Ideas needed: the result, holiday gift tags!

Back in October I posted about needing ideas for some holiday gift crafting.  I thought I would make up a quick post (now that the holiday gifts have been given…) about what we did!

Originally one individual (I won’t name names, since I don’t know if they would want to be mentioned in the blog or not…) came up with the idea of making cute little decorated candles. I thought that might not really take much time, so I also suggested we make gift tags or holiday cards as well…. Plus I  have loads of stamps and punches and other things that are otherwise pretty unused these days…

Well – no one decided to make the candles, (finding the right candles to start out with was probably the biggest hang up to that idea.. but also the person I had thought of giving them to – had decided not to exchange gifts this year…) but we had a great time sharing resources, stickers, papers, stamps, punches and other things to create lots of pretty gift tags. 

The group’s tags

This wasn’t nearly as ambitious as our cute little meal-in-a-jar gifts we made last year or the bath products we made the year before, but it was fun to get together and be crafty all the same! One of my friends also started brainstorming ideas for NEXT year too.

The group’s tags

As a re-cap, the ideal project(s) would be:

  • A final projects to give away as nice gifts – or the kind of thing that would be awesome to bring to a holiday party (decoration or consumable, with a preference for consumable)
  • More economical to do as a group than solo – with everyone sharing the cost
  • Not exceptionally messy (that criteria is for me, who will have to clean up our workspace!)
  • Fun!
  • Not require any additional tools or skills beyond what we might already have.  (That’s the tricky part, since we don’t really know what everyone already has…)

Ideas for next year to consider/brainstorm around

  • Decorated gift bags (maybe along with matching tags?)
  • Decorated note books
  • Microwaveable heat packs (like the magic bags) and hand-warmers

The gift tags I made

I made a few duplicates of different tags that I liked – but as a bit of a description of the ones that I made (Clockwise from top left):

  • A snowflake printed paper with multiple foam (layered) snowflakes in blue and glittery white
  • A small tag with red, gold, and green striped paper and a red with gold poinsetta on it
  • A larger tag/card with the same green, red, and gold striped paper, a line of holly-berry printed paper, and three flowers – two poinsettas and one gold flower. The reverse (inside) of the striped paper is the holly-berry print
  • Another snowflake paper card/tag with a white and blue glittery foam snowflakes.
  • Two round cards with a large foam snowflake on one side and glittery blue paper on the other side with a cut out snowflake
  • An oval card with a tree “cameo” on it, with blue glitter. I really like the cameos, but I don’t really like the way these ones turned out – I just couldn’t come up with a great way to use the cameos…

If you got something really cute for the holidays that would make a great group-crafting project or if you can think of anything else we could do next year, leave a comment below! (And then we’ll just have to try to remember to look back here next year when we’re planning again!)

Ideas needed!

The past two years I’ve organized a little holiday craft-making get-together with friends. The goal is to make interesting items to give away as holiday gifts – as well as spend some time with friends.

Last year we made cute little jars of food – you know, those ‘just add the liquids’ jars for things like bean soups, pancakes, etc. Super cute, useable (rather than more trinkets or space-fillers), and really affordable to make – especially when a bunch of people all get together to share the costs. It also was a fair amount of fun to hang out with some friends making up the jars and sharing ideas.

meal in a jar gifts!

The previous year we made melt-and-pour soaps, bath salts, and that kind of thing.  Some people brought the molds, some people brought essential oils, some people brought ingredients, and we all got together to mix, melt, colour, and package up the goodies.  Again, if we all went out and bought the ingredients, molds, oils/fragrances/colours it would be pretty expensive, but with everyone contributing it was way more affordable!

So – what about THIS year?

The ideal project(s) would be:

  • A final projects to give away as nice gifts – or the kind of thing that would be awesome to bring to a holiday party (decoration or consumable)
  • More economical to do as a group than solo – with everyone sharing the cost
  • Not exceptionally messy (that criteria is for me, who will have to clean up our workspace!)
  • Fun!
  • Not require any additional tools or skills beyond what we might already have.  (That’s the tricky part, since we don’t really know what everyone already has…)

So…. out there in the blog-o-sphere, Facebook world, or Twitter-verse has any ideas, links, or Pintrest boards – please add your ideas to the comments below!

The need to de-stash

Pattern by Jay D

In the continuing saga of our home renovations and interior redecorating, my sewing, crafting, and costuming space was next to be viewed with a critical eye.   The changes that were proposed were indented to serve the same needs for storage as existing solutions, but with a more united look.  However, there isn’t nearly as much space anymore… and I can certainly take the chance to weed through things anyways as I put it all back!

So, for opinions wanted!  Should I try to de-stash on Etsy or Ebay or one of those sorts of ways? (Selling the stash extras for a bit of extra cash.) Garage sale in the summer?  Or should I just give it away to crafty friends or save it for the “church sale” (where they sell off craft stuff and fabrics with money raised going to the grandmothers raising their grandchildren left orphaned due to HIV/AIDS )?  Freecycle? For the clothing, does anyone have suggestions for consignment stores?

So far I have:

  • A number of silk, leather, and velvet/velveteen garments – I originally kept them to re-source the fabric, but with the storage-space reduction, I just don’t have the space for all of it…  All of it is in great shape, mostly sizes 2-8, some near-new styles, some vintage styles. Most of it is evening/semi-formal/etc…
  • Notions like zippers, buttons, etc. – mostly off colours that I’ll never use in clothing like orange, yellow, hot pink, etc.
  • Quilt batting (the fuzzy polyester type, not the flat cotton type)
  • SCA encampment stuff like tablecloths (to hide coolers), platters, tent decoration, etc..
  • Art supplies like paints and things (mostly watercolour, almost all of it used…)
  • Patterns – mostly separates in sizes 10-16
  • Loads of random craft things like ribbon flowers, home dec accessories, wacky Japanese things from Daiso in Vancouver, etc..

Thoughts?

(Please respond in the comments section, rather than on Facebook or Twitter…)

Book Review: The Art of Steampunk

Linked from Chapters, sorry if the link breaks in time! Click for the original

After taking a look at Steampunk Emporium  I thought it would be interesting to see what other Steampunk books are out there. Well – there’s a lot!

One of the ones I picked up was The Art of Steampunk by Art Donovan.  This isn’t a craft book in any way; instead the book profiles a number of steampunk artists and their creations.  The book starts out with a bit of information about steampunk, what it is, and how the author curated an exhibit at the Museum of the History of Science in the UK.  The introduction is followed up with an essay on Steampunk by author G.D. Falksen.

The rest of the book is devoted to the individual artists and some of their creations.  The book is mostly focused on showcasing the art, with a brief biography on each artist.  The majority of the pieces (some functional, some simply for display) are beautiful, but with the high level of skill from the artists, the pieces are less inspirational than I was hoping for.  I think this book really seems like an extension of a book found at a gallery or museum exhibit, and less of a stand-alone book to introduce people to the art of steampunk.  With that being said, the book is certainly well-done, and the pieces selected within it are exceptional, and really show off that true artists (rather than crafters) are deeply passionate about this subculture!

Have you picked up this book?  What do you think?

More on Steampunk decorating

For more on the file of Steampunk home dec – I found this article on Geekologie, about a pre-decorated New York City loft.

From Geekologie - click to visit site.

I have to say – it’s not my taste at all – too overdone for my style. Still, I thought I’d share it for others. (And to go with the other articles in the “decorating” tag too!)

Still, the hidden rooms and secret passages might sell me, even if the “hey, let’s nail a bunch of cogs to the wall” doesn’t.