Saturday, December 26, 2015

Handmade Christmas - 2015

It's here!!
Probably my most anticipated blog of the year.
And it's long and full of pictures, so sit back with a hot drink and relax...

We have snow!
Not much, but more than most, so I'm going ahead and bragging about it. :)

This year, I kept a camera in our room (away from the boys) and we snapped pictures during the creation process, so you can see some of the crazy fun that goes on in our room in the days leading up to Christmas.

Because of the new movie, the boys revisited all the Star Wars movies this month and we decided to go with a Star Wars theme for their handmade gifts.

Wed the 23rd, I spent cutting out and stitching a death star. It took hours.

I took a break and made a Beatles chair cover (for dad), which I wore on my head while finishing the death star (getting late, getting giddy).

Meanwhile, Annie finished transforming a Stratego board game to Star Wars for Johnny and painted a baseball cap to look like the droid from the new Star Wars movie for Mike. Theresa sewed a drum stick case for Andrew's stocking and painted a garbage can to look like R2D2, also for Andrew.

From our window, we can see the shop were the boys are out working on our gifts. These last few days before Christmas are so much fun--with all the secretive smirks and playful guessing games between us when we interact outside of our work spaces. :)

We paused for a wolf sighting in the back pasture. Big fellow, he was!

Had to change hats to wrap Johnny's completed Stratego game. 
First present is a wrap, yeah!

Lizzy's selfie in the girls room at 11pm.

Midnight! Finished hat, garbage can lid...

...And I finished attaching my death star to Steve's jean quilt (which I'd completed the previous day).

Wed night saw some good progress. Satisfied, we went to bed.

The next day was Christmas Eve. We always open our gifts Christmas Eve night. Now it was finish or die trying!

Save some coats of finish and wrapping, most of our main gifts were now complete. We were working on stocking stuffers.

Theresa sharpie free-handed some Star Wars coffee mugs for Dad and Luke's stockings. 
She was quite happy with the results. :)

Bake at 425 for 30 min. for permanent results (or so pintrest told us).

Lizzy painted a phone stand for Steven's stocking. 
I think this was Donna's favorite Christmas ever, since she was included in on all our handmade secrets and given jobs to help. She watched every step of each creation processes with such excitement!

With only a few hours left, Annie kicked Donna out of the room to make her a present, while I sewed a little bean bag version of the new Star Wars droid for Mike's stocking (just because we couldn't think of anything else) and Lizzy acted as a mannequin for the costume Annie was making. 

On the desk is the droid phone stand that Lizzy painted and my bean bag in-progress while Annie finishes Donna's gift next to the garbage can R2D2 droid.

Lizzy trying to wrap a present and getting final fittings from Annie.

It's night!
We're wrapping droids!

Downstairs, we were hearing giggles of excitement as the boys started bringing in their presents.

And then, with the magic of Christmas, something truly unexpected happened...


Steven walked in wearing the beard and wig from our Moses movie and delivered a present!

Not gonna lie, this Santa swag sorta made my Christmas. ;)
Delivering finished handmade presents to tree.

Santa shaved and now it's party time!

 Homemade (healthy-ish) treat table all sorted, with lots of dried and fresh fruits, homemade cookies, caramel corn and peanut butter fudge!

This is my favorite moment of the whole year, right here:

This excited, peaceful atmosphere as we sit around a tree full of homemade gifts and stuff our faces with tons of yum and appreciate each other. It's so fun and I'm so grateful I'm a part of this unique bunch!

 When we can't eat another cookie, the treats are moved to the kitchen and we're on to gifts!
Dad goes first (and yes, he tried the chair cover on his head too, while trying to guess what it was).

Mom got spring loaded salad tongs from Mike.

Donna was super thrilled with her gift. She had no idea what it was, but her toothless smile was enormous. After a good amount of teasing, the boys finally revealed it was a snowball maker!

Donna's gift to Mom may have topped them all this year. The Mushroom Book, fully illustrated, dictated and (copy) written by her 7yr.-old-mushroom-knowledgeable-self. 
It reads:
"A Boletes is a very good mushroom. LOL!"
"Amanita. Very poisonous mushroom. LOL!"
"A Boletus Edulis. One of the biggest of the whole world. LOL!"
"Arists conk. A very okay mushroom. LOL!"
Needless to say, we LOLed a lot reading this book.

Turns out, Steve made my gift, a birch bark lamp shade and lamp, (which sounded like a very tough project) and I made his, so we exchanged gifts.

Of course, he liked his new quilt a lot.

Lizzy got a Wolf string art frame.

Donna loved her Ewok costume from Annie. Dad had to try it on too.

Annie got the boy's big box.

Another fabulously ingenious game from Andrew's brain.
 The boys have to make one of these each year, so they have something to play with while they work on the rest of our gifts. :)

 Here's a few gifts that didn't get photographed well in the unboxing:

My birch bark lamp from Steve:

 Johnny's Star Wars Stratego game from Annie:

Dad's chair cover (the back of the chair was gouging up the wall. The padded cover should fix that).

Games, mess, laughter and treats late into the night.

As we went to bed, Santa came and plumped up these stockings! 

Christmas morning, Donna got up and ran outside to try her snowball maker.

 (How cute is 7year old Christmas fashion? Seriously!)

It works! Watch out boys!

 Stocking stuffers consisted of a lot of BB8 droids, goofy glasses and twig pencils for Lizzy, a cup and spoons for Mom, guitar pick holder/tray for dad, and homemade lip balms for everyone from Theresa.

Mini plant trellis and mushroom pegs for my indoor plants in my stocking! 

Theresa made Lizzy and Annie bracelets from their horse's tail hair.
Lizzy made a crazy game for Johnny's stocking. It's played competitively, and you race to knock over one kind of bottle as the opponent goes for another. Amazingly, this game only broke one bulb on the Christmas tree (a success, really!).

Games on Christmas day. 
Mike always figures out these complicated strategy games and teaches them to the rest.

Lists left over from the boy's shop and the girl's room. 
Always amazed when everything gets done in time!

On Christmas day, there was only one thing left to do: the Christmas picture. After sitting around talking about it for awhile, we finally settled on a plan. The boys and I went out and shoveled a Christmas tree shape in the yard. We laid out some lights, donned some bright colors and waited for the perfect lighting. Steve flew his drone above us and...

Turned out better than we were hoping! 
Maybe the best Christmas picture we've done so far??

And a happy new year! 

Another great handmade Christmas come and gone. I'm so glad to be a part of this each year.
Hope yours was as fabulous as ours!