Monday, January 3, 2011

Hearts and Hands: Homemade Christmas

So, now that Christmas is over, I am officially able to publicly share some of the gifts I made for my family. I was going to post them on facebook when I first made them, but feared that someone would see them. I tried to go as homemade as possible this year with gifts. Of course, I had to buy a few things here and there, but it was fun to make gifts that were either sentimental, practical, or both! I don't have pictures of everything, but I'll share what I do and just tell you about the rest.

For Mom and Dad: photo/message blocks
I stole this idea from Yummy Mommy, and they came out pretty well for my first shot! I won't recreate the tutorial that Michele created, but I will tell you that I did a few things differently (mostly because I am impatient and impulsive, not because they weren't good ideas). I didn't sand/paint the edges--once they were done I liked the way they looked and I was afraid of doing what I so often do: too much. I decided with this project I would leave less as more. I also decided to paint one side of each of the blocks with chalkboard paint rather than putting letters onto the blocks because I wanted my mom to be able to change the message and the pictures as often as she wants. So, each block has 1 chalkboard, 2 photos, and 3 sides of decorative paper.

P.S. They loved it!

For the "other" men in my life (my brothers, James' brother, and my sister's beau): homemade salsa, a bag of chips, and homemade chip-clips
James took a day off from work and we baked a made salsa all day--it was a blast! I got the recipe out of my Ball canning recipe book, and it was delicious! I picked up really good whole wheat chips at $3 a bag, and threw in some decoupaged clothespins with magnets on the back (I'll have to throw in some pictures of these in a later post when I make more), and voila: a handy, yummy, crafty gift.

For my girls (one sister, a sister-in-law, and a someday sister-in-law): matching earrings with a twist
I had some beautiful turquoise beads that I've wanted to use for a while, and all of my girls are a little earthy, so turquoise makes a beautiful go-to stone. I personally think that turquoise matches everything, but I've been known to make some bad matches in my day. At any rate, each of the three ladies was made a pair of earrings with turquoise, but different accents. Kaitlin received a ring of freshwater pearls hanging from each ear from which dangled a turquoise disc. For Kelly, I repurposed gold leaves from an antique earring, again paired with turquoise. And Meg received earrings that featured a cluster of classic white pearls with the turquoise. I hope that each fit their personalities, and hopefully you will agree when I post pictures!

For my baby cousin: a no-sew fleece blanket
I'm sure you have all seen these. I followed a tutorial, which I can't find anymore, but just google it and choose one--you can't go wrong. Again, did I take a picture before wrapping it up and giving it away, no. But, I'm planning to make another one for baby's big sister for Valentine's Day, so I'll take a picture then (and even add my own tutorial).

For my cousins, I made a donation to Show Hope, an awesome organization founded by one of my favorite musicians, Steven Curtis Chapman and his beautiful wife and family.

James and I filled stockings for each other with little gifts, and we're instead giving the "gift of experience" by sharing a play and nice dinner out together.

Every year I attempt to simplify Christmas, get back to it's true meaning and, in turn, give meaningful and heartfelt gifts. I think this year was a success, and Christmas meant so much more.

1 comment:

jgd said...

Meg and I demolished the salsa in one sitting while sitting in Worcester during the blizzard of late 2010. The chips were perfect for scooping healthy portions of salsa, but there were actually too many of them for the amount that was in the jar. Can I order another jar? I mean, I've got these chips to finish...

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