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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'm giving an old AND homemade gift

Maybe an heirloom in the making? I finished this needlepoint monogram in 1980. Since I divorced in 1981, I did not frame it. Now, stretched, matted, and framed, it is a Christmas gift to my son and daughter-in-law.

Old, you say?

Homemade, to boot? And. Cheap?

Old or homemade does not mean inferior quality or a dowdy gift. I am in awe (not in a good sense) of the people who don't like homemade gifts. I feel sorry for the people who make things with love and then are faced with detractors, complainers, critics.

My son knows the framed piece is coming. He has no idea what it looks like. But, subdued though he is, he is still excited. A mother can tell!

It is not like I used a milk jug to make a piggy bank. Or, that I wrapped an orange juice can with wallpaper or cloth scraps and rick rack!

I had found an excellent frame for this, only fifty-cents at a yard sale this fall. Last week, I looked at the needlepoint and realized that I had bought a square frame for a rectangular piece! Bummer! It was too late to look for another frame. My knee keeps collapsing, and walking is not my best feat right now. So, I went from a cheap to more expensive frame. The cost to me--I took back the small, cheap artificial tree I had bought so I could have a tree this year. Instead, I gave this framed piece to my son and his family. I will never tell him! He thinks I managed to get a tree.

The inexpensive frame was from a frame shop with a framed quote in it. So, I have an excellent frame and nothing to put in it!

There is no frame of reference in the picture, but the dimensions of the frame are about 13" x 15".

I gave this identical framed gift to my two sisters in 1980. However, I gave them initials of their first names. And, I had theirs framed, too. My homemade gifts, as you can see, are not shabby at all. Even without the frame, it is a nice gift. If it were matted only, the cost would be so much less that even the most frugal or money-strapped person could afford matting in order to present this as a gift. I washed the piece and blocked it right here at home. So, that cost was avoided.

Keep your fingers crossed that it makes it 1000 miles, unbroken.

Your turn
Do you give homemade gifts? Are they appreciated? If not, shame on the recipients. Do you use your talents for gifts?

Does anyone know where I can obtain more letter patterns like this one? I cannot.


  1. My goal is to do cross stitch for several gifts next year just like this one. :-) Great minds. I have about 6 books of patterns from the library that I will choose from and then scan with our scanner to work on throughout the year.

    We also plan on making a few batches of wine to give as gifts next year and jelly.

  2. Wine, jelly, and needlework will make excellent gifts. People who do not value these things just don't deserve gifts! I plan to do more needlework for my three children for next year. More little crocheted doll blankets are in the plan,too. We will probably ruin the economy by not participating in conspicuous consumption! (sarcasm) I know for a fact that my children always did and do now appreciate my homemade gifts. When they were in grade school, they begged me to make doll blankets for the many birthday parties they attended. When the two older were in hs and the little one was in elementary school, they willingly all wored identical red striped t-shirts I made them and walked to the bus stop! No one told the teens to dress alike that day. Eeeek! Can you imagine the horror that most teen brother and sister would feel? Revulsion?

  3. LOL. Too funny.
    I thought about this for the same reasons you mentioned. I am sick of giving people things they will never remember. My 4 year old niece will never remember the Barbie lunchbox she will be getting this year. Hopefully, she WILL remember the time that we spend together having fun riding bikes, the time we spend playing in the hot tub (my dad's,)or cross-stitch I make her.

    I remember when I was little how generic alot of the cross-stitch looked. They have definitely come a long way! The detail is amazing! I would rather give my TIME than "things."

    Great post, Linda. :-)

  4. I suppose there is a time and place for commercial gifts. I still give them to children and grandchildren. But, there is no rejection of complaining. My son is actually disappointed that I have not made the dress for his daughter that I mentioned last summer.

    Last night, I was searching needlepoint sites, looking for more initials for next year. The stamped needlepoint kits were $78 prohibitive for me! What I want obviously does not exist! Cross-stitch never appealed to me, but they are very intricate, but in a different was from needlepoint.

  5. I meant--there is no rejection OR complaining about homemade gifts. I need to proof my comments!

  6. what a hoot! but now I'm left wondering how one makes a piggy bank out of a milk jug! ;)

  7. Dmarie, look back in the post for a link I just added.

  8. I went to Hobby Lobby with hubby today for the first time. I bought what I need to make about 6 needle-point gifts for Christmas next year...for $12! I cant believe how expensive the kits are! As I mentioned, I got my books from the library (for free!) and will scan what I want to use as a reference. I hope you find the initials you are looking for!

    For me, I'm going to start cross stiting! :-)

    Oh, and the piggy bank is adorable! Both of my nieces would love one, I'm sure! However, instead of pink, I will paint it black. Our pot-bellied pig is the talk of the little ones (and adults too!)

    Great idea! Thank you!!

  9. If you Google "piggy bank milk jug," you well find a dozen sites with instructions for the milk jug.

    The $78 kit was about 7" x 7". Some kits were over $1200. If people are counting money spent, then needlepoint is the way to go. I might go to Hobby Lobby and see what kink of thread and supplies they have. I only use Persian wool.

    I hope you post your finished products on your blog. We can encourage and inspire others.


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