So much for blogging last year. There just was too much going on professionally, educationally and personally to write. I don't know how others do it - I can't seem to find time to craft consistently, much less take beautiful pictures and blog about each project. The biggest issue is probably organization and time management and my eyes just are too big for my hands - I want to do it all and keep adding last minute "easy" projects at the 11th hour. And overall, raising two kids, working fulltime, keeping house (rather poorly), crafting and also finding me time is challenging.
This past fall was a flurry of numerous projects. I made photo cubes (5 sets), paper covered pencils, paper covered composition books, candle holders, washi taped decorated mini binder clips, crocheted feely hearts, photo canvases, and tile necklaces. Also put together a 500 piece Thomas Kincade puzzle that's shaped like a wreath, ie no straight edges and mod podged and framed it. The kids also painted on 4x5 canvases and made salt dough ornaments.
This was probably the first year that I pretty much finished all my intended projects and then some, so it was quite a success. However, by time Christmas came I was exhausted and stressed and sleeping only about 4 hours a night. So like every January, I was spent and just wanted to veg out. Unfortunately, my little bear got sick right as my winter vacation started and got better right after New Years, in time for us to enjoy a trip to Disneyland. Then when we got back, the day before school was to start, both my Nana Bear and I caught the same bug and were out of commission for a whole week. So not really any rest for the weary.
To top it all off, I had organized a baby shower for 3 of my co-workers that was the Sunday after I got sick. Luckily I started feeling well by Saturday and was able to modify my ideas and shop for what was needed. I pushed myself a little too hard that day, but the baby shower was great fun and successful. The trend on pinterest seemed to be DIY onesies and everyone loved doing them. The favors were not creative - different valentines candy, but at least there were favors.
My resolution for the new year is to start my Christmas gift projects sooner. My goal is to start in February or March and do one or two projects a month. I've been pursuing Pinterest and the net for great ideas and started a google doc spreadsheet to keep them all logged. My theme this year seems to be bath and body products, which I haven't done before, and kid driven projects. Now that they are getting older each year they are able to help more and more. So far my list is as follows (and not necessarily just for Christmas):
1. Homemade shave cream: At Food for my Family, via pinterest, I saw this recipe for Rosemary Mint shave cream. My dear husband is a shave cream fanatic - very picky about what he uses, so hopefully he'll like it. I don't often make gifts for the guys so it will be nice to do so this year. Father's day or Christmas.
2. Homemade Lip Balm: I was thinking of making these for Nana Bear's class for the end of the year. And can always have some on hand stocking stuffers.
3. Hand Salve: I know a few gardeners and thought hand salve would be nice gift for mother's day.
4. Kid made stationary: Saw lots of fun ideas on pinterest for decorating paper - melted crayon art, marbleized paper, colored bubble art, Salt, paint and glue art, etc. - that I can see the kids having fun doing. I may frame some of it, but I want to make stationary with it and give to the family and teachers.
5. Acrylic Paint Splattered notebooks: A number of my co-workers use notebooks and last year I intended to cover more composition books with paper and glitter tape for them, but didn't get a chance. This continues that them and I think I'll do a mix of paint splattered notebooks and paper covered.
6. Crocheted hair band: Yarn art is still a joy - I can watch tv and crochet or knit at the same time, so I can get some time with my husband watching our favorite shows and still get some crafting done. This will be great for the cousins and girls at school.
7. Homemade Firestarters for Camping: This wasn't the original site that I found this recipe, but sadly I can't seem to find the blog... The other recipe used old, broken crayons, which I plan to use, at last in part. We're a camping family so I figured these would be great, natural firestarters for camping trips.
8. Family Photo Wreath: I love to have personalized, family gifts and this is a great idea, taking dollar store photo frames and hanging them in a wreath.
9. Plasti-Dip Origami: I found this project at Instructables. I love origami and this seems like a cool project. I see many possibilities from ornaments to jewelry.
10. Skittle Flavored Vodka: Because I'm still a party girl at heart...
11. Plantable Valentines: After much contemplation, I decided that we would make plantable Valentines. Ecological, non-candy/sugary, yet sweet. I'm not going to cut them out into animal shapes, sticking with the traditional hearts instead. I like that she doesn't use a screen, so we'll see how this turns out.
12. Felt Fortune Cookies: Possibly a Chinese new year craft. I think it would be cute to put lycee in this year. Of course, CNY is close to Valentine's day this year... So we'll see. I have lots of felt, so definitely a possibility.
13. Upcycled glass vases: Saw this on Pinterest and these look so clean and simple. Could use washi tape and scrapbook paper or velum. Could also use photos on velum instead.
And many, many more ideas... We'll see how much gets done, but I'm hoping that by posting the list, I'll stay the course.