Sunday, October 30, 2011

Handmade Holidays

While the stores no longer wait for Halloween to put the Christmas decorations out, after tomorrow holiday marketing will certainly be getting a push to consumers. Personally I have always preferred gifts and decorations with a handmade quality to them - and honestly I'd rather put less money in the pockets of the big box stores. There's something rewarding to seeing items around your home or watching a loved one open a gift that was handmade with care. 

I know not everyone has the time to spend on handmade gifts, and that some are convinced they dont have an artistic bone in their body to make things. With the growing community of Etsy at your fingertips, that doesn't have to be an issue - You can quickly and easily search and find unique, handmade, creative gifts for your friends and loved ones. Even better is that you can help support local artists, many of whom supplement or depend on their income from their shops. I wanted to highlight some of the Etsy members I've had the pleasure of interacting with, both online and at craft fairs.

Waterfall Designs specializes in personalized glassware - perfect for weddings, bachelor/bachelorettes, birthdays and other holiday gifts. Her mustache glasses are especially fun.

Mr. and Mrs. Christmas toasting flutes, unique champagne glasses for winter wedding.  Swarovski crystals and silver snowflakes Fall wedding, 6 Bridesmaids gift wine glasses in burnt orange and brown  Set of 6 Chalkboard Mustache wine glass

Originals by Lauren makes hand sewn housewares, such as potholders, aprons, oven mitts, lunch and sandwich bags, and more - She uses all sorts of fabulous fabrics and even has a line of saucy pin up items, for guys and gals. She also has another shop that features dress-up items for kids.

Handmade Quilted Pot Holders Christmas Hunks Set of 2  Black Handmade Sandwich Snack Bags  set of 3 brown Set of 2 Child Red Riding Hood and Wolf Capes Handmade

Serenity Lane Designs  - makes hand made paper crafts, tile coasters, pendants & cards  

glass pendant necklace - pink and green, dragonfly   rustic coasters - pears and pitcher - tumbled marble tile   blank note card, grass and flowers silhouettes - live with passion

Gingers Vintage Room has some awesome paper flowers, holiday gift boxes, and altered poker chip necklaces.

Lapel Pin Paper rose (one)  Pillow boxes set of 6: Christmas birds Necklace: Princess of Pansies Altered Poker Chip
Nikid - Nicoles Homemade Treats creates awesome chocolate sweets and treats, if they dont make your mouth water, I'm not sure what will!

White Chocolate and Cinnamon Imperials-Sweet and Sassy-Add Some Spice To Your Life-1/2 Lb. Box  Chocolate Covered Cherries: Real Cherries and Belgian Dark Chocolate A Bit of Heaven on Earth 2 dozen  Chocolate Caramel Truffles-They Melt in Your Mouth-1/2 Lb. Box

Pretty Pear Designs for fabric backed stationary paper goods, gift tags and boxes that will give your correspondance a "touch and feel" quality.

Personalized Gift Tags Wine Bottles Fabric  Damask Fabric set of 4  Chic Brown and Pink Damask Fabric Mini Gift Cards - Set of 8 Personalized/Monogrammed Gift Box Fabric

Dew On A Petal - I dont know about you, but the holidays always make me think of certain smells, and these soy candles from Dew On A Petal will certainly help you get in the holiday mood!

Soy Candle Frankincense and Myrrh , travel tin  Soy Clamshell Tart Melts, Lemon Verbena Mint Sage Herbal Soy Candle, Travel Tin 6 oz

PURE Natural Minerals - Natural mineral makeup - soaps, lip balms, eye shadows, and more. 

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal PURE bath frosting whipped soap Amazing Hazel Eyes Collection-Mineral makeup Purple star PURE lip color

TangBaby has been especially popular for fun Cake Mail items

DIY - Blank Cake Mail Card. custom postcard. felt whole grain sandwich. gluten free. satellites - bobby pin set.

Spongetta - Unique handbags and creative Christmas stockings.

Stocking for the Girl with Complicated Tastes  Brown Tie Purse Ring Around Purse  - October

WoodCastle Studio Custom Woodworks & Turnings Unique Pepper mills, Wine Stoppers, Pens

Pen Football Or Basketball - Syracuse University Colors Wine Stopper Red Padauk & Black WalnutPepper Mill  8 Multi-colored Lamnated woods

I'm sure I dont have to remind people about my own shop - but here's a gentle hint ;)

One of the best things about the fact that these are local, handmade artists is that you get personable, responsive custom service! No automated messages, robots or "press 1 for customer service" to deal with. Many of them are also willing and able to do custom items - Not something that you can get at that big smiley face store!! But you have to be quick - because remember, these are REAL PEOPLE, not machined, and they dont work in sweatshops - so if you do want a custom order get it in fast, so you'll have it ready for the holiday!

Well, what are you waiting for? Go do some shopping!

**This post was not sponsored or requested by Etsy or any of the featured artists - I simply want to do my part to help promote fellow local artisans and crafters**