Gifts From Our Hands And Heart

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Last year I started out the year with several goals in mind and one of them was to stick with homemade gifts through the year as much as I possibly could.

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I wasn’t a hundred percent successful, but one thing I did learn is that when my gift was homemade – even when very simple – the time I spent always brought such pleasure.  And it made me realize something very important:  isn’t that one of the biggest reasons we give gifts?  To bring pleasure both to the recipient and to ourselves?  Not just to quickly buy something because we have to give a gift.

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Most of the time my homemade gift items seem to be sewing related.  I guess because sewing is what brings me the most joy.  This year I really enjoyed “personalizing” some of my hand sewn items by embroidering a little tag.  More work, but happy results!

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I also found out that sitting in my recliner with a cup of coffee doing hand quilting on darling little one inch squares of fabric was so very relaxing and soothing.  That was another one of my goals for last year – to take things slower.  (I wrote about that here.)

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One of my favorite homemade gifts this year were making darling little bags and filling with something store bought.

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My Grand-girls are in love with these Lalaloopsy dolls so I purchased several for each of them and gifted them to the girls in the little handmade bags.  They play with these dolls everyday and everyday they are put away in the bags!  So I think they love their bags almost as much as they love their “Lollies”!

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Then there is the packaging.  I think that brown paper packages tied up with string will always be my very favorite package to give!  And craft paper is not expensive!  I also love simple packages wrapped in white butcher paper.  You can purchase a 100 foot roll in your grocery store for very inexpensive.  And a roll of twine will cost you about $5 and last for ages.

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I decided to make special little gift tags and really enjoyed the process of making them.   I did an assembly line where I cut craft paper, fabric scraps and white card stock.

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Then I just quickly sewed them together with my sewing machine.  You can set them aside and when you need them they are ready to add a name and tie to a package.

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So now that the new year is here and I’m reflecting back on the things I’d like to continue into this year, this is one of those things.  Keep my gifts homemade.  In a world when we can go to the store and buy just about anything; homemade has become priceless.   And you know what?  There is always something that we can make… even if it is just a towel with some eyes and ears added for that favorite little one (or two) in your life!

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I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for reading, commenting, and sharing with me this past year.  I feel like you’ve become my friend and it means the world to me.  Writing this blog post every couple weeks is always a highlight for me as it feels like I’m inviting all my farmgirl friends to my farm.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming to visit!

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The Happiest of New Years to you dear friends.

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Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.

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Dori

Leave a comment 36 Comments

  1. Angela Rife says:

    You have no idea how much joy you bring me. I look forward to your blog posts, and I am continuously inspired by your creativity. Thank you!

  2. Ann says:

    How delightful! I would gratefully receive these gifts in a heartbeat from a friend as it is evident there is such caring behind the thoughtfulness of a homemade gift. I love your gift tags, too. Very creative. My meditative way to relax is with my new found gadget “yo-yo” maker. Using scraps to make yo-yo’s is relaxing and addictive. I have given several to my friends along with fat quarters and scraps of fabric that I have in my stash. I enjoy your blog very much!

  3. Adrienne says:

    How delightfully creative! You are blessed with talent and the time to be creative. Thank you for sharing your wonderful work.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear Adrienne,

      Thank you for your kind words. And yes… time to be creative is something I am so thankful for. A few years ago my husband and I were building our house and we were so busy that I didn’t have any time for my own creativity and I really felt it. I’ve valued that more than ever.

      – Dori –

  4. Maxine says:

    I love this post–I want to “take a page from your book” :)

  5. Maureen says:

    I’m with you! Everyone got super warm slipper sox from me this year. We sure need them, the snow and cold have been relentless here in Colorado. I love your posts! Thanks for sharing with us!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear Maureen,

      Super warm slipper socks would be THE BEST GIFT EVER!!!! I love warm socks. And in Colorado? Totally perfect!

      Thanks for writing!

      – Dori –

  6. Debbie says:

    Dori,
    Your creativity is inspiring and your farmgirl spirit is infectious. Good for you for slowing down a little and paying attention to the little details in life. That’s where the joy and the best gifts are!
    I love all that you share here dear friend! Happy New ” farmgirl ” year!
    Farmgirl hugs,
    Deb

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Awww Deb.

      You know how I feel and you know how much you mean to me. A lot.

      Hugs to you dear friend of mine.

      – Dori –

  7. Joan says:

    Dori,
    It is I who thanks you for blogging. You are always an inspiration. I must admit I’ve borrowed many of your ideas and this blog has a couple I will also borrow. Thanks for your creativity. God bless.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear Joan,

      Thank you so much. I can tell you in all honesty that so many times I feel completely lacking in having anything to share or inspire so I appreciate your comment so much. And I hope you do borrow from me!

      Happy New Year!

      – Dori –

  8. Laura Staley says:

    Thank you for your special reminder that homemade means “I care enough for you to give my very best” (sounds like Hallmark, doesn’t it!) I want to go right home and get to sewing…and stitching…and well, you get the picture. Hugs!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear Laura,

      Thank you for wording it so perfect. I think those words were in my mind too!

      And I’m so happy about your reaction to go right home and get to sewing! I need those little motivational things too!

      – Dori –

  9. Bonnie ellis says:

    Love to read your blog Dori. It’s always informative and well written. I love hand made gifts also. Something doesn’t have to be elaborate to be from the heart. Love the picture of you two. It’s always fun to make new friends. Happy New Year.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear Bonnie,

      It is always so fun to make new friends isn’t it? I do love the farmgirl friends I’ve met through blogging.

      Thank you so much for always commenting… I love it!

      – Dori –

  10. Doris says:

    Oh Dori, I love your blogs!! When I read them I feel just like I am there visiting with you. You are so gifted and with such a “sharing heart”. God sure did bless you. Thank you so much for sharing your talents and gifts with us.

    Happy New Year!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear Doris,

      Thank you so much for “visiting” with me today! I so appreciate everyone’s comments to me.

      – Dori –

  11. Marilyn Collins says:

    I love this post as I do all of yours in the past. It is such a joy and treat. One of my goals in 2016 is to try to learn to sew. i admire your talent and ingenuity. Thank you for the posts you put on this blog. Wishing you and yours a Happy,Healthy New Year full of blessings.
    Marilyn

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear Marilyn,

      You know there are so many great online free classes for learning to sew. And so many sewing blogs really having great tutorials and things now. I’ve been able to learn so many new techniques for doing things simply because someone posted a great tutorial.

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for writing.

      – Dori –

  12. Krista says:

    I truly love reading your blogs! You always have such creative work! I am completely jealous of your talent. Please send some my way!! Your bags are absolutely adorable and perfect for your grandchildren. I also love the idea of your name tags. I would never think to sew them together instead of gluing. Thank you for sharing your amazing ideas and reminding us all of the importance of homemade versus store bought.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear Krista,

      Thank you for your sweet words. Those little gift tags were SO easy. I made about 50 of them in just a matter of minutes. And my sewing machine was sitting right there and somehow it just seemed like the thing to do! :-)

      – Dori –

  13. Rosanne Mulhern says:

    Dori, I totally agree that handmade gifts are truly gifts from the heart. I was fortunate enough to receive your handmade dish cloths and think of you each time I use them. My gifts are almost always handmade or homemade and most everyone is so appreciative.

    The towels you made for your grand-girls are absolutely adorable! Thank you for sharing so much of your talents and creativity with your readers…it is almost as good as a handmade gift!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear Rosanne,

      Thank you! I’m so glad you love your dish cloths!

      And speaking of homemade things… your lovely homemade thank you card you sent me is pinned to my inspiration board in my craft room! A reminder to make cards! It is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever received.

      Happy New Year!

      – Dori –

  14. Carol says:

    I recently found your blog and began following it and I must say that I am thrilled to be reading it. I greatly enjoy your homemade items and would love to do more of those type things myself. I know nothing about sewing or quilting but I am wanting to make a quilt.

  15. Cindi says:

    You are SO inspiring! I think you really hit the nail on the head ~ gift giving is much more satisfying when you have put a piece of yourself into it. I tried that this past Christmas and, while a little hectic trying to get things done (okay, it was flat out crazy), the unexpected joy from the recipients filled me with something I have not felt in a very long time… like, since when my Daddy loved a drawing I made as a child so much I found it in his drawer after he passed some 50 years later. This year I’m starting, er… have started earlier.
    Love your picture, too!

  16. Vivian Monroe says:

    I always love giving and receiving homemade from the heart gifts. Loved your gift tag idea as well. Happy Blessed New Year. :) Neta

  17. Hi Dori,

    Those towels are so cute! I agree wholeheartedly. A homemade gift is from the heart. I love to do homemade gifts. My Farmgirl Chapter and I made tags, too, together. I am also “known” for my gifts of homemade jam. Aside from knitting, that’s one of my favorite past times and I love to share it. Wish you lived closer to me! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  18. Denise Ross says:

    Beautiful post Dori. I love your creations – very inspiring. You are inspiring me to be more homemade in my giving this year too. Thank you.
    We are very blessed to be able to connect through these blogs. Technology gets a rather bad rap, but I be honest I love it. It allows me to connect with people I’d never be able to otherwise considering you all live across the other side of the world alone.
    Many blessings to you and yours this year
    Denise
    Australia

  19. Susana says:

    lovely gifts…I usually make a lot of gifts but sometimes easier yo just buy them…because people just don’t always appreciate the time you took to create them. But I fogind when I mskethrm….I can actually give more and not go into debt. Thus past year I couldn’t to much creating because my hubby was sick and was hospitalized. Then he died, then my daughter got married so there was no time for any creativity. I am hoping to get back to my sewing and creating this year. Just hard to get back to living…too depressed to sew…but you inspired me with your simple things so hopefully i get to it. Thanks for the inspirations. Love the tags…good use gir my scraps…as gir me…I save my paper bags and plastic ones… I never throw anything out…I even save plastic orange bags….majes goid reinfircing fir other things. Wish you lived close by…we could have a crafting day together. Susana

  20. Liz Olson says:

    I love all the cute things that you’ve shown on your blog! Is there somewhere I can find the patterns? I’m not real creative but I can copy anything! Also I’m anxiously waiting for Momma #88 to give birth…..what a great informative article! Thanks so much! Liz

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Liz,

      I don’t really have any patterns for the things that I’ve shown here. A lot of it is finding things on Pinterest and other places and then sort of winging it to my liking! :-) However… I just remembered that the hooded animal towels are from a great tutorial here: http://crazylittleprojects.com/category/hooded-towels

      Momma #88 had her calf and all is well! I’ve added a picture of the baby at the bottom of my post!

      – Dori –

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