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Gran

DIY Christmas: using what's on hand

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i am knitting an afghan for my daughters teacher. i am not sure yet what i will crochet for the holidays.

 

 

WOW! What a lucky teacher! You are very generous!:angel

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.. I made pillows and felted purses for the women/ girls this year to use up a major stash of wool. I simply did the graph in wool, felted and it came out GREAT!! I did purses for the younger girls and pillows for the older women...

 

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Love that purse. Really beautiful. Did you use an existing purse pattern and then graph the flower on it?

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Nope, I just did a graph while I was crocheting and felted the whole thing... I LOVED the look... I think it would work with most graph pieces...

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This is an awesome thread! My family members are all very crafty...so handmade/homemade is common amongst us. Last year my son made me a leather apron so that when I use my hand cards (for carding wool before spinning into yarn) I could card without tearing up my clothes. My mother has made quilted wall hangings, large doilies( yes I crochet, but not crazy about thread work, but love the look of a lacey doily), jams, jellies, dried herbs, herbed vinegars and baked goodies. I am hoping this year that my little sister makes homemade pasta for all of us, since she got a pasta maker for Christmas last year...! I am making some bulky weight yarn from my older sister's huskies and plan on crocheting and felting a tote bag for her from the yarn and last year I gave Mom some handspun alpaca yarn, which she used to crochet a beautiful scarf for herself! I love handmade/ homemade gifts...they are the BEST!!!!! Merry Christmas/ Happy Hanukah to all! :sheepxmas:ctree:menorah:smenorah

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When I started losing weight 2 years ago, I started buying my clothes at Thrift Stores because I couldn't afford to buy a new wardrobe every time I went down a couple of sizes. While in the Thrift Stores, I started picking up yarn and other craft supplies. Now that financial pressures have caused us to make more spending changes, I have decided to do more crochet for Christmas. Luckily I am the only one in my family who crochets, and does crafts, and they all love to get things I make. I haven't made them things for several years (was too busy making things for the folks where I worked) so they will all appreciate getting thinks from me this year. And because I was buying yarn and things at the Thrift Stores, I have plenty of supplies to make enough for everyone.

My brother, who is a long distance truck driver, will get a warm hat and scarf set. His wife and most everyone else will get afghans, the kids will get hats and toys I've made. Except for my 20yo son, I don't think I will have a problem making or baking everything this year. Lucky me.

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Your brother may also enjoy some fingerless gloves.

 

I will have to check around at our local thrift stores for supplies.

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Sigh, noone in my family with the exception of myself does any kind of handi-work. Home made gifts would be wonderful to get! :D Unfortunately I think I've saturated my family with crochet, LOL, we pick names among the adults for Christmas gifts, and this year I got my mom, who has gotten TONS of things from me; a tote, an afghan, two shawls and a shawler, a STACK of dishcloths... :lol

 

I don't have a lot of people to buy for, and everyone is feeling the pinch, so I don't think trimming some of the excess is going to create much of a hardship around here. I'm crocheting an H-bag for my niece and a winter hat for my nephew, and will put a few things for them in each. My daughter has also been inundated with crocheted things, but she always reacts so well to them that I'll probably do something else for her for Christmas :) Her teachers are getting jar-gifts; the women bath salts, and probably a cookie mix or soup mix for her one male teacher.

 

It's very sad that a lot of kids these days are taught to be so materialistic and grabby. I am a member on another forum where people regularly moan and stress over not finding just the right kind of "real" Uggs, the right color iPod or Nintendo DS... It just makes me shake my head and wonder how people can be surprised that the country is in the shape it's in... :think

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It's very sad that a lot of kids these days are taught to be so materialistic and grabby. I am a member on another forum where people regularly moan and stress over not finding just the right kind of "real" Uggs, the right color iPod or Nintendo DS... It just makes me shake my head and wonder how people can be surprised that the country is in the shape it's in... :think

 

 

Is Ugg short for UGLY? I am glad to be in Florida, can't stand those hideous boots!!!!:P

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Sigh, noone in my family with the exception of myself does any kind of handi-work. Home made gifts would be wonderful to get! :D

 

My problem is there are many crafty people in my family. On my dad's side: My grandmother paints like folk art stuff, sews, and crochets some. My grandfather is an artist working mostly with oil paints but also does charcoal and pencil.

 

On my mom's side: My grandmother crochets and sews, my aunt used to do a lot of crafts and now does welding and gardening, my mom sews and does embroidery.

 

Think I get handmade gifts? Nope. I have no idea why all these crafty people don't use their crafts for gifts. My mom has started doing more since my dd was born but that's about it.

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We haven't completely banned buying new things, but we usually don't buy much new anyway...unless you consider food and medicine new. I have a couple of local thrift stores that I can usually find good deals on clothes for my older daughter (younger one is using older's hand-me-downs when possible, but season/sizes are off by a few months), plus we find other good things at those stores. I admit to buying some yarn for gifts simply because I don't have the colors those people want, but I use coupons and happily take the michael's ad to my acmoore to get what I need at reasonable sale prices. Admittedly I am shy about 4 skeins of yarn for christmas gifts, but not many people have wool they are willing to give away. Though I have been trying to get some yarn through freecycle to no avail yet. We are avid reader's also, but our local library system doesn't have a lot of what we read...buy we buy used from a woman who gives us discounts because we are loyal customers.

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Think I get handmade gifts? Nope. I have no idea why all these crafty people don't use their crafts for gifts. My mom has started doing more since my dd was born but that's about it.

 

I've often thought the same thing. I really think it's because they are from a time/generation when more people sewed, crocheted and knitted. Due to a shortage of money, my grandmother knitted everything she could for my father and his siblings, so a knitted pullover wasn't much of a treat, whereas a store-bought one was.

 

As a result, I think there is an instinctive belief that these handmade gifts are "cheap" - nonsense, of course, because the time and materials invested far outweigh anything store-bought - but I think it's slowly changing. We're so saturated with mass-produced goods that the thought and time put into a handmade gift are beginning to be appreciated more.

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I completely understand. My husband is on unemployment and I am doing substitute work. We live in a small town and there is just nothing here. My mother and I have collected several hundred skeins of yarn over the past few years, so I am not buying any more yarn! :lol I did buy the yarn I need to make my son's afghan, but I literally didn't have enough of the right colors. This year we aren't going crazy with gifts and I am actually making things for all of my family members with the exception of 2 teenage boys. My sister hates crocheted items, so I am going to felt something for her, which she surprisingly likes (she never likes anything I make or buy for her..:angry) I can't say that we won't buy anything, but it certainly will be A LOT less than previous years!

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Miss Crochet that is probably a good point. I know it was done more out of necessity so its not viewed as much as a "giftable" item. I'm trying to change their minds though. :)

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It's wonderful to see so many people scaling down on their spending & gift giving too. For us it is a necessity these days but I've always been frugal.

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Originally Posted by RusticOkie viewpost.gif

Think I get handmade gifts? Nope. I have no idea why all these crafty people don't use their crafts for gifts. My mom has started doing more since my dd was born but that's about it.

 

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Maybe suggest to them that you would like something homemade.

Unfortunately I don't have a lot of people who do homemade things that give me gifts, and I would LOVE THEM.

 

Most people I give to, though, love homemade gifts. My aunt loves thick slippers (2 strands) to keep her feet warm (poor circulation). I usually give her an afghan every few years too, this year it's the Kittens in a Row one, she loved cats but can't have them right now.

 

Another friend loves blankets and loves the one I gave her this year. I still haven't started it, but that's about the biggest project I have so I'm not rushing (yet). Maybe this weekend because I have time.

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DD's chirstmas gifts this year are all doll house related. There's some leftover wood from another project in the garage for three years now and it's more than enough to make the house and I have been scouring yard sales for the furniture. Having a theme has been great because I know how much I want to spend and it's keeping me in that budget.

 

Just wanted to update this a little. I was going to make DD a doll house with the leftover wood but my mom told a coworker about what I was doing and she said her daughter wanted get rid of the doll house they made so we could have it :yay. DD was very suprised and immediately put it to use. Try as I might I could not find any doll furniture but I am still looking.

 

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I decided earlier this year not to buy anything new for a year. Food, clothing, household maintenance, car, health, and professional expenses excepted. Clothes from the thrift store. Veggies from a neighborhood stand. Haircuts traded with a neighbor. Frugal choices

 

I think I'm gonna jump on the bandwagon with ya and do what I can to be frugal. I usually buy my clothes second-hand anyway (Which reminds me, I really ought to check out the Thrift Store for some more pants...). I'm giving up sodas come the new year so that will save some money as well.

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Try as I might I could not find any doll furniture but I am still looking.

 

Cute doll house! I think there's some crochet ones and plastic canvas one.

http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf20691310.tip.html - crochet

http://www.rebeccas-creative-creations.com/freepatterns.htm - plastic canvas

 

I just did a search, but had to look through some.

 

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I was going to cut down on sodas. I usually have 2 a day, but am going to have one. Then maybe none. Well see. Plus less eating out at lunch.

 

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For Christmas I did use what I had on hand. I had bought some Arron for one thing, then didn't make it. So I used that and some left over blue to make my Aunt some slippers. I used left over yarn to make a Gingerbread doll, but since Christmas was almost over and I needed a gift, I turned him into a Teddy bear with left over white yarn. I also had some old yarn and made a scarf with it for my cousin. I'm also working an on blanket eding with the left over Aaron for a fleece blanket for her (yes this is a late christmas gift).

 

Debbi

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This is a great thread. When I was younger, christmas was all about making things for people. In elementary school we always had a project to make a christmas gift for your parents and it was great because as a kid you really don't have the money to get things for people. We also made popcorn chains or craft paper chains for the christmas tree since we couldn't afford alot of ornaments.

 

I haven't done gift exchanges with my family in years, partly because I live so far away and partly because they always had an ugly/materialistic undertone with my mom's side of the family and now all my relatives on my dad's side have passed away. I don't really like shopping for gifts but for next year I'm planning on making things for people. I have a big plastic tub and I'm going to store things in it until I have something for everyone and send it off, like a care package.

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Oh Gran, I wanted to mention that if you haven't read Walden by Henry David Thoreau it might be something that interests you. Even though the book was published over 150 years ago it's still very true for modern economics. I sent it to my dad a couple years ago because he and his wife are trying something very similar. They bought a small farm and have been working towards making it a sustainable way of life both by growing the food they need and by growing things to sell to others.

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Potholder of the Month Club 2009

this crocheter had a great idea for her friend. I thought it also would work here. This way you're not spending a lot of money one month. And you could use up your left over yarn through the months too. You probably wouldn't want to do it for everyone, but could for a few select recipients.

How about a Surprise Gift of the Month? Then you could choose a new item each month so you don't get board of one thing? Plus it would allow you to use up the extra yarn you buy throughout the year (if you don't have several hundred skiens of yarn).

Just another idea I thought would help those who need to budget their money through the year instead of one month.

I plan on making something each month this year to have gifts. Like the Scarf a Month CAL. I haven't joined, but I'm planning on doing one a month. A dishcloth a month (at least). Snowflakes on Mondays. And afghans throughout the year. This way by the end of the year I'll have several gifts ready to give and my pocket book will be full. Well execpt the yarn I buy.

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I got to talk to my mom and sister down in Washington State last night and they finally got the afghans and shawl I made and they loved them. Now I need to start planning the gifts I want to make for next yr.

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:wavingHi Gran,

 

I like your idea of only spending money on only what is absolute necessary. That's what my husband and I are doing this year. You see last May 19th he was told his position at his work was being eliminated by the end of May 2008. Because of the time he had with his company and his age he was able to get a pension but its not much. He also received a severance package but we received the last of it at the end of November. By the time they take out insurance for him and me there's not enough of his monthly pension left to cover all of our monthly expenses. We don't have many monthly expenses but still they add up. There's the mortgage payment, gas, electricity, water, telephone service which includes our DSL service, gas for our one car, medicines (co-pays), groceries, and whatever we've put on the charge card for that month. We don't have cable or satelite tv. Just the regular channels is enough for us. We do have one cell phone but its a Trac phone for emergencies only. In May my husband will be 65 and eligible for Medicare. At that time I will be able to find insurance for myself outside of what his former employer offers. Hopefully it will be cheaper than what we are paying now. We do have money in savings that we will be using to supplement what his pension doesn't cover. In the meantime we are careful about what we buy. Is it really necessary? He enjoys collecting baseball cards and I enjoy collecting crochet patterns and stashing yarn. We've both agreed that now those hobbies we will have to be very careful about what we spend. Naturally I bought a bunch more yarn the Monday after Christmas that I found at a good price. With the yarn I already have on hand and with what I bought I should have enough yarn for the next couple of years. I've been thinking about crocheting items I could sell at craft fairs to see if I could make enough money that way to support my addiction to buying yarn. Also I'm going to make things throughout this year to give as presents next Christmas. We didn't give many presents this year. No children and no grandchildren so we don't have that concern. Just my sister (she's older than me) and lives in a small condo, she says if she can't eat it don't buy it for her. A neice and her family (3 teenage boys) who love money to buy what they want. And a family of friends (we usually draw names but we didn't participate this year). My husband has a few cousins in Miami but we've never exchanged Christmas presents with them. Next year I think I will make everything. With all the yarn I have on hand plus other craft supplies I have as well as being able to bake I think I can come up with some nice presents.

 

My husband has been looking for work he can do here at home using the computer but no luck yet. He worked 22 years doing proofreading of Sunday School materials in Spanish. He's originally from Cuba and therefore is bilingual. The Human Resources Director at his former job felt that would be a good asset for him to find other work. I don't work outside of the home now. I have in the past but have arthritis in my spine and my mobility is not very good. When I'm outside of the house I need a cane to aid my walking. I too would like to find work I could do using the computer. Even with this change in our fortune, I still would have tried to spend as little as money as possible. I've begun to think of it as a game. Can we spend less money this year than last year? Is there a way I can do this cheaper without risking safety? You know that kind of thing. So I say, "Let the games begin!!!!!!".

 

Kathy Monzon:cat

tnkycrochetnut:turtle

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