Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, before I had kids,  I enjoyed crafting. The process of deciding on a project, getting the supplies and then putting it all together for a purpose. So fun. I loved thinking, “wow, look what I made with my own two hands.” Then I got married, had kids, and time for crafting was non-existent. Such is life.

Before I moved to Idaho and and before I met my husband, I had a teeny, tiny adorable apartment in my hometown in California. The building was a house in an old, beautiful section of town that had been renovated to hold three apartments. I loved it. It had a laundry room in the apartment but I didn’t have a washer & dryer so I instead put all my craft supplies there. I had a dresser (that I had painted and stamped all over) that kept my stuff: one drawer for my paints, another for my stamps & brushes, etc. I didn’t crochet, knit or sew, and I still don’t, but I would love to learn! Paint was my preferred tool then, but I have developed a deep love & admiration for my glue gun since that time.

But then I sold most of my stuff and moved to Idaho and my crafting fell by the wayside.  I did some things over the next few years – I made my bridal veil, I decorated Christmas trays one year when we were broke & barely getting by, and occasionally I would paint a yard sale find, but no big projects.

Then, flash forward about 7 years after my youngest was born, and I couldn’t remember what a personal hobby was much less recognize what *I* wanted to do. The kids had gotten older, a little more independent, and they didn’t need mom every second of every waking hour. It was in this time that I realized I had forgotten some of the integral parts that made me who I am, or who I was, before I became a mom-monster. Something had to be done.

So, first, I started reading blogs. That’s how I found my friend, Joni, who I am constantly in awe of for her incredible crafty talents (forgive her lack of new posts – she’s a mom of wee ones again, but she does post a lot of crafts on Instagram). She had a lot to do with pushing me towards being crafty again (whether she knows it or not).

This was my progression:

  • I liked writing so I thought I would give that a try (and here you are – still working on that one).
  • Then I played around with jewelry. I like simple beading but don’t have the patience to make the really intricate stuff.
  • Then I started playing with felt. So pretty, so versatile. I’m still crushing on it big time.

I jumped into felt in a huge way and decided I was going to do almost an entirely handmade Christmas this year. Every moment thereafter was about making ALL THE THINGS I could with felt. I’m not an expert by any means, but I got better the more I played with it and I just loved the process if creating something for someone in particular. I customized according to what I thought fit them, their style and their personalities best.

Here, in no particular order, are some of the things I have made in the last 2 months. There were quite a lot I didn’t get pictures of in my rush to finish and mail packages. Others I photographed and later embellished and mailed without re-snapping a pic. But I think you’ll get the idea.

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For my niece and her first solo apartment (this one is still my husband’s favorite)
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This ended up going to one of my sons’ teachers. My son loved it and chose it for her. I really just wanted to make something with a rainbow.
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For my in-laws. Love.
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For my mom & stepdad. It looks a little lopsided in the pic because of the way I had the wreath turned, but I think in real life it’s straight. I hope. Eek.
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Ornaments! This one was for my niece and I made one, with their initials, for her, her husband and three kids, and my nephew, his wife, and daughter. I hope they liked them! I meant to write my name and the date though and totally forgot before I mailed them.
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For my dad & stepmom. My stepmom really likes gold, silver and pretty, shiny things so I tailored this for her specifically.
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For my brother & sister-in-law. Simple and beautiful.
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BOISE STATE BRONCOS!! I had an idea to make a wreath with BSU colors and I loved it. I had a choice of BSU fans to give it to and I choose my boss and his wife. I’m told she’s putting it in her classroom. 🙂
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For my sister-in-law, Susan. Susan is going through cancer treatment right now and I thought this tote bag would be great for her trips to the hospital. Her favorite color is purple, and her next round of chemo starts on Monday. (Pray for her, please).
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This was for my Grammy. I actually embellished it quite a lot after this pic was taken. I add more roses to the sides to balance it more and a few more shiny little “ornament” balls. I adore my Grammy.
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Hey, that’s me! And one of the first pins I made. I think i gave that one to my mom – but I honestly don’t remember!
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My niece. Isn’t she adorable? She was totally cool with wearing this hat too. She’s the daughter of my sister-in-law with cancer. Love you, little girl baby.

Pins, wreaths, ornaments, hair accessories – I loved making it all. I’m having so much fun doing this that I think I’m going to continue past Christmas and make MORE THINGS. I’m carving out a crafting corner in my house as a permanent residence for this on-going project and I couldn’t be more excited. The boys even had the idea to get me craft supplies for Christmas because they are enjoying the things I’m making as well.

The process of making and giving these presents was so rewarding for me. It helped me to recognize my talents – other than working & mothering – and that I can be creative in this realm too. Special thanks has to go to Pinterest, though, for all the wonderful design ideas. I can’t wait to play around and create new designs! And if you normally get gifts from me you can pretty much assume, going forward, they will be along these lines so I hope you like them. 😉

Happy crafting!

XOXO,

Stef

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