I am going to put a few ideas here over the next week for Christmas gifts, both homemade and store-bought, in case anyone out there is like me and doesn’t have her gifts all ready. My first idea is taken from something I did the past few weeks to spruce up my home for my returned missionary’s homecoming. Through some miracles, we got the carpets cleaned, got some walls and doors painted, and I finally, yes, after ten years of living here, got some actual art hung on the wall. I actually got the pictures up after the homecoming, so I missed the big day when guests were over, but that’s OK. I decided to go to bed and get some sleep and finish decorating later. At least they are up now for my family and me and whatever guests come now to enjoy!
The above painting is called “The Happy Family” by Ferdinand Georg Waldmuller. It’s so delightful! I love the feeling it portrays of happiness in family life across the generations, enjoying some of life’s simple things: family, books, stories, and conversation. You can buy it already framed here, from the LDS Church (although it says it’s on backorder currently), or, if you are a hoarder like I am, you can just go through your stack of old Ensign magazines that you have been saving and find it on the inside front cover of the June 2005 Ensign. Carefully remove it from the magazine, put in a nice frame, with a mat, if you are fussy, and then voila, you have a beautiful framed work of art. If you don’t cut right around the edge but leave the whole page intact it already has a “mat” or border around it. This would make a lovely gift for a mother, mother-in-law, grandma, visiting teachee or teacher, and aunt.
And if you use a frame from a box of frames that your mother-in-law gave you because she was someday going to use them but never did, and then cast them off to you, then it cost you nothing. If you are not so blessed with the bounteousness of pack-rattyism as I am, you can find frames for cheap at the thrift or dollar store.
For years I have been saving a huge, heavy, box of magazines.Two summers ago I went through it and whittled it down to only those issues that had pictures I wanted to use as framed art. Then last summer I went through it again to remind myself why I was saving the box of magazines. I am glad I did. I love these pictures and hope they inspire my family in happy ways.
Save those church magazines! They are chock full of beautiful depictions of the Savior, landscapes, temples, family life, and other symbols of joyful living. Some are by some of my favorite LDS artists like Greg Olsen, Walter Rane, and Del Parson.
I found this cute picture of a happy girl singing while riding on a bike illustrated by artist Julia Yellow. It’s from the August 2014 New Era (see the top photo, bottom left corner) and accompanied a story by Sister Bonnie Oscarson. I decided was perfect for our hall bathroom. I paired it on a bathroom wall with cheery flowery paper from a panel of a gift bag one of my kids got from a present at a birthday party. Sorry, this photo below is not the best quality but you get the idea.
The picture of the armor of God I hung in the hallway to remind my boys about putting on the armor of God as soon as they walk out of their bedroom in the morning.
Happy gifting and decorating!