Without question, having the free time to indulge in long-abandoned hobbies and interests has been one of the most excellent parts of my life since our big move to rural Nowhere. In the past months I have enjoyed a bountiful renaissance of bread baking, reading marathons, gourmet cooking experiments, exploratory hiking, and craft projects.
With painting in particular, what began as a single-minded determination to create a homey environment/soothing retreat from the strange world around me morphed into an excellent “skill” for the creation of handmade Christmas presents. Full disclosure: I am not, by any stretch of anyone’s imagination (not even famously imaginative people like my good friend Walt D. or Lewis Carroll…have I made my point?), a naturally gifted artist. Which is why I deemed it appropriate to share these successes with you. The idea is not to celebrate my artistic prowess, but rather to demonstrate that, given ample time, motivation, and instructional online video clips anyone can create gift-worthy home decor. Here is my evidence:
1. Whimsical tree art inspired by a print from Pier One. My first attempt (which hangs in my own kitchen) was far less desirable than the second attempt (which I gifted to my mother for Christmas).
2. Dotted initial art inspired by my earlier phase with dots (DIY Dot Art) spouncers. Yes, “spouncers” is a real word, and an awesome tool.
3. Mt. Hood art, requested by my brother after he saw the tree art of my wall during his visit to our house at Thanksgiving. This was the by far most challenging project I have completed to date, as it was rather far outside my “dot-based art” comfort level.
I just love the value and sentimentality of handmade gifts, at Christmas and any time of the year. Not only do homemade presents help us to dodge some of the manufactured consumerism of the holidays, they are also incredibly satisfying gifts to give.
**Many thanks to the ever-patient recipients of these gifts, all of whom have texted or emailed me photos of their art because I was too overcome with holiday excitement to photograph my gifts before wrapping them up!