Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Memories - making gifts

Patience has never been one of my talents or gifts. I am waiting to hear if a parcel I posted 11 days ago has reached its destination, and as it is a surprise I can't very well email the person I sent it to to ask if there is any sign of it, now can I. Sigh. This has nothing to do with memories at all, though. I know that. I just need to prattle on about things..........

Blogger has some weird cream type popping up about something not being recognised blah blah blah as I am writing. I have no idea what it is talking about at all.

I have started on the Christmas presents. The making thereof. this is something I have done for more years than I can remember. When the children were small, I always got them to make their presents - no matter what they chose to do, it was a special tradition to give the family things they had made - photo frames, calendars, drawings, macaroni jewellery..... where was Pinterest when we needed it back then???!

I started by making biscuits (cookies) and packaging them nicely, and I always made a new tree decoration every year, and that was tied to the packet of biscuits. It was simply a gift from my home to my friends' homes, and it worked wonderfully. Actually, now I come to think about it, when I mentioned that people seemed to sense when I was baking and arrive on the doorstep - OF COURSE they did! They knew I would be making the Christmas biscuits, so were guaranteed some if they called in. Sheesh. It has taken all this time to work that one out.......

And then it sort of grew. Once I started playing about with my scroll saw, it opened up a whole new range of gifts I could make myself, and that, combined with the sewing machine, has been put to good use for years now. I made wooden tags one year, and painted with pictures on them or wrote the first line of Christmas carols. They were great. Angels. Plaques. Reindeer. Stars. Hearts. Trees. Simple things, but great to make.

Other years there were patchwork cushions, fabric tree decorations, bags.  Oh yes, I even invented a Christmas Care Bear back when they were the all time favourite toy in this family. And you know, I LOVE going to visit friends at Christmas time, and I look at their trees, and there they all are - the decorations given over the years. Then there was the year I made aprons for all the men, and bottles of home made marinade for BBQs. This was in Cape Town, so mid summer at Christmas time. BBQ sauce may not go down too well in the depths of winter, perhaps.

A couple of years ago, I made the Recession Heaters, as I called them. Rice filled bags to nuke in the microwave to keep you warm as you snuggled under blankets and turned off the heating to save money. I embroidered their covers, and attached a note with instructions for warming the Recession Heater, which also included the line...." and if all else fails, slit the bag and cook the rice.". They were a huge success. In fact, friends have asked for more at times. They were super easy to make and fun too!

One year, when my friends and I thought the spending was spiralling out of control, we set a very low limit for presents for the children, and I made bags for each child, and then filled them with pencils, crayons, ruler, sharpener etc, and a chocolate. Buying the little things in economy bags and splitting them was super reasonable. And they were all personalised bags, so the kids loved them. So many ideas. Black superhero capes for little boys. Every little boy loves capes. Scarves. Buying simple cream or red fleece blankets from Ikea or hand towels, and embroidering something on them. That makes something really simple into something special.

And right now, there is fabric all over the place, and I Have Lists. I have yet to complete any of them, but they are all in some stage of construction as I speak......


Crystal said...

I am doing even more homemade this year. I think it will be the year of the pillowcase :) I love how they turn out and combined with a jar or two of canning I think they will be perfect. And I think we will make the first batch of poppycock next week when Melinda and Samuel arrive here for a visit.

Do you have a good pattern (or a source for one) for a Christmas tree skirt? Our daughter wants one but I'm not having any luck finding a pattern. I thought you would be a good source to ask :)

Happy Creating!

boysmum2 said...

You are going to be a very busy little beaver, such wonderful ideas flowing from the post. Love the idea of the new age heater and love the comment on cooking the insides if all else fails. My oldest Ben would love that mainly because he would live off rice alone if allowed, think he needs to go and live in China!