Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Homemade Xmas gifts - yay or nay?

Sorry for the radio silence; my current project was also my biggest project, and I've kind of been focusing my time to that. It's done now, though, and I can share.

Here's the thing, though - it's for a friend who is internet savvy, so rather than just go BLAM and post a picture, I'm going to link the pictures, and you can choose to look if you want. I will only say that it is crochet and it is wearable.

After Xmas, I'll post the pattern and such - I don't know where the pattern is from, because I saw a similar piece on a student while subbing, fell in love with it, and figured out the pattern myself from looking at how the piece was made. It's very simple, though, and I really like how it turned out; I just can't claim credit for it OR give proper credit - the original piece was a gift to the student! xD

Picture one

Picture two

Here's my fear, though - I love my friends and family, and I know they love me. But I worry that what I give them is crap. No matter how well it's made, I really fear that they'll think it's crap. Now, I'll admit part of this fear came about from an offhand crack someone I deeply care about made about a gift I made them last year (no specific pronouns to protect the innocence), calling it a "yarmulke" (apparently I made it too small - but the person is a tiny person and I wasn't sure!). To the point where I haven't made any of the gift I made last year for this year's round.

I like making the gifts, though, because I'm trying to make a gift that the person will love and want to wear/use on site. It's an extension of my joy of gift-giving in general; it's my goal to find something unique to the recipient that they'll also like AND be able to use. So I'm already disappointed if they don't like what I buy; it's even more heartbreaking if they don't like what I made just for them.

At the same time, I don't want to be treated like a charity case, either - feedback is helpful, always, but the joke hurt. I doubt the person meant to hurt, but it still hurt a LOT. (Not that I ever told the person... not to mention how lame am I that an offhand joke made A YEAR AGO is lingering over my head still?)

I guess this is where I am at a standstill - I still love to make things with my hands, but at the same time I don't want to bother if it's not going to be useful or appreciated by the person. If they aren't liking their gifts, then it becomes, to be blunt, creative masturbation - I'm making things for me but claiming they're "gifts". Meh.

Not that this ultimately matters - I mean, for Pete's sake, I've already made the majority of gifts this year, and this is one of the few years where it's been a NECESSITY due to financial issues. Ultimately I think the people I love take it as my slightly-better macaroni picture of love for them, like I did when I proudly gave my parents my class "artwork". So whether it's actually a good gift depends on the recipient, but ultimately it's received with the intention that I made it for them because I love them. =)

Aaaand on that note it just occurred to me yet another damn gift I'd like to make for people. God dammit. I'M ADDICTED TO GIFT MAKING, I CAN'T STOP.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sami turns 21!

My younger sister, Sami*, has officially turned 21. Ignoring the fact that all my years of pushing on the top of their heads a la Lucy from "Peanuts" didn't work, I'm very excited for her. Now we can go drinking!

Not that I'm some huge drunk, or that she hasn't already been drinking for years. Just... it's a milestone that I get to help someone else celebrate! I'm usually the younger of my crowd; the only other person I've helped celebrate their 21st is my husband (who is 1.5 years younger).

So I'm excited! To celebrate, I made my sister a card AND jewelry for myself to wear tonight so I feel a little younger and more hip. (Not that I'm SO much older, but I'm a good 7 years older than my fellow revelers... and probably the only one who is dorky enough to use the word "reveler". ;p)

First, my sister's card:
I wanted to convey a sense of drinking. Was I successful? ;p I made the martini "paper" with some clear stamps, then colored and stamped the large martini glass.

Aaand these are for me! I'm treating my sister to dinner (and if she really likes this set, I'll just give it to her - I have enough materials to make another xD) for her gift, but I wanted a good necklace to go with my low-cut sweater top. I want to look cute, too! Even if I AM the old lady of the group! Hahahaha.

*If you look to the right, you will notice that I am named Samantha. Yes, Sami is short for "Samantha" and my sister and I have the same name. Just to explain, 'cuz EVERYONE asks: My sister and I share a brother, but are not blood relatives ourselves. Basically, bro and I share a dad, bro and Sami share a mom. Sami is my sister through LOVE, which is even stronger than blood IMHO - I don't have to love her, but she is my sister no matter what you say. The names are merely coincidence - we met when she was 1 and I was 8.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hallowe'en Craftiness

So, as I've mentioned before, I'm an unemployed teacher. Nothing I did, just the way the chips fell with the economy and the budget cuts statewide. Ugh.

I am working as a substitute teacher, and unemployment makes up the difference, so we're not broke, but we're trying to be cheap and frugal when need be.

One of those frugal choices was Halloween - we wanted to have fun costumes, but not spend a lot of money. We thrift-store hunted and modified as needed. I went as a Roller Derby girl, and I made my own shirt:

I was lucky - the trims were on sale for 50% off, so I spent about $3 for the trims. Paint cost about $3, and the shirt itself was a whole $2.

I found the stencils at Michaels in a set for $5. I painted the fire first, then layered the skull on top once the painted fire was dry.

My "derby name" and number - hey, if I'm hell on wheels, I should have an appropriately demonic number! (The derby name is a play on our last name, hence the double n.)

Aaaand me in full costume. Helmet is thrifted, found the skirt at a thrift store and cut it WAAAY short (esp. in back - oops), and found the knee socks at a thrift store, too. The fishnets are tights that I cut the crotch out of and cut the feet - the "crotch hole" went around my shoulders, and I owned the black tights already. So basically I made my costume for about $25! I had skates, too, but I didn't get a chance to practice in them before we went to my cousin's house - and I didn't want to get an RUI, or fall on my butt, frankly. Hehe.

Most people got it immediately, and I was told the shirt was the best part. It's my favorite part, too - I'm glad I found those stencils to make the "logo" of the team!