Friday, December 13, 2013

Make a Holiday Decoration

 My December Sewing Goal (if you don't recall what they are, they're here.) was  to make a holiday decoration. I do this every year, and it's fun to see the different stockings I've made over the years

Stockings from last year

Crazy Quilt style stocking made this week
Elegant Gold Cotton stocking with Gold Braid trim made this week

Blue and White wool felt stocking with giant snowflake sequins and eyelet trim cuff made last weekend when my sewing machine came back from hospital
Cat about to scoop out the ornaments and use them like hockey pucks all over the house
Stockings are fun to make because they are fast, take very little fabric, and make great gifts and decorations.
You can use a pattern (there are many available) or draw your own - it's an easy shape.
I'm making more this weekend, just for fun.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The DIY Imperative

Anne Fadiman wrote an essay  in her lovely book Ex Libris, about how marketing in catalogs and advertising has changed over the years from polite "You can be beautiful using our Arsenic Makeup wafers!", to the imperative. Now everywhere we look, someone is telling us what to do; from our bras to our bosses, it's an endless stream of commands.

Pinterest has taken this to a whole new level. A recent visit has yielded the following DIY Imperatives:

"Make this easy vintage life preserver with things you probably already have around the house!"  Who among us has not had extraneous sailboat paraphernalia scattered about the house and garden'? ( Actually this is kind of clever, but anyone who puts this much effort into a child's first birthday is insane.
Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Wait, you say you have lots of time on your hands? You can: Funk up your denim using a lil’ something you have under your sink…,  or Make a colorful artwork out of paint chips circles. Super easy with lots of possibilities, (is it just me, or does this just look like paint chips on matting board? Yes ,yes it does. Carry on Pinterest DIYers! No hate from Mrs. Hunting Creek. If it makes you happy!)

I think this is the one that made me snap: Get a festive decoration with just an old light bulb and some glitter!
Pinterest again. Don't try this at home.

 This project can be dangerous around both children and adults. Light bulbs are very fragile and can easily break, exposing people and pets to sharp shards of this glass and the elements inside light bulbs. I speak from sad experience - my son accidentally broke a light bulb and sliced his palm open, requiring a trip the the emergency room, stitches and a long mental health recovery period for mom and dad and older sister (who was babysitting at the time). He made a complete recovery. We're all still leery of light bulbs. This crafty tip should have giant warning signs on it. (not just a little mention at the end that it is fragile. It isn't just fragile. It's dangerous.) Plus the glitter can come off on hands, and is horribly painful if it gets in your eyes.
It's a little crazy to glitter up light bulbs when there are perfectly nice, inexpensives sturdy glass and plastic ornaments at Michael's and other places which you can glitter up to your heart's content, if that's your thing.
I've written before how Art can be dangerous.  We can make it less dangerous by not doing dangerous stuff around kids and pets.

And stop bossing me around, Pinterest- you aren't the Boss of me! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New Frontiers in Lingerie

The Press Release says:
researchers at Microsoft are developing a smart bra that will detect the stress levels of women. By detecting stress levels, this bra will help alert women of their increased levels of stress, which leads to helping them prevent `eating their emotions.` 

How sweet of Microsoft to be worried about our ladyfeelings and eating "issues'.

"This app will help `counsel` you to avoid going to the fridge because you`re just bored, extremely stressed or whatever the case may be."

Because your Bra knows what's best for you! It sends you a concerned text message:

Smart Bra: Step away from the Bourbon, Missy. That's for the Christmas Party.Put down the cheese and crackers. NOW!
Missy: But I have Feelings and Stress! Emotions, which while undetectable to human men, are completely measurable by sensors in my bra.!

What Microsoft is missing here: many women do not wear bras while they are in the privacy of their own kitchens, wearing pajamas and eating whatever the hell they want.What business is it of yours, Microsoft?
And why are they collecting data on women's stress eating?

Why not fix the real problem : women have unnatural levels of stress because they are still doing the lionesses' share of childcare and housework, while also holding down full time jobs. How about taking those research dollars and apply them instead  toward getting affordable universal childcare, better schools, flexible working conditions and more equitable wages?
That would reduce some stress.

And while they're at it: A suggestion: Men's boxers and briefs that measure their stress levels and send text messages to them:

Smart Briefs: Hey dude, fold the laundry.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Scary Patterns: Lizard Overlords

New and powerful hallucinogenic drugs very briefly available in the 90s led to the creation of this pattern, which revealed the real appearances of our New Lizard Overlords, (also known as Hedge Fund Managers).
This indiscretion was quickly hushed up. but a rare few clues remain.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Didn't Happen

Remember this lovely pattern?
This was on my schedule to work on over my Thanksgiving break. That did not happen.

See these partially sewn table runner pieces?
 These didn't get completed either.

These Christmas Stockings are still sitting on my work table, unfinished.
Why so much unfinished business?
Because my sewing machine is 'in hospital'. as my English friends say. If you ever want to know how much sewing you do on a weekly basis, just drop off your machine for a tune up, then discover your back up machine also needs a tune up. It's fortunate that there are no longer small, impressionable young children in the house, because there was strong language used. So I was forced to do the following, to fill my formerly industrious hours:

Watch super depressing movies with family. Seriously, do not watch this movie. Not only is it sad, about a topic that is very distressing, but the plot is full of holes and I had lots of questions. I even woke up thinking about it and worried. Just Don't, and your life will be happier.

Do Christmas shopping. Decorate (which means telling Mr.Hunting Creek to decorate, actually. Delegation, people!)
Clean stuff.(Usually this task is last on my list, and sewing fun stuff for ME is on top Desperate times lead to desperate measures.)

It is supposed to be ready tonight. If it isn't, I'm watching Elf tonight, instead. For Detox purposes.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide For Grinches

Grinch Gifts: These are gifts that are clearly in the "Oh, you shouldn't have!" or Please Don't category.

For example, Scott Walker's suggestion that instead of giving gifts to your children for the Holidays, you donate to his campaign instead.  Unless children have changed considerably in the last few years, I'd be willing to bet that not very many children would like getting tax deductible receipts instead of an actual gift in their stockings. Imagine their sad little faces! I know I never liked getting an envelope that instead of cash, was filled with a note saying that they had donated to fill in the blank charity in my name. If you like throwing money around, just give the young person the cash and let them decide if they want to donate it. Or Grinchily donate to a cause that they hate and tell them about it. Mission Accomplished!

How about these Santa Stones?

I cannot improve on this description:
Lead-free pewter pocket stone hand-stamped with "Santa was here" is the perfect addition to your cookie plate on Christmas morning! 
Drop this in a stocking, place it on the tree skirt...sneak it next to the fireplace or front door.
This makes a great keepsake to pass on and adds to the children's excitement!
The stone is Santa's little signature ...a special treat for even
Your stone will come in a red draw string organza bag nestled in shredded ivory paper with a chocolate treat.
Hand crafted here is Washington state! :) 

I was unaware that Santa dropping signed stones about the land was an actual thing.  If true, this shows that Santa is kind of a jerk, yes?

Also in the Grinch Gift Category:
Improvement Gifts. I had a boss who would give self-help books as gifts. I'd open the lovely package and be faced with The Race to Excellence, or the 37 Habits of Outstanding Managers, or Change Your Work To WIN, You Cannot Love Your Work Too Much!  (an early version of Lean In, perhaps?) Worst of all, he would inscribe them. Don't be that person (unless you are a Grinch, in that case, carry on!)
My mother in law gave Mr Hunting Creek a Calligraphy Set, because he is a lefty, and on the actual card wrote that he could use it to "improve his handwriting". He did not appreciate this.
People generally don't appreciate gifts that make them feel imperfect. Best to refrain from the gym membership, Jenny Craig Gift card or or other passive aggressive gestures unless your intent is to spread ill will, as Grinches do.
I'm sure you can think of many Grinch appropriate Gift Opportunities if you put your mind to it. How about a box of chocolates for a diabetic person , or a Don't Blame ME, I voted for Romney T shirt  for a Ron Paul supporter?  
Or, if all else fails, steal all of their gifts, including the roast beast. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Holiday Gift List Round Up

Holy Family Finger Puppet Cards
Little Hunting Creek blog readers are an elite and highly discerning bunch, and therefore deserve an elite and specially curated Holiday Gift List:

The Holy Family Finger Puppet cards. Because nothing says True Meaning of Christmas like finger puppets.
Also in True Meaning of Christmas category:
Blue Octopus Ornament
Because octopuses figured prominently in the original Christmas story, but were edited out in the Middle Ages by anti-sea creature factions in the Church.

Sometimes a nice Hostess Gift is in order- a little something for the home. How about these super tasteful

Because nothing shows Christmas Spirit like Gold Gilded Showgirls.

Las Vegas Cocktail Glasses Gold Gilded with Showgirls

Are you feeling Christmas Spirit yet?
If not, you will after seeing these Winedeer Ornaments!
For your favorite wine connoisseur

These are a triple gift. They show that you appreciate their love of fine wines, that you also care about the environment by giving a gift made of recycled materials, plus reindeer, people! Or are they moose/ Christmooses? Either way, Gift Success!
To further increase your Christmas Spirit, here are the 42 Worst Nativity Sets, shared by my BFF from High School.
I think this one is my favorite, but it is so very difficult to choose:
Cats were totally there in the stable that Christmas night. Whoever heard of a stable without a cat?
 If I had one of these I  would definitely display it with pride. 

What are your favorite Holiday Gift Ideas? Or have you been lucky enough to receive an unusual gift?
Let the Shopping begin!