Homemade gift exchange

Around here, this is the time of year, I start to get worried spring will take too long to get here. I start looking forward to, even longing for, warm days, new green leaves and blossoms, and getting into the garden. I don’t want it to come too soon–out of the natural order–but I am in anticipation (and am a little bored with cold and brown). This past weekend was a little taste of spring–warm temps and the first flowers of spring–but I know we still have some winter waiting for us.

During this time of year, it is good for me to be busy creating things—-beautiful things, useful things. I have made some clothes for my children, sewn a very summery top for myself, and am working on a quilt for Anne and a knitting project for myself. I also got to participate in a blog exchange. This idea is from Amanda at Sweet Potato Claire, and originally from an article she wrote for Grounded. Over 60 bloggers agreed to make homemade items and mail those items to the blogger they drew (actually Amanda drew them for us). It has been a neat way to get to know some other souls out there with great ideas and interesting lives.

I won’t give away who I “have” until later, but I finally got a package together for her. I put in some of my goat milk soap (Citrus Ginger, Lemongrass Sage, and Peppermint Pumice) and some hand salve (TLC or teatree, lavender, and clary sage). I also included four napkins and a jar of garlic herb salt.

The napkins are made with a lawn I found at my mother-in-law’s house and muslin I had on hand. I cut all the fabric 17”x17”, put right sides together, and sewed a ½ inch seam, saving a small area to turn the napkins right side out. I did a running stitch around the edge with floss from my great-grandmother’s embroidery kit, which my grandmother gave me last year when I was visiting. Inspiration (and better instructions) for this came from Purlbee.



The garlic herb salt is made with garlic and herbs from my garden (my exchange person is an avid gardener) and a wonderful grey sea salt I always use. The recipe is from The Splendid Table. I made it before and loved it. I used a little over a cup of sage, thyme, and rosemary (you are supposed to use 2 cups, but this was all I could reasonable pick from my winter garden), and a little lemon zest. I chopped up 5 cloves of garlic from my stored garlic (we’ve been able to grow and store garlic from our garden for the whole year) with 1/2 cup course sea salt. I love the salt we can get locally (though it comes from France). Add the herbs and keep chopping until everything is finely cut. Let it dry on a cookie sheet overnight and put it in a jar to keep on the counter to season everything from popcorn to steamed vegetables to meat.

garlic and herbs

garlic herb salt

This project was fun and really gives me something to look forward to this month—giving and receiving these sweet little gifts.

6 thoughts on “Homemade gift exchange

  1. Your gifts are so lovely and I especially love the salt you made, something I will be preparing here in my home. I’m another participate in the swap, it’s nice to ‘meet’ you.

  2. Molly, I absolutely adore the package you sent me! And it was so fun to discover your blog and read about the process of putting these items together. The garlic herb salt was put to use immediately — my husband made chicken that night, and used it as a dry rub before grilling. It turned out delicious. (Your napkins came in handy too!) I’ve been slathering my hands in the salve every day during our dry winter, and one of the soaps is now in our bath (the lemongrass is my favorite but all of them are fantastic). Woman, you’ve got talent. Thank you so much for the thoughtful gifts, I truly did not expect all of that. Your blog is now in my reader; I love the new Baking Tuesday!

    1. Linda, It has been a pleasure to get to know your blog, too. I am glad you are enjoying (and using) everything. Thanks for your compliments! I look forward to keeping up with you!

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