27 December, 2011

spirit of giving

happy post-chrismas, friends! i hope you all had a really lovely holiday. mine was wonderful -- i have such a loving and fun family, and with an eight year old, a five year old, and a teeny little two month old baby, it was that much more special.

this year, i felt super good about all of the gifts that i gave. i hand-made most of them and actually had them done and wrapped BEFORE leaving for my travels! (all but two; that's an amazing accomplishment for me!) here are some of the ones i had finished and wrapped while it was still light enough for photos.

i made tiny baby shoes (using this pattern) and a little hat for baby Elvis:

(the hat's a little too small. i'll make another for next month, when he's grown out of it.)

a super cozy cowl for sis and fingerless gloves for my brother-in-law:

(i made the fingerless gloves for lots of other people on my list, too. i hadn't knit up a pair for years, and forgot how quick and easy and satisfying these are! here's a link to the basic pattern, which i modified for using extra bulky yarn.)

a pretty felt flower headband for niece bella:

(inspired by my much-loved rosette fascinator by giant dwarf and using the flower patterns found on the purlbee here.)

wine coaster thing-ys for the ladies-of-the-house on my list:

i had seen these *somewhere* but could not for the life of me figure out where -- i searched martha and purlbee and BH&G and courtyliving with no results. in the end, i did them how i remembered them to be, and using different color stitching on each to make them kind of like those wine charm things. honestly, i thought they were a little cheesy, but kinda just a little cool, too.
packaging them in fruit boxes upped the presentation points.

paperwhite bulbs (from ever-inspiring terrain):

i also did a few as single bulbs, placed in a small-size mason jar with white buttons at the bottom instead of stones. those turned out really sweet -- but i didn't get a photo of them.

home-made caramels using this recipe:

the orange-wrapped ones were fleur-de-sel, and the blue-wrapped ones were lavender. ( i kinda went a little overboard on the lavender -- they were a bit too floral-y, even for me who loves that flavor...)

one sack of caramels packaged up for my wonderfully friendly postal clerk:

and lastly, cookies:

two kinds of biscotti - one dairy free, for my lactose-intolerant landlord:

and the rest were either finished after-dark (more pairs of fingerless gloves, containers of paperwhites, and neice and nephew's custom-covered sketchbooks), or at the last minute (nani's felt flower wreath), or vintage (mom's yellow-ware bowl), or storebought (b's camera, dad's bar glasses, ed emberly books for bella and aidyn).
totally satisfying.
and i was a lucky little lady in terms of the gifts i received! vintage pyrex from b, this book from santa, snowshoes, a gift certificate to my favourite fabric shop, many exciting new dishes and gadgets for my kitchen, and so many other thoughtful and sweet surprises. i'm a lucky little girl -- my family and loved one mean the world to me, and that i get to spend my christmas with them -- perfect.

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