Christmas is for me a lot about family. I care about getting the right presents for them. I don't buy something for the sake of giving a present! In fact, people I love will often get a present from me when it's not Christmas, their birthday, or some other present giving occasion, just because I have seen something perfect for them, or that perhaps made me think of them.
This year I have tried to buy handmade, or make my own. Twitter, Facebook, various Blogs, craft fairs and Etsy have over the year given me endless inspiration. I use the 'Add to favourite items' on Etsy to remind myself of gifts for people, and the 'Add shop to favourites' to bookmark shops by friends, inspirational shops and suppliers. All this has helped me track down the perfect gifts for my friends and family!
1. Lolly print by Sean Mort via HelloDODO
My sister spyed this gorgeous print at The Renegade Craft Fair earlier in the year and fell in love with it. But with a small budget and small flat she couldn't justify buying it. She's now moved to a slightly bigger flat, so what a perfect present! HelloDODO had written up a blog post here about the fair and I was able to buy the print via Sean's website. Perfect.
2. Jewellery by Wear Me Out @ The Handmade Makers Market in Oxford
The Handmade Makers Market was in fact my first 'real' craft fair - HURRAH! You can read about the day here. Myself and Chloe seemed to have a mutual love of each others crafts. My sister declared she loved everything, so I selected a matching necklace and set of earrings for her main Christmas present. 'Wear me Out' jewellery is made to be worn everyday - none of that keeping it for best malarky! With that in mind I chose something I knew would go with everything and was suitable for work too - she's got no excuse!
3. Tote bags inspired by a conversation with Anna Jane Searle on Twitter
I've followed Anna for quite a while now on Twitter and love her jewellery in her Etsy shop. She also has a gorgeous illustration style that is clearly well liked as she's had issues recently with people stealing her designs for t-shirts! We were having a chat about this and the outcome was that I should try out some designs of mine on tote bags :-) and I am so glad I did! I did 4 tote bags for some of the ladies in my life (Mum, sisters, friends) instead of gift bags - they pretty much cost the same! As well as this I put some of my Untapped Cities building illustrations onto some for the craft fairs I did and had a great reaction, which was ace. So Anna, thank you so much for the inspiration!
4. Handmade soap. Kit bought from Soap Basics
I can't quite remember how I came up with this idea...but it went down really well. I got a mix of clear and opaque, green and purple, pumice powder and poppy seeds, grapefruit scent and see breeze scent. Wrapped each in waxed paper and hand wrote a nice label for each :-) I only got a standard rectangle shaped soap mould, but there was a little gem mould in it too! So cute! So I was able to do a bag of mini soaps for a friend of mine who is 8, she loved them.
5. Felt iPhone case with felt sourced from Piglet's Pincushion
I had intended on buying one of these from a shop on Etsy but after postage and tax were added, it was just a bit much for a present I wasn't sure would be used or not. I then came across a tutorial (here!) and decided it must be fate as I had some felt already from a previous project, and got to work! It was loved, and I think he does actually use it :-)
6. Knitting wool bowl by Little Wren Pottery
Browsing Etsy I came across Victoria Baker's lovely shop and thought that these bowls were such a great idea, I knew my Mum would love it too! I didn't think that my Mum would particularly like the snail design but liked the garden theme so I got in touch with Victoria to make me one with a leaf design instead and the text 'Just keep knitting' round the side. She was very easy to talk to and happy to do a leaf design for me. I ended up getting two, one for my Mum and one for a friend :-) Gorgeous bowls, so lovely, and my Mum was amazed.
7. Cross stitch iPhone case by Miso Funky @ Renegade Craft Fair
Another one for my Mum. She really is into her knitting and cross stitch! I thought this was a great present, and will certainly get people's attention when she finishes it! Looking on their website there are more designs and objects to cross-stitch too :-)
8. T-shirt by Tim Easley
I've followed Tim on Twitter for ages and love his selling blurb! Makes me laugh out loud the things he comes up with to give you a reason to buy a magnet/tote bag/t-shirt/print - it's great! When I saw this design, I knew my boyfriend would love it - he's a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory series. The t-shirt came with other goodies too (which I kept for myself :-p ) and is a lovely quality.
9. Ship in a bottle screen print by HelloDODO
Two friends of mine love boats, sailing, and travelling in general and this print just seemed perfect for them. Such lovely colours, the yellow I think is a great contrast with the blue. It's going to look fab in their new house too.
So. Did you go handmade this year too? What did you make/buy?