Truly, I intended to write a lot during December...like writing about the gifts I was making; experimental craft projects; the result of my appointment with the Rheumatologist and of course, Christmas. Now, not only is December almost over...so is 2010!
Around the first week of December, whilst cooking dinner, I heard Midnight Man's mobile cock-a-doodle-do. This Rooster-Song is the quirky, yet highly identifiable ring tone Midnight Man has chosen for his portable mode of communication. The caller was his oldest daughter, T-Girl. She had a favour to ask--would me mind having her two oldest sons--Grandsons M & K--for a week during their school holidays? Mmmmm...okay, why not? This gave me a couple of weeks to consider what to do with two rambunctious boys (ages 13 and 11.5). Well, given my tiredness, they might have to deal with Nana D taking a nap everyday!!!
In the meantime, I did a little knitting--trying to make good use of the time to make some Christmas presents. I made a valiant effort...meaning I got three pairs of mini-mittens knitted but got overwhelmed with the idea of needing to knit another 14 pairs! And they are tiny! The photo shows the three pair I did get done laying next to a 12 inch/30 cm ruler! So, I've decided that I have a start on next year's Christmas gifts.
The idea is that each year for all 14 of the grandchildrens' Christmas Presents I will make at least two or three ornaments--each marked with the year and each child's name on it. I haven't been as successful as I would like. However, I have managed a few years to achieve my goal. The teddy bears were the 2008 project. Each teddy was hand-painted with the favorite colour of each grandchild. The name and year was marked on the back. This way they have a keepsake to take with them for their own Christmases in the future.
Another thing I've had to learn this December is how to put a group of photos into a Microsoft Publisher file, save it as a JPEG File Interchange Format in order to insert it into the blog. If I want more than one image, then I must make a photo montage with several photos on a document that can be saved in a JPEG format, thereby creating a single and insert-able image. Trying to maneuver an inserted image in this blog -creating -mode is limited to the optional commands the website gives me. So, this led me to experiment and find a new way to use publisher and also accomplish my objectives.
The teddy bears are made out of a non-edible dough made with flour, salt and water. You roll it out like roll-out cookies. The link to the recipe is here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Dough-Ornament-Recipe/Detail.aspx I used acrylic paint to decorate them.
If I think about why I make the ornaments, there are at least a couple of reasons. Perhaps the most obvious is that both Midnight Man and I are unemployed due to illness. So we must be wise with our resources. With four grown children, their spouses/spouses-to-be and 14 grandchildren, buying Christmas presents requires a create deal of creativity. We could shop year-round when we find good deals...but then we don't have the space to store things.
Another reason I like to make gifts is that I am giving of my time to create something unique for each person or family. I am constantly praying for each person while I'm working on a project. I am not just giving them from my hands, I am also giving something of who I am, reflecting back to them the love they give me.
Making things with family creates memories--which can be a real treasure. By making a point of making things each year, I am also creating a tradition. Traditions can be boring--but they can also become anchors that create stability for us in an ever changing world. Imagine the first time you were away from home at Christmas. Singing along with songs you sang with your parents, siblings and close friends hopefully made you feel less alone.
It was a Christmas in the 1970's that started a tradition between Grandma Cox and me. Grandma Cox was my mother's mom. Grandma made a set of feather pillows for my older brother, my younger sister and me. Along with each set of feather pillows, she handmade pillow shams from old flour bags, embroidering each case with special designs, and trimming them with hand-made lace she had crocheted. I was so excited by those pillow cases, my grandmother made a set for me each year until she died. I still have these pillow cases. Each time I use them, I feel touched by her hands. I am now trying to replicate that type of tradition--and hope my "Step-" family feel their lives touched by the love I invest in what I make for them.
So, that kind of covers the topic of making gifts. I hope that I will complete some of my experiments and give you some interesting blogs in the future.
Regarding the result of my appointment with the Rheumatologist, I am happy to report that my body is clear of any rheumatic complaints or conditions. All along I had believed this to be the case. However, after the New Year, I'm going to pursue seeing and Endocrinologist. I have a reasonable amount of energy each day--provided I get at least 10 hours of sleep a night. The Rheumatologist recommended light exercises, such as Pilate's. I have two videos to work with...so hopefully I will get motivated with that soon.
My time with Grandson M and Grandson K deserve a blog of their own...and I will be writing more soon.