A Heart Handmade Blog Holiday Featurette
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
My family began a tradition we call “Christmas Eve Drive Surprise” years ago. Each Christmas Eve we would spend the day on sometimes a well planned route and sometimes a flying by the seat of our pants route going to various fun places with the kids. They would never know what was coming next and spent the time in the car guessing where the next stop would be. Some years it was just bowling, movies, miniature golf…easy things but usually in another town nearby to keep them guessing. Other years we would have something more elaborate planned incorporating visits to relatives or theme park visits. One year we planned to spend a couple nights in a cabin in the mountains….that one will go down in family history. My daughter now takes her children on a drive surprise. That tells me that all the time spent planning (or not) our adventure was one of the fondest memories we created for your kids.
How did you get started doing holiday crafts?
I have always made gifts for my family at Christmas time (it’s how I got the nickname “Martha”). Some of the things I have in my shop are inspired by gifts I have made in the past.
How is your holiday crafting different than “regular” crafts you do?
My Grandma K was an avid crafter. All of my siblings (there are 11 of us) have a special stash of her Christmas ornaments all handmade by her. I look forward to bringing out her ornaments every year. That is what I try to do with my holiday crafts. I want my crafts to bring a smile to someone’s face when they take them out each year. It is making such treasures that inspires me. I love the thought that someone is taking out one of my angels and hanging her on their tree each year just as I anticipate taking out my Grandma K’s ornaments.
Tell us a bit more about your angel tree topper:
My angel figurine was a gift I made for each of the girls in my family a long time ago. This year, I made her into a tree topper. She is ordinarily a little shabby chic if you will with burlap wings and a twine halo. I wanted to make her a little more dressy and special so I added a lace overlay to her dress and gave her a whimsical Christmas bouquet of fun things to hold. She was quite beautiful and is now in someone’s home topping their Christmas tree, I love that.
I love that something I made is bringing joy to a family somewhere!
At the age of 10, I was given a purse made out of red carpet for a Christmas present from my aunt. I've known since then that you can make a bag out of just about anything and oh boy, have I tried.
I love to backpack for days in Yosemite. It is a place where inspiration is everywhere you look.
My husband and I have 5 children, very creative in each of their own ways. They just simply amaze me.
My mother always told us to "bloom where we are planted". I here my mom say that to me everyday. And everyday I do my best to bloom.
What got you started crafting?
My Grandmother was an avid crafter. All of the kids in my family (there are 11 of us) have a stash of her needlepoint Christmas ornaments holiday wall hangings and at least one ripple afghan usually done in green, orange and brown. She quilted and crocheted, sewed and created her whole life I would imagine.
My mom always encouraged our creativity. She taught me to sew and nurtured the idea of using this for that and what about this? What if we did this? I don't know....let's try it!
What is your source of inspiration?
My children. Usually , I begin making something for one of them and then it turns into something I think everyone will love. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.
What have you made recently?
A few years ago, I made my family an angel for Christmas. All my sisters have one in their homes and my daughter holds on tight to the one my mom had in her home.
I decided to make her once again. I have made her just as she was but on a smaller scale. Originally, I used raffia for her wings but could not find the same kind so I had to get creative and find just the right thing to keep her rustic look. Burlap was the answer. I used fabric stiffener (wow, that's a really cool combination..burlap and fabric stiffener) and created her wings . She is so sweet, I had to make another one as a tree topper and then I scaled her way down into an ornament.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
I finally opened a shop on Etsy when it became apparent that I could not keep everything . Some of it had to go. I have to admit to taking a few things out of my shop though because I just could not part with them. My crafting comes from my heart, I am not a machine. Each item is made one at a time with my full attention to detail.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
When something is made by someone who's heart and soul goes into it, how could you even find a better quality product? I think that even the small imperfections of handmade items add uniqueness to it. Well worth the additional cost.