Speaking of Antiquing – Dec 2015/Jan 2016

Every so often when my children were growing up, I would declare a HANDMADE ONLY Christmas.

The gifts to each other had to be made by hand by them.

I made my sewing area off limits by putting up sheets to hide what I was working on. A couple of quilts and many shirts came out of that little cave, not to mention dolls and doll clothes.

Items of wood and glue, pine needles and raffia, ceramic or clay were created and some remain to this day. They say that necessity is the mother of invention and my kids rose to the occasion. These were wonderful memories in our family, and learning curves were met. They figured it out, skills were instilled, creativity abounded.

We all long for that “simpler time” when Christmas and the Holidays aren’t so rushed or expensive.

Homemade gifting is a wonderful, easy way to create a bit of simplicity and beauty.

Water color paper and a set of water color paints is a marvelous way to nurture an artistic child. A world of wonder can appear on paper once experimentation begins.

Scour thrift shops for bits of old and broken jewelry. Sparkly adornments can be added to clothing or hats. Use large coat buttons for closures for handbags.

Take an old sweater and cut off the arms and repurpose for pouches or bags. Fill the bags with marbles, candy or handmade jewelry.

Cut up old torn quilts or blankets to make a myriad of things; pin cushions or purses, dolls or bears. Let your imagination run wild.

Reclaim old lumber and sand paper to fashion a small table, a bird house, a shelf, a picture frame. You can go to the Re-Store and find usable paint for your projects.

The history of America can be found in the items created by hand, out of need or desire. Items once produced as household needs or necessities are highly sought after. Wooden bowls hand-hewn from one piece of wood, wooden mallets or wooden spoons, rolling pins, bread boxes, cutting boards, dough bowls are what we consider “primitives.” Simple boxes for storing flour and sugar, or even jewelry, were decorated with bright colors and pleasant scenes. What about an old cedar blanket chest? Perhaps it was made out in the barn away from the eyes of the one to whom it was gifted. Perhaps there was a forge in that barn. Iron pounded into hooks, tools, handles for the blanket chest…

On a farm there was an endless supply of useful materials for making beautiful items such as leather, bone, horsehair, wood, clay, wool, and so on.

In today’s world we don’t need to dig the clay, tan the leather, card the wool, or cut the tree. We do need to stop a minute and think of our family and friends and truly decide if even one gift this year can be hand-made for someone.

One only needs a bit of imagination and the push to do it. One can do almost anything for love, and isn’t that the most simple thing we crave at Christmas time?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us here at Pickety Place.