Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Homemade Gifts

I have been wanting to do a post about homemade gifts for a while now and since we have a couple of weeks left before Christmas I thought that this might be a good time to do it. You are welcome to ideas :) The reason I wanted to post about it is because homemade gifts are often my favorite gifts to give and receive. My sister-in-law Trudy frequently makes homemade gifts for other people and she ends up loving her projects so much that she has started a mini album of pictures of projects that she has made! So here are some of our faves:

Children's Clothing
My mom made these pajamas for Annabelle and her Halloween costume for this year. Annabelle loves wearing these pajamas and she'll often tell us "Grandma made these!"

I remember having homemade pajamas myself when I was a kid. My mom told me about a nightgown the style of Annabelle's yellow one that I wore it until the hem hit above my knees and the sleeves were 3/4 length.

My friend Shelsea as well as my mom assisted me in making these tutus. They really aren't so hard that it takes 3 people to make them. BUT if one of those people is me and the material is tulle then yes, 3 might be enough.

I have been the recipient of SOOO many blankets! I still have some from when I was a kid that my grandmas made for me. Annabelle is lucky to have grandmothers that are good seamstresses because I am terrible! The white butterfly quilt to the left was made by my mother-in-law before we even knew that we were having a girl. She said that she already had a feeling that it would be a girl. I love the colors and the top stitching that is faintly visible in this picture.

The quilt and bumpers of Annabelle's cradle were made by me, my mom, my sister-in-law and my mother-in-law. The moms also made a bigger quilt with the same material that Annabelle now uses on her bed. (The cradle is kind of a gift as well. Mike made it for Annabelle the summer before she was born).

Mike's mom and my grandma made us quilts for our wedding. We love using them!
Trudy (my sister-in-law) is the master at making bags! She has made several cute messenger bags and totes out of old denim. She also makes cute little draw string bags. One of my favorite features of her bags is that she takes the time to embroider your name onto it!

Trudy made these two.

Why not dress up the ordinary? Or make one for a child? Mike's aunt dressed up this typical kitchen apron and personalized it. As you can tell - I do use it! When my friend Shelsea offered to teach us how to make them for kids I jumped at the opportunity (once again thanks to Trudy the sewing part of this actually happened)! My cousin Whitney makes really beautiful ones and sells them online (check her out - blog link is on the left and from there you can get to her shop on etsy).

Alphabet Books
I decided to make each of my nieces and nephews their own family alphabet book for their first birthdays. The way Mike and I designed them the child gets to to have their own page and the title of the book. Then the rest of their family and extended family fill in the rest of the pages with a poem and picture about the person. For example in Annabelle's book the letter "S" is Shauna. So there is a picture of Shauna holding Annabelle reading a book and the poem reads "S I am Grandma Shauna. We can read books together, Or we can play outside, if it is good enough weather. " To allow for Dad and David to exist in the same alphabet book Daddy gets "D" and David goes to "U" for Uncle David. Once the whole family is fit into the book we filled the remaining letters with familiar objects or favorite toys. The only complication is you have to enlist the help of others to get pictures of the extended family members from the other side of the family. It has helped Annabelle to learn and remember names of relatives that we don't see very often so that when we do see them they are familiar.

Here are some of our favorite homemade toys that Annabelle has received:

Shelsea made these iced and sprinkled sugar cookies for Annabelle for her birthday.
Paper Crafts

This is by far the type of crafting that I spend most of my time on. There seem to be an endless supply of ideas for what you can make with paper.

My sister in law covered this unused paint can with scrap booking paper and filled it with chocolate and gave it to us last year. I just recently learned how to cover these wooden frames with paper.
Well hopefully this has sparked your imagination. I love Annabelle's little saying "Mommy, I made it". She is so proud when she has created something. I feel the same, there is such a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in finishing a project and being able to share it with someone else. Often times I think that I receive more pleasure in creating than anyone gains from the gifts that I give them.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Jingle Bell Rock

Feeling excited for Christmas yet? Annabelle is feeling a buzz and loves listening to Jingle Bell Rock. Take a Look!
Sorry there isn't sound, but you know the song!


Saturday morning we woke up to our first real snowfall of the season.
We spent our morning playing out in the snow. Adam joined us with his red saucer sled.

We laughed as Annabelle discovered that she loved to eat the snow. She would walk around tasting snow from different places as if she expected each location to have a different flavor.