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November 20, 2009

Making a Handmade Tradition

Recently, I read a book called Gideon'a Gift by Karen Kingsbury, the first book of the Red Gloves Series. These are small, wonderful books focused around Christmas and most of all around the miracles God can bring our way. The fact that I experienced the miracle of my girls makes me especially emotional for these tear jerker reads.

But the first book of the series has this character who had a tradition in his family where each Christmas they would make one handmade gift. Maybe a painting, a written song, something knitted or crafted. And it would be set apart from the other gifts by being wrapped with white tissue paper. I was so touched by such a personal tradition. It requires thought, time, and effort and becomes incredibly meaningful while it is being made and then to the person who receives it.

I told hubby that I really wanted to so something like this each Christmas. Often when I sew something for someone, I pray with each stitch for that person. A set of fabric blocks for my friend's new baby. Or this one...

This gift has special meaning because I gave it to an incredibly dear friend where she and her husband decided to name their daughter a name that means PEARL. My friend also used to work in a very popular, high end jewelry store and pearls held such personal and wonderful meaning for her. Then one day she wrote a post on her blog about her Pearl Girl that had me weeping while rivers of goo just poured out of my facial orifices. It was not pretty. The post was just so beautiful. At the same time, her baby shower was in mere days and I had a gift but wanted to make something yet I had been stumped. After her post, inspiration struck and I made this girly wall hanging using fabric on canvas.

And would you believe all the material is from 3 adorable kitchen towels? Gotta love it.

My friend is also STYLE PERSONIFIED and what would be more appropriate than a cute dress, a bag, and shoes with pearl embellishments? (Sadly, you can't see the pearls in my awful pic but it ended up so cute.)

Then we have these sweet felt coasters I made for BFF. This was actually painfully hard to give these away because I loved them so much. But God helped me pry my selfish fingers off them. Loved the colors, the fabric accents, and I am obsessed with birds. Kinda trendy but you can't help what you like. Anyway, I made these for her and she loooooooved them. I thought of what her style was like, what she is drawn to and it made it such a personal process for me.

This one is a little bow holder with...surprise!!! A bird. But whatever. You get that I dig birds. This one was fun because the wing is from an old dress of my oldest daughter's which I loved but it had holes in it from so much wear. I saved it and loved that I could include it on this project. Then there was some nostalgia attached to it. She is very into the whole bow in the hair thing and I needed to get all of them organized for both of my girls. I had seen them for sale online and figured I could make one myself. So I did. She loved it and it made me so happy to make her happy.

Even if you are not crafty you could still be creative. For my second wedding anniversary I wrote on little cards 24 reasons why I loved my hubby. Or one Christmas, my hubby printed out all our emails from when we first started dating. That was fun! This past anniversary I made a jar with tiny slips of paper with the title that said..."Thoughts of You I wish I said Out Loud & More Often."
Just wanted to pass on our new tradition we hope to begin this year. I can't wait to see what we end up doing for one another in our family.
Do any of you have traditions like this? I so need ideas!


  1. From someone on the receiving end of one of these amazing, inspiring, touching, beautiful, hand-crafted gifts (I'm the Pearl Girl's mom)... I have to say that nothing is more special than something put together by hand by someone who loves you, loves your family, loves Jesus and has prayed over each stitch. My pearl girl gift is a priceless treasure that I will cherish forever.

    Now... when do I get my hair bow bird???

  2. How stinking cute are these!?! Cute cute cute! I do most of my "handmade" giving through photo projects and photo books. I just never seem to have the time for much else. I'm thinking about buying delightful things on Etsy and pretending I made them. Ha! Just kidding...mostly.

  3. All I want to know is what in the world is this word? ORIFICES?!? Um hello! I really LOVE the jar idea for hubby with "thoughts..." Greg also made me a book for my first mothers day ever with all of our emails from the moment we found out we were pregnant. I currently do not have any traditions, but I like several of yours that I hope stick & stay with me. You know how consistent I am!!

  4. I love all of your ideas! My boss told me of an idea that she is doing with her husband. They are each going to pick out their favorite picture of each other and frame it and write a note explaining why that is their favorite memory of each other. I thought that was really cute and thoughtful.

  5. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! I just love learning something new every time I visit your blog. Thanks as always!

  6. Hi!I'm from Malaysia:)Absolutely LOVE your twitter coasters!!! Love the other ideas too. It's so inspiring to see you sharing your passion for Jesus. Keep walking in faith!God Bless.


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