January 01, 2009

What I Did Over The Holidays

What I did over the holidays


I believe insanity runs in my family

I decided that the month of December I would concentrate on making things for me instead of designing any crochet patterns, which is something I rarely do.

So I:
Made a night gown (sewing not crochet)
Painted the powder room (my husband had chose the color. I bright blue that he swore would look different after we put it up. It did, brighter. But that's not why I repainted the powder room. I got tired of hearing how I picked it out! You know, one of those things where if it got compliments WE did it and if it doesn't, I did it.)
Put up some pictures I had been meaning to hang...I discovered Velcro from 3M, it's a wonderful thing, no husband involved!

I also made 2 stockings, felt. I from a kit and the other from a craft book. They turned out well, which is probably why I decided to make a tree skirt without much serious thought.

Here is where the insanity kicks in.

I love to go to thrift stores. Mainly I look for Santa pins (I collect, again insanity. I mean who in their right mind needs 40 Santa pins and keeps looking.) and old craft books.

My latest score:

It is copyright--copy written?- 1974

I love to look\laugh at the things they deemed "stylish" and the "in" colors.

Okay, mostly laugh. The caption reads: "Wiggle Toe Stockings"

Really, toes? And for Christmas?

Maybe for Halloween.

...the severed legs were hung by the fire...

Hey, I think there might be an idea here...

Nah! Wait...maybe...no, off subject...

... back to the insanity.

I was looking through the book and saw this.

They bottom one, not the top one. Everyone I show this to always thinks I'll make the top one...

I mean I had just made two felt stockings successfully and I did have a bunch of felt left over. It turned out I only needed a couple of colors plus the background felt.

Without looking at the instructions...

Two boys, two girls, a couple of trees--how hard could it be?

...I ran to my local JoAnns, score! The felt was on sale! It was meant to be!

(Reality here. I use to work at JoAnns, practically everything in the store is on sale a week before Christmas. Oh yea, did I forget to mention it was the WEEK before Christmas and I still needed to touch-up paint, put the new floor in my daughter's bathroom--peal and stick, wonderful stuff--get my mom--she lives in TN, I live in OH, a matter of 4oo miles apart--wrap presents, totally panic clean my entire how--my mom is coming--plan Christmas dinner and get my head examined!)

I easily found the colors I needed, guest estimating how much I need--I mean I can always us it later, right?

Then I sat down to read the instructions.

These instructions. All one page of them!
Remember the picture? There were two tree skirts?
Yes, that was all there was for both tree skirts.
It didn't mention how much felt you need--so what I had already guest estimated that!
It didn't mention size...for the tree skirt I was making that is.
Of course the one that had the size of the skirt hat no patterns.
At least I had patterns...
Patterns with no grid lines, that is and No scale!
Just a photo and 1 column of WORDS!

So lets recap.

Week before Christmas...

... these are the only instructions I have..

...how hard could it be?

Turns out very hard.

I taped together some old, jumbo drawing paper I had leftover from when my daughter was five or six--okay, she's now 16--so I don't throw anything away...I'm...re...cycling?

Yeah, that's it, recycling, global warming...

Anyway, I taped some of the pages together, guest estimating the size I need and cut it into a circle. Tree skirts are round you know...logical...wrong! Then I looked at the picture again. there are scallops. How hard would it be to add scallops?

Turns out in order to cut scallops into a circle's edge you have to make it smaller...

Okay, how hard could it be to cut scallops starting over?

I taped together another set of pages for my desired size, folded, cut scallops, unfolded, I had 4 not 8 like in the photo.

I taped together another set of pages, folded, cut, unfolded, now I had 10 scallops!

So I taped together another set of pages and stopped.
There was an awful lot of waisted paper on the floor.
Then I tried to figure it out re-cutting the 10 into 8. Not a good idea. But re-cutting the 4 into 8 at least gave me a good starting point for my last giant square of paper.
I want everyone to know, I did get 8 scallops--uneven scallops, but * had 8 scallops!
Next making the pattern for the boy, girl and tree...
Which all won't fit on each scallop because the circumference was wrong!
Next day, I decided to concentrate on the boy, girl and tree patterns with the intentions of making them, laying them out on the background felt I had bought and then cutting the scallops.
How hard could it be..right?

A day or two tops!

The tree had 16 pieces and I needed 4 of them.
The boy had 21 piece, but I only needed 2 of those.
The girl had 18 pieces and again I only needed 2.
How hard could that be?

A day for the trees, a day for the boy and girl...no problem!
After cutting, layering and gluing (I no longer had time to sew them) my mom was here. (My dear sweet husband went and got her!)
Great! Help!

So we laid the finished pieces onto my background felt. I was feeling good, I was in the home stretch now, I had even added extras like eyelashes for the girl and a pom-pom for her hat.
They didn't fit evenly.
My mom moved some around, then I moved some around, again my mom and then me, when I was just about to give up my daughter appeared. Took one look and in less than 5 seconds had them laid out perfectly.
Thank You
I pinned them on.
Time to cut the scallops.
My mom left the room, she didn't want anymore to do with it.
It was just me, the pinned felt and a pair of scissors.

Here it is! 8 scallops, 4 trees, 2 boys and 2 girls. I was proud. It was Christmas Eve!
Down under the tree it went.
Oblong, not round (I hadn't noticed before) but beautiful!
As soon as the presents were unwrapped on Christmas day, I took up the tree skirt and began sewing all those pieces, all 142 of them!
My mom was driven back to TN, the house staid a mess, but I got that tree skirt sewn.
Finished December 31st.

The same view of the finished skirt as in the only picture I had to follow.

The tree. Everyone liked those, because they looked like stain glass.

The boy. BTW, he's a caroler. My mom kept calling him a Snowman!

The girl with her pom-pom tipped hat which prompted my husband to ask if she was Cindy Lou Hoo because he thought her hat was her hair!

All that work for one day--more like half a day--under the tree.

So what have we learned?

I'm out of my mind.

Craft books from the 70's are great to look at, but not to make anything from.

I need my head examined.

Christmas is meant to be enjoyed and not on my craft room floor cutting and glue 142 pieces of felt.

Insanity must truly run in my family.

I am so ready to get back to crochet and designing patterns!

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