Tuesday, November 18, 2008

a little of this, a little of that.

We have been busy - writing lists and planning and experimenting - getting our holiday crafting ready to roll. We have been working on little things here and there, and are getting an idea of what we want to work on as we go. Our garden is finally wrapped up for the season, and we will move into our holiday projects just as the deep freeze arrives.

We have started on some things already - I like to make a few of this and that to see how it works and if the boys enjoy it before we go big. So far we have molded tea light holders out of air dry clay, made many clay beads and jewelry shapes, poured beeswax candles, painted some silk, and sewn a few templates. All good.

Here are some of our ideas for this year (this is our ideas...we won't make all of them)-

-stationery sets, note cards, calendars...using our photos
-recipe boxes/cookbook...using my recipes
-potpourri (essential oils and spices)
-painted clay ornaments
-painted clay tea light holders
-painted clay bead napkin rings
-painted pressed clay necklaces
-painted silk scarves
-embroidered fleece throws/lap blankets
-embroidered tea towels
-stationery set holder
-cloth napkins
-journal/notebook covers
-garden bulb box
-garden journals
-chocolate caramel popcorn
-seasoned nuts
-mulled wine kit
-cocoa mix with homemade marshmallows

A few things we have made in the past two years::
Embroidered felt wallets/business card holders/coffee cozies, library bags, fabric bags, zip wallets, purses, scarves, rolled beeswax tapers, poured candles, melt and pour soap, chocolate covered pretzels, peppermint bark, stockings, wood plaques, sachets, hankies, fleece soap covers, coasters...

I'm sure I forgot a few things, but it is a good base to work from. The ideas list gets long, but we always zero in on what sounds best for us right now, streamline the list a LOT, and then take advantage of any rain and snow to cozy up inside and make stuff a bit at a time. The boys have also picked out fun ideas for our own decorating and crafting projects for the holidays...from card making to solstice calendars to bird feeders...sounds like fun!

So, what are you making this year?


Sarah said...

Hels is making a zippered pencil bag for Lou and a snow measuring stick for Nels. Lou is making a set of bags for Nels' briefcase to hold his various computer cords. I think I'm making the family bathrobes....

Tara said...

All I can Say is WOW! Your list is amazing.

So far we're planning on magnets, candles and cookies! :)

Anonymous said...

WOW! you and your guys are unstoppable. that's amazing. i'm still trying to finish knitting winter hats for the boys before it gets too cold.
i really want to make gifts this year and will die trying believe me, but i;m not sure how many i'll be able to finish in time.
you guys will be my inspiration when i'm feeling disparaged by my lack of gift making.

Barbara said...

Wow, that is quite a list. Are you planning sleeping between now and Christmas?!?! Off to peruse some of those links.....

Aimee said...

Girl, I wish we were neighbors...but you'd have to move to SC :)

LOVE your list...can't wait to take some time tonight to click on your links to look at all your great ideas.

I am doing embroidered personalized library totes for nieces and nephews this year with a book tucked inside. For adults, I have mad rice heat therapy bags and flaxseed (cold) eyes bags. Some embroidered bibs for babies and some embroidered days-of-the-week dishtowels for my MIL. I want to make some flannel pj's for the kids again this year for the night before Christmas.

My current must-do is embroidering my Christmas cards!

Thanks for all your great inspiration!

Stephanie said...

I love the clay beads!
(I think I gasped when I saw them, actually.)
So.. question. Is it regular gray or red clay, or some other kind? And do they have to be cooked at kiln temperatures? Will an ordinary oven work?
We have been frenzy crafting here, too. (on both hf and olm).
Trev asked me just yesterday when we could get the wax out again. :)
Oh - and the picture of the beads is beautiful, by the way.

denise said...

Oh, we won't end up making ALL of it...that is just the big idea list. We'll streamline it and pick our favorites as we go along! :) I juts need lots of ideas in case anything flops, or the boys are a no-go on a particular project...

aimee - wow! you have a great list. I'm intimidated by anything with a pattern this time of year, but I would LOVE to make the boys bathrobes and pj's. i made flaxseed eye pillows a few years back - added a few drops of either lavender or mint oil. was a big hit! i've been inspired by all of your embroidery over the past month or two...it is all so lovely!

stephanie - i don't like things that can blow up (had a pyrex incident a few weeks back, won't be baking anything in the oven for a bit!). ;) SOOOOO I like air dry clay. there are many kinds, we usually use Prang since it is fairly moist and malleable right out of the package (some of the other clays are very hard), which is good for little hands. it dries in only a few days. we like the white because it takes paint well!

denise said...

sarah - a snow measuring stick is a great idea! we might have to make a few as a project. what are you making yours with?

dawn klinge said...

I'm thinking of picking up some large canvasses and paint at the art store and letting my kids have fun painting abstract art. I may use some of these great ideas you've shared here as well...thanks so much!

Jennifer @ Fruit of My Hands said...

Great list! I'll be back to browse some of your links.

Marina said...

Thanks so much for posting that list with resources on how to do it!

So what are we doing this year?? Hmmmm, feeling ambitious and may do some felted soaps, gratitude journals, decorative beeswax candles (thanks for showing us how!), crayon rolls and granola... I may just keep popping over to see what you're up to :).

Could use some ideas on handmade items for grown up boys...

Claudia - La Casa nella Prateria said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing all these ideas! I LOVE the pressed clay necklaces and... I am going to try several of these crafts with my kids!

You always are one of my favourite sources of inspiration...

Sharon said...

Magnets, cards, cookies, a scarf, and a painting. :)

Your jewelry shapes are beautiful!

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Looks like fun!

Unfortunately, this fall has been full of other activities, and with the Boychick now in school, time is at a premium. This Hannukah, we are giving ourselves two family gifts: both are tickets to performances.

But I'm thinking about making a pumpkin bread pudding for Thanksgiving!

Anet said...

Solstice calendars and bird feeders sound awesome!
Noah and I are planning on making some applesauce and cinnamon dough ornaments soon. And maybe paint some plates at the ceramic shop for gifts.

Anonymous said...

You are very inspiring!

We're going to make some aluminum pie plate Hanukkah decorations, some papier mache stars (not sure what they'll be in the end, maybe Christmas ornaments), and possibly a cork gingerbread house.

I'm knitting some hand towels, and I just got a partly felted lambswool sweater from the thrift store that I'll be felting more and sewing into pot holders.

We're somewhat limited because all of our presents will have to be mailed to our relatives. So nothing too heavy!

Nevis said...

That's very inspirational that you're making that many handmade gifts!

I think I'll scrapbook something for my Mom & Dad. And I'll make a few handmade cards, but that's about it. I dont' have time for much else this year!

Angie said...

This is why I gave you the Kreative Blogger Award!! You are amazing.

You can check it out at my place:)

Lara said...

Hi! I live in your neighborhood and have been following your blog for quite some time now. I have two boys as well, ages 2 1/2 and 5 months. I just wanted to say that I admire all the creative and educational things that you do with your boys. You are such an attentive, loving, and caring mom! You have given me many ideas to do with my 2 1/2 year old son. I wish all moms gave their children as much attention and care as you do with yours. Take care!

Darla said...

I'm more of a foodie. Once again this year my goal will be to expand the dishes I can prepare for the Japanese New Year celebratory foods called "osechi ryori". Oh yes, and lefse.

Stephanie said...

Thanks, Denise!

denise said...

Marina - Gifts for boys, older boys, and men are always my challenge too...For adults I have sewn business card holders (or felted some), coffee cozies, and ipod covers, and given home made food gifts. Younger boys I find that dress up items are fun. Still working on those ideas this year too, though.

Oh, thanks Angie. I'm flattered. That is so nice!

Oooh, Darla - posting food recipes and photos soon, then? Sounds interesting!

Lara - Hi neighbor! :) Thanks for all of the kind words...

piscesgrrl said...

We made homemade holiday items and gifts for many years but my boys never really took to it. Just not their thing. So I don't know what we'll do this year! Your list is very impressive! Can I live vicariously through you? :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I LOVE your little sketches. Also your great list of ideas!