Our family has always celebrated all things handmade. This is a tradition that my mother started. Growing up, for Christmas I always received a doll with handmade clothes from my mother. Later, as I got older, she made clothes as gifts for me too.
She drew her own patterns and made turtle pillows, Raggedy Ann dolls and clown dolls for her grandchildren in Florida. One of these Raggedy Ann dolls still sits in my sister's kitchen in Orlando in a vintage highchair. Mom made fluffy comforters for all of us one Christmas. Our mom also made ceramic gifts like cookie jars and animals which we cherish now too. When she was 70 years old, my mom started painting and these were shared as gifts. I have two of her paintings hanging in my home today. The snow scene above is her painting of the farm where we lived when I was in grade school.
I live in Florida now, a couple of hours from my sister, Shirley. We continue to have handmade holidays. Our Thanksgiving table each year has a centerpiece of gold, green and brown silk flowers and leaves, one my sister and I made years ago. Our cookies, cakes, pies and the special cranberry relish are all handmade by our family too.
Our family creates wonderful handmade gifts and decorations for Christmas. They all share their talents through scrapbooking, sewing, embroidery, wood carving, art and decorative painting. When I first moved to Florida and joined in the Christmas activities with my sister's family, I decided to give everyone a Christmas tree ornament each your - over 30 each Christmas. For many years I've painted round glass Christmas balls to give as gifts for our family. Each year I designed and painted a different glass ornament. I love seeing my handpainted ornaments with angels, birds, Santas and reindeers on the Christmas tree in my sister's home. Last year for the children, I made little plush teddy bears sitting on a wooden block as their ornament. The grownups got Christmas fortune cookies too, with happy fortunes of course!
I've also given handpainted Christmas gifts like a big rock painted into a turtle and this rock painted into a basket full of puppies.
My brother-in-law, Charles, is a woodcarver and each year gives every adult in our family a beautiful handcarved Victorian Santa. My sister paints each one carefully with lovely colors. Everyone in our family cherishes their Christmas Santas from Charles and Shirley. One year I received a handcarved cowgirl doing a country dance, one year my gift was a carousel horse and one year I received an American Indian bust. Last year Charles also made each of the ladies in our family a beautiful musical jewelry box from maple, cherry or oak wood.
My niece, Susan, is a wonderful seamstress and also does beautiful machine embroidery. One year she gave me a unique denim shirt for Christmas - covered with westie dogs, in honor of my own little westie, Samson. The westies on my shirt are celebrating the Fourth of July and having a picnic!
I can't share with you the gifts I'm making for this Christmas, as my family visits my blog here, but I promise to post photos after Christmas. Hint: dogs and more painted dogs.
I believe that handmade gifts are truly gifts from the heart. Something that someone made just for you is far more special than a purchased gift because it's one of a kind and made with love. Why not share your love in a new way and try making something unique to give away this Christmas!
Wishing you a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving and Holiday Season!
In beautiful country on the west coast, Florida, United States
I'm glad you stopped to visit my blog.
Visit my three shops for my latest art and other creations. Look for MidwestieLady on Etsy and on ArtFire. I also am setting up a new shop on ArtFire called ISeeAnimals featuring animals in art, decor, jewelry and gifts.
I love all things primitive and vintage. I love adding vintage treasures to my original mixed media art. Art was my favorite hobby during my working years and is now my full time career. I opened an Etsy shop, MidwestieLady in August 2009 and an ArtFire studio with the same name in October 2010.
I share my days in sunny Florida with Samson, my Westie. He and his companion JD, my black and white tuxedo cat, were best buddies and my art studio managers over the years.
JD passed over the Rainbow Bridge in 2008 and is truly missed. He lives in our hearts and will still appear in my art.
All written text and photos in this blog are copyright Linda Harbin. Please do not copy any of them without my permission. Thank you!
Melange Team of Mixed Media Artists
I am a proud member of the Melange Team
Melange is team for artists who sell on Etsy. We are a small, but very close knit group of members who share our art, our tips and techniques, products, concerns and all things that have to do with making and promoting our mixed media and graphics art. Visit the Melange Team blog at: http://www.melangeonetsy.blogspot.com/
and stop by the Melange Team shop on Etsy and check out Favorite Sellers to see a list of all of our Melange team members' shops: