Sunday, January 04, 2009


first of all, if you're reading, could you be so kind and leave a comment? i hate saying this because if no one comments, then i look lame. i guess this blog is lame. but i do know how many hits i get per week...and it's not too shabby. still, i want to know who exactly you are. so make yourselves known, if you dare. :)

i really enjoyed gift-giving this year. i did something a little different: i tried to generally not buy commercially produced stuff. i tried to make gifts, purchase handmade ones, and re-use when i could. i did fairly well. i certainly don't think there's anything wrong with businesses and retailers but it actually felt kind of good to buy local and/or handmade and/or reused. it was actually refreshing, and i felt like i was snubbing the million lame and stupid commercials. take that, Verizon! hiyah, Target and Walmart and Sears and RadioShack! i can do it all myself and i don't need your help! here are some of the things i bought:

-a french press coffee maker for Dad - from the Mill (made in brazil, but at least i supported a local business...?)
-necklaces, candles, and soap from Ten Thousand Villages - for various people (handmade, fairly traded stuff from various countries)
-professional framing on an photo collage Mom had made 18 years ago (did it myself, using a frame someone had left at our shop)
calendar and book of my photography
-a knitted hat for Justin (i mean, i knitted it myself)
-a DVD set of Bonanza episodes for Johanna (ok, that one might have come from china, come to think of it.)
-a sterling silver guitar pick (handmade by a guy in Canada, found on
handmade purse for Rachel (actually i bought a simple purse at a thrift store and embellished it myself)

i stayed far, far away from "popular gifts" and attractive advertising. and the interesting thing about this was that i didn't set out to do it this way. the noncommercial aspect was just one step in the decision process for each gift i decided on. i was really trying to spend less, too...and doing homemade stuff can definitely cut down on what you're paying for (though it's easy to get carried away!).

so, knitting is fun. i spontaneously decided to both learn to knit hats - and knit a hat - in the week immediately preceding Christmas. it turned out rather well...i'm still going to get a photo of Justin in his hat, but here's the best photo i have. here you can see the fleece lining before it was trimmed up:
it was quite the process. i had to learn to Purl, Cast, SSK, Reduce and Bind. but my hands ended up sore and my shoulders were tense and my eyes were strained. i definitely can't do it for more than ten-minute increments. but it was fun, though imperfect - a few Purls where there should have been Knits, and a few accidental 2 Stitches when there should have been only 1. but it was soft and warm, and it was my first try.

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