It's a shock to think Christmas is only 6 weeks or so away. I'm still occasionally thinking it's mid year because ten whole months could not have passed so swiftly since New Year could they?
We've been chatting about gifts, my girls and I.
Blossom told me the other day that she didn't want any more ornaments, plaques or gifts that required a space to be hung or stood, but that she'd like to receive things which serve a purpose and can be used regularly, not hidden away in a closet because she has nowhere to put it, or no use for it.
Her thoughts ran parallel to mine, and also to conversations Rosie and I have had over the years.
She decided that as Cully May is getting her first bed for Christmas some linen or handmade pillowcases would be a nice touch, and Aisha's children enjoy drawing and painting so Aisha has asked for things like craft aprons and pencil rolls.
Fortunately I can make all of these gifts and knowing they will be used regularly makes the effort more worthwhile.
But what about gifts for our adult friends, for homemakers?
Over the years I've been blessed to receive presents from my friends that are both useful, beautiful and from the heart, so the other day when I was pondering the making of homemaker gifts to serve a purpose I gathered some of them together to show you, just in case you're in need of handmade gift inspiration too.
In all shapes and sizes, they can be used for a multitude of storage requirements.
I have large ones that fit all my personal care products when we go on road trips, small ones for medications or phone chargers and cords, and in between sizes for sewing supplies or odds and ends that need to be kept together.
Kitchen Tea Towels
Having moved a little while ago into a house with a much larger kitchen, my baking time has increased considerably and this is evidenced by the five or six tea towels I hang on the clothesline every morning, soiled from my kitchen time the day before.
I make a lot of edged towels myself but I love receiving them as gifts from friends because they are always pretty and very useful. It's lovely to hang a fresh tea towel over the oven handle before bed each evening, ready to greet me next morning.
These were made by Rosie and Dianne...
Many years ago my friend Allie's mum crocheted me two sweet lid covers for Christmas. I cannot tell you how useful they have been. No more burnt or steamy hands lifting lids off bubbling soup or potatoes...
...and recently Ondrea crocheted these pot holders as a housewarming gift.
They are double layered, pretty and oh so soft, in fact the most useful pot holders I have ever owned.
I know not everybody wears aprons, but I do.
I love wearing an apron in the kitchen, especially full aprons which catch all my splashes and spills of flour and dishwashing suds.
Over the years I've made some, bought some, and received a few of the prettiest aprons ever made by friends.
Each of these homemaker gifts were received with a grateful heart because I knew my friends had put love and care into each one, but also because I could use them.
It's my desire to make use of what I own and not store it away, if at all possible.
What about you?
Are there particular gifts you like to receive which serve a purpose in your home, garden, or perhaps in your work?
Share some ideas in the comments below because I'm sure there are many more of us who'd like inspiration.
Over the next week or so I'll gather some of my past tutorials for simple gifts and pop them in one blog post for easy reference in case there's a few you can use this Christmas.
That Apple & Berry Slice I baked on Tuesday was delicious!
Mr E enjoyed a thick slice for dessert that night and when Blossom visited yesterday we had some with a cup of tea after lunch...
I sent some home with her too, but made sure Mr E and I still had enough for afternoon tea today.
The recipe called for a long, wide tin (swiss roll I think) but mine was smaller so the slice was much higher than it was meant to be, more like a cake...but we didn't care. Delicious is delicious no matter what size it was meant to be baked.
May your day (or evening) be a quiet one, and may your fingers find pleasant thing to create.