Well I completely got busy at the end of last week and did not get around to starting my holiday wrap up, so I thought today it would be good to start it out. I have three things to show off today, two of which are repeats from last year, one is a new item just for this year. I have to say that I am surprised that I managed to pull it off this year, getting all of my handmade items finished in time to give them or send them for a Christmas day opening. I also managed to meet my goal of getting all the major mailing of Christmas gifts off by the ground shipping deadline. It was still expensive to help Santa out by sending that many presents, but it was worth every penny. The theme this year was to try to minimize buying new materials and use up materials I already had heaped up in fabric bins, boxes, and containers of crafting supplies. Overall, it was a pretty successful endeavor.
For my Dad, I did a rehash of a moss stitch scarf. I had one ball of the Cascade EcoAlpaca left from the attempt at this scarf from the year before, so I got another one and knit it up, this time correctly, for my Dad. It looks entirely different since I knit the knit stitches rather than knitting them to the back. I like this one a bit more, but both still looked great in the end. I was just glad that the yarns were a really exact match since there is no dye lot because it was natural alpaca yarn.
I also made another counting fish pelican for Jozef. It was requested for him last year by Kathy, so I had fun making a second one in what I am sure is a long line of counting pelicans in my career. Overall this did not meet the full criteria of using up and not buying more items to make it, but all I really had to purchase was the zipper and yellow dot fabric for him. The fish were totally made out of scraps of other fabrics. It is nice to see how much faster you are at doing things the second time around.
I did not do so well on the not buying when I made this banner for my Mom. I thought, though, that it was a great exception to the rule. I made it using a pattern from Butterick that Dan picked out. She really liked it, and I have heard that it is hanging up in the kitchen currently. I was amazed while working on this to see how much better at applique I have gotten. I did have to do some shopping for the buttons with my Mom when I was home for Thanksgiving, so it was pretty funny when she opened up the package to find the buttons on her gift.
Today I am working on gaining the motivation to start some house cleaning. Over the holiday crafting extravaganza, things like dusting and vacuuming fall by the wayside. I also have a rosemary bush in need of some transplanting out on the balcony. The lemon tree is chugging right along, and the first lemons are starting to ripen. I do have a bit of sad news in regards to the balcony garden. White flies were hard at work while we were gone traveling during the holidays, so the herb garden is basically no more. I have decided to turn over that box to strawberries this spring and instead use the Aerogarden for the herbs as the likelihood of white flies inside is lower, so I will not have to pour so much time into fighting insect battles for my herbs. They have been missed this week as I wanted to prepare a recipe only to find that I forgot that there is no easily accessible sage any more. It was rather disappointing.
I am also working on prepping for an apron sewing session with Annie this week. I am determined to copy the pattern and sew one apron on my own so that when I am teaching her the lessons will be more successful. The harp is also in need of some time with me as one of my resolutions is to become more proficient on that poor neglected present. Now that I received my knee bones for Christmas, there are no more excuses. Calloused fingers, here I come!