Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Getting Started

It is September 2008 and let’s face it – times are tough. I’ve decided to be resourceful and make the majority of my Christmas presents this year. Quite the undertaking, since I am most definitely not the craftiest person on the planet. I took a sewing class earlier this year (should prove helpful), however, so far I have made valances for my daughter's bedroom, a dress and a patchwork quilt - all respectable but by no means am I an expert seamstress.

Last weekend I took a silk knotting class, a technique used in stringing pearls and I am taking a class in a few weeks on basic beading.

I have always loved to bake, so home made goodies are definitely part of the plan.

I am a mother of 3 and work a full time demanding job, so this endeavor is going to take some planning and organization. Here’s what I’ve done so far.

Collecting ideas for gifts:

I’ve been doing a lot of web surfing trying to find ideas that aren’t cheesy. I’ve found some nice ideas that if my finished product comes out okay I won’t be embarrassed to give to friends and family. Otherwise, I might be doing some last minute shopping at (insert discount store of choice).

Jewelry: I have purchased a few beading books and subscribed to a beading magazine for design ideas. Once I select a design or two I will begin practicing. I have been collecting beads as I come across them. There are a lot of great online stores, I found some nice Swarovski crystals at Michael’s and there are a couple great spots to buy beads here in Atlanta.

Sewing: I have found a couple of patterns for placemats and an easy quilt. I am going to begin collecting fabric that is affordable and pretty.

Quilt pattern is at marthastewart.com under "Craft of the Day - Quick Quilt"

Christmas Decoration: My sister-in-law has a pretty decoration that she puts out each year that is a glass block (purchase at Home Depot or Lowes) with lights inside and a pretty bow wrapped around it. I found instructions for making them online and intend to add these to my list of tricks.


Coasters: I found a cute idea on Martha Stewart.com for vintage wallpaper coasters. I have decided it will be easier to use funky paper vs. hunting for vintage wallpaper. So, I will be collecting pretty paper as well. I’ll also need cut glass squares.

Martha Stewart.com - Craft of the Day from 9/29/2008

Baked Goods: I went online yesterday and purchased some pretty boxes to pack my treats in. I also ordered square labels that I can print out with our Monogram. I intend to wrap a ribbon around the box and seal with our Monogram before delivering.

Gift for guys: This is the tough one. It’s easy to make a gift for a girlfriend, sister or mom. Guys on the other hand are tricky. So, my solution is to make sleep pants for the guys in my life. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to subsidize with a purchased gift, but so far that’s the best I can do. I will continue to hunt and let you know if I come up with any better ideas.

Children’s Gifts: I am on a personalization kick at the moment. So, for my daughter (3) and her little friends I am making a bracelet that has their block names and a stenciled piece of framed wall art with their name as well.

Gift from kids: I found an adorable idea online that my daughter can make for family gifts. They are little poinsettia napkin rings made out of felt. I will cut out the pieces and she’ll just have to put them together. I might even sew some holiday napkins to go with them!

Familyfun.com - Poinsetta Napkin Rings

I will keep track of my progress and update with pictures, websites, etc. I figure I can’t be the only person trying to save some cash this year… so hopefully you will find some of this helpful.

Please feel free to contribute your ideas as well!