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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Monday, 6 January 2014
Every year we try to create handmade gifts for the ones we love. 
This year was no exception.

Here is a round up of our creative efforts for the season,
as well as links and some input on how well various projects worked for us.

{ (Us = Me + Rowan, Age 8) }

Pardon the pictures~ I have not been in blogger mode
and have fallen off with my photography!

We started out with some clay ornaments.
The tutorial called for polymer clay, but the cost was prohibitive.
We found Crayola Air Dry clay in 2.5 lb tubs at 40% off at Michaels.
It worked wonderfully and we had SO much fun playing with it...
we may have gotten carried away...

We started with birds (original tutorial on this adorable site).
For some reason I didn't get pictures of them finished {oops!}.
The instructions on the site were excellent.
We finished them with glitter and pearl paints,
and strung them on jewelry wire with beads.
{don't you wish you could see a picture?!}

Rowan made snowmen for everyone, inspired by THIS project.
The air dry clay worked well, although we did have to glue some of the body parts together
once the clay dried.
We used Sharpies for the faces and added yarn scarves.
There may have been a song all about balls
sung by a child during this process.
Priceless.
Here is a very evil looking collection of the snowpeople + dogs.
yes, those are DOGS.
While Rowan crafted her undead snow army
(and Dr. Who fans know just how terrifying a snowman can be!)
I worked on an impromptu mermaid:
And finally, I was commissioned to produce a dragon for Daddy~
I sculpted, Rowan painted and finished.
And I did mention getting a little carried away...
...the result being these monogrammed 'Bracelets of Catan'.
(You are either thinking 'huh?' or 'cooool' right now, I know!)

 We experimented with Shrinky Dinks this year.
Overall, we produced a lot more losers than winners.
We will definitely try again with the 'rough and ready' translucent version
which allowed us to stamp and use pencil crayons over the white which would only take solvent or dye inks and Sharpies and smeared easily and shrunk more/ darkened to nearly impossible to decipher images.
I have a large stash of small stamped images that worked well for earrings,
Rowan drew some by hand,
and we purchased backs and posts on Etsy, along with some lucite roses.
A little E6000 adhesive and we were good to go!
 

I also managed to finally complete this Pinterest inspired shadow box:

To make some hand dyed silk ribbon wrap bracelets for some cool boys:

And to hand dye the yarn and crochet the hat
to match my sweetie's winter coat:

Whew! No wonder we were exhausted come Christmas
(not to mention church and family commitments and Beneath the Rowan Tree's best holiday season yet!)

Every year I wonder if it is worth the effort to make all of the gifts that we do...
but then I realize that I spent a lot of time thinking about my loved ones
as I made things for them~ a much better investment in our relationship than a gift card rung up at a cash register in a minute and stashed away.
Plus, I get to spend the creative time with my child sharing laughter, ideas and memories.
And songs about balls, which, no matter how grown up you may be,
are just plain funny.

What did you create for the holidays? ♥♥

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