Monday, December 15, 2008

holidays at home

I've never spent a Christmas somewhere other than my parent's house, but this year I won't be in Connecticut to celebrate with my family until after the holiday. I'll miss making cookies with cousins, decorating the tree in my Parent's living room, and partaking in the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day gatherings. But I'm not going to be all alone this year; I'll be celebrating with Z and his Mom. One of the benefits of remaining at my house from Christmas is this year I've actually had a reason to decorate the house. I started my quest in August, when I knit Z's stocking. Ever since, I've been steadily working toward finishing gifts and making holiday decorations. Now that Christmas is less than two weeks away, I'm nearing the final stretch of my preparations. My mother and sister's gifts are complete, and I'm working on dad, grandma, and my brother. I opted to complete small projects for each person this year in an attempt to finish everything, and I might actually pull it off.
Of course, in between gift making, I've been filling our house with winter greenery and handmade garlands, like the i-cord I knit to hang over the fireplace.
One of the advantages of living in the South during the winter is magnolia trees. Their leaves are so shiny and festive, I of course couldn't resist fashioning an arrangement for our mantle.

In addition to decorating our fireplace, I've strung cranberry garlands, decorated our first Christmas tree, and made a prodigious number of cinnamon ornaments. I love opening the front door to the scent of spice, citrus, and evergreen; it's what I remember Christmas smelling like when I was little.
Although I've already finished so much of what I set out to complete, I'll probably be working right through Christmas Eve. But that's how I like to spend the holidays - accumulating piles of handmade gifts. Anyhow, in the winter there's nothing better than curling up in a warm house with knitting in hand and loved ones by my side. That's certainly how I'll be spending my time during the coming week.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

my week in boxes

I've spent the better part of this week assembling lots of little handmade boxes. A lot of work goes into each one, but they're among my favorite book artsy things to make. This year, I vowed that I would have a batch to sell at various holiday fairs, and I've happily succeeded; I've got 15 hinged boxes covered in all sorts of fabrics and coordinating book cloths. A part of me really wants to make hundreds of these little containers - enough to build myself a fortress. But that would leave me no time to do necessary things like finishing my current book project and sleeping.

And the winners are ...

I had no idea I would get as many responses as I did yesterday. Thanks to everyone who commented, and I hope you'll stop back by the blog from time to time! After consulting a random list generator, I'm happy to announce that Megan and Katy are the contest winners. If I haven't contacted you, please leave your email address or some other way for me to get in touch with you in a comment.

I had a lot of fun yesterday, and wouldn't be surprised if I hosted another giveaway later this month. Check back for updates!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happy Giveaway Day

Life has been busy here at the press. I've spent the last few days making holiday boxes and carving linoleum until my fingers were raw (really, I have the wounds to prove it!), but I'm not complaining. Once Friday rolls around, I'm going to have a batch of adorable hinged boxes and a stack of handmade holiday cards.

Today, however, I get to take a little break from my production schedule and participate in Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day. I'm offering one of my hand stitched and painted journals to one person. To play, before the end of today, tell me about something you're making for the holidays. And of course, don't forget to check out all of the other goodies on offer today!

Since so many of you are participating in the giveaway day madness, I've decided to give one more gift: A set of 4 letterpress printed holiday cards. I'm still working on these, but here's a preview! They're printed with a very heraldic hand-carved linocut.