Saturday, 24 December 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go...

I can't believe that it is Christmas Eve already! The last few weeks have just flown by. For various reasons this year I have found it difficult to get into the Festive spirit. Work has been quite a struggle, very busy and stressful. Also last week I had a wisdom tooth extracted and so have been nursing a very sore mouth and jaw. I was sedated during the extraction so the 24 hours afterwards is a bit of a blur. OH was great as usual. He took me to the appointment, drove me home afterwards and even took the following day off work in order to take care of me.

While I was recuperating I beaded some Christmas ornaments to give as gifts. The pictures above show two of the designs. The top one is adapted from a design by Lynn Firth and the one immediately above is adapted from an original design by a Canadian beader called Cathy Lampole aka That Bead Lady. I hope that the recipients will keep the baubles and use them each year and when they hang them up they will spare a thought for me.

OH and I don't really bother much with presents for each other at Christmas. We have been together for a long time so just tend to give each other a small gift rather than a large expensive one. I know that a lot of people will find this strange but neither of us is particularly materialistic. I usually try to make him something if I can.

He loves notebooks and has a collection of them. If I see a nice example when I am out and about I will buy it for him. This year I decided to make him a note book as a Christmas present. (I can share this with you as he is now safely tucked up in bed until Christmas morning). I have been fascinated by the art of bookbinding ever since I saw a demonstration when I was a student. A local bookbinder showed us how to re-bind a book. I was fascinated and entranced. Books have always been very important to me. Although I like the idea of Kindles and e-book readers nothing beats handling an actual book as far as I am concerned. So I love the idea of creating them.

I have been on leave for the last few days so decided to put the time to good use. I gathered together some supplies and, following the instructions in an amazing book called 'Cover to Cover' I set about making a notebook.

Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that I have done several City & Guilds beading courses over the last five years. One compulsory element of the course is to produce a sketch book showing your experiments with colour, texture and form. As a result I have collected a small range of different types of paper. So, for the pages of the notebook I used some lovely handmade paper that was lurking in my stash. The cover was made from some offcuts of board, left over from making some display boards for my jewellery. The cover paper was from an old, out of date Ordnance Survey map of Dartmoor. I chose the Plymouth section for the front cover as that is where I was born and brought up and holds a lot of memories for both of us. The front tie is a scrap of ribbon which had been in my sewing basket for a while.

The whole thing came together beautifully. What really pleases me, and I hope will also appeal to OH, is that it is made from odds and ends that I already had lying around. I have also given a new lease of life to the map which might otherwise might have been consigned to the recycling bin.

I love the recent revival in 'make do and mend' and using vintage materials. I think that it is mainly due to my parents' influence. They both grew up during the Second World War when severe rationing meant that you didn't waste anything. I think that some of that has rubbed off on me. Both my Mum and Dad were always making things when I was growing up and I am eternally grateful that I seem to have inherited a little of that talent. Making things enriches my life beyond measure. I hope that it also gives pleasure to the recipients of my handmade gifts.

I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas wherever you are.


Where the nodding violets grow said...

What a great gift. I think it is always lovely to receive something homemade. I wish you and your family and Merry Christmas and healthy and happy New Year.

agirlinwinter said...

What a fantastic present - I am amazed, as always, by your never-ending talents. I hope he liked the notebook. Thank you for all my beautiful presents. I love the scissors in particular. I hope the chocolates delivered on their promise!