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Baby Gift Idea: Hand-Dyed & Embroidered Swaddle Blanket

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This is something I should have written about years ago, but I wasn’t writing the blog yet when I got this gift so I’ll use that as my lame excuse as to why I am just now getting to it!

When Audrey was born I received a very special package in the mail from one of my good college friends, Brandy. She is so very talented and can do any craft she puts her mind too. At one time she had opened a shop on Etsy but life with 3 girls, work, and school took precedence. Such a shame too because her knitted items are beautiful. Anyway, I was so thrilled when I opened the box to reveal two beautiful hand made blankets. They are probably sewn from a muslin cotton that she hand-dyed (the bottom right photo above shows the beautiful color variations in the cloth). One is purple and the other is pink. On the corner of the pink one is the most precious little bird that has been hand embroidered. It was done with variegated floss so that the image has a subtle variation in its colors. Audrey’s room had a sort of garden/bird theme to it when she was born so it was just perfect. She was also born in March in Texas which means HOT months were ahead so these light weight swaddle type blankets were awesome. I loved that she had made them just for my little girl.

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The blankets alone were so thoughtful that they were a perfect gift unto themselves.

But just for fun I thought I’d pair it with some other items to show other gift ideas as well. Handmade gifts are always extra special and are the ones that become family heirlooms, but if you aren’t the crafty type that doesn’t mean you can’t give handmade. This little bunny below is from the etsy shop, Yarnigans.   I just love her hand knitted items. One day when I learn to knit; maybe once the kids are grown and I have more time, I would love to buy her patterns for making these adorable animals.  This little mermaid is just so perfectbaby-gift-1
But I digress, I found a little basket which of course could be used by the recipient afterwards for holding toys, diapers, etc. I rolled up the two blankets and tied a ribbon around them making sure that the pretty bird was showing. I added a few board books because who doesn’t love a good book? And last placed the bunny on top. You could put a pretty bow on the basket and give it as is.

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And if you wanted extra credit you could give some personalized art for the new little one. How about a print like this to add to the mix since it matches the bunny? You could even have a bunny embroidered on the blanket if you wanted them all to match.
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And of course you could customize these things to match any nursery. I have lots of animals to choose from in my shop. If you don’t see an animal available that you’d love to have then let’s talk. I’d love to be able to help you!

Have you hand-dyed a blanket before?  Have you ever ventured into doing embroidery?  You can do a lot with knowing just one or two different stitches.  With the tutorials online it is so easy to learn.

Attack of the Killer Bunny Ornaments

Well, maybe they aren’t quite so heinous.  But there are a lot of them.  Think tribbles from Star Trek.

But you don’t know what a relief it is to get the majority of the work done on them way before Christmas time.  I made the bodies and the tails.  Now all I have to do is wait for people to tell me what they want on them (usually Baby’s First Christmas 2011, except the baby’s name on it) and then I can put them together.

I wish you could reach through the screen and touch those fluffy tails.  They are so soft and light.  It’s like holding little clouds.

Also, one thing I have to admit is that even though I made a ton of these last Christmas, I never got the chance to make one for my own daughter!  Isn’t that the way it usually seems to go though!  So, this year I will make an “Audrey’s First Christmas 2010” and she’ll be none the wiser.

The Bird is the Word

Hope you all had a good weekend.  Things are just starting to get back to normal here.  We enjoyed some family time together since Ken was gone for the last two weeks on a trip with the youth from our church.  It is so good to have him back.  I was pretty much in survival mode with taking care of the kids, working on getting my orders made, and having to grieve for my one of my best friends all happening at the same time.  Thankfully though I was able to spend some of that time at my parents’ house.

One of the orders I had was to make a pink flamingo.  I was on the search for some plain pink socks, which are surprisingly hard to find.  After showing the customer the options, we decided to make it a polka-dotted bird with plain pink legs to break things up a bit.

I wasn’t sure how the neck would work since it is so long but it is pretty stiff and holds up well.  I tried the legs with stuffing in them first but liked the floppier look better.

After the flamingo I made two totally fun unicorns for one of my blogging heroes.  She was pregnant the same time as me when I first found her and I always look forward to her posts to get a good laugh.  I watch in awe as she raises two darling little twin girls and works full time at home as a graphic designer.

I also just found some fun neon green and neon pink socks to make some happy octopi.  Also some gray socks with neon hearts on them.  They are all so 80’s looking and should turn out pretty cool.

Before I go,  my three year old taught me something new this evening.  He said, “Mommy, no in Spanish is ‘no way Jose’.”  I asked him who told him that and he said his cousin…he doesn’t have any cousins.