Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Giving up the goods

Alrighty, then. It's time to share some of what we created before the holidays, now that it's no longer "top secret." There really were some good reasons for why I was so tired the other day. Even though I did simplify, there were still gifts I wanted to make, and I'm glad I did. It is gratifying for me to give handmade. The excitement of making something for someone is what jazzes me up. I love to make things and give them to people, but find I have less and less time for it.

I needle felted an entire flock of birds, but neglected to take pictures of most of them before I gave them away. There was a cardinal, a gold finch, a chickadee, this blue bird, and a brown robin (of course.) Then I got busy on a honey bee for my husband, and this sweet little cat for my sister. Needle felting can be a wee bit obsessive, but I love sitting quietly and being toasty warm when I work. My sewing "porch" is drafty and I would much rather be curled up on the couch or my bed this time of year. Really, these ornaments were my selfish pursuit of evening meditation.

My daughter, who has gotten really good at felting cookie cutter ornaments wanted to make her own three dimensional animal. I explained some of the concepts to her, and she barely paused. She's six and half years old and felted this bunny, almost entirely by herself! Then she needed some food for the bunny...
The month of December is really not complete until my husband and I make beeswax candles. Making candles was one of the nice parts of the snow storm. Between the two of us, we melted and poured almost six pounds of bees wax. That's a lot of candles!
This was my first time to purchase sheets of beeswax for rolled candles from Brushy Mountain Bee Farms. We buy all of our beekeeping supplies and beeswax from them; they are a wonderful North Carolina small business. Then I found some polymer clay "cookie" cutters. We stamped these shapes and my daughter rolled the candles and put different shapes on simply by applying pressure (sometimes with the warmth of a hair dryer to help in melt in a little.) This activity was a little frustrating for my outgoing three year old, but a thrill for my six year old.

During nap time one afternoon, I made peppermint bees wax lip balm. This is something I've wanted to try for a long time. I bought a $20 kit from Brushy Mtn. It was easy peasy and so much fun! Now I want to experiment more with other recipes and try some body balms as well. I was simply amazed at how well the lip balm turned out, and between beeswax candles and beeswax lip balm, I had plenty of teacher and friend gifts. (Just so you know, all the ingredients and the containers, plus the recipe came in the kit.)

For teachers, I made each a little quilted zip pouch with a container of lip balm tucked in side, along with another treat or two.

I had big plans of making more for my friends and sisters, but that was one of the things that got nixed in the interest of simplifying.

Now, if you haven't had enough yet, come back tomorrow and I'll share just a little more.


Dana said...

Never enough. I look forward to tomorrow.

I bet the lip balm turned out great!

Melissa said...

Great stuff-- I keep hoping I'll have a few minutes to do some making of the body butters this winter--sounds heavenly!

liz at olliekate said...

cute, cute, cute!

Anonymous said...

Love the little pouches. Got some of those on my list too. Christmas isn't over yet here, still have the other side of the family.

Cheryl Arkison said...

I haven't made candles in forever. I think The Monster would be in heaven if we did that!