Saturday, January 3, 2009

Handmade gifts

Each year we try to do handmade gifts for our family and friends. This year it was especially important to me to give handmade because I have my own store of handmade goods and am part of a wonderful group of handmade artists who also believe in buying handmade. It feels good knowing that I am giving something that I sweat over (not some child factory worker in another country), something that won't have lead or harmful substance in it (I don't want to be around that either), something that is filled with love and thought. This year this was also a bit more difficult though because I have a business and am volunteering in my son's classroom, and was planning for my son's birthday party and had visitors in town but still I managed to find or make most of the major gifts. The remaining fillers came from my store (currently closed for restock)and inventory.

We find farmer's markets and craft shows great for finding handmade gifts and this year the Redmond Saturday Market was great for that. We found the most beautiful ties and scarves from Silk from the Hartz. Check out all the lovely things they do with silk. Gorgeous! We picked out a tie that looked just like copper - perfect for a metallurgical engineer. Stephen's dad is going to love it. (Actually, I think he said he wore it on New Year's Eve.)

Our son got in the handmade present giving too: He made beautiful keychains from clay. First he mixed the clays and created each unique color mix. Then he rolled them out and cut the shapes with cookie cutters. Finally he stamped each person's name in them. It was a great spelling lesson as well as learning about spacing (hard to get Grandmama on a small shape). I baked them and then he hooked the chains to them and wrapped them up. Something special from him. I forgot to photo them before sending them but they were based on this idea. We used polymer clay and alphabet stamps though. He loved the activity and it was something very special made by him.

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