Christmas Prep... starting this year in February

Exciting note - I had my first sale yesterday!  The glass cloche from my shop is on its way to Australia.

Last week I threw a baby shower for my long time best friend, all (four) of the attendees are friends that we have retained from high school and whether they want to admit it or not, they are all very creative, talented girls.  (how was that for a run-on sentence)  As I was talking to one of them (the link to her fabric shop Yellow Bird is on the bar at the right) we were both relaying how we had wanted to do almost exclusivley handmade Christmas gifts but we hadn't started early enough to accomplish the goal.  This year the four of us who actually live within a 20 mile radius (the other currently lives about 3,500 miles away while her husband attends medical school) have decided that we are going to meet about once a month or so to work on crafts for this following Christmas.

tutorial from moda bake shop
Most of us have either dabbled in fabric arts... or are so adept that teaching at the local art institute is only logical, but there are things out there that would be fun and new.  Like braided rag rugs.  But then you have to ask yourself - just because it would be something new and it would be fun to make, would someone really enjoy receiving it as a Christmas gift???  I'm just not sure.  I mean, we could raise and shear our own sheep and then spin our own yarn, but as cool as that would be (?) I'm just not sure Grandpa  or Cousin Jane would enjoy a skein of handmade yarn.

perpetual calendar/ journal made out of
a berry container, recycled postcards, and
index cards.  Find the project here
So, the trick is going to be finding new crafts/projects that actually result in a desireable gift. 

This is our possibilities list so far:
  •  Homemade vanilla extract
  •  Lap quilts
  •  Handmade journals
  • Candle luminaries
  •  Hopscotch mat
  • Take-along doll house
  • Gifts in a jar
  •   Laptop sleeve
  • Jewelry
But, now we're facing the imense problem of finding projects that will yeild a finished project that is appealing to our men.  Any ideas anyone?  Anyone?

I love the idea of having an exclusively handmade Christmas, it really stresses me out too but then I have to remind myself that four of the gifts I did this year were handmade.  It is a good start and maybe I won't quite make it this year, but I think I can set a goal for Christmas 2013 to have 90% of what I give to either be made with my own hands, or bought on Etsy (support handmade!).  I'd like to say 100% but there are always people who just don't appreciate the work that goes into them.  And I don't think there is anything more frustrating than spending hours on a project and having the recipient not appreciate it.


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