Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Finish Line.

I made it. I finished Stella's stocking just now, as in, the day before Christmas. It needed to be done in time because I have this thing about having the one stocking, the right stocking, for life. Mine is a crocheted stocking with my name embroidered on it. And it's the right one for me. I looked a lot of stocking patterns before settling on this one. I considered cutting it out of felt and appliqueing it, knitting it, crocheting it, and (in a moment of weakness) buying it. But when I stumbled upon this pattern, I knew it was the one and set about gathering fat quarters. Don't ask me why I waited until this past Monday to start cutting when I knew full well that the stocking had to be done in time for her first Christmas, but I did and so this week was a little, um, crazy. Thankfully, Andrew is on winter break and he happens to be the most sane person I know so my insanity was nicely counter-balanced and I don't think our daughter will suffer any ill effects. At least she can't feel completely neglected by a parent who holes herself up in the craft room for hours on end when there is another parent (albeit, without breasts) who is willing and able to spend quality time raising her, right? Well, whatever, she has a kick ass stocking.

I had to do things a little differently (of course, why make anything simple?) and I cut as many of the strips as I could cut from the striped fabric I made. This meant that I had more patchwork than the pattern called for, so I changed the shape of my stocking to be taller and narrower. I think it's a little too narrow now that the binding is on, but it'll work. Of course my squares aren't lined up perfectly, but that's the kind of quilter I am. Whimsical: that's the look I'm going for (*eyeroll*). I loved doing the simple quilting, and on one side I used white thread while on the other I used a sort of hot pinkish orange. I was originally thinking of bedazzling her name on it with a letter in each square with my faboo kandi thingee, but the squares are really small (1") and I don't want to mess with the simple charm of it. I used white fabric with some silver sparkle to it, so it's definitely got some holiday bling going on. So for now there is no name on it, but that's something I'm willing to figure out for a future Christmas.

I bunged up the binding by putting the loop on the wrong side (insert expletive here), so I just tucked a little loop of some narrower seam binding of the correct side and stitched across the top. It works fine and looks OK.
The real joy of leaving this very important task to the absolute last minute is that I also had to juggle making my other Christmas presents (which I also conveniently left until the last minute) into the schedule. I am not kidding when I say that my planner for this week has entries such as: Piece stocking, cut batting and backing, pediatrician appointment, burn holiday cd. You know it's bad when you have to write the steps in your planner. Anyhoo, I am just about done with the crafting (Andrew is getting a gift that is still on the needles, but he's taking it a lot better than I am) and am now, finally, beginning to get seriously excited about introducing Bean to her first Christmas.

And here is the ornament I made her, which will be going into her stocking:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Finger Puppet Pals

Here is a little set of finger puppets that I made for the Bean. The design is from this book here and it's a wonderful example of the super-sweet and simple projects you'll find in it. It took me a while to get started on this project, because I was having trouble biting the bullet and spending a small fortune on felt. I am big on fabric texture, so I generally gravitate towards the 100% wool (read: expensive) stuff and have lots of disparaging things to say about the plastic stuff. So I had all but written off this project when I found myself in Joann's and decided to see what they were trying to pass of as felt these days. I actually found some fabric that was 30% wool, 70% rayon which I must say was quite nice. It was thick, there were good colors, and I came really close to buying it. But my eye was caught by a sale sign for this felt. Or, I should say "felt". 100% plastic! You don't think I even considered buying that, do you? Or maybe I bought 4 or 5 yards worth....Here's what sold me: it is made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles. Hello?! Recycled plastic bottles! I will admit that the fabric has a bit of a plasticky feel to it, but not anywhere near as bad as those craft felt sheets you get at the craft store. Honestly! In addition, the colors were nice and varied and some even had a heathered tone, which I think makes it look all the more like the real deal. For children's items which will see some wear and tear and may not make it to family heirloom status, I think this material rocks. And so does this little guy:For now, these are going to be toys that mama uses to entertain Stella (I'm kind of psycho about keeping plastic out of her mouth), and she's way too young to manipulate finger puppets anyway, so that was always the intention. We've been playing Really Rosie a lot around here lately, so I might try to make sets of characters from those stories so that I can act it out for her while listening to the CD.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Despite the fact that this might be one of the most under-planned holiday seasons for me yet (don't even ask about where I am in the gift-making department), I am working my tail off to keep up and I keep telling myself that I can do it. And I just might be winning. The Christmas cards are done and in the mail, projects for three people have been knocked off my to-do list, and I received my little prize from Waldeck Dry Goods! These sweet little coasters were in my mailbox today and they are currently being put to good use under some mugs of mulled cider (which I can't get enough of these days). Thank you, Addie ♥

Now, back to trying to locate a real-bearded Santa for Bean's first Santa photo. It pleases me to no end that there is an association of real-bearded Santas (!), however I'd like a link to a site that lists what malls these guys end up at. They need to get an elf on that. Just sayin'.

made. by k.d.