winter weather advisory: whale flurries!
Every Christmas, I make something new and (hopefully!) exciting for my friends. The challenge: finding the perfect balance between fun, functional, and easy. I want them to love it, I want to be able to personalize it for each person, I want it to be more than something they’ll just throw on a shelf… but I don’t want to go crazy when I have to make a bunch.
This year, I started early. In November, I started thinking. I wanted to use my embroidery machine; I wanted to come up with something cute and clever. When fleece went on sale the day after Thanksgiving, I had it.
With this adorable navy polka dot fleece, I made scarves! I drew the whale on the computer and turned it into an embroidery applique file. The appliques are fun and painless with my machine; I’ve been working on a few more that I hope to use in the future! So each girl got her own fabric for her whale, based on favorite colors and even with a dash of personality.
I used green minky, hot pink fleece, light pink, hot pink, then turquoise corduroy, lavender flannel, blue and blue & white stripe flannelette, and orange fuzzy mystery fabric (no idea what it is but it’s awesome!)
They were fun. They were cute. But after getting so many compliments on my pocket scarf, I realized it was lackiing. Seriously, seriously lacking in the pocket department.
So each end has a simple navy fleece pocket, handsized and cozy. No zippers this time; I wasn’t about to do nine of those, are you kidding me?
And of course, the happy ending; my fabulous sock monkey wrapping paper was torn into, and I got lots of hugs and smiles. I’ve heard they get lots of compliments. :) I’m happy.
And then, we get to the best part of my Christmas. Of course, I love presents as much as the next person.. but what I love most is when that next person loves the present I have made for them. Last Christmas, I made Ben a Goomba, the Mario character, proving that 15-year-old boys are not too old for stuffed toys. This year, I had to top the Goomba. Could it be done?
Andy, my 9-year-old brother, is obsessed with Cartoon Network’s Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. I watch the show sometimes too.. it’s amusing, and I love the art/colors of the animation; it’s actually very inspiring to watch! Andy loves Bloo, the main character: an imaginary friend who is a joking, rule-breaking, sarcastic imaginary friend. He has an extremely simple shape, and I figured I’d be able to do it.
I cut four shapes out of fleece that I knew would make a good body shape, then made a circle to connect them all at the bottom. Somehow, his eyes took forever. I pinned and repinned, cut and recut, but they never seemed to be in the right place or stay perfect circles. I finally just sewed them on, feeling like they were in the wrong spot and would look completely ridiculous. I stitched a little mouth and began to stuff him.
And he was perfect.
Ben, Andy, and I always exchange our sibling presents for each other on Christmas Eve. When I threw Bloo at Andy, who saw only a big mass of wrapping paper, he said, “i wonder what this is!” and tore away the wrapping. When he turned it around to see Bloo’s face, he yelled, “BLOOO!” and squeezed him and wouldn’t stop hugging him. I was close to tears, I was so very happy.
That is the moment that made my Christmas perfect.
♥ p.s. i’ve added a few more pictures detailing steps 9 & 10 in the Starburst Wrapper Bracelet Tutorial; if you were having problems figuring out how to connect your links, hopefully this clears up any confusion!