Monday, 23 December 2013

A Homemade Christmas Part 1

In case you haven't noticed, I am not a very crafty person. And by "crafty" I mean I'm not knowledgeable about crafts, not that I am not very devious. I am very devious, let me assure you.
But, when it comes to things pertaining to sewing machines, rotary cutters, glue, and church ladies craft nights, I start to get anxiety issues. It may perhaps have something to do with the fact that I live with two crafters extraordinaire. It's like standing up to sing "22" when Taylor Swift's sitting on the couch right next to you. Talk about pressure!
So, when the announcement was made that this Christmas, our family gift exchange was to be made up entirely of homemade items, I began to feel the butterflies rising in my stomach. Maybe some other family members felt that way, too.

Turns out, we shouldn't have worried. Turns out everyone in our family is rocking awesome talented. Turns out, we can amaze each other, if we really try. Turns out a home made Christmas was a pretty good idea.

As I stuck my hand into the bowl containing all of our names written on slips of paper, I sent up a silent prayer I wouldn't get a guy's name, or worse... my mother's name. Can you imagine trying to make something for my Mom, the quilting expert, who never made a crooked seam in her life? It would be like drawing a picture for Vincent Van Gogh.

I opened the slip of paper...Phew!...the name was: Abigail.

Okay. *deep breath* I can do this thing.

This is what I came up with.

House themed notecards. These were done with watercolours on folded watercolour paper. They were actually a lot of fun! I sketched them out lightly with pencil before painting.
I thought this message was very appropriate for my absolutely gorgeous sister. She always looks beautiful. For this project, I used a piece of broadcloth and embroidered blue and pink lines on it to make it look like loose leaf. Then, I embroidered the message in black. I hot glued the cloth into the frame, as well.
How about some embroidered pillowcases? I knew Abi liked such things because I creeped her Pinterest boards. I also sneaked up to her bedroom when I was at her house, once, to check out the colour of her sheets. So, I really was crafty for this project. Hardy har har. I didn't want to push my luck by making the pillowcases myself. So, instead I bought two plain brown pillowcases and used a design I already had to sketch on the birds and hearts before embroidering. I used a chain stitch in red thread.
Lemon sugar body scrub was next on the list. Here's the recipe I used: Easy and good.
And finally...
(Forgive my strange, wrinkly hand. Apparently I have monkey paws.) I'd been wanting to make clove studded oranges for a couple years now, and I'm so glad I got around to making them, this year. I think they smell amazing and look kind of cool. The clove stems can be brittle, so poke holes in the oranges first with something pointy (like a kitchen skewer), before you push in the cloves. It's kind of fun to experiment with different patterns. I felt like Emma from the BBC adaptation of that Jane Austen book, except I didn't have a white linen napkin on a tray, or a cool frock.
And Emma didn't have a wonderful sister named Abigail who makes Christmas crafting a pleasure.
Happy furious-last-minute-crafting, people. Stay strong until the very end!
(And eat that extra slice of pie. You know you want to...)
- Millie