Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Handmade Christmas: The Big Reveal!

Going for the handmade option in gift giving always adds a special meaning; the thought and time you've put into something that you've made just for them, knowing there isn't another "one of those" out there like it.  Now that they've all been given, here are a few of the many handmade gifts I had given this year!

Blogger's note: I haven't pictures of everything quite yet, as there was technical difficulties with the camera over the holidays.  I can always borrow the pieces for a photo shoot - they're not too far away!


The mailman was extra careful!
My best friend Graham received this totally awesome 'Nerdherder wallet' from Rockitbot on Etsy, made from herringbone-patterned mens suit material.  I nearly kept this wallet for myself when I opened the package - better than I expected!  These wallets hold everything all at once - all those little gadgets, loose change and minor necessities all have their own place in these well-organized pockets.  The best surprise - the stamp on the package when I received it in the mail!

You may remember my friend and coworker Dan McNab from his fine photography work featured earlier on this blog, or maybe you've visited his own blog!  I had found this fun camera strap cover from HoopDeeDoo on Etsy, complete with a handy pocket to keep a lens cap or extra memory cards.  A handy gift and a sign of encouragement for their natural talents from a friend!

These earrings were a custom order for a friend, Craig, for his son's girlfriend.  This isn't the first piece I had made for this young lady - I was happy to learn that she had worn the She-Bop necklace, a custom piece Craig had commissioned me to make for her last Christmas, almost every day since she received it.  (It's now in my possession to clean parts of the chain that had started to blacken.  I just may overhaul it into something new - let's see what happens in a future post!)  These guitar picks feature Paul's band name on either side, and Craig had asked me to make a pair of 'funky' earrings.  Meeting the young lady a few times, she's got a sense of "urban-meets-classic-rock" style, so I gave the earrings length with some mixed metal chain fringe.  Drilling the holes at a different angle will need a double-take to be recognized for what they actually are, and for more funkiness - asymmetry!  Each earring features the opposite side of the pick.  I've yet to hear if she likes them - I'm crossing my fingers!

The big gift of the year?  Eyeglass holders, and not just for your granny anymore!  (Although I did make most of them this year for grandparents!)  These featured were for my "Grandma G", also featured in the Pantone Colours of Fall 2010 Collection.  I had knotted a set of hemp eyeglass holders for my grandfather-in-law with turquoise lucite and fire agate for a rugged look, a set for my mother-in-law out of a repurposed chakra bracelet and quartz crystal beads (after asking me if I had any materials she could use for a 'chakra project'), and a set for my "Nana" made from reclaimed vintage lucite beads.  (My camera had a slight malfunction over the holidays and I didn't get a chance to snap some pictures before they were wrapped and given - they aren't too far away, I'll be able to borrow them for a photo shoot!)  A functional and fashionable gift for anyone who's got glasses!

You'll also recognize this bracelet and earring set from the aforementioned collection the eyeglass holders came from, as well.  The lucky recipient was my sister, Jaclyn, who I think would wear this set well!


I had found a couple of peacock pendants - this one above, and another with clear stones - in a local department store's jewelry clearance bin, and just couldn't resist.  I had the perfect iridescent blue beads from a reclaimed prayer bracelet that was a perfect match for this colourful bird, and I knew just the 'bird' to give it to!  My sister-in-law, Katee, received this with a matching pashmina scarf.  You'll read more about the making of this necklace and it's 'mate' in a future post!

This unique creation of mine is still a "work in progress" from the design perspective, and I surprise and please myself every time.  This is a pashmina scarf and 'scarf pin' with detachable baubles that I had given to my stepmum.  I had also included a snake chain to string the baubles on if she wanted to wear them as pendants.  "Wait," some of you may say, "I recognize these baubles!  Did you really ... ?"  Well, yes, I did 'dismantle' a lovely bracelet to make this lovelier piece for the loveliest of women.  Recreation details will be posted soon!

The surprise in the box!
There are just some people who are allergic to everything, like some girls who just can't wear certain types of jewelry.  Such is the case with a Shauna, friend and coworker of mine, who had expressed frustration at not being able to wear a pair of earrings I had given her for her birthday due to irritation.  Well, I did the next best thing - I made her something she could keep all her jewelry in!  I had bought a cedar box form a local crafting store and decoupaged, as smoothly as I could, an image from a recycled calendar of René Gruau fashion sketches.  A few rhinestone decals and a few layers of black lacquer paint and viola!  A sexy boudoir jewelry cache!  And, as much as it is bad luck to give an empty wallet or purse, I feel like it's also bad luck to give an empty jewelry box, from my point of view.  I selected a necklace from my stock that reminded me of another she had worn before, wrapped it up nice and placed it in the box.  I'm happy to report she guffawed rather loudly when she saw the box, and exclaimed that she "loved it!"

With both my best friend, Karen, and I being big fans of Sex and the City, I knew she would appreciate this!  One of the first of the "Swear on Chanel" Collection from a small bunch of vintage Chanel medallions and charms. (Acquired by hubby from a garage sale to surprise me one Sunday afternoon!)  The Eiffel Tower charm comes from snapcrafty on Etsy, with various faceted crystal beads on vintage gold link chain.  I know she'll wear this with class!   There's a few more pieces to come with some more Chanel surprises in a future post!


My lovely friend and coworker, Shayna, celebrates Hanukkah, so she got her present early this year!  I had given her a bracelet and earring set featuring red adventurine hearts, turquoise chips and one of my most cherished beads, this turquoise blue scarab bead.  I had purchased this bead in a gift shop years and years ago during a high school trip to the Royal Ontario Museum, when my lifelong fascination with ancient Egyptian culture really began.  It's been incorporated into many pieces of jewelry that I've made over the years, and this piece, I'm happy to say, is the final result.  I'm very happy that these pieces are in Shayna's hands, I know she'll treat them with respect and wear them proudly (after I fix the bracelet for her!).

Hubby and I had a gift exchange with his best friend, Tony and his girlfriend, Rita.  I had given Rita this bracelet and earring set with 'natural sparkle'!  The earrings feature vintage German lucite conch shell beads from Way To Bead on Etsy, with black-stained iridescent shell pieces dangling above.  The matching bracelet, with clusters of shell pieces and reclaimed black acrylic beads, has some great movement without being too boisterous.  I love Rita's comment when she opened the package: "I have nothing like this, and I love this!"  Awesome!  (Oh, and Rita got me an excellent dresser-top necklace hanger and organizer!  Just what I needed for my own jewelry!  Thank you, Rita!)

This bracelet made for one of my best friends, Jenna, was indeed one of the most eye-catching for the colours and the beads themselves.  The milky pink teardrop glass beads were selected by Jenna herself.  She tend to "gravitate" towards pink, and it looks good on her!  I had come across these beads while cleaning out some destash supplies, and had found serendipity when I had realized I had the perfect addition.  As if destiny were perched on my shoulder, the leftover pieces from Janace's custom order provided me with a beautiful large polished teardrop layered amethyst agate, the perfect centrepiece for this bracelet.  The stone felt very smooth on the skin, and I'm sure would feel pleasant to wear.  Jenna had me put it on her wrist right away, and the rosiness glowed against her skin.  Viva la rosa!

Hoping your gifts were as memorable to give as well as received, and the most important sentiment - that we are generous with our friends and family with love and kindness throughout the year.

What was your most memorable gift this year?


BusyLizzy said...

My most memorable gift was handmade by my 12-year-old daughter. It is a Seahorse pin/pendant. She searched and downloaded the shape, chose a beautiful blue fabric, cut and stitched it by hand, added a tiny bit of stuffing, and a pin so that I can wear with a scarf or looped onto a chain or ribbon as a pendant. I love it!

BusyLizzy said...

Oh, gracious, I answered your question, and forgot to tell you how much I like your work... LOL! It is really nice, and I love reading the thought process you went through to as you crafted these lovely things for your nearest and dearest. Very special!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...