2011 Gift Challenge – the clock is ticking edition

Oh hello there! *dusts off the blog* This post is coming about while I also work on the very last of my (non-class) requirements for getting that little degree I’ve mentioned once or twice. When I’m not working on that, my time has been spent watching TV and crafting. The holidays are fast approaching and there are still two gifts I want to make.

In good news, right before doing the final edits for this post, I submitted the last of what I needed to in order to graduate. Now it’s out of my hands, and hoping that if there are any problems with it I can fix them up fast.

Now on to crafting…

I have the pattern, I have the yarn, and as I go along, I am learning how to crochet. Once you get the hang of it, crochet is really easy! The trick is not holding the yarn too tight. It’s also a very satisfying craft for someone like me who is very impatient; with crochet you see results pretty quickly.

Here’s the first of two purses for my nieces K and D. K gets a purple one with pink trim, and D gets pink with purple trim.

Unfortunately I did not finish K’s birthday present in time. I have been working on this cross stitch since early in the year. SchoolLife got in the way a lot so I had some long periods in which I did not even touch this. K does know this is a gift for her now, as I was down in Florida on her birthday and told her.

What is left is all half stitch and back stitch.

Now gifts in general…

As the years go on, I become less and less thrilled with the idea of buying gifts. It gets too tiring for starters. Plus, everyone for whom I’d buy gifts do not NEED a lot of stuff, so it becomes more of an exercise in trying to find something they don’t already have. Something I want to do for my coworkers this year is make up a batch of peppermint patties, and perhaps pair it with charity donations in their name. No, not The Human Fund either. I can put my money where my mouth is and have it do more good than yet another thing to gather dust.

I also want to work more on supporting small businesses and independent artists in my gift-buying. They certainly need the money more than some large chain store all selling the same stuff. In that spirit, here are some shops run by friends of mine. Check them out, especially if you’re looking for something a little less run of the mill:

Swanfire Farm features the lovely stained glass art, soaps, and goat chops from some lovely friends of mine.
Heart and Earth was a suggestion from a fan on Facebook (hi Ashlee!) suggesting her friend’s shop. I keep eying the tooth powder.
Dutch Hex Signs painted by my friend Starwalker, who was trained in the art by her grandmother. You can find both classic and modern hex signs in her shop.
Do you knit or crochet? Do you love handspun yarns which aren’t dyed with noxious chemicals? Then you MUST check out Fiberwiytch, spun and dyed by my dear friend Beth.
One of a kind knitted goodness from Howling Hill. She’s the kind of person for whom I give thanks to Twitter, because I don’t think our paths would have crossed without it.
For some one of a kind fashions, take a peek at Wear the Shift!
You can combine gift shopping with charity by checking out Magick4Terri. This is a running auction started earlier in the week to benefit Terri Windling, a fantasy author and editor extraordinaire, who is facing a heap of bills.

And if you’re looking for something a little more unusual…
The Green Wolf. Lupa’s medium is primarily in animal parts. She makes tails, ears, masks, and full body costumes from skins. She also repurposes like nobody’s business and makes some very cute jewelry.
The Bone Forest is yet another west coast friend of mine, Dver. She makes her jewelry from beads, semi-precious gems and (yes) bones. I have the original White Hart necklace she made and ALWAYS get comments when I wear it.
Sarada has been making whimsical, original fantasy art for many years.
Legba’s Crossroads is a very good stop if you’re looking for Hatian spiritual supplies, and now also stocks Kemetic spiritual baths.

Some charities I regularly support, if you’re looking for ideas.
Weston A. Price Foundation
Heifer International
Oxfam America
The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund

Mommypotamus and The Leftover Queen have posts up about why they make gifts for the holidays too, along with their own ideas of things to make.

And now I encourage all of you to add ideas along with your shops, if you have any! Let’s really help the economy, and not the major corporations!

I hope you all are enjoying the shift into autumn and eating fabulous, delicious, REAL food!

Come join the fun on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!

I’m sharing this post at Real Food Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Simple Lives Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, and Sunday School.

5 responses to “2011 Gift Challenge – the clock is ticking edition

  1. Hey Soli. Check out http://www.stompinggrounds.com. A small business in Geneva NY, run by my friends.

  2. Thanks so much for the shout-out, Soli!

  3. Pingback: Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas | CHEESESLAVE

  4. Pingback: What has been and what may come: most popular posts of 2011 | I Believe In Butter

  5. Pingback: Holiday gift ideas for 2012 | I Believe In Butter

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