Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hit or Miss

I'm a huge advocate of the home-made present. Each year I do something, in addition to the baking treats. Some years have gone off better than others.

This tradition began in childhood with those typical kiddie things you made your mom in kindergarten. Most of my early presents back then were pieces of art work or clay sculptures and one time I made ornaments using walnut shells, cotton balls, and teeny wooden figures my mom still has.

A few years ago I made paper stars and moons for ornaments and also sheets of paper I impregnated with violets and ferns I pressed over the summer. The week before that Christmas I was chatting with the bagger at our grocery store when he asked if I was finished with my shopping. I said yes, I just needed to finish making my home made gift, which was paper that year. He was aghast. "Lady!" he exclaimed, 'NObody wants paper!" That still makes me laugh.

This year I made fudge, three varieties of cookies, gingerbread, lemon curd, chocolate and cranberry covered nuts, a photo book of my mom's cats in humorous positions (she wanted it to draw from), a Klimpt-inspired needlepoint pillow, and six suet feeders from instructions found in Bird&Bloom magazine. The one I kept is below:



Taking old pieces of cypress, the suet holders are hammered pieces of flat wear. The suet cakes are held in position by the plastic trays they are sold in. A door hinge nailed on top holds the wire I strung through and looped to hang from a chain or whatever. I took the wood burning kit and burned our initials and a bird on the bottom. I think they came out rather cute. I plan to make more for gifts next year.

Excy's getting better at flying his remote-control helicopter and is almost able to land it on the ceiling fan. Surprisingly enough, the cats don't seem to be scared of it at all...

10 comments:

The Quintessential Magpie said...

From that young man's comments, he obviously knows nothing of the joy of getting a gift someone has made for you. I think your ornaments sound wonderful. And your suet feeder is neat as are the goodies. I wish I had some fudge right about now. Go any left?

All the best of the new year to you...

XO,

Sheila :-)

marciamayo said...

You homemade gifts sound so much better than mine. Is there any way I can get on your list? I would've loved any of what you made, especially the paper.

Arkansas Patti said...

That suet feeder is really clever. I may try that. I made candles one year in college when I had no money. Making gifts is fun to do and I know I enjoy getting them more. Especially those food gifts.

Chris said...

My homemade paper ornament is still my favorite. We gave the family small loaves of bread and champagne with personalized labels this year. They seemed to be a big hit.

Jane said...

I've never been terribly artsy or much of a creator, but baking is one of those things I've always been good at, so I tend to give sweet things as both Christmas and birthday presents. It always makes people happy. :)

This year I made a ton of snickerdoodles, ginger chews (because I have a mental block against crunchy cookies, so I always make my ginger "snaps" chewy), mince pies, and pumpkin cake. The mince pies were fun, that was the first time I'd ever made those.

And now that it's Carnival season, I'll start making king cakes. Being the Louisiana girl that I am. :)

Traci said...

Homemade gifts are the best. One of the things I would like to do more this year is be more crafty and handy. I love greeting cards so I already make those occasionally but I want to do more. So this year I found and gave myself the challenge to make hand make 5 gifts for people on facebook. I decided to make creative shadow boxes for their favorite picture. i don't even know where to start (I guess on the shadowbox).

Traci said...

The bird feeder is really cool, by the way.

ReformingGeek said...

Yummy! Your food gifts sounds wonderful and I love the bird feeder.

I also do a lot of baked goodies for Christmas. As for making something, I think I'm suited for something involving stick figures. ;-)

Mrs. Tuna said...

My family has officialy banned me from crafts, no hot glue guns, nothing.....

wendy said...

Well, since I don't really bake, and definitely don't sew, or do anything crafty....I am a real looser in the "homemade department". but I agree, they make the best gifts!!
Your project looks great.