December 31, 2012

See You Next Year / Day 5 of Creative Christmas

People keep saying, “See you next year!” and it sounds unreal and weird to me. When they say it I literally feel like their saying I won’t see them for a whole year, even though I know what they really mean.

I have so much more to do before this year is over. Too late now! Tomorrow is a new year and here I am still trying to share my Twelve Days of Creative Christmas gifts I made for family and friends and trying to write a cover letter for a possible job in hopes of a career change for the new year, a goal I had hoped to had achieved this year. Like prepaid cell phone minutes rolling over when unused, many of my 2012 goals will be rolling over to 2013. However, instead of having yearly goals I’ll be taking baby steps and spreading them throughout the year, one goal or more a month.

For now, here’s another creative Christmas gift I made. Enjoy, and I’ll see you next year!

One of my favorite handmade gifts went to my dad and mom (step mom). It was a cross stitch of two bears having a picnic with the word, “I LOVE YOU BEARY MUCH” around them. I found the cross stitch kit on eBay, where I tend to find many of my vintage kits. I actually finished the kit in November and I just needed to cover the back of the hoop with felt, with an embroidered message. With my crazy holiday work schedule I couldn’t mail my parents gift on time. Try working at a place, a movie theatre, which opens every single day. I went into work before the post office opened and got off after it closed. I felt awful when I called them the Saturday before Christmas to let them know I had received their gift and theirs wouldn’t arrive on time for Christmas. They’re my parents and naturally were very understanding. They’ll receive their gifts today! Hopefully, it was worth the wait.

December 30, 2012

Twelve Days of Creative Christmas: Day 4

For my Secret Santa at work I made the person I got, Nicole, a homemade gift that conveyed warmth and love. Gloves and Starbucks were some of the items she wrote down on her Dear Santa list. I made Nicole a heart chalkboard mug, heart gloves, and I got her a Starbucks gift card.

My firefighter helped me spray paint the chalkboard mug with chalk paint. I’m not very good at spray painting items. I tend to get drip marks on items I spray paint. I’ve made this type of chalkboard mug before and the recipient loved it. I have seen online the half hearts on gloves that when cupped together create a whole heart and I had to make a pair for for Nicole. Sewing half the hearts on the gloves was tricky. I keep sewing the gloves together.

I put the gift card and gloves in the chalkboard mug and wrote her name on the mug with chalk. Nicole got to her Secret Santa gift at our Christmas party at Chuck E. Cheese. She said she like her gift. She didn’t even get a chance to ask who her Secret Santa was. A co-worker watching her open her gift happily told her, “Mrs. Guzman made those (the gloves).” Every year my employees hope I get them for Secret Santa because they know I’ll make something just for them.

Like thinking ahead, this homemade gift would make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

December 16, 2012

Twelve Days of Creative Christmas: Day 3

My third homemade gift goes to my swap partner in crime, Emily. Emily and I are the brains behind the wonderful swaps we have bought you this year and the creators of Bee Creative Swaps on facebook. I have never met Emily in person, but she has become a great friend through these swaps we have put on. I discovered Emily’s blog, The Morose Bee, though another blogger, who had won a prize through Emily’s Movie Monday. I soon discovered that Emily and I have lots in common, our love for Frida Kahlo, arts and crafts, and working with children.

I made Emily one of my popular sparrow ornaments. Each sparrow ornament is different to correspond to the person it is created for. In this case, the sparrow’s ribbon reads, “Derby Chick” because Emily is a part of the Boston Derby Dames. This sparrow ornament kicks butt with its little black line under its eye! With Emily’s ornament I had to include a Frida mesh bag. I purchased a few bags for my “Celebrate Life Frida Style” for my 31st birthday party that I will be throwing for myself in February, so of course I had to get one for Emily too. Emily received her package a few days ago and she said it made her day!

Have you received any holiday mail that has made your day recently?

December 13, 2012

Twelve Days of Creative Christmas: Day 2


My second homemade gift goes to Diane, my other Ornament Swap partner. Diane loves nature and all sorts of trees. After sketching ideas on sticky notes and napkins, and googling nature themed ornaments I came up with the idea of making a little tree stump dressed up as a Christmas tree. Hence, “Christmas Tree in Training” embroidered around the stump’s skirt. For its shining star, I put a plastic tea light sticking out of the stump’s head. I added scrapbooking Christmas light on it and also embroidered a smiling face on the stump. Isn’t he the cutest thing ever? He was chilling on my Christmas tree for a few days before I shipped him out to Diane’s. I miss him so that I’m going to have to make one for myself.

This is what Diane said when she received her “Christmas Tree in Training” ornament, “I got it today! Thank you! It was the end of a very long week, so it was a great surprise! Thanks for the Christmas tissue too! The ornament is just darling and on my tree now! Love it! Merry Christmas!”

I’m glad her “Christmas Tree in Training” ornament lit up her day and her Christmas tree a little more.

Oh, and Hallmark if by chance you happen to fall upon my blog and like what you see, hire me! I would love to create an ornament for you!

To see more ornaments from the Ornament Swap check out Emily and my facebook page, officially called Bee Creative Swaps!

December 8, 2012

New Ornaments from Ornament Swap

This week I received two new handmade ornaments from both of my partners from the Ornament Swap Emily and I put together. I received a bulb ornaments with different colored hippos painted around it and in between some of them have a flower, a camera, a music note, a heart, and a ball. One hippo even looks like a tiger. I told Diane my favorite animals are hippos and I don’t have a favorite color. I love them all. It was love at first sight when hippos became my favorite animal. My dad took my siblings and I took the LA Zoo when we were kids and I saw this huge gray mass in a tank under water. I don’t know what attracted me to hippos but I just love them. The ornament made its arrival on a perfect day, December 5th. I was having a bad day. I had gotten home from the Chiropractor who told me that my neck was out of ligament and he would have to see me three times a week. My firefighter also told me the Christmas wreath we had made from real pine tree clippings that was hanging on our fireplace had fallen and broken one of my firehouses. From all that negative stuff, my hippo ornament brightened up my day.

The other ornament I received was from Tristin. I made her the “Princess in Tower” ornament, which she received yesterday and loved. Tristin made me a sock monkey with a mustache made out of clay and bottle caps that said, “Stashing through the snow…” and “2012.” I’m very proud of Tristin. I know she was having trouble with the ornament swap. She says she isn’t crafty but she is. She did a wonderful job making me my ornament, even though her husband helped her a little. I love my sock monkey ornament! I love sock monkeys because they are one of those old homemade toys, made out of socks. For some weird reason I also love mustaches. They make me laugh.

Do you have a homemade ornament hanging on your Christmas tree this year? I have two new ones I absolutely love. Thank you Diane and Tristin!

December 7, 2012

Twelve Days of Creative Christmas: Day 1

I believe the best gifts are those that cannot be bought, like family pictures, heart felt letters, home cooked goodies, heirlooms, and my favorite handcraft gifts. This holiday my goal is to make at least twelve homemade gifts to give to my family and friends.

My first homemade gift is an ornament of a princess with flowy long hair. She lives in a tower where her favorite flowers, sunflowers, grow around it. This “Princess in Tower” ornament was made for Tristin, one of my Ornament Swap partners and she is also one of my employees. Her favorite flowers are sunflowers and she has beautiful long hair.

The idea to make this ornament came from Pinterest. Click here to see my inspiration. I can’t take all the credit for myself.

I used felt to make the ornament and I hand embroidered the sunflowers. This ornament took lots of time and patience. My firefighter asked me if it was a toy. It does look like something a child would use to play dolls with. He also told me to stop looking at it constantly, that it wasn’t going to change. I kept looking at it because I was very happy how it turned out. Sometimes I tell myself, “I can’t believe I made that. It looks so good.”

All of my handcrafted gifts have my initials on them and the year they were made. That way people will never forget who made it for them and when it was made. I will give Tristin her ornament today at our work’s Christmas party. I know she’ll love it!

If you're interested in a custom “Princess in Tower” ornament, please contact me for pricing. 

December 3, 2012

Christmas Mood Up In Here, Up In Here

I’m feeling quite cheery today. Most of my Christmas decorations are up and I’m totally into the Christmas spirit this year. Last year, my firefighter and I didn’t put up the Christmas tree. We had gotten new furniture for our small living room last year and that’s where we put our Christmas tree. Since the tree is big we thought there wouldn’t be enough room for it. Were we wrong! I took the coffee table out and wallah hello Christmas tree!

To be honest I’m starting to enjoy the holidays again because this might be my firefighter and mine last Christmas together, just him and I. Oh, don’t freak out! We’re happily married. My firefighter and I have decided it’s time to add to our family. Smiling sheepishly. If it is in God’s plan, there will be another stocking hanging off the fireplace next year.

For now, I’m enjoying life as it is. However, as I decorate for Christmas I catch myself day dreaming of little hands helping me put ornaments on the Christmas tree, baby’s first ornament, baking cookies for Santa, pictures with Santa…. oh I can’t wait!
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