Beyond this point, thar be pirates!

If you are my sister, do not, I repeat, DO NOT read beyond this point. Seriously. Stop reading now. No peeking! Because beyond this point, there be pirates. I mean Christmas gifts. And pirates. Really big, strong pirates with wooden peg legs and eye patches (which contrary to popular belief don’t actually cover up missing pirate eyes) and shiny black boots. Well, ok, one boot, since the other leg is a peg leg. So no reading further, oh sister of mine. No being sneaky, no periscope vision, no finding out what I’m making you before it’s fully made. Thank you.

(Is she gone? Are you sure? Okay, good.)

So once again I find myself contemplating the fact that tomorrow is the first day of December. How did that happen?

December first is the day we traditionally decorate the Christmas tree.

December first is the day we get out the little Christmas village with tiny houses that are totally out of scale to the massive fire station, and the handsome firefighter with his cute little dalmation puppy who looms over the little skating couples like some sort of Jolly Green Giant except he’s wearing a firefighter’s suit. And he isn’t green.

December first is the day we start eyeballing gingerbread cookies and deciding if we should try making a gingerbread house from scratch this year or if we will once again buy a kit and avoid the frustration of royal icing that doesn’t set up to the consistency of cement fast enough. Or roof pieces that fall off. Or walls that have decided that they really, really want to be on the kitchen floor in five pieces instead of politely pretending to hold up the roof that won’t stay on.

And December first is the day when I realize just how many gifts I decided to make by hand, count up how many are finished, and proceed to have a complete fit when I realize that at this rate, I’ll finish the last gift sometime around February 22nd if I don’t get a move on.

It is a truly time-honoured tradition, this last minute panic of mine, so in the spirit of Christmas industriousness, I am (of course) not crafting, but blogging about my deplorable behind-ness in crafting and moaning about what is still left to be done. (Not that I moan). But I have checked off quite a few gifts already, though I’m not quite sure how that happened, and just the other night checked off another one that makes me insanely happy. Seriously. I smile every time I see it.

Here’s a peek of it in progress:

Yo ho ho ho Christmas stocking top in progress

Yo ho ho ho stocking top finished

The pirate with his chest of gold

He’s needle felted and appliqued, with a touch of embroidery and beading and sequins for good measure. And here he is, in all his pirate-y goodness, treasure and all:

The finished pirate stocking

Yes, I photographed him on a real bow-topped pirate chest. And it has treasure in it. Real treasure… It’s full of yarn!!

Here are some detail photos of Pirate Santa. I deviated from the pattern a little… okay, a lot… because I always do. (Hmm. For a rule-following sort of woman, I seem to do that a lot.)

The stocking kit (from the Bucilla line by Plaid) comes with a ton of sequins and beads and instructions to stick them everywhere, but I skipped most of that. It also is meant to be completely appliqued but I mostly needle-felted him because I discovered I could, and since needle-felting is a relatively new obsession of mine, I’m still in that obsessed phase where you use it absolutely everywhere you possibly can. Like on Christmas stocking kits. Because you can. And because adding sculptural felt details to what would otherwise be a flat lump of felt with sequins on it is way more fun than just sewing on sequins.

Santa in a pirate hat, holding a cardinal

I just love that little cardinal perched on his hand. And his hat!! With the holly and the berries… I love the hat.

Tiny pirate ship

And the tiny pirate ship? How cute is that?? I tried to needle-felt in a skull and crossbones, but it came out looking sort of blobbish. My sister has a good imagination, though. I’m sure she can imagine it’s a tiny skull and crossbones. Can’t she?

Pirate Santa's treasure

And of course, what pirate is complete without a treasure? Or a starfish? Miss B loves all the french knots on the starfish. She keeps running her fingers over them. K, on the other hand, thinks it is vastly unfair that I took the coolest button out of our big jar of buttons and put it on a stocking for my sister. Even if it does look like it should be solid gold pirate treasure instead of a button and really, really looks like it belongs in Pirate Santa’s treasure, secretly that button wants to be his. He was somewhat mollified when he discovered a second, identical button in the button jar, except now he’s decided he needs his own Pirate Santa for Christmas and that really wasn’t in Mama’s Christmas Crafting Plan at all.

And Nat, since I know you are still reading, would you please remind me to add “Gingerbread house kit” to my grocery list this week? Thanks. Appreciate it. Love, me.

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