Gift Ideas - Handmade and Other

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Handmade Gifts - Week Two

I have been blessed to be part of a creative and talented family who throughout my lifetime has blessed me with many meaningful hand crafted gifts.

A few years ago, one of my sisters made me a decorative pillow. I love the colors she chose and the labor of love that went into designing and crafting it.

When I was a young child, my oldest sister made me two heirloom gifts. One year she made a wardrobe for my Barbie. She made a wedding dress, an evening gown, a matching dress and cape, she even knitted tiny sweaters, skirts, and stockings for her. There were pants, skirts, blouses, and dresses in this finely crafted wardrobe. I loved to dress my Barbie in these clothes and they were an inspiration to me to make other clothes for my doll myself.

A few years later my parents bought me my last baby doll. Again my oldest sister went to her sewing machine, pulled out her crochet hook and made a wardrobe for my doll. There were dresses, pajamas, play suits, and a crocheted ripple baby blanket for me to dress Abigail for any imaginable occasion. All beautifully handcrafted.

When my parents house burned a few years ago, both of these wardrobes were in storage at their house. I was very relieved to find them undamaged in their tote among the debris.

My mother too handcrafted many things for me over the years. She made many of my clothes and I remember looking forward to a new dress at Easter and Christmas, to new clothes each year for school, and the delight of choosing patterns and fabrics for those clothes. Just a few years ago, she finished a project that she had been working on for some time - a Hobby Holly Applique patchwork quilt.

Perhaps another day I will share about the ceramic and woodworking projects my family has blessed me with. So very thankful for these gifts of time, love, and creativity!!!

Do you have special gifts crafted for you by parents or siblings? 
What special ideas have they come up with to bless you?


  1. No doubt about it. The old, imperfect, blemished things passed down from our family are the best. Hands down!

    1. Umm hmm, yes, although not handcrafted by them, two of my favorite pieces of furniture are an antique secretary's desk that belonged to my paternal grandfather and a wooden bookshelf that belonged to my maternal grandmother. Both are a little battered from the years, but I love them both . . . and the memories they conjure up for me.

  2. Dear Darlene,
    I seem to vaguely remember the bookshelf Grandma Riley had. Can you please describe it for me or take a picture and forward it? I would love to see if it's the one I remember! It's kinda hard for me to remember exactly what it looked like. As you were describing the doll clothes your sister made for you, it made me think again of Grandma Riley. I'm sure you remember that she too made doll clothes! They were often for dolls that were quite small and I remember being amazed at how she could make them when they were so small and required such small stitches! Oh, how far we've come from those days of homemade gifts that really meant something special because of the time and care that was put into making them for us! My mom also made many of my clothes for me when I was growing up! She also made red matching dresses for all three of our girls when they were young! She made them quilted vests too and they still have them as a keepsake of her! She crocheted a quilt for each of them too in colors to match their bedrooms and they still have those also. Such great keepsakes of their grandma! Thanks so much for sharing! Do you make homemade gifts for your family members for Christmas or at other special times? Patty

    1. Hi Patty,
      I will try to send you a picture of Gramma Riley's bookshelf. It wasn't the one with the desk and glass front. It was a simple wooden one that she kept in the parlor and often showed me flowers she had pressed within the pages of the books she kept on it.

      Yes I do still make homemade gifts. In fact this is the first Christmas in many years that I haven't made any. I love homemade gifts (both giving and receiving) because they are unique and one of a kind.

    2. Hi Darlene,
      Trust you had a memorable and joyful Christmas! We enjoyed having most of our family together but certainly missed the part of our family that is in Madagascar!
      I guess I was thinking of the bookshelf with the desk and glass front. All I seem to remember was that it had several old books and among them were some good Christian romance novels. I always was a softie for those kind of books!