Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Elves

Evidence the country is in a recession: I resorted to sewing (yes, sewing—me, the non-sewer, wife to master seamster Nick who does all the sewing for our household) Lucy's Christmas present this year. I found a post online with the pattern and instructions, and everyone in the comments said how clear and easy it was ...

... so I thought I'd give it a try. It worked. Mostly. I apparently can't measure, cut, and sew in a straight line, but I think the sloped roof adds charm and character. I made up the bunny and the other interior elements myself. I know, I know, I'm crafty. (Thanks toUK Lass in US, that is!)
And cheap. I used leftover scraps of fabric, and a sleeper with a broken zipper and a hole in it. I'm so cheap, in fact, that most of Lu's presents this year are, well, free. And in the spirit of Christmas Elving, I'm sharing my favorite links there with you, just in case your own elves are running behind :)

1. Wee Wonderfuls has a bunch of fun free patterns for those sew inclined. Check out the bottom of the page—Lucy's getting these super cute paper dolls. (photo via Wee Wonderfuls)

2. Recycled Crayons: there are all kinds of posts out there describing how to do this, but the gist of it is that you take all the broken bits of crayons, peel the paper off, sort them however you want into muffin tins (rainbow, pastel, all the reds/pinks, all the greens, etc.), and then bake them in the oven at a low temp (under 200°) for a few minutes until they melt all together. Cool them in the freezer to make it easy to get them out of the muffin tins and instant fun swirly chunky (new) crayons!

3. Dress-up Paper Doll by Sarah at Kiddley. I love the idea behind this doll—you print it out and then use scraps of fun paper, fabric, ribbon, etc. to create a collage of clothes for it. Or you can just color clothes onto it. I also really like Sarah's blog/site, The Small Object (she's got more fun freebies over there, although they're geared more towards adults).

4. Along that same line of thought, Lucy's getting two special coloring books. The first is made from family photos which I photoshopped into black and white line drawings for coloring (thanks to the instructions at fototiller). That's Lu on the left, and her cousin Elise on the right (Hi Elise!).

The second is a "fill in the face and body if you want" book. I saw these fun books at Costco where the people were only partially drawn, with prompts to fill in what was missing (add a hat, add hair, add eyes, etc.). So I tried it out with Lu and she loves it! I draw the circle and one feature, and she fills in the rest. So I made a few basic sheets of faces and copied them so she has plenty to fill in over the holidays.

5. Fun free paper toys, boxes, etc. at the Toymaker. I love her work! It's saved me time and again ... we've already made the advent calendar here, but I think the elf ball is still calling my name ... as is that little bird ... (photo via the Toymaker) Canon Papercrafts also has tons of (often intricate) patterns that are fun (as in yes, I like to make them). While you're there, click on the scrapbook link if you're looking for fun papers and frames and the like.

Those are probably my favorite ideas at the moment—hope it helps!


apyknowzitall said...

Glad to see that Nick is domesticating you;)

I love that coloring book idea and thanks for posting these. Right now I'm crocheting like crazy when I'm not sewing. Sometimes it feels good to be crafty.