Monday, December 9, 2013

Mortem's Tricks or Treats: Santa Came Early

When speaking of material gifts, there are 3 things that you're guaranteed never to go wrong with:

  1. Gifts made from your own two hands
  2. Gifts made for their hands... aka, hobby supplies.
  3. Gift card to their favorite, or most frequented place of shopping-- that can even be the grocery store (hell, I would love it if someone foot my grocery bill, heh)
And the second isn't necessarily things like craft supply, it can be anything from a multi-socket car adapter for that tech gadget savvy person, maybe a brush holder either for the painter or make up aficionado in your life... things you know they'll likely use because it targets what and where they love to spend their time.

From the above, you'd almost assume I was a good gift giver... and sadly, you'd be mistaken. I talk a big game when it comes to finding perfect gifts; in most cases, I have just purchased gift cards. Not that they weren't appreciated, but I really wanted this year to be really special, and I know when I receive something that someone else has personally made me, it elates my little heart straight into the cosmos.

It seems only fair to reciprocate that feeling.

This year I handmade every gift I gave... granted, half of them were of one specific type.

For my husband, and father-in-law... I made

Cord Holders
For my ASU grad
The one in the photos was made especially for my husband; my father-in-law's is plain black, but I painted a four leaf clover to one side. My husband is crazy about the university he graduated from... and I literally mean crazy. There will be no talk of U of A or even Tuscon in this house, lest you bring out some serious demons.


For my sister-in-law I had intended on knitting her a bookmark (scarf), but well... something went wrong...

Gryffindor "Tapestry"

It grew and grew and turned into a tapestry...
I didn't finish the top checker pattern, because it would've been too long to hang and too short to wear, haha.
I used this pattern, which utilizes the double-knitting technique I briefly mentioned in a previous post. It is my first and mostly successful attempt at this method of knitting; it uses two colors and reverses on each side, as shown. It can be confusing at times, but once you get the hang of when to switch colors to create the mirrored contrast, it's fun! You can see near the bottom that I kind of botched the switching of colors, and didn't actually notice till I was finished... bummer.

And finally, for my brother-in-law, I painted him:
A Graphic Novel-Inspired Elephant

He adores elephants, but I thought it wasn't enough to just paint him a still life... it needed edge. So I took some graphic inspiration from Frank Miller... I like his work, but I'm not overly fond of the man, is that weird? Eheh...

 I ran out of time and couldn't quite make something elaborate for my mother-in-law, which I felt utterly crappy about. I knit her up a gradient colored cellphone/camera strap with acrylic pearls sewn into it, and told her it's a place-holder IOU. She liked the cord holders I made for the men, so we agreed that's what I'll make for her.

Making gifts and giving them is a fantastic feeling (even though most of them were cord holders)! I'm already conjuring ideas for next gift-giving events, heh.

What do you have in mind to give to your loved ones?


  1. Oh wow, you do have a talent for crafts, girl. I´d like to be a crafty person too but I am very clumsy. The only thing I can do acceptably well with my own hands is baking, and even so I always feel I need more practise.
    In relation to my Christmas gifts, I have no idea this year! My boyfriend and I are going to stay in Bucharest for the holiday season, son I keep hitting the shops in search for the perfect idea...

    1. I've always envied the skill of baking-- every time I try it's a disaster! Heh
      Isn't that funny, we both envy each other's skills!

      I'm sure you'll find the perfect gift before too long ;)

  2. Oh my, you are so talented!
    I am not making anything by hand this year. Last year I knitted things for my three nieces and it was more work than I wanted.

    1. Thanks!
      Knitting for everyone can get quite tedious, which is why I decided I would do something from each of my favorite types of craft, heh-- sew, knit, and paint!

  3. I just finished the black/grey snowflake scarf for the youngest ... it was supposed to be done using that double knitting technique, but I chickened out. Although now that I see how good your scarf/tapestry turned out, I wish I'd at least given it a try!

    And funnily enough, she's also getting a grocery gift card for Christmas. The kids get one every year - or a gas card, or their rent paid or whatever they need help with that year. We're a very practical family. Not very exciting, but practical. :o)

    So that covers the gifts for the in-laws ... what did you make for your family up north? Or can't you say because they read this?

    1. I was very nervous about it, honestly, I don't have any sort of tutelage so I'm forced to teach myself practically everything I would like to know! As is seen from the mistakes, teaching yourself has some major disadvantages...
      Still, if I can do it, anyone can! I encourage you to try =D

      I *love* practical gifts-- every year I did the same for my family, hehe. There's nothing wrong with it at all.

      I can't say yet, since yes, they do read my blog and we're going to be celebrating Christmas on Christmas! Hah!

  4. I'm told that our local indigenous folks used to have the tradition of the "treasure basket" as a gift… it was a wee tiny pretty basket, fiddly to make and too small to hold anything useful. The whole point was that you thought the recipient worth of the time it took to make the thing. I can get behind this idea. Little handmade objects for everyone!

  5. Those are fantastic! Personalized gifts made by hand are very special indeed. :)


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