26 April 2010

conquering the dreaded birthday sewing!

What do you think about birthday sewing?

If you live around these parts birthday sewing can be a full time job. There are so many sweet little friends and from about February to June or so there are so many birthdays that we all refer to it with fondness and dread as "Birthday Season."

Around the new year I was doing a lot of personal projects and not getting them done fast enough and as I saw "Birthday Season" looming on the horizon I declared to my husband and friends that I would not be sewing a single birthday present this year because with all of our personal projects going on I didn't have the energy to come up with multiple projects for kids of different ages, genders, oh yeah and not duplicate what someone else is already making (and probably making better than me - let's face it), or something a kid would actually want or use!

and worse yet

there is always the dreaded un-finished birthday or shower gift promise....

You've probably said the unfortunate phrase yourself a time or two.

I know I have.

And I know I have had it said to me- sometimes more than once by the same person! haha!

"I have a gift for you..... I'm making it..... it's almost done!"

And sometimes it's true and sometimes you have a great idea for it and more times than not.... that fateful gift is never delivered.

Easy come easy go in "Birthday Season," but since I knew I would be making that lame promise more than once with all we had going on I REFUSED to put myself in that position and decided we would mostly be buying art supplies and the like for gifts this year.

Well, this week I had a stroke of genius!

And it comes in the form of inspiration from another one of our treasured society members Rachel Bennett. If you don't know her already, you will, she is a very crafty lady.

She gave Ambrose a camping bag at his camping birthday and it had a book in it.

I said, "Ambrose this can be your library bag!" because we always have stray library books lurking around our house and as we trudge to and from the library I am trying to make sure we have them all and keep them together. Now we have a special re-usable bag that he can bring them home in, keep them in when not being used, and take them back in to return.

AH HA! I love making bags! So, I am on the hunt for some great fabrics and will be printing "My library bag" on the front.

They will be mass produced.

They will be adorable.

They will be functional.

They can be used by boys and girls and all ages because all kids should have an active relationship with their local library.

I'm so stoked!

Too bad "Birthday Season" is almost over, but I will be well prepared for next year.

Whew, I'm such a planner. It feels great to have that all settled!

Now all my friends know what I'll be giving their children for the whole next year! hahaha!

Oh how I love to sew and enjoy making something for people I love because you get to think about them while you make it.

What about you? What do you like to make for gifts or do you prefer to shop for the perfect gift?

Where do you fall in the handmade gift spectrum? :)


Taylor said...

you know how much i like to give baked goods...but there is something about finding the perfect gift for someone. even if it's not remotely close to their birthday or christmas...if it makes me think of them, then i'll most likely get it and save it for their birthday or chirstmas, or if i get too antsy, i'll give it to them just cause.

melissa marie said...

um, seriously, i just can't believe you give gifts to all of your friends' children. holy nice mama.

kimball said...

I can't remember birthdays. How thoughtful is that!

.Ang. said...

I used to be a buyer.. But that was before my Hawaii days. Where we average 3.7643543 Birthdays/week.

I try to make gifts these days! It's a good way to push me to think of a finish a project quickly and use up my fabric/supply store I've got going on.

We had to put our bed up on "risers" for more storage.

I like your idea of mass producing something to give to EVERYONE throughout the year!

Good Thinking they thought!

You are just great!

sheila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sheila said...

I don't think I'm THAT great of a sewer... or maybe too much of a perfectionist. I only let my own daughter bare the pain of wearing or having my handmade items. hahaa
I did make her a book bag last Saturday though and she likes it so I see that your idea IS genius-especially the idea of mass production.
But until I become an awesome sewer (like you) I better stick with target or walmart for birthday gifts.

echo said...

'And I know I have had it said to me- sometimes more than once by the same person! haha!
"I have a gift for you..... I'm making it..... it's almost done!"'

i like your idea.
sometimes if the birthdays are within the same week of each other i make two similar gifts. or sometimes not. i really just depends on my mood that day. ha.
but i do like to make it, usually. i feel that it is cheaper that way for me since i have a major stockpile of fabric, notions, and what not.

Matti said...

great idea! My favorite gifts to sew are the car-seat covers for belly bearing mammas to be. ;-) It is fun to think of them as you sew. And just last night I created my first smocked muumuu for a dear little girly girl I know.

Ali said...

I'm lame sauce! I am proud of myself if the wrapping paper looks decent once the store bought gift is wrapped. That's about as far as my skills extend. However, I'm a pretty thoughtful gift giver if I do say so myself.

I love the homemade craft gifts. I love to be on the receiving end! I love watching your ideas unfold, such a treat! I hope your illness has passed and that you're now speaking like a female ;)

liko said...

dude, so are you trying to tell me something??
i'm guilty of that dreaded phrase myself. yep. and the birthday present comes days or even weeks later. then i feel like a loser.

as for the bags, genius. i feel we have a similar mentality. at first i thought i'd just make those baby blankets for all baby showers, you know just the same gift for everyone to make it easier on myself...anyways, i think i've changed my mind and now people having a girl will get one of those dresses i am so fond of making as of late, and people having boys...hmmm...guess i will discover soon enough what that will be...
and library bags, maybe that will be the push i need to designate a weekly family library night like we used to have when i was a wee one. i look forward to seeing them around!!

liko said...

oh, and i hope you don't mind the store-bought items we gave to ambrose this year...just ran out of time, or should i say, i mis-managed my time. yeah.

a mermaid said...

ha! liko- i have never heard you say such a thing. and amby loved the gift so there.

Melissa said...

I make some and I also have recently decided to do a stockpile of small birthday ish types of gifts that I could give as presents, that I bought for really cheap. Does that make sense? Like if borders for instance is having one of their awesome 75% off sales then I can buy a few of their little toys and books and stuff and give them away as presents throughout the year.

But I perfer to make stuff, it's cheaper and much more thoughtful, but then it takes WAAAAAY more time too, so either way it's a win win for me.

Carrie said...

That's genius! What a sweet gift idea. Even the art supply gift idea is rad... We always end up letting the kids pick out a gift for their friends at walmart and yikes to the person who receives said gift.

I'm inspired.

Meg said...

I totally remember you from women's studies! And to be totally honest, I read your blog too. You've been on my google reader forever but I never comment, sorry! I'm so bad at commenting. One funny thing, we have twinner rugs from dwell studio. After you posted that brown and cream rug I just had to have it, so I searched all of Vegas to find a Target that had one. So thanks for that! I love it.

Such a great idea! I try to do that for babies and weddings to. Stock up on some great generic gift I can pull out if I need to.