Back To School

Contributor Post by Mairi From mairidesign

Ah, it’s that time of year again, where the children are excited to be starting or returning to a new year of education. Most likely, they’re sad that the holidays are ending but happy to be seeing their friends and meeting new ones on their first day. It’s a very special time for all and what better way to keep the memories, than with items from our talented team? And, let’s not forget the teachers! It’s a huge day for them too. Have a browse through the selection below and click on the photo to buy in Etsy.

We all send our good luck wishes for the little ones’ first day back to school.

Now that my daughter is grown and out of school, I don’t have to worry about the back to school craziness. Can’t say that I miss it either! Finding the perfect binder, the perfect notebooks and let’s not forget that some schools even have “recommendations” of what to buy that you must follow. That is not my idea of a fun time.

I do however, have a recommendation for you to consider! Back to school isn’t just about the students! How about the teacher too? Many teachers are seen carrying clipboards during the school year and here is a UNIQUE one that could be the envy of all the other clipboard carrying teachers! It features unique muted purple colors, a sense of nostalgia, is durable AND can even be hung on the wall when not in use. If your desk looks anything like mine, you’ll appreciate this!

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Decorated Clipboard

Cristal Hughes from DesignsbyCristal says:

This is a big seller amongst my teachers because of the inspirational words it speaks to them. I worked in the public school system and would see 90% of the teachers with lanyards around their necks that held keys to opening the classroom and cabinets where important belongings or school supplies were. This lanyard would be perfect. It can come as a one piece or a detachable (the key section comes apart). Either way it’ll be useful, yet fun and versatile.

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Inspirational Teacher lanyard

Going back to school and having to remember so many things, and sometimes being stressed, I think this would make a bright and happy add on to Planners/journals and Backpacks.

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Sun moon charm zipper pull

Being a teacher, I know I needed lots of things to begin the school year, just as my students did…

I loved my magnetic handmade decoupaged mousetrap note holder that was on my whiteboard. It held reminders, papers to pass back, certificates, etc. I knew right where to go each period to grab what I needed without wasting time looking for something that I thought I put in a safe and handy place…not…

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Noteholder Mouse Trap

This reusable shopping bag will serve well for a good while. This handmade market bag will make a great back to school gift idea for a book fan. Without a doubt, it will be a perfect gift to a student.

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Student Tote Bag

Back to School theme crafts are fun to create with these fun School House Buttons.

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School House Buttons

As a teacher, I see that organization is truly one of the keys to students being successful and confident in their abilities. I love love love pencil cases, and create personalized cases for students.

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Pencil Case

zizzybob from zizzybob says

Quilters are always looking for ideas to make their next quilt. Let’s suppose you wish to make a quilt for your child’s favorite teacher. Here’s a quilt block to get you started on your next teacher quilt, wall hanging or table topper.

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Schoolhouse Appliqued Quilt Block

This stone apple is a vintage find. When I found it, I thought that this will be an excellent traditional gift for a teacher. You can use it as a paperweight or just put on a shelf for display. A sweet and useful gift.

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Green Apple Paperweight

Hard to believe I’ve been making these over 20 years, but these are great for the walk or ride to school, and have an adjustable strap (or removable), a clip that can attach to a backpack, and insulate for hours. Several standard sizes, and custom sizes available. One woman returned to replace hers after a year on the playground! It had been dragged across asphalt, swung around by elementary school kids, and generally bullied!!! They’re great for keeping on a desk, kept near a lunch, fit into an auto cup holder, and if you keep your beverage in here with a tight fit, it won’t have condensation.

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Insulated Tote

The wheels on the bus go round and round, all the way to school! Our fun to make foundation paper pieced school bus pattern could become part of a quilt, a homework folder, a tote bag, or a mug rug for the teacher’s desk. Just use your imagination!

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School Bus Quilt Block Pattern

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The Christmas Tree – #CIJParty 2018

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

One cold winter’s night, Martin Luther was walking through a pine forest near his home in Wittenberg when he looked up and saw thousands of stars glinting jewel-like among the branches of the trees. This wondrous sight inspired him to set up a candle-lit fir tree in his house that Christmas.

Long before Christianity, however, people in the Northern Hemisphere used evergreen plants to decorate their homes to celebrate the Winter Solstice. This was celebrated by the Egyptians, the Celts, the Vikings and the Romans, who decorated their homes and temples with green palm rushes or evergreen boughs in honour of their gods and to symbolise everlasting life.

The modern tradition of decorating trees indoors began in Germany in the 16th century. Open-air plays, telling the story of creation, were performed on Adam and Eve day, where the Garden of Eden was symbolised by a ‘paradise tree’ hung with fruit. The church banned these practices, considering them acts of heathenry, so people collected evergreen branches or trees and brought them, secretly, into their homes. On these, families would hang lit candles, gingerbread, gold covered apples, roses made from coloured paper, wafers and sweets.

This eventually reached the shores of the United Kingdom, when Queen Charlotte, the German wife of George III, set up the first known British tree in 1800. She held a large Christmas party for the children of all the principal families in Windsor and set up a yew tree in the middle of the drawing-room, illuminated by small wax candles, and decorated with baubles, fruit and presents. Christmas trees then became fashionable in English upper-class circles, where they formed the focal point at children’s gatherings.

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It wasn’t until half a century later, that the tradition took hold. In 1840, Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, imported several spruce firs from his native Coburg. Each year, magazines would describe the royal Christmas tree and print illustrations of the Royal Family around it, popularising the custom of setting up trees, which became commonplace in British homes.

Over the Atlantic, in the 1880s, Woolworth brought the magic of Christmas tree decorating into American homes. After a visit to Europe, F.W. Woolworth began importing holiday ornaments from Lauscha, Germany, the small village where hand-blown glass ornaments originated.

Response to the affordable, miniature glass toys was tremendous. More than 250 million ornaments were being imported to the United States from Germany, Japan and Czechoslovakia. But, as war broke out, it became difficult to export ornaments from Germany. In 1939, the American company Corning began producing ornaments on a larger scale, using a machine originally designed to produce glass bulbs.
Nowadays, in the U.S.A., 35 million Christmas trees are sold annually, with an additional 10 million artificial trees, and 300 million Christmas trees are grown in farms around the world.

So, each Christmas, as you decorate your tree, you can recall the origins of this festive custom and delight your family with stories full of holiday spirit.

Sources:

https://www.zmescience.com

https://www.historytoday.com

https://www.whychristmas.com

http://www.peopleticker.com

Favorite Holiday Item In Your Shop – #CIJParty 2018

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings  and Mairi from mairidesign

We all have a favorite item that we have in our shop. It could be our favorite because of the process it took to make it, its color or any other reason.

Here, the team share their favorite Holiday item from their shop and tell us why they like it so much.

michael tarter from BurntEarthHorseHair says

One of my favorite Xmas items is my Luminaria Bags. They are ceramic clay and have holes in them to let the candle light shine through. I crave out different designs on the bags. One of my favorite designs is the Corrales Old Church. I have several sizes available and over 20 different designs.
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Luminaria Bags

Dianna from HoneyMyrtleStudio says

One of my favourite items is my blue hand dyed cushion cover. It was one of the first items I made using hand dyed fabric that I had done myself.
Blue Throw Pillow

Blue Throw Pillow

Roses Workshop from RosesWorkshop says

I love my Harris tweed baubles. They bring the beauty of hand-woven fabric to something purely decorative. Lovely enough to be kept as heirloom pieces.
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Harris tweed Christmas tree decoration

Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter says

Hands down this is my favorite item… This ornament has such a sweet story behind how it came to be… I have lived in my home since I was born and one of my neighbors that had been in her home since before I was born asked me to come down to her home to look at some things 3 years ago in the summer of 2015. She then gave me a piece of a sweater that she said was one of her favorites. It was her sweater many years ago when she was much younger. She said she had reused most of it but had this one side left and she wanted to give it to me as she knew I sewed and asked me to make something so that her favorite sweater could live on. The color reminded me of dirty snow. So I made the dirty snowman out of what was left of her special sweater… I gave one to her to put on her tree. I kept one and gave my daughter one and the rest are for sale… so far a total of 6 are living on in Christmas celebrations. I have one more made and enough to make 2 more beyond that. Then all the sweater will be gone. Sad to say that she passed away in 2016 and her granddaughters came to get me and told me I could have what ever I wanted out of her sewing room… one of the things I got was many buttons that were cut off of garments once the garment was done being used. I now am adding 2 of those buttons to each of the remaining snowmen.
My Dirty Snowman

My Dirty Snowman

Patricia from TheOldBarnDoor says

My favorite item is this Christmas card featuring Miss Abbie one of our collies on an early morning walk here on the farm just after a fresh snow fall. I was never certain what captured her interest in the trees but I like the feeling and colours of this card.

Entitled Happy Collie Days this one always makes me smile. This image has been featured by The Collie Rescue Network in their calendars and on a note card they use to raise funds.

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Happy COLLIE Days Christmas Card

This “I love cats” handcrafted wooden plaque is my favorite shop item because it declares my love of cats … I consider it to be a customer favorite as well since I have sold several of them to other cat lovers!

I think it’s a great gift idea for the cat lover on a gift list because it’s cute and inexpensive!

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Cat Wall Hanging

Mairi from mairidesign says

These Christmas bauble shaped tree decorations are my favourites because of the gorgeous iridescent glass I used and, also, that others also seem to really like them. I made some for my students and one of them ordered several for her colleagues. Then, my sister and my cousin ordered several each to hang as garlands in their windows. Then, more orders came. It was great! The little beads swing and tinkle in the breeze and add a chic touch to a festive display.
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Christmas Tree Decorations

I love this elegant set with 3 luxury glycerin soaps and a charm for good luck!

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Trendy Soaps Christmas Gift

My favorite is this new card I created last week. I like the simple design and message. It’s warm and inviting and speaks of home.

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Happy Holidays card

I love owls and these whimsical owls on a Christmas stocking are one of my favorites.

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Felt Owl Christmas Stocking

I loved making these waterless snow globes.

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Christmas Snow globes

This was hard! I love Christmas and keep several Christmas items in my shop year ’round, because I think holiday lovers shop whenever the mood hits them. Right now it was between my red-nosed reindeer (I’m also an avid animal lover) and this guy. I guess he won out because he’s a new addition, so I wanted to welcome him.

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Felted Santa Claus

This is my favorite piece for Christmas because it reminds me of ice crystals!

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Herkimer Diamond GF Ring

This ornament is one of my favs. It reminds me so much of growing up in Iowa and going sledding on my grandparents farm with all my cousins.

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Christmas Quilted Ornament

I have so many favorite Christmas items in my shop but this one stands out to me especially since I choose to use the ribbon on a dog collar. We all have that pet who is both naughty and nice which makes this Christmas dog collar even more cute, funny and true to their personality.

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Naughty or Nice Christmas Dog Collar

Wow, hard to choose just one. Don’t you find that when you make something new, it is almost always the favorite – until the next one! Anyway, here is my favorite. I love winter animal pictures, and my DH love penguins. When I saw these delightful guys, I just had to buy them, and I bought lots! Just couldn’t resist. I knew right away that some would be made into pillows. The rest are waiting for inspiration, and time.

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Quilted Pillow Covers

 

 

Tutorial: Chinese Lucky Stars – #CIJParty 2018

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

Chinese Lucky Stars by Mairi of mairidesign

When I was at art school, my friend gave me a jar filled with these lucky stars for Christmas. I thought they were wonderful so she showed me how to make them. Thank you Wing Mun!

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What is your Christmas Inspiration?

Perfect for recycling scraps or used wrapping paper, which can be scattered over your dining table at Christmas, or given as a good luck in the New Year gift in little jars. As a relaxing family activity, it is great for calming things down when the festive excitement is high.

Materials Used

wrapping paper, pencil, metal ruler, craft knife, scissors, cutting mat

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Tutorial Directions

Chinese Lucky Stars Tutorial Video

1. Measure out and cut the paper into strips 1 cm x 23-35 cm (approximately – shorter for thicker paper, longer for thinner).

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2. Make a knot at one end, flatten, and tuck in the excess to make a pentagon shape.

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3. Wrap the paper strip around itself, following the natural folds and edges, continue until all the strip is used, tuck in the end and trim it if necessary.

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4. Using both hands, pinch the points and press in the edges to make a star pillow.

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And that’s it!

Conclusion

Now, start saving all those scraps and used bits of paper and create jar loads of lucky stars for your friends and family.

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What Makes Christmas Special – Conclusion – #EtsyCIJ 2018

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

We spent the day hearing from a few of our team members, here on our blog, during our Etsy Christmas In July What Makes Christmas Special?

Our #EtsyCIJ team is international and it has been wonderful to read how we each celebrate Christmas and holiday time.

Please join me as we conclude the #CIJWhatMakesChristmasSpecial

Here are the participating featured members we shared with you today:

1. Alicia from AliciasFindings
2. spoiledfelines1 from SpoiledFelinesArt  
3. mistycat1234 from carolinagirlz2
4. Emma Kaufmann from StudioEmmaKaufmann
5. Arlene and Gabriel Pitts from GoodThingsSmallBoxes
6. Cristal Hughes from DesignsbyCristal

Thank you so much for joining us on our #CIJWhatMakesChristmasSpecial!

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What Makes Christmas Special: DesignsbyCristal – #EtsyCIJ 2018

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

What makes Christmas special? – Cristal Hughes from DesignsbyCristal

1. What makes Christmas special to you?

Christmas is a time for me to enjoy the magical lights I put up every year at Thanksgiving. I actually love it all year round but the actual month of December just brings my family together even more especially since our children are in college but still enjoy the baking and special foods we made together when they were growing up.

2. How do you make Christmas as special to others?

At Christmas we try to do something for a different family or group every year. Whether it’s making a meal, sponsoring a child, or participating in the Toys For Tots program here in GA.

3. What are three words that best describe Christmas to you?

Magical, Giving, Peaceful

4. What are you most looking forward to for Christmas 2018?

My son graduates from college this semester so it’ll be extra special with a mini vacation planned to celebrate.

5. What are your social media sites?

Instagram: www.instagram.com/creativedesignsbycristal

Facebook: www.facebook.com/creativedesignsbycristal

Twitter: www.twitter.com/dsignsbycristal

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/dsignsbycristal

What Makes Christmas Special: GoodThingsSmallBoxes – #EtsyCIJ 2018

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

What makes Christmas special? – Arlene and Gabriel Pitts from GoodThingsSmallBoxes

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1. What makes Christmas special to you?

The majority of people’s Spirits are transformed for a little while. People are a little happier, lighter, more polite, generous, sharing, aware of each other, affectionate. (I’m not talking the crowded malls before Christmas, that’s an entirely different thing, but you CAN find it there.) Places are transformed and seem magical. Traditions and memories come alive.

2. How do you make Christmas as special to others?

I either know or find out what other’s ultimate Christmas wishes may be. I try to make one of them come true. I also work at embodying the Spirit of Christmas wherever I go. I look people in the eyes, wish them a Happy Holiday, hand out candy or other treats wherever I go. Buy a stranger coffee or a soda. Sometimes I even drop glitter where I walk just to make it a little brighter in a small way. (not in houses or stores, its a pain to clean up) Where ever I work or live, I decorate. Those I am around daily, I gift personal gifts. I try to make sure that people are not alone at Christmas. Be they close family, friends or someone in dire straits, They are welcomed into my home and celebrations.

3. What are three words that best describe Christmas to you?

Spirit, Giving, Christ

4. What are you most looking forward to for Christmas 2018?

Finding a new place to live where I can freely be that Spirit of Christmas, where my family feels comfortable, relaxed and happy to be there, and those who don’t care about the season will have no influence on how I celebrate.

5. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: facebook.com/mariepitts

Pinterest: pinterest.com/mariepitts

Instagram: instagram.com/carpediem5790

YouTube: youtube.com/carpediem5790

Linkin: linkin.com/arlenepitts