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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's Christmas Time!

Well, sort of. Every Christmas I scramble to make sure I have everyone covered. Last year I thought to myself, "Self, why don't you ever plan ahead?" And thus an idea was born. I searched Ravelry's groups until I found one dedicated to planning for Christmas in advance. Well in advance. It's not even the end of January and I have most of my gift list hammered out, including friends I made at the end of last year that weren't even on my gift list before 2011!

The best part is that each gift I make gives me an opportunity to try something new, improve on old skills, or get to know a person better. After getting most of the kinks in the list worked out, I thought it might be a good idea to share a few of the ideas I plan on using this year.

Personalized Tote Bags
I have been making these for two years now and the little ones love them. As the girls get older though, I find myself wondering if the bags are nice enough, or if they're starting to look hokey. The solution to my problem came while I was searching the web for gift ideas I could use for my Bridesmaids. This tutorial was easy to follow and the pictures hooked me right away. By December, I will have made more than ten of them!

Total: 10+

Goddess for All Seasons
My readers know I am Pagan. I am not shy about this and neither are my friends and family. Not all of them share my religious views, but I have found the perfect gift for those that do. In my quest for the perfect gifts, I turned to Ravelry once again and stumbled upon this wonderful pattern. I followed the link to a tutorial, which I promptly copy and pasted to a word document. I rarely crochet, but soon after starting I was flying along. Within two hours of on and off work I was almost to row 20. Not bad for a beginner, eh? The only change I would make to the tutorial is in regards to the base used to keep the goddess standing. Originally the pattern called for a Go Snack container, which is something I never buy. I also felt that using plastic in gifts meant for nature worshipers was a little rude, so I switched to a more "natural" alternative. Instead of the Go Snack container, I will be using a miniature bolster made of white cotton squares sewn in to tubes and stuffed with bamboo fiber fill. By adding a few rocks to the bottom the bolster will be heavy enough to keep the figure from falling over while maintaining its form.

The Goddess for All Seasons tutorial is also linked to several tutorials for garlands that can be draped on her according to the season. I may or may not crochet these, but I do intend to make several pieces of "clothing" for each goddess. As if that wasn't enough work I will be finding nice wooden cases for each goddess, so that she has a home when they can't have her out and stand for when they can.

Total: 7

Wheel of the Year Skirt
I have gone on and on about the skirt I made for Samhain last year. The pattern I used was adapted from an Anticraft pattern titled "Wheel of the Year Skirt". Unfortunately I can not share the pattern with you because it is only found in their printed book. If you're interested though, you can purchase a copy here.

Total: 2
Photo from Etsy shop that is no longer there. =(

The rest of my gifts aren't nearly so specific. I'm putting together a JUMBO housewarming basket for my best friend, as well as spa kits for both of my sister in laws. My mom is also getting a gift basket, but hers will be coffee themed because her favorite coffee shop doesn't have a store anywhere near her. I might go in to more details on these later, but for now I am happy with what I've got. =D


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