The last thing I want to share is my favorite handmade gifts that were either given or recieved this year. I love handmade items for several reasons - they are unique; if you are the crafter, you may save some money (though not always!); if you aren't the crafter, you are supporting someone else's craftiness. I love to support small and local businesses!
Some of you may think I'm a bit belated in sharing these ideas...but you can always keep them in mind for birthdays or other special occasions or, better yet, plan for next Christmas NOW! It's never too early, especially if you want to try to make something!
Here's what we loved:
Hat, scarf, and mitten set. Every year one of my gifts to my daughter is a hat, scarf, and mitten/gloves set. I love to accessorize in the winter with fun hats and scarves and I'm training her to do the same! While I typically look for a cutesy set from Gap, Old Navy, or The Children's Place, this year I tried a little something different...I custom ordered her a knitted set from Scoggin's Noggins. I discovered Sarah Scoggin and her talented knitting skills through my friend Anne's blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy, when she won a custom-made hat. It was great to have the freedom to choose the exact colors I wanted (to match Libby's winter coat perfectly!) and pick a style. And it was a big hit with Libby, especially when I told her that it's truly one-of-a-kind and that someone had to work really hard to make it. (Thanks, Sarah!) Check it out:
Handmade ornaments. This year, at my friends' annual ornament exchange my friend Stacey changed things up a bit...she went handmade! A lot of work went into her fabric decouppaged ornament but it's something that I'll always remember when I get that ornament out over the years to come. Stacey's daughter even made her own version to pass on to Libby so we both got one! I'm thinking that next year I will have to get some pointers on how to make them so we can give it a try. In the meantime, I've got a button ornament in the works (Yes, I started it before Thanksgiving, and no, I never got around to actually finishing it - maybe next year!).
My ornament from my friend, Stacey Libby's ornament from her friend, Maggie
Guess Who: Family Edition. Remember that popular board game from the 1980s, Guess Who? If you don't, check out the game section at Target or Wal-Mart - it's still around but has changed a bit since the original version. Anywho, I can't take credit for this idea...it was another discovery on Anne's great blog (Thanks, Anne, for all your help this Christmas!). I ordered a "vintage" version of the Guess Who game and replaced all of the fictional characters with real people in Libby's family! It was fun (and challenging!) gathering up the photos that I needed (It takes 24 mugs!) but the end result was definitely unique and a lot more fun than the regular version! I hope that her dad's family enjoys it! I would love to post a picture of the final product but feel it's best to protect their privacy.
Pinterest, Pinterest, and more Pinterest! In case you can't tell, Pinterest is my latest-and-greatest favorite website. While I've regained control of my life and am no longer wasting away hours upon hours in front of my computer as I divulge in all the craftiness, oddities, and delicious recipes that make up my favorite parts of Pinterest, I still love to frequent the site when I have some spare time. For me, it has inspired my inner creativity. Before the discovery of Pinterest, I rarely found the time or energy to attempt handmade. But I can honestly say that I have been more crafty (and had more fun with it!) since discovering this amazing website. Kudos to Pinterest this Christmas for giving me the ideas to refurbish a Pringles can to hold homemade cookies, to make cute button ornaments (still in progress, as I mentioned above); and for helping me find a unique gift for Libby's uncle! Can't wait to see what Pinterest inspires me to make (or buy!) next year!
This year I hope that my creative side continues to grow - Libby and I both enjoy being crafty and it makes for great mommy-and-me time! Do you have any project or craft ideas we should try? What are your favorite handmade gifts? Please share - I may need to try them in 2012!
Have a wonderful and safe New Year!