Post by aftcra Guest Blogger, Monica Taylor of TaylorMadeCards4U.
Is it just me, or has this whole holiday season thing gotten way out of control? I’m pretty sure that a year is still as long as it used to be, so why does the season seem to be arriving earlier and earlier each year? The cynical side of me wants to blame the big retailers, the ones who bank on our lemming-like behavior to overflow their coffers each fall. When I was a kid (not as long ago as this rant is making me sound) holiday decorations and merchandise didn’t appear until after Thanksgiving. Nowadays it is common for retailers to start pushing their wares well before Halloween, and many people have already finished shopping by Thanksgiving night, thanks to Black Friday (excuse me, Thursday). While I can’t control the commerciality of the holidays, there is at least one tradition that I refuse to relinquish, and that is the tradition of sharing handmade gifts with my family and friends.
About five years ago I started creating my own Christmas cards and before I knew it I was making hand-made greeting cards for almost every occasion. The response to my cards was phenomenal, and soon Taylormadecards4u was born. Then, about three years ago I started my blog, Taylormardecards4u.com, where I am able to share card creations, offer tutorials, and review products. I have since expanded my handmade items to include altered art, wall hangings, memory boxes, and various other items. I have also been privileged to be a participant on many design teams both as a member and a guest designer. In November and December of 2014 I was published in an online magazine, Scrapbooking.com, and will have some new items featured in Just Steampunk, coming out November 2015.
As a practitioner of handmade arts, I fully support the community of my fellow artists and purchase from them regularly. My real mission, however, is to convince the average consumer that buying handmade is well worth their time and money, and helps build a stronger community for us all.
With this in mind, I wanted to share with you my top 10 homemade gifts for the holiday season.
1. Amaretto Kiss – Cherry Almond Candles – Candles are always wonderful gifts for family or friends. There are so many fragrance choices, you are sure to find one for anyone on your list.
2. World Traveler Domino Pendant Necklace – Upcycled gifts not only help the environment, they can make beautiful gifts. This World Traveler pendant is a beautiful and unique gift any adventurer would enjoy.
3. Men’s Shaving Kit – Black Flag – Men can sometimes be difficult to shop for. This gift is perfect for the man in your life. With the masculine fragrance, it is something you both can enjoy.
4. Chunky Mobius Cowl, Infinity Scarf – Scarves are not only practical, but they are very stylish and would be a wonderful addition to a wardrobe.
5. Lavender Silky Skin Gift Set – Who wouldn’t love to find a little pampering beneath the Christmas tree? This Bath and Body set is sure to be a hit for any female on your list.
6. Expresso Dulce de Leche (Carmel Sauce) – You can never go wrong with food gift sets. This set of three carmel sauces is sure to be a hit for anyone with a sweet tooth.
7. Hand Painted Oil Dispenser with pretty pink wild roses and green leaves – These oil dispensers are not only practical, but useful. Use them for oils or just display as a decorative item.
8. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bark – Who doesn’t love holiday sweets? This is a perfect gift for an office exchange or for neighbors.
9. Painted Distressed Mason Jars – Bring a little country to your home with these painted distressed mason jars. These work perfect for gifts, or to keep for yourself.
10. Baby Cardigan Sweater – This is a unique and elegant gift for a baby. Sure to become a keepsake for the parents.
About aftcra Guest Blogger, Monica Taylor:
I started crafting at a very early age and have never stopped. When my son was born 18 years ago, I started scrap booking, which was an easy segway into card making. About 3 years ago I decided to take my card making to the next level and started blogging and sharing my cards with the world. Since then I have participated on several design teams and currently design for two rubber stamp companies, So Suzy Stamps and Riley and Company. My cards can be found on line as well as in local shops and florists in the Phoenix area.
Connect with Monica!