I bow to everyone who looks to Martha Stewart for a new Christmas decor every year, for glam new table settings, for using Martha Stewart brand glitter on everything from Christmas cards to felt Advent calendars. From Her Greatness, I’ve learned to twist rickrack into a creditable-looking candy cane, how to make homemade soap, crochet Christmas ornaments , and shake my head at the brilliance of her staffers who crank out ideas like this:
I mean, some gumdrops, sprinkles and powdered sugar? Brilliant.
Or this felt stocking — so chic, and a kid could make it.
But all these Martha offerings aren’t helping me this November; I can’t figure out what the heck presents I’m going to make for Christmas. My family and friends are aproned-out. But I’ll take this opportunity to show you one I find particularly fetching: “Lady in Blue.” It was a commission from my Apron Patron Patty, for a friend who’s decor is wall-to-wall blue. (Note: Blue is a beautiful color — skies, forget-me-nots, Blue Willow, Lake Huron, sapphires, and my daughter’s eyes. But I can’t wear it — it makes my skin look as if I should be sporting a toe tag. And blue rooms make me feel, well, blue.)
The dark side: blue cornflowers:
Speaking of blue , I have a top drawer stuffed with Tiffany boxes, the remnants of wealthier times. Believe me, I have no quarrel with giving or receiving store-bought prezzies. Sure, I can sew, but if I’m giving a gent a dress shirt I’ll spring the bucks at Brooks Brothers; they do it so much better. I love giving and getting books, and receiving a top-up to my Guerlain perfume stash. But even when I had disposable income I made Christmas presents, just because I like to.
Last Christmas my sister-in-law Hilary baked us a huge tin of delectable cookies and squares. We didn’t open it until we returned home and I remember thinking: “Thanks, Hil! January is so much better because of you!” Maybe I should be thinking about food gifts? Or maybe whip up a batch of our world-class limoncello? Nah — our Christmases involve crossing borders and carryons.
Here’s what I have in-house: Dead Sea Salts, from the real Dead Sea. Slabs of wax. Dried rosebuds. Fabric. Meltable soap slabs and an assortment of exquisite essential oils. Pipe cleaners. A pantry and a bar. Piles and piles and piles of paper. How to combine them (I ask myself) into different prezzie guises than they appeared at previous Christmases?
Any ideas? What are you making this Christmas?
I’m signing out to head back to http://www.marthastewart.com.