Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cool Crafty Chick for Christmas

Try saying THAT 5 times fast!

Everyone by now knows that I'm big into crochet and I also make beaded jewelry. This is not news. I have a semi-large family PLUS a couple of family birthdays (including my own, but we're not talking about that yet!) that fall within the realm of The Christmas Season. So, buying gifts can get to be an expensive proposition each year. In recent years my 3 sisters and I have drawn names to make it easier on us. We end up "saving" 2 gifts each that way since we exclude the kids from the draw (they're fair game - Christmas is for the kids, after all), and the brothers-in-law just exchange something between them (usually a favorite kind of booze), exempting them from our exchange as well. They're on their own. This year there is a new bil, so I wonder how their "rules" will change, if at all... This year, as I've previously posted, is my mother's 60th birthday and we're throwing her a big suprise party. Plus a nice gift. So already my holiday/December budget is blown.

I'm not one to normally brave the insanity of the after-Thanksgiving shopping crush. I enjoy shopping, sure, but at a more leisurely pace, like an activity to be enjoyed, versus the madhouse, chaotic scene that erupts the day after Thanksgiving. It's just not for me, no matter how great the deals. I am NOT getting out of my warm bed at 4:30am so I can stand in line outside a Circuit City by 5am and get a DVD player for $10. I'm just not. But this year I happened across a 20% coupon from Michaels, the craft supply store, that was for Saturday and was good until noon. NOON! That's more my style. So I went with lots of ideas of things I could make for Christmas gifts, and I ended up spending just $52 and got everything I'll need to make gifts for my family and maybe a few friends as well. SCORE! Now it's just a matter of time - lots and lots of time - to make everything before Christmas. It'll be a race to the finish for sure, but I'm up to the challenge. I always work better when there is a firm deadline to meet. I've decided to make my sister(s) (depending on whether we draw names again this year) cute black-on-black mittens with a fur cuff, and a set of wine charms. Not related items in the slightest, but I thought the wine charms would be cute and easy to make (they are) and would be nice package toppers for the mittens. I'm going to make my mom a new pair of slippers, in red to match the decor of her new lake cabin, after noticing the the hand-knitted pair she currently has is sporting a gigantic hole in the bottom of one of them. I'm also going in with my sisters on a carved wooden house sign for my parents for Christmas for their lake house. It seems to be the thing to have up there - whatever. I've started making the mittens and wine charms and I'm pleased with how they're turning out:

mittens for my sisters

wine charms for family and friends. they make nice gift toppers, don't you think?

Each glove takes me a day or two to make, and I have at least 3 pairs to do. I'm not sure how long to expect the slippers to take since I'm only starting them today. The wine charms are super-easy (Swarovski crystals - nice, huh!?) and I can bust them out in an evening. We're talking 50-60 of them, given in sets of 4-6. I'll probably make personalized diecut cards per set from which to attach them, the way you'd see them displayed in a shop.

So those are my cool crafty Christmas gift plans. I think they'll be received well. I'm happy to devote countless hours making these special gifts vs. buying stuff I usually end up paying too much for and then bitching about it. We'll be buying the kids toys and stuff - from us and from Santa, and I have something special in mind for Mr. Chick (who has both a Dec. birthday AND Christmas). That stuff alone will max out our budget. So if I can "cut some corners" by making things to give as gifts, then I'm all about doing that.

Excuse me - I need to go start crocheting some slippers! I only have 26 more days to get everything done!

You are one cool crafty chicklet! I love the wine charms. Fabulous and great work. I'd still love for you to make me a mother's bracelet if I can ever figure out what I need for supplies.

Get to crackin on those projects...sounds like you'll be a busy one over the next several weeks.
I am totally digging the wine charms. The mittens too. But I LOVE wine charms and look at you getting all fancy and stuff. :)
MP, I am totally ripping off your idea for the wine charms. I was thinking of doing it, but couldn't think of who to make them for. Since I have stuff on hand (from making jewelry), I think I'll throw some together for gifts for friends I've overlooked on my list. Since I switched to using all semi-precious and sterling silver, I haven't had much use for the jeweler metal and other beads... But how perfect!

I am not so crafty to be able to crochet or knit, so I think those gifts are absolutely fantastic!!

You go, chick!
Love it ALL!

I really love the wine charms!

Happy Holidays!
I so wish I were talented.

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