A space where family, friends and anyone else can follow our adventures. We are a homeschooling, crafting, music-making, back-flipping wonderfully crazy family living on the coast of Maine enjoying everything life has to offer us!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Handmade Holidays

I'm hoping to join Tonya for Handmade Holidays 2011 pretty regularly.  I'd like to make as many of the gifts that we give to family and friends this year as possible.  What I don't/can't make we'll buy from local crafters and family businesses.
It is so important at this time in our children's lives when we are surrounded by so much consumerism to show them a simpler, more frugal and more meaningful way to give.  I have found myself to many times caught up in marketing and "needing" something that I really can live without just fine.  I try to do a bit every year, but this year I'd really like to make most of the gifts we give including the children and my dear husband...lets see how it goes.
Having a sudden change of plans with a boy not feeling so well this morning I sent Molly off to the beach with friends and I got a little creative.

 I pulled out the big ol' pile of felted sweaters, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed out to the picnic table (another gorgeous fall day).  I started thinking about all the friends and family we have who travel with their wee ones during the busy holiday season.  What could I come up with to help them bring along a little fun?  A little tote of sorts that also doubles as a gnome home....
 I cut a simple rectangle from the body of a sweater and cut it in half so I could make 2.
 For the bottom I simple traced the circle created after sewing the sides up. In case you are wondering; yes that is our crazy dog on the picnic table...
I did the bottom and side sewing on the machine, but you could easily do it by hand as well.
 Next I did a simple blanket stitch to attach the top flap/roof.
 A bit of decorative needle felting.
 All the while my sweet boy is reading one of the Harry Potter books for the millionth time.  These are his "mindless knitting" I'm pretty sure he could recite them all by now.
And voila!  The cutest little gnome home/ carry case one can find.  I'm not sure what exactly to call it, not a purse (though it could easily be that).  Originally I thought I would have the little door open and close, but the it occurred to me that little gnomes and fairies would be falling out everywhere if this were being carried around, so in the end it is a simple needle felted door.  I love it though, I'm thinking about a castle turret version, perhaps a red barn, so many possibilities. 
I know a few nieces, nephews and special friends who will be receiving these this holiday season!  If you can't find the time to make one I may even put one or two over in the etsy shop.


  1. So adorable!! I have it in my head to make a lot this year, too. We'll see how I do. So far, I only have 2 washcloths to show for my good intentions ;-).

  2. So cute, Angie! I know a couple of little girls who would adore a bag like that.

  3. We are also taking the homemade holiday challenge. I do however get thrifted items as well- especially books for the kids. I successfully did this for Easter and am hoping to do it again for Christmas! Good luck and great job so far!!!

  4. What beautiful work!
    My girls would go crazy over it :)

    We always make seasonal gifts too. They are so much more fun and personal.

  5. Those are wonderful Angie! I think whoever is on your gift list will love it!
    My son is a huge Harry Potter fan too and rereads the books often. Has you son read the Ranger's Apprentice series? It was a big hit here.xx

  6. So creative!! I love it Angie!! I will be looking forward to all your holiday creations then, will you be able to post them if they are gifts? And I dream of having an outdoor space like yours. Your firepit, your table and being able to just work out there, so wonderful :). One day soon :).

  7. I really like this idea Angie. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Warm wishes,

  8. Beautiful project! I've been thinking about joining up with Tonya - I got as far as my felted sweaters but didn't come up with anything else. So glad to see what you came up with! So creative!

  9. Love the idea of the gnome bag. I can imagine it going down a treat on a journey. I hope to do lots of hand making again this year.

    Lots of Harry Potter reading going on here too. Hadn't thought of it being an alternative to mindless knitting... but now you mention it.....

  10. Love the idea! Looks great! I must try it! Thanks!


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