Thursday, December 02, 2010

Christmas Giving

I thought I would share with you some more of my homemade Christmas gift projects. These are downpour catnip soap bars. We have catnip growing near our herb garden (well, not now since we have a foot of snow on the ground) and I cultivate and grind it for soap making. A lot of people like to use catnip in tea. It has a calming effect on people but excites cats. The soap has been curing for a couple of weeks and has a couple more to go before they are ready to use. They smell very nice. The round one is a soap ball that I made out of the trimmings. When the soap is freshly cut, it is still very wet and the trimmings "smoosh" together quite easily.

The next picture of soap bars is of peppermint chamomile. These bars have a slightly "scrubby" feel to them, making them great for exfoliating. They have ground chamomile flowers, ground coriander, and ginger in them. Along with the peppermint essential oil, they make for a really fragrant soap. They're curing in our bedroom and the smell really helps keep my sinuses open so I can sleep! They'll be ready to use at the same time as the catnip bars.

The picture below is of the angel sampler that I told you about. I used a country craft magazine that I had purchased about 5 years ago. I made a ton of crafts using it back then and won Homemaker of the Year in our county. I had never made this sampler until now, however. Basically, you just draw a design on fabric using a disappearing pencil. Then, embroider along those lines. I put a dab of blush powder on her cheeks. I then sprayed nonflaking starch on it. It now sits in a book, flattening out some while awaiting a cheap frame. The directions say to sand the frame and make it look rustic. I don't know if I'll do that. I'm afraid I'll mess it up!
Tomorrow I plan to make a whole bunch of cloth napkins. Those are super easy. Just cut some good sized squares out of some fabric and hem all the way around. Make sure you miter the corners or fold them so you don't have raw edges.

Along with the eight hats I've crocheted, the afghan I crocheted, and some knitted dish cloths, I've made a little start on gift making. I am determined to not go into debt over Christmas. We've done that in the past. If I can leave one thought with the modern Proverbs 31 Woman it is this: Christmas gift giving should be a joy. If you can't afford the gifts and then buy them anyway - later to complain and feel miserable about it - then it's a sin. God loves a cheerful giver. He wants your giving to be from the heart - and not just at Christmas, but every day of the year, every day you live. After all, He gave you the perfect gift, His Son.

Can we all give a little more cheerfully, no matter how large or small that gift? In God's eyes, the gifts that seemingly cost us nothing but love are the ones that matter.


Susan said...

My goodness you have been busy! These are such neat gifts! I love the angel sampler. I have always said homemade gifts are always the best!

SunshineofAutumnQuilts said...

You truly are inspiring. I love the idea of homemade soap. One day I will really have to get the supplies and make some. Need to make it a goal for 2011.
I esp like the idea of the one that is helping your sinus'! I really am plagued with headaches this time of year.