Monday, December 21, 2009

A DIY Christmas

Last year's DIY gift exchange was so fun we decided to do it again this year. Everyone felt the need to top themselves from last year, which resulted in a lot of needless stress, but I think everyone ended up with some awesome presents. I drew Christine, and I decided to make her some felted nesting bowls. Basically I made small, medium and large hats and then boiled them on the stove and felted them BY HAND. I don't know anyone with a top loading washing machine that I could use. They turned out pretty good though:

Finished product

It was a really busy week at work and any time off I had I wanted to spend lazing and relaxing. But I had decided to make my own decorations so I was up til 2am on Friday making tissue paper pompoms:

Gah decorations!
Holiday lighting
Alex helped me string them up, then added Christmas lights to them. They came out really pretty and I'm thinking I'll leave them up all year.

More photos from the party can be seen here on Flickr.

While it's a lot of fun to see what everyone has made, I'm afraid it's caused a lot of unnecessary stress. I've yet to decide whether I'll do it again next year because of all the complaints I got...and all people had to do was make a present! I had to plan the menu, spread ingredient-getting over several days, make the decorations, and then Saturday I was in the kitchen from 10am-guest arrival cooking. AND I barely got to eat. I'm not really complaining, I'M JUST SAYING.

The rest of the weekend was busy otherwise. On Friday we watched Broken Embraces at BAM, Pedro Almodovar's latest movie. He was there to introduce it and give a brief explanation of where his head was at when he was writing the movie. He was so normal-looking I wanted to hug him and call him "Abuelito."

Pedro Almodovar at BAM

I liked the movie a lot - classic Almodovar with the vibrant colors and plot twists. And as usual, his zany sense of humor. Highly recommended if you can catch it while it's still in theaters.

Another movie we got to watch was Where the Wild Things Are. I'd heard mixed reviews from all over the place - people wanting it to take them back to the time when they first read the book were sorely disappointed but others enjoyed this version. I have to say I'm with the latter. I actually enjoyed the sense of alienation and loneliness I got from the film. I only wish that it had been a little longer.

To round out the weekend, I headed out into the city on Sunday, the day after the blizzard. I went to Purl to pick up some new yarn for some last minute pre-Xmas presents, including a pair of mittens I wanted to make for my office gift exchange:

Horseshoe cable mittens for office gift exchange

This is knit with Cascade 128 Superwash, which is 100% wool and super soft. I had seen this pattern and wanted to make something similar. My cables go the opposite direction and I kind of winged the thumb gussets and decrease stitches but overall I am happy with the result. If I'd known it was so easy to cable, I would've picked it up a long time ago.

After Purl I went to Brooklyn Flea's Gifted market, where I visited Deb & Michelle. I bought myself some treats, including Rick's Picks Phat Beets and Liddabit Sweets's Slurtles & Ricotta-Honey-Orange Caramels.


For Christmas, we are going up to Queens to spend a quiet evening with friends for a potluck get-together. Sounds just right after all this craziness.

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