Friday, December 31, 2010

Handmade Christmas

was a great success!

The only people who got store bought gifts this year were DS and DD and their significants with only a few exceptions as noted:

DMIL: Husband made a turned birdhouse ornament which is now hanging in the window of their sunroom. He also roasted coffee and made her a hand turned coffee scoop ~ BEAUTIFUL! I made her 2 handwoven kitchen towels and puchased 2 cookie sheets to go with them. Husband bought her a bottle of Patron's coffee liqueur (YUM!)

DFIL: Husband turned a wooden bowl and made a nutcracker. Purchased nuts went with this gift. He also made him a clock with large numbers (to help since he lost his eye). It sits next to his chair in the sunroom and makes it easy for him to keep track of time :) I made him fudge and cookies and Husband purchased a bottle of Disaronno (YUCK!)

All of our friends were given different combos of the following:

Spice cake (old family recipe from Norway)
Turned birdhouse
Roasted coffee
Turned inkpen
Husband's homemade Mead and/or Mello

This was quite possibly the best Christmas ever and we spent far less than we have since 'before kids'. All gifts were well received and we even inspired some delightful handmades in return! DDBF's parents gifted us with a mix of 18 hen and duck eggs and some jellied fruits, our neighbor brought us homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning, a dear friend shared her handmade candies. This is the start of a new tradition for us.

The In-Laws are headed for Maui early next week to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary! DMIL has lost quite a bit of weight since their last trip over 3 years ago and her wardrobe was in need of significant alteration. So I schlepped my travel machine and supplies to her house on Monday and got to work. We took in 4 dresses and one skirt. I brought an additional dress and skirt home to work on, which I delivered yesterday.

I made one major error while sitting at their dining room table. I was taking up the shoulders on a sundress 3/4". There was an appliqued silk bias trim around the armholes and neckline so I had to detach that, take it in, take up the shoulder and then reapply the bias. This dress is extremely well made with all the requiste understitching, staystitching and clipping, so there was a lot to keep track of. I had everything appart and was taking up each piece, trimming and getting ready to put the trim back on when it hit me... I had cut 3/4" off of one side of the bias. Twice.

Any of you have a favorite word you use in cases like this? I do. I can make it ring like churchbells at a fire. But I was sitting with my DMIL (who has heard me utter this profanity but never over one of her dresses) so I let the internal panic take over in silent mode while I figured out how I was going to salvage the mess.

In the meantime, she had prepared dinner for us so I broke for that. Husband knew something was up and that the something was not good. When I went back to the machine, I hunted through the trimmings and found two pieces large enough after seaming to bridge the gap. Now of course no one would have ever noticed. It's navy and slightly patterned. But I had to tell DMIL nevertheless. Her reaction? Goodness! I have a designer touch on this side! She was so gracious and I was reminded how lucky I am to have them in my life.

Today I am busy with more mending/altering for DH. I've added an elastic cord the bottom of one of his fleece pullovers and shortened the sleeves on another as well as the sleeves on a beautiful Woolrich pullover that he never wears. He's had it for two years and never told me the sleeves are too long!

When I'm done with this, I may weave. Or I may finish a project that's been laying around. Or I might clean (Good Grief! I've already cleaned out the laundry room, linen closet, my cedar chest, the junk drawer, all the plastic containers in the kitchen with no lid or lid with no container... Someone get me a straightjacket!).

I'll be toasting new years with Husband and the puppy. DD will be off with DBF and DS will be anywhere but here :) If tonight is the night, I may be able to post that I'm engaged to be a mother-in-law myself!

2011 awaits... what will you do with it? I don't make resolutions and I don't look back at the past year. That said, I am going to try and do better at recording my progress at weaving and sewing with a little life thrown in for good measure. It's good to have a written record to look back at!

A bright new year to you all!


P.S. Dogwood placemats put off until DMIL's bday in February. My neighbor gave me hemming advice and we both thought I should wait until I wasn't so rushed. Here's a pic:

I didn't get pictures of the finished kitchen towels, but here is one on the loom: