Belated Gift

My Grandma is the quintessential Grandma. She’s kind, gleeful and easy to please. Her house is filled with every gift that anyone has ever given her. With each gift-giving occasion, her children and the grandkids seem to give smaller and smaller gifts so each trinket or decoration can nestle into another nook or cranny of the barn comfortably, and every holiday is an occasion to rethink our gifts to her and how they can be smaller and more practical.

After seeing a suggestion on a blog about printing napkins with treasured pictures, I decided that napkins were just the thing for this Christmas (I’d link to the source, but I’ve looked everywhere and can’t seem to find it!). With this project in mind, at Thanksgiving I secretly sifted through photo albums at Grandma’s house, looking for the perfect picture. The pictures I found were amazing. Black and white photos of my dad and his sisters from infancy (when all I’d really seen before were photos from high school yearbooks). There were also weathered photos of Grandma in the shortest shorts I’ve ever seen standing in a quarry and holding a rifle and of Grandma striking a pose in a glamorous 40’s swim suit. I can only hope someday someone sifts through photos of me with the same delight.

But none of the pictures seemed to fit. You can’t wipe your fingers on a napkin that has a vintage photo of your children – or a photo of you when you looked like a pin up. So instead I began to look for pictures of objects.

Grandma loves her barn, but may not always live there so I decided to print the napkins with the barn so she can take it with her wherever she goes. Luckily enough there was a drawing of the barn done by a local artist hanging on her wall. Hoping she wouldn’t notice the blank space and empty nail on the wall, I rather conspicuously hid the 11 x 14 frame under my sweater and said my Thanksgiving goodbyes, hoping that I wouldn’t be pegged as a thief before Christmas arrived and I had time to replace it.

The napkins turned out nicely enough. Even though it was only a simple scan of the artwork which was then printed onto an iron-on transfer, Grandma thought the napkins were amazing. Amazement and appreciation are fine Grandmother qualities. Don’t you agree?

As it turns out, Grandma never noticed the blank space on the wall where the stolen artwork should have been. In fact, after opening her present and learning how I managed to print the barn image on the napkins, Grandma giggled and looked a little sheepish. She said that just two weeks before Christmas she’d taken a group of women on a home tour through her barn and had casually pointed in the direction of where the picture should have been, drawing focus to the fine artwork of a local artist.

I’m already planning my next holiday heist.





3 responses to “Belated Gift”

  1. Maryann Avatar

    Sigh. I love your blog. It is so cool. I can only aspire to be as hip. 🙂 You remind me of Julie in “Julie and Julia” – the book, as I have not seen the film yet.

    Anyway. Love the napkins – such a great idea! You will have to tell me how to do that. I’m thinking that would be a great Mother’s Day gift.

    Keep ’em coming. I might not read as often as I wish to, but I do read! 🙂

    1. Claire Avatar

      Thanks, MK!

      Napkins: Find a picture and scan it. Print it on Iron on Transfer paper. Follow the Iron on directions. Tada! Mother’s Day made easy. 🙂

      Also, you and me are going to have to hit up this place in Denver when you are stateside: Love it.

  2. […] I got older that special gift-giving kind of faded away, but in the last few years I’ve begun making things for my Grandma again. Even though Grandma used to sew often, making quilts, stuffed animals […]

Leave a Reply