Sunday, November 20, 2011

Have a Hand Made, Home Made, Heart Made Holiday!

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!  Of course that means gift lists--both for giving and receiving.  With everyone's pocketbook fraying a bit around the edges, consider abandoning the mall in favor of presents custom-selected, and custom-made, for the recipient.

Alpaca Mohair Ruffle Scarf
 Hand Made

A handmade gift gives you the opportunity to create something totally unique for the recipient.  The hours you might spend searching for the perfect gift can be spent creating something special like the Alpaca Pygora Ruffle Scarf at the left.  The pattern was a free download from Lion Brand Yarns.  The yarn, purchased at a farmer's market, was grown and spun at Coldwater Alpaca Ranch, Coldwater, MS, and is naturally undyed.  Working evenings, it took about two weeks to make.  It's stylish, unique, and suitable for office or casual wear.  The variety of available yarns is dizzying and great fuel for your own creativity.  Why not start a tradition by getting together with a group of friends to work on your projects?  You will make memories in more ways than you expect!

Home Made
Yummy Sweet Rolls made at home (but not MY home)!
Who doesn't love a "care package?"  When my children were in college, we would always send home a goodie box of their favorite treats--Fuji apples, Kroger Snack Mix, Beef Stroganoff, and, my daughter's favorite, red velvet cake.  Even a humble loaf of home-made bread is a special treat when made especially for the recipient.  Package it with real butter--not the kind you find in sticks but the real thing--and home made preserves.  (Nothing says they have to be made in your home.)  What could be more special?

Heart Made

Hand-Built Bowl

Every community has a wealth of talent waiting to be discovered.  My little community has wood artists, jewelry artists, fiber artists, painters, potters, and a wealth of other creative people.  Why not commission a special gift to be made especially for that special someone?  The bowl on the left was made by a local artist.  There will never be another one exactly like it.  It is not pressed from a mold, nor die-cut, nor mass-produced.  It unique.  When I look at it, I think not only of the person who gave it to me, but of the artist who made it--who is just as unique as the piece.  To help my family, I have created a wish list of local artists to guide them in their selections this year.  By supporting local artists, I can help them have happy holidays, too!  More than that, money spent in local communities multiplies.  Local artists make local purchases benefiting local businesses who, in turn, can employ local people--you get the picture.

More Than a Present

So, whether you choose hand made, home made, or heart made, you're not just purchasing a present; you're giving the recipient the gift of your own time and love.

Happy Holidays!

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