Monday, January 11, 2010

A bit of creativity with stuff on hand

122409 pier mountain snowView from the pier, Christmas Eve 2009

After 9 months of being home and having all the time in the world to do whatever I needed to do, I need to work on my time management skills now that I’m working again – lol! The week and the weekend really got away from me so this will just have to be a quick post and I’ll try to carve out a bit more time next weekend.

With a tiny Christmas budget for 2009, I had to get the ol’ creative juices churning and figure out what kind of gifts that I could create myself that would be (1) pleasing to the giftee, (2) inexpensive to make, and (3) would be something I could do fairly well. (Sewing projects would be out of the question. Yes, I have a sewing machine. In a closet. In a box … that’s never been opened.)

Quite fortunately, I had several different frames on hand that I’d collected for other “one-day-when-I-have-time” projects. Ah ha! [Insert lightbulb icon here.] So each of my brothers got a framed pic of us all together on Dad’s 80th birthday. Dad got a pic, too. I also had a small photo book printed for Dad with family pics, juxtaposing certain pics for effect: a 70s family portrait on the same page as a more recent family pic; Dad walking me up the aisle next to a pic of Dad walking my daughter, Amber, up the aisle. I tried to put some real thought into the pics I selected. I think he really liked it, cuz he kept saying things like “Oh, would you look at that.” and other Dad-like expressions that indicate he likes something. Dad isn’t an effusive type, but his comments assured me he was happy. In fact, he went through it at least three times while we were together. [Insert my smile here.]

I also had a photo book printed for my daughter and son-in-law of our vacation to Mexico in June. It was fun to see them all going through it, laughing at sunburns and remembrances of the fun we had. And one of the frames I so fortunately had on hand had 4 inserts so I put in some of our Mexico pics plus a very cute pic of the girls taken recently .

In addition to frames, I also had two shadowboxes on hand, bought years ago with the intent to make something cool for the girls. Now was the time! Still staying with the Mexico theme, I made a shadowbox for each of them with different colors and stickers, some flowers and shells (some that their mom and I’d collected over the years) and one of my favorite pics from our trip: a rear-view of Jas and Bri in their swimsuits, walking across a footbridge, with their arms around one another, carefree and happy. I was really hoping they’d like them; I wanted to make these nice and memorable for them.

On Christmas morning, I watched Jas’ face closely as she began to open her shadowbox: her smile got bigger and then bigger and then spread like sunshine all over as she opened it. Bam! She looked so darned happy! [Insert my smile here, too.] She loved the picture and she loved how I decorated the boxes. Yay! Bri loved hers, too, but Jas had the biggest reaction.

121909 jas bri sboxesIn yet another very fortunate stroke of good luck, Jas asked for a painting by me for Christmas and it so happened that I had an extra blank canvas already in the closet. Inspired by a painting I’d found on an art site, I painted a light, happy floral for her:

122109 painting for JasWith a mix of creativity, some things on hand and a desire to do something special for those I love, I managed to stay within budget and had a lot of fun making and creating memorable gifts for my family. A very happy Christmas! 


Debra She Who Seeks said...

What beautiful, thoughtful, creative gifts!

Stacy Wills said...

nothing better than giving someone a gift that truly brings them pleasure. well done, rose!

PixieDust said...

I LOVE your painting! Oh, my what a gift! These are the kind of gifts I love, and we make every year a "homemade" Christmas.



C├ęcile said...

I love this Rose! You really captured the spirit of gift-giving. Finding something personal, made by you, not beyond your budget--and that the recipient loved. Your gifts sound wonderful. Happy New Year!! I hope you love your new job.

Cindy said...

Perfect gifts by any measure. But extra nice on account of the thought and love behind them.

Rose - The Center of My Self said...

Thank you for your nice comments! The best part of giving is seeing the recipient's joy ... and I was so happy to know that my family loved these gifts.

Laura Hegfield said...

Such beautiful and thoughtful gifts Rose. I think they are the very best kind. I didn't know you painted! Lovely flowers...make me long for spring! I hope all is going well with the new job. The time management thing is so tricky sometimes, but you will figure it time. (LOL)

gentle steps,

Caroline said...

You painted that!? It's gorgeous! What a wonderful Christmas gift!

dec0r8or said...

YEah, what THEY PAINT?! You never told us that, Rose! You are just so mysterious, aren't you? ;) I love all of your thoughtful, creative, and wonderful! Yay, you!

I hope the new job is treating you well....good vibes coming at ya' from NY!

Lady Prism said...

* Delightful! I am just all smiles while reading this!

* My Christmas was beautiful too, but....( there's that but!) I just feel that children here have become so materialistic, expecting expensive gadgets or branded items. Even the gift of a book is not that appreciated I think. It's really bad and I have expressed my concerns to my husband who also share my viewpoint.

Kat said...

I would have been over the moon happy with a painting by Rose!!