Thursday, December 18, 2008

Frosty's Friends...

The Christmas making is almost complete for another year. I still have one or two of these little guys to bring to life, since I am determined to keep at least one for myself - and all of these ones are already promised (and two are already gifted).

I had grandiose plans of making fancy labels for the bottoms and giving each one a name...but realism and practicality and my beloved Sharpie won out in the end. I cannot stress how important it is to sign and date your work...since time keeps ticking and it does get hard to remember when you made things. I made some trees several years ago... and I would never have believed how long it had been if I hadn't read the date on the bottom as I was taking them out of the box last week!

Even though I had a day off from work on Monday...the daylight seemed to fade rather quickly, and it was late in the evening when I was about to start wrapping the little fellows before I realized that I hadn't done my picture-taking. So these aren't the best....but you get the basic idea....

I still haven't heard anything from Jule yet regarding the patterns. I really only made the first one from her actual pattern shape and the rest were just free-handed. The assembly method I used deviated a little, as well.

One thing that I would suggest is that you put some kind of a weight in the bottom - I used 20 pennies in each one - to help keep them standing upright. I also cut a round of cardboard to insert in the bottom. This provides a flat surface for it to stand on - and makes it easier to write on, too. While I did fold and baste the linen seam allowance prior to sewing on the wool back, I did not do the same with the wool - I just used a heavier, subtly felted, wool and sewed using blanket stitch. Before inserting the branch arms I poked a hole with a wooden proddy tool. Also, the twigs are not secured with glue or they can be easily removed for storage and/or replaced in the event they get broken.

Just in case you wanna's the nitty gritty on the supplies used... The little scarves and hats were all hand knit (pattern to follow), some from sock yarn hand-dyed by my Mum and I and others from the Fleece Artist and even some Jade Sapphire Cashmere (yes, I'm well-acquainted with my fibre fetish!) All of the eyes were from an old (fake), broken black jet necklace. My nephew, Wyatt, helped me to cut branches for the arms on Sunday and then I dried them out in the oven for about an hour at a low temperature (they were quite snowy when cut and also holding a lot of moisture). The noses were needle felted using fleece my mum bought at Heidi's. The tiny buttons were a last-minute emergency buy at Wal-Mart (my apologies - but it was better than driving 20 minutes to Fabricland), and the novelty buttons came from Michael's. The little birds came from Michael's (cardinals) and from my closet (chickadee cousins).

They were a lot of fun to make....and in the end the hardest part is deciding which snowman should go to whom. Since I really try to only gift handmade to those who truly appreciate it ** - I know that most all of the recipients will love and cherish their guy for many years. To make it fair, I wrapped them all up in identical boxes and then I'll let people choose one - it's much easier than for me to decide who should get which one. The good news is that I don't think there are any duds this time around so everyone should be happy - at least the six lucky recipients! ;-)

** If you don't already read the Yarn Harlot regularly and you like to give handmade, you should check out this post. It's directed at knitting....but much is transferable.