Sorry to be a bit cliched with the heading. I don't normally like doing that sort of thing myself, but......this really is a Christmas List that I'm making.
I am back now from a long weekend visiting my Grandma, who lives at the beach. Looking from her veranda out towards the sparkling ocean, thoughts :: ideas :: inspirations :: wants :: longings :: feelings and hopes rattled about in my mind. Some of them formed into expectations and real hopes, aspirations. I have an almost tangible feel in my hands, my mind, my eyes that I can achieve everything I'm about to put on this list. Right now I feel so optimistic that I'm going to succeed in being able to complete and cross off this list. I feel that I will not need Plan B - but I'm going to write it anyway!
Long before I joined the Handmade Pledge, I have tried to be handmade, or less plastic and 'stuff, stuff, stuff'. Of course, that really hasn't been so successful over the years with new babies - the exciting first for Sam's family. Last year I did make the gifts we gave to my niece and nephews. This year, I :: intend :: on making all the gifts we give out. And if I can't get them made myself I would very much like them to be locally made, or at the very least ethically made. That one I know can be a definite back-up plan.
So, here goes :: (associated family members - please STOP reading NOW).
For all the kids (Ari, Mishi, Ash, Sidi, Rollie + Tal) ::
I plan on making quilts, or blanket things. This one a definite inspiration (actually everything Amanda does is!) - it looks to be a tiny bit simpler than a real patchwork quilt, which I have practically no experience with. More inspiration here, here, here (better stop linking, start planning, cutting, sewing!).
We don't give adult gifts on my side of the family, but we do with Sam's family. So for Sam's parents and his brother + girlfriend I aim on making placemats, hot pots, possibly matching serviettes too (all inspired from Bend the Rules). There's so much inspiration for these all around.
I would like to make something for my Grandma, though really don't know if that will happen or not. She would love a quilt, but I think aiming for some placemats or a little carry pouch for her magnifying glass (she has a degenerative eye cancer, and has quite bad vision) would be more achievable.
There are a few international friends who I really want to get something posted off to. Some bags and aprons for children, totes for the mamas. That sort of thing. There are at least two families (total five children), who would be most important for me to post something to.
Additionally, I have signed up for this Holiday Tradition Exchange. I have been partnered up with Tonya, and I really want to have/make the time to have a special swap for her. This is the first blogging swap for me, and I'm really excited. This year will be the first we have a Christmas tree at our house - previously children not old enough, and we visited family for Christmas. So, I feel this is the perfect time for starting some traditions in my family, learning about other traditions, making new friends. The ideas for this are forming, I just need to get the headspace to get it settled into a proper plan.
As well as all these ambitious gifts, I would like Ari to make some things to give friends and family. Books (which I have had in my head for ages now), paintings, drawings, some form of 'craft'.
The main back-up plan I feel I need is for the children's quilts. These I feel, sort of almost know, that possibly I won't be able to finish all of them. I would so love to, but I know myself and my life at the moment. I think I will need to call in a lot of child-minding to make the time. So, here's one back-up plan I spotted and love. I hope Stefani doesn't mind me copying. And this little pocket roll-up, which I have seen around a bit. These are cute, too. If anyone has any other ideas :: inspiration for children's gifts (aged from 9months up to 8 years), I would love any suggestions.