For The Man Who Has Everything

A colleague of mine with a penchant for fancy socks is retiring this year.
To honour him, I was commissioned to create a bouquet of…. socks.

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It was exactly the kind of challenge I love!
I spent a week or so thinking about how to go about it and then I sat down and got started.
I had six pairs of socks, so ended up with twelve “blooms.” Each sock became a single flower. After some trial and error, I ended up using some embroidery thread to gather each sock, using a running stitch along the bottom of the sock and pulling it tight. You can see in the photo where I stitched each one, indicated by the red dotted line.

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Once each sock was gathered, I just wrapped the gathered edge together, using the toe as the centre of each flower. A few stitches secured each one in place and soon I had twelve rosette-style flowers.

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What do to for stems? I decided to use a black button for each flower’s centre, securing it to a paper straw with a dab of hot glue (I stuck the shank of the button into the opening at one end of the straw). Then, I slid the straw through the centre of the rosette; the button stopped it from falling out. A few more stitches of embroidery thread through the paper straw and the sock to hold each flower together and, ta-da! Twelve sock roses!

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Next up, I used garden twine to make a French-tied bouquet and then tied on a jaunty polka-dotted ribbon I’ve been saving in my stash for just such an occasion.

When he is ready to wear the socks, all the recipient has to do is snip the embroidery thread (I was sure to use contrasting colours so that it would be easy to see) and unfurl each sock. The perfect bouquet to extend the length of time between loads of laundry!

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My colleague was delighted with his bouquet, I am happy to report.

First Things First

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This past weekend, M had a birthday. He is one of those people who could happily just let the day go by without acknowledging it at all. I, on the other hand, am one of those people who thinks it is a crime against humanity that we do not all get a day off on our birthdays.
No, seriously– I think birthdays should be A Really Big Deal. Or at least a Marginally Big Deal.

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I got him some prezzies and took him out for dinner. I also made him his favourite cake, with a twist. He loves 1-2-3-4 cake, so I made him 1-2-3-4 chocolate cupcakes. I just added cocoa to the batter until I liked it. I made cardamom cocoa butter cream icing and added a few sprinkles. I free-styled the recipe for the icing. 🙂

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To make things a bit more fun, I used colourful paper straws and cute, polka-dotted birthday candles for the final flourish.

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The result? A success: he polished off a dozen cupcakes in two days flat. {I may or may not have helped. A little.}