Friday, December 21, 2012

Because I'm Crazy

Crayons - Wrapped
I don't know if it's because I've been touched with the spirit of the holidays, or if I am just downright crazy, but a few days ago I got this so-called "brilliant" idea to make each and every single one of the Munchkin's friends from preschool a little gift.  A little something-something for Christmas.  A little token of appreciation of how much their interaction with my son has changed him so much in the 3 short months that he's known them.  It had all started with a little stocking stuffer that I had made the Munchkin last week.  Then I made 3 teacher appreciation gifts.  I had shown them to the Munchkin, all packaged up in a very Pinterest-y way (and in my sleep-deprived state I realize that I've totally forgotten to take photos).  The Munchkin asked if the gifts were for some of his friends.  I replied no, but I could make his friends a little present.  Then he asked if I had a present for his female friend.  No, but I guess I could make something for her to.  Before you know it, without the Munchkin asking, I decided to just make the entire preschool group a little gift.  Yup...all 26 of them.

Crayon - Collage

I know what you're thinking - "are you eff'ing crazy???".  Yeah...at the time, I didn't think so.  I thought it would be a nice gesture.  I mean, these are cutie patootie preschoolers who are getting all excited about Christmas, and I thought a little gift from a fellow friend would make their holidays a little happier.  I mean, who doesn't like an unexpected gift??  I already knew what I was going to make - the exact same stocking stuffer that I had made the Munchkin, a simple (ha!) crayon roll.  It took me about 10 minutes to make the Munchkin's, so this project shouldn't take too long.  Right?

Wrong.  So, so very wrong!  Here I was thinking that it would take me about 2, maybe 3 hours tops to make these rolls.  Yeah, try 3 days of endless sewing and late, late nights.  Holy moly.  What...was...I...thinking??  Seriously, at one point I think I had crawled into a corner in the kitchen and started crying.

But hey, I didn't have to buy anything other than the crayons, and I got to use up some of the fabrics in the stash that I didn't think I would get the chance to use up.  It still amazes me as to why I had so many packages of hair elastics (oh yeah...cause the linen closet was a mess and every time I needed a hair tie, I couldn't find one and therefore would buy yet another package...not realizing I already had like, 4 packages hidden in the house somewhere!).

Crayons - Closeup

The hardest part of this entire project?  Trying to find enough packages of crayons!  Everywhere I went, crayons were sold out!!  Who would've thunk it, right?  I ended up going to 4 different stores in total trying to gather up 28 boxes of at least a 16-count box of crayons.  Oh yeah, did I mention that my insanity also had me make these rolls into a 16-count crayon roll?  It did.  If I was a sane person I would have made it somewhat easier on myself by making these rolls hold a mere 8 crayons.  But no.  I remembered when I was a kid obsessed with drawing that 8 crayons weren't enough.  I was positive that the preschoolers of today would still feel the same way.

I'm nuts I tell you.  Nuts.

Crayons - Rainbow

The most fun part of this project?  Arranging the crayons into a pleasing line up of colour.  I realize that I'm a bit OCD in the fact that I must have everything in rainbow formation.  Please tell me I'm not the only one!

I'm not going to say how I made these, as there are a million and one tutorials out there and a quick Google-fu will get you some of the top tutorials in blogland.  I didn't follow a specific tutorial either.  At a glance you can pretty much tell what and how many pieces of fabric you need and the sequence of construction looks like a no-brainer too.  I did, however, look up a bunch of tutes just to see what the consensus was on the dimensions of the standard roll.  Although, while inserting what felt like a gazillion crayons into those slots, I thought I could have made the pocket piece a little on the shorter side.  For some reason a part of me was paranoid about crayons falling out of the pockets, but now I'm thinking little ones might have an issue with nubby crayons being stuck in a slot.  Oh well, nothing I can do about it now.  

I'll also admit that the first 5 rolls or so are probably the most shoddiest sewing jobs I have ever done.  Brett tried to convince me that a bunch of 4 year olds weren't going to notice and that he highly doubted that the parents were going to scrutinize and compare rolls with the other parents.  Bless his heart.
  
Crayons - Faves

I also decided to go the button and hair elastic route for the closure.  As pretty as the ribbons may be, I had visions of kidlets yanking and tugging on the ribbon in a weird way and causing a knot to eventually form...and then a parent trying to un-knot the ribbon while cursing my name loudly in their heads as their wee one either complains away or loses interest in the craft at hand.  Also, I don't know about you, but I don't know too many preschoolers that know how to tie up their shoelaces, let alone would be able to know to wrap the ribbons around the roll and tie it up.  I know my Munchkin is all about being independent and doing things for himself (when he feels like it, that is), and pulling a thick elastic over a button would be much easier for him to do.  Brett had asked about the safety of a button, but I assured him a 4 year old would know better by now not to put such things in their mouths.  At least, back when I used to work as a children's tech designer I learned that 4 was the cut off year to not have to worry about choking hazards.

Crayons - Rolls

Oh, and did I mention that yesterday I discovered that there was a new kid in the class?  When I went to pick up the Munchkin I met the mother of the new kid, who was stressed out to the max cause it was his first week.  Lucky for me, I was smart enough to sew an extra roll.  Cause you never know.  And wow, am I glad I did!  Could that adage be any more true?  I never want anyone to feel left out, especially a little one, so for once my over preparation worked out and that new kid also got a crayon roll present.  Phew!  Luck truly does favour the prepared!

Crayons - Assembly Line

As I sat at my kitchen table at 3am this morning, arranging crayons, filling up pockets, sewing on buttons, and trying to wrap up each roll all assembly line style, I realized something: so many parents are going to think I have all the time in world to make these rolls, not knowing that I sacrificed precious sleep.  Is any one going to appreciate these rolls?  Will anyone value the fact that these little gifts weren't store bought?  Then at 4am (yup...4...freakin...AM) I realized, I didn't care.  All I cared about was that hopefully there will be 27 little kids happy and excited to receive a little gift to start out their winter holidays.  That these 27 kidlets will have a chance during their time off from school to do a little drawing and colouring.  That parents of 27 kids will maybe and hopefully get at least 5 minutes of peace and quiet as their child sets to work on a masterpiece.  That 27 little kids will have a smile on their faces.

And you know what?  Those sleepless nights and all that hard work - all worth it for those little faces that lit up at the sight of their gift and the little smiles that followed.



13 comments:

  1. You are one superwoman and every child is going to love their crayon roll! Bravo!!!! I hope you can indulge in some well-deserved selfish crafting time over the holidays. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thanks Preeti! :) After the holidays I'm definitely going to take it easy on the crafting front for a bit and will most likely delve into some selfish crafting!! I hope you have a Merry Christmas too!

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  2. Totally wish T was in Munchkin's preschool class :)
    Love the hair elastic idea too.

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  3. you are amazing!!! seriously!!! xoxoxo

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  4. you are a total sweetheart my friend! they look fantastic btw! I just bought Zachary his first set of toddler crayons for Christmas (shhh, don't tell him!)

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    1. Aw, thanks Nat! ♥ I can't wait to see Z's works of art!!

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  5. Mel, you are such a sweet heart (like your friend said!)....What a fantastic gift. So awesome to see what you get up to. You're one talented lady which I've known since I met you at Kwantlen... Hope the kids loved their gifts - have a wonderful Christmas hun. xx

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    1. Sadler!! Wow, long time my friend!!! Thank you so much for the wonderful compliment! ♥ I love seeing what you've been up to on FB and hope that you're having a fantastic Christmas as well my dear!! xo

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  6. You've just created the most amazing memories for your munchkin & all his friends! Merry Christmas!!

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    1. Hi Evelyn!! I really hope so, that was the main goal. :) I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and holidays as well!! :)

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  7. You are the best! If I was a toddler, I would have been overjoyed!!!!! Not only was a surprise to get a gift, but such a thoughtful well put together gift! And so colourful!!!!!! I wish I was four again just for a minute, so I could get something as sweet as that! You deserve a break!

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