Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Are you sick of reading about the holidays yet? I wouldn't blame you if you were, so I should probably give you fair warning that this post is, in fact, about the holidays.

I almost skipped writing about the highlights of our gifts, seeing as 1. it's nearly mid-January, and 2. does anybody really want to read a recap of presents? But as I read through other people's blog posts (like Nicola's), I found myself quite interested in their gifting. What better way to get good ideas for future giving, than from clever, creative friends? With that spirit in mind, here is a peek behind the scenes of our holiday.

The girls have an on-going spy game with their neighbors, and we thought they needed a few more tools for their spy kits. We added magnifying glasses (purchased at Imagine Childhood) for inspecting evidence, as well as a couple of custom stamps that read "top secret" and "suspect." I had the stamps made here, and I cannot say enough about the customer service this shop provided. My custom request went something like this: "can you make me a stamp that says 'suspect' but make it look like old-timey stencil/stamp please?" She knew exactly what I was talking about and, as you can see, the finished product is perfect.

When "A" gets on Craigslist it is never a good thing, and when he comes across a sweet find, well there's no stopping him. This time, there was no reason for me to stop him, as he had his eye on a pair of antique machinist's tool chests. For a couple of toolies like us ("toolies." you know, like foodies?), there was no hesitation. We said "Merry Christmas" to each other and he set out on his mission. He returned with these beautiful boxes filled with tools. I snagged the toolbox pictured above (though I have not "moved" into it yet), and "A" got the one pictured below.

So much time spent in our basement workshops requires a lot of warm winter gear. I knit this hat to keep him warm, and love it so much (it's super simple) there will be three more knitted up soon. (Pattern is from More Last-Minute Kitted Gifts.)

I have a confession to make. I purchased a handful of things for myself this year under the guise of "gifts for the kids." I am not proud, but boy am I happy I got them they got them. This book of iron-ons was one such gift, full of the coolest illustrations, ready to be applied to whatever we want. Let the embellishing begin!

And last but not at all least, these doodle prints from Artsyville. Each one bearing a cheeky little ramble about being yourself, being determined, and being creative. These were also "for the children" (wink wink). 

The gifting has not stopped for us, as a certain little someone turned seven last week, and someone else as a birthday at the end of the month. Onward we march, into 2011, friends. 


  1. Oh, loved reading about your celebrations and creative loving gifts! Soaking up the sense of wonder, celebration and gratitude!

  2. Dearest sweeet amy, i am loving these gorgeous holiday gifts!! That antique machinist's tool chests is gorgeous and that iron-ons book sounds like fun!! Thanks so much for sharing your holiday gifts with us!!

    Oh and that girl at my apron post on my little space is me. :) Thanks so much for your sweet kind words. :) Have a lovely merry happy week sweet friend! Love to you and yours!

  3. I have those Sukie iron ons and just received 2 artsyville doodles in the post! :)

  4. I loved reading about your gifts! That tool chest is the best! I really enjoyed how you created a spy set for your girls. My kids spy too so now I have an awesome idea borrowed from you for birthdays or Christmas.
    The doodble message caught my eye (make time for your art). It's something I am struggling with as of late-quite timely!
    Peace, Angela

  5. These look great. I love the antique tool chest and love the 'toolies' title.
    And the gifts you got for yourself, I mean the kids - are awesome too!

  6. Love those tool chests, they are an amazing find Amy! What thoughtful gifts for the little girls, I'm sure spy games will be even more fun hunting with their magnifying glasses. :-) I love seeing the gift ideas, its definitely inspiration for the following year. I'll definitely be posting more of ours too.

  7. oh man, craigslist SCORE!.

    and those magnifying glasses and stamps, too too cool.

  8. These are some great gifts. I love those tool chests. Just fabulous. I buy myself presents too under the guise of "for the kids" as in " for the kid in me". Happy celebrating to everyone with birthdays.

  9. going bonkers over everything here! my girls would go crazy over the stamps and i'd love those tool chests - makes me want to go antiquing. as for the "cheeky little ramble", i will love you forever for that phrase :)))

  10. Wonderful gifts! I think I've instantly become a machinist's tool chestie (you know, like "toolies"?) :)

  11. Awesome, Amy! I love the personalized goodness! And the hat...you knit, too? Is there anything you don't do?!
    Those boxes...Mike would be drooling...

  12. So much handmade goodness, and wonderful treasures you all found. I just ordered the iron ons, and I now have something fun to iron on all of the baby's onesies. Thank you, it made my day :)

  13. All amzing gifts. I love the tool boxes and the detective kit for the girls. I can only imagine how much fun they have with the game.