Now that February is all but over, I guess I’ll tell you a little about Christmas! (I think February could use a little Christmas cheer sometimes, don’t you?)
No, I didn’t do a totally homemade Christmas. All of the kids got books, a little whistle/compass tool, and oranges (I wish I could grow those here!). We also got a Spanish language program and some other books and things for helping us to learn Spanish, since we have been working on that. Several things were homemade, though, and I wanted to share with you how they turned out.
This year I made each of my kids a stuffed animal, and a pair of wool mittens. I also made the two boys aprons. I had found a cute one at a thrift store for Vi, so that saved me the trouble of making her one this time around – and she already has a mama-made apron she got as a birthday present the year before. It was a good thing I didn’t have to make her one, too, since I was whipping the boys’ aprons out on Christmas Eve.
The best thing, though, was to have Dad on board. My husband made rubber band guns for everybody, carefully fitted to a specific size of rubber band so that the shots aren’t too stinging, nor too wimpy. We’ve had a few really awesome family rubber band battles since Christmas, what a blast. 🙂
My method on the stuffed animals was simple. A month or two before Christmas I asked each child what their favorite woodland creature was (we’ve been reading a lot about those lately). Once they had told me, I simply went to www.etsy.com, and did a search for that type of stuffed animal. I then picked one or two that I liked, and then fashioned my own stuffed animals as I eyeballed the pictures on the screen (with a little help from my significantly more artistically gifted husband). And no, I’m really not that talented at sewing, but it was pretty easy to make it up as I went. And that is the extent of my Christmas stuffed animal tutorial. 😉
Without further adieu, meet Sneaky, Captain’s weasel:
He’s made from a couple of old, thrifted wool sweaters.
This is White-Tail, Vi’s fox:
I had that plaid in my fabric stash and it was asking to be made into a fox.
And here is Peter, Orator’s teddy bear. At least, I think it’s a teddy bear. When he opened the present, he said, “It’s a bunny!” and Vi said, “No it’s not, it’s a dog!” 🙂
He’s made from another thrifted wool sweater. Sometimes I think Sunshine likes him better than Orator does.
Sunshine got a little owl, made of felt. For some reason, I don’t have a very good picture of it. But you can kind of see it in the front of this one. For perhaps the same reason, the owl hath no name. I’m afraid he’s not very well-beloved, but I’m thinking I’ll make Sunshine a teddy bear of her own for her birthday coming up since she seems to have taken such a fancy to Orator’s….
The picture above also shows off Sunshine’s Christmas stash. See those adorable pink wool mittens there that I made for her with such loving care? Cute, huh?
They don’t fit. Can’t get her hands in them at all. So I gave them to Vi, for her dolls to use. She couldn’t get them on her doll’s hands, either. Sniff, sniff. Perfect for snowwoman stick-hands, perhaps?
Here are Orator’s mittens that I made to match his teddy bear. And next are a couple pictures of what Captain and Vi got. You can see Captain’s light blue mittens in his pictures; Vi’s mittens look almost identical. You can sort of see the kids’ aprons in these pictures as well.
Don’t you love the rubber band guns? I thought that they turned out amazing. This next shot of Sunshine with hers, I thought, was one of the best pictures of the day.
Isn’t she sweet? 😀
So, the take-away? The stuffed animals turned out pretty well for the most part, I thought. The aprons turned out pretty well, although Orator’s didn’t turn out as well as I would have liked. The mittens? Meh. Definitely should have made all of them bigger (some of them, much bigger). But, the idea was to make the kids real mittens that actually kept their hands warm and dry in the snow – which these do, as they have since proved (yay!). I made them lined with fleece on the inside, and although that was one of the things that complicated the project and created the sizing issues, I think that was the way to go and I’m definitely going to have another shot at them sometime in the future. Next Christmas, maybe?
Yes, I’m already thinking about next Christmas. What do you think of these? I found them while I was looking for stuffed animal ideas and think they are adorable!! I don’t think they would be too hard to make, either….
Am I crazy to be doing homemade Christmas presents for four children? I admit there were times in the middle of the night when the sewing machine was acting up and something wasn’t turning out the way that I had pictured, that I would have said yes. But I also had to admit to myself that I loved it. For me, gifts have special meaning when I have put more into them than money. I love giving my kids something that I created with my own hands. Will I always do it? No, probably not. I doubt Captain will want a stuffed animal for Christmas when he is 16. But right now, anything Mom makes is still magic. So right now, I’ll take that magic and run with it.