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Posts Tagged ‘handmade gifts’



My sister Eliza made me this fabulous pair of leather earrings.  They were made in beautiful colors shaped like leaves, long and layered.  I feel fun, fancy and slightly exotic when I wear them.  And who doesn’t need some more of that?

A few scrap pieces of leather,  a nice sharp pair of scissors,  some earring hooks and a pair of round nose pliers were all it took to make a mess of lovely earrings.  Some are leaf-like, some maybe more like feathers.  All are earthy and warm in shades of brown and black.  I experimented with stitching on some of them.

There are two girls down the street  who come over to hang out with Eli, play with Soren, eat homemade baked goods and do a lot of crafting in my office.  They were over-the-moon for these earrings.  Scissors were snipping, tiny pieces of leather were flying and there was a whole lot of happy chatter going on.  The 11-yr-old made herself a pair of white leather heart earrings around which she painstaking stitched a purple border.  So cute.

Since the earrings were such an easy joy to make, and since they were eagerly adored by the young-girl sector, I packaged some up as gifts for a young friend of ours who recently had a birthday.  She got her own little set of leather feather earrings and I so hope she’ll feel all the fun and fancy in the world when she wears them.

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I’ll confess that I’ve exhausted myself (at least temporarily) of the whole reversible baby pants marathon.  So with a friend’s new baby requiring a little handmade love from me, I felt it what high time to change things up.  With my own littlest one now 6 months old (!) and busybusybusy with anything that he can get his sweet little paws on, soft baby toys have been a much-loved blessing.  Before Soren was even outside the womb, I was whipping up a whole stack of soft blocks.  Mostly, I was just crazy-nesting and needing to sew, sew, sew.  But also, I was having fun using up all those fabric scraps left over from all those, ahem, baby pants.

I’ve been loving those squishy blocks these days almost as much as little Soren.  For one, they don’t hurt when they come flying at your head.  For two, it seems really satisfying to my babe to be able to squish them so completely between his hands.  And for three, they make a mighty nice teething toy.  They’re quiet.  They’re pretty.  They’re fun to toss.

So.  I thought it would be fun to share our findings with the newest baby on the block.  I’ve spent the past couple of days cutting and sewing little scraps of fabric into soft fish toys.  They go nicely into a bucket.   (They’re as fun to chuck around the room as they are to pile back into the bucket!  We like that in a toy!)  And Ta-Da!  A bucket of fish.  And also some personalized fishy note cards for all that baby correspondence of his.   Babies have a lot of friends, you know.

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There have been a lot of baby booties passing through this way.  I’ve been continually inspired by Anna Maria Horner’s Handmade Beginnings book, but I think it is her Cute-as-a-Button Booties that has been the most loved pattern so far.  It’s such a thrifty thrill to be able to use up those little scraps of fabric left over from larger projects and watch them add up to a marvelous little set of baby footwear all ready for gifting.  Some have been given away and some will remain for my own little-one-to-be.  Regardless of whose tiny feet they adorn, these booties are sweet and practical and sure to be cherished long after those little toes have grown.

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I always go all-out when putting together birthday packages for those I love and I really, really love my friend Jessica.  Jessica is someone who from hundreds of miles away can intuit what I need exactly.  She’s sent me cozy things to wrap me up, books to nourish and support me and encouraging letters that remind me how amazingly loved I am.  All when I needed it most.  So naturally when her 35th birthday rolled around, it was time for a particularly fabulous package.

I usually always try to pass along a good book in a birthday package to Jessica.  She’s one of those friends who doesn’t care a wink if the book is used or worn or if I happened to read it first before sending it (I love that about her!).  So a good summer read got wrapped up right away in tissue and tied with a shiny satin ribbon.  Next I got to work on a special book.  Jessica got a journal of her very own from me last year, but this time around she was wanting a space to record all of her young son’s sayings and doings to remember for years to come.  And finally I came across the perfect necklace for Jessica while perusing Etsy.  It was the color of sea and sky and instantly reminded me of my blue-loving friend.

To make the package really fancy, I let the theme of the album dictate the design of the gift tags and birthday card.  It was just a miraculous coincidence that I had tissue paper and ribbon to match it all up.

A beautiful package shipped off to a beautiful friend who deserves to be so celebrated…

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I do so love Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing for Baby.  It’s so nice to sit down for an easy little sewing project (one that I am unlikely to botch) and be rewarded so quickly with cuteness.  These little giraffe rattles were the perfect project for me and a little helper (okay fine, Eli stuffed for about five minutes before getting bored with it.  But those five minutes were still really nice).


These are going to make the sweetest little baby gifts.  Our two-year-old  friend Sam already came and left exuberantly with one.  And there are plenty more babes on the way from both family and friends (and my own round belly, of course).  I’m ready with the rattles.  Bring on the babies!

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