Saturday, December 29, 2007

Handmade Christmas: Mix CD

I thought I'd go over a few of the gifts that I made for Christmas this year. I almost never document the things I make and although I almost can't believe this, I'm finding that I actually forget some of the things I've made for people. So this year I'm taking notes.

Todd and I made four mix CDs for some good friends of ours. They often say that they need some new music in their house. So these mixes were to share some of our favorite music. All four CDs had different types of music, I think. Or just a different tone for each, I guess.

It was really fun to pick the songs for the CDs, and listen to the new mixes about a million times to be sure that we picked the right songs. But even more fun was making the case to hold the CDs.

I looked online for a long time to find a simple paper case that could hold four CDs, but couldn't find one. So Todd and I talked for a while and came up with something that we really like.

First, the outside case. I didn't make this up at all. I followed the directions for the portfolio box from this book by Barbara Mauriello. (And by the way, I was lucky enough to take a four day book binding and box making workshop from Barbara and let me just tell you, she's awesome. I've been making books for a long time, and she had a lot to teach me. And it wasn't anything fancy. It was just very accurate and straight forward ways to do the most basic steps. I really learned so much. Anyway, her book is awesome. Buy it if you can.)

The sewing on the box was a little tricky, but I think it turned out okay.

Inside the portfolio is a 4 panel accordian. It's made of some medium weight chipboard and various heavy papers that I had. It was really fun to choose papers for this project. It was all about the weight and the colors. Also it was fun to do something totally without pattern. All the papers were solid colors. Plus they were random papers. One of them was even the cover of a Canson Biggie paper pad.

I made each panel individually, then joined them with hinges of handmade paper and Sobo glue. We printed album lists from iTunes and inserted them behind each of the CDs.

I pretty much want to make one of these for myself now, even though I mostly don't use CDs at all anymore, I just put them all onto the computer and onto my iPod. Maybe I'll just make one, fill it with blank CDs, and put it on display somewhere.

Maybe I'm lame.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Excellent Christmas Traditions Swap

Over a month ago I signed up for the Holiday Traditions Exchange at Montessori By Hand. It was a lot of fun to participate in and it helped me get into a holiday mood a little early.

I have to admit that I have been the worst swap partner in the history of the internet. I received my package from my excellent partner Kristin at Knit One Quilt Too almost two weeks ago and I haven't even posted about it. I am here to say now that is was a wonderful package and we were so lucky to receive it.

The ornament that she sent was a beautiful needlepoint snowman. We love it. Some strange light in this picture makes it look brownish there at the bottom, but it's not. It's perfect.

Everything was wrapped so beautifully, my kids almost couldn't wait for me to snap a picture.

Kristin sent a really fantastic hand knit and felted stocking that was filled with goodies. She also sent a recipe for Anise Drops which sound so delicious. Finally her daughter Chloe wrote such a nice description of their holiday traditions that she made me want to join in on the fun.

You can see that my kids were pretty excited about the package.

And here is what I sent. It's a mini quilt (more on that in a future post), a hand bound journal, a few simple sketchbooks, and an ATC kit (that's what's in the black box.) It was fun to put this together and even more fun to receive such a wonderful Christmas package. I could really tell that Kristin is an excellent crafts person and that her family is very close, especially during the holidays.