Most of the christmas decorations are making their way back to storage and the house is looking pretty empty. Every year after all the lights are packed up and the sad little christmas tree put on the curb I wonder why I don't have something beautiful to put in their place. We go to all this effort to make our houses glow at christmas time and then January comes around and suddenly they are so bare. There have been some really beautiful mobiles on the internets lately and I think one would look nice hanging above my mantle. So I thought I'd try to organize a little swap: a mobile swap.
If you would like to make and receive a mobile for your home email me at elsiemarleyblog AT gmail DOT com with the following information:
2. email address
3. website (if you have one)
4. mailing address
5. favorite colors
6. whether the mobile is for a baby's room or not
That's it! The mobile can be out of any kind of material using any design you can think up. Sign up by Friday January 18th and I'll send you your partner's information the following Monday. I'll try to arrange it so you send to one person, but receive a package from another--just to mix it up. Packages should be sent out by Wednesday February 20th at the latest. I started a flickr group where you can post pictures of your mobiles before you send them off. And please feel free to copy and paste the mobile swap button onto your blog. So pack up the rest of that holiday paraphernalia and get making.
I asked my good friend to make these wooden dolls for my daughter this christmas. After seeing the amazing ones she made for her son, I commissioned (!) her to make some that looked like my family. I thought it would be a nice surprise on christmas morning not only for my daughter, but for everyone to see themselves in little wooden doll form. And they were the best present under the tree. From left to right: my husband, me, my daughter, my son, an uncle, grandma, pop pop, and an aunt. Another uncle was left at grandma's house, but I couldn't wait for him to get here to show these little works of art. I was going to spend the rest of this post badgering my friend into open her own esty shop, but this morning she told me she is planning on it. You too might have the chance to have some of your very own! So instead I'll show you the other fantastic present she made for my daughter.
A little felt book that my daughter calls her special book (or my special for short). I had a similar idea after we played with the felt board at the library and had to have a discussion about how we couldn't take it home. My idea wasn't as elaborate as this though. There are pockets for all the accessories and the toilet lid even flips open! It's given me lots of ideas and I'm lucky to have such a generous and talented friend who not only makes beautiful things, but will let me steal her idea and run with it. But best of all is that it kept my daughter busy (and quiet) for most of the christmas traveling.
This isn't quite a year in review, seeing as I've only had this blog since September, but the pictures are all toys I designed and made since then. Really it's more of a gratuitous pat on the back for finally getting off my ass and making the things I think up. I'm horrible when it comes to doing new things, especially when they are creative endeavors. The teenager in me is scared of what people will think and of failing miserably and the grown woman in me doesn't understand where the hell the impulse to make soft toys came from anyway (there must be a Frosted Flakes joke in there somewhere).
I have a bunch of things I want to do for my kids, my husband, my house, and even my poor dogs this new year, but I would like to open up an etsy shop for me. We'll see. I have to make a few more things first (and I have to figure out packaging, branding, shipping, blurb writing). I have a whole year to cross that one thing off my list.
Thank you everyone who is visiting from Sew Mama Sew. And thank you to Sew Mama Sew for featuring me a few times (!) this week. It's an honor to have my things on such a fantastic blog. If you'd like to know who's writing this blog (me) you can click on the about link on the right. Thank you for all your kind comments. I try to reply to most, but I'm a little behind because of the holidays. Starting a blog was on my to do list for most of this (2007) year and I'm so glad to have finally crossed it off. I never would have believed that a few kind words from strangers could inspire me so much. Many of you are no longer strangers, but people I look to often for advice. Thank you for sharing your ideas and thoughts with me. It's a pleasure to be a part of such a creative and supportive community. I'll need even more of that support next year because one of my resolutions is to start an etsy shop. And sew myself some clothes that don't suck. Do you have any crafty resolutions for the new year?
The picture is a present I made for another sister. I showed you the needlebook and pincushion already, but I made the sewing machine cover to match after seeing the sorry looking toaster cozy she was using to cover up her sewing machine. Just a simple lined piece of patchwork with ribbon ties on each end. And an embroidered sewing machine so she knows where it goes (not on the toaster).
Hope you all have a happy new year!
This little bag was my present to my daughter even though I didn't wrap it or even call it a present. Because December was so full of presents my daughter started expecting them everyday--well before christmas--and when there weren't any she demanded More! Presents! But I still wanted to give her something. We did a lot of traveling for christmas, which if you have kids means schlepping an amazing amount of stuff around. I though it would be nice if my daughter could carry some of her own things. I followed one of the millions of tutorials on craftster (does anyone else remember when it was in it's infancy?) for a simple bag. I'm new to making bags, not being a bag person myself, but it wasn't all that hard really. I used a sew in interfacing, which made for a lot more cutting and sewing but I didn't think to put it in the flap or the strap and I should have. Two year olds get frustrated easily (and all the time, ugh) so I think it's important that the bag has some structure. I used a magnet closure thinking that it would be easy for her to use, but damn those are some strong magnets! It was filled with almost all handmade toys, which made me incredibly happy and very proud. And it meant that I didn't have to shove even more crap in the diaper bag. She carried it the whole way.
The fabric (because a couple people have asked) is Alexander Henry and I'm not much for little kids prints, but I really like this one. And the inspiration for making the bag in the first place came from Beth at writemamawrite. She has a great list of things to pack for toddlers in that post as well, but let's hope you have no more traveling to do--this year at least! We have one more plane ride home (home!) tomorrow and we'll see if the excitement of "my new purse!" can last until then. Hell, I hope I last until then.