It's a tradition in this house for my girls to make presents for their relatives. They've been making cards and Christmas presents for grandparents and aunts and uncles since they were tiny. I guess it isn't surprising given how much handmade craft happens around them although I have to say with poetry consuming so much of my time and attention lately, there's been a lot less time for craft. Although I do manage to sneak in a bit here and there.
We've been through a big phase of fabric gifts embellished with artwork - bookmarks, calico shopping bags, tea towels, aprons and t-shirts. This year my oldest girl who is becoming quite an accomplished artist is doing paintings for everyone. She works in watercolours and acrylics, drawing all sorts of things - landscapes, people and still lives.
My youngest girl had the brilliant idea of making hand bound books for everyone. Of course she wanted to make the fanciest (ie most time consuming) type. So we've been madly cutting, folding, burnishing, sewing, gluing and pressing for the last few days. I know Christmas is still a while off but I wanted to get them made nice and early. And luckily I did because when I took them into the post office yesterday to send on their merry way, the lady said it was pretty much the last day to send a package by ordinary post to get to Canberra in time.
It's quite a process and when you're making ten books in one go it can become quite tedious. My girl was starting to flag so I did a fair bit of the heavy lifting so to speak but she did take part in every step. We had some chats about why we were making things because halfway through she was wanting to quit and just go out and buy presents instead.
I've always maintained that her family spend so much time and money doing nice things for her that it's only right she should spend some of her time making things for them. Of course there's the added bonus of being able to give the people you love something beautiful you have made with your own two hands - in my opinion no store bought thing will ever have all the love you put into handmade gifts.
And really, who doesn't love handmade gifts? The wonkier the better of course!