Handmade Treasures

It looks like 2018 went and did that sneaky thing, sliding from January to November in a few winks. All I can think of is that it must be true that the older you get, the shorter time seems to be.

I still have fresh memories of helping to carry boxes of unsold items to cars, being handed a few items that some of the ladies didn't want to have to store, and finding that my first Christmas Fair was quite enjoyable.

Then, blip! Just like that, the email announcing this year's first meeting for the Fair appeared. I help with the Handmade Treasures booth. This year, I decided to donate the dolls I'd made so far in my quest for THE doll that I would dedicate most of my time to producing. I also crocheted some softies inspired by the ones on the Lalylala photos I'd seen on Pinterest. My hands seem to need to be working on something while the hubby and I watch videos on Netflix or Amazon Prime and it was a good time to get those done.

I'd also been tasked to create a few labels for some of the items that at first glance might not give a clue as to what they're for. For example, Joy knitted Swiffer covers. Even if you use a Swiffer every single day, the covers may not reveal themselves as having anything to do with a Swiffer mop.

Betty had a friend sew up some adult bibs. They didn't sell at all last year. We figured that maybe a little demo would help show that they weren't table runners (because they're kind of rectangular though the ends flair out some). So for this year, I whipped up a paper mache lady wearing one.

Now here's the thing. Whenever I work with paper, I can't seem to get enough of the whole process. I'm constantly amazed by what paper can do. For instance, I have a small table made entirely of cardboard and paper. It used to be my night table but I now use it as a little altar where I have my little statue of our Lady of Medjugorje and a Sleeping St. Joseph.

This is a picture of it that I shared on Instagram (honestly, if it weren't for Instagram, I'd have wasted so much time digging through files and sending via Messenger. For some reason, AirDrop isn't working on this computer!).

After the lady with the bib was done (I think we need a better name for that thing--"bib" isn't very flattering even if it functions as such), I needed another sign to replace the Kitchen and Dining one from last year. I often turn to Pinterest for inspiration and that's where I found Ann Wood and her fabulous cups and ships!

Ann shares the pattern for the cups on her website. There's a PDF you can download and print out then use as a template. I needed something much larger for my sign so I made a larger pattern on Procreate and used the Cricut to cut out the shapes. I used cereal boxes. Ann's original pattern fits on one side of a large cereal box. I used 3 sides for mine.

I ended up making 3 cups. There was also a box in my stash that I thought would make a nice pedestal-like stand if I were to glue it to a base.

The little foam sweetie holding the sign was supposed to be made from scrap canvas fabric but at the time, the thought of having to sew then stuff something didn't appeal to me. Or maybe it was because the fabric scrap I kept seeing in my head needed ironing and I didn't want to do that. Whatever it was, I decided I'd draw something on white craft foam with a black Sharpie. It does have a wire skeleton sandwiched in there--the arms needed to stay bent. The sign was made using the Cricut, of course.

Then I wanted to make just one more sign. Quilts and pillowcases are obvious items but I wanted to add something to the table--nothing big but something to break the sea of fabric. Originally, I thought one of Ann's bigger ships would be really lovely but it was two days before setting-up day so I looked for images of simpler ships. I settled for something with just one sail.

The bunny was an afterthought. The ship needed a passenger. I mean if the image had to do with sailing away to dreamland, surely there had to be someone who needed to get there. Ann's ships and boats had mice and owls. For some reason, I associate bunnies with nurseries. Since all the quilts on the table seemed to be sized for babies, the bunny seemed to be just the right choice.

If it were possible, the ship would have been really lovely hanging from the ceiling. It was a bit small for the space. However, on the last day of the Fair, a mom-to-be took notice and fell in love with it. She wanted to know if it was for sale and if not, how much did I want for it? Kim (that's her name) said that she was in the process of decorating the nursery and thought the ship would fit right in.

When I make things, it's always important to me that they do that--that they fit right in. Somewhere. It might be on a shelf, a mantel, a table, or even just in someone's heart. So, I gave it to Kim. I think the look on her face was enough for me. I hope the little ship and the bunny will bring joy to her baby and anyone who sees it.

And now the Fair is over. On Thursday, we get to find out how it did, how much money was raised, all the nitty gritty that is the Fair's raison d'être. Whether we outdid ourselves this year or not doesn't really hold my interest. Once again, I came out of the experience with more respect for and awe of the ladies, most of them in their senior years, who put in the effort in spite of aching backs and hands. The items are all donations. They don't get their money back for the materials used. There was a lady in her mid-90's who sewed bags and crocheted doilies and such for the Fair. I learned that she passed away early this year. It's a privilege to be working side by side with these ladies.

Meanwhile, have I decided what type of doll I'll be focusing on? Nope. It looks like I'll be continuing to explore even as I continue making them. One thing I'm sure of though is that I will also continue working with paper because I'm still not over that paper mache high!

All images © Monette Pangan 2018, All rights reserved.