Our Handmade Christmas - For Our Daughters
On to the New Year

Our Handmade Christmas - For the Dad

Jane and Kate love to draw.  In our house, we go through paper and crayons and markers and pencils at a very fast rate.  And it is just not possible to keep all those masterpieces.  We keep a pile of artwork and edit it down from time to time, keeping the ones that tug at my heart the heart and the ones they absolutely cannot bear to let go.  Some have been embroidered - the tree shirt that Kate made last year being my favorite.  My idea for Fatty's gifts from the girls was to transform something that they drew into a shirt for him.  I was thinking freezer paper stencils like Hannah did for her husband's birthday.  But then we had a change of plan.  Enter the print gocco.

The first time I used the gocco, the girls were mesmerized.  After I had printed about 10 cards, Kate said, "Can I use it, please?"  I looked at her and a light bulb went off over my head.  I said, "Another time" and thought, "Oh yeah - she can make something for Fatty with the gocco."  A week or so later, she was home sick from school and in a matter of 15 minutes, we had the drawing.  Ten minutes later we had the shirt.



Not to be left out, Jane wanted in on the action.



Jane came up with her idea on her own.  That's a bowl of cashews next to the frothy beer, in case you were wondering.  Perfect gifts for the beer-selling (and drinking), bike-riding dad who happens to like t-shirts very much.  He loved them and has worn them both - in public!

Something else that Fatty enjoys is cooking.  He does grill duty on a regular basis and often cooks one-pot meals on Sunday.  So you can probably guess what I made him.....his very own apron.


He had made a comment about how much he liked that blue and green fabric when I was making Finn's elephant.  I already had bought the blue twill for his apron and was going to use a different print, but this one really is perfect.  The straps are a bit long - I need to fix that sometime.  My favorite part was using the print to hold the d-rings up by the neck.  I am pretty sure he was surprised.  I don't think he had any idea what I was making - in fact, if I would bet he thought whatever it was would be knitted.  He really likes it - he's told me so many times.  And I am sure he will wear it.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for Sunday.  I am counting on a nice one pot meal.



oh my gosh. the shirts turned out amazing. i love them. after you told me the girls were doing that for fatty ... i whipped one up for my h-kun. i think it is going to be the gift of 2008. love the print gocco. and that apron. your husband is one lucky guy!


How does the gocco work? The shirts are fabulous!!!


What a beautiful and creative handmade Christmas you have all had!


oooh those t-shirts are great! I'm still laughing about their logos! I think your girls could run their own etsy business!

I love the apron too. Katie jump rope is one of my favs.

Sarah Jackson

Those turned out beautifully! Our fabric ink showed up this week, so we're experimenting with tshirts too. Love the apron - he looks great.


Those t-shirts are just about as perfect as can be! I have got to buy a Gocco!


I'm new to your blog, so I think you've probably explained this, but why do ya'll call him Fatty?

Alicia A.

"see fatty ride"- too good!


Such great gifts - the t-shirts are my favorite.


these are awesome! i love how much every member of your family embraced the handmade gift idea, and each person had such a different, but beautiful, take on it. lovely.


Love the t-shirts. And the apron. Did you use a pattern for that or just wing it?


I am laughing about living the high life on a shirt and the bike. I am sure he was gloating with pride with all that handmade goodness!

Mama Urchin

I so want to screen print t-shirts. Must get on that.


fatty is one blessed man.

such great gifts!


The t-shirts are so perfect! I have loved reading about all the handmade gifts!!


absolutely love! the husband/dad gift is always the hardest, hardest for me. it kills me every single time. you did beyond great, erin! the whole handmade for each other has been amazing to see!


Those girls are so creative and talented. The shirts are awesome! I love my gocco, and am inspired to buy some fabric ink now.



I really really want to come and live at your house. ;)


I have *really* enjoyed your "handmade holidays" posts - what a creative, thoughtful and talented family! Thank you for sharing.

And since I've been wondering for months and months as I read your blog, I've just got to ask - does "fatty" have anything to do with a mispronunciation of "daddy"?


These are so unbelievably wonderful! I am seriously thinking about commissioning your daughters to do some artwork for me. :) And I am really enjoying seeing what you are doing with that Denyse Schmidt Katie Jump Rope fabric. I got a pile of 16 fat quarters of that in the blue and green for Christmas and am really itching to find something to do with it. Thanks!


that's it, i'm calling the lady i buy my gocco supplies from and getting more bulbs. those shirts are awesome. i need to get over wanting to only use the gocco for something i will print again and again.



jennifer at pink ric rac

Man, that gocco business is just great!!! I'd love to own one! Did you get it before of after they stopped making them?


Okay, so about the gocco. I just found out about it the other day (by clicking over on your gocco swap button) and I have a few questions.

1) How many prints can you get out of one screen? Can you re-paint the screen once it runs out of paint?

2) Also does the number of prints you can do change if you are doing fabric or paper?

I'm think of getting one to make my wedding invitations and some party favors. I would love to know what you think!



Cool shirts. I have a gocco arriving this weekend. I can't wait to play with it. I'm glad to know it's easy enough for a kid to use. I hope to have years of fun with mine. Thanks for sharing your handmade Christmas. Love all the gifts you've posted so far.


I'm sure you've heard this before, but Fatty doesn't look very fat to me! Your gifts are fabulous -- love that Denise fabric used with the blue twill.


these gifts are just so wonderful- thank you for sharing them.

by the way, our husbands are similar. my guy brews his own beer, too AND he is obsessed with cycling!


I love the t-shirts - fantastic. But I don't understand something...having seen the photograph of Fatty in his (lovely) arpon looking almost slender...why is he called Fatty? (I'm so pleased his name & physique aren't well-matched though, as I'd been imagining some poor man beached on the sofa being mortally wounded every time he was called Fatty!)x


Oh I can't wait to use our new silk screens (my fiance's christmas present)! These t-shirts are too cool.

And twill! You just turned on a major lightbulb for me. I was planning on making an apron for the afore-mentioned fiance, but for some reason I was stuck on using canvas, and it just didn't sound comfy or nice to sew with. But twill... now that I can get on board with...

Debbie, Pennsylvania

Just started reading your blog. I wanted to share an idea I have for all those wonderful pieces of artwork from our little ones that we cannot throw away. When my son was in pre-school there would be 2-3 pieces of artwork coming home everyday...not to mention every little piece of paper he put a mark on at home. I would hang all his art on a blank wall in his playroom. Here comes my brilliant idea: when the wall was full, I took a photograph of him standing in front of his wall of art. I cleared the wall and kept the can't-live-without art and disposed of the rest. It was painful but knowing that I had a photo made it more bearable. Then we started over again....I've been doing this for the past few years and it is cool how his room has a fresh colorful look every other month. I started a scrapbook with the ones we kept and added the photos. Just wanted to share this idea.

Julie @ Letter9

...aaand... now i want to learn to gocco. great. because i need another hobby. : )


Super duper! Your family is just loaded with talent :) The t-shirts are fabulous, and the apron rocks. As you know, I love the gocco. You can do so much with it, and you have!


so cute! It warms my heart every time my husband comes out in the tee we made him on the inkjet.

erin s

such great ideas you have all come up with. Did Jane come up with "Living the High life"? So cute. Fantastic apron!


these are soo good! as is all the handmade christmas goodness going around at your house. wanna adopt me for december 2008?

Cece Marie

That gocco stuff looks amazing! I'm going to have to check that out. I'd never heard of it. Very cool, thank you!
I've been meaning to make my hubby a apron forever. The one you made for your husband is adorable!


I NEED a shirt that says, "See Fatty Ride"! A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!


I'd love to do something similar but wondered if you could tell me if you used the actual fabric ink or the paper ink. Having tried to clean a paper ink gocco screen recently I'm thinking it may work on fabric. Please tell me if I'm cutting a corner I shouldn't!!!
ps - btw I was actually looking for your twirly skirt post to let you know I've made another as a gift. I know so many little girls so can see there being many more!


Hi Erin
Thanks for the advice you sent me about the paint. It worked a treat! I've managed to create several different gifts for family with just a couple of screens.
Have a great Christmas!!!

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