Make and Give Handmade Gifts

EyeglassChains05292014-5-CopyMake and give handmade gifts this holiday season. No matter what your religious affiliation or which holidays you and your family choose to celebrate this year most of them have some element of gift giving involved. And what better way to say to your friends and family that you are thinking of them than taking the time to create something yourself. Handcrafted items are almost always unique, tends to last longer and may even be handed down to future generations. My mom works hard all through the year to create hand crocheted items for all of our family as well as to sell at craft shows, festivals and on our online stores. They are often colorful, as is her style, and generally will last through lots of wearing and washing. This is extremely handy in our family as we are generally not your “typical” department store sizes or even like the current color trends.

When we get ready to create gifts for our family again this year we try to keep in mind the people we are creating them for. Things like their favorite colors, their current sizes and measurements, and with the boys it is usually their favorite team colors. Smaller children can be harder to make things for because they are mainly concerned with toys. Well, there are some great toys that you can make yourself with full instructions on the web. You can sew, crochet and even knit dolls, puppets and other things for kids. If you are handy with tools you can build a doll house, make wooden kitchen appliances and even carve out some wooden cars and trucks. Take a look at this website article for more ideas:
http://happyhooligans.ca/70-awesome-toys-make-kids/
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Fall is Here What Are You Making

CrochetedGloves-35-1024x682Fall is here, what are you making? With the new season the weather is cooler, the colors in nature are brilliant and you can get a jump on Christmas. My mom has gotten into a crocheting mood and is making some hooded scarves. They fit nicely on the head, covers the ears and wrap around the neck. When you make things for yourself or family and friends you get to make them as long, as wide and in whatever color combinations you or they like the most. Last year, we handmade all of our presents for our friends and family members. We hope they enjoyed them and got plenty of use out of them.

Making your gifts by hand, we believe, shows them that you cared enough to take the time and energy to be creative in your gift giving. Granted, younger children may want things they have seen on TV or that their friends have but if you start making gifts now and involve the kids in the making they will appreciate their own gifts more and feel great about themselves as they made their items all on their own (with a little help from their parents). They learn new skills, get quality time with their parents and have a great time doing it. Hand-made gifts are more treasured than store bought. Whether you make them something that is funny, ridiculous or warm and fuzzy we all appreciate the time they took and their creativity.
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Craft Or Not to Craft

CrochetedScrunchies-4-1024x682Craft or Not to Craft. That is the question I ask myself almost everyday. Can I find time to get creative today or do I put it off until I have the time to really concentrate or what I am doing? Should I take a break for a little while in hopes of getting more inspired later? I don’t know about you but with the hot weather, trying to finish an eBook I am writing about our volunteering experience and working as a volunteer in one of our Florida State Parks I am finding it difficult to do any of my crafts. Now, my mom can pick up her crochet needle and crochet away while she is watching TV. But she gets sidetracked as well when we go to one of the local libraries and check out some good mysteries to read. She will read them all until she runs out and then will pick up the crafting needle again. Me, I need uninterrupted time to create. I think I have always been that way.
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How Do You Keep Your Creative Juices Flowing

BottlecapKeychains04242014-3-1024x682How Do You Keep Your Creative Juices Flowing? When and Where do you get your inspiration for crafting projects? Will varying smaller craft projects with larger and longer ones help your creative flow? These questions are more we ask ourselves all the time. Getting your creative juices flowing has a lot to do with what types of crafts you like to do. Since, I like to make bead and wire jewelry most of my projects are considered to be smaller ones that don’t take a lot of time. My mom does crochet so her’s can take anywhere from a few hours to a month or two depending on what she is working on. Of course, I also like to keep a specific person in mind when I am creating my pieces.

Sometimes I just get going making the same type of item but in different colors and using different kinds of beads. I like to make earrings and beaded key chains because they are easy to make and I can make a lot of them in a short amount of time. My mom has likes to create many different items using the same color(s) of yarn like a set such as a couple of scrunchies, a couple of wrist-warmers and a crocheted tie. She can get this set done in about 8 hours but has to take frequent breaks to give her hands and back a rest.
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Finding Time for Crafting

BeadAndWireDec2013AndJan2014 (3)Finding Time for Crafting can be very hard these days. Even though Mom and I are retired we still have busy schedules with the volunteering we do at Florida State Parks and traveling around the state with each new assignment. Our volunteer campground host volunteer assignments only last anywhere from two to 4 months a piece before we have to move again. And living and working in an RV doesn’t really leave us a lot of room for our crafting supplies let alone our finished products.

But getting back to the subject of finding time for our crafts. There is only a few things you can do to make time for your crafts. One would be to make a schedule and commit yourself to certain days and/or hours that you will do your crafts. Once you make your schedule you will have to enlist the help of the people you live with so that they will know that you will not be available for carpooling, making snacks, running errands or doing household chores during these time periods. You have to be firm and stick to it. You may have to experiment with days and times because you may not be as productive late at night as you are in the morning or vice-versa. Of course, it is also nice if your crafting space is organized so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time looking for the supplies that you want.
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