A Handmade Christmas :: 2014 Edition

Christmas Day 2014  (9)This Christmas was filled with handmade gifts as usual around here, but maybe not the sort you'd expect.  Above are Chloe's new earrings handmade by my sister-in-law Anna (they match her hair!).  Below is the tiny bit of sewing I did this year- a hooded scarf for Chloe.Chloe's Hooded ScarfChloe's 2014 edition hand carved Santa for me does not disappoint!  This one is so sweet, about 4 inches high.  His beard goes down and curls around the base along with the fur on the edge of his coat.  Chloe's previous hand carved Santas can be seen here.Christmas Day 2014  (20)

Christmas Day 2014  (21)

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Christmas Day 2014  (55)I had Cheryl's family this year so they got several handmade's including the painted ornament above, a knitted Bandana Cowl for Cheryl, a knitted Turn-a-Square hat for her husband Mark, and a quilted zipper bag for Mark's mom, Marge.  I also made two other hats for my Mark and for Ryan.Christmas Day 2014  (17)These next few things were not really handmade by me, but include handmade effort.  I got one of Ryan's old paintings custom framed for him.  He was happy to see this one again!Christmas Day 2014  (28)My biggest project this Christmas was making photo books.  I used two services to create the books.  Blurb is my go-to for a fantastic family photo album.  I started with a photo album of our trip to Ecuador last Christmas.  I spent hours and hours (and hours!) organizing and editing thousands of photos.  Over 1300 photos went into this book for Mark along with text from my journal.  I used every single one of the allowed 240 pages too!  Whew!  While I worked on that I thought it would be neat to do a much smaller, simpler book for Ryan.  His is called Ryan's Galapagos and includes his favorite part of the trip, lots of animals.  Shown below is the back cover.  I use Adobe Lightroom to make the Blurb books which always requires a bit of relearning since I don't use it that often.Christmas Day 2014  (12)

As if that wasn't enough, while I worked on the Blurb books I discovered another service called Artifact Uprising and wanted to try it.  They offer smaller, more intimate soft cover books that have a great price.  I decided at the last minute to make one for my sister and her husband.  Below is that result.   Cheryl and Mark's book (1)

First I had to get the photos, so I searched their Facebook accounts and saved the best photos of them and their animals to my computer.  I used Photoshop Elements to square the photos, then used Lightroom to change the color to sepia to unite all these different photos.  This little book is called an Instagram book.  While these photos are not all from Instagram, some of them were and were already square, but some needed to be formatted to fit the square templates in this book.  I think it came out really great and I think they were very touched to see photos of their current 2 dogs and 2 cats as well as some of their previous pets that have since passed.

Cheryl and Mark's book (2)

Cheryl and Mark's book (3)Well, our family is a pretty creative one and many of you may know that my sister is a fused glass artist.  She had my brother and his family though and I haven't seen any of those gifts yet.  I'm sure they are wonderful.  So, did you have a handmade Christmas?  Tell us about it!