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, December 16, 2009

More Handmade Goodness

A Homemade Christmas at SimplyVintagegirl.com

Whose ready for some more HOMEMADE Christmas?!?!

I know *I* am!!!

When I took on the task of a completely homemade Christmas, I did so knowing I didn't want to just make some universal gift and thrust it into arms saying "HERE! LIKE it." I wanted to be deliberate and thoughtful, creating personal gifts that would not only have the receiver pleased-but also knowing that I *knew* them. For that reason, finding the project ideas took nearly as long as completing the projects. (well, maybe not-but it did take a long time!)

Probably the gift I love most of all this year is this one:

The Soma Square.
It is basically a bunch of cubes glued together to make pieces which, when appropriately placed, makes a cube. It looks mild-mannered but let me tell you~this puzzle is REALLY challenging!

I love it because I think it is a perfect gift for guys (and those are hard to come by) and because I find it terribly clever. I LOVE that it is challenging but also drives determination. And finally~I love it because my husband has been playing with it ever since I made it. I SHOULD have made it for HIM. (He has since found SIX solutions to the puzzle!)

This gift requires 27 wooden cubes, glue and PAINT (if you want to paint it). The directions for making the pieces are here.

Have you yarn-workers out there heard of Ravelry?
"ummmm...who HASN'T??"

HEY! WHO JUST SAID THAT?! Well, I joined up and found a few great patterns to use for Christmas (and A LOT of projects queued for later!).

Another guy gift: A HAT

crochet pattern found here (At Ravelry)


And ANOTHER HAT (this time, with EARFLAPS) :

This pattern, too, came from Ravelry.

(Did I mention it is free to join?)

My goal was not to go buy MORE yarn but to try to make many of these gifts with supplies I already had on hand. The "recipe" calls for Jiffy Thick N Quick but since I didn't have that, I used TWO strands of yarn.

I have never done that before so I feel mighty proud of myself.

Mattie was kind enough to model them for me. My, he is a looker.


Sick of crochet yet?

Here is super cute neckwarmer.

I simply chained the width I wanted and loosely (and with a big hook) single crocheted enough rows until I had the length I wanted.

Well, I WISH it could have been a wee bit longer--but the skein ran out so this is as long as it gets.

Love it.


Here is another fabulous gift I am excited about. I made necklaces out of some of my photographs and since I didn't want to give anything away for the worthy recipients, I *HAD* to make one for myself too. (To post HERE)

This is my most favorite picture of myself. Taken about an hour after giving birth (taken by me) it perfectly conveys to me the emotion and utter peace of new birth and motherhood. This photo evokes passion in me like no other photograph ever.

I love it.

And NOW, I can wear it!

Merry Christmas to me!!! (From: ME!) hehehe


Speaking of photos:

How about some MAGNETS? I made these with twist-top beer bottle caps that I have been saving every time Matt pops one off and rare earth magnets so they are SUPER strong. I put a clear resin over top of the photo and MAN-that is some GNARLY stuff. Phew.

I want to make some of these for my OWN fridge, but I think I will wait until summer-when I can do it OUTSIDE to escape those awful resin fumes.


And last (for now) but not least:

I post this idea especially for you Riahli (sorry it has taken me so long!):

A perfect gift for the kids to get in on~ SOAP!!

These are SUPER simple to make.

You need a container of glycerin soap (at A.C.Moore for $9.99 but you KNOW that 40% off coupon comes in handy right about then...), a plastic cup or soap mold and a small toy of some sort.

You can make these fancy with glitter, food coloring and scents if you would like, but you certainly don't HAVE to.

The toys I used were squishy bugs from the dollar store. I have made them before and my kids had a BLAST with them. Once the soap gets used enough to grab a "piece" the squishy bugs stretch and pull out of the soap and create the COOLEST FOSSILS ever.


(Yes-we are homeschoolers.)

You melt the chunks of soap, stir in the coloring, glitter and scent (if you like) and then pour into the mold. Wait a minute or two and then place your toy in there (face down). When it is hard plunk it out of the molds and admire them!

That's IT!

Easy peasy!

Here are some that I made this past summer (sans food coloring and glitter).

and THAT'S All Folks!!!

(for nnnnnoooooooooooooowwwwwww)



Grandma Bibby said...

The bottle caps are my favorite. You are doing such a great job on your gifts. How you do it with three little ones is beyond me!

Eyebright said...

Wow, you gave a person a lot of great ideas in this post! I especially like the bottle cap magnets. :)

Bonnie said...

Holy. Toledo. You are SO CLEVER my friend! These ideas are great! I love the necklace, I've been wanting to try my hand at something like that, and those magnets are great! I love the block, THAT will be perfect for B. next year. I am feeling quite piddly of my own handmade gifts right now, but alas and alack, they will have to do.
Love it. All of it.
NOw, back to sewing Laura and Mary dresses. I have two necked dolls that are looking rather cold.

Unknown said...

WHOA. I. NEED. TO. BE. ON. YOUR. GIFT. LIST. ;) heehee! GREAT IDEAS, Rebecca!!! Everything is just LOVELY!


Riahli said...

You have the most amazing handmade gift ideas! Thanks for the soap suggestion...I know my boys will love those especially if I can find some good bugs at our dollar store. I am planning on home schooling also, and I was home schooled myself...so I'm right there with you. I wonder how you find the time for everything you do, I wish I could accomplish even 1/3 of what you seem to accomplish every. single. day! Care to share the secret? :)

Anonymous said...

What amazing gift ideas, Rebecca!

We homeschool, too, but I'm not nearly as crafty as you are.


Rebecca said...

Well, here is the truth of the matter ladies....I have spent the last three weeks beating myself up for not accomplishing these gifts quickly enough. My to-do list is still quite long considering how many days I have left.

SO don't admire me. At all.

When I DO work on crafty things (or this blog) it is during rest time or after the children go to bed. Sometimes I crochet when Corynn reads aloud since I feel like slitting my throat if I am just staring at the words she is trying to sound out. ;-)

Mainly though-I show what I accomplish on this blog. I try to avoid what I don't accomplish.

Things such as:

* a sheet closet that I can barely get into.

* absolutely no science/history program yet

* Coats and boots that seem NEVER to be orderly

* a floor that hasn't been mopped in....well, HAS it been mopped?

and the list goes on.

There-I've told you my secret. I feel better now.

Bonnie said...

Oh good, I haven't mopped in a coons age either;0D
And I only JUST (today) am getting my CHristmas card pictures developed. My noble goal, is to get EVERYTHING done by Tuesday night (or the wee sma's of Wednesday.) Wednesday, I will clean from top to bottom. Fortunately B. is off next week, so that actually might happen!
Glad to be reminded you're human...

Peggy said...

OH my I absolutley love your gift ideas! We don't have bottle caps but we do have lots of lids from home canned stuff... For us it is the year of felt! Felt bags, felt ornaments, and more felt! :)

You may laugh but I think I am going to start on Christmas once we move... That is a big once also! We are still waiting on some of the necessary paperwork to have his orders cut.

By the way where did you get your rare earth magnets? OH, and I love love love the neck warmer and necklace! What a great idea! After Christmas I need to get with you concerning ideas on uses for yarn...for a beginner crocheter, two stitches. Single chain and double chain. My entire reportoire but you can still make wash clothes with it! :) We were given a bag a yarn and well it wasn't stuff I would normally buy but I don't want to dump it! I'll catch you after the new year!!

Sorry for hijacking your comments! Nice hat by the way!!

Full of Grace said...

Please rub some of your amazing creativity my way..I could really use some! You have done a WONDERFUL job! I can't wait for Christmas Eve.... ;) Will miss ya tomorrow night for sure, and tell Matt that Bob was bummed that he wouldn't be there!

Jinger said...

Where do you get your supplies for the necklaces?

Love all the gifts... and the fact that you share your ideas!

Thanks & Merry Christmas!

Rebecca said...

Peggy and Jinger~ I got the necklace supplies and rare earth magnets at the same place. Etsy. I will not recommend any particular store because the one with whom I did my business actually owes me some money and (seems to be) refusing to pay me. I imagine there are lots of sellers: just search for rare earth magnets and glass tiles.


Leendaluu said...

Love the SOMA puzzle. Did you cut the blocks yourself (brave woman, I would have no fingers left).

Leendaluu said...

Love the SOMA puzzle. Did you cut the blocks yourself (brave woman, I would have no fingers left).

Kim said...

You've been very busy!! I love everything, isn't Ravelry wonderful. :-) The bottle lid magnets are a sweet idea. I'm going to have to try that!

Wendy said...

Love it all Rebecca! I am especially interested in the necklaces and magnets...anything having to do with pictures :) I will have to pick your brain when we get together:-)

Rebecca said...

Leendaluu~ No! I didn't cube the pieces of wood! I got two bags of them at A.C.Moore for just a few bucks. Oh my goodness.

I would be fingerless too! :-)

Peggy said...

Have you heard of Lee Valley? They carry rare earth magnets and so does a place called Applied Magnetics. I want to give them a call sometime to pick their brains. It looks like their prices are around $.09 to .11 a magnet but I don't know about their shipping.

When you have the time I would love to see a tutorial on the necklace making! I am sure there are many more who would agree!! :) What did you use for your chains? I'm thinking they would make really cool pulls for those who have lamps or fans w/ a pull.