Thursday, December 20, 2012

Handmade Holidays: This Year's Teacher Gifts

I'm always looking for teacher gift ideas, so I'm posting this even though:

A) it's probably too late to be helpful to anyone for this Christmas
B) there's very little crafting involved
C) it isn't overly original

We talked over a few different ideas and decided to go with a "movie night" gift basket, containing three classic movie theater candies, regular popcorn and kettle corn, a Redbox gift certificate, and two kinds of hot chocolate mix.  I'm not sure what hot chocolate has to do with movies (Do theaters sell it?  I'll pretend they do even if they don't.), but I wanted to include something homemade. They're tweaked versions of this salted caramel hot chocolate and this peppermint hot chocolate recipe.  I would recommend them both -- much tastier than other mixes I've made -- plus they have cute printable labels.

I wasn't sure what I was going to package them in, but then I saw these plastic popcorn tubs at Target as I was walking to the checkout.  Perfect.

We gave these to E's teacher and paraprofessional, and O will be giving his to his teacher tomorrow along with a card he made her.  We also gave a set of the hot chocolate mixes to each of  E's therapists.

I was looking for a fun little token gift for E's four classmates too.  When I saw these cute glittery red wooden letters on clearance at Michael's for 29 cents, I picked up one for each kid.  A little ribbon and some hot glue and we had an inexpensive personalized ornament for her to give her friends.

Have you seen or given any unique teacher gifts lately? 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Handmade Holidays: Another Drawstring Lace Cowl

My aunt and I had our monthly coffee date yesterday, so I was able to give my first gift of the season to her in person.  The first drawstring lace cowl that I made was for her daughter-in-law, and she really liked it, so I filed it away somewhere in my brain and am quite pleased that I remembered to knit her one in time for Christmas.  I used Vickie Howell's Sheep(ish) again, but in Plum(ish) this time.

The pom-poms are my favorite part, but I told my aunt to cut them off if they weren't "her."  It's still quite cute on even without the drawstring at all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Crafting for Newtown

I have seen a couple of crafting drives set up for the families in Newtown and wanted to share them. 

A Connecticut quilt shop is collecting homemade pillowcases.  You can find more information on Facebook or the Quilter's Corner website

Knitters and crocheters, if you are on Ravelry, there is a group collecting huggable stuffed monsters. 

Image courtesy of nuchylee /

If you have heard of any other crafty endeavors, please comment with the information or a link.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Snap-a-who? Snapazoo!

I made this little guy last week from the KAM Snaps tutorial for a two-year-old's birthday present.  I think he's pretty funny.

I used two layers of anti-pill fleece, but it took me way longer than the woman on the Kam site who made hers in fifteen minutes.  I finished in about an hour.

I ran out of time to try to decipher many more of the teeny-tiny instructions, but did manage the above bear and this pig.  He was my favorite.  O. thought he looked like a cow, which I can also see.  Either way, his little face amuses me.  I don't think this will be my last Snapazoo!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pajamas from St. Nick

The kids always get Christmas pajamas from St. Nick, and this year I decided to help him out a little by sewing up some coordinating fleece jammies.

O's are medium pants from Kwik Sew Sewing for Children.  I widened the legs by 3/4" at both edges and eliminated the side seam.  You really can't go wrong with the basics from Kwik Sew.

I was more ambitious with E's and went for footie pajamas.  I picked up the Peek-a-Boo Classic Footed Pajamas pattern on sale a bit ago with these PJs in mind.  The description says, "New to sewing?  No problem", but I would suggest that you not attempt these until you're pretty comfortable with clothing construction.  There are some pieces that are a bit awkward to put together, and the most potentially confusing part of the zipper installation doesn't have a picture or diagram in the instructions.

They went together fairly smoothly, although they did take longer than I'd hoped.  I was pretty crabby about them for a while yesterday, but now that they're done and I saw them with O's, I'm pretty pleased.  I cut a 4T width and 5 for length.  She hasn't tried them on yet, but they seem similarly sized to RTW pajamas.

Do you celebrate St. Nick's Day where you live?  In the U.S, it seems to be limited to very specific geographic areas.  It wasn't a thing people did in my hometown, but here on the other side of Wisconsin it's very common.


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