Homemade gifts are the best....
Every year we put together some kind of "homemade" gift for my big family, which can be a real challenge. One year, Dave was inspired by spices, and we put together a spice collection he smoked, (lemon zested peppercorns) that honestly looked like something out of Crate and Barrel. We put the peppercorns in an antique Champagne Velvet bottle, the smoked sea salt in a little Petron shot glass, the smoked Paprika in vintage spice bottles and gave everyone a Pepper grinder for their specially seasoned pepper. Dave made the little crates they went in and they turned out really nicely.
Last year we were into Depression dishes and at the same time, a huge classroom at ISU was gutted. Dave brought home one of the big old classroom clocks, which I loved so much I begged him to go through the building before they tore it down and bring home as many of the old clocks as he could. He did, and we chose special Depression glass for each family member, and here's how we gave away the classroom clocks:
I looked up quotes about TIME, we printed them out and taped them to the front of the clock. Then we wrote a little paragraph about where they came from, since so many of my family spent time in that classroom at ISu, telling them the history of the clocks. They were a huge hit and several family members sent us pictures so we could see how they hung the clocks in their homes.
This year, it's back to home made and I think I can tell it here because I'm pretty sure my family doesn't even know about my blog. We're having the most fun this time around! The first thing we made was many, many months ago, because it needs time to develop: homemade vanilla extract! We made 15 bottles and put them away to soak. Then we tackled home made kahlua, which really turned out great. I spent all day Sunday making homemade toffee, which we packaged in little half pound white coffee bags, with a little window so you can see the gourmet toffee through it.
We bought baskets to hold our gift this year but I thought each one needed a Christmas touch, so we visited my potter friend Rogier Donker in Fairbanks for clay. I haven't played with clay in over twenty years, but thought it was time to try again. I sculpted 15 Santa heads....broke two and ended up with thirteen, just enough for our list. I have pictured my favorite one above.
So this year's gift should be a hit, can't wait for Christmas!