Friday, November 08, 2013

'Tis the Season

Oh, I know, am I seriously about to start posting holiday shopping and gift giving ideas? You bet your butts. Once Halloween is over, you all know what happens in the stores. A clean sweep of the costumes, a cursory glance at the Thanksgiving table decor, and then BOOM. Christmas. All sparkling snowflakes and Santa Claus and stockings in yo face, every time you turn a corner. At least the carols haven't started yet.

Now don't get me wrong. I LOVE the holidays. My birthday is Christmas Eve, so my Christmas addiction is a birthright. However, I enjoy Thanksgiving thoroughly (I think it's the mashed potatoes, really), and I am happy to wait until December 1st before pulling out my Nat King Cole CD's.

All of that said, I am also a tiny business owner, and the crazy thing about that is my holiday prep begins in July. It's odd to design winter cards in July, but there it is. It's also odd to make Christmas gifts in July, but if you are a crafter you do it! I'll never forget the night my mother was up until 3 AM one Christmas Eve putting finishing hems on a set of Star Wars quilts for my nephews. I swore I would never do that, so now I get my holiday crafting started early. I also start the list of items I will buy, and this year, that means all local or handmade. That's a bit of a challenge, but I am determined to avoid the big box stores this year, to spend less, to think more, and to invest my time and creativity into making a memorable, quality holiday instead of a commercial one.

If you're with me, then stay tuned for the weeks coming up to Christmas! I will be hosting a new featured shop for The 12 Shops of Christmas, all of them local, and all of them handmade. There will be interviews and coupon codes and a giveaway or two! Including some from me of course.

I'm working hard to fill the shop with new holiday card designs and prepping for my first holiday marketplace. It's in a little over a week (yikes!) and in addition to my usual cards and party goods, I have a few fun new gifts to share. Ready to grow mini gardens, personalized stationery sets, and my new favorite thing, stationery gift baskets. I think people are sometimes unsure about how to give stationery as a gift other than a stocking stuffer, but you really can do so much!

My new favorite thing is to group little gifts in a themed bunch 
with a set of coordinating cards,  like this baker's set:

1. An adorable pink printed tea towel
2.  Cupcake Note Cards in Hot Pink (these can be printed with a name or in another color!)
3. A tiny silver bucket for planting
4. Lemon Balm seed paper
5. A seed starter pellet
6. A recipe for Lemon Balm Tea Biscuits

Bundle all of this together with some cute packaging and voila! You have an adorable little themed gift for your baking pal. If you're lucky, maybe you'll get a card back from them as thanks, and you can plant your own little wild garden. I'll have a bunch of these sets for sale at the Artisan show next Saturday, so if you are local, do come visit!

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