Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Handmade Holiday ~ Made & Received

What we made.

I did a lot less holiday making this year than usual. I'm not sure why--some combination of too busy and not in the mood, I suppose. But I got the kids going on projects and for of our relatives (parents, stepparents, my siblings), we put together little packages that contained a small gift made by each of us, containing:

Candy. I usually make several kinds of candy, but this year I only made apple cider caramels. Which are quite good enough to stand in for several kinds of candy, I think.

Jam. Sticking (inadvertently) to the apple theme, I also made apple butter. I can't link to a recipe, because I made several batches and didn't use the same recipe twice (mainly because I couldn't find/remember from one batch to the next). This batch uses apple cider vinegar, which is the way I like it best; it reminds me of the mincemeat pies my grandmother used to make--appley and vinegary and allspicy.

Boards. C built a nice little stack of butcher block cutting boards.

Vanilla. Z, my little herbalist, made vanilla extract (following the Catherine Newman recipe).

Potholders. E started out knitting potholders and mug rugs.

Popcorn. But he soon got tired of that ("Why can't I make something all at once, like Zephyr?") and for the remainder of his gifts, he put together little packages of multicolor popcorn and Meryl's popcorn salt.

CDs. M recorded and mixed a CD of some of the songs he's written, plus some Christmas tunes (not pictured).

What we received.

My sister sent us this painting of flowers. I've been moving it around the house, auditioning it on different walls (it goes with every single one of our paint colors).

My dad made Z this shelf with little pots for storing herbs.

 And for E he put together a building kit,

from which E assembled a pair of bat houses.

My mom made the customary grammie jammies for the boys.

And this little angora angel for our tree.

Some other things we received that I didn't get a chance to photograph include a beautiful hand-turned wooden bowl, a picture frame, and an upcycled Christmas stocking.What were your favorite holiday handmades?


  1. My sisters and I do homemade gifts for each other. Amy gave me zinnia seeds and a wreath created with fiber to spin, and Shelly painted a bowl for each member of the family. I made lip balms and lotion bars, and knit hats with a great new pattern.

    1. Awesome! I love the idea of the fiber wreath!

  2. Such lovely gifts given and received.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Most of my gifts are handmade, though that is not typical of the rest of my family. I love how handmade your holiday is!

    1. Thanks, Caffeine Girl. Thanks for stopping by, Happy New Year!

  4. So impressive as always! We just made cookies and they really were not our best as we were dealing with illness and such at the time.

    1. So sorry you had holiday illness. Hope everyone is feeling better now.


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