Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Not buying much.

Last Christmas, I had hopes to make most of the Christmas presents I gave away. In the end I was able to give a mixture of my own paintings and photography, and books that I purchased. One exception (within my immediate family) was my Dad. Though I am always excited to be giving him a gift, I never have an easy time deciding what it should be. I settled on purple asparagus rootstock. Strange, yes, but also the perfect choice.
This year I would like to make more of the gifts, but art supplies don’t just grow on trees. Thus, as many of the materials as possible are going to be from recycled sources. I probably would have made it a lot easier for myself if I had made this decision before I minimalized my belongings for the move out here, but I think I have located some good sources.
Today is day one of my creating, and I am hopeful that I will be able to make gifts that are both interesting and useful on a regular basis. Last year I gave my sister’s husband, Michael, a shadow animal book and a ladle. One was interesting, and one was useful. (I’m not sure that Michael thought the same.) This year may turn out similarly, but at least I know that these presents will have more of my personal effort involved in them then ever. (Though I did spend some time after Christmas dinner showing Michael the shadow animals I had learned from his new book.)

Last Christmas...

The nine birds I painted for Nathanael

Me and Melissa with our new strainers

I would like to share with you some of the odd and creative gift ideas I have come across through my library and internet research, but given that over half my readers are likely to be my family members, I’m afraid I can’t reveal all of my secrets. However, here are some of the supplies I will be using this year…

Plastic bags and food wrappers—out of our recycling bin and pantry.
Old notebooks—from courses gone by.
Fabric strips—I went to the tailor downtown and asked them to save their fabric scraps for me. I have gotten some pretty neat pieces.
Old clothes—From a thrift store that sells them by the pound
Maybe: Strips of old tires—Nathanael brought them back from Africa.
Nylon cording—From a Nathanael’s tangled Mexican hammock.

If you have come across interesting low-cost homemade gifts send them my way.
If you would like to know more about some of the things I will be making, please email me, I would love to share. Otherwise I may wait until after Christmas to reveal them.

Fabrics from the tailor


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