Handmade Christmas: The Elves' Projects 2014


It wasn't part of the draw, but Andrew made this gorgeous salad bowl for me 



We had a very sweet Christmas this year, and once again a huge highlight was our seeing the love our children have for one another and their creativity expressed in their annual Christmas gift exchange. All of the kids and grandgirls were here except for Jon, who is in Europe for a couple of weeks.

Calling the exchange between the kids a "draw" as we still do is somewhat misleading, as there is nothing random about the assignments. Often one individual will request another because they have another and sometimes one is "commissioned" to make something or other in line with their gifts.

Overall, we had several themes going on this year - art and accoutrements, weapons, fiber arts, and one botanical entry.


Art Category:

Amanda made this oil painting for Kara.

Actually, I should say, "is making" as it is not quite finished. She still has to add street lamps and other details. But it sure is lovely already!













Because she loves to paint, Andrew made Amanda an easel, and because purple is the #1 color in her book, he crafted it out of purple heart wood.  (Following the "not-quite-done" theme, Andrew completed the easel assembly over the next couple of days. Finishing with shellac is ongoing as Amanda wants as many coats as possible to keep the lovely purple color intact.)






This one shows the true color better.




























Artwork, even when it comes from Zambia, requires frames, so that's what Ben made for Kristen using cherry wood.






























Weapons Category

Paul made this knife (a Persian dagger, to be specific) for Andrew,


while Kara crafted a leather sheath for Paul for a knife he had previously made. (She wrapped the sheath amongst some Ramen noodles to fool Paul.) By the way, this is great place to find knife kits.






















Peter decided that a slingshot was exactly what brother-in-law, Collin, needed to keep his garden squirrel-free.

You probably didn't know there is a slingshot channel on YouTube. But that's a great place to find instructions for making super slingshots. Peter used "How to Make a Fantastic Wooden Slingshot." 



Fiber Art Category




Preferring working with fabric to wood, Kristen made this gorgeous lined wool cape for Faith, who was pretty excited to receive it.

































Commissioned by Peter to knit a "professional hat", Faith came up with a lovely gray one which I missed getting a photo of. And following the "Wait! Christmas is coming way too early this year!" theme, she's still finishing a basket weave knit scarf to keep him warm while he runs or goes to class.






And finally, the Botanical Category

Benjamin has developed a strong interest in all things plant related in the past year or so. Happily, Collin is a botanist (OK really he's an ecologist, but he's a plant expert!) Ben was particularly excited about the butterwort which is carnivorous.

The nieces were curious about Ben's gift, too



















Pitcher plant (green), butterwort, and hen-and-chicks (yellow)




























I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!



Elves' Projects 2013

Elves' Projects 2012

Elves' Projects 2011
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