It's Christmas Eve! I really can't believe it myself. This year, the Christmas season has been filled with an unusual sense of both angst and anticipation in our family, and I've tried extra hard to not over-do things, so that I could simply spend every minute possible just soaking up as much family time as possible. A year ago, we were celebrating the completely unexpected addition of a newborn baby boy, Jeremiah, to our family - via legal guardianship. And this year, we are preparing our hearts to say goodbye to him just four days after Christmas, as he will leave our family to travel across the country to begin his new life with his birth mother. It has been a difficult process, accepting this turn of events, but in the end, love has won out, and Jeremiah is a blessed little boy to have so many people who love him so much. Needless to say, we will be clinging together as a family, making this year as special as possible.
Since I needed to make gifts as simple as possible this year, I made ornaments for teacher gifts and gift exchanges. I thought I'd share a few with you. These are quick to make and could be made at the last minute if you need a gift idea for a last-minute guest.
For these cute musical heart ornaments, I started by cutting two facing hearts from music paper. I cut Christmas words out of some Teresa Collins ribbon and adhered it to the front heart, then added an additional sentiment with my Dymo labeler. I put the hearts together, right sides facing out, and began stitching them together with a zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine. I left about a 1" opening, and stuffed them with Poly-fil, then completed stitching them closed. I trimmed around the hearts with pinking shears. I used Distress Ink to ink around the edges - on the one above, I just used a bit of Gathered Twigs, while on the one below, I used both Festive Berries and Gathered Twigs. I took a length of jute string and stitched it on to the back of the ornament, using a straight stitch, going back and forth a couple times (you could also just put it between the hearts when stitching them together, but I like the look of the added stitching). Finally, I spritzed the front of the ornaments with some Biscotti Perfect Pearls spray for a bit of shimmer.
On this third ornament, I used Tim Holtz's Sizzix die, Carved Ornaments 2, to cut the ornament from grunge board, with the Noel Movers & Shapers die in the middle to cut out the word. I painted the ornament using the Snow Cap paint dabber and let it dry. Then I applied Denim, Pool, and Snow Cap Mixative Adirondack alcohol inks, using Blending Solution to help move the inks around, on an ink applicator tool, on the ornament. I used a silver leafing pen to color the letters of "NOEL" and the topper piece, as well as the edges of the ornament. I used the Movers & Shapers holly leaf to cut several leaves, and I used the Tattered Pine Cone die to cut some pine branches - all from Core'dinations cardstock. I sanded them, used the Snow Cap paint dabber on their edges, and dabbed them with Rock Candy Distress Stickles. I wrapped a small piece of fake greenery around the bottom of the ornament and then began arranging the branches and holly leaves on the ornament. I topped them with a pearl from Tim Holt's Ideaology line. Finally, I tied a piece of jute string and inked seam binding through the top of the ornament, and it was complete.
What do you do for last minute gifts? Do you have a go-to handmade gift?