on the twelfth day of Christmas
You never really know, when you start a conversation with “hey so I’ve had an idea”, where exactly that idea will end up. 90% of the time the end result is completely unrecognisable as the original idea. Our Twelve Days project is a bit like that – going from “we should do an advent calendar for our podcast community” to “we’re out of time but should we do a mini swap with just us?”.
It was such a fun way to wind down from the madness of Christmas, we thought we would do it again, and invite a third friend to join us. If you remember the original one last year, we made a one-way, combined, 12 days care package for this friend. It was even more fun this year having two lots of parcels to make, and two gifts to open each day.
The original plan was the same as last year – start on Boxing Day, finish on Twelfth Night. Then my kids caught covid. There were suggestions I could keep my plague laden packages to myself and we push back to January. I used the downtime between nursing duties to keep powering through my makes anyway. Then my kids caught covid again, and this time, gave it to me. For those madly trying to make sense of that timeline, we did indeed have covid twice in a month. Two weeks of covid, two weeks of wellness, then another two weeks of covid, ending iso two days before Christmas.
There was no way I could get my parcels done and posted, and so into the January calendar went our start date. It was worth the wait, because both the giving and receiving were so very fun.
First – what I sent:
In the first round of the plague, all the quarantine jokes gave me the inspiration for the final hole in my to-send list. I would send a sanitiser spray, so that they could spray each days gift and open with confidence I didn’t send any bonus germs. I’d stocked up** at the beginning of the pandemic, and was thankful to see I still had a couple of spares. It was received with the expected giggles. Then, day two and we were into the “real” gifts. The first injury of the project came from a felting needle meeting my finger tip, but it was worth it. Alley loves bonsai, so I felted her a bonsai tree. Car’s 2022 could be summed up as “misadventures in sourcing zucchini”, so she got a felted zucchini. Day three was A6 mini journals, covered in beautiful textures papers and coptic bound. Inside are 16 custom designed pages, ready for monthly mini goal setting, One Little Word documenting, and end of year reflection – look for the download for making your own version of this mini journal later this month! Day four were treaties: magical elves for Car, hundreds and thousands for Alley, to try and convince her of the correct ingredients for fairy bread. I bounced back to the practical for day five, with little floss/yarn catchers. Day six was cotton reel Christmas ornaments, featuring scraps of one of my favourite Christmas fabrics.
By day seven, we were knee deep in excitement and were opening each day with our morning coffee. Which was perfect since that day’s present was a keep cup with the same “I’d rather be in my craft room” decal I had made for another friend. Day eight was a min quilt/mug rug, inspired by my crosses quilt, that supposedly they were both joining me on. Car is still staring at a pile of fabric, Alley is a quarter of the way through her blocks, and me? I’m finished. A mug rug is the perfect way to flaunt my winners status. For day nine I repurposed another old project, to screen print calico totes.
Day ten’s gifts are quite hard to see in the photo, but they are little journal tags, engraved on my cricut**, with a little troll decal I drew for a set of tank tops I made us back in January 2021. Day eleven was polymer clay donuts, and day twelve…day twelve was probably one of the coolest things I’ve made. Trollopoly. A monopoly version, customised with all our shared locations and inside jokes. It probably needs an entire blog post of it’s own, but I used this download from Etsy** as my starting point.
Then, of course, was the amazing gifts I received in return:
Day 1: treaties all round!!
Day 2: a foam clay Christmas tree from Alley, and a card & pouch from Car
Day 3: stuffed donut from Alley, cute little birds journal tag from Car
Day 4: watercolour pencils from Alley (that are amazing and are my go to for journaling now), and a hand carved “CULTIVATE” stamp from Car.
Day 5: rainbow needle book from Car, snips from Alley.
Day 6: sashiko/slow stitches kit from Car, composition book from Alley
Day 7: super cute Harry mini lamp from Alley, hand dyed fabric charms from Car.
Day 8: Can you tell this was supposed to be a Christmas swap? A reindeer from Alley and a knitted mini stocking from Car.
Day 9: A mini painting from Car, and a foam clay kit for Alley to complete our collections.
Day 10: A pack of cute blob ephemera from Car, and Frixion pens from Alley
Day 11: the wrong sprinkles from Alley, and a pen from Car
Day 12: a clay donut from Car, and a delightful, yet horrifically wrong, photo of fairy bread from Alley.
There are so many reasons I love this project. It’s a nice bookend to the craziness that is pre-Christmas. It’s fun to see which jokes throughout the year stick, and which ones land flat – clearly the fairy bread thing is here to stay. I also love it because not only am I working to think of gifts that will delight the recipients, but also what crafts so I have in my back catalogue, so to speak, I could pull out again? There’s the expected cricut crafts and sewing, but there also screen printing, and clay making, needle felting and book binding. It reminds me of the joy of making and dabbling and exploring. It’s inspiration and connection in 12 little parcels.
It’s the perfect way to set the groundwork for another year of wonderful crafty shenanigans ahead, and I am so very thankful for these ladies, and this project.
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