Well, GiBee is at it again...today is the start of her Homemade With Love 2008 carnival. She is asking folks to do the following...
1. Think up your best idea for a homemade gift...could be for the holidays, a welcome gift, a gift for a neighbor.
2. Make a sample and take a picture.
3. Post that pic with well thought out and complete instructions in a blog post.
4. Then, go to GiBee's bloggy home and sign in with a Mr. Linky.
5. Finally, begin browsing everyone else's ideas and start getting your Christmas list items crossed off! LOL
As for me, my idea doesn't *quite* fit her description but it IS what the Vikings and I did last year for a couple gifts for Christmas. Plus, this week is the PERFECT time to do it because...well, you'll see what I mean in a minute.
We have been using this book for the last few Christmases to try to bring a homemade feel back to our holiday season. I've made her ice cream topping recipe and used her idea of buying/making EVERYONE on your list the same type of thing - last year we did Christmas ornaments. But, here's one more of her ideas: "forcing" narcissus/paperwhite bulbs!
And, since they take about 8 weeks to bloom, this week is the perfect time to start!
You can plant them in nearly anything: a fancy teacup, a regular clay pot, an oversized coffee mug, a ceramic container, a brass container, etc. (With those last two, double line the container with plastic or bubble wrap.)
And, they can be planted in a variety of things: pebbles, gravel, potting soil, sand, just about any supportive material.
Plant the bulbs so they are anchored but the top of the bulb is peeking out.
Keep it wet, not soaking, just wet.
Place in the dark until there's about 3 inches of growth.
Then, bring it out! They do best in bright, indirect light when blooming.
As it begins to grow to its full height, it may begin to lean over. Carlson suggests tying a couple lengths of raffia (or something similar) into a bow around the middle of the plant.
One word of warning: don't try to substitute another bulb for the paperwhite if you are unable to find them. I bought other bulbs and (being a "flower rookie") didn't think about them having a different "blooming" time. The bulbs I initially bought will not bloom until nearly Valentines Day! LOL)
Finally, due to the nature of this gift, I have no personal pictures to show you but I have found several links online to give you a visual. Check these pages out here and here.
So, jump up, dust off your crafty brain cells, come up with an idea, and stop in at GiBee's today...you never know what you'll find!