Christmas Wrap-up & Handmade Gifts

Did you know there is a difference between handmade and homemade? I learned a couple years back that handmade refers to items or things while homemade refers specifically to foods. Fun fact of the day!

I hope everyone’s holiday was excellent – ours was as usual. Busy, but wonderful. I love to have a couple days completely filled with family, friends, and food!

Every year, I always try and make presents for people. I grew up hand making presents for people as long as I can remember. My mum and grandparents still have paper ornaments I made when I was three. I still remember making cinnamon dough ornaments with my mum to give as gifts. It’s something that has always been extremely important to me, and therefore it’s something I want to pass along to my daughter. Since she was a year old she has been making presents for people and I hope she grows up enjoying it!

For her gifts this year, we did a combination of photo gifts, and ornaments. My family loves photos, so these are always a winner.



DSC_0003 (2)

These were incredibly simple to make. We sat down with watercolors and salt to make the backgrounds. Then she looked through photos of her and Daddy and picked her favorite, and of her and Mimi and picked her favorite. For Mimi’s gift I did a little ‘interview’ with her about her Mimi (what Mimi likes to do, her favorite thing to do at Mimi’s house, etc) and wrote it up under the photo. Then I snagged two shadowbox frames from Target, assembled them together, and voila! Perfect gifts from a toddler.


For the ornaments I made a cinnamon dough, and we rolled and cut out shapes together with cookie cutters. Then I used got out some ABC stamps and she helped me stamp the letters on. Once they were all dry (a few days later), she painted them (I did the letter outline in white of course). The little ones were strung up as garland for our living room, and the big ones will be gifts. As you can see, I didn’t turn the snowman quite enough as he was drying so he got a bit curled. Adds character right? Right.


As for my handmade gifts, I did some drawings and paintings for friends.

DSC_0017   z



And also some Doctor Who bookmarks! I definitely made one for myself as well – who wouldn’t crack up seeing that face sticking out of your book?! On the backs of each bookmark are the words ‘Property of (insert recipients name) written out in Gallifreyan (aka the Doctor’s language for those non-Whovians out there). I found this awesome Gallifreyan translator on DeviantArt; it’s pretty fabulous.


And being somewhat of a crazy cat lady, I made a couple new toys for our two kitties. Again, very simple. I cut out two pieces of felt and sewed a button and a bit of detailing on, then stitched around the edge, stuffed ’em full of catnip and sewed the rest shut! Pardon the wobbly stitching – I don’t hand stitch things often. One of my kitties could care less about them, but our other one is OBSESSED with them! He wrestles, chews, throws, and generally tries to destroy them to get at the catnip. It’s hilarious.



As for my homemade gifts (aka yummy treats) tune in for my Holiday December Baking post on Monday!

signature image

Connect With Me

Latest Arts and Crafts

I spent my free time last week working on many different projects. I started five new art projects, and even got a few crafty projects going too. Unfortunately, I can’t post a single one of the three drawings and two paintings I’ve started! They are all Christmas gifts/commissions for people, and while there is no guarantee they’ll see them on my little blog here, it is a possibility I’m not willing to risk. I’d hate to ruin a surprise present, especially a present that a client is giving to someone else. So just know I’ve got lots of art going, and will probably have a giant art dump post sometime after the holidays!

However, I can post my latest finished commission, as it has already been given! This was an anniversary present for the client’s parents. I had SO much fun working on this one; the reference photo was just so fabulously retro. And I liked the challenges it presented – mainly the bouquet of flowers and the lace of the veil. And bonus, I’m quite pleased with the outcome of both!

DSC_0034 (2)
Size is 8×10 inches, all graphite pencil.

As for crafts, I finally (half) sorted through my giant steamer trunk full of clothing and started picking out some shirts to use for my t-shirt quilt. I had so many old tees in there that I was saving for some reason or another, and finally decided to begin the process of getting the quilt going. I still need a bunch more before I’m quilt-ready, but I’m glad to at least have a start.

It’s going to be a tribute to my geekery. I can’t wait!

And not wanting to waste the fabric on the back of the shirts, I set to cutting up lots and lots of t-shirt yarn for bracelet/anklet making. I love t-shirt yarn bracelets, and have some plans to make some gifts out of it too. Yay for some upcycled jewelry!

T-shirt yarn! I still have an earthy green and a grey one to cut up.

Oh, and remember that $2 chalkboard I got at a yardsale? Finally got that up. . .I still want to paint the border, but haven’t yet decided what color. It’s up in the front entryway as the first thing you see when you walk into my apartment. I definitely need some practice with my chalkboard lettering, and getting the chalk to have a smoother look, but for my first attempt I’m pleased with it. I just love that quote, too. I plan to change the board with the seasons/holidays and this was the perfect quote for the current time of year. Still summer, but you can feel it slipping away with every day that passes. . .


This week is going to be filled with some house chaos – finally starting all the home redos I’ve been wanting to do and basically put off out of laziness. Better late than never! Keep an eye out for the first post on my room redos – it’ll be up this week.

And lastly, I have finally remade a DeviantArt account. I had one for a couple years before I had my little girl, but as you know from my earlier art post, I took about a two and a half year break from art, and let my account lapse. So now, I’d like to make a new one there. I love the community aspect it provides, and it can be a constant source of inspiration when I get down about art. Nothing like drooling over other artist’s work to make me want to improve my own skills. I’ve added a new button at the bottom if you’d like to connect with me on DA!

signature image

Connect With Me