Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I know reindeer and stockings are not what you have on your mind right now ....

But you do realize we are just a little more than six months from the winter holiday frenzy, right? And in the world of make-your-own-gifts, that officially puts us in the category of needing to start at least thinking about what gifts we are going to make or buy. I've toyed with the idea of a laid back blog series to make an entirely handmade holiday possible (meaning, starting like .... yesterday so you can get it done), but I haven't quite decided if I'm gonna go there or not. As much as I adore making things for folks, chances are high that I won't be able to craft something for everyone, so I'll have to start looking for handmade things or things from independent designers to buy.

I know, I know! How can I even be thinking about this right now!? Honestly, I'm not ... or I wasn't until a few things came across my radar and it struck me: Huh ... these could work as Christmas gifts, and you know what ... it might not be a bad idea to start thinking about those kinds of things .... and *poof* a blog post is born. (what ... you thought there was a more formal routine to it? heh!)

So here are a few things to consider - if not for holiday gifts, than just fun gifts for you or your friends for any ole occasion. Enjoy!

- Sublime Stitching has their handmade goods on sale for 50% off their original price. They have a gorgeous Mexican style tea towel (embroidered using their Day of the Dead patterns) and an awesome journal that sports their Om Sweet Om patterns. I've seen the journal in person and it is beautiful, but what's really cool about these gifts is that they are hand-stitched by artisans in India as part of a fair-trade relationship. Check them out - at under $10 a piece, they are beyond a steal of a deal.

- Sublime Stitching has also added some new items to their blanks section. How fun would a family of coordinating stitched boxer shorts be on Christmas morning? Well, then, you better order some and get ta stitchin'!

- OK, if you know me or have read my blog for any length of time, you know I am not a knitter, but because I love all things crafty, and because I have a soft spot for Austin crafters, I'm uber excited about Vickie Howell's new book, Knit Aid. If you're a knitter, you probably already have a copy and have been loving it. Am I right? If not, you should check out Vickie's video tour of the book - it looks so cool! It's practical, beautiful and compact .... and under $10. Sakes alive, folks - how often do you find awesome gifts for under $10? And if you have the book or want to purchase more copies, you can meet Vickie this weekend at BookPeople for a book signing and Stitch n Bitch. Here's what we sent out in the Stitch Lab Newsletter today: Come in out of the summer heat for a Stitch n Bitch session and book signing for Vickie's latest book, Knit Aid: A Learn it, Fix it, Finish it Guide for Knitters on the Go! She'll be at Book People on South Lamar at 3pm this Saturday the 14th. Come for the book, stay for the knitting time!

- Schedule a class to make a gift. Let's face it, sometimes you need the motivation of a class to get you to set aside the time, money and energy to complete a project. We hear folks at the Stitch Lab say it over and over again, "I'm so glad I finally took this class, I've been wanting to get this done, but just wouldn't make the time on my own." Something about plunking down the cashola and writing an obligation on your calendar just lets the project become a priority. Why not sign up for a class to make something you can give away? Then you get to have the fun of the class, and you leave with a gift for someone else? Pretty dandy, huh?

One class I've been dying to take is Jennifer Perkin's Charm Bracelet Class. I was supposed to take it this month, but some unforeseen financial disasters have sucked my disposable income activities dry. (next time ... next time!) She's also doing a couple of other classes that looks fabulous. So think about it, for around $10 an hour, you get to chat with a superfun craft celebrity, pick up a new skill and leave with something you can give as a gift (or keep for yourself - no one has to know!) The classes are coming up in the next week or two, so jump in now if they still have spots open!

- Speaking of classes, of course, you need to also check out the Stitch Lab schedule and sign up for the newsletter list. I'm actually teaching some hand embroidery classes this summer, and there are a couple of spots open in the August class. I'm thinking of adding a weekday daytime class, too, so if you are interested in that email us and let us know. Anne Marie Beard is back with her awesome handbag classes, too. One of our star student (what's up, Peg!) took a handbag class and has been cranking out bags for all her friends! How fun is that!?

So if you are planning waaaaaay in advance for the winter holidays, or if you just want some great gifts on hand for that next unexpected birthday, don't say you didn't have a clue what to get.


  1. Ahhhhh! You've given me holiday anxiety already! And flashbacks to our foolish attempt to make all of our holiday gifts for everyone in, oh, two months or so. Gotta get cracking on the planning, I think.

  2. Thanks for the Knit Aid mention, Rachel. You're the bomb-diggety! xo, Vickie

  3. I just *yesterday* got yarn in the mail that I'd ordered to knit my dad a pair of socks for Christmas! It's crazy to be thinking this far ahead, but you're right - in the world of DIY craftiness, you have to! :)

  4. Thank you so much for mentioning my classes Rachel you are awesome! I am doing a 3 part series in July on Starting a Crafty Biz, Marketing your Crafty Biz and Taking Your Crafty Biz to the next level. You know I would comp that bracelet class for you if I could!

  5. That's it. I'm moving to Austin to be your crafty groupie. I can just crash on your couch, right? My kids will be fine. Emelie is 8 now, she can take care of everyone :)

    Sounds fun! I'll be lucky to make ONE THING! But that's a good goal, right?


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