I haven't been blogging much lately as I prepare for Christmas....but....if the weather turns out as predicted in I may be snowed in for Christmas and therefore will be spending a lot more time making cards and hanging online.
Gumdrop hoodie by RitchieRags Have that special little niece that you are searching for the perfect gift? I know this hoodie would match the personality of mine.
Ipod case by Ykbags For all those who have to have the new technology this is a great handmade item to keep the gadgets safe.
Small leather notebook on a keychain by Bindme Anyone know somone who is constantly making lists or loves the satisfaction of checking something off when it is done. This small notebook attached to a keychain allows for a quick and easy to take notes anywhere.
Personalized ornaments by CottageJoy As I have said before anytime you can personalize a gift it gives it that extra special touch and the receiver knows that you had to plan ahead. An ornament for their tree will give them a reminder of you year after year.
Treasure Box by sisterbutterfly All of the boxes by sisterbutterly are just amazing. You can't help but sit and wonder about all the time and talent put into each one of her creations. This would make a great gift for the crafter in your life who has all those little trinkets to store away and also wants to surround herself with creative inspirations.
Gift sets pop up everywhere at Christmas time. Some are a really great combination of items you know someone will love and other times there is one item that is just too good to pass up at that price but the items they package along with it really aren't worth much. (I'm thinking that wonderful bottle of cologne paired with a twinky pocket knife or fake leather wallet.). Or you buy a wonderful basket that appears to be filled to the top with food items, bath products, etc and then shrink wrapped all ready for you to give. Then as you watch the receiver open their gift and pull out piles of stuffing you soon discover that you should have opened this before giving it and filled more than a top layer. Don't get me wrong I love the idea of a gift set and find that making my own can be a fantastic way to buy several inexpensive items and combine them into one reasonably priced gift that is perfectly personalized.
As I wander through the pages of Etsy I've begun to see the gift sets showing up here as well and they have me really excited. There are items here so much better than what you find in the stores. I can't wait to see what else appears as we get closer to Christmas.
A spice pack for kids??? This seemed a little unusual to me as well but as I read the description and throught more about it this is a great idea. I have found that kids love making things and are much more willing to eat something they created. Just gift these to your future chef and them sprinkle away and maybe just maybe that veggie they were so sure they wouldn't like becomes super tasty.
Ouch Pouch by PillowSewCute
This ouch pouch really caught my eye. Organization for purses or bags of any kind are always a girls best friend. Having someone compile all of those basic first aid type items in a ready to go pack could really save a new mom some time and energy she could use other places.
Hot/Cold packs by DaySpa
Do you have a friend who is always cold? This would be a simple gift idea that could provide them with much delight. Add a book, and a blanket to this set and you have created a warm and cozy get a way.
Happy Winter Magnet set by fashionfucsia
Are you ready to brighten the desk of your co-worker? This magnet set is something that can bring out the holiday spirit for a few months and easily fit in a desk drawer and be stored away till next season.
It's not just what's inside that counts, how you present your gift is half the fun so here are some ideas to help get you started.
Quilt by QuiltLover For those akward to wrap or extra large gifts find a suitable quilt or blanket and make an instant gift sack. Place your gift in the center, draw up the blanket all around it, and tie it with a decorative piece of ribbon. Now your gift wrap becomes a warm and cozy gift as well.
Christmas Bags by Creative Chicks For the smaller gifts use one of these pre-made gift bags. Even better these are re-usable. No more piles of wrapping paper to throw away at the end of the day when these are used.
Oragami nesting boxes by SleipnirDesigns For those itty bitty gifts (hmmm...i'm thinking bracelets, necklaces and earings) use these adorable stacking boxes. Now you have an eye catching gift and adds excitement to the gift opening process when there are several boxes to open.
Card by Paper Petal Creations Of course no gift is complete without a card or tag. Sometimes a tag is just to small to share the meaning behind the gift or even to add a funny story to your gift to make someone smile.
I have heard it time and time again that it is just to hard to find handmade gifts for guys. Although you won't find the latest technology in electronics I guarantee there are tons of items the guys in your life will enjoy.
Ok so, yes there are still 38 days till Christmas arrives but it's never to soon to start searching for the perfect gift. When I start this process I give much thought about recipient. What are their favorite things? Have they hinted about something they want? What is that one thing that always brings a smile to their face? With those thoughts in mind I head out in search of the PERFECT gift. Anything special, unique and meaningful to that particular person will do.
I have found that the handmade world is often a great place to find gift giving ideas. For me this used to mean browsing through craft magazines and fabric stores. After finally finding what I want additional time was then spent creating my gift or finding someone who can make it for me. Occassionally I would luck out and see just what I needed at a Craft fair, where someone else has poured their blood, sweat and tears into something special.
This year I have discovered the wonderful world of Etsy where handmade items from A to Z are available with the click of a mouse. It has been so much fun browsing through the shops and pondering just who this most adorable item would make a great gift for. There is just so much...where do you begin...how do I weave through all the items out here to find something special... It's enough to make your mind spin.
For those who may not have as much time to search I am going to spend the next several weeks sharing some of my personal favorties from ETSY.
This is a cake I made to enter into our pumpkin decorating contest at work. I decided a pumpkin you can eat would be much more fun. The finished result turned out fairly well.
Basic Instructions: Bake a cake in a bundt cake pan and after it cools frost in orange and then break out your creativity on the type of jack-o-lantern face you would like to add. For the stem just frost an ice cream cone and sit it upside down in the center.
It feels good to be stretching my imagination again and creating cards. Today I was thinking of all the men in my life and realized it was time to make a card suited for any one of them. Grabbed a few of my most masculine embellishments and sketch 38 from Card Patterns website and I got started. I think the finished card would work well for a graduation, birthday or just to provide some support. If you would like to give this card to someone in your life stop by my Etsy shop by clicking here.
I've been playing a bit of hide and seek with not much time to post here. The past few weeks I have:
Taken a super fun vacation to Minnesota. Who would have thought I could spend 3 days in a mall but one trip to the Mall of America and an active boyfriend ready to see it all and I managed to keep up. The attached picture is a cute fish who watched us enjoy a meal at the Rainforest Cafe.
Started a low iodine diet in prep for an upcoming RAI procedure. Having to exclude dairy, eggs, fish and many pre-made foods has made for a new use of my creativy.
Fought through a stomache bug. This has certainly made it easier to stick to my new diet for the past few days.
It has been awhile since I last posted. After a scary car accident I have been off supporting my family as we deal with the loss of my aunt and praying for strength to be given to my two young cousins who were also hurt. Additional prayers would be greatly appreciated.
In much need of some stress relief I was thankful to try my hand at Card Patterns latest challenge interpreting sketch #34. Being creative and crafty is always a way for me to stop worry for a few minutes. This sketch definately had me thinking and trying to incorporate all of the elements. Hope you enjoy!
My mind is on Christmas cards already which is always good when you are making handmade cards, since they are definately not a last minute task. When I viewed the Card Patterns sketch I knew this was an opportunity to try out the snowman heads I made a week ago. Didn't turn out exactly has I planned but I'll keep tweeking it and I'm sure it will be just right by Christmas.
As we come off of a long weekend and start the new week I took some time to view some inspiring photos full of energy and the vibrant color of red, my favorite of course. I'm now sharing these pictures to provide each of you that extra motivation to carry on this week. ENJOY!
Today I made one card that fits to different challenges, Card Patterns sketch #30 and 2 Red Bananas request to include a rub on. Once again this card also incorporates the use of a photograph I took last year. Can you tell how much this little one enjoys the pumpkin from Grandma's garden?
I just watched this attached video on Etsy and found it just amazing! How fun it is to see into another artists world. Watching how they express their crafty side and turn it into beautiful creations. I love how Mimi said she felt she was totally distracted for 20 years when she first started with clay. Definately shows that finding a nitche can be a time consuming process and it's ok to explore.
Today was a typical Monday, busy day at work and about half way through the day I was dreaming of the weekend that was still so many days away. When I finally arrived home I sat down to work on my Etsy shop and brainstorm a few new promotional ideas...then all of the sudden....an email arrives stating I have made a sale (a small smile forms on my face). But wait, next came a second email and then a third. I am now grinning from ear to ear and curious where all these sales are coming from. After much thought and investigation and sales still popping in I still can't figure it out. Thankfully all the questions are soon answered as a Convo arrives from a fellow Etsy seller Es Things informing me my shop was selected for a sneak attack. New smiles come to my face...someone picked me and it resulted in some great sales. Of course next came a new investigation. What exactly was this "sneak attack" anyway? I followed the forum thread provided in my convo and also checked out this website www.handmademovement.com and soon had my answer. It was just another sign that Etsy community is very supportative.
Thanks to all of those who made purchases from me today and I plan to pay it forward so someone else can be as delighted as I was.
Seems like just a few short hours ago that this weekend started and I began a whirlwind crafting session. It is now Sunday evening and I am cleaning up the bits and pieces that always arrive after hard work crafting. Thought I would take a quick break to share with you some of the results. In all I completed 20 cards, 18 bookmarks and brainstormed many new ideas for future crafting moments.
And now a question or two for you.
What type of cards would you be interested in seeing?
What is the next occassion you will be purchasing a card for?
I have had a crafting bug all week so this weekend I plan to lock myself in my home and have a whirlwind session of card making. Lets see just how many cards I can create? So far themes I will try to work into this batch of cards are fall, christmas, masculine, back to school. Do you have any other suggestions?
Who knows where this weekend could end up, but I guarantee it will result in lots of scraps of paper, glitter on my face, and a stack of fresh creations.
This weeks Card Patterns sketch gave me another opportunity to use one of my personal photographs. Summertime provides an abundance of opportunities for me to take in the beauty of the outdoors and I carry my camera with me every where so that I never miss a moment. In turn card making allows me to take those snapshots and share the moment with others. I hope you enjoy my latest creation.
If you enjoy making your own handmade cards keep in mind that there are many items around you everyday that you can incorporate into your creative pieces. Below is a list of items you can use to get you started:
When the Party is over -gift wrap -fancy or colorful napkins -confetti -streamers -ribbons -tissue paper (click for an example)
Around the house -magazine pages -Candy wrappers- hidden shiny insides -old unused spare buttons -flowers & leaves: pressed and dried -old greeting cards & envelopes -make serendipity paper out of old scraps
After a shopping trip -gumball trinkets -paper bags (the pink background paper in the pictured card is a recycled bag received from a craft store) -tissue paper -merchandise tags
So my mom's birthday is coming up soon and it was time to brainstorm a great gift that I could make for her. Over the years she has made many special quilts for herself but also as gifts. I decided that keeping track of all these quilt memories would be the perfect idea. Pictured is the quilt journal I plan to present to my mom so she can jot down the details regarding why a quilt is made, when, fabrics used and most importantly a picture of the precious quilt.
Great news! I was recently featured on the Indie Craft Corner blog. Click here to see the article. This blog provides bits and pieces of information about many talented crafters.
The editor of the Indie Craft Corner blog is of course a crafter herself, specializing in Scrabble tile pendants and most recently pocket mirrors. Her etsy shop, Pieces of Me Pendants, has a wide variety of designs from classy to cute and adorable.