Today I am going to talk about making gifts instead of buying gifts. I know Christmas is a long way off, but it is not too early for me to begin thinking about gifts if I plan on making them.
First of all, I try to think of things that I can make from "found" items or things we have around the house. Recently I found some old, weathered fence wood in my husband's pile of wood. It has nice knots in it and I pictured a wooden cross carved with the knot hole in the middle. If the wood has a natural hole in it, I thought about inserting a stone in the hole--perhaps turquoise or something I might find at our local bead shop. I marked off several crosses that might be interesting and now I need to get my saw out to make the rough shape. Then I will sand until it is smooth and in the shape I want. I will finish it off by rubbing it with a number of coats of tung oil and using steel wool between each coat of oil. I love working with wood and seeing the lovely grain as it appears with the tung oil.Last year my granddaughters made luminarias out of cans--soup cans, vegetable cans, etc. They removed the labels, filled the empty cans with water and froze them until hard. Then they drew designs on the cans and used nails to puncture the cans to make their designs. I put a candle inside the one they sent me and I keep it on my hearth where it looks very pretty in the winter time.
I am still busy knitting dish cloths or wash cloths. I found some lovely new all-cotton yarn at Hobby Lobby that is very soft--doesn't feel like cotton at all and the colors are lovely. I plan to pick some blackberries/dewberries in the next couple of weeks and make jam or preserves. I figure a pretty basket with a knit dish cloth, a kitchen utensil and a jar or two of jam will make nice gifts for the neighbors.Since I am still oil painting, I have at least two pictures in mind to paint for favorite people who have expressed a wish to have one of my paintings. The picture below is of a water lily and is for an art show in October. I am really a slow painter, so I started early. Soon as I finish this painting, I need to get started on my Christmas pictures. Do you have any favorite things that you can begin making now for Christmas gift-giving?