I mentioned early in December that I would post pictures of my projects. So here is where my creative energies went for the last month...
Handmade books for friends and family. This was the first time I'd tried this technique and I'm addicted. They are so much fun and fairly quick to do. And the possibilities are endless. I learned how from this blog. I think I may make a bigger one for all my blog posts from 2007 and another one for my posts from 2008. I been wanting to print them off as a sort of journal, but wanted to find some other way to store them than in a binder.
Another project was Christmas dresses for the girls. I don't do this every year, but they both needed something new. I thought it wouldn't be so complicated when I first mentioned it as they both tend to go with simple styles and fabrics. Imagine my surprise when they both wanted fancy this year. My older daughter picked this style. The jacket is out of sari fabric - satin with gold threads woven in, and the dress is chiffon lined with crepe-back satin. Let's just say shifty and slippery, but the final product turned out quiet nice. She looks so grown up and beautiful in it.
Without knowing what her sister picked, my younger daughter decided on a jacket as well. She loved this shiny blue fabric I had, so her dress hardly cost me anything. The blue was just too much for me, so I broke it up a bit with some silk ribbon embroidery and swarovski crystals across the front of the dress. With only a little stress I managed to get both dresses done to be worn the Sunday before Christmas.
The next things that had to be done were the things for my brother's family. We rotate families every year and so I got to sew for them. The girls and I decided to make the gifts for my niece and nephew to use up some of the things we had around the house. The leopard was fun and so soft that I almost had to make another one to keep at the house for my own kids. I also made the bookmark to go in one of the handmade books for my sister-in-law. I haven't done a lot of embroidery in some time, but even when I stressed a little over cutting fabric threads (and accidentally did cut one and had to reweave the fabric) it was relaxing and I remembered how much I enjoy doing it. The actual bookmark is only about 2 inches wide and 6 inches long. There's better detail if you click on the picture.
The last things I had to finish were the pajama pants for one of my girls and the robe for my son. I stayed up until 2:30 am the night before Christmas eve to finish them. I'm not as young as I used to be I guess. In college I would do all-nighters all the time to get school work done, but that late night really set me back. I did get a nice nap the next afternoon while my husband was setting up the tables for Christmas dinner.
I had fun doing all this. Making things with my hands has always brought me great pleasure. My only complaint is that people don't say thank you for anything anymore. So many times we give gifts and then wait to hear if the recipient liked it or if it was just another gift that got lost in the shuffle of Christmas. Of course, we don't give just to have people tell us how wonderful we are, but it would be nice if people remembered the basics of good manners and did the whole thank you thing.
I sometimes wonder if it is because we all receive too much. When I had my kids call their grandparents to thank them for the Christmas gifts, they had to get it straight in their heads who gave them what. When people received less maybe they appreciated it more. Anyway, most of the things I made I will never see again, never really know if the person received them and certainly never know if they liked it or not. It doesn't change anything. Next year I'll make myself busy with projects again, because I love doing it.
Of course, I'm starting out with all sorts of good intentions to get going in January, but with renewed focus on writing, several prom dresses to sew and sewing for my daughters ballet classes spring recital, I'll most likely be frantic next December as well. What's December without a few late nights anyway?
P.S. My husband noticed in the pictures that the girls had blank faces. He's wondering what side of the family that comes from.