Make Something Day Coming Friday

Make Something Day is almost upon us and has stirred quite a bit of discussion.  I love Julie Clawson’s post on the pros and cons of a day like this.  It really made me sit up and think about why I am participating in this.  I agree with her that people often make things that are useless and that in no way subverts the global economy.

What I have discovered this year however is that focusing on Make Something Day has made me think a lot more about the people that I am planning to give presents to.  And in the process I find myself reminiscing about times we have spent together, reminding myself of how special they are and praying for them as well.  It certainly beats that frenzy of buying at the last minute or on Black Friday which has sometimes characterized our Christmases in the past.  Tom is planning to refurbish a desk he has had since he was a child for our god child.  I am making a knitted purse for his sister Catie and hopefully will get that Lavender Lotion made that I am wanting to try for my garden chafed hands in the spring.  Tom already has the Aran sweater I knitted him – I just couldn’t wait until Christmas.   And I know that I will feel good everytime he wears it.

Tom's new Aran sweater

Tom's new Airan sweater

For me Make Something Day is more than a stand against the consumer culture.  It is about adding meaning to gift giving.

I personally love to receive home made items and always feel that they carry something of a person’s identity with them – maybe a little deposit of their soul. I find that when something has been made especially for me then I don’t want to throw it out. I wear it until it is rags. I think that one of the motivating forces for our consumer culture is the disconnect between the consumer and the person who produced what they are consuming. When we have relationship with the person who produced our goods our whole attitude changes. They are no longer goods to consumer but a small part of the person who made them.

On Sunday (the first Sunday of Advent) we will be decorating our Christmas tree and I particularly love to hang the home made ornaments. Some of them are those same cutsie craft articles that at other times I would despise but there is something special about ornaments that I pull out every year and hang on the tree, especially as some of the people that made them are now dead.

Make Something Day


Well Make Something Day a great idea from the Ecclesia Collective is coming the day after American Thanksgiving and I wanted to get something up early so that I have time to get the ingredients that I still do not have but I was wondering – does it still count if I have to go out and purchase ingredients?  I suppose that none of us can get away from the fact that spending money really does make the world go round.

Anyhow back to my idea.

I did not want to make something that I would normally make at this time of the year – like shortbread though I will post that recipe in a couple of weeks as Advent and Christmas approach.  Nor did I want to do something that I have done before – like knitted scarves or tea cosies for my friends.  (For the uninitiated a tea cosy is like a cap that you put on a tea pot to keep it warm)  So here is  a new idea for making your own Lavendar Lotion which I have adapted from Gardening How To magazine.

Bees love lavender too

Bees love lavender too

1/2 cup dried lavendar flowers

10 drops lavender essential oil

4 tablespoons beeswax

1 cup olive oil

Pour 1 cup olive oil into the top of a double boiler

Add 1/2 cup dried lavendar flowers.  Gently heat olive oil and lavendar over simmering water for about 15 minutes.  While you are waiting cover the measuring cup with a piece of cheese cloth and secure it with a rubber band.

Remove olive oil and lavender mixture for the heat.  Carefully strain through cheese cloth into the measuring cup.

When most of the oil is filtered through the cheese cloth, remove the rubber band, pick up the cheesecloth keeping the lavender enclosed and squeeze out as much olive oil as possible.

Place measuring cup into a double boiler, add 10 drops of lavender essential oil and 4 tablespoons of grated beeswax or beeswax beads.  Stir over simmering water until melted.

Test consistency by adding a drop to the top of an ice cube.  It should be the constituency of a heavy syrup.  If too hard add more olive oil.  If too soft add more beeswax.  Pour into clean containers and allow to harden for two hours before topping with an airtight cover.