Friday, January 22, 2016

Post-Christmas present round up and resolution scorecard

Absolutely the worst thing about crafting presents is being unable to show them off until after you've gifted them. Sometimes, if the recipient is either very young or a Luddite, you can share it early, but not when the gift is (for example) for your sister who follows you on every social media platform. (As I do her, to be fair!)  I have been BURSTING to show off some of the gifts I've made this year and now I finally can.

But first....
My scorecard.
Back in April I made a resolution that, apart from gifts for my husband and geek exchanges, I'd have 75% of my gifts handmade, and 75% of those be made from stash or edible.

So how did I do? Not so well. Only 33% were handmade.
However a further 18% were second hand or were books bought with store credit earned from trading in culled books. Another 10% were bought edible, which while not consumery good at least won't be cluttering up the recipient's house for long.
I did much better on the secondary goal, as 88% of the handmade gifts were edible or made from stash.

I'm going to make the same resolution for next Christmas, at the same levels, and see if I can achieve it this year.

Onto the pretty pictures!

Daffodil brooch

I crocheted a brooch for my mother, a small cluster of daffodils. Done in a variety of stash yellow and green embroidery floss, and sewn onto a green felt backing, I adapted a magazine pattern but changed it slightly for each flower.
Such cheery daffodils for a Welsh winter

Cthulhu heat pad

I bought this fat quarter from Spoonflower a few years ago and this year I finally made it up into a gift for my sister-in-law. This was a design in one of Spoonflower's weekly design competitions. Filled with rice to be microwaved and heated, she can take it to work and display her geeky credentials even more.
So cute!

Pizza pendant

This year I participated in Chronically Vintage's Vintage Secret Santa exchange. My target said they liked quirky jewellery like hotdog earrings or ice cream brooches, so I thought that as well as the items I bought for her I'd make this crocheted pizza slice. Made from stash embroidery floss, and adapted from a full size pattern, I attached a clip so it could be put on a chain to use as a pendant or used as a key ring or bag clip.

Fancy a slice? The finished pizza.

Crocheted feature buttons

I made several gifts for my sister including these crocheted buttons. As I only made one in each design, they'll probably be used as a feature rather than as a closure, but that's up to her! Both yarns were bought in a vintage sale, and I crocheted to fit over self-cover buttons.

Last year I downloaded a dozen or so free craft e-books. Many were ... lame. One that stood out was Quirk Books D.I.Y. Gift Guide  which is a sampler of projects from 8 or 9 books published by Quirk. My favourite was these mini-books from their book Microcrafts
The signatures (groups of pages) are sewn together and the covers made around card. They are tiny! Fiddly but fun.

The sewn signatures and the cover waiting to be assembled. 
Top down view. The coin gives scale. 
The finished books. 
As it happens I also made a hat for my sister and in line with tradition totally forgot to take a photo. I'll do that in a different post.

Overall I'm very happy with all my homemade gifts this year (I made a lot of edible gifts that I didn't photograph, and a few other little sewn items) and with how they were recieved. (Although I have no idea how my #Vintagesecretsanta target felt with my gifts!)
But I am disappointed that I didn't meet my 75% target, and sadly aware that part of the problem is giving too many gifts!


  1. I was very impressed by your gift-making this year and I will get those hat photos to you! I was wearing it just a few days ago, but not feeling photo-worthy myself!

    1. No rush!

      I already have plans for your gifts for next year...

  2. Super lovely presents. The daffodil brooch in particular really caught my eye. They're one of my favourite flowers and a true harbinger of spring, which makes me adore them all the more.

    Big hugs & happy weekend wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you. I was very pleased with how the daffodils turned out. They are a favourite flower of mine - I've tried to grow them but I suspect we don't get quite cold enough in winter as they will only last one year. And I'm far too disorganized to dig up the bulbs to give them false winter in the fridge!