What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Handmade Christmas

A kindly neighbor gave me a rabbit fur coat last summer which I doubted I would ever realistically wear.  But because I do happen to have a fur-obsessed son, I gladly accepted such a luxurious gift knowing it may be reincarnated as something for him for Christmas.  (I made sure to warn her that it may wind up being cut up- so if she didn't want that fate for her precious coat, to find someone else to give it to.)

Having never worked with real fur before, I really didn't know what I was getting into.

It is a MESS to work with real fur!  (That was probably a 'duh' moment on my account.)  And I was terrified I was going to screw it up and butcher that coat for no good reason.

You know I love my boy lots- because it took weeks before all the rabbit fur left my eyeballs, nostrils and throat.  

For his hat, I used the pattern/tutorial found here

And I happen to love his little sister too- because she got some slippers from the remnants. 

Even though the second time, I knew full well what I was getting myself into.  

I used this tutorial for the elf slippers.

Two layers of fur shoved together made for less pointy toes, which was sad.


~ a (faux) fur blanket for Corynn using fabric I got two years ago on deep discount.

I appliqued a buffalo on a robe for Judah- which basically blew his mind.  ;-)

Poor Adele' got a disheartening paper envelope for her handmade gift which contained a certificate for a crocheted mermaid of her very own that she has been pining for and which her Mama was unable to complete in time.  She was a good sport about it though- and now she can give input on colors and things.

Some flannel sleep pants for another deer-loving nephew:

 Handmade soaps

Woodburned stuff

A snazzed out purse (purse was given to us) for my 7 year old sister.

A hat for Dad~

A bag for my older sister... I just painted the words, I didn't make the tote on this one.

Felt play food for my niece... I actually made two of these sets so maybe next Christmas I will have a gift for Ineke at the ready!  

My favorite were the little blueberry pies... in little tartlet pans.

Because we have plenty of people in my family and getting something for every one could be a bit much, the younger set usually draw names for a gift exchange.  

Corynn and Andrew decided to make something for their gifts.  
Adele' and Judah opted to do extra chores to earn money to buy something for their gifts.

Corynn drew/painted this canvas for her 'secret santa' gift. (He's a Star Wars fan)

Andrew sewed this leather pouch for a his 'secret santa' gift and filled it with some goodies. (She's a fan of small trinkets)

Adele' painted this for a friend and wanted me to take a picture of it.

And Ineke saw everyone else standing and showing off their handmades and felt she ought to be included.

She 'made' that ruler waaaayyyyy cuter.

So what am I crafting on nowadays?

I have to make Adele's mermaid.  I've already restarted the head several times- I don't know why but it is quite a bit larger than the last one I made.  I think at this point, I'll just go with it and if she turns out huge- so be it.  I'll just use more yarn that I already want to get rid of, right?

I am reading a book that was on my Christmas wishlist.  (Yay Mattie!)   I'm really enjoying it.  It speaks of the parallels within the early Roman Catholic Church and Modern Feminists of their views of women.  For the Roman Catholic church, the highest and most worthy calling for women was stepping out of the role of wife and mother and becoming a nun and the view that modern feminists have of women- that the highest and most worthy calling for women requires stepping out of the role of wives and mothers to find success (and happiness and liberation) in careers.  Both of which distort God's great and high calling of women in their vocations as women, wives and mothers. 

Good stuff.

linking up here and here


Karen Sue said...

Looks like the crafty corner was pretty crowded this Christmas! I did NOT have a crafty Christmas this year, and I think that was OK. trying not to feel guilty about it.

Ulli said...

Oh Rebecca, you have a VERY talented family! I'm so impressed. The kids are so thoughtful and creative, you can be so proud! (I kow you are). Love your Christmases. Family. Nuf said.

I have my eye on felt food for my granddaughter down the road. Yours turned out great! Sewing rabbit fur? No thanks. I suppose you had to give your machine a good cleaning.

Here is a link for a knit snake. Knowing your kiddos (boys) I think they will like it. I've made them with darker colors for boys and girlie colors for girls. Always cute. Have fun!

JenniferM said...

Lovely post. You make it all look so easy.

That last blurb threw me for a loop, though. Why link up a very anti-Catholic book to the blog of a Catholic wife and mother? Also, there have been plenty of wives and mothers canonized by the Catholic Church, so the book's premise is misleading at best. Perhaps some day you'll pick up something written by a Catholic before deciding that the vocation of marriage has in some way been distorted. Of note is the fact that Matrimony is a Sacrament in the Catholic Church whereas consecrated religious life--esteemed in it's own right--is still not a Sacrament.

May God bless you and all of your talented crafters!

Rebecca said...

Karen- it is absolutely okay to not have a crafty Christmas. You shouldn't feel guilty about it at all. I tend to make handmades for Christmas to round out more frugal gift giving. And also because I enjoy it. Some years I do better at it than others, depending on time, whim and supplies. Not everyone is like that and no two Christmases need to be the same.

Ulli- if I know little girls (and I think I do pretty darn well) your granddaughter will eventually LOVE felt food. Haven't met a girl who didn't. ;-) And thank you for the snake pattern- it is really COOL!

JenniferM- thanks very much for your kind comment. And thanks too, for thinking out loud. If you had just grumbled your disgust and then clicked away- I'd never have a chance to defend myself. Not that I needed to defend myself- your comment was very kind and well written. So thank you for that.

Two things specifically about the book and link-up:

1) I love Ginny and her family. She's amazing. And in her link-up, I am sure there are plenty of Protestants and Catholics who participate. I've even seen some Athiests and Mystics. Why couldn't I write about an interesting book I am reading and enjoying because it may contradict Ginny's view? I've seen plenty of books that contradict MY views on certain things within her link-up and it hasn't got me itchy. I guess the thought didn't occur to me that it would others.


2) Have you read the book? If you have, you will know that the premise of the book is not misleading at all. She is referring to early Roman Catholic church which may look very different from the Catholic church of today in some respects. I cannot speak to how much has changed/stayed the same within the Catholic church because I don't know (and that is not the premise of her book) but it is fascinating and helpful to read of how things started out and how the Reformation changed things for women.

I'm glad that you brought up canonized women and the sacrament of marriage...she addresses those very things in the book-she can answer you better than I could. But a quick nugget: Up until the 16th century, the Pope said that the marriage estate was "impure" and said that "one cannot serve God and be married." (that's page 78) She also addresses a good many things about the early church that perhaps you did not know. (I had no clue!!) Like the concubines and brothels the church was apparently famous for- and the penitential taxes, fines and indulgences used to pay for such sins. It was actually considered less sinful for a priest to visit a brothel than to be married. (that's page 40).

I hope you don't take my comment as snarly- it isn't. I appreciate the dialogue! I think if you read the book, it would clear up any misconceptions you may have. It is hard to judge a book well that you don't read. But I assure you- it is WELL DOCUMENTED (the source documentation in the end notes spans over 25 pages!)

So she isn't making this stuff up.

Final thought- and probably most important one of all- reading and enjoying this particular book does not in any way mean I don't love Catholic wives and Mama's.

'Cuz I do.

Rain said...

I love all the crafting you do Rebecca! You are an inspiration for me in using what you already have on hand to make something beautiful.
I have to agree with Jennifer though and mention that the book you shared to link to two crafting blogs is rather offensive. They are both lovely "Catholic" ladies as am I. And the premise of this book is just nonsense. The Catholic church honors motherhood in a truly beautiful way ( Mary, anyone?) and I hate to see ignorance disseminated in any way. I really appreciate your blog and hope you can understand that I simply want to point out the error in this author's understanding of the church and have no 'beef' with you.

Rebecca said...

Rain- the above comment to Jennifer could be addressed to you as well-both in my gratitude and my defense.

The one additional thought I would have in regards to your comment is that the church elevating the Virgin Mother would not then translate into elevating all mothers into their high calling of Mother. In fact, I would think it would further buttress the point that the church esteems more highly celibacy than marriage- as the church considers Mary to be a perpetual virgin despite her marriage to Joseph.

Again, claiming a book is erroneous and ignorant without actually reading it can be very dangerous. The bibliography alone would seem to discredit that claim.

Amy Marie said...

Lovely as always, Rebecca! We actually did some crafting for Christmas this year also, especially for Amos' side. I was proud of myself. ;) I think that book sounds very interesting. My TBR pile is so MASSIVE that it's not even FUNNY. Oh, and I loved your idea on IG about using my new journal for book lists/reviews...I'm doing a little bit of that one the top of each page, using the washi as the "shelf" and then drawing in little "books" as I read them. The main body of the page can be used for writing etc. :) Thanks for the idea!

Happy Friday, dear friend! Amy

Anonymous said...

It would be useful for you to read more about what modern feminists actually do believe and the attitudes they hold towards women, men, society as a whole, it's a state of mind, an attitude and strongly held beliefs and not at all about having careers versus being wives and motherhood. You do realise that men are feminists too?

Abigail said...

Your gifts are beautiful! I think they're all wonderful, but, really, Andrew's hat and Ineke's slippers are both incredible. The hat is fantastic and one-of-a-kind, especially with the brown design on the sides! And the bee soaps are completely lovely, as are the wood-burned things. I love how you designed the top utensil, especially. Gorgeous, all. Your friends and family are lucky to have you in their corner!

Having not read the book causing such consternation here, I won't add much, but as a Protestant with 2 brothers who converted to Rome (one now worshipping in a Byzantine rite church), I know that my sister-in-law would object to the book's premise as stated. Even though I have huge doctrinal differences with them in some areas and great shared belief with you in doctrinal outlook, I have seen God use her conversion to Rome to help turn her from a modern Western view of feminism and all that entails to a embracing of the richness of motherhood and a culture of life.

And I just deleted the bulk of my comment because I don't know enough about the book to enter a discussion. I'd be interested to see how the author addresses cause/effect of the history she's writing about with its modern fruit. Let me borrow it, and I'll have you over for tea and cookies! And if that sounds like a shabby attempt to get you here for an overdue visit and a day off from h'learning, well, it is! :)

Abigail said...

p.s. After seeing these pictures, Aidan now wants more felt food, the glutton!

Abigail said...

p.p.s. I'm not showing him pictures of the snowflake bread.

Rebecca said...

Wow! I really had no idea what a Diet of Worms I'd be eating when sharing my current read! ;)

Really, as the subtitle suggests, this book is more about how the Reformation affected women during the 16th century and introduces us to the women who helped make the Reformation. It is about the Catholic church only in the fact that we must know where things started to discover why any changes were worthwhile.

I see a lot of wonderful Catholic women embracing their roles as woman, wife, and mother today. They are some of my favorite people and many of the blogs I read. And actually, I think Catholics succeed at finding worth and dignity in those areas better than evangelicals many times.

But that does not dispute what the Catholic church taught leading up to the time of the Reformation.

We ought to be careful not to let our subjective opinions and experiences within the confines of the 21st century to redefine the 15th and 16th century Catholic Church.

To Abby- I'd be happy to have you borrow it! You're the first to be open to the idea of opening the book. I'll pass it along when I am through. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

To Anon. ~ I am fully aware that feminism is not such a cut-and-dried thing as being a wife and mother. I am aware that it can be FAR more nefarious than that. A lie of feminism is that you ought to want to be something more/different/else than those things because those roles hold no value/worth/dignity. It would be dishonest to say that this is not a huge part of this now militant movement. In fact, to modern feminists, being a wife and mother is just the sad poison we've ingested from the patriarchy holding us down from empowering careers. Modern feminism is no longer about equal voting rights and equality. It is about squashing anything that stands in the way of a woman's own definition of success...even if has a head and arms and legs that need ripping off. It is more about elevating women above all else. Which is the opposite of equality. I am also aware that men are feminists too, of course. But saying so might have suggested an inequality in gender.

Rebecca said...

(That last sentence, lest you didn't hear my tone, was a joke.)