Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Buying Handmade

This year for Christmas, of course, I am making gifts. I am knitting steadily every night and and a few other little ideas up my crafty sleeve. But, this year I am giving myself a little break from feeling the need to do. it. all. For example, beyond your basic pillow or other straight seam, I simply am not a seamstress. I have learned over time that I do not have the patience for it. I do, however, love hand-sewn garments and other items.

So this year I am hiring elves - or rather shopping in elves' shops - to find some of the gifts I will be giving this year. I mentioned this to a few people and strangely enough to me, no one I spoke with had heard of Etsy. ?!?! Okay, perhaps I shouldn't just assume... I guess if you're not into the (GIGANTIC) craft/DIY scene, I guess it's possible that you, too, might not know what I'm talking about. Well, if not, click on over there and browse from the millions of hand made items!

Personally, I cannot necessarily afford some of the items there. Being hand made - and therefore one-of-a-kind - the folks making them are trying to build their own little businesses and so some of the things are pricier than that toy that you might pick up at the Big Box from China. But there are plenty of other things - slightly smaller items - that are priced just right for my budget. I purchased two pretty, frilly aprons, sized to fit just them, for two of my little nieces and a reversible cape (Spider Man fabric on one side and The Incredibles design on the other) with a mask for my nephew. All three fit my Christmas budget very nicely!

Just some of the categories of products offered are as follows: art, bags and purses, books and zines, clothing, crochet, glass, holiday, housewares, jewelry, knitting, music, needlecraft, paper goods, pets, plants and edibles, quilts, toys, vintage, woodworking and more!

So, if you're stumped for an idea, consider supporting someone else's dream of having their own business and give something totally unique too. You'll be spreading even a little more Christmas cheer this year - both to the seller and receiver. Consider buying handmade this year!

OH! And P.S. If you are still wanting to do some of your own crafting this holiday season, hop on over to Craft Leftovers where Kristen puts up a new, FREE craft pattern every week using scraps of other projects you may have used or found at the thrift store. She has all sorts of great ideas over there for quick little things that would make nice little gifts or stocking stuffers. Click on her archives for some great ideas. Oh, and Kristen has her own Etsy shop too, which you can find on her website. Enjoy! :)
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