I didn't do a lot of handmade this year. Mostly I will blame it on finishing my dissertation, which kept me busy and focused until commencement last week. But I've also been placing a lot of energy into growing a baby! We are expecting our fourth child at the very beginning of April.
I am feeling great - this pregnancy feels easier than the last - but staying up into the wee-hours of the night crafting is not really in the cards for me these days. However, now that I am done with school and work, and as rested as I'm going to get, I am ready to go!
In the past few days I completed the socks and created a nice partially-handmade gift for my SIL. I was also able to pull together a little gift for each of my girls.
Starting with the socks:
I am very happy to report that my quick fix job really worked. I completed the pair with about 5 yds. of yarn to spare. That's cutting it close! But they look really cool. The photo doesn't do the colorwork justice - and I like that they are matchy without matching. I even finished them with 4 days to go before Christmas. That's a good feeling.
I am also giving my SIL my favorite book on writing, a to-go coffee sleeve (thanks Erin for the great tutorial!) and two gift certificates to local businesses: one coffee shop and one pet store. [There was a second coffee sleeve with a GC for a local coffee room that went to a special kindergarten teacher, but that was gifted before a photo could be had.]
And now for the gifts for the girls! I recently borrowed the Wee Wonderfuls book from the library and fell is love with many of the projects. I knew I didn't have time to complete any of the projects before the book was returned, but a few of the ideas stayed with me; begging to be made for my girls. Using photocopies of three patterns I ploughed ahead with a doggie necklace, a mermaid and a Gretel doll, and finished all of them inside of three evenings.
First, a doggie necklace for my dog-loving daughter:
This project is perfect for her. She is obsessed with dogs right now. She has checked out every book at the library on dogs, told Santa she wants a 'box of puppies' for Christmas, and is counting the days until our family gets a dog (not for a few years, mind you). The handiwork was a bit tedious - this little doggie is small - but I am very happy with the result.
Second, a mermaid for my excitable girly-girl:
What can I say about this mermaid? It's perfect. It's got golden brown hair like my daughter, she's got some bling in her flowing locks, which my daughter loves, and she is just overall a lovely doll. The pattern was fantastic - I really like how the doll is assembled. However, my free-quilting skills are not quite up to par (there is some embellishment on the hair and fins). I probably should have practiced some of the decorative stitches first, but this doll will do just fine.
And lastly, a Gretel-inspired doll for my little redhead:
This doll really stole my heart in the book. Gretel is paired with Hansel (who even has a feather in his cap) - can't you just imagine a pair of them together?! I took the idea of Gretel and modified her a bit to suit my 3 year old. She definitely prefers stuffed animals to dolls, and I'm hoping that she will take to the puppet feel of this special doll. Oh, and my painting skills? They leave something to be desired. But it works, it's handmade - and it's made with love. There's no better present than that. As for my pattern notes, I skipped placing the pipe cleaners for the arms and I also whip stitched the felt backing to the front template.