have less, live more

January 12, 2009

Lasposter-tv-sm4t year I got really interested in the idea of a buy nothing Christmas, so this past Christmas I found myself scrambling for thrify and creative ideas that would result in me having nice and at least somewhat desirable gifts to give to each of my family members.

This is what my efforts led me to discover:

I rediscovered that the idea of gift-giving is quite a beautiful thing. When making all of my gifts, I found myself still dwelling in the stress of time limitation. But it seemed like the hours I spent working on someone’s gifts sort of forced me to keep that person in my mind: what they like, what they need, how they’re doing, etc. These things became more important than how much money I had left in my Christmas budget.

So now that Christmas is over, I thought I’d post some of the creations I gave as gifts that took a good amount of thought and time and improved my whole Christmas experience (and hopefully that of those who received them).

I did a screenprinted-like shirt for my brother-in-law:

christmas-shirt2

It just takes making a stencil with freezer paper, ironing it to a plain shirt, and then painting over it with acrylic paint and a sponge paintbrush. It makes for a nice screenprint look minus the costly materials and the ability to make multiple copies of it without making the stencil all over again.

For my sister I made a sketchbook out of recycled paper and fabric:

christmas-book1

I pieced together fabric scraps to make the design on the cover then I collected lots of nicely-colored used paper and sewed designs on the pages and bound them with a sweet criss-cross binding design.

I also knitted her some glittens or mloves or whatever you call the combination fingerless gloves with mitten cap things:

christmas-gloves

For these I used the fluffiest and warmest yarn I could find and combined a couple patterns and made some of it up. Here’s a good pattern for some similar gloves.

I also quilted some pot holders for my mom. And for my dad I made handmade paper by creating pulp from old paper scraps. Then I used my ancient typewriter to fill the pages with my poetry.

I can’t remember the last time before this past Christmas that I was more excited to give gifts than get them.

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One Response to “have less, live more”

  1. Lores said

    Hi, I just stumbled across your blog…I tried to do as you did at Christmas, but didn’t get much further than making everyone some fudge! haha.

    Can you let me know how you go about making paper? I’m really intrigued on how you go about making paper.

    I’m also trying to experiment a little with self sufficiency (a bit difficult living in London!) My blog if you are interested is http://verymaladjusted.wordpress.com/

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