November 16, 2008

From Hand to Home

With the seasonal buzz about taking the handmade pledge, a lot more people are going the handmade-gift route this year, myself included. Last Christmas I made gift baskets for everyone that contained homemade pancake mix, homemade spicy cocoa, knitted dishcloths, and felted postholders. I love knowing that objects that originate from my hands will add beauty and practicality to the homes and hearts of the recipients.

The current economic disaster has forced people to get creative when it comes to gift giving this year, and I am no exception. Fortunately for me, I am an artist, and am pretty used to making hand-made gifts. In fact, my entire existance beyond food and shelter seems to be about creating things out of raw materials. Whether it's knitting
Matinee Jacket and Cap for my goddaughter

Fuzzy Scarf

...Handmade Books...



Handfelted Ornament
(I gave these to everyone in my office and my husband's office one year)

...or dyeing silk scarves...

I sometimes feel like the MacGyver of crafts. Give me some wire, feathers, and a yard of burlap and I'll make you a hat worthy of Queen Elizabeth. Although my son is too young, I can't wait to make presents with him. I imaging cozy weekends in December collaging papers onto wooden boxes or gluing clothespins together to create ornaments or notepad holders.

When I was a girl, my mom always had our house stocked with art supplies. Growing up with 4 boys who all grew up to be scientists, I was the one who got excited over new packages of crayons, construction paper, and glitter. I remember one Christmas in particular when my mom taught me how to sew simple felt ornaments. I went nuts that year, and from then on we never had any decorating "holes" in our Christmas tree. I got a little obsessed, you could say.

The Parent Bloggers Network wants to know all about your handmade holidays, especially with your kids. Do you make the decorations? Cookies? The gifts? What kinds of things do you make? I'm dying to know too!

This post was written as part of the Parent Bloggers Network's blog blast sponsored by Klutz about handmade holidays--which truly seemed meant for me to participate in! If you're a bit shy when it comes to making things by hand, get yourself some Klutz books. I worked in a shop that sold these and I was amazed by the assortment of craft books they made, and all of them came with the materials to make the craft. If I would have had access to these as a girl, I'd probably still be parked at my parents' kitchen table, learning how to make just one more friendship bracelet design!


  1. Kathleen,

    May I borrow your Christmas gift basket idea? I will need to come up with a alternative to felted potholders as I am a disaster when it comes to felting. The knitted item is great, but when I go to felt it, it always shrinks the wrong way. *sigh*. If I ever master felting, maybe I could give each recipient the items in a felted bowl...yes I dream big. :)

  2. That's so awesome. I'm planning on homemade gifts this Christmas too. And felt ornaments--I LOVE making those! I'll definitely check out Klutz.

  3. What an awesome tradition that will be for you two!

  4. Those scarves are beautiful! Way to make tie-dye non-granola, lady... schmancy!

  5. I am always buying my girls craft supplies. We have 3 LARGE cabinets full of crayons, coloring books, markers, paint, glue, scrapbooking paper, etc. That is just for THEIR art stuff. I have my own stash also.

    I love Klutz. We have quite a few of their books - the fairy book, the shrinky dinks book, the window stickers book, the bottle caps book, the fuzzy velvet book, etc, to name a few. my favorite is the sticker book which is not an art book but IS hysterical. I hve already gone through 2 of these!@

  6. Okay, this is getting ridiculous.
    Do you mean to tell me that you also draw and make books?

    I think I'll just hang my head in shame now...


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