And Thank you!]]

mamaomblog at gmail dot com

9:17 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Wow, what a bounty of crafty inspiration! I'm desperately trying to focus on some knitting projects right now, but look forward to coming back and exploring all those links even more.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Crisa said...

I'm so glad I stumbled on your blog this morning. We've decided to make all of our gifts this year too and I can't wait to get started on some of you ideas. Thanks!!! crisabella@hotmail.com

10:08 AM  
Blogger Crisa said...

Quick question. I'm about to order some wool and was wondering about how many ounces would I need to order to make two sets of snow balls? Thanks again!!

4:10 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Hey there, Crisa. Depends on how many you want to make and how big you plan to make them. I use a whiffle golf ball in the center (in which I insert a bell so the snow ball jingles). I ordered 1 lb of natural (and an ounce of ice blue to make the little swirl) last year when I made Satchel's set and I barely made a dent in it. I made him a set of 5 good sized snowballs. I made 6 more sets this season and I think I used up approx. 3/4 of the wool. I hope that helps.

4:27 PM  
Blogger MamaFeelgood said...

I am new to your site, but I have been eyeballing that book for some time now. It just might be a neat idea for my little one and me to learn together.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Shana said...

What fun! Great felty and stuffed creations. Love the necklaces. I saw some recycled crayons in small animal shapes at a town market last summer and wondered how those were made... All inspiring!

10:10 PM  
Blogger E and T said...

Hi Wendy

After a long, crazy week it has been a blessing to come by and catch up on your blog.

I love reading about crafty projects that mums get up to and this post is packed with such wonderful ideas. With each new idea you presented I was blown away by the beauty and often simplicity involved in making the gift.

I remember seeing the pencil rolls in Amanda's (Soule Mama's) book and I thought they were such a wonderful idea. Now I see that you have made some of these very functional gifts. They are perfect.

The snow balls and river rocks are so sweet and that fairy orb necklace is just gorgeous.

Satch must have had so much fun crafting with you and what wonderful values are instilled in childen when they learn the lesson about giving from the heart.

You certainly will bring so much joy to your family and friends who receive these handmade gifts that have evidently been made with oodles of love.

Lots of love

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all the wonderful IDEAS! I have been in need of a few more Christmas present ideas, especially one requiring no further purchase on my part, I think I can make many of these things from what I have on hand - love and need that! You have a new follower!

4:55 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

gee thanks, elizabeth. pleased to meet you.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Kirsten Michelle said...

every year, i think i'll start earlier.
i think i'll be more organized.
every year i think "this will be the year i make every gift" ;-)
thanks for the inspiration and ideas, beautiful mama...
i suppose it's not too late yet to start and finish a few more before the holidays!

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Nicole said...

What great ideas - especially the snowballs! Please count me in on the drawing for the book - it looks delicious.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

All I can say is wow! The reuse of old crayons as river rocks is awesome.

You've just become one of my favorites!

11:04 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I've been inspired to make those snowballs. Thanks!

8:04 PM  
Blogger Pearla said...

Hi I am new to the blogging world. I've only started my blog last night and have been trying (since before the deadline) to figure out the comments in order to sign up for the book draw. It turns out my username is the email. Go figure. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration in the past couple months that I've been reading.

10:14 PM  

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