What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Handmades (from the holidays)

It wasn't a completely HANDMADE Christmas this year- but it came very close!  I'd say it was definitely a 90% Handmade Christmas.

Almost everyone got something handmade.  Matt and his two brothers were the only ones who were gypped.  Poor Mattie.  (But since he is a Valentine Baby, there is hope for him yet!)

I really enjoyed the making but I also really enjoyed the challenge of finding what handmade gift would be appreciated by whom. 

Better still, thanks to last years' resolution to work on things through the year- it was the least frazzled handmade Christmas I have had!

This post is long on pictures so I'll try to make it short on words.  (We'll see how THAT goes...)

Homemade peppermint soap, handknit dishrag, homemade vanilla and personalized-etched baking dish.

Totally stole this idea from Magic Cabin.

Probably the gift I was most excited to give- a picture book of syrupping for Gary who threatened that last year was his last year of making syrup.  Who knows if it is true- but I do know he LOVED the book!  And I got it during a buy 1 get 1 free deal, so my children will have one to look at and remember with too!  Score!

Crochet-edged pillowcases and brown sugar scrub

A crocheted hunting hat for my nephew in his first hunting season.

Charicature food plates for the boys of the family.  They can make broccoli beards on themselves!

Some canned goods, homemade soap, handknit dishcloth and my postcards.  ;-)

Homemade vanilla and an Indian Sari table runner (that I DIDN'T make but suited the receiver)

Betsy McCall magnetic dolls.  I made two containers- one for each of my young neices and Adele' grew green with envy so I made her one too for her stocking.  That was A LOT of cutting.  The free printables are here.

Towel set (not made) paired with some Cinnamon Vanilla soap I made for my brother who just got his own house.

Homemade Maple Syrup

Homemade craft kits for the preteen girls of the family.  How to Make Candles and How to Make Body Spray, to be exact.

Jalapeno Jelly basket.  (I had TWO requests for Jalapeno Jelly for presents this year!)

More homemade pillowcases

We have a three present limit for the children at Christmas (besides stockings, of course) which usually includes a BOOK  (surprised?), a handmade present and a purchased present. Here were their handmades...

A first aid kit for Corynn.  It included a real stethescope and thermometer, bandages and plantain salve.

Andrew: A scabbard for his sword.  Papa made this one!

A chicken purse for Adele'---she has been begging for a purse for ages.

The poor hen has been stuck to her side ever since! 

For Judah- a pint size farm.  I was gonna go the train route but saw this idea and HAD to do it.

We kinda like farm stuff around here.
And of course, practically the whole of our neighborhood received apple or pumpkin butters.  
I love giving handmade.  And I am pretty sure everyone appreciated GETTING handmade.

Now....what to give NEXT year.......  ;-)


Bonnie said...

Oh.My.Goodness. that little farm ROCKS! (Uh- CLAYS)
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all the hand made goodness! I have yet to take pictures of mine but now I don't think I'll even bother posting it.
The first aid kit (I'm sure she has, but I'll ask anyway: Has she read about Clara Barton?), the chicken purse-so CUTE! Oh my goodness. Oh My Goodness.
You've pretty much struck me speechless and that ain't no easy thing to do!

And as a recipient of some fantastic postcards-well. Did I ever say thank-you? If not, I am now-THANK-YOU! I think I might frame the tomato one for the kitchen : >
People were blessed by the work of you hands M'Dear, no doubt about it!

Alyssa Spring said...

Oh my gosh...can you please PRETTY please tell me what soap recipes you use? I would love to learn to make soap! Such a great gift...I'm starting this month and am going to try and make Christmas for all the family this year.

...they call me mommy... said...

Just LOVELY, Rebecca. I've been waiting EVER so long for this post you know!!! :) I've been wanting to put up the few items I made...I LOVE the chicken purse!! I made an owl purse for Annie! :D Love the scabbard too! :D All that lovely soap and butters...hmmm...GREAT JOB!! :) I think I just MIGHT be converting to homemade gifts mainly now...you and Bonnie will convert me yet...except not the finishing them on Christmas morning. No es bueno. ;) :P

Jill said...

I love all of the presents you made. What lucky recipients! Did you make up the pattern for the chicken purse? Or could you please share where you found the pattern? Thanks!


Terri said...

Rebecca, they are wonderful gifts! The thing I always love about looking at your gifts is the creative way you package them. Very nice!

Lindsey's Photographs said...

My girls would be in heaven in your house! What delightful gifts!

Stacey said...

These are BEAUTIFUL!! You did an awesome job on everything--gifts, packaging, ideas...all of it!!! I want to be your family member/neighbor/friend just to be so lucky as to receive something so wonderful! :)

Isabel said...

What incredible ideas you had - homemade gifts are always extra special because of the care and time (and love) they take.

Thanks so much for sharing - I'm inspired!

Leah T. said...

You did an amazing job, as usual, with the gifts. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! I think my favorite was the wooden blocks. And the chicken purse is adorable, too. I think I'll *have* to make the magnetic dolls for my girls. We WILL have a mostly handmade Christmas this year! ;)

natalie said...

Amazing!! Every year in the month before Christmas I tell myself that next year I WILL start earlier! Maybe this will be my year? I can hope! :)

I would love to see a how to post with any details on that beautiful block set! Whether you varnished or sealed it with anything, what kind of wood you picked, etc.

ulli said...

I am so impressed! YOU are so talented and clever! Way to go!

Diane said...

These are all wonderful. My favorite is the barn and farm animals. I wish I had somebody young to make it for next Christmas.

Anonymous said...

adele' w/her chicken purse!!! ***OVER THE MOON***

b in va

Terri said...

Rebecca, I've been meaning to ask you. What company do you use to put together the book on maple syrupping? I've been wanting to do something similar for someone. Would you be willing to share the info?

Frieda's Farmhouse said...

Wow!! My mouth literally dropped!! Amazing!! Love all of these wodnerful gifts, & that soap looks good enough to eat! I'm pretty sure you could patent that chicken purse because it is so cute!! Love everything! Way to go!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend & please do stop by the blog when you get a chance....

Leah said...

Rebecca, you're my role model. Sigh.

sandy said...

Hi Rebecca! I'll add to all the compliments! How amazing are those gifts? I keep looking at those pics!:-) what clay did you use for Judah's farm set? And how did you make the barn? Also, been wondering what you did to lost 10 pounds. I've got a heap more than 10 pounds to go! And can't face the idea of a set out diet, especially living in Tanzania, in the middle of nowhere, where you eat what you can find:-)

Rebecca said...

Thank you for all your comment love, everyone! You know how to make a girl feel special! :-)

Now- to answer some questions:

Bonnie~ You MUST show your goodies. I look forward to being jealous of your skills every year! And- You are welcome!

Alyssa Spring~ This is the website (http://www.millersoap.com/) that I found EXTREMELY helpful when I made my first batches of soap. I used her recipe "Tallow Blend" soap under Recipes Using Animal Fats. For the peppermint, I just added peppermint oil (from our homemade toothpaste-making) until it smelled good and added a few drops of plain red food coloring, because that is all I had. For the cinnamon vanilla soap I added a bunch of cinnamon and vanilla fragrance- by looks and smell to achieve what I wanted. I know this isn't the proper way to do fragrances and additions, but I did it anyway and it worked well.

Good luck with the pre-Christmas gift-making. It really is worth it in the end!

Amy~ I hope you do! An OWL purse? LOVE. Maybe that will be a next year present idea for me to steal? ;-) What are friends for, but to steal ideas and such...

PS. Thank you for the little orange envelope in the mail this week! Super kind of you!

Jill~ Unfortunately, I just made up the pattern from an idea out of my head. But the shape is very simple to sketch up quickly. If I can do it- YOU CAN DO IT! :-)

Natalie~ The wood for the blocks is made of mostly Striped Maple. Apparently, says my hubby, it is like a weed tree- doesn't get big and is rarely straight so it is worthless in the woods. (Meaning- we can cut it down!) Another great perk? The bark is really cool looking AND not at all chippy! SCORE! I drew up a quick sketch of what I wanted, hubby cut the pieces and then I sanded the raw edges and then coated them with olive oil. REALLY simple. REALLY free. REALLY impressive! And my boys were REALLY jealous (both of them)!

Terri- I used MyPublisher to print the book because it almost always has a great deal/coupon to use. For the syrupping book, I was able to use a code to Make1Get1Free- so my family got a copy to enjoy ourselves in addition to the one for Grandpa! And the quality was outstanding. AND it was easy to use/work with- which I was worried about.

Sandy- I used sculpey oven bake clay for the farm animals. The wooden box was a simple small wooden jewelry box in the paintable wood crafts of Hobby Lobby. It was $1.00. But they are in all craft stores.

As for the weight- I was trying and trying to lose weight with diet changes and exercise and to NO avail. Then I found this free website called myfitnesspal.com where you log in your eating for the day and it automatically keeps track of your calories and tells you how many you need to eat to lose weight. If you exercise, it lets you know how many calories you've burned too. You can eat what you want but once you hit the limit you have to stop. It has been enlightening, to say the least.

It was ONLY this program that has helped me FINALLY start to lose weight. And I have more than 10 pounds to lose too, btw. I am shooting for 25 MORE pounds.

Best part? It is free. No- the best part is that it works-but the free is a MAJOR perk. ;-)


Did I miss anyones' questions?

esjmommy said...

I was hoping for a tutorial on the chicken purse!!! My daughter would love it! It is adorable!