Sunday, September 26, 2010


I decided a while ago to try and make many of my own Christmas presents this year, or, if not, to buy handmade instead.  This, hopefully should not entail too much work, as we tend to keep present exchanges within the immediate family.  So, to this end, I have been very inspired by  many creative women in the blog world, and would like to thank Denise for pointing me in the direction of Plain and Joyful Living's Handmade Holiday, which should give me some encouragement and motivation.
And now- here is my first offering. I always enjoy putting together themed hampers or gift bags, and I thought that some sensually indulgent beauty bags would go down well. For several weeks I have been macerating lavender; rosemary; and lemon peel in glass jars full of almond oil, on the conservatory windowsill, somehow miraculously escaping the attention of James. I strained these off today and added a few drops of the relevant essential oil and a few garnishes.  I will either decant the oil into pretty bottles, to use as a bath or skin oil, or use them to make a body butter or cream.

I have also begun to knit up some wash cloths from linen yarn, and I am quite pleased with the result.  Add a soft beeswax lipbalm, a couple of bathmelts maybe and a handmade soap from my neighbour, tuck them all into a calico tote bag, and I think that would be a lovely gift.  I would like one anyway, and that is a good enough reason. 
I could also use the rosemary and lemon in a foody type bag, but I will see how I do with the body pampering sets first.  I will post more of my ideas as they progress, but don't be looking for a weekly update or anything, At least it's a beginning.


  1. Lovely! Rosemary is one of the most appealing scents in the world to me.

  2. Lovely ideas, I certainly would love such gifts. I will be looking out for more ideas ;-)

  3. So thoughtful- I plan to do the same thing- except not a hundred percent- We celebrate Hanukkah and my monkeys get one gift for eight nights- Needless to say they would not appreciate 8 handmade ones- but a few-

    I think it is so funny that you said James didn't notice- that is such a man thing.

  4. That sounds like a wonderful gift idea, the washcloth looks great and I bet those oils smell heavenly xx

  5. It sounds like you are having a great time creating! Yay! It all sounds wonderful to me and sounds like it smells wonderful-lol! So...make one for yourself Jacqui! Make one and put it under the tree, from you to you!

    Have a magical time creating!

  6. Haha Megg - I might just do that - but will I be able to wait until Christmas to open it?
    Ren - I had put some salt dough leaves to dry beside the jars, and they were shredded within the day, but he knew the oils were for presents.
    100% is not my goal really, I couldn't not give books, for instance, but i am aiming for something, however small, of a handmade nature for everyone.

  7. After a somewhat jaded Summer, this is balm to the soul and thankyou for inspiring the Autumn before me.

  8. Thanks for the handmade holiday link. Your jars of oil are lovely!

  9. wonderful idea. I may just spin up some flax just for that purpose


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