it seemed like a really fun thing to do.., something different. I didn't realise how busy a season this was going to be in my life, but I have made a commitment!
Ladies, we are counting down 100 Days until Christmas!
I'm a little bit late in the starting but feel free to click on the link above and check out what the other, more organised, ladies have to offer.. its beautiful! Friday was Day 100, there was a surprise linky party. When I first started writing this on Saturday we were only two days into this countdown. We are now, as of my publishing at Day 95 and you can visit Tricia at Recipe Roundup to see what lovely things were done in between. . Why don't you consider joining in the fun.. there are Christmas recipes, Christmas decor, Christmas craft.. all things Christmas.
You think its too early to start thinking about Christmas? I assure you.. its not. I usually start buying presents around this time to lay up so that it doesn't cost me a lot all at once, plus there are usually sales at this time of year as everyone starts wanting to clear stock for Christmas items.
If you are on a tight budget, like me, you might want to consider making Christmas presents. Some are not all that hard to do if you have the time. Over the years I've put together a few things. Here are just some ideas to give you a little jumpstart.
Baskets with items that have a theme related to a particular person's interests. For e.g, the lady who loves the kitchen could get some new kitchen towels, apron, oven mitts or recipe cards with some of the ingredients for a recipe or two that she complimented you on. Pretty glass jars that you can, if you have the time and some talent, label by painting or writing on in script.
Of course, there is the whole gamut of gifts that you can put in a jar. Check out some great ideas here .
If you have an artist in the family.. even a budding one.. you could get them to paint a pretty picture of something in a theme you know the recipient would like. My own, almost 15 year old daughter, painted me a picture for my birthday this year. Its a beach scene that I absolutely love. I framed it and hung it on the wall.. it may be amateur but it was from her heart.. so precious!
For the younger children, there's macaroni art, shell art.. they can simply glue together a frame for a picture. You can also paint plain clay plant pots and add a packet of seed, some gardener gloves or spade.
A great idea for teachers is to trace your little one's hand on construction paper which you can decorate with the words 'Thank you for helping me to bloom' or something similar. Stick it onto a wooden skewer or chopstick and place in the pot of an inexpensive plant or flower.
If you are handy with a needle (or sewing machine) you can whip up some cloth placemats, napkins or even small throw pillows in a Christmas theme by buying inexpensive plaid or Christmas coloured materials. This tutorial shows how to make placemats with a no-sew method as well. I've sewed up simple squares and stuffed them with batting (I'm not very experienced in the sewing arena yet) and got some pretty acceptable looking throw pillows but you can see a good tutorial here that shows how to add a trim as well.
My daughter has decoupaged unusual looking bottles and filled them with handmade paper flowers to match the colour scheme in a particular room. This can be a nice idea for a family member or close friend. We've used tissue paper, coffee filters and even paper towels which were dyed and even tie-dyed once! Click here for some instructions on how to make some awesome paper flowers. As for decoupage, if you are unfamiliar with it, check this out. You an also decoupage any box or container to make it come alive and fill it with whatever the person you are giving it to might like. An inexpensive glass vase or jar would work just as well.
My daughter recently began braiding friendship bracelets out of embroidery thread. They are beautiful and I've told her they would make great Christmas gifts for her friends. You can see how to do this here. There are so many great ideas on Youtube! My head is spinning, maybe you can figure it out. You an also make these in beads. If you have teenaged daughters they might enjoy making this craft for their friends or cousins.
The gift I give to my neighbours and a few friends is my original Christmas Bread.. the recipe for which I will be sharing as part of the 100 Days to Christmas Countdown. My cousin's wife, who has also been on a restricted budget, gives out homemade dundee cakes which she decorates beautifully. Most people give cookies as gifts, but you can be more original if you find a recipe that is fairly inexpensive to make but original.