Friday, December 26, 2014

My favorite and least favorite projects this year

Hope it was had a magical Christmas! 6 is such a special age in relation to Christmas -- kids this age understand the stories re Santa, and eagerly anticipate his arrival. But -- there is that doubt about whether or not he is real, and they have so many questions about how the magic works. One day Hank is telling me the reason the elf didn't move one night was because I, not the elf, was too tired to move him. The next day I am told matter of factly how Santa gets into houses without fireplaces (it appears for him, a la The Santa Clause).

This was the year we, er, Santa decided to give Hank a bike. It was disappointing, as the front tire was destroyed beyond repair, which BT (playing Santa) didn't discover until Christmas Eve. Hank wasn't overly excited regarding the bike -- we don't have kids riding bikes in our neighborhood, so it's not an experience he is pining for. Also, I think he is pretty nervous about the whole learning to ride a bike thing, hence the training wheels despite training wheels not really being en vogue anymore (he had a strider bike, but never got the hang of it. And we know our son well enough to know if he got on and couldn't ride the bike in some form or fashion from the get go, that would be the end of that). In any case, the faulty Santa gift gave us the opportunity to talk about what could have happened - lack of Q.C. at the North Pole? A reindeer accidentally popped it with his antler?

Anyway, getting to my favorite and least favorite projects this year, my favorite were these stocking holders I made for us using painted toy animals. I saw this idea to add Christmas-y elements to toy animals a couple years ago (the hippo with ear muffs stuck with me), and of course there are many projects out there with painted animals.

The kids' animals are in line with their "spirit animals," as BT called them.

I have assigned Everett with monkeys from the get go -- for this project, a gorilla seemed more in line with the other animals.

Hank still has a thing for alligators/crocodiles -- there's a commentary there, but won't psychoanalyze the boy more than I already have in this post.

Although I could align myself with a hippo (weight issues, love to swim, seem sweet but actually quite dangerous) as my spirit animal, here it was chosen simply to use the ear muff idea.

Likewise, BT has no affiliation with giraffes, but the use of a mini wreath around its long neck was too good to pass up.

The plain silver stocking holders were purchased from Target years ago, and begged for some type of embellishment. The wee hat and scarf came from something from Bath & Body Works, I think, also from years ago. The colors were chosen to match the garland shown, purchased on clearance last year at Walgreen's. I am aligning all of our decor towards these colors.

My least favorite project this year was our Christmas cards. I had it in mind to use Tiny Prints this year. I had nothing but trouble, namely because the site, as I found through a Google search, is not compatible with Windows 8. Then, I chose a card design that was set as a default on the website as a folded card. I realized after entering info the info requested using the prompts (names, etc.) that there was a single sided version. I can't recall if the proof showed all of the other things I would have liked to include with our card (our last name, year, some kind of closure), or if I was too frazzled to notice what it looked like and didn't notice the lack of info, but was disappointed once the cards came.

The worst part, though, is that many of the cards are coming back to me. I used some envelopes I saved from years ago when Martha Stewart collaborated with Kmart. They were fancy envelopes -- I actually bought multiple boxes of Christmas cards on clearance just for the envelopes, and sent the cards themselves to the thrift store. In any case, they had a white square on the front to write the address of the recipient, and the same looking box on the back to write who it was from. I think the post office confused the back with the front, so about half of the cards were returned to me -- lame.

I know - first world problems.

Redeeming aspects about the cards -- 1) cutest picture ever, right? 2) The theme for these cards was chosen long ago -- the elements were bought over time and then came together so nicely with the picture and card theme; the silver seals to go with the silver envelopes, the love theme to go with the love seal, and 3) finishing out the silver theme, I knew I wanted to do scratch offs as the gifty element to include with the cards. I intended to make my own, but being sick and needing projects to cut out, I had to turn to Etsy. The ones I bought were way cuter than anything I would have put together. Overall, the card was a cute idea, but not well executed.

Tomorrow a homemade gift, and hopefully the start of my annual ornament making.

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