Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Homemade Gift Giving

We have been progressing towards as close as possible to all homemade gifts for gift giving occasions (wow that was an awful sentence!). I know several of my friends have been shooting for this goal as well. We have done fairly well the last couple Christmas's and this year will serve as one of the first years that I am making birthdays very much homemade as well. In the past I would save up and order toys from natural toy companies like Nova and Magic Cabin. This year I found that much of what I wanted was sold out, and after looking at it a bit longer, that I could probably make what I wanted with just a little more effort on my part. I am thinking about Christmas at this point, and working like mad on Pony Gal's birthday stuff. Right now I am knitting a dress she chose the yarn for. That, along with getting her ears pierced (something I don't feel comfortable doing, so we'll just buy that one ;) )are her major gifts. I also found several small projects I really liked in Living Crafts magazine. I hadn't ever seen it until I was reading at SouleMama's blog and saw one of her contests for it. I switched my paper Mothering subscription to digital to save about $20 and put that toward a year of Living Crafts, which focuses on crafts to make for kids, mostly organic/naturally focused. I am also trying to make more of the kids' clothes. Some crazy things have happened lately, and some of the hand me downs we usually get may not be coming. That means I will focus a lot on clothes for gifts, as well. I have found some nice patterns for simple clothing that is made cute by the fabric choices. I, of course, am always on the hunt at garage sales, as well. I think we pick up too much clothing, so I am trying to keep it to one storage bin, and just make a point to watch and make sure there is a good selection. That's another post, though. So, Pony Gal's birthday thus far is the ear piercing, the knitted dress, a crocheted crown, a horse hood and tail belt that I have yet to make, but doesn't look too hard, crocheted reins, and if I have time (the crocheted stuff will all be fairly simple), some knitted fingerless mitts to use while riding her bike. Superboy's birthday isn't until October, with a few friends' birthdays and births in between, so I should be able to get a start on Christmas, soon. I know everyone is getting knitted socks, mittens and hat, but beyond that I am waiting to see. I liked picking up good condition plain tees, either on clearance or at g sales and thrift stores, and painting on them. There were a lot of those last year. I am also thinking of making little notebooks for the kids. They love to write and color, and Papa H left us with a lot of paper. That idea is stolen from Amy at the angry chicken blog. I must say, blogs serve as a huge inspiration. If someone is looking to start going homemade, for just about anything, not just gifts, get yourself a nice collection of blogs. Many post tutorials, many are just inspiration. Once you start, though, it is hard to go back. I love giving things I've made. I may not always get the thrilled expression that kids get when they get a fancy toy, but I love simplicity and necessity, and I can better facilitate that through giving what I've made. I also think those items mean so much more when the person is older looking back, or an adult who understands the time it takes to make an item. There are those who still don't, but I am finding more and more that I am surrounding myself with fewer and fewer of them. Not on purpose, we just don't have that much in common anymore. I will try to update with each individual project as I finish it. The picture above is me working on the dress at my mom's house. Thanks, Num, for stealing the camera and actually catching me doing something:)


  1. footwasher said...

    i have also been thinking in this direction...it's much more fun to think of what the person is receiving...i think you are on the right track, sister. i am hoping to get some skills to follow through with this goal this year and really get ready for next year, BIG TIME! thanks for the encouragement.
    August 2, 2009 10:00 PM

  2. Heather said...

    Yep, I love homemade stuff. Did you see the links on my blog? Lots of ideas for kids if you need any. I need to start making my lists of things to make everyone, but I've lost all crafty motivation for now.
    August 2, 2009 11:20 PM

  3. Abby said...

    My issue is never inspiration, but time. I can think of all sorts of things to make, I just have to allot the time to do it. It is hard with kids and animals and still trying to be a wife. I know once its cooler it will slow down a bit. In the meantime, Liv was born in August, so I have to make time either way.
    August 3, 2009 12:55 PM

  4. Diana Bauman said...

    I wish I knew how to knit. I think homemade gifts are the best!! Including homemade jam, lol!
    August 11, 2009 7:29 AM


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