Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Handmade for you

Have you ever been given a handmade gift? Something given to you from the very person who crafted it together with you in mind? If not, then I am so sorry to hear that. What a pleasure you have missed. I was a fortunate child as well as my cousins. We were luckier than we knew. Our dear Granny, a crafty thrifty woman, made us many wonderful presents. All very different and all very wonderful. I still have them, most of them, some have gone off in the loss of growing up. These things are so dear to me that I cling on to them as significant pieces of my childhood.

She made: small stuffed chicks and rabbits for Easter, Care Bears, small porcelain baby dolls, Cabbage Patch doll clothing, Barbie doll clothes, doll blankets, and several other things I have long forgotten. That reminds me. I'll need to pull out those Care Bears.

One Easter she made dolls. Perfect beautiful dolls. The Herself the Elf dolls which were very popular at the time were her big project of the year. Do you remember those little dolls? I was fascinated with fairies and fairy like creatures as any typical little girl my age. That awe, that absolute delight of surprise, when I saw those dolls on the mantel waiting for us girls. It was magic. The detail the fantastic detail in every doll was something you just could not believe. knowing that each was made specifically for us, cousins bound together by our common Granny. It just made for a family bond that you could never experience with a Barbie. We all felt it, knew it, yes we were special; we were loved equally by our Granny, and we were family. For me those moments of the big reveal are more clear. My memories are no more important than my sister or cousins' but perhaps the most clear if only for my age at the time. For me that is what I am thankful for. Being old enough and aware enough at the time to have these memories to reminisce.

With that in mind I thought it would be nice to make some presents for my girls. I wanted to come up with some great things for the children. Going back to the old ways of Christmas where giving was a craft tailored for the recipient. As I am trying to get back to the ways of the past where gift giving came from your hands and not so much the big box store down the road I have discovered several minor problems. I have been spending much time at the library searching through books for a good present. What I have discovered is there is very little out there that peaks my interest. So few things. And I'm way behind on the handmade from me ideal in my head. It was halfway into November by the time I had thought of some good ideas. Given the lateness of the season I decided to compromise with myself. Perhaps one, possibly two, small things made by me for the girls. Those big ideas in my head will need to be saved for another day as the limited time I have has to be devoted to real outcomes rather than slim possibilities. I can't see myself being up late every night working on lovely surprises. I am not that girl. The goal is to start small. Work on something simple and make it great. Wish me luck.

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