|A little Bohemian/ Moroccan/ Indian home made by Shayni|
I love my home. It is an eclectic mix of India/Morocco/ Mediterranean style. Just like the little house Shayni made a few years back at school. The perfect handmade gift. Much of our house is kitch. Gaudy. Like Gaudi's architectural fusion of art and kitch. Our home is a reflection of ourselves. And in fact, just recently, it was not the first time that someone has called me a hippy. A parent just recently told me she was talking to another parent -and he mentioned he had spoken to a teacher but couldn't recall her name. She asked what the teacher looked like - "like a hippy" he replied. She said she knew exactly which teacher he was talking about - me! This has amused me somewhat in the past - my knowledge of hippies paints a picture of someone who wearing long hair, leather sandals, tie-dyed clothes and into drugs and free love. This is not me. But I do like to wear ethnic or bright coloured clothing (usually pre-loved) and grow food. Is that really hippy??
|Coffee-bag lined bread bag|
I have always fancied a bread bin to keep my home-baked bread in. I make it in a bread maker, but the loaf is so fat, it is hard to find a plastic bag to wrap it in to keep it fresh. The type I fancied was a wooden one with a little door that disappears into itself like a garage door, but I realised I never had the bench-top space to own one in reality. So eventually, I have created my very own version of a soft bread bin. It has recycled coffee bags to line it and to keep it fresh, and a fabric outer, with velcro at the top for easy fastening. So far, all test runs have proven to be successful. Mmmmmn, wonder if there is a market out there for bread bags?? Could make great Christmas gifts!
|My bread bag prototype|
We have a lovely German HelpXchange couple staying with us at the moment and so I thought I would make them a farewell gift - what fits into a backpack and is useful on the road - aha! A travel document pouch to keep it all together! So I set about making a lined, recycled coffee bag pouch with internal pocket for storing a memory stick and other little travel treasure. I hope they find it useful!!
So maybe it's the hippy in me, I love to make and create things! So that's why I love Christmas. Not for me, the busy, noisey, hustling, bustling malls with it's piped Christmas tunes. I prefer to take my time and make gifts from the heart. If it can include some recycling, the better the challenge. I found an old woolen blanket at an opp shop and gave it a little TLC revamp. There was a hole in it which was nicely disguised with a great big contrasting heart, and the frayed edges got a checked edging. It was gifted to my son's girlfriend as a hipster TV blanket. She loved it. Yay! My son asked me if I liked her a couple of weekends ago when they were over. I replied that I didn't like here quite as much as he did, but I certainly liked her plenty! And that I hoped she'd be around for a very, very long time. They're moving in together after a year of long-distance alternate weekends each commuting the 9 hours by bus between Hamilton and Wellington.
|Up-cycled Hipster TV blanket|
I have been finding time to tutu in the little garden shed and made this wooden sculpture. It was supposed to swing freely but only does a 180 degree clockwise and then back to it's original starting point - so it's more like a pendulum. Sorta. Anyway, that one I gifted to my garden.
|View from top|
I have included some images from previous year's gifts, all hand-crafted in the garden shed with cedar shutter off-cuts.
|Planter box for seedlings makes a great gift for gardeners|
|A variety of wooden boxes for storing bay leaves.|
|Bay leaf boxes and a jute string dispenser for avid gardeneners|
|A jewellery box with compartments, a ring stack and a hinged lid with opening arm to |
secure it when open. The hinges were old shoe leather.
Even Shanti has had a cat toy made for her. I noticed she loved to sniff at the catnip plant, so I dried some leaves and then made a little bag with tassles on. I threw it at her and she immediately started to shred it with her hind paws and sniff at it in a druggy-like haze. Had to try to rescue it as it is her Christmas present to go under the tree! She is after all, a member of the family, albeit a very naughty one! She loves all the paper fall-out on the day.
|Raw, unbleached cotton dish towels and cat toys|
There are still many projects I would like to get stuck into - alas, not much time left in a work day! The other recent little project is herb-flavoured salt. It is sooo delicious. And easy-as to make. I make it for ourselves and then some to give away at Christmas. Seeing the Rosemary bush look set to turning into a tree, I took to it with a secateurs and pruned all the out-of-control branches. Popped the leaves and a big bunch of parsley into the dehydrator for a few hours and then ground it all in our old second-hand coffee grinder. It works out perfect when you have a cup of dried, ground herbs to 2 and a half cups of unwashed natural sea salt. I have also experimented with chilli salt - dehydrate and grind your chillies up and add to the salt. In this case, a tablespoon of chilli to 2 and a half cups salt is sufficient, unless you want to blow your Christmas recipients' socks off.
I received a lovely surprise early Christmas gift from the Heart from my daughter 2 days ago, when she presented me with a Christmas angel picture she had painted for me on a piece of cardboard. Will be framing it. Can't wait for our annual Christmas break which starts in 2 weeks time - my project list is as long as my arm! Bliss!
|Christmas angel painted for me by Shayni|
|Cool little corn angel gifted to me by a friend|
sits atop our Chrissie Tree
|Aquilegia or granny bonnets in the shady parts of the garden - gifts for the heart!!|