Nature Inspired Gifts and Decorating (For the Creativity Impaired)

| 12/14/2010 4:45:33 PM

Tags: Nature-inspired Gifts, Christmas Gifts, Nature Gifts, Christmas Decorating, Cindy Murphy,

CindyMurphyBlog.jpgI am not a creative person; I’m don’t sew, quilt, bake, knit, do wood-working, or anything else that requires patience, practice, and time to produce beautiful handmade gifts or delicious culinary treats to give at Christmas and ornaments to decorate my home during the holidays.

I love homemade gifts and decorations; when I receive something that someone took the effort to make, it warms my heart ... oooo, especially those delectable goodies that make me imagine the good smells coming out of the kitchens of those who made them. So what’s a person with practically no creative talent, but with a desire to share that warmth, do?

I garden; I like plants. I always think I’d like to make heavenly scented botanical soaps to give as gifts, but when December approaches, I realize I’ve forgotten to gather the desired plants before they turned brown and crispy, or are buried beneath snow.

While a snow covered landscape is not the time to clip fresh flowers and herbs, it does present seasonal inspiration. All it takes is a walk through the snow, some garden pruners and loppers, and a few other basic supplies to get my house looking festive, and me in the Christmas gift-making spirit. Here are a few holiday decorating ideas and gifts that don’t require much creativity, foresight, time, and ever-so-importantly these days – money.

Evergreens have been traditionally used as symbols of Solstice and Christmas for centuries. Following this tradition, I cut Douglas fir, juniper, and holly boughs. Yews, Christmas fern fronds, boxwood, euonymus varieties, arborvitae, and false cypress can also be used for decorating, and give a different texture to the traditional Christmas boughs of pine, spruce, fir, and holly.

Cut boughs

s.m.r. saia
12/29/2010 10:45:26 AM

Wow, I have to take issue with your self-assessment of not being creative. Your gifts are lovely. I hope you and your family enjoyed a very merry Christmas!

michelle house
12/21/2010 11:56:24 PM

You are one busy lady, so I can understand the delay. <3 lol, I have alot to say about nothing as well.:) Merry Christmas to you, Keith and the girls. :)

cindy murphy
12/20/2010 8:06:13 AM

Thanks, Stepper. Funny thing about that Heartwood - it was just a little thing and I had no idea how well it'd be received. Not only did the people I gave it to like them, but I've had a couple of calls from other people who saw them wanted to BUY one to give as a gift themselves. I made them with specific people in mind though, and only had the four. The log had a big knot in it, and the portion after the knot wasn't shaped like a heart. I have one more similar thing to make for a friend: Heartstone, I think I'll call it...cuz it's a stone. (eye-roll) A friend and I were walking on the beach, collecting stones for my garden. She found one in the perfect shape of a heart. It's nice and flat, and about the size of my palm - I think it'll make a perfect paperweight with a little note attached in similar fashion to the wood. You have a great Christmas too...and that's from the heart, of course.

chris davis
12/19/2010 12:56:10 PM

I have to tell you Cindy, the Heartwood is a wonderful idea! I hope you kept one for yourself - it'd be a nice reminder of a fortuitous find. I hope you have a great Christmas, and look forward to your next blog.

cindy murphy
12/19/2010 7:31:12 AM

Thanks, Michelle. You are very sweet. I hadn't realized 'til recently it'd been that long since I'd written anything. November got away from me with the rush of putting the nursery to bed, then Thanksgiving just popped up immediately after. Now that I'm off for the winter, I think I'll have more time to write. I may not have much to talk about, but I've always got a lot to say. HA! Merry Christmas!

michelle house
12/18/2010 10:12:43 PM

Cindy, ((hugs)), I have been checking, I was getting ready to send you an e-mail, because you had not written anything.:) I was a bit worried, I don't mind telling you. I have always loved your writing. Ever since Keith sent me the first one. :) Happy Holidays to you and yours. <3

cindy murphy
12/17/2010 8:22:50 PM

Michelle! Thanks for stopping in; I always enjoy seeing you here. A happy holiday season to you too! Peace, hugs, and cheer in the New year.

michelle house
12/17/2010 7:37:38 PM

Excellent, I love the basket, and the heart woods. :) You do have talent for arrangements, Cindy. More so than me. Have a Happy Holiday, to you and your family. Hugs Michelle

cindy murphy
12/15/2010 8:59:40 AM

You are too kind, Dave. Creative Queen of the Garden and Woods? I LOVE the title, but all I'm really doing is sticking sticks into a basket. Those on the receiving end seem to enjoy them, though, so sticks in a basket it is - which is a good thing, because that's about as creative as I get. As for me, I don't have a symmetrical bone in my body. I couldn't make a straight line if my creativity depended on it. That's why I don't sew; sewing requires making straight lines. Or bake - baking requires measurements; measuring requires using numbers, and numbers require a sort symmetry. Or knit - the double whammy; knitting requires making straight lines and counting which involves numbers. Or build anything which requires making straight lines, measurements AND using power tools. Using power tools requires going in the garage and taking them out of Hubs' nice and neat tool area, and putting them back just as nice and neat as I found them. Which, of course, involves symmetry. I AM quite creative though, in coming up with excuses as to why the tools aren't lined up as symmetrically as they were before I got a hold of them. Thanks for stopping in. You have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year too!

nebraska dave
12/14/2010 9:42:51 PM

@Cindy, you are the creative queen of the garden and woods. I’m always amazed at those that can take a bunch of stuff and make creative decorations. My Mom was that way. We never threw anything away. It was all stored in the basement craft store room just waiting to be called into a creative master piece. As for me, I don’t have a creative bone in my body unless it involves power tools. I’m working on breaking the regimental thinking patterns. Square, round, evenly spaced all are just not natural looking in nature. We will see how well things change next flower season. I did better with the poor man’s patio this year but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. Have an extremely creative Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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