Jill from Life Is Not Bubble Wrapped is hosting Fun Monday this month. Today her question is about ‘handmade’ or ‘homemade’ gifts. Are they naughty (boring, useless, only something your great aunt Matilda does), or nice (useful, cheery, tasty, cozy, pretty, economical)? Do you ‘handmake’ or ‘homemake’ any items, and if so, what, for whom and do they appreciate it? This can be birthday, something you got as a kid, something your kid gave you, and so on, it’s not limited to Christmas, or even this time of year! Have you even gotten a ‘bad’ homemade gift?
I don’t really remember getting homemade or handmade gifts. And I know I’ve never given one, mostly because I can’t craft my way out of a paper bag.
Not for lack of trying, mind you. Like most girls of my generation, I tried weaving potholders with those stretchy fabric bands. Not only were they unattractive, they were ineffective too. In grade school I dutifully pasted elbow macaroni and fake flowers to cardboard, let the art teacher spray paint the whole mess gold, and framed it (probably with more cardboard). A work of art that could compete with anything Home Interiors had to offer, except you couldn’t even unload it at a garage sale!
Of course, there were various attempts at paint-by-number–was there anyone out there, regardless of faith, who didn’t try to do a miniature paint-by-number Last Supper? Surely some of you have a paint-by-number mountain scene hidden away in a hall closet, or guiltily stashed in the trash bin after sitting half-finished for several years. Other semi-artistic pursuits included woodburning (using a heated pen to burn pictures into soft wood, which either came to nothing or could burn down a house–no happy medium there) or making mosaic ashtrays. Not even a non-smoking family could have too many mosaic ashtrays, and even the most chain-smoking parents on the planet could possibly use them all.
The Girl Scouts attempted to teach me knitting and crocheting. The mother who was volunteered for the task had no idea how to teach needlework to a left-handed girl. She tried her best, even sitting me in front of a mirror, but it was hopeless. Endless yards of yarn were left tangled and knotted beyond any useful purpose.
Needless to say, I buy my gifts. I don’t dislike anyone enough to make a gift.
For stories from more competent crafters, visit Life Is Not Bubble Wrapped.