Sunday, December 5, 2010

Handmade holidays

When I first suggested to Greg that we exchange only handmade holiday gifts this year, he asked, "Do you really think you have the electronic skills necessary to make me a Blu-Ray player?" He was a little skeptical about the idea, and I figured I was probably in it alone. When I suggested he make Sidamo a solar system mobile, he nearly stalled out on the specifics—wondering how he'd fashion a sun that's exactly 277 times the size of Mercury, for example. (Greg is, to put it mildly, a perfectionist. He sometimes has trouble starting a project if he can't see the path to a perfect end result.) But today he turned his agonizing into action and began the creation of what will surely be the coolest model solar system this side of the asteroid belt.

Meanwhile, I finally finished knitting Socktopus for Nora. Whew. I started this about a year and a half ago and got stuck at the heel of the first leg. After watching a few tutorials on how to wrap and turn, I cobbled together some cute—if imperfect—feet. I'm glad Socktopus isn't actually relying on my knitting skills to keep his feet warm in the cold seas, because I definitely didn't get it quite right. Still, it's a sweet little toy, and I am beyond relieved to be done with it. 

The little guy below is not exactly a holiday gift, in that Sidamo requested it today and we made it together. He wanted an elf to live in the little elfin forest he created yesterday at a local Waldorf holiday festival. It's far less menacing than it looks here, and I'll probably knit a little hat to sweeten it up a bit. What I liked about this project was that it was totally free-form and gave Sidamo an opportunity to practice sewing. And poking himself with needles. He's getting very proficient in at least one of those two skills, but I won't say which.

Also on the list for this year (some are for Sidamo's birthday; some are for Christmas):
  • A paleontologist toolkit for Sidamo, with a Dino Damo's Field Guide, a head lamp, some dino bones, info cards on dinosaurs, and a few other odds and ends. He's enthralled with dinosaurs right now, so I think this one will be a hit. 
  • Bubble bath, using recipes based on these.
  • Knitted hats, probably, though I already gave Nora the one I made for her. Plus, boring.
  • Random art supplies. 
  • A few books (not homemade), which I'll try to list in another post. 
I have almost exactly no ideas for Nora, so if you have any, pass them along. Sidamo has such intense interests that it's easy to come up with fun ideas for him. Nora, on the other hand, would be content with a Costco-sized box of Cheerios. Hmm, I might have just decided what's going in her stocking.


Bridget said...

I just saw the cutest idea in a magazine today- a little felt book with pockets on each page- one page would have pieces that when formed create a snowman scene (circles, carrot, etc.) the pieces when not in use are in the pocket. Another page has another scene etc. The idea being that the kids pull out the pieces and play with it like a a felt board and create their own story line- adorable! :) Um... that's all I got! I LOVE your ideas!!

Anonymous said...

congrats on finally finishing socktopus!! He's adorable!

Lauren said...

Good ideas! I love the idea of a handmade Christmas... actually, I am heading to Michael's Arts and Crafts store today to try to find materials for the boys to make presents for relatives.
On the theme of handmade, I saw this super cute gift idea in the Whole Foods circular that I might try to make for friends.

Bridget said...

Love her ideas, too (her kids all make DIY projects for one another for Christmas!)

Mama Papaya said...

Go Mama, Go!