I love how Drek's family does Christmas presents. The focus is always on the thought; not on the money. They draw names and the point it to give a thoughtful gift, not an expensive gift. Usually, the presents need to be homemade to emphasize thought over price.
This year the gift needed to be an ornament. My sister-in-law came over last night and presented us with our gifts:
A Christmas card holder she made:
And little baby Jesus ornaments made out of nut shells and cloth. This picture isn't very good, but trust me, they are DARLING.
She is so creative.
Anyway, back in November I was told I needed to ornaments for my in-laws. I loved this idea in theory, but soon I remembered a vital fact: I am not a craft a person. AT ALL.
Remember how to years ago my brilliant idea for a a homemade gift was to make a hat and a scarf? And I worked on it for two months before giving up and handing it over to Krisling who finished it in five minutes?
Remember how last year I tried to paint a board for my niece and failed miserably, so I had to go out to Toys R Us on a night in December to buy a last minute gift?
So, just in case I am tempted next year to do the same thing this year: DON'T DO IT, K LA! It doesn't matter how easy Pintest makes it look, you will FAIL!
This year I decided to collect sea shells from the beach, glue pictures inside and ribbons on top and call them Christmas ornaments. Alas, after two trips to the beach, we decided large or even medium size seashells were not "in season." We couldn't even find one and we needed six.
On to Plan B: Buying shatter-proof clear plastic ornaments, glue the pictures to a sparkling ocean-blue glitter paper and put it inside. Add sand and tiny seashells.
Alas, I could not find the plastic ornaments that came apart, only the ones with the removable top: There was no way to get a picture inside.
Plan C: I returned to the craft store, bought ocean blue glitter glue, returned the ocean blue glitter paper, and spent twenty minutes arguing with the clerk who would not give me the eighty cents in change because I didn't have my driver's licence with me.
Still, I returned home optomistic: I would write the names on the outside of the ornament in the glitter glue and fill it with sand and seashells. The name-writing went great, but the sand I got turned out to be more pebbles than sand. I decided to return to the beach.
Three trips later, I still hadn't found the fine white sand I envisioned, so I gave up and went with fine gray sand. Not as pretty, but it would work. Alas, the seashells wouldn't stay on top of the sand, so instead of a picturesque beach snow-globe, it looked more like a ball filled with gray sand.
Plan D: okay, start from scratch: look for ideas on Pintrest. I found a very easy-looking recipe that made Christmas smelling ornaments. The recipe only required cinnamon, elmer's glue and applesauce. It's supposed to smell wonderful, even years later. And since it looked more like baking than crafting, I decided it couldn't fail! I borrowed Christmas cookie-cutters, bought the ingredients and set to work!
The dough was not turning into dough, so I added flour. Then more flour, than more flour. When it finally looked more like dough and less like pudding, I rolled it out in between two pieces of parchment paper. Pintrest said the top piece of paper should peel right off, and then I just had to cookie-cutter the dough and bake!
No. Very No. The dough was way too sticky and still too liquid. I tried to peel off the top, but it just stuck together and created a mess. Exasperated I threw the whole thing a way. "Let's just buy them a nativity set," I told Drek. "No, no!" he replied. "I still like the sand-ornament idea."
Plan E: Let Drek do it. He poured glue into the balls of sand, and then sprinkled the seashells on top. This worked great, except for some reason the glue created condensation which made the glitter-glue fall off. "Hey, I have an idea." he said. "Let's just buy them a nativity set."
Plan F: Buy a nativity set.
But a lot of thought went into that store-bought nativity set.