There's an old saying that goes, "It's not the gift, but the thought that counts." The true beauty of a handmade gift is, it's both. Because a gift that comes from your hands, comes by way of your heart ~ it's a little bit of your love all wrapped up in ribbons.
I am so pleased and honored to be your hostess for The Loveliness of Handmade Gifts. Before we begin, I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to today's Fair! Reading through your varied and valuable ideas, I have to say, your families are truly blessed to have you crafty and generous ladies! And we are blessed to have a peek into your holiday plans, for they are very inspiring!
So fire up your glue guns, everyone ~ Christmas is just 48 days away! Those seven weeks will fly by, but there's still plenty of time to crank out at least a few handmade gifts this year. I urge you to grab a pen and some paper (not to mention a hot cup of tea) before you begin perusing all the lovely links in this post. I know you will come away raring to craft and create!
But that's enough from me, let's get started with our first handmade gift idea, some heavenly soaps from Genevieve ...
"Last year my daughter Annie (then 7) and I experimented with making handmade gifts using melt-and-pour soap! We bough blocks of clear and blocks of white soap from www.sweetcakes.com and lots of different molds, colorings and scents. We checked books out of the library to inspire our designs. We ended up perfecting a guardian angel soap that was a huge hit with our family and friends. Using white soap, we made cherubs with wings, which we then embedded in oval bars of clear soap. We scented them with a soft fragrance and wrapped them in heavenly blue opalescent transparent papers. For the men, we used gold-colored soap and frankincense and myrrh fragrance and eagle molds. All the recipients expressed delight over the beauty and fragrances of their gifts. Hope this inspires some! This year we may try candles!"
Now let's stop by Rebeca's and admire her beautiful handsewn quilts. She has wisely learned that it's all about the found moments and fond memories.
Sarah and her family are also finding time for crafting, continuing a special Christmas tradition by knitting for the world.
Stop by and see Ann's handmade Christmas - family treasures abound, from homemade cards to a gorgeous nativity set, sunny window stars, and a Madonna and Child ornament I can't wait to try!
Over at Tracy's Pinewood Castle, she's pressing summer flowers into service - as glorious pressed flower bookmarks!
Maria shares a sneek peek at the special knitted surprises in store for her family this Christmas. (Shhh, don't tell!)
A basket of homebaked cookies, presented in pretty wax bags ...
Therese's mom tells us about her favorite handmade Christmas gift ~ thread crochet snowflakes:
"I don't have a camera that allows me to scan photos of them, but they make a lovely, relatively easy-to-make gift. The simplest ones take only a few basic stitches, but as your skills advance, they can become very elaborate and even three-dimensional." They sound lovely!
Ooh, and wait till you see the prettiest little potpourri pies made by Cay and her girls! They're delicious and darling!
Mary Ellen's gifts will feed you body and soul ~ check out her beautiful jars filled with herbal goodies and coffee delights!
Jessica's children will have lots of fun making ornaments and the whole family will enjoy treats from the kitchen - all yummy, and all made with love!
Gods-eye ornaments make nice gifts for a pastor or teacher ...
And Beth shares these ideas ...
"Both my sons requested their own oven mitts for Christmas. I have made a few pair in the past, and they want some for all their cooking adventures. My youngest also requested a chef's hat. Of course I love to make lots of handmade items including felt animals, pin cushions, coasters and mostly baby/lap quilts. I've done some mini quilts as well. They can be viewed throughout my blog."
Nori is following in her grandmother's footsteps by working on lots of crafty ideas this Christmas. I can't wait to try out that old fashioned punchneedle hobby!
These hand-sewn ballet bags by Megan are too-too adorable! What lucky little girls!
And speaking of lucky little girls, Cici's daughter will be so blessed by her own little homemade sewing kit!
A plate of lemon snowballs with a stash of lemon tea tucked around.
Amy very kindly left me a comment with her exciting ideas for the season ...
"I'm making terrariums for my friends out of antique mason jars. They will have beautiful miniature red rose plants inside the jars. I will be baking up a storm, giving work/school acquaintances, neighbors and the mailman self-decorated sugar cookies and ginger snaps wrapped in cute little white paper lunchbags (purchased at the Dollar Tree store, of couse!). I am planning on making handmade photo books for the family with pictures from our annual beach trip. I've never done handmade book binding before so this will be an experiment. Oh, and I will be knitting mittens for my friends out of this gorgeous recycled silk yarn I got from eBay for next to nothing. We are also making homemade moonshine for our mutual friends and giving out honey from our hives (we're backyard beekeepers!)."
Jennifer's lovely daughter Marianna models a sheer and shimmery stole - just perfect for a day at sea (or otherwise!).
Stef's post is positively chock-full of handmade gift ideas - delicious foods and handmade rosaries, packaging tips and thoughts on theme baskets, too!
Colleen shares wonderful thoughts on why a handmade Christmas is in order for her family this year. Her plans sound lovely!
Styrofoam + sequins = pretty ornaments for someone's tree ...
Terry has started a blog just for sharing her Posh Baskets and wonderful gift basket ideas (lucky for us!).
Cindy shares a beautiful array of handmade cards - in all kinds of styles! I am thrilled by her wreath instructions, too - I'm hankering to try that very craft!
Michelle got an early start on her handcrafted Christmas, but she still feels she has miles to go ... one thing's for sure, she has lots of family support!
Erin shares the tale of her son's gift to his mother ~ a special surprise, hand-built with love.
Laura has been busy crafting Christmas - with colorful soaps, candy bark, dipped spoons, etc. - but wait till you see the beaded rosary made by her husband!
I love Elena's idea this year to write more handwritten and heartfelt notes. What a beautiful tradition to begin - and at the best time of year!
Easy-peasy no-sew puppet curtains, in prints reflecting the seasons.
And if I may quote from Elena in my own farewell note for the day ...
"Sharing one's self is always the best gift of all!"
So give it some thought ... what hobby comes from your heart? Why not make it a handmade holiday this year?
Thank you so much for joining me today! I hope you all, like me, are positively inspired by all the creative, loving ideas shared here! There are just two days till the weekend, my friends ~ shall we meet at the craft store bright and early Saturday morning? You bring the checklist, I'll bring the coffee!
Have a happy, crafty day! :)