Store shelves are already stocked up with Halloween goodies. Thanksgiving and Christmas decor will soon follow… and then the onslaught of holiday advertisements, sales and shopping. Ugh! Don't get me wrong, I do look forward to the crisp, chilly air outside and warm, loving atmosphere inside sharing good food, good wine and good conversation with those I love. But holiday shopping, ey ey ey, that gives me anxiety. If I had it my way we'd pass on all that crazy shopping and spend more time gathering together in front of cozy fireplaces, drinking mulled wine. Throw in some chocolate and delicious pies too.
The one type of gift giving I do love though, is using my gift of creativity to make homemade gifts for others. A number of weeks back I wrote my Mommy Mission Statement and shared a Statement Necklace I created. When my mother-in-law was in town for Myla's birthday last year, she commented how much she loved it and at that moment, I knew what I'd be doing for Christmas gifts for the closest, loveliest ladies in my life: my mother, sister, mother-in-law, "other" mother-in-law, and sister-in-law.
Each of these women have a unique and distinct personality - each whom I love dearly.
Besides being my best friend, she's creative, artistic and loves all things earthy. She's into her herbs, making me Elderberry Syrup for the winter months, Nettles Iced Tea to help cleanse and detox the body, Milky Oat Thistle tea to help calm my anxiety (which I have way too much of… anxiety that is), herbal soaps, each with their own meaning and she's always sending me home with a variety of vitamins or herbs. Among many other earthy interests, she's also very in tune with stones and their healing properties which is why when I came across this pendant, I knew I had to have it for my mother. Since she doesn't like shorter necklaces, I decided to make it a longer length and keep with her color of choice: Black (also my choice). I added some silver and sparkly components as well - every lady loves a little bling.
Besides being an amazing aunt to Myla and a very loyal friend, she's the bit-of-an-oddball when it comes to our family - only because I consider my mother and I to be on the further end of the spectrum from normal. She's much more "normal" than my mother and I, but still has her unique style. She's not a high-maintenance girl who must have designer jewelry but she would probably never wear a huge chunk of amber around her neck like me. I guess I'd say she is "subtly different". She can wear silver or gold toned jewelry which is how I came upon this design. The glass pendant has bursts of gold set against black. This focal element strung with black beads, some with gold edging, and the gold-highlighted, clear beads and deep-orangey beads set between silver end caps make a beautiful necklace that can be worn with many outfits. If I'm not mistaken - this is her favorite necklace - so much so that she wants matching earrings which I'll be making her very soon.
Besides being a true Italian mother - always keeping our bellies stuffed - and being an awesome Grammie to Myla, she's fun and a little crazy like me - always willing to split a bottle of wine or get up and dance with me when there's music. She also certainly loves jewelry. On my wedding day, she brought a huge box of jewelry with her as she didn't know what to wear… it was hysterical watching her try on different things in the limo on our way to the ceremony - guess it helped keep my mind off the fact that I was about to be center-stage. She's the one who loved my multi-strand statement necklace and originally inspired all these gifts. She wears gold well and since she liked the multi-strand necklace, I wanted to make her something similar in style that would play off the colors that I know she would wear so well: gold and dark hues of brown, red, and orange.
My "Other" Mother-in-Law
Although she's Justin's "step-mother" and "Meemom" to Myla, she has always treated Justin like her own son and me like her own daughter. From our first Christmas together, she always made sure I had a stocking with my name like Justin and her daughter, Jamie, as well as a new set of pajamas like them too. Anyways, she's very much a classic and traditional type lady when it comes to jewelry. She wears lots of small pendants on chains and likes her pearls. I actually had the hardest time designing her necklace as I hadn't had much experience working with or making chains yet - although you'll see some of that in future blog posts. However, I managed to create this necklace with pearls, fancy silver spacers and a silver pendant. It's a nice cross of two traditional styles with a bit of a unique flair. Hopefully in the near future I'll create a necklace for her that fits her style even better.
This was the most fun I had designing a necklace for someone other than myself… probably because she's a bit eccentric like me and certainly has her own unique style - sort of vintage/retro-y. Whenever I see a teal/turquoise color, I think of her. I believe it's her favorite color and she looks great in it. Therefore, when I spotted the blue glass beads, I knew I wanted them for her. I wanted to make a necklace with a vintage influence without totally looking vintage. I felt an offset cluster of beads in the same color family, accented with some silver beads would give just that style I was looking for. Designing this necklace gave me inspiration for vintage type jewelry I wanted to make for myself as you'll see in future posts.
Hopefully these gifts will help get you inspired to create something for those you love this coming holiday season.