A Few Homemade Gifts for My Cousins...On My Way To Deliver Them Now September 04 2016, 3 Comments

Ever wonder if you can make a unique homemade gift for someone instead of buying something new at the store? I'd say you could do it. What if you could even include some personalization? Or how about including things you have around your home to repurpose them some way into your art? Yup. I still think you could do it. 

Well, call it a "gift" of mine or call it being inspired ALL THE TIME but I love to make things for people. Lately most of the things I have been making are Mixed Media types of art and range from cards to large canvases you hang on the wall. Then there are the heavy stepping stones and glass/ceramic tiled bricks that I recently blogged about. Although a variety of homemade gifts, I had fun making all of them. But more fun was giving them away.

As I'm writing this blog, I realize I'm running late to my family gathering at my cousin's in Connecticut. It's our first time going to his house and I am a strong believer that when first visiting someone's home it is good luck to them to bring them a gift. I'm pretty sure I've been following this tradition for decades. Come to think of it...there are many homes with my art in it right now. Awwww. I feel honored. 

Here are the gifts that I'm bringing with me today.




My cousins will know right away which is theirs. Have fun with the decorating of your gifts package too. I love to embellish the wrapping with unique items.


First is my cousin Bob's gift. He has a lake house...seemed appropriate to give him this simply stated "live, love, lake" framed in a heavy black chunky frame. He's a guy. He's simple. It hopefully will match the decor of his home. We soon shall see.

The letters are stamped and embossed over a blue wisp-stroked watercolor and alcohol ink background. They are deliberately uneven to make it look as though it is typeset on an old typewriter. 

Next is my cousin Donna's black shadow box Mixed Media "Life is beautiful and so are you".  She can either hang this on her wall or put it on a shelf or on furniture as it is thick enough to stand on it's own.

The background has so many different mediums of mostly blues and greens. It originates from a square piece of cardboard that was sealed with Gesso. These come in handy when you are running short on expensive canvases. I cannot let a perfect patch of cardboard go without doing something like this regardless if I have canvas in stock or not. It's a way I up-cycle or repurpose things.


The close-ups give you a glimpse of sparkle and shine. Metallic pens, metallic sprays, metallic fabric 3-D paint and Mika Flakes were used. The nail was even sprayed to match in color. It represents the way she keeps on "building" her success in her life.  

Lastly, my cousin Kris' gift. Her's is much more personalized as we are two very close-in-age and close-in-crazy kinda cousins.

Messages are clearly visible and say "You are a ray of sunshine" and "I love you". An upside down "This side up" just goes to show that sometimes your world can be upside down...and still look and feel right.

The turtle is smiling...just like my cousin always is. 

Confessing: The felt turtle was a pre-made embellishment that I bought at ACMoore craft store. They have a variety to pick from and are becoming more popular. (Hint: Look in the kids craft section for these types of self adhesive embellishments).


Here are more close ups to show as much detail as I can. The embellishments were shadowed using watercolor pencils with water and the background stenciled with alcohol inks and stamped and taped in random patches. This was done to give depth to the images. The waves show detail of what you can do with paper placement. The blue waves blend with the stenciled waves.

What I like to call "The two tickets to Paradise" located in the upper right hand corner, go with her love for traveling. There are all kinds of places to go in this world and she's been to many...with a special love for Mexico. So I placed one of my postage stamps from Mexico in the mix.

The Statue of Liberty is embossed in metallic purple and has some scrolling handwriting as part of the image that was stamped to make this raised center-point. She looks great in between the two red written messages, standing proudly.

The black stamped daisies float above the train ticket and were chosen because the daisy is her favorite flower.  These are the kinds of personalization you can add to a gift when you really, really...really know someone.

All of us cousins are close of course. The kind of close that makes our grandmother smile and happy enough to tell us she's proud of the family that we are and always will be.  There will be other cousins of mine there today...I'm only sorry I couldn't bring a homemade gift for all of them. Let's save it for the next family party. 

Actually, does this basket of homegrown veggies and herbs count?

Oh yeah! Make your own herb tags. So easy to make and can be creative with different ways to identify each. 

Hope you enjoyed reading about these handmade gifts. Maybe you will make one for someone too.

Thank you and enjoy your day.

Written by Jennifer Quilty for Tamm's Marketplace on 9/4/16.