Friday, December 21, 2012

Crazy Crafty: One More Holiday Craft for a Special Birthday

I love handmade gifts - both given and received.  When contemplating gift options for the "person who has everything," a homemade present is really the only way to ensure that the gift will be unique.  I have been the recipient of some truly spectacular handmade gifts from beautiful paintings to printed t-shirts to one-of-a-kind ceramics.  These are gifts that I truly treasure both for their aesthetic and sentimental value.

Last night we attended the birthday party of our pal, Charles - here is a guy for whom it is impossible to shop (not because he isn't incredibly gracious).  I had a few ideas rolling around in the vast wasteland that is my brain but I was intimidated because my skills can be so easily outclassed.

One dare not bake anything for Charles because he is a gourmand and somehow
manages to elevate the art of mile-high cakes to even new heights!  Here he is with
his (I forgot to take notes on the name) peppermint, mint-chip, junior mint, 5-layer cake!

Obviously a bespoke jacket of woven, brightly-colored, South American fabric would
have been a wardrobe redundancy - so that was out. 

Cookies are clearly out of the question because he, of course, has a friend
who bakes/designs/decorates incredible portrait cookies. 

A pinata seemed ideally wacky tacky and fun, but we were beat to the punch on that one too.

I finally realized that this "King of Kodachrome" needed something related to vintage slides that didn't involve a projector, carousel, or advance button.

A Kodachrome Kabin

The love-child resulting from of the clandestine affair between a shimmering putz house (who could resist her glittering charms?) and a cozy gingerbread house - the kind we made in elementary school out of empty milk cartons and graham crackers - was the best I could do.

I'm not sure if it qualifies as a wacky tacky craft unless tinsel
or glitter is involved, preferably both - obviously. 

I'm sure people who have birthdays close to or, heaven forbid, on Christmas must eventually resign themselves to receiving the dreaded "combo gift" or, at the very least, holiday themed presents for their birthdays; I say that there are certainly worse things in life but I for one am glad I have a little distance between my big day and the big day!

I included a couple of electric tealights that illuminate the slide house from within.
The slides I used were of changing leaves and poinsettias - apropos but not too

Nevertheless, Charles seemed to like his little Kodachrome Kabin set in the winter woods.  I had a lot of fun making it and we had a blast at his birthday bash.  As socially awkward as I am prone to be, I met a lot of amazing, interesting, talented people and I don't think I embarrassed myself too much.

Mary & Charles
Find it in your heart to forgive her for the dress repeat.
There are so few opportunities to wear a Christmas-
themed squaw dress throughout the year, that I
 made her wear it again!

Well, tell me, are you ready for the big day?  Are you making any homemade gifts this year?  If you are on the "nice list" what would be your ideal present under the tree?  Ponder these things as you enjoy the true meaning of the holiday - COOKIES!  It is cookies, right?!  Merry Christmas!!!


Mr. Tiny


  1. OMGosh what an adorable lil Kabin! You are so very talented Mr. Tiny - and your gift to Charles fits right in with those other presents.

    The only thing I'm making this year for Xmas is plans - to have a good time, appreciate friends and family, and reflect on a fabulous past year meeting cool folks like you and Mary.

    Best of the festive holiday season to you both!

    Mod Betty & Retro Roadhusband

    1. Thanks MB! That sounds like an ideal holiday! We are so glad to know you guys and hope that you have a great holiday celebration!

  2. Okay:

    1. You have to officially stop saying that you can't craft. That little cabin is inspired AND inspiring! I love it. Everyone in the world with even a smidgen of taste would want one. You really do come up with some great ideas.

    2. Wow, I've never had the chance to pick out a gift for Charles but I can only imagine the

    3. I'm totally not ready but have stopped stressing over it. The crazy thing is that we have an entire YEAR to prepare but it still leaves some of us behind. So it goes.

    Hope that y'all have an amazing Christmas!

    1. Thanks Eartha!

      1. Self-deprecation is as much a part of me as my floppy ears and crooked nose! I can't help it.
      2. I envy him; he is actually very much tied to nostalgia, ideas, and experiences rather than "things." I think it just doubles the pressure!
      3. Christmas should be stress free. The stress makes me cranky and usually sick. I'm trying to keep it relatively easy-breezy and HEALTHY this year!
      4. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I can't wait to see what you have in store for 2013!

  3. Yes, I agree with Eartha up there, you are coming up with the best crafty kitschy things so stop staying you aren't crafty: you craft and amazingly so! I love what you created for him. Such a fitting gift!

    I'm ready for the big day. We don't exchange gifts with many people these days, so it's not as stressful. It got a lot easier when we stopped exchanging gifts with Mel's sisters and their husbands & kids... that probably knocked our gift-giving down by 2/3. lol No handmade gifts this year so I don't have to feel that extra pressure. I'm off to my mom's to relax, bake cookies and from what I hear, allegedly help her sew my step-dad a shirt.

    Hope your holidays are lovely!

    1. Thanks Tasha! You are too kind. I keep trying to get my family to go gift free. We have too many people and too few dollars to go around! This year we drew names to keep the stress level low. I'm sitting here reviewing my list and I think that all my boxes are checked off - a great place to be. But now I don't know what to with myself for the next few days!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope your holidays are full of fun and family!

  4. What a fun gift idea! It turned out so cute. Great idea!

  5. Sir,

    It was fabulous to meet you and Mary tonight! I hadn't a chance to read this post earlier, and I'm amazed at your crafting talent. I hope that I'll be able to run into you again, somewhere equally kitschy cool as the Mayan Temple!


    1. Madam,

      It was absolutely our great pleasure! I'm so glad that you said something. I've said it before, but it bears repeating, the best part about writing a blog is connecting with cool people - and you are definitely cool!!! Yes indeed, I hope we run into each other again very soon!


      Mr. Tiny

  6. oh goodness i want to be friends with charles! i had to get off his facebook page because for real my heart started beating fast and i am DYING of envy over those flocked christmas trees!
    I think your little house tured out perfectly! what a great idea!

    1. He is a great friend and just what you'd expect! We went to see his holiday slide show a couple of days ago and got the full story behind his flocking frolics. I've always wanted a flocked tree, but I'm not brave enough for tutti frutti! Thanks! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

  7. You are just so crafty! I think your next project should be making a gingerbread house...ready....GO! :)

    1. Mary kept saying that she wanted to make gingerbread houses but she didn't want to use the pre-made kits. I didn't see her in the kitchen whipping up fresh batches of edible architecture though. I think as time is running short, I'll have to save the gingerbread for next year! The planning begins now!

  8. Man... Now I wanna be friends with Charles mostly so I can borrow his jacket and have him put me in touch with the portrait cookie maker. I wanna be a frickin cookie!

    1. If you ever make it out this way, I will arrange a meeting! The cookies look so nice that I couldn't bring myself to eat one.