Handmade gifts of Christmas 2010

This was our bench around 10.30 Christmas morning. Half eaten panettone (our Christmas breakfast tradition), two trifles ready to go and some wilted yet still passable (a bit like me?) hydrangeas.

As usual I had grand plans to make grand gifts for one and all. But it seemed that before I could say “what the fa la la la la” we were a week off Christmas and my plans, as usual, had to be squashed into more manageable portions.

That said, we did manage a few handmade things. The most important ones were the gifts the girls made for each other.

This is a tradition I initiated last year (as part of my wider attempt to force my girls to be BFFs) and while Olive got a break last year (11 months was just a tad too young) this year she was well and truly ready to be initiated into her mother’s world of crazy schemes.

Given Olive is not yet 2, I  thought simple might be best. So we decided we would whip up a little homemade softness in a bottle for her big sis.

Sophia bugs me quite a lot to let her wear little bits of makeup – some lippy here, some eyeshadow there. It makes me really uncomfortable and I usually refuse. witBecause she’s 5 for chrissakes. But I know she has had makeup sessions with a relative who shall remain nameless (although my mum never reads this blog so I don’t know why I’m bothering) and who apparently sees nothing wrong with a 5 year old looking like some kind of macabre, tiny  painted lady.

I rarely wear makeup although the one bit I do wear on a daily basis (other than moisturiser and sunscreen) is a tiny splodge of cover up on three annoying red spots on my face. So I feel I can safely say she doesn’t get her desire to slap a face on from me.

Anyway, the point is, I thought long and hard about whether mixing up some homemade moisturiser was appropriate for her or whether it too constituted something that was just too old for a such a little girl – no matter how much I knew she’d love it.

In the end, I decided it was a relatively harmless way for her little sister to give her something she would think was really special and bit grown up while not really conceding too much ground.

It was a simple mix of mild Sorbolene cream, a few drops of my perfume and a generous dollop of skin-safe glitter. Olive stirred it all up and then decorated a fabric label to go on the jar I had bought to decant the concoction into.

Sophia was so delighted when she opened it. And Olive was genuinely proud of her present which was so very swee-. And, funnily enough, she’s only used it twice in the 2 weeks or so since she’s had it. So as it turns out I needn’t have worried about her moisturising herself until she was too slippery to grab a hold of.

Sophia’s present for Olive, these jingly ribbon thingies, was quick and easy and Olive LOVED it.

I got the idea after seeing the creations in this lovely Etsy shop: DreamChild Studio. I think when I first saw these (over twelve months ago at least) she had some with bells on as well. And the bells do make it a delightful pressie for a little kid. We made a special trip to the shops so Sophia could choose the ribbons and when, after opening it, Olive ran around jingling hers like a maniac, you’ve never seen such a satisfied big sister.

So all in all, two very successful sister gifts this year. Gabrielle over on Design Mom ( I love her blog) has this tradition too. Except she does it with 6 kids. Makes me tired just thinking about it, frankly. If you think you might like to consider this for your family next year – or for birthdays – she has lots of fabulous ideas suitable for kids of varying ages to make. They’re on her  righthand sidebar at the moment – you just need to click the link above then scroll down a little.

I made these paint-stamped onesies for our delicious new nieces who arrived this year.

I also made a few more of these sparkly headbands.

Finally, I made this set of fabric framed in embroidery hoops for my mum and dad. I went with a classic black and white theme after coming up with some  bright sets that I couldn’t be sure my mum would like. We have very different taste.  And since I wanted these to be something she might actually consider hanging, I played it a bit safe.

The fabric in the large hoop is from a very precious metre of an original Florence Broadhurst print. Florence was a wonderfully eccentric and talented designer who was murdered (eek) in the 1970s. Her designs, originally for wallpaper, have enjoyed a revival lately, helped along by the release of the documentary film, Unfolding Florence,  afew years back. I LOVE her designs and will paper my house from top to toe in FloBro when I’m rich and famous.

And I also made some jewellery as teacher’s gifts for Sophia’s kinder teachers but then promptly forgot to photograph it. I do that a lot; promptly forget things. At least I’m prompt in one area of my life.

Did you make anything this Christmas? Apart from an embarrassment of yourself after one too many eggnogs, I mean.

4 thoughts on “Handmade gifts of Christmas 2010

  1. I so loved reading your post! (And all the other ones you wrote lately. I am always reading … just did not get to comment.)
    It sounds like you are a bit like me! 😉
    I always have big plans and ideas … in the end I either have to scale it down ALOT or everything ends up a total fiasco!
    I have learned my share over the years about how less can be more … but still I am always planning too much and wanting more … *sigh*
    Well, guess it would be boring if I could do it all perfectly, right?

    I also made some homemade gifts but did not get to blog about them unti WAY after Christmas. Here you can see a skirt I made for my daughter

    And a stickhorse I made for her

    Oh, I made this Christmastree pillow/ toy for my boy

    The other two gifts I made – a hooded scarf and beanbags – I will blog about in the next couple days.

    Told you I am WAY behind with blogging! 🙂

    Wishing you a great 2011!!!

  2. Hm … my comment must have disappeared …
    Anyway, I completely forgot that I wanted to tell you about little girls. The whole make-up phase apparently happens to all of them. At least that is something I have read. It said that at some point girls tend to like pretty stuff, make-up, princesses, pink … all that stuff. And looking at my daughter I think it must be true. My daughter is also 5 and she is all into pink, princess-dresses and make-up. I do not like pink at all – if it was up to me it would be banned from the house. 😉 So she can not have that from me. Also I am not wearing make up often. Well, almost never. So again, I do not think she got that from me. Same goes for wearing skirts and dresses. Since I have the kids I rarely wear them. And definitely nothing princess-like with ruffles and stuff. 😀
    It also said in the book that one should forbid them that sort of stuff as it is somehow important for them and their developemnt. So I tried to make my piece with pink and all that comes with it. We still have rules though – like on some day I decided (still with her, but I can say no) what she will wear, no nail polish in kindergarten, … that sort of stuff. With the make-up I am actually more worried about the fact that the make-up itself might not be good for her and her skin than about anything else. Luckily she has not asked me for more than using lipstick – only once – and using nail polish. So I guess I can consider myself lucky! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Before and after: the couch « twirling betty

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