Initially I felt a bit down on myself regarding my decision to pull the plug but as Christmas draws nearer I feel like I made the right decision. Keeping the stress levels low helps keep the laughter and giggles high. I have, however, decided that I am committed to handmade birthdays. A more realistic goal for myself since birthdays are a bit more staggered through the year. I really admire those crafters out there that can put together a handmade Christmas - so many people to make for all at once. Amazing. I liken it to running a marathon.
I did still manage to make some handmade gifts. I made lots and lots (many more than is pictured here) tree decorations for the special youngsters in my life. On each I embroidered their name and 2009. For smallest of all who are celebrating their first Christmas I added a bit of extra text and used nursery material rather than festive fabric. Each hanging took me so much longer than I had ever imagined when I started the project and it has been excellent practice for my invisible stitching - which I am pleased to say I am finally getting the knack of... well I'm getting better anyway.
The most special handmade gift of all was crocheting these stars for my grandmother who started teaching me how to crochet earlier this year. It was pure joy sitting with my hook crocheting for her tree. Despite the postal strike she received her star tree garland and phoned me yesterday to tell me how impressed she was... "but you've only just started to learn" she exclaimed. It was such buzz to hear. At the end of my brief lesson with my grandmother I had only just started to master how to do the chain stitch. It had taken most of the lesson to get me to that point and my grandmother had expressed some dismay at my poor co-ordination skills. It was pretty clear that she had found the lesson a tad frustrating so it was pure delight to surprise here with these.