Friday, December 12, 2008

Feelin' the Love...

No, I don't have anything new to show you today... I'm still working on my own Christmas cards and haven't had time to play. But I DO want to show you some LOVE! I am so thankful to have all of you as true, loyal readers. I see it in my blog hit numbers, the comments you leave, the awards you give me (I'm horrible at posting those), and in my ranking just how often you come visit. And because I feel bad that I've been too busy to stamp for you, I thought I'd give you something else...


BLOG SWEETS!


As you see, I've changed the name a bit, because I know there are some "blog ______ surfers" out there who just search for those words and don't really give a hoot about who I am and have probably never even seen my blog before. I know this may seem harsh, but I want my LOYAL readers to have the best shot at winning, so only comments with the information I've requested below will be counted. Entries without it will be skipped.

I don't know what the "sweet" will be yet, but my closet is overflowing with great stuff, so I'm going to draw not just one, but THREE winners this time!

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me about your favorite HAND-MADE gift. You see, in the Force household, we are sick and tired of the materialistic side of Christmas... it's always just "what can I buy for you this Christmas?" So we decided instead, to draw names (I drew Mason) and MAKE a homemade gift for the person we drew... something that no one else could give. I am very old fashioned, as you know, and so this reminds me of the old days where girls would work for months on a hand made quilt or some embroidery and the guys would stay busy out in the barn carving a new doll or building a table. THESE are the gifts that really MEAN something to me!! I am thrilled that my family agrees and we're all excited to see what each other comes up with. Even little Maddox will be in on the action (he drew his daddy). If you're interested, I could even show you after Christmas what we all made!

So, tell me about a hand made gift that you've either given or received that you continue to cherish. Oh, and please be sure to leave a way for me to contact you!

I will draw the winners on December 22nd, so you have exactly 10 days. Thank you again for your loyalty!

83 comments:

Cheryl said...

I love to check your Blog. I try to do it daily because you have such fun stuff.
When I was a school teacher. My students used to give me gifts for Christmas. Well, one year I had a student that came from a family not so well off. He came in to class one morning and put his gift on my desk wrapped up in tissue paper. It was quite large and heavy. I couldn't imagine what he had brought. When I opened it up it was a piece of wood (a log) with cotton balls on it to make a beard and eye brows of a santa. Well, the other teachers didn't have any idea why I would get a log. I knew it was a Yule log. That was the most thoughtful gift I got that year from my students. I wish now that I had taken a picture of it. This is longer than I planned, but keep up the inspiration. We all need to get inspired once in awhile.

LuAnn said...

I'm sure there are lots of people out there who surf blogs simply for the goodies! I surf and bookmark blogs that are fun to read and inspire me! I love making homemade gifts and highly encourage my daughter, who loves crafting, to do this too!

My favorite homemade gift was my 1st year in college. while home on Thanksgiving break, I watched Carole Devall who was making those beautiful padded photo albums with lace around the edges. I wrote the instructions and supply list and my Mom and I went supply shopping. We created about 10 of these albums for gifts when I heard her telling someone that she wished we had bought enough material for me to make her one too. So, I went back to college and saved every penny I could in order to buy the supplies needed to make one for her for Christmas. Christmas morning she was just tickled pink that I had, on my own, saved money and made her one of those albums. We sat Christmas day putting photos in that album.

Jennifer said...

I love to check your blog...I can't imagine how much time it takes to keep it up!! My favorite handmade gift was one I made for my grandma's recent 80th birthday. I made her a 12 X 12 card using the All in the Family stamp set to represent each member of her family of 40+. Then each family member signed their character upon arrival at her party. She loved it!

MaryBeth said...

It is our family tradition to make Chocolate Pizzas for our friends and family. I ship them all over the country. It is definitely a family project and everybody is involved with at least one part of the production process. Of all the presents we give, this is the one people always remember!!!!!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

Rachel Taasaas said...

My favorite handmade gift I have recieved is from my best friend. We have been best friends for over 20 year!!! She made me a scrapbook book of all the pictures we have taken over the years. It means so much to me and I take it everywhere with me. (I go to school in MN, but my home is in WA) I always make sure I keep it with me in the event of a fire because it is something I want to have forever.
The handmade gift I love to give is hand dipped pretzels and homemade peppermint bark. I started doing this about 3 years ago. Everyone LOVED them so now I make them every year. It's a lot of work (because the list of people I give to continues to grow) but I don't mind doing it because I know I am giving something that they love and I know they appreciate my hard work.

Thanks for all the fabulous ideas you share on your blog!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! I check in on you almost daily because you always have the neatest ideas! My favorite homemade gift was the tile coasters we made last year at your house. I still receive so many compliments on those!! I gave them as Christmas gifts and even made myself a set, too!
Merry Christmas! -Kim Smith
P.S. Do you still have the monthly Stampin' Up classes for girls?

Regina Cornelius said...

wellllll.....i would have to say my favorite handmade gift was one i had given. I gave this gift a few years back. my grandfather passed away 30 years ago and my grandmother has never dated...still wears her wedding rings, very old fashioned. it's a good thing :) so while she was working, i went into her home and "borrowed" pictures of her and my pappy when they were babies, dating and their wedding picture, and pictures of their children. i had copies made of all of them...not to use her actual pictures without permission....and made a heritage scrapbook. i have both sides of the family tree and everything all perfect. it was the best gift i could have given her...ever! there wasn't a dry eye in the house!
thank you for offering up blog sweets!

Michelle D said...

My favorite gift to give is my sour cream sugar cookies in a cute little package along with a homemade card. I also give other types of cookies away at work etc.. Happy Holidays!

Tricia said...

My favorite handmade gifts are the cross-stitched stockings that I've made for 2 of my 3 children. I have one more to go. It's my project for this coming year. They are *very* involved and take a long time, but are priceless and will leave home with my children when they go and always remind them how much Mom loved them.

Love your blog by the way. I have it on my Google Reader so I don't miss anything!

LT said...

I enjoy reading you blog. My favorite handmade gift I received was a picture frame my two 11 year old daughters made for my birthday. They found some wood in my husband's scrap pile, cut the wood, nailed it together, painted and decorated it. I printed a picture and hung it up, because I love how they made it themselves.
Lisa

Hannah said...

I found your blog through another blog awhile back, I check it most days-love your style!
The home made gift I cherish is from my mom and dad for my husband and my wedding. My mom cross-stitched a wall hanging with all the details of our wedding (names, date, place). I chose calla lily as my flower and we found a pattern to use on the piece but it used white/cream thread. My colors were fall colors so my mom spent hours finding colors to match the yellow/orange shades in the calla lilies I chose for our wedding. I cherish the time she spent changing all the colors to match! Lots of love in one piece of art.

Denise ~ Paper Ponderings said...

Oh my goodness...when I was about seven or eight, I got a "Baby Tenderlove" as did my sister. We each got a BIG box of homemade clothes for our dollies from Mom. I so wish I still had it all, but I fed my baby milk one time...it ruined her and I have no idea what happened to all of the clothes, but they were so loved.

Anonymous said...

Oh Michele, I LOVE your blog, and I always check it daily, even when you say you will be away for a couple days,....you never know, right? *Ü* lol!
I would have to say that my most cherished homemade gift would be the ornaments that my boys make for me each year for our Christmas tree. Each one of them tells a story, and each of my sons love to see my expression when I open their box. It's so fun to see how much the ornaments change from year to year as they get older. They started with maybe a blob of glue on a paper plate with some glitter, to some real masterpieces, let me tell ya. But no matter to me, each of them tug on my heartstrings when we put them on the tree each year and relive the stories about each one. I hope once my boys get married they will carry on this tradition with their own children.
Thanks for letting me share Michele. Hugs!
Liz Kilburg

Heather Leech said...

Hi!
I never would have thought that people would just surf looking for prizes...how rude!!
Anyways, love your blog - it's on my Google reader.
One of my favorite handmade gifts were two bracelets one of my students made for me a few years back. I'm a special ed. assistant and the little girl was autistic. She was only in kindergarten, so I know it was a really big deal for her to do. I wear them as good luck charms as they are the colors of our CFL football team.
Have a wonderful Christmas and I hope your family all enjoy the handmade gifts!!
Heather L.

christina #4635 said...

I check your blog regulary! I love your love of family!!! I find it very inspiring. Plus, you are a very talented stamper.
My favorite handmade gifts are the ones no one is expecting. My mother made me a scarf two years ago and spent months trying to match up the yarn with the picture on the pattern. I hadn't given it too much thought at the time but seeing how important it became to her made me really appreciate the scarf that much more.

trekmom said...

Hello! I love your blog, you have so many great ideas! My favorite hand made gift is a wooden duck that my grandparents made for my kids. It is a push toy and the duck's "feet" are made from leather and are on a wooden wheel. When the kids push it the feet good around the wheel and make little "slapping" noises on the floor. They all love it and play with it a lot. My grandfather has passed away, which makes the gift even more special.

Kendra Schenk said...

I just recently began blog surfing and found your wonderful blog that I check every day. I just LOVE your creative ideas!
My oldest son (like you I have three) made a wreath for me when he was in 3rd grade. He is now 25 and I've hung it every Christmas since he gave it to me. The wreath is made from a large paper sack, ribbon, greenery, and decorations. Every year when I hang it I remember when I suddenly missed some ribbons from my tree and greenery from my bookshelves and couldn't figure out just what had happened to them, never thinking they'd be used for a gift I still treasure. Kendra

Brenda said...

Wonderful question, I like the ones that make you think. My favorite gift I have received is more of a group of gifts. They are all the ones that my son made for me when he was young. They are all so special to me. Thank you for the chance to win.

Marie said...

You're so funny!! I never even thought about people searching for Blog ______ and that being the only reason they stop by. I guess on my blog they don't stand a chance since I call mine "Boot Loot"!!! :) I read your blog through google reader - just wanted you to know, I didn't search out your Blog Sweets ;) As for my favorite handmade gift, well, I like the quilts I have received because I can make them, but don't. I of course appreciate anything handmade, but it's always better when it's not something I would make myself.

Mandy said...

I love your blog and I am guilty of just popping on to see what you created and leaving. But I am declaring my New Year's Resolution as to try to leave a comment each week on the blogs I regularly check in on. So you will be reading more from me in the coming year!

Anyway, my favorite handmade gift was made by my uncle for my sweet 16th birthday. I remember opening my brown grocery sack of a present and pulling out the loveliest bouquet of pink flowers with 16 - $1 bills made up like butterflies. It has always meant so much to me that he (a man) would take the time to make such a girly gift.

Happy Holidays!
-Mandy
nottus_2@yahoo.com

Liam said...

I check out your blog regularly. I love your work. It is so fresh. I have missed your inspiration. I am from Australia so not really interested in doing the blog sweets but I thought I would leave a comment to say how special this Christmas will be for you. I love the idea of homemade gifts that is a fantastic idea. I too get bored with the famous question what do I want for Christmas it is very materialistic. You always get a good feeling when you make something special for someone else when something is made especially for you you know their heart is thinking of you. I hope you have a lovely Christmas. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and inspirational creations.

regards

Liam

Cass said...

Hi Michelle,
I'm a regular reader, although I don't comment often. Thanks for the inspiration you share!

My favourite handmade gifts are always the cards that my son makes for me. I know how much time, effort and love go into them. Sadly the rest of my family prefer to purchase gifts, so his desire to make cards/gifts is so precious to me.

Anonymous said...

My best handmade (well almost) gift was my one and only doll my parents gave me. We had just arrived in Australia from Europe after the war and were not well off. My mother asked someone to make clothes for this doll and to this day I still love blue pinstripes. She had a bonnet and dress in blue stripes. I thought she was beautiful. Not expensive doll or clothes. I try to make everyone at the christmas table at least one handmade gift.
Your blog is great, love your writing style and inspiration.
Tamara Conroy

Mia said...

Hi Michele, I check your blog almost daily for your great ideas... so when time allows, keep the posts coming! :) I have been given many wonderful gifts from the heart over the years (my sister made quilts for my boys when they were born, my husband carved a teeny-tiny wooden jack-o-lantern & painted it for me,as he always called me his "pumpkin"!, etc., I could go on & on!) but I think my favorites are the Christmas stockings my mother knit for my boys. You see, she is really NOT a crafty person at all, & was in her late 70's when my kids were born, but she made them each these beautiful stockings that took a great deal of time & effort, & I really cherish them, as I'm sure the boys will for years to come. Happy Holidays to you & your family!!

Jackie said...

I read your blog in the Google Reader so that probably doesn't register hits, but I wish they'd fix that. Anyway, my favorite handmade gift is a small stationery desk/caddy that my friend Cheryl made for me several years ago. I complained that I didn't like most lap desks and wanted someplace to address cards, etc. from my comfy chair, so she made one for me and hand painted it. It sits next to my comfy chair to this day and I think of her every time I use it. Merry Christmas!

Sandy said...

When I was in college, a boyfriend's mother gave me a crocheted blanket. She heard me rave about one she made for a good friend. She found out my favorite color is green and made me this beautiful green and cream rippled queen size blanket. It's so precious to me because she hand made this blanket especially for me. She took the time to find out my favorite colors and knew I would love it since she heard me say how much I loved the first one she made.
My mom has always made gifts. I remember the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls she made for me and my sister one Christmas. I have always tied to make more than I buy. Some years it's harder than others. My mom shared her love for homemade and it's what I have always done. I love your idea this year with your family making gifts for each other. I might just suggest that my family do the same. At 2 and 4, my boys love to make things. What a great way to get them into giving homemade things. Thanks for the GREAT idea!

Sandy Fleming flemings@eastonteachers.org

Paula said...

I have you on my Google reader so I never miss a post. :o)

Several years ago at the daycare I was working at we had secret Santa's. I had no idea who mine was, but my final gift was a hand made sweatshirt. It had an angel made from lace handkerchiefs on the front. My boss, who was very crafty, had gotten my name. It was one of the best home made gifts I ever got! Have a Merry Christmas!

Paula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori said...

Hey Michele!

I also love your blog, and visit it daily. I had to switch to google reader, because my emails were out of control!!

My favorite home made gift was cross stitching a stocking for my parents. Xmas stockings were always a big thing in our family tradition, and my siblings and I decided we should have a special one for our parents. So I cross stitched one, and they were so excited to get a special stocking.

Sadly, dad passed away this year (too young, too soon!) So, I'm working on another stocking to use for mom alone. .....but now that I found stamping I HATE cross stitching..dang, she'd better appreciate this :0)

Have a merry christmas!
Lori D.

swingset chick said...

I get you on google reader too. Thanks for sharing on your blog!

I love giving baked goods. A couple years ago, my best friend and i started a an annual tradition where we get together and bake cookies and other Christmas goodies like it's nobody's business. we make so much that I end up giving tins of cookies to all my family and friends.

ccheung23@hotmail.com

Jenn Greeley said...

Oh I would so love to see what your family made each other. I'm a big homemade gift person. I've tried to make at least a few gifts every year. Of course I always make goodies, cookies, toffee, peppermint bark. I also like to make the wrapping just as special. I use to make my own wrapping paper. I would hand stamp on kraft paper with sponges and paint different images, gingerbread men, etc. I was and still am a Martha Stewart fan, so I guess you could say I got my influence from her. My most memorable handmade gift was to my mother-in-law. I covered two framed mirrors with tiny pinecones and attached satin ribbon to hang them with. They turned out great!

Jeri said...

My favorite homemade gift was a scarf I crocheted for my oldest sister. She had bought a new coat right before Christmas,
and couldn't find a scarf to match. She was so shocked that I had "borrowed" the coat without her knowledge and matched yarns to it. Thanks for all the great ideas!

Anonymous said...

I'm anxious to give my granddaughters (ages 8 and 6) their gifts this year. I sewed them each a purse and it has removable flaps. The flaps are fabric from different seasons, flowers, sports teams, animals, etc. The flaps just button on. I know they will be changing them often. They love purses and bags.
I'm also making YOUR "Adorable Tins" for the women on my list. I'm anxious to see their response to such a cute idea.
Thanks for your great blog.
Kathleen

Jean said...

I too love hand-made gifts though I also used to love the used books my husband would find and stash under the tree.

He's since moved on to Heavenly Precincts but the extended family still keeps up the tradition of favorite or little known used books finding their way under the tree to me and all the nieces, nephews and anyone else who loves to read.

We all brag about the deals found but mostly its all about the hunt and soon all the pages are ruffling and we read out sample (especially the poetry) passages.

Very Louisa May Alcott (think Little Women the book - not the movie).

As for making and giving... I love to weave stole like shawls that can double as table runners or mini footwarmers at the end of the bed.

I pray for each reciepient as I spin then weave their gift.

Even better is making an extra one or two to give as the Lord leads to someone who could use some warmth and beauty in their lives.

Thanks for getting us all thinking and focusing on the importance of making life, love and memories special instead of simply buying things.

Merry Christmas all!

You can always find me at jlfstudio@charter.net or
www.jlfstudio.stampinup.net

Tara Kieninger said...

I'm a loyal subscriber. My favorite handmade gift was one I received from my now deceased grandmother. She made me a quilt by hand and all the fabric was taken from the dresses that my mom and aunts wore when they were young. Precious!

Whimsey said...

By far, my most favorite hand made gifts are the ones the children have made for ME! :D One is a clay mold of our sons hand when he was 4; it's not a hand impression; it's very different AND it has a heart cut out of the palm; and then the little heart also hangs on the string with the hand print. Too cool. Another is a light bulb that was painted all red and then santa's face is drawn on using white puff paint and such. I will treasure them 4EVER!!!

Hope your Christmas is joyful!!

Barbara V said...

As I sit here at my computer I hear the chimes of the Grandfather clock my Dad made for us many years ago. Sure, it came in a kit, but he MADE it...so it will always be treasured!

jmniffer said...

I never thought of just searching for blog candy...those who do that miss the good stuff. All the wonderful ideas for inspiration or CASE'ing if needed. My favorite gift I've made to give is counted cross stitch stockings for each of my kids. Each took six months of steady stitching and are made with love. A favorite gift received was a six pack of "in a jar" gifts of soups and such from a friend who knows how I dislike grocery shopping. Thanks for a chance to win. jmniffer

Maria H. said...

Michelle: Being a papercrafter I make gifts all the time! I love it! This year the Grandparents are getting a scrapped 8x8 calendar of our little one!

But, my favorite homemade gift was the 40th anniversary scrapbook I did for my parents 10 years ago now. I had their friends and relatives write them letters, and I scrapped those with pictures of the person, etc. My Dad was in tears reading it, so that was very special to us. I was fortunate enough to get to update it with 20 more pages for their 50th this year. So, it's a gift that keeps on giving!

Thanks for your inspiration! I miss you new things as often, but I know you will be back! :-)

Anonymous said...

Michele I love your blog! I don't have time to always look daily, but I do try to catch up then! Such eye candy!

My family isn't big on handmade items. I seem to be the only one who got that gene! But my dad did make my oldest son a toy box for his first Christmas. It was enormous, weighed about a ton (LOL!) and painted with surplus paint, but it was more than we could afford at the time, and it has been in use ever since. My dad passed away 12 years later, and now my son is expecting his first child, our first grandchild! I don't know whether I can part with it to give it to him or not!

Venessa said...

My favorite homemade gift is one I made this year for our Christmas tree...a spool garland made with wooden spools covered with country gingham cloth in the middles, red wooden beads and then cloth ties in between the beads using the same fabrics. Hope that makes some sense... It was fun to make and our family loves it on the tree. Thanks for sharing - I am a faithful reader of your blog - love your work!! Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

My favorite handmade gifts that I've received are Christmas tree ornaments made for me by my friends when I moved away. I remember them and say a prayer for them each year when I hang those ornaments on the tree.
My favorite handmade gifts that I've given are definitely scrapbooks I've made for other people. They recipients are always so touch and so grateful.
And for quick little gifts for teachers, etc, I've made hazelnut hot cocoa mix and layered it in jars with chocolate chips and marshmallows. It's so fun to decorate the jars -- the SU polar bears are perfect for cocoa - I wish they would bring those back !
Merry Christmas - I love your blog.
vicki
vdoyle8@aol.com

lyn said...

Love your blog!!! You always have some great ideas! My favorite handmade gift has to be the ornaments that my children make me every year at school. Just love them, it is so much fun to look back and see how much their handiwork has improved over the years. Happy holidays to you and your family!

Debi Calandrelle said...

One special hand-made gift I received was an ornament made by a dear friend's 6 yr old son. He even wrapped it up and gave it to me. He had painted a drum on an ornament and even after 25 yrs that ornament is put on my tree each year.

Darlene L said...

I am so glad you are blogging again. I am a subscriber and sure missed you. Thanks for the sweets offer--you are very generous. My favorite homemade gifts are made each year at Thanksgiving. I gather all my young great nieces and nephews and we make Christmas presents for their parents. They range in age from 3 to 15, so I try to have about 3 levels of gifts to make and of course projects suitable for Mom and projects suitable for Dad. Sometimes a parent gets two of the same thing because they have several kids. We have so much fun and the little ones really look forward to our special time. Of course I need a helper and enlist my son and one of my sisters too. We have made stamped coasters, covered composition books, make bookmarks, etc. Then we always have to giftwrap them too. We usually do a stamping wheel on craft paper or use white bags. Most of the kids are pretty good at keeping the secret and can't wait till Christmas morning to give the gift. What they don't know is that this is a great gift I give myself. darlene

Anonymous said...

Love your blog! You are so inspiring. I am a quilter. I love giving handmade quilts to my family and friends. I always put this saying on the quilt label..
The best sleep under the heaven above is under a quilt made for you with love.
Teresa Blue
tmblueb@hotmail.com

Amanda said...

I think the favorite hand-made gift I've given is a 12x12 scrapbook for my brother. He is a HUGE sports lover and had saved tickets stubs to all kinds of NFL and NHL games, with pictures of team players, signatures, and all other memorabilia from the cities he visited for the games. It was a major undertaking since everything was just thrown in a box, and with the power of the internet I was able to add lots of details that I otherwise wouldn't have had a CLUE about!! But, it was really a masterpiece when I completed it!
I love checking your blog every chance I get! Keep up the great work!

Terri Morales said...

I do enjoy your Blog. I have been making homemade gifts for years. My family favorites are Christmas pajamas and homemade jam. I have tried to stop making the jam but the requests keep coming. I think my favorite homemade gifts were when my kids were in elementary school and bring the ornament or such with their picture on it. I now get tears when I pull them out putting up the Christmas tree.

Anonymous said...

Well, I have to agree with all of the others..... I love your Blog and really enjoy not only the pics you post but what you write as well. As far as favorite hand made gift--- that is very hard-- Every time I give a hand made gift or recieve one-- it truely has a special place in my heart. I love handmade ornaments the most I guess-- I have the ones I gave to my parents when I was a child and my kids said the other day-- Mom- did you really make this when you were little??? I hope my children cherish the ornaments they make later on in their lives as well.
Sherri Alspach
sherrialspach@sbcglobal.net

Jenni King said...

Love your blog! My mom STILL hangs the ornaments we made in 1st grade!! :) Bread dough, glitter and ribbon!! I love the holidays! I like to bake for all the friends and family. And I enjoy MAKING gifts for them, too. My mom is getting a stack of cards (shsssh, don't tell her)! Scrapbook pages for my sis, I think. Haven't decided yet. Thanks for the great ideas!!
Jenni King

Oma said...

Love your blog and have you in my google reader.

The best handmade gift I ever received, was a sweater my SIL knit for me one year. The previous year she had knit sweaters for all the females in the family but did not have time to start and finish one for me. I was disappointed but the following year, I was handed a box and when I opened it, it was a box that had held a whistling tea kettle. I needed a tea kettle but when I opened the box, inside was a sweater she had knit. That was about 23 years ago and I still wear that sweater to this day.

Jennifer said...

Love your blog! I've been either an email subscriber or (now) a Google Reader subscriber for about a year and a half now. My favorite handmade gift was one I gave my husband several years ago. It was just one of those fleece blankets that you tie, but my daughter and I made it together and that's what makes it my fav! We had such fun hanging out, talking, and tieing all those strips.

Tabitha said...

My favorite handmade gifts are "poem books" I think I have made one for all my family and friends.

You just take journal and then fill it up with your favorite quotes or poems, and usually write something really thoughtful about the person you give it to on the first page.

Each page is decorated however you want. They are so fun to make and even more fun to give. Everyone treasures theirs!

Julie Davison said...

Hi Michele! I've been missing your regular posts and look forward to more when the buzz of the holidays slows down. In the meantime...favorite handmade gift. I don't know if this counts, but one year, my sister gave me a photo album filled with photos from our childhood. My parents never organized photos and literally have boxes and boxes that are all mixed up. Some of the photos in the album I had never seen before. Technically it was a "bought" gift since she paid for the album and had reprints made of the photos, but the "gift" itself was the memories and those are priceless!

Cathy Carter said...

I hear you! Handmade gifts are the best! I think the best one I ever received was from my friend April. One year she typed and printed the lyrics to a TON of Christmas songs on all kinds of different Christmas papers...laminated them...and bound them together with ribbon. It was so beautiful - one of the best gifts I've ever gotten, and definitely my favorite hand made gift!

Char in So Cal said...

My favorite hand made gift was given to me by my husbands aunt. She made me a stuffed bunny doll with all the trimmings. It is just beautiful. I cried when I open it because SHE had made it for ME and I knew the thought was there. I will cherish that bunny forever!

I love to give people hand made, monogramed book marks :0)

Thanks for the op to win your sweet blog candy.

Char in So Cal
scrampaddict {at} cox {dot} net

Kristi Z. said...

My family is just like you, we love to give each other hand made gifts. One of my favorites is a decorated and personalized plastic box-thing. I use it to organize my hair clips and rubber bands, but I use it almost daily! It was a simple box from the dollar store, but I know how much time went in to the decorating part, and I just love it! Happy Holidays!

Diane said...

I'm making handcrafted gifts for all my family members this year. But I think my all time favorite was last Christmas when my then 80 year old mother made quilted wall hangings for everyone in the family. I put one of them on my blog after Christmas last year. What treasures. Right now I have three of hers...all Christmas...and they stay up all year round.

Anonymous said...

I'd have to say my favorite gift to give for the holiday season is a basket full of goodies for my friend. I try to give her a little something every year. She does a lot for me and she is a great person. To show my appreciation, I buy a very small basket (this year it has a felt snowman in the corner and a handle) and put in little treasures. In this basket I placed some boy scout popcorn (choc. covered) into a small cello bag. I also put candy cane hershey kisses in a cello bag too. I tied the bags with real red ribbon. I put some Bailey's irish cream filled chocolates, about 6 squares of Ghiradelli chocolates, and a small box of matches and two Partylite tealight candles. She will be coming over to make some cards next week, so I'll present the basket to her then.

One year, my dad made the three of us (my bro.and sis.) a cedar chest. He is an artisan and this was his very special gift to us. To this day we treasure his handmade gifts.

I would love to receive a handmade gift like the ones I send, but I mostly receive store bought ones.

Also, for my professors at school, I made each of them a chocolate bar holder in close to cocoa, choc. chip DSP, a choc. chip GG ribbon, and a gift tag that said their names. I decorated the front with cut out trees that I cut into a simple triangle shape. I added a star to the top of each tree. I wish, I wish, I wish I could receive a gift like that!

Merry Christmas.
Kelly Targett

Anonymous said...

[sent via e-mail]
Dear Michelle, Your blog is one of my favorites which I check daily. I love the idea of handmade gifts and have been doing it for years for others. I also have all the gifts the kids (now 26 and 33) have made me through the years and the handmade ornaments still go on the tree. Two special gifts come to mind -- One year our son Ryan found a shell, lacqured it and put it on a chain as a necklace for me; it is one of my favorite necklaces that I wear to this day. Several years ago our daughter started knitting and made me a hat out of my favorite colors; I wear it with pride knowing the hours of work she put into it. It is joyful to make gifts for others and much more meaningful. That is why I love making our cards...they are a handmade gift.

Can't wait to hear about your handmade gifts this Christmas.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Charlene
Pinehurst, NC

Becky R. said...

Hi, Love your blog...I try to check in every day. My favorite gift that I have given is a handmade quilt. I also like making mixes in mason jars. My favorite gifts I have received are gifts my boys have made for me using their tiny hand prints. They are now 12 & 15 so these gifts are even more special now!

Anonymous said...

My favorite homemade gift was this cool puzzle made from ABC blocks. They spell Merry Christmas if put in the right order and turned just the right way. Or, you can try to make them spell other things. A sweet gift form on of my first students!
~Shaunda

Karen said...

Hi Michelle, I really enjoy your blog. You have a style that is very much like my own. I like in Mass and started stampin up about 3 years ago. I was an avid cross stitcher, but now have a new passion. I always gave homemade gifts that I had stitched, now for the last couple of years I have been giving paper craft gifts. I made my son's teacher last year a box of cards to use throughout the year and she just loved them. This year I made his kindergarden teacher a perpetual calendar and cards to match. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas with all of us. Have a Merry Christmas.

Basteltiger´s Welt said...

I bookmarked your blog and try to visit every day but I hardly left a comment.
I live in Germany and I love the inspiration of your cards and other stuff which are so different from the one´s German stampers are creating.

Since many years we are doing handmade presents.
My husband is spending hours to decide the pictures of the year´s vacation we spent and we are creating a calendar which we are giving to our families.
Each year I am deciding a handmade project to the ladies in our family. This year I created big snowflakes made of cotton with a rubber stamp image in the middle so they can hang it to their windows.
For my mother I want to make a calendar with the birthdays because she´s easy to forget them but it is not finished yet.
And of course christmas cookies are one of our gifts, going to friends and family, wrapped in nicely decorated boxes or tins.

Have a great time for the holidays.
Nadine

Sally C said...

I Love to visit your blog, it is on my "favorites" here at work, so I can check when I need a break. My FAVORITE handmade gift was from a dear friend/boss years ago, she has since had a terrible car accident and did not survive, her 2year old daughter did (very sad). Anyway, she made all her assistants small wreaths with roses, and ribbon and pearls glued on (she asked everyone what their favorite color was so the ribbon is my favorite color), and to this day it hangs in my office as a reminder of her, and to always work hard as she always did. I sure do miss her! Sally C. stampwithsally@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

I just love your blog. I came across it a few months ago and have checked it almost daily ever since. :)

I think the best handmade gift that I have ever given was a scrapbook. I (secretly) compiled a scrapbook of my sister's senior year of high school. It was my graduation gift to her and she LOVED it.

Thanks for the chance to win some goodies!

Sarah
sec449@truman.edu

Tiffany Bauer said...

I just love your new name for Blog Candy!!! BLOG SWEETS!!!! What a great name!! I know what you mean about blogging hopping!!!
I also love your idea of drawing names and making a homemade gift for that person. Each year I try and make a homemade item for my three kids and my sister's four kids. I just think it is sooooo much more special to receive something that is homemade and from the heart!! My most favorite thing I have made and given as a gift was a mini scrapbook album I did for my husbands oldest niece for a wedding gift. I took pictures at her wedding shower and made her an ablum of that special day. She loved it and still after 3 years carries it around with her to show off!!!!
Have a great Christmas!!! And I also LOVE your Christmas card you are making!!

Anita said...

I love your blog...I discovered it after searching for Stampin Up projects. I usually make something handmade every year..always an ornament but alot of times gifts. The one thing that introduced me to rubber stamps was the year I made checkerboards. My husband made the frame and then I made the squares by rolling out polymer clay. We stamped the white squares using rubber stamps that fit the individual's taste and I used a wood technique for the dark squares. My husband cut dowels into discs that we dyed red and black. They have really become family treasures. And got me hooked on rubber stamps and Stampin Up!

Darla said...

I love your blog! I was inspired recently to start being an SU demonstrator, partially b/c of you and others like you with your gorgeous creations! I love to get inspiration out there from what others are doing. You definitely have a gift! Love, love, love your Christmas cards. My favourite handmade gift is likely a set of building blocks, trucks, and a toybox my dad made for me and my brother when we were about 5. I still have them and my kids now play with them too!

Carly S said...

Hi Michelle,

I love your blog. I try to look at it every day. You are very inspiring.

My favorite home made gift this year is an ornament my son made. He is 5, and we have discovered he is very creative.

Hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

Carly

KJ said...

Michelle, you are a sweetheart and I so enjoyed your company at convention, even though you were with us to meet Tiffany!

I love your blog mainly because everything you do is so do-able but is stunning at the same time.

I think the idea of your family making gifts for each other is a wonderful thing. You are spot on with the materialistic side of Christmas. I hope that is a tradition you continue with your boys and I can try to do with my girls as well.

My favorite handmade gifts are the cards that my girls make me for every holiday. For Mother's Day they all 3 made me bookmarks! They know I'm a bookworm, so it was so sweet that they actually thought about what I would use. They drew whatever picture that moved them, signed it and even dated it!

sueChristine said...

I love your blog, and all the great ideas you share on it. Thank you. My favorite homemade gift was from my niece when she was in grade school. She took a old black and white spotted glove and stuffed the fingers and put it over a old butter container and put eyes and ears and red bows on them so the fingers look like dalmation dogs sitting in a bed. She is 22 and getting married next July and its been sitting in my room since she gave it to me.

Alana Galagher said...

I love your idea of giving each other handmade gifts, our family usually distribute plates of handmade biscuits & slices on Christmas Day. My absolute favourite handmade gift was a handmade Christmas stocking with my name embroidered on it. A family friend made them for my sisters & I when we were young. I have since made ones for my kids & we hang them on the tree every year.

Anonymous said...

HI Michelle,
I love your blog. You are such an inspiration. Thank you for your creativity and ideas. They are a big help.
We too have the same family tradition of homemade gifts. I can't wait til all the kids are old enough to participate. My favorite gift I received from my husband (who thought he wasn't creative and couldn't do this when I first suggested it years ago), was a handmade ornament. He bought a kit from a craft store and put in a wedding picture of us and pizazzed it up with some dazzling diamonds to make it look like blown glass. It is really beautiful. We unfortunately can't find where it went and have been missing it for two years, but still searching and I've got the memory etched in my mind. It was really special to me. He also made me his first handstamped card, going through all my stuff and putting something together. It was really sweet. A memorable gift I made him was an embellished heart shape box and inside I had strips of paper with handwritten notes on them as to why I love him, or things I love about him. When I was done, there were over 100 reasons in that box and it was so fun to watch him unfold and read each and every one. I enjoyed making him feel so special and that made me feel special in return. It is priceless!
I can't wait to see what you and your family come up with this year, please share. Michelle Housh
MHoush@aol.com

Cristi said...

I love to make and receive homemade gifts as well. One year I cross-stitched a perpetual calendar for my mother-in-law. It took me almost 4 months to complete but the look on her face was worth all of the time. She still uses it and proudly tells everyone that her daughter-in-law made it for her.

Lastel said...

I read your blog daily but don't always have time to leave a commemt as I subscribe to over 100 blogs , there are just too many awesome ones out there . Hand made gifts are so much fun , we did that alot as kids . My favorie handmade gift was a wreath my parents made for me about 5 or 6 years ago and I still use it every year . This year I am going to decorate a wooden initial of my sweethearts first name as one of his Christmas gifts , I hope he will like it !

patty w said...

I love your Christmas card, you can tell how much love and time you've put into them!

I subscribe through Feedblitz email.

We've had several years where hubby and I have done "handmade only" gifts. 2 years ago , he made me a big wall shelf/mirror. He stripped down and old white oak mirror, refinished it, added some old copper pipe with the old fashion porcelain spiggot handles, ya know that are kind of shaped like a cross. It was beautiful and I know he put a lot of love and time into it! I couldn't figure out why he kept disappearing for hours in the old garage!

Now, this year my son is collectin old 2L bottles, I keep asking WHAT are you doing with those? he says he can't tell, but when I threatened to throw them out, he said he was making my Christmas gift with them. Now, he's got a bunch of old AA batteries piling up with them. I'm afraid! Very afraid! LOL

This year I made a friend a handmade Prim Snowman. I do not know how to sew really and had no pattern whatsoever! I worked extremely hard on him and ripped out a few stitches! But I think he turned out fantastic and he smells good too!

Merry Christmas Blessings to you and your family!

Janet said...

Your blog is awesome! And even though this is my first time commenting, I check your blog regularly!

My favorite handmade gift is a Christmas ornament that my son made when he was in the 1st grade. He took a pine cone, rolled it in glue, and sprinkled it with purple, blue, and a little bit of green glitter. I LOVE THAT THING! And I always make sure that it is on the tree - front and center! He told me when he gave it to me that all the other kids were using red and green, but he chose purple because he knew it was my favorite color! AW! He's 13 now and asks me every year "Why do you like that thing so much!" "because you made it especially for me!" is always my reply!

Monika said...

Love your blog! Keep up the great work you do! And thank you for a chance at some great candy. I don't really have a fav. homemade gift. I love them all. I loved my homemade quilt stand that my brother gave me, and I have some very cute ornaments from a friend that is soo cute.

Linda said...

What a sweetie you are giving away a special treat. My fave hand made gift is a scrapbooked Calendar....I scrap one for my Mum and Mum In Law each Christmas and I love that they have a new layout to enjoy each month. They take me months to make but it is well worth it. Cheers!

Butterfly said...

Handmade gift mean so much more to not only to the recipient but they also bring joy to the maker. I love to bake cakes or other treats and give them to my friends at Christmas time with a handmade card crafted especially for them.
I would rather spend hours producing something myself than spend a few minutes buying something from the shops. A gift from the heart made with love is so much more valuable. I love visiting your blog and get so much inspiration from your beautiful creations. Thank you for sharing your talents with us all.

InspiredByInk said...

Hi Michele,
First time commenter but faithful reader! My FAV handmade gifts? Well, I always like to BAKE treats for my family and send them to them. My grandma was a big baker and I like to carry on the tradition! I also make notecards for my sis & SIL. This year I am trying my hand at making low sugar jams. I just finished up 6 pints of blackberries this a.m. and need to get more lids to finish off my cherry and raspberry jams tomorrow or monday. Yummo! I want to try making dolls out of gloves, but I don't know that my sis & SIL would like those lol. Unless I can put a holiday spin on them.

Thanks!

Bobbie *Ü*

CindyL said...

My favorite homemade gifts to make are cookies, candies, and breads. I do this each year for 4 of the neighbors who live around us, and they are ready for them with open arms. Most of them do not bake on their own, so they enjoy getting this treat each year. I love being in the kitchen, and it's so much fun trying out new recipes.