Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stretching my creative muscles

For many people this time of year is a time of showing appreciation to those who are important in our lives. For me I think about the recycle and garbage man who takes my 'waste' every week; or the librarians who are always so helpful tracking down books for me; or the folks at the bottle depot who always give my boys suckers; the teachers who... teach! Of course there are family and friends as well. Being that our family is of a faith that has different holidays, we are still free to help our family and friends who do celebrate this season.
Many people have asked us, 'How are you going to 'handle' Christmas?' We all know what Christmas was intended for, and see how it has somehow morphed into a medley of materialistic mayhem! :(
I know our family isn't faced with the magnitude of celebrating as most of you are - the tree, the lawn decorations and lights, the interior tinsel, perfect presents piled high, but we DO have people in our lives that we honour on their special holidays, and as such will have gifts to give like everyone else.
Being that we aren't buying the newest gadget for $19.99 at the action aisle of a Big Box Store, we are using our creative muscles to present thoughtful gifts to our important people.
One project I am working on for my mother in law is making a scrapbook mini album of recipe tags for things like playdoh, goo, dough buddies etc and providing the necessary ingredients to make them, such as food colouring, flour, salt etc. I am able to make the tags out of materials at home, and buy the ingredients at the grocery store, or find them in my own cupboards. This provides nana and her boys hours of fun and activity together. I'm sure she doesn't need any more knick knacks, coffee cups or kitchen towels. This would also be a great gift for a parent with a toddler or even your day home provider.
How much fun can you have with a 2X4 piece of wood?! I can have LOTS!!! I have glued three staggered length pieces on top of each other, painted white, glued some cotton from the vitamin bottle along the bottom and decorated it as a snowman with buttons and a hat from an old teddy bear. You can also do the same shape, wrap it in a ribbon with a bow and use chipboard letters to write 'Let it Snow'. SO many possibilities out of scrap wood and old house paint.
I wish I could post pictures to show you... but since 'my' people may be reading this post, I have given away too much already! lol
These gifts can work for budget savvy people too. The activity basket will maybe cost $10 and the 2X4 projects came in under $2. Yes, more time and thought is involved in these gifts, and you may even get dirty making them, but that is the part that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. ;)


  1. Great ideas! I love the playdough in a basket for families with small children.

  2. In our house, we used 2X4's to make massive building blocks for Spencer. We cut a couple boards up into 4", 8" and 12" lengths and sanded the edges down. It's one of his favorite toys!

  3. Jessica! I just read an article about your amazing journey over this year and I commend you! I read that you are also a scrapbooker and haven't bought anything new that in itself is a feat because I am constantly buying new scraping stuff...I am currently in the process of purging my scrap area of well pretty much everything! If you would be interested, I'd love to send you some stuff..I may even have some Canadian Scrapboookers in there somewhere LOL ..feel free to contact me at tealeaf@shaw.ca P:)

  4. The creativity, friendliness, generosity and... 'humaness' of mankind never cease to amaze me.

  5. Hi Jess,
    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and your kind comment. I am really flattered by your comment. I love repurposing old into "new" and find the challenge of taking an object and repurposing it so much fun.
    I've been reading about your challenge to not buy anything new and I commend you for that. We do live in a world of "bigger and better" and I think we all could get along with a little less (myself included).
    Thanks for following. I hope I can keep you coming back!
    Have a wonderful Sunday.