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.

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