Saturday, October 11, 2008

Gift ideas

Gift Giving

When I am short on money, gift giving can be the dark hole of spending temptation. But not this year. We're rifling through our drawers and closets to find stash to make gifts this year. And not cheesy homemade gifts; we want to make NICE homemade gifts. It's going to take time, but I think we'll have some fun throughout the next month.

What have we found?

* YARN STASH. One of my favorite thrift finds of the summer was a really, really cool basket where I now keep my craft projects that are in progress. The added bonus: it was full of yarn. The basket PLUS yarn was only $5.00! Several of us spent time rolling wadded up, gnarled hunks of yarn into balls, and now we get to decide what to make. I don't have tons of one color, but there are many colors that have at least one big ball to work with. I almost bought one of those "yarn projects with only one ball" kind of books at Michael's last weekend, but it was TWENTY bucks. If I start making choices like that, these will not be stash gifts after all. I think I will make some scarves, use up my huge supply of cotton yarn and make washcloths, and then look for some free patterns online that can use up some of the other smaller bits. My daughter who can really knit will make use of what I cannot.

Any (really easy) pattern ideas? Please email me.

* BEAD STASH. I plan on making earrings, necklaces, wine charms, book marks, and the strap thingees that holds your glasses when you aren't wearing them. I even have 95% of the hardware I will need. Woo hoo. Can't wait.

* BLANK BOOK/MAGAZINE STASH. The journals are awaiting paper collage art (you can see one of my creations at Holy Experience.) I grab old magazines where I can and search bargain racks for blank books, so the cost for these is really low. To make it more durable, I cover all the collage with clear contact paper.

* CHOCOLATE STASH. I have bars of Trader Joe's chocolate in the freezer just waiting for the day when we can make truffles for Christmas. Yum.

The recipe I use can be found here.

* UNMATCHED SOCK STASH. Have you ever seen sock dolls? We love them. My youngest daughter is in charge of these. Easy and fun!

Our resource:

Sock Doll Workshop

* BULB STASH. A couple of bags of bulbs and these instructions will provide two or three gifts.

* OATS STASH = Granola. We buy our oats in 50 pound sacks, so this is a logical gift idea. I have a well-used recipe, but I cannot tell where it was from. I did find a good one to link here.

* FABRIC STASH. Fabric trees found here, and fabric bags here, both via Tonia. I especially love Tonia's white and red trees. Beautiful, my friend. Other ideas include wall hangings of a quilt/applique sort. These can also use up buttons and beads, and can include embroidery accents.

A favorite embroidery book resource:

Doodle Stitching.

Obviously, there are enough ideas here for the rest of my life, but I am glad to know I have what I need to create for this Christmas gift giving season.

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