December 2010

6 years ago today I became a mom.  That day pretty much changed everything.  Being a mom didn’t just change my schedule or my views on sleep (although those things did change), it pretty much changed how I viewed everything! Being a mom has also taught me a lot.  Here are some things that I have learned by raising my boys:

1. Bathroom humor is naturally funny to the males of our species. They don’t have to be taught that it is funny.  They just find it funny. This also starts very, very young (and as far as I can tell from being married, it never ends).  Boys just find anything bathroom related hilarious.

2. The ability to quote whole sections of movies after only seeing them one time while at the same time not being able to remember the second step of a series of instructions that men have…that also starts very young.  It is natural and ingrained.   It is also something they never outgrow!

3. Just because you have boys doesn’t mean that you don’t get to do all the fun crafty stuff with your kids.  Boys love crafts too. Everyone told me that it was sad that I had boys because I wouldn’t get to share my hobbies. They were wrong.  Lo is a very crafty kid.  He got a potholder loom for Christmas!  I am not sure which one of us is more excited about it (maybe me, but probably him)!

4. Boys like handmade things (at least until they are 6).  Logan asked me to make him a teddy bear for his birthday.  Here they are!
Lo and his bear!

I made him from this pattern.  I used a remnant of polar fleece that Logan found at Jo-Ann’s.  I was worried that he looked too babyish, but Lo really loves him.

5. 6 year olds are big boys (especially in public…in private, they might still be little kids sometimes)!

6. 6 years go by really, really fast.  Unbelievably fast.


The gifts are all opened. The ham has been eaten. I am enjoying some quiet time while my boys and husband sleep. The best part of today is hanging out with family.  Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Most years, I intend to make most of my gifts.  Then I run out of time and then spend a ton of money at the last minute to make up for the gifts I didn’t finish.

This year, I planned ahead.  I made dishcloths all year long. I also made sponges. I also made some small items and bookmarked the best recipes. I made a schedule of what I needed to make and when.  I gave myself extra time.  This year, I have a mostly handmade holiday!  The only thing I didn’t do: take photos of everything before wrapping it up!!  Here are some of the pictures of the gifts I made:

1. Fabric covered notebooks.  To make these, I took a composition notebook and cut fabric just a bit bigger than the notebook (remember to wrap the fabric around the the closed notebook). Then I Heat n Bond to stick the fabric to the notebook. I then used my rotary cutter to trim the excess.  These are cute journals for my nieces.

2. I-spy bags: I have linked to the post where I describe how I made them.

3. One of the magnetic paper doll sets, a fabric covered notebook, and my hand sanitizer sock.  I have linked to the paper doll tutorial, and my explanation of how I made the hand sanitizer sock. I made around 10 sets of paper dolls. I also made 5 hand sanitizer socks.

4 and 5. Capes

6. Gathered clutch.  I used this tutorial.  This is for my mom. Not pictured is the the tiny composition book covered in matching fabric.

Some gifts that are not pictured are my crocheted dishcloths, crochet dishsponges, candy, coupon holders, and the contents of the magnetic dolls.  I am really happy with everything I made.

In the past years, I have had a lot of guilt around handmade holiday gifts. I make something, and then I worry that the person will think I didn’t care enough to buy them something.  This year, I haven’t felt any of that guilt. I know what goes into my gifts. I am not going to worry about it.  I was going to write a whole blog post about my attitude this year, but then the Yarn Harlot so perfectly summed it up. I can’t do better than her, so I will link to her post!

Merry Christmas!!!

My mom had a really neat tradition of giving us at least one ornament per year.  That way, when we moved out, we would have a tree full of ornaments.  We have continued that with our kids.  We also have some “family” ornaments that my husband and I have collected during our marriage.  We have enough family and kid ornaments, that I only hang out some of my most special ornaments each year.  I rotate some ornaments, but I have a few that must go on the tree each year.

Row 1 (from left to right):

1. This ornament was given to me by my grandmother the year I was born.  It was the first ornament that I received.  She bought it in a Norwegian shop in Iowa (my grandma was born in Norway).  This ornament has hung on my tree every year since I was born. Just looking at it brings back a hundred memories!

2. This ornament is the Little Book of Gnomes.  My aunt Pat gave this to me in 1985.  I love gnomes and have always had a fascination with them. I blame my Norwegian roots.  I read this book every year.  My kids love this little book too!

3. This angel ornament is also from the year I was born. My grandmother also bought me this ornament.  This ornament is very heavy and has an artist signature on the back. My grandmother told me that she bought it at a craft fair.  It has also been on the tree every year since the year I was born.  This ornament is what I picture when I hear Hark the Herald Angels Sing (since I was tiny).

Row 2 (from left to right):

1 and 2.  These are handmade ornaments made by my childhood babysitter (Aunt Barb…not my real aunt, but an honorary aunt). She made a whole bunch of these for the annual church craft fair each year.  I don’t remember what year I got these (although I remember it was the same year). I would have been between 5 and 8 years old.  I was fascinated by both. They are really well made, and always make me think of Aunt Barb.  They also remind me of how much I loved that craft fair!

3. This is a little angel with a tree in a thimble.  This was given to me by my paternal grandmother.  She collected spoons and thimbles.  I was less than 5 years old when she gave this to me.  I love the angel’s little chubby face!  She is really tiny, so she hides in the tree.  I used to like to move her around and make a game of having my younger siblings find her.

4. This little angel was also from a craft fair. I think she was also made by Aunt Barb.  She was one of the first ornaments I ever bought myself.  Some years later, I helped Aunt Barb make a bunch of these (that is why I think she made this one).  These make me nostalgic for that craft fair and the fun of preparing for it.

Each of these ornaments brings back memories of decorating the tree with my family, tucking presents under the tree, cuddling with various family members while studying the tree, and (most recently) telling my kids stories about Christmases past!  It wouldn’t feel like my tree without them.  To me, they symbolize what is important: family, making special memories, and love. That is why these ornaments are my favorite things!

My Christmas crafting is nearly done, and I am in the home stretch! I have finished all 6 I-Spy bags for the kiddos in my life.  They came out really cute.  The key to making them is the teflon foot for sewing the vinyl.  They were super easy with that attachment.  Otherwise, it would have been a real pain!  These are so fun. I have all kinds of small goodies inside.
All 6 I-Spy bags!

To make these, I cut out 2 9″ squares of fabric. I picked out my toys.  Then I printed the list of toys on an iron on transfer sheet. I ironed it onto a piece of ivory knit fabric that I had.  I then sewed that onto  one of the squares.  On the other square, I cut out the center. I then cut a piece of vinyl a little bit bigger. I sewed the vinyl to the back of the opening (double stitched). I then sewed the 2 squares together (right sides facing), leaving a small opening.  I then topstitched around (except for the small opening).  I added the toys and poly pellets. I then stitched the opening closed (blind stitch by hand).  Then I topstitched the small opening area.  They were pretty easy!

Showing the back

The last couple of days, I have been working on making other little gifts.  For my nieces, I decided I wanted to do a little hand sanitizer holder. I spent a lot of time looking online for a pattern/tutorial I liked. I never found one.  I had some socks that I bought for another project. I started thinking about how to use them.  This is what I created:
Sanitizer sock 1

I am calling them hand sanitizer socks!  I love how they turned out.
Sanitizer sock 2
The button is just for decoration. It closes at the top with a snap.

I have been covering composition notebooks with fabric using fusible web.  I ran out with two notebooks left.  After I pick some more up and finish, I will post pictures.  Besides that, I need to do a little more candy making. I also want to make a few coupon holders to have on hand to give as emergency gifts.  I have a few things I have made that need to be photographed.  I should be posting the final wrap up in the next few days.

1. Today was my first day back at work.  It wasn’t too bad. Everyone covered for me so well that I didn’t really miss much.  Still, I wish I could get paid to stay home in bed.  I liked that last week.

2. It is so cold here. It is Florida, but you wouldn’t know it.  With the windchill, we are getting temps in the teens.  That is too cold for me.  Even with socks and a blanket, my feet are not warming up.

3. The cold weather has made me want to make up some rice socks (rice in a sock that you heat in the microwave).  They are great for warming up feet!

4. I am not making them because it would involve pulling my freezing feet out from under my blanket.  Next time it warms up a little, I will!

5. Logan had a really bad day at school today.  I hate when that happens.  He is such a good kid. He has had two weeks where he hasn’t gotten so much as a warning for talking too much (his usual “sin”).  Today, he was pushing, hitting, and talking ugly to other kids.  I wish I knew what triggered days like this. Thank goodness they are rare!

6. The Christmas song that makes me giggle the most is Dominick the Donkey.  I love the “hee haw” part the most.   I got to hear it twice today.  Both time it makes me giggle.

7. Make that three times…in looking for the link, my husband told me that there was no such song. I had to play it for him.

8. My husband now thinks that I am a bit crazy.  It is ok.  That is one of the things he loves about me.

*Yes, I know it is not Friday now. For some reason, this post deleted itself yesterday.  Like all handmade things, this blog may have some variations. Please consider it “character” rather than a “flaw”.

I am starting something new on the blog. Fridays will be for sharing something that is a favorite thing!

This week’s favorite thing is volunteering at my child’s school. I love being in Logan’s class. His teacher is wonderful. I love hanging out with the kids too.  Kindergartners are so full of love. I adore all the hugs.  I also love watching the interactions between the kids.  Getting to know my son’s classmates gives me such insight into how his class works.  It also helps me identify problems and friends.  The kids are all really great kids, and being with them is fun!  I wish I could volunteer more (unfortunately, I have to work during school hours).

Today, I volunteered in Logan’s class for Kindercraft day!  It was so much fun. I was still a bit sore, but it was worth it.  Many of the kids made me get well cards and pictures.  Then I got to help all of the kids make reindeer food bags (reindeer food is oatmeal with gold glitter…the glitter helps Rudolph land and the smell of the oatmeal helps him find the house).  They were all so cute!  It was so much fun.

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