Right about now, during the clean up from massive merriment, I'm pretty much ready to put away the Christmas things until next year. But there is one item that I usually keep out and move to my sewing room--Max's stocking.
It is made from a Bucilla kit and it took me quite a bit of time to finish. I absolutely adore it. Once I finally hung it on the mantle, Charlie asked, "are you actually going to let Max touch it?" Hmmmph. Charlie had sat on the couch next to me for countless nights as I toiled away during TV time, so I guess it's not a silly question. But of course Max is allowed to touch it. Carefully. And of course he'll eventually get it. When he's married and has a wife who will take care of it.
I don't put the stocking away for a few reasons. One, it extends the season a bit, not too much, but just enough. Also, I want to back it with something more substantial than the flimsy felt that came with the kit. There is a better chance of this happening if it's out and about (though this strategy has yet to actually work). And last, hopefully seeing it will motivate me to get going on Leo's stocking. He has patiently waited and pretended to like his Target stocking just as much as Max's "fancy" stocking for the last two years. It's pretty pitiful, actually, and he really deserves his own. And of course there's also Will's. And maybe, maybe, one for Charlie and myself. But frankly ours are holding strong in the eventually column.
Have you ever seen a Bucilla kit? My best friend from childhood got me hooked as she had one growing up, made by a crafty aunt. And even then, when most high-school girls aren't too impressed by such things, I coveted it very much. In case you're inclined to give it a go, here is a shot of Leo's kit. It can be pretty daunting when you get this pile of...stuff...unless you know what you're getting into--and I remember searching the web for info about it with no luck a couple of years ago.
I also remember dumping out Max's kit and muttering something not too very Christmas-y. *I know I mentioned I cursed during my recent Christmas quilt-a-thon, too, so I feel the need to point out that I actually hardly ever curse (married a Marine--he does it for me), but there are exceptions.
The stockings I picked were designed for Bucilla by Mary Engelbreit, which surprised me. Because although I do think her stuff is darling, it's usually not quite my style. I'm fickle in that I like country stuff but only in certain ways and in little doses. And it's really more cottage style that I like, think weathered wood, rustic...simple. My mother sometimes tries to pick up things for me thinking I'll like it because it's "country" but I tell her, "no, that's country chicken and I don't like country chicken." Unfortunately no one really understands what I'm trying to distinguish between so I sometimes end up with gifts with miniature feed sacks in them.
Okay, back to little Ms. Mary. Even though I typically don't go for her stuff, I absolutely flipped over the folksy feel of this kit. With most Bucilla stockings, you do a lot of detail with sequins and beads. But with the Engelbreit-designed kits, it's all in the stitching. For instance, the very first bit of embellishment I did was on Santa's boot--two colors of thread twisted to make a candy-cane effect for his laces. And all of the trim on Santa's coat was embroidered...in fact, just about everything is embroidered versus beaded. Here is a close up of Santa's coat and boots...
and the snow-child's cap...
Oh, and let's not forget the cute dimensional work from the design--the snow-child in Santa's arms is a little stuffie you make then tuck into his arms...
Here is what Leo's stocking will (eventually) look like. It's another Mary Engelbreit design--wish me luck!