In the week before Christmas, I picked up the book Little Birds at our local library. Although the combination of new job and end of school semester put an end to our plans for a completely handmade Christmas, I did still want to make a special little something for each of the kids' Christmas stockings.
Liam is especially enamoured with peacocks right now, and when I saw the little peacock featured in the book, I knew I had to make one. That, naturally, lead to a bluebird for Gwenyth, and an owl for Brian, and finally, a budgie for Katie.
I pulled out my small stash of wool felt, and got busy. There was more handwork involved than I have been used to doing in the recent past, and I very much enjoyed myself. The sewing was a nice accompaniment to sitting with the kids watching different Christmas movies in the days before the holiday, and I continued to stitch away in the evenings after my own little flock had gone to bed.
Traditionally, there is always a little face - a stuffed toy, a doll - peeking out of the top of the stockings on Christmas morning, and I would usually want those to be a surprise. The kids did see me working on these little guys ahead of time, but it didn't seem to take away from their enjoyment of a soft, handmade bird of their own.
This project has definitely inspired me to do more like it. Working with felt was really satisfying, and even more so, these little friends for the kids had exactly the feeling I was hoping for in giving them something handmade. It has definitely encouraged me to plan and work more carefully for next year, so that we can achieve our handmade holiday goals in 2011.