Sunday, December 4, 2011

Subway Art and Christmas Gifts

For my parent's anniversary (in June), I offered to make them a piece of subway art and, after showing them what subway art is, they decided on one showing all the places they've lived.  Of course, did I work on it in the summer when it was nice and warm?  Or on one of those nice fall days?  Nope, I waited until about two weeks before we were going to drive over there for Thanksgiving to get started on it.  But I did get it done and it was on the wall about 5 seconds after I gave it to them:
(I edited their full last name and their current city, but I think you still get the idea.)  I must admit it turned out pretty darn cool even if it was A HUGE PAIN IN THE BOOTY to make.  All of those "oh, it's so easy!" tutorials?  LIES AND DECEPTION.   "Just put on your vinyl stencil [that doesn't stick to canvas], spray paint a base layer so the top coat doesn't bleed under [which it will anyway], then just touch up a few parts [which will somehow just make the mistakes look worse]."  The good news is, unless you are 6 inches away from the canvas, you really can't notice the mistakes.  Since this one, I've tried making two others and they have been a disaster.  So I think I may just stick with vinyl letters (I made sure to stock up during the Silhouette Black Friday sale) and not try to get all fancy-pants-painty, because crafting is supposed to be about having fun, not feeling like a failure, right?

Speaking of not feeling like a failure, I thought I'd share a few gift ideas that would definitely not make you a failure on Christmas morning, because if everyone else on the interwebs can have a gift guide, why can't I?  These are all items that are readily available, but I did link up the amazon page for each one.

For: Anyone, any age (well, not for the wee ones, of course)
Price: $15 per season, $75 for the complete series
Why: "Clear eyes, full hearts, ..., well, we're work on that tomorrow."
For: The relative who surfs in bed
Price: $20 (white or black) to $25 (pink, blue, "vintage wallpaper"), often on sale at Target
Why: Because you can't do anything using a trackpad, slim and light enough to slip in a laptop bag.
If you're feeling generous, throw in a nice wireless mouse.

For: The hard-to-buy-for brother
Price: $20
Why: "That's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head."
For: Your husband, but secretly it's for you!
Price: $10-25
Why:  "You deserve better than the Gap."

For: Anyone who misses the Space Shuttle
Price: $6
Why: They will laugh, they will cry, and then they will share it with everyone they know.  I know this from experience with the last 3 copies we've bought (and that does not include the copy we originally read from the library).  

For: Anyone, but especially parents of young children
Price: $8
Why: Give this to parents as the first present of the day.  It can cut open plastic blister packs without endangering major veins, snip open those evil twist ties that are on children's toys, and has a screwdriver for opening those little battery compartments.  Added bonus: a bottle opener because don't you deserve it after assembling those 27 parts?
Snap Circuits SC-300
For: Science Whizzes age 8+
Price: $40
Why: I bought this for one of my nephews last year since he was enthralled when Mr Corgi showed him how to build a computer from scratch.  I wasn't sure if it would be a hit or not, but this year he asked for the expansion set, so I guess it was!  

Every Thing On It
For: Your favorite child.
Price: $12-20
Why: Two words: Shel.  Silverstein.

For: Moms, Sisters, Girlfriends
Price: Cheap, cheap to seriously?
Why: Support entrepreneurs, give gifts they won't already have, and find some nice stuff for you in the process!  I usually just search around, but to get you started, the above three items I've purchased and love: jersey scarf from Sweet Harvey; frog necklace from My Sweet November; bird necklace from Dreamy Vintage,

Do you have any awesome gift suggestions?  What is on your wishlist this year?


Lindsey said...

HOW can you feel like a failure when you create such out-of-this-world amazing stuff? This piece of subway art looks awesome, and I love how personalized it is. And impressed by how globe-trotting your parents have been!
There are some super-fabulous gift ideas here, thanks!

Emily Leiphart said...

WOW, I'm with Linds. This is just amazing and I LOVE that your parents have lived in so many places on so many continents! Those gifts are cool, especially the Open It. I totally laughed at the thought of those crazily packaged gifts. Ever watch a child watch a parent try to unwrap/strap their toys? I'm totally going to get myself one of those. :P

onecraftymama said...

You aren't kidding about evil twist ties- those things are straight from the devil himself. Jeez.
I totally love your gift guide - my friend asked me what my ultimate gift would be, and I got nothin'. So now I'm thinking about it :)
I love the wall subway art - very cool gift, and I can only imagine the perseverance to keep going with so much frustration. Dammit, you HAD to tell them about it before you made it, right? lol I do that all the time, currently with ornaments for my sister. Not turning out as planned, that's for sure.

Emily (stampingout on SCS) said...

THUD. How amazing is that subway art? Completely. I bet your parents went bonkers when you gave them that. I think you should totally start selling those on Etsy.
You are one super talented chickie poo! :)

Crafty Cre8tions said...

Wow - what a gift to your parents!!! That is awesome! You never cease to amaze me with your creation!!!!!!!

I love your recommendations and of course, your commentary that goes along with it!

I haven't done ONE BIT of xmas shopping. I actually HATE IT!!!!!! DOH!

I enjoyed your post today though!!!

Jen W. said...

That subway art rocks!! And I'm guessing with that leather chair and table in the way no one can get within 6" of it anyway!
Crazy Stupid Love is definitely on my wishlist. Ryan Gosling almost knocks Colin Farrell of the top of my all time hottie list. Almost. But not quite...
And I want an iPad if anyone out there is filling orders from wish lists!

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOSH!!!! What an amazing gift to your parents. It is super cool and lovely and so personal. I love it!

PS... love your list of gift suggestions and I SO love my Open it too!!!!