Friday, December 19, 2008

Gifts Given, Gifts Received

In the category of Gifts Given----handmade soaps, packaged in handmade gift bags, labeled with handmade gift tags. I used this terrific Recycled Junk Mail Gift Bag pattern and tutorial from Junk Mail Gems, and although it was a little fiddly (maybe I didn't need to, but I individually measured out and scored the score lines for each bag?), I'm really pleased with how they turned out. I actually don't like as much the ones that I made out of plain cardstock and had the girls decorate--they look too much like a purchased blank gift bag to me--but the ones that I made out of pages of text from old books are really, really cool, I think.
It was also a pretty engaging activity for Will to challenge her fine motor skills--here she is lacing ribbon through the holes for the handles at the top, stringing beads on them, and tying a knot:
It baffles me, by the way, as to why my children are constantly nude. The thermostat is set at 66 degrees, friends--I'm wearing a sweater, and Willow is in the living room, rollerskating naked.

In the category of Gifts Received:
I bought myself this beautiful pendant made by sushipot , made from a 1919 dictionary--I was supposed to put it in my stocking to open on Christmas, but when I opened the shipping envelope the little box was So. Beautiful. that I just had to open it, too, and then the pendant looked so much more awesome, even, in person that I had to put it on, and well, there you go.

Another empty stocking this year.

In the category of Gifts Received and Also Given:

At the Fair and Green Gift Festival, a local guy asked if I'd like to make him a couple of record bowls in exchange for some of his old records--um, yeah! And look at the stash he gave me!

Good stuff.

So I knew that the records he wanted me to make bowls out of were in the front of the box, but, uh...which front? I thought I had it figured out, and when I emailed him to double-check, I'm all, "Okay, you want bowls of REO Speedwagon, Peter Shicklee, and The Canned Heat Cookbook." And he emailed back and he's all (politely), "Um, no." Turns out that at the other end of the box there's, you know, George Harrison, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Genesis. BIG difference.

In other news, the girls and I spent the afternoon drinking hot chocolate while watching a DVD of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Christmas carols.

Because we're dorks. Festive, but dorks.


Anonymous said...

The bag you made out of old books is really, really great! May I steal some of your very cool ideas? :) Love the pendant too...another terrific idea to reusing old things.

julie said...

You are always so sweet! I got my pattern from Junk Mail Gems--they used junk mail for their bags (natch), but I think the best part of the idea is how endless the possibilities are--newspaper, discarded wrapping paper, colored coloring book pages, glossy brochures, etc.

Anonymous said...

I'll have to go look up Junk Mail Gems now. I've been thinking about using the weaving technique to make "fabric" out of old catalog pages, but my mind stopped there. Too many crafts to take on, too little time to bring them to fruition. I don't know how you do all you do!

cake said...

i love those bags. i somehow missed this post (must have been traveling, or getting all the stuff ready for traveling, or something like that).and that pendant is perfect, especially considering your recent injury.

i had to kind of cringe when i heard that one of the records being made into a bowl was jesus christ superstar, since that was actually something i purchased (vinyl,used, online) for carl for christmas this year. not that your bowls aren't beautiful works of art, but at our house, we're still listening to the records. still though, what a score on that stack of records!

julie said...

Oh, sweetie, I have a record player hooked up with a UBS cord to a port on my computer, and only a record that went "click, click, JEEE-, JEEE-, JEEE-SUS, hisssss, CHRIST, click, click, SUUU- SUUU" would be reincarnated into a productive and appreciated new life as a bowl.