Friday, December 10, 2010

Doing That Thing You Do

by Kimberlee

One of the best things about doing a blog is that you have an excuse - even better, a reason - to surf the web for awesome stuff.  Another thing is getting to wax poetic and trust your readers to either read or scroll, whatever they want.

I've been so inspired by all the blogs and sites I have the pleasure of looking through and communicating with.  You artist-crafters from all over make such beautiful and lovely items, objects that make me believe in the essential good of human nature.  How else could there be so much beauty in the world?

As the holidays roll around, I think those of us who make things feel some added pressure to step up our craft for gifts, decorations, etc - and we really don't have to.  The basics, the things we are good at and are easy, are the best gifts to make.  Plus, everyone loves the essentials.

For those who sew

Zippered pouches make easy, useful gifts.  You also can opt for fancier fabrics, as you don't need to purchase as much. 

The Classic Tote Bag, is there anything it can't do?  You can use any fabric, alter the size, add trim, add pockets, pleats or ANYTHING with the classic patterns, and everyone needs more tote bags.

For those that cook

 Christmas Cookies are always a great bet, and I know that I always appreciate the time and effort put into making them. One of the things I like so much about getting cookies is that I get to explore other people's recipes, as I tend to make the same thing year after year. I am, however, making the above pictured Oreo Upgrade.

I am a sucker for Mason Jar Recipes.  They're easy to  make, economical, attractive and fun to get.  You can make both cookies and savory items, like cornbread.  Friends made us several cookie jars a couple of years ago, and we loved them.  I might make up some myself, this year.

For the Knitters

I can't speak by the way of patterns, but I know that hats and scarves are easy to make - and AWESOME to get.  Don't ever think because you have given someone a scarf or a hat, you can't do it again.  The more the better!  I love love love getting both, and it's not just because I live in Minnesota where it's Winter 2/3 of the year.  If you know socks, PLUS!

Fingerless Gloves

Beautiful Cowl

Flowery Scarf

Other Easy &Lovely Things from the Web

40 Edible Gifts

Ruched Headband

Peppermint Bark Soap


Felt Ornaments


a nice gift to make with children
Tutorial HERE



  1. Handmade is positively The Best at Yuletide (and birthdays)! I've done knitted slippers, bead-knit pendants, scarves and sweaters and such, and many other handcrafted gifts over the years. This year, my big thing for the family is flannel pajama pants. Spouse's are coming from a Harry Potter themed flannel - run up in a speedy two hours last night - and daughter's shorts and my shorts + tank are all coming from the remnant bin. Score!

    A great hint for the computer-gifted amongst us? There are now available (at Michael's for sure, and probably at office supplies) ink-jet printable transfers that can be rendered permanent, and thus washable! So aprons, totes, pillows, or T-shirts featuring treasured family photos are a few easy steps away.

    I also heartily recommend this pattern for a T-shirt quilt, though you can easily create your own by making sure you cut your treasured T-shirt squares to a uniform size, interface them for stability, and then connect them with sashing.

    I have one that I made from my myriad T-shirts obtained at various science fiction conventions, sashed with star fabric and backed with an all-over alien print. And I saved many of my daughter's childhood T-shirts so that I can run one up for her from them before she heads off to University.

    Merry Yule, everyone!

  2. Great ideas here. Should there be a link to the manger craft? Would love to try it.

  3. Kathy, Thank you for catching that! I put the link to the tutorial under the photo. It is a cute project.

    Eileen, I love the t-shirt quilt. (There's a slightly different one in the Generation t book.) It's just a good idea all around - save the tees for posterity, an amazing one of a kind item, etc. I love it!


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