I'm Tonia and this is my family. There's Hubs, my wonderful partner; Bug, my darling daughter; and Boo, my charming son. We are the Collins clan. We are a homeschooling family who try our best to live out God's will for our lives every day. There are lots of stumbles along the way, but we love each other and this little life we're carving out for ourselves. Recently we found ourselves called to make some big changes in our lives so we're packing up the McMansion and moving out to a little farm in need of a lot of TLC. We have tons to learn and tons to do and we invite you to share the journey as we turn our not-so-new heap into a home.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Handmade Christmas {And a Giveaway!}

Because of seriously tight finances, Christmas this year was a handmade affair. At first I was pretty bummed about the whole thing....and a little embarrassed. But, as the gifts came together, I started to really appreciate the situation. I don't know how to explain it, really, but it just felt right......like somehow, we were suddenly really getting the point of Christmas in a way we never had before.  We've always said the holidays were about family and the time spent together and I think we've always believed that, but this year was just different. I liked it. A lot.

There were aprons for my nieces and a jar cookie mix so they could bake with their Mommy.

There was homemade rub mix and BBQ sauce for my brothers and Dad- plenty there for a family cookout!

I made these fun jar cups and wraps as a test run for future craft sales. I loved them enough that several people got one for Christmas.

The darling jewelry holder was a perfect gift for Jenna's BFF.

I even made myself a little gift and I thought it was so cute I made one for my mom, too!

Knit dishcloths are a huge hit for my mom and my mother-in-law so they were gifted all around.

The thing about handmade is, there is no way to make someone a gift without really thinking about them. You can still give them something they don't like or won't use, of course, but you can't give them something that lacks thought and love when it's homemade. That's just the nature of making something for someone....you give a piece of yourself, too. And that, I think, is what it's really supposed to be about....the whole reason gift giving ever became a part of the celebrating. It was minimal, but meaningful. Like so many aspects of our new life, it's something I intend to keep- even when I don't have to.

And speaking of gifts- I have one for you!

One of the goals I have for 2015 is to get the blog reaching more people and to do that I need your help. Follow the blog for an entry in the drawing, comment here for another, and share on Facebook for another- a total of three chances! Make sure you let me know each thing you've done so I can give you credit. I will draw a winner on Wednesday January 21.

The prize? Something handmade, of course!

I knit this scarf using a rayon/metallic blend in a falling waters pattern. It has a lovely gold thread winding through it and it's soft and light- perfect for spring or fall.

Simple, purposeful, meaningful.....our goal for life at the Heap, may you find it in your life too!



  1. I love your gift ideas, Tonia!!! A couple years ago, when your finances were tight, I had to make all our gifts too. It was a lot of work, but using Pinterest made it fun. This year, because of time restraints, we had to buy our gifts. I realized that we need to be more intentional through the year to make gifts *before * December hits. Thanks for the reminder to start thinking ahead!!!

    1. So true Jennie! I had the same thought- need to start making things now and through the year so I'm ready :)

  2. You finished it!!! The scarf is so lovely. And your handmade gifts were so meaningful. 💕

    1. Thank you so much! I have this lovely friend who gave me a ton of beautiful yarn to work with ;)

  3. Love the scarf! I shared on Facebook.I also loved the aprons and other Christmas ideas.