Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Industry of Elves

Have you ever thought about how hard an elf must work? I bet a lot of the wants of children are last minute. And imagine having to retool the Santa workroom for molded plastics. I bet THAT was a learning curve! I was watching one of the kids stations the other day. The Polar Express was on and I must catch it at least once (usually more) a season. Anyway, the commercials were plentiful and geared to a crowd much younger than myself. Imagine my surprise and total horror when I discovered they had actually made a small plastic dog that poops! It POOPS! What kind of toy is that? You put a peanut looking thing in the front, pump his tail I think and it comes out the back end. Good grief why would anyone waste their hard earned money on something like that? Dolls that wet were bad enough, what is next years toy going to be? Cat with Hairball? Bulimic Barbie? She throws up on cue. I was disgusted to say the least. This is the best toy makers can do? Does Santa's elves waste their time on such..crap?

I've been in elf mode myself although my efforts don't come close to Santa's. What needed to be sewn is sewn, bought is bought and only the wrapping and/or shipping awaits. The fate of a few peoples Christmas will soon lie in the hands of the USPS. Comforting I know. ;)

I played Santa yesterday to all my friends at the Web-sters. While my yarn buying has drastically reduced, it remains one of my favorite places and the staff is always first rate. This years little token was beautiful needle cases in fancy ribbon, satin and wool.

Easy to make once you get by the slippery satin and of course a perfect way to showcase a truly spectacular ribbon.

Since the staff there runs the gamut of knitters, crocheters, weavers and sewists I knew each could use it for a needle or two.

Other gift making can't be shown, but I have put in a few hours getting some already cut patterns made. Both shirts are Sewing Workshop Patterns, one Liberty with it's interesting side seams and the other, Zigzag with the nifty yoke/collar construction.

Since this is the second time around for these two patterns they went together easily, although the Liberty pattern paired with the lightweight wool suiting was a struggle in some ways.

To get this wool in particular to hold a crease for sewing and such, I spent a lot of time with the iron on steam and a press cloth. It made for getting nice miters a bit more time consuming but I am very happy with the results. An iron is a sewers best friend.

Elf Gene has been making progress on the horse shelter, although I wish it were done.

And there he is, working hard on the getting the metal roof on! I'm told while I spent
yesterday afternoon and evening in town, the other side of the roof was almost completed.

He has had a surprising amount of holiday orders and really has looked some days like a little elf himself in a very messy workroom. I'll spare you that picture. For those of you compulsively neat it is of nightmare proportions to even see it. I keep the door closed myself most times.

The horses have donned their beautiful curly coats and I delight in burying my fingers into those lush soft curls.

It has been perfect weather for riding and I have managed to slip in a few short ones during this past week. It's been cold, but oh so refreshing and the horses have all been playful and fun on their outings.

So now it's on to the time of last minute, be it shopping, wrapping or cooking. Holiday music reigns supreme, pine boughs grace our door and our mantle, clove studded oranges await hanging, cider needs mulling, stockings need filling and cheer abounds even if the blog may be a bit neglected. I hope each and everyone of you is savoring the season in some wonderful way.

Parting shots: 2 Chicas and an Amigo

EARWORM ALERT: (Hummed to the tune of the Little Drummer Boy)

Little Beggar Donks ..fa rump a dum dum
I have no gifts for you.. fa rump a dum dum
My finest hay I give ...rump a dum dum, rump a dum dum...


  1. whoa!! You've been busy! I needed a nap after reading that post.

    Love the facial expression of the horse in the "portrait"...sort of a "what are you planning on doing with that camera?" look.

  2. Our tastes in fabric color and pattern are usually quite different, but I LOVE that brown and blue in the first shit shown!!!

    I've been getting in some rides, too; need to get out there today for another one.

  3. Valerie and Hilary, I take at naps when I can. You can stuff a lot into a day when you get up at 3 in the morning, you just have to do it quietly! Valerie, the horse is Dandy and he was eyeing me up to try to decide which pocket might contain the treats...
    Michelle, the fabric is an Amy Butler print. That piece was a heavier brushed cotton canvas but the same pattern in a smaller scale is available in some amazing pinwale corduroy. Be warned though, the background is actually a deep brownish plummy color. It will go with brown but also eggplant.
    How is Russell doing. I should get over to your horse blog ad check it out!

  4. Theresa, you're hilarious. I've never seen Polar Express (is it good?) and don't want to see a dog doll that poops! The needle case though, is a great idea and I love the shirts, especially the first one. Looks like the rest of your animal crowd in doing well. Love the shot of the donkeys.

  5. Amazing sewing. I love the fabrics you're using. You're so talented.

    The horse shelter is looking great too!

    Bailey is one, thanks.....but now I'll have to provide photographic evidence one of these days.


  6. Love the Liberty shirt! May have to get that pattern myself and whip it up!
    Your donkeys look so sweet and so do those sleeping doggies.
    A husband on a roof is a good get to have more time and space for your own projects. Getting up at 3 am is awfully cold, at least when I get up at 4 am to sew, the room can be warmed with a space heater!

  7. Aghast at the plastic pooping dog toy. I love the first shirt fabric and style. Sounds like your place is a regular Santa's workshop in its own right! Cheers.

  8. Leigh, The Polar Express is wonderful. I enjoy it and loved the book it was based on too.
    Sue, it's just practice, practice practice, but I will admit, those Sewing Workshop patterns make it pretty easy to make something nice. I'm looking forward to photo evidence of Master Bailey, maybe with his own set of antlers you think?
    Joannely, The SW Liberty pattern is quite nice and makes a beautiful garment, I have to admit though, I like wearing the Zigzag shirt better, mostly because it lends itself well to pockets! I do love their patterns ( they all seem to have something clever with style or technique) though and have the Whistles & Bells one coming up.
    Renee, I'm hopeful Santa's real workshop is tons cleaner than ours. There are those reindeer though...maybe that's why a lot of my gifts have been pre-haired for me. They must shed as bad as say a small white terrier wouldn't you think???