Sunday, February 03, 2013

Christmas 2012 Crafts

Every Christmas I always have more crafts planned than I actually complete.

This year I wanted to get everything done in November so I could enjoy December (ha! a pipe dream in a normal year and this year was anything but normal). As it turns out, the week after Thanksgiving I was in North Carolina for a short work trip and then the entire second week of December I was in Utah for work. Both were last minute trips and really made for a very busy first week of December (and a very messy apartment filled with projects in various states, no kitchen counter space, wrapped packages, and shipping boxes both incoming and outgoing).

Based on the success of my 'cake in a jar' over the summer I baked rum cakes in mason jars. I also tried something new and did some canning. I made a savory onion jam, it is a nice sandwich spread and is also tasty on great on grilled cheese. And I made pickles! It is something I've wanted to do for at least a year and it really wasn't too difficult. I want to work on perfecting my pickle recipe and then go crazy pickling this summer. (I forgot to take photos of my cute mason jars, thanks to Pinterest I learned cupcake wrappers fit perfectly underneath a mason jar lid for an easy decorative top.)

For all of my work friends in Utah I pulled out the rein-beer craft from last year. On Black Friday I stopped in at Michael's Crafts and stocked up on fuzzy red noses, pipe cleaners, and google eyes just in case I needed them. I hauled all of that with me to Utah and even my trusty glue gun too. Once there I hit up the local Target for root beer and then spent about an hour one night making a herd of rein beers. They were a big hit and lots of fun for me to hand out to my work buddies. 

For my friends with the dragon baby, I finished up a dragon onesie. I had a pretty good head start on the intricate design so the only hard part was picking the thread colors. I wanted it to be fun and bright so I picked colors I don't normally use. I really like the finished dragon with his bright blue eyes and fiery scales.

I had my second Liberty quilt completed pretty early, which is good because a quilt isn't a last minute project (at least for me).  I think it was done by October - I just had to sew the binding and I waited for the weather to cool down because that work is by hand and you have a quilt on you as you sew, not much fun in the middle of summer.

This quilt was put together the same as my quilt, just a different color scheme. I did the same thing with the selvage strips; I had them on the back of the couch during the day and I moved them around until I found a pattern I loved. The backing on this quilt is all Liberty, it is a turquoise background with a brown design that has little hidden cats. The girl that helped me pick it out said some people didn't like the fabric because of the cats but of course I thought it was just perfect.

And the same as my quilt, it is a cat favorite! Cats have very good taste.

I did some 'upcycling' and made some gift boxes out of my empty Birchbox boxes. Birchbox is a monthly subscription for new beauty products; for a small fee you get a box of about 5 beauty product samples. The packaging is really cute and the samples have all been very nice. I pretty much use everything I get each month. The samples come in a really nice and sturdy cardboard box. Of course I don't throw them away (I can be such a hoarder) and for the holidays I used them as gift boxes. I painted the original box either gold or a metallic pearl and then I used old Christmas cards to decorate the top of the box (so many people make photo cards my pile of regulard cards was pretty small). Recycling at it's finest. I hope the people that received the boxes keep them and use them again next year. These were a fun and quick project, always a good thing!

And finally while I was in California I put together a couple of flower arrangements. I found this great vase for sale at a flower shop down the street. I shipped the vase to CA and knew I was going to use it to make and arrangement for MomO's bday. My first plan was to make it a mix of fresh flowers and little cupcakes with a cupcake sitting right on top. But with all of the sweets over the holidays by the time I was ready to pull the arrangement together cupcakes didn't sound very tasty. I found some beautiful roses at Von's and used up the left over greens and fill from the cookie exchange. It turned out great and made a really nice centerpiece for the dining room table.

And with the left over flowers and fill I was able to make and arragement for this cute vase.Thanks for the oasis and extra vase Selma!

I am telling myself I need to get started on the things I didn't finish (or even start) last year so I can have some really nice handmade gifts this coming Christmas. We all know, per usual, I'll wait until the last minute!