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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Crafty Crap

With Halloween done and gone (well, the candy still lingers), my attention is turning full-speed to the Christmas holiday -- more specifically, Christmas shopping. Yes, I know I already blogged about it recently.

But the more I think about it, the more I think I'm wanting to go the homemade route for many gifts. Either stuff that I make myself or stuff handmade by other people. You know, crafty crap. (I mean that in the nicest of ways!) Stuff that is not mass-produced on an assembly line in some foreign country.

The way I see it, there are three ways to get crafty crap for the holidays (or whenever):
  1. Make it yourself.
  2. Shop holiday craft shows/bazaars.
  3. Shop Etsy.
There are a few things I can make myself -- notecards, some kitchen/food gifts, beaded jewelry. I've tried to convince my siblings to do a "handmade" gift exchange -- a CD with a mix of tunes would count, but they're not so enthusiastic. Do you do any handmade gifts? What?

Last year, my mom, sister and I spent a whole day going to holiday craft shows. It was a blast. Sure, there were an abundance of beaded bracelets and I wasn't interested in the homemade jar candles that seemed so prolific. But I did find some cool stuff -- little handmade soaps with mini treasures embedded inside, a fashion-forward t-shirt with a rhinestone horseshoe -- perfect for cheering on my Indianapolis Colts. And when Annie was big into American Girl, those craft shows were the perfect place for buying doll clothes that didn't break the bank.

We're hoping to do a day like that again, so I'm on the lookout for dates/places for local craft shows. If you know of any in the Central Indiana area, please leave me a comment!

Finally, Etsy shopping. I learned about Etsy when I came across a woman who had a booth at a craft show I was at and she had her Etsy site listed on her business card. I could spend hours looking at stuff on Etsy! To get started on Etsy, you can go to and just search something you're interested in -- frogs or Scrabble or sock monkeys, whatever.

Here are a few of the Etsy sites I check from time to time.
  1. Lasso the Moon -- Where my Etsy fascination started.
  2. Fairies'nFirecrackers -- Adorable frou-frou for little girls by 4th Frog follower Annie
  3. Sara's Art -- I just discovered this shop - funky & whimsical art for your home
Do you have others you like? Do share!


Annie said...

Wow, Amy! Thank you so much for posting my etsy site! You rock! I'll be adding super cute crocheted hats to the site soon, and they fit adults and can be turned into a little purse, too. :-) Just waiting on my first shipment to get them started. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

The St. Luke's Craft Show/Bizaar is a really good one and is on Nov. 14th!

Eternal Lizdom said...

I love supporting crafty people. I'm not a hugely crafty sort... I have the ability but not the time or interest at this point in my life.

This year, I plan on using my holiday gift buying money on donations to organizations like our local food pantry, Kiva, Heifer Intl, etc.

Nate's Mom said...

Amy, I started the "homemade family exchange" last year. It wasn't entirely successfull, but it was a good start. Jacob learned to knit, on a loom, and made everyone a scarf. (The knitting fairies visited each evening and added afew inches to keep him inspired). The oldest made peanut brittle. The 2nd, made pinwheels for the little guys. I crocheted scarves for teachers and friends last year.

I'm hoping to get them started thinking about it earlier this year. I like the idea of the kids each making something for their siblings. I bought the supplies, but the ideas were all theirs.

This year, I am beading bracelet/earring sets for teachers/friends. I love homemade Christmas gifts/cards.

Let me know what you decide and how it goes. I would suggest planting the seed now, if you want the kids to go along.

Sheri (aka Nate's Mom)

PS: You should sign up for NaBloPoMo. You are one day in; it's not to late ;-)

Shelley said...

Oooh, I love Etsy! But it is a dangerous place, KWIM?

I am still laughing at "crafty crap."

I am such a craftless person that my idea of home made crafty crap is canning jars with those mixes of dried beans and spices or cookie mixes or whatever. They're a pain in the you-know-where to make and you can spend HUGE amounts of time designing clever little instruction tags and finding a piece of calico to cover the jar lid and fixing it all up with twine....geeeeez.

I did find a mix for home made dog biscuits that I gave to some friends who are pet lovers a few years ago, but after I'd given it to them, I was so afraid that they'd try to eat it themselves that I had to call them all up and say, "You do know that stuff in the jar is for Mr. Peebles, right?" and they were all, like, "YES! Geez! Do you think we're stupid?" and I was thinking, "Well, I don't know. Yes?"

Never again. ;>)

Marine Wife said...

In the interest of saving a little money, and adding that personal touch, of course, I'm making a few Christmas gifts this year: Painting martini glasses for my SIL, cross-stitching the edges of pillowcases for my husband's grandmother, framed photographs for others. I might try to make some soaps for my MIL (have 50% off coupon for a craft store where I saw an interesting looking soap-making kit).
Hmmm. Now let's see if I can get it all done in time!

stewbert said...

I usually do make gifts. Last year I did placemats and napkins for my mom and one of my siblings. I've done crayon rollups for nieces and nephews, christmas tree ornaments for various people, clothes for my kid, quilts and afghans, and just learned to knit so someone will be getting something knitted, darn it! Good luck!