Friday, December 30, 2011

Gifts at the Circus

I have felt a week behind since Thanksgiving.

I'm not sure whether I slept through an entire week and missed it, or just zoned out and drifted through a week in a fog. Either way, all of my activities were behind schedule: selecting & purchasing gifts, getting & decorating the tree, baking treats, and wrapping gifts. Since I've been incorporating more "green" living in my life over the past 10 years, I planned some of my gifts to be consumable or to be made from re-purposed items.

The first task was baking treats. I love to bake, and the holidays give me an excuse to bake lots of treats and give them as gifts and not eat them all myself. So I spent one weekend doing a lot of baking.
These treats are yummy! From my oven to your tummy!
Starting at "noon" on the plate the treats are: Hazelnut Thumbprints, Cinnamon Almond Brittle, Triple Chocolate Peppermint Brownies, Pecan Bars, Peppermint Drops, Stripes, and Sugarplums (in the center of the plate). The bread is Bananas Foster with a Rum Glaze. Delicious!! One of my treat gift recipients dove right in to the bag of treats and started with a brownie; he proceeded to make sounds that I am sure only his wife should hear!!!! Perhaps the brownies need a new title... If you would like any of the recipes, just leave me a comment and your email :)

Anyway, the next task was an item for the Book Club Gift Exchange. The guidelines: the gift cannot cost more that $5 and should contain something made by the giver. Since the Club is a Recipe Club (we cook/bake something inspired by the book to bring to the meeting and we share the recipe), I ruled out my treats. Instead, I remembered a crafty thing I really enjoyed a few years ago: Stained Glass.

I searched my arts & crafts bins to see if I still had any of my supplies. I was pretty shocked by how much I had stashed away:

I purchased glasses from the thrift store for a total of $1.88.

I decided to do a geometric design for the glasses, using straight lines for the 2 similar glasses and circles for the different glass. I painted the lines free-hand using the black leading paint.

After allowing time for the leading to dry, I began adding color in the shapes created by the intersecting leading lines. The paint is somewhat opaque and cloudy when wet but then dries to a much more "clear" finish.

I included 3 tea lights and my gift was complete!! Since we planned a "Dirty Santa" gift exchange, I had no idea who would receive my gift. The recipient seemed very pleased and I'm hoping her reaction was legit and not just a way to cover her plan to hide them on a closet shelf once she got home.

I was so pleased with these glasses that I painted empty jars (from salad dressing) for 2 friends. They were also pleased, and a bit amazed that I painted them. Seriously, it is incredibly easy!

Now to turn my sights to 2012. I have learned to expect the unexpected (especially in my house!!), so I look forward to whatever the future may hold.

I am not one to make resolutions just because of the date on the calendar. Every day is a good day for making a change, whether to better yourself, better your community, or better the world!


  1. I'm guessing my "Anonymous" commenter is the recipient of the glasses :) I'm glad you love them! They were fun to make :)