Sunday, February 1, 2009

At last, an update! Holiday Craftiness!

I have totally been slacking on my posting, but I have a good excuse. After Mike and I returned from Utah, I started my first student teaching placement of my master's program at a great school for the Deaf. Hopefully, I'll get to posting about that later. For now, here are the as promised details of my holiday craftiness.

The first was a Secret Hollow Book that I made for Michael. I got the directions from the How to do Stuff blog and it was a pretty easy, though somewhat time consuming project.

I took a trip to the local used book store to pick out the book. I had a little trouble at first, because I wanted to get a book that was hard cover and large enough to hold something. It also had to be a book that would be expected to be in Mike's collection, but not one that he would be upset about not being able to actually read. I settled on a wine encyclopedia that was updated for 1980.

Without its dust cover on it was a simple white book with just a little bit of texture. I thought it would look nice on a shelf in the office. Then it was time to break out the decoupage and paint brushes which i had from a chair project I never finished several years previously...

After it was all glued together, I had the arduous process of cutting out the middle. This took several hours and made a lot of mess. But the finished project was worth it!

I filled it with several little gifts and wrapped it up. Mike seemed pretty happy about the finished project and hopefully will be used in our house for quite some time.

The next gift was another idea that I stumbled upon though some blogs I read. This one was from With this Ring, one of the many wedding inspiration blogs that I read. It was a really cute and really simple apron made from a tea towel. I decided this would be cute for Jenny as well as a good hostess gift for Cassandra who was going to be taking care of us while we were in Utah.

This is the one I made for Jenny, I bought some cute matching towels from Bed, Bath and Beyond so I could add a pocket to the original design and give her another towel to have that matched.

Here's the basic design.

The only sewing in the basic design was attaching the buttons. The ribbon is actually just tied around the buttons.

Here's the finished product with pockets. They were pretty simple to put on, but I think they add a lot to the design. I also gave Jen a bag of Wegman's loose leaf tea. Last year I gave her a reusable tea basket (which you use in place of tea bags). I like to try encourage good eco-friendly habits in my friends when I can- plus its handy and the tea tastes bettter!

I also decided to make Mike an apron. I didn't have a whole lot of time when I came up with this idea and I thought he'd like a full one, so I went with embelshing a pre-made one instead of making my own or another tea towel one.

I picked one up at my favorite store, Wegamans. I decided to embroider it, even though I've never done that in my life. My strategy was to print out a letter from Microsoft Word, copy it on to tissue paper. Then I pined it to the apron and use an embrodery needle I got with a set and some thread that I had leftover from my friendship bracelet days.

I think the finished product again came out really nicely!

I did a few other crafty things, but I think this is plenty of showing off for one day. :)
I'll try to be back soon with a little bit about our Utah trip and goings on in my life right now. Take care everyone!

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