Thursday, January 26, 2012

Christmas crafting round-up!

jingle mice 3
Hey, I know! Now that it's a month past the holidays and the last thing anyone wants to think about is Christmas, why don't I finally post about what I made this year? Yeah? Okay!

jingle mice 2
First up is this batch of jingle mice ornaments. Aren't they cute? I made them following this tutorial, though I re-drafted the mice to be not quite so tall. I made only this handful, one each for a few of my favorite people. I'm really liking this ornament-a-year kick; here's last year's!

body care sets
Most years, I try to figure out one handmade gift that I can give to everyone, and then produce it assembly-line style. I also typically spend WAY too much time at the sewing machine, so for whatever reason, this year I decided that everyone was getting body care. And sewn drawstring bags because, who am I kidding, sewing is definitely my strong suit! I followed this tutorial to make the lotions, this tutorial for the cuticle balm, and experimented with these tips to come up with the scrub. And of course, the bags come via the In Color Order lined drawstring bag pattern, which I used to make little bags to the perfect size. I highly recommend purchasing the pattern, but if you just want to test it, the free bag tutorial is excellent!

body care labels
I've gotten a lot of good feedback on the body care, so I guess they were a win, but man, were they tricky! I didn't want to give anything that I couldn't vouch for myself, so I did a lot of experimenting beforehand to settle on recipes. I'm happy to say that the cuticle balm is AWESOME and definitely the easiest thing to make! The scrub is also fairly easy, though I had separation for a while after it was mixed, and some oil seepage from the top of a jar (not in a bag, thankfully) that freaked me out. The lotion, however, has been hit or miss. My test batch was miniscule and turned out awesome, but all of the ones after that separate out, so I have to keep stirring it for a few hours before pouring into jars. At that point, it takes about a week for the lotion to set into the thick cream it's supposed to be, but once it's there, it's amazingness. Huh. I can't figure out what my issue is, but I've been using grapeseed oil, so maybe that's part of it? It's a lighter, more "dry" oil, and putting olive oil on my skin just seemed... heavy. Let me know if you make some, though!

State frames
My parents and the newlyweds each received one of these embroidered state frames, which were a huge hit. I spotted this tutorial via Pinterest, and it's just perfect. Punching the holes with an awl was probably the most difficult part, so they really weren't that bad. And as a one-of-a-kind gift, they can't be beat!

toiletry bags 1
There were two tricky guy friends on my list that I didn't want to subject to my lemongrass lotion (though, really, it's a unisex scent!) so I whipped up these toiletries bags using some Ikea fabric and heavy vinyl I had on hand, following this tutorial. Despite being a real pain to turn right-side out, they are fairly easy to make and look so nice once they're finished. They were also a hit!

241 for V
And for my very spoiled friend Vanessa I couldn't resist whipping up this bag using the Noodlehead 241 tote pattern and some fun Alexander Henry fabric. Unlike my first attempt at this pattern, I added the outer pockets, which make a huge difference and adds much cuteness! This bag was also a hit.

I hope to be back in this space soon to reveal one last gift made for a very special grandmother. I'm one week into a head cold that has knocked me flat, so here's hoping I get some energy back soon!

1 comment:

two hippos said...

Lemongrass lotion sounds delightful! And I'm so impressed with all the handmade gifts you created; I failed big time in that regard. Oh well.