Growing up my little sister and I were a crafty pair, by that I don't mean we played sneaky tricks on one another (well, sometimes, like that day I put seeds down her T-shirt that gave her a rash - oops!) but I mean we often made things as gifts. This was usually because a) we didn't have much spare pocket money and b) we weren't allowed out to the shops and c) I think Argos didn't exist yet and Amazon definitely didn't (yes, this was a while ago) Over the years our family have got used to receiving our quirky, personal gifts. Presents that are usually handmade, often carefully chosen or created with the receiver in mind. This tradition has continued into adulthood, a quick glance around my parents' house has revealed a few personal gifts that will be treasured forever. My sister made my partner and I this wonderful animal height chart when we were expecting our firstborn (modelling here). She hid it at her art college for months, occasionally tapping the side of her nose whenever I asked what she was working on (why do people do that for secrets??)
In my mothers handbag
(apart from a clean pack of tissues, keys, glasses,
chewinggum, a little pad and pencil, a purse, a handkerchief and stamps) I discovered these treasured personal artefacts. The teeny pig was bought by me in Cornwall, my mother loves pigs. The conker is from my sister from the same time, and is meant to help the bearer stay healthy. Wonderful little items wrapped up in love.
And finally, a little bag I made for my son 4 years ago when I was just starting to learn how to felt. He chose the colours and I hope it's something that will always remind him of me. Personalised gifts for me means something that might be mass produced item but has been personalised with a name. Of course these may also be beautiful and treasured, however in our family the smallest and most insignificant looking item can signify the largest amount of love because it is truly personal. I hope that my pet portraits are given and received as the most special personal gifts, full of thought, consideration and most importantly love.
I would love to hear about your own personal gifts that you've given and received, feel free to share your stories!