Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gifting: Part 1

December has officially begun, which means that people have suddenly all gone crazy with holiday shopping.  I am a bit of a freak, and have been doing my own version for several months now.  The reason being that I plan/coordinate all of our holiday events and corporate gifts in the office, which takes months of work- so my mind is in the holiday gutter long before most anyone else's.  It would be exhausting, if I didn't absolutely love it.

The reason why I love it, though- is because I (now) only give handmade, local, environmentally friendly, and/or sustainable gifts.  Which equates to me spending hours (and hours and hours) browsing Etsy, thrift stores, farmers markets, and local bookstores.  Hi there, Heaven.  Now, this doesn't mean that I buy heaps and heaps of stuff.  More or less, it means that I put a lot of thought, effort, and heart into the gifts that I end up purchasing.  Because, after-all, I am perfect, and that's what perfect people do.


Did you throw up yet?  No, but seriously.

I am so happy this year about the gifts that I am giving people, and I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite ideas, both things to make yourself, and lovely things to pick up elsewhere.

- Gift In a Jar: Vanilla Syrup from Food In Jars.  While I haven't tried making it yet, I am currently in the process of making a beautiful half gallon of homemade vanilla extract.  While her proportions are quite small and she uses rum- I used a handle of super cheap vodka, and 8 vanilla beans (split) from PCC ($.98 each!)  It's been sitting on the bottom of our bookshelf for a few weeks now, and I'll portion it out into small bottles once Christmas is nearer.  It smells and looks so wonderful, it's ridiculous.  It's also very hard to photograph!

Vanilla syrup, from Food In Jars

- Homegrown Evolution has set up their own little shop at Amazon, with a lot of really wonderful handpicked items.  

- Hand Milled Soap is a super genius way to turn basic soap into something really lovely.  I'm completely intimidated by soap making, so I'm going to give this a try sometime this week.   Lavender, tea tree oil, and peppermint!  Of course.

- Decorated gingerbread cookies are always fun to make, and even better to eat.  Another idea is to mix together only the dry ingredients from a recipe, then package them up nicely with instructions for adding wet ingredients and making cookies.  I do this for my moms partner, and include "Be nice to my mom" as the first step.  Yes, I do think I'm funny.

Good Things Catered does it right.

- There are also THESE

- If you live in/near Seattle, Urban Craft Uprising is this weekend, and has a ton of really great vendors this year (duh).

- DIY Cheese Kits!  !!!!!!!!!!!

- I already posted about air plants, but now I've had mine for a bit, I love them even more.  They're the perfect plant for someone who sucks at keeping things alive (ahem-Becca-ahem), and I've used tiny little candle holders, egg cups, and vases to hold mine, since they don't actually have to be practical planting containers.  So, $11 for three plants, plus about $1 - $3 at Goodwill for containers, and you're golden.  Or, there's always something like this.  You can also find air plants locally (usually) at places like Whole Foods or nurseries... but sometimes knowing is easier than hunting.

- The Illustrated Wild Foods Recipe Calendar is so lovely.  I bought 3.  Oops.

Illustrated Wild Foods Recipe Calendar from Nettletown

- Mibo Studio only has a few items for sale, but they're all darling, plus they're set up to be downloaded, so there aren't any shipping costs or wasteful packaging.

- And, lastly- is wrapping paper.  For which I don't think I need to link you anywhere.  I made all of mine this year using paper grocery bags and rubber stamps.  Just cut the bottom and handles off the bag, and stamp away on the blank side.  I tied mine up with scraps of yarn that I had leftover from projects (plus a lot more, but shhh).  You can also use butcher paper or tissue paper, twine or string, and any kind of ink and homemade stamps that you can think of.  I've had a lot of fun making mine (Luna has been a HUGE help, might I add), and now Matao is bugging me to help him make his own (by "help" he means "do it for me" but still).

Part 2 coming soon!  Including trees, decorations, and more paper (as in- books)!

1 comment:

Dana Christianson said...

love this post! The people I'm buying for will probably owe you!

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