Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving with my best friend

My best friend, who was my roommate in college, and her family visited over the Thanksgiving weekend. We exchanged our Christmas gifts then, rather than mailing them in December.  I've spent the last month creating special gifts for Monica, her son Morgan, and her husband Brian.  Making gifts for my friends and family has always given me great pleasure, and watching them open their gifts always makes me smile.   I wanted to make something special for Monica, and since I've been making a variety of trinket boxes lately, that was the direction my creativity took.  For Monica's box I made stamped polymer clay mosaic tiles and decorated a clay covered metal box with them, using Glass Effects paint between the tiles.  The letters on the lid- LYLAS- stand for Love You Like a Sister, which is how we've signed our letters to each other since college.  I lined the inside of the box with purple felt and made polymer clay rocks stamped with inspirational words- words that come to mind when I think of my best friend.
For her husband, who I've also known since college, I made a fishing bear sculpture.

Her son is 6 and very into wizards and dragons so I made him a plush dragon and a wizard doll.  I used my own patterns for the doll and the dragon.  I really love making things for kids, and then actually getting the opportunity to watch them play with the toys.  Not only do the kids enjoy the toys, sometimes they're even inspired to create themselves. 
While they were visiting I showed Morgan my craft room. I let him smoosh some clay and explained what the different tools were used for, and how I created my sculptures.  I showed him my sewing supplies, craft books, and many of the items I have for sale.  He's a very intelligent and creative child even at just 6 years old.  He made me a beautiful beeswax candle for Christmas, and his creativity is easy to see when you watch him play, or listen to the stories he made up.  After being allowed to hold and examine some of the sculptures he liked best, Morgan said "When  grow up I want to be an artist just like Aunt Michelle".  He couldn't have given me a better gift!  To inspire a child to pursue his creativity is a wonderful thing.  My own "inner child" isn't too far from the surface, and I remember being encouraged at a young age to be creative.
So I had a very good holiday weekend, and now I'm creating gifts for the rest of my friends and family for Christmas.  The holidays have always meant handmade gifts, friends, family, joy, and laughter.  I hope your holidays will be filled with the same!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

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