One of the really fun parts about being on the road is all the fun ideas for things that you gather along the way! There are some very clever people out there, and I’ve been fortunate enough to cross paths with many of them!
Last year, just before Christmas (that would be Christmas 2008), a SOWER friend shared with me what I can only call an “I Spy Beanbag”. The concept is to take teeny tiny things and put them (along with the “beans”) in a beanbag that has a window in it. Then the activity is to find the different items by moving around the beans to reveal the items. Got it?
I’ve had a pretty hard time ‘splaining it to folks, so I’ll just move to the picture.
Clockwise, from the bottom right –
The items that went into the beanbag. (Even though I watched for things throughout the year, at the end I did rely heavily on buttons. There are some amazing buttons out there!)
The three completed bags – made from pant legs of an old pair of Gary’s jeans.
A close-up of the window itself.
The pocket side of bags. I found cute kid’s jeans at thrift shops and used some of their “fanciness” to make the pockets. And the pocket holds the list of what is actually in the bag.
Pretty fun, eh? I think the grown-ups had as much fun finding the different items as the girls did (at least on Christmas morning!).
So those were my “everyone gets one of these” items (and thank-you Joanne for the great idea!).
But it was home-made-ville for the girls individually as well!
Back in 2005, I had made Ellie a quilted sweatshirt jacket.
Imagine my delight when last summer she asked me if I could make her another one since she had finally outgrown the one she had. Yessiree Bob – Grammas really like to hear things like that! When I asked what color she would like it to be(six year olds have some strong opinions about those things, you know), she replied, “purple”. (Silly me – I really should have known!). I started collecting purple fabrics, and eventually put together this –
I think she liked it!
I had been inspired to do some knitting for Hayley. Or actually I was inspired to ask Lara (my knitter-extraordinaire daughter) to knit a sweater for Hayley and then I would a knit a matching sweater for her doll. It was a good plan, but I discovered just before our Christmas Eve that Hayley didn’t actually HAVE a doll that my sweater would fit. So, as it turned out, Maddie’s doll got a sweater that matched Hayley’s beautiful sweater, and I quickly purchased a cute dress that went with Lara’s sweater. Ah, the best laid plans…..
But anyway – here’s the little sweater –
and here’s Hayley wearing her sweater and holding baby Sarah (with special thanks to Maddie for sharing!).
And special thanks to Toni who shared her cute sweater patterns with me! (Oh, and to Lara who did all the “big knitting” and found the great yarn!)
I wasn’t sure what to make for little Maddie, until I remembered a cute reversible dress pattern that someone had shared with me last fall. She makes these dresses in a variety of sizesand then sends them overseas to various missions when she hears of a need. The dress is totally reversible and only has about 3 inches of hand sewing involved. Sounded pretty sweet to me!
The dress was a little big, and I think it took me more time to find a plain brown shirt to go with it than it took me to make it, but all in all, I think it was a success. Here she is in her dress with baby Sarah.
Thanks, Evelyn for the inspiration for the dresses.
With the girls all wrapped up, I only had one more gift to worry about – my precious daughter-in-law, Abigail. Since I was still on the homemade kick, she got a quilted purse-
(and if she stands next to Maddie, they’ll match!). I’ve made a couple of these purses (I have one and so does Lara), but I want to thank my buddy Rosie for her inspiration in making these bags. And watch out, Tammy, you might be next!
My final “fun thing” isn’t really a crafty thing, but just a fun idea if you have grandkids. I wanted to give the girls something fun for Valentine’s Day and I remember someone telling me about sending a bottle through the mail. Here is what I started with –
We cut a door on one side of the bottle and glued the top on. We even splurged on fancy bottles, but I don’t think the water tasted any different. Just so you know.
Then we filled them as full as we could.
Final step – putting the label over the “door” and taking them to the post office!
The girl at the post office hardly blinked an eye – so give it a try! It’s sure to bring a smile to whoever gets a bottle of goodies in the mail!
Fair warning, there’s still a little craftiness to come…..