I swore off handmade Christmas presents a number of years ago, but now we've got babies in the family and I can't resist. Believe it or not, this is a hat drying on our sugar canister. When it's dry I'll attach the tassel on top. The hat was much harder than it looked in the picture.
I'm a late starter on this present, but neither one gets delivered until New Years when Ian and I got to SoCal to celebrate the holiday with his family. I know I can get this cardi done in time, but I need to make an athletic patch to attach. That's the part that worries me.
I started a handmade Christmas from the year I was married. We lived in Pensacola Florida on Mike's corporal's pay and we were broke. I saw a Sunset magazine article where you could form thin rolls of cookie dough into the shapes of ornaments, a faux lead glass technique. You baked the dough briefly on a cookie sheet, cracked hard candies into the spaces and returned it to the oven to finish baking the dough and melt the candy into a glass-like sheet. When finished, I hung my beautiful ornaments on the tree, where the lights slowly melted the candy onto our few presents and the floor.
I continued to make handmade presents for everyone later when Mike was a student and we had no money. I remember the look on my father-in-law's face when he opened his present to find a special macrame wine bottle. Those were the materials I owned. I know he loved me because it was still around years later.
I took this picture earlier this week as I was working on my warp. I love being right here and stealing from Melissa, I'm calling it a loom with a view.
I finished up the last load of laundry and rousted Charlie from his favorite place in the sun. I got it tied on and hemstitched this morning. If I only use the leftover fabric strips, I might get it done by Christmas Eve.
It looks like a fabric bomb went off. I have strips and fabrics strewn around. I have a lot of strips cut from earlier projects so I've tried to spread the strips into intensity and hues. Other than that, there's no plan or forethought. I'm a quarter of the way done but have to be in town tomorrow. I'm not ruling out a new rug for our Christmas Eve open house - yet.
We keep our tree up a full month and I spend time looking at it every day. The chili pepper reminds me of Carol and Harry- from our shared CSA basket. The Campbell kids ornament to the right is from the Sorrentinos, the amazing couple who adopted my pregnant 15-year-old daughter's baby 25 years ago and came into our lives three years ago. The orange glass pumpkin is from Amy, a sneak buy from her on our vacation trip near Santa Cruz and the needlepoint ornament next to it was one of the last my mother-in-law was able to do.
I could take you on a tour, any quadrant of the tree. I see here the crocheted snowflake from my mother, who passed away 11 years ago. There's a little golden rooster lurking just to the right of it from Laura. This is what I do with the tree throughout this month. It's the richest tree around - rich in memories. I completely understand how this time of year is hard on people who have suffered loss.
And so, yesterday I cooked my first leg of lamb, with much help from Ian, the retired butcher. It was beyond fabulous. Tonight we had lamb pie. It was beyond fabulous. I chilled the Crisco before making the crust. I read about that in Cook's Illustrated. I nearly fainted, it was so flaky. It was beyond fabulous, or did I say that already?
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