it’s DONE.  and i made it just in time.  you might notice the conspicuous absence of any gifts for children, namely my own children, which is precisely why everyone else’s gifts were completed on time.  given my kids don’t even yet understand what christmas is and they are royally spoiled by their grandparents, i knew they wouldn’t mind, or even notice.  so, you can expect to see a lot of kid clothes trickling onto the blog over the next few weeks as i slowly work through all the projects intended for this week.  in the meantime, check out the following tutorials and patterns that helped make this a handmade christmas!

row 1:

topographical map of california, the state outline traced right from my computer screen and cut from scraps of fabric and appliqued to a tee.  david loves reading maps and i love to draw them, which made this a fun and appreciated last minute gift.  after the photograph seen here, i reinforced it with a narrow zig zag and added some coastal elevation with fabric paint–i wish i had thought of that sooner since it’s FAR easier than cutting out that squiggly border 20 times.  we only exchange one gift on christmas, and in a pretty sweet albeit very dorky moment, he opened this tee from me as i opened a sweatshirt with the great lakes silk screened on it from him.

venus cowl in black.

these placemats were the absolute bane of my existence for a week and a half, which doesn’t sound like a long time, but really is when christmas is two weeks away and NO OTHER gifts are done yet.  i was excited to learn quilting on a small scale, but might have taken it on at the wrong time.  i actually have a whole post devoted to the misery of completing these placemats, but we’ll save that for a rainy day.  i did learn some new skills, but whew, at a cost.  all prints are lotta jansdotter, bella.

row 2:

buttercup bag x3, big hit with my 20 year old cousins.

button up cowl (with sparkly hot pink buttons) for my bro.

row 3:

family silhouettes of the kids for the grandparents.

envelope clutch (that little name tag is to cover up the hole i made when i put the snap too low on the first try…oops).  anna maria horner, innocent crush.

row 4:

we are always looking for interesting ways to repurpose old shopping bags.  last year, i put festive paint all over the hands and feet of my 1.5 year old and 6 month old and let them run/crawl laps over the cut up bags.  cute results on the paper, time consuming cleanup.  this year, i put my sewing machine to work and sewed those packages shut with a big zig zag in red thread, which saved a lot of scotch tape.  some of our bags this year even came with cool holiday prints on them.  the others i stamped with some snowflakes.

even as a child, i always found christmas a little depressing.  so much anticipation, so many beautiful presents under the tree, so much wondering and waiting and guessing, and then in moments, it’s all over for 364 long days.  for me, the investment of time and thought required to make gifts for loved ones lends depth and staying power to the holiday, reminding me of the true spirit of christmas and leaving that warm feeling lingering long after the last package is torn open.  hope you all had a wonderful holiday; see you in 2013!

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