making things & giving them away

i promised a little bit of a diy for you this week, and i promised a giveaway. i wasn’t sure what i’d be making or giving. mostly i just wanted to make an easy promise that i could keep.

so i pulled out a bag of felted wool i had lying around, and sewed up a little garland. i thought about writing out a set of instructions so you could make one for yourself. but really, i’m guessing you could figure it out on your own:

1.) felt some old wool sweaters.* 2.) cut hearts out. use scissors. 3.) with a needle and thread, sew the hearts to a string or ribbon or piece of yarn. do it all by hand because hand stitches are way, way prettier than machine ones. there you go, now do it.

that just sounds ridiculous.

i have mixed feelings about diy instructions anyway. when it comes to making things, i am more into suggestions than rules. because if you’re making something according to a rigid set of rules, you’re sort of taking your own self out of the equation, and that’s no fun at all. if you take your self out, whatever you’re making won’t have nearly as much soul as it wants to.

are you still looking for directions? ok: check out tamera’s post over at verhext. her case against diy will make you want to push yourself a little. plus, she has good taste and a dreamy blog that you will like.

here’s the part when i give something…

do you want a garland? one of you gets one!

♥ you get to pick if it’s this one, or some other color(s). also, you get to pick if the hearts are hanging horizontally or vertically, depending on how you’d like to use it. all about options! you might get a poem, too, or a chocolate, or both. you might get a real, handwritten letter. i’ll make it a nice little present. it’ll be fun for me, too. ♥


just leave a comment on this post (if you don’t know what to say, you can tell me your favorite present you gave someone) and then on monday i’ll put everyone’s name in a hat and someone gets it. sound good? hope so.


ps * there are tons of good online tutorials about felting old sweaters, and if anyone is super into learning how, let me know, and i’ll write you a post about it. i’ve made a lot of mistakes with felting and am no expert genius on the subject, but i can make suggestions.


18 thoughts on “making things & giving them away

  1. Love the garland — I’d love to win a prezzie from you! My favorite gift? For a few years, as a kid, I’d asked for a microscope kit at Christmas/birthday time. Finally, in 8th grade, I got one for Christmas! Why is this my favorite gift? Because the tag said it was from my dad. When I thanked him for the present, he said something like “What did I get you?” Then it quickly dawned on me — My mom had bought the gift. She put dad’s name on it, because I was such a daddy’s girl and she knew that getting the present I’d wanted for so long, from him, would make it extra special. And her small sacrifice is actually what made it so special … Both my parents have transitioned now, so just remembering this is bittersweet. Thanks for the sweet part!

  2. So cute! I lovvveee the idea of felted garlands, especially for the holidays, and see, I wouldn’t have thought of it!

    Favorite gift: I once made a book for an ex-longdistance-boyfriend with photos and stories about all the places we’d been when he visited me – hand bound, with photos I printed. Back in the day!

  3. Have never done felting before but your garland is so cute, maybe I should give it a try! I probably have a few fave gifts but one I always remember was as a little girl one Christmas, all I wanted was a transistor radio. I got up in the early hours of the morning (after Santa of course) and found my precious radio and opened it and went straight back to bed with it playing under my pillow while I slept. Woke up later in the morning and the batteries were flat and I couldn’t listen to it the rest of the day, lol!!

  4. Emily, I LOVE the blog. How appropriate for loving it that the first post I read is about hearts! Thanks for sharing – I’m a subscriber now!

  5. Morning Em,
    You know how I love to read your blogs, they are so lovingly you, from the heart. I am going to put in on my want to do soon list to come and have tea with you and V. I / we just adopted another dog, Frodo a 6 year old terrier, he is so sweet. I want you and V to meet both Frodo and Marlie. We can have a play day, walk and chat. I love you !

  6. The best gift I ever gave was organizing a bunch of friends to decorate a friends house for the winter holidays. She was traveling a long distance with her children who needed surgery; they’d be gone for a month and wouldn’t be home until 12/24, and then they’d come home to an empty house. It was a rough time for her, to say the least. On 12/23, we got the key from her mom and went in and decorated – we got a tiny, fake tree with battery-operated lights, presents for the kids, and we put a meal in the freezer for them. On the kitchen counter we left a bottle of wine for the grown-ups and a note signed “The Stealth Elf Committee.” Totally my favorite gift to give, ever. I have gotten a lot of wonderful gifts, too many to list, so I’ll just say that the most recent is the gift of time and energy from people who have come to help me clean out and tear down an old barn. It was a dirty, hot, hard job and people have come every day for a week – some of them for many days in a row. That is a beautiful thing.

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