I spent the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas either shopping or making Christmas gifts. The shopping part is pretty easy since I do most of that online. I can’t stand driving through crazy traffic to get to a crazy parking lot so I can fight my way through other crazy shoppers to find out they don’t have the right size of whatever I am trying to buy.
The making part is fun and rewarding but my hands looked like I’ve played thumb war with a honey badger. I don’t get cut as much when I’m breaking glass as when I start grinding and fine shaping it. There’s some lunatic part of me that believes pushing the glass hard against the grinding wheel will make it go quicker. It not only does not go faster, it ends up cutting my finger tips as I try to cram the glass into the grinder. The places that don’t have tiny cuts have small burn blisters from the hot glue gun. Yes, I know there are cool glue guns but they don’t work as well.
There’s something special about giving the work of my hands to those I love. And I love the look when I’ve hit the nail on the head and given something that brings joy. I wish I could say that I’m incredibly creative, but I am a great copy-catter.
Last year, Georgie gave me socks for several holidays over the year. She said that it would have been cool to give socks for each month of the year. It was a great idea and one that I borrowed. Some holidays are right out there, but there were a few that made me use online ordering. You know, I think about those three women all the time, my daughter and two big girl granddaughters, but the sock thing kept them with me all year-long.
I haven’t exhausted all the possible surfaces that I can use for mosaics. This year trivets were the theme. I was kind of animally, too. It was either cats or pigs. I know just enough about stained glass to meld the designs and patterns into my mosaic work.
The littles in my life all got birdhouses, binoculars, bird watching books, and these neat bird seed ornaments that were fun to make and (evidently) tasty for birds. I did not know that binoculars were a prized item for Travis and that he had coveted Sophia’s pair.Recipe for birdseed ornaments (your birds will love you!) 3/4 C. flour
1/2 C. warm water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 TBS corn syrupSprinkle gelatin on the water. Mix together with flour and corn syrup. Add 4 C. of birdseed to the mixture and stir until combinedOnce the ingredients are combined, apply cooking spray to a baking sheet, pressed the birdseed mixture flat on the cookie sheet and cut out designs with a cookie cutter. Carefully remove the cut ornaments and place them on another baking sheet lined with wax paper. Insert cut straw pieces into the ornaments (for the string when hanging) and let them dry in the sun for the afternoon I am a moose in the kitchen, but these take no expertise and are fun for kids to help with.
I am very lucky and have the time and space to make gifts for those I love. I’m also blessed with family and friends who graciously accept the gifts without a sigh because it doesn’t need a battery. (That’s why they have their parents.)