Write A Friend In December

Contributor post by Catherine of DesignsByCnC

December has been designated as Write A Friend Month, which I find totally appropriate.  With Christmas being in December, it provides a wonderful opportunity to send Christmas letters and cards  to friends and family. I always enjoy sending out my yearly Christmas greetings to say hello, I’m thinking of you.

When I was young I had several boxed stationery sets with coordinating envelopes and a beautiful writing pen.  I was fortunate to have several different pen pals across the USA and also one from Germany.  We would write back and forth each month sharing thoughts and stories about our lives.  Learning about life in different places was very educational.  It was always a thrill for me to go out to the mailbox and discover a letter waiting inside with my name on it.

When separated by distance, a letter in the sender’s own handwriting is more personal than an email.  You can touch and treasure a letter.  It’s kind of like you are holding a little piece of them right there in your hands.

Over the years, I have noticed that letter writing and sending out Christmas cards is on the decline and becoming a lost art.  With the advent of faster communication methods such as emails, texts, and social media, letter writing has become a quaint old-fashioned habit.

Our society has become so fast-paced, and we are so busy with our lives that we often lose touch with friends and family.  During the month of December, I encourage everyone to take a moment and slow down.  Take time to give the greatest gift of all, part of yourself.  Write a letter or send a card to a friend, say hello and catch up on old times.

“We are only given today and never promised tomorrow, so make sure you tell the people who are special in your life you love them.” ~ Unknown

The members of the Etsy Christmas in July Team share their thoughts on letter writing along with an item from their shop that will aid us in crafting the perfect letter.


 

Lauren Vanhemert from BellaBolsaDesigns adds:

I love handwritten letters and have used personal, vintage and even famous love letters in my work. For me, I am saddened on what I view as the lost art of letter writing. Tweets and texts just don’t have the same feel as a handwritten note. I feel so strongly about this I just blogged about it on my own web blog, bellabolsa.com. In any case, here is a custom bag I designed for a 50th anniversary using love letters from the husband to his wife.

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Custom Photo Purse


 

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says:

I don’t care what anybody says, I love getting cards and letters in the mailbox and I don’t think I’m alone. In our electronic day and age, hand-written letters are rare and so they become gifts in and of themselves. I still write letters to my best friend, my childhood friend. We have known each other longer than I care to mention, and have lived in the same town, but also far apart. Sure we Skype and Facetime, and text and talk on the phone, but once or twice a year I send out a long letter.

When you receive a hand written letter, it is just for you, it hasn’t been mass-produced or copied and pasted. That someone took the time to do that, it makes you feel so special!

I always wonder, 500 years from now, when technology is probably going to be vastly different from today, will we be able to access all our electronic documents? Will we be able to go back and find records of our lives in emails and so many different types of files? Hand-written letters on actual paper are still a way to preserve our history.

 

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Christmas Writing Paper


 

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit shares this thought:

The artistic expression of bringing pen to paper, chasing concepts and building constructs, in search of an alluding original thought being lost to the void of eternity beyond reach. Defying singularity with a moment of concrete definition with elusive insight, the pen wielder swaying a tenacious fight. But alas the might that fights a never-ending fight must stop to rest for the night. Then lost to vivid imagination of the abyss, the secret to writing is to write! We can’t wait to read about your flights of fancy!

Make a note to take the time to write just for the pleasure of creation.

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Design’s Desktop Memo Holder With Design Options


 

Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter answers:

I have always sent cards… I love sending cards with a special note in them when they are not expected… such as Thinking of You cards. I sent one to a friend once and she called in tears as she was having a hard day and she said the card lifted her spirit and helped her get through the day. I still LOVE hanging Christmas cards around the house. We don’t seem to get as many and I do truly miss them but the few I do get I cherish. Here is a vintage card that is great for sending that card that is special that no one else will be sending.

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Vintage Christmas Card Set


 

Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital replies:

I think there is something special about receiving an actual letter or card in the mail these days. You know someone was really thinking about you if they took the time to do that.

I love printable paper crafts anyway, so when I create a new stationery set I can’t help but think ‘who could I send a letter to?’ Like most people, I don’t get it done very often, but I do believe it’s appreciated.

Lately, I have been creating new abstract art prints – and this stationery set I created with three of my new art prints by adding a transparent overlay and lines to write on.

 

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Printable Abstract Art Stationery

 

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Welcome New Members for November

Contributor post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns
Please join us in welcoming our new members for November to our fantastic team! Visit their shop, fave some items, maybe even share some shops/items on your social media channels!!

Lauren Vanhemert from BellaBolsaDesigns says

My name is Lauren and I am a designer in Raleigh, NC. I live in Raleigh with my two teenage children and wonderful husband (with whom I celebrate 20 years of marriage with at the end of this month). I am new to etsy and hoping to build up my business here. I used to have a studio in Downtown Raleigh in a co-op surrounded by other wonderful creatives. I know work out of my home studio and have missed the fellowship of other artists, so I am thrilled to have found this wonderful, supportive, fabulous community! I am inspired by ephemera and love to incorporate ephemeral items (like the 1915 Alice in Wonderland movie poster on my original fabric designs). I think the fabrics make my bags the most special, since most of my fabrics are designed by me. Thanks for including me on this team!
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Alice in Wonderland clutch

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeSupplies says

I am not a new team member but have recently opened a new shop and my new shop has joined the team! I am selling supplies for jewellery making, crafts, fashion design, scrapbooking, quilting – the limits are the imagination!

I opened this shop because I make jewellery and have lots of bits and pieces in my studio and wanted to share them … hopefully they will come in handy for some of your craft projects!

The beads I am sharing come in red, pink and purple and have a beautiful oil slick shimmer to them when reflecting light – they are a lovely bead!

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Loose teardrop acrylic beads

Hi,

My name is Nico from Japanese Rubber Stamps.

My friend is joining this team and team leader pick her shop up on the blog post.

The team activity really impressed me.

I make cute and unique rubber stamps by hand.

I would like to spread Kawaii things all over the world!

I make custom stamps as well.

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Christmas tree rubber stamp

Valentin and Maia from ModernHouseBoutique says

My name is Maia and my husband name is Valentin. We are new to Etsy and we hope to build our business here. Our passion for sewing and modern home decor fabrics determined us to start creating decorative pillow covers.

We know that original and high quality pillow covers can bring not only color to any room of a house, but texture and design as well. We create decorative pillow covers that we would like to buy. As well we take custom orders.

We are glad to be part of this wonderful team.

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Dark brown pillow cover

Hi, my name is Heather, and I have recently opened up shop as youngbloodMADE. I create richly layered, mixed media artwork that aims to celebrate the strength of the female spirit. I’ve been out of the art scene for quite some time, but I am excited to be actively creating again.

Thanks for letting me join the team; it’s awesome to find a team that is so active and supportive.

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Original mixed media painting

Hi I’m Misty from Killeen, TX. I am new to Etsy and trying to figure this whole thing out! I turned to crochet after someone very near to my heart was diagnosed with breast cancer and crochet became my therapy. I originally donated all of my hats to our local cancer centers. After a lot of persuading from friends and family I decided to open my shop. I still donate hats on a monthly basis and try to engage children in the fiber arts. There are some AMAZING people here on Etsy that will take us newbies under their wing like LoveandPetFurCrochet!

My Snow Princess Hat is one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it!

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Snowflake princess crochet hat

Welcome new team members!

Novel Writing Month

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Novel Writing Month is in November and it is when participants are encouraged and supported to write the novel they have always wanted to do.

I think it’s a great way for like-minded individuals to come together!

Here at Christmas in July we want to know what you have that is related to novels,books and other such related items.

Sheila and Shannon from BeadyEyedBird says I was surprised and pleased to see this topic, as I hope to be a successful novelist someday. I wrote a book called The Road From La Cueva (link below) that was published and had some wonderful reviews on Amazon.com but was really not successful in terms of readership or sales. It’s a Southwest-based literary novel about a woman living in rural poverty. I have some other works in progress, including a mystery novel called The Boundary Waters, a historical novel about Acadians, and a comedy/romance novel. All have been put on the back burner while I deal with ailing family members and loved ones.

My first novel suffered from not having the best editors/agents, I believe. So if anyone has any connections, please pass them along! Also if anyone needs advice on writing, I have been through it all — workshops, self-teaching, many great books on writing, both instructional and inspirational, etc., and I would be happy to share what I know.

Thanks, Alicia, for posting this. Sort of a blast from the past at this point, as the book was written/published seven years ago.

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Sheila’s published book

Lanashane Robert from ICreationsBoutique states I have written almost 4 fiction novels but have not gotten around to publishing. As you well know, one goes through the process of editing..re- editing..then doubt creeps in as to whether your creative expression will be well received.
My plans for the New year is to start publishing. My first novel doesn’t fit into any specific genre, but its inspirational/spiritual/ romance. It’s about twinsouls who battle through life’s journey as do their human assignments. The story revolves around 4 main characters.
The novel has been written in 3 parts and is yet to be published.

Lauren Vanhernet from BellaBolsaDesigns said this past summer my husband and I took our children to Scotland. We found Edinburgh to be quite a magical city, not to mention a literary one. My children were thrilled to trace JK Rowling’s steps to see her inspiration for the Harry Potter books and movies. My latest handbag is inspired by The Elephant House, the small cafe where she reportedly wrote the first book. Fans from all over the world have put their mark (literally) on the bathroom walls and it is a photo of the bathroom graffiti that serves as the inspiration for the print used on this bag. Enjoy and thanks for posting this topic!

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Cell phone wallet made with Harry Potter inspired fabric

Christmas In July – Savings Weekend

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

The Etsy Christmas in July Team has come together with some awesome savings from over 20 shops. There are many types of shops for you to receive savings on during this Black Friday through Cyber Monday! To see what discounts the shops are offering, please click on each banner.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!!

ACCESSORIES

BellaBolsaDesigns

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Coupon Code: BLCKFRI2016

10% off  everything

Valid Dates: Good through 11/27

DesignsbyCristal

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Coupon Code: BLACKFRIDAY15

Spend $25.00 or more

Valid Dates: 11/24 – 11/27

Metaville

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Coupon Code: No code needed

20% off

Valid Dates: 11/25-11/29 (NZ time)

Melissas Menagerie of Stuff

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Coupon Code: No code needed

Free shipping on all domestic orders of 35 dollars or more

Valid Dates: Now until 1/1

CARDS & MORE

 BellaBoutique

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Coupon Code: Holiday16

15% off in stock items

Valid Dates: Good thru 11/30

ColourscapeStudios

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Coupon Code: No code needed

30% off all prints, 10% off all gift tags and mini cards.

Valid Dates: Now until midnight 11/27(Brisbane, Australia local time)

DesignsbyCnC

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Coupon Code: No code needed

15% off everything

Valid Dates: 11/21 – 11/29

StockLaneStudio

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Coupon Code: 1FreeCARD

Buy 4 CARDS get 1 Free ($4.50 off)

Valid Dates: No expiration

CLOTHING

EthicalInfant

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Coupon Code: Thankful2016

20% off everything

Valid Dates: 11/23 − 11/30

and

Coupon Code: Cyber20

20% off everything

Valid Dates:  11/29

Knitwoolsocks

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Coupon Code: FREESH16

free shipping for orders over $45.00

Valid Dates: Good thru 12/31

HOME DECOR

Corkycrafts

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Coupon Code: Clauscostcutter1

10% off any $10.00 purchase

Valid Dates: Good thru 12/25

DesignstheLimit

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Coupon Code: BF2016

10% Off Any Purchase Over $25.00

Valid Dates: 11/22 – 11/27

and

Coupon Code: CM2016

12% Off Any Purchase Over $25.00

Valid Dates: 11/27 – 11/30

SpoiledFelinesArt

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Coupon Code: Coupon1

10% off In-stock items

Valid Dates: Good thru 12/31

SuesAkornShop

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Coupon Code: TENOFF

10% off storewide

Valid Dates: No expiration

and Coupon Code: 10OFF

Save 10% on orders over $10

Valid Dates: No expiration

TheGiftBasketry

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Coupon Code: MCDEC2016

20% off orders over $50

Valid Dates: Good thru 12/1

JEWELERY

acbeadsjewellery

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Coupon Code: No code needed

50% off everything

Valid Dates: Good thru 1/1

AliciasFindings

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Coupon Code: BF2016

10% off

Valid Dates: Valid til 11/26

and

Coupon Code: CM2016

10 % off

Valid Dates: valid til 11/29

beadloverskorner

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Coupon Code: CYBERSALE

30% off

Valid Dates: 11/24/2016-12/1/2016

epicetera

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Coupon Code: BF2016

20% off

Valid Dates: 11/25 – 11/29

EponasCrystals

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Coupon Code:  SHIPFORFREE50

Free shipping on orders over $50

Valid Dates: No expiration

EveryoneLovesGifts0

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Coupon Code: BLACKFRIDAY15

Everything off with min spend of £3.99

Valid Dates: No expiration

and

Coupon Code: CYBERMONDAY15

Everything off with min spend of £3.99

Valid Dates: 11/29

LSBJewellery

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Coupon Code: No code needed

20% off

Valid Dates: 11/25-11/29

VINTAGE

LazyYVintage

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Coupon Code: CHRISTMASSALE20

20% off

Valid Dates: 11/23-12/24

LBscrapboutique

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Coupon Code: CYBER20

20% off

11/25-11/29

Happy Thanksgiving to all from all of us!

Luxury

Contributor post by Sheila and Shannon from BeadyEyedBird

Who doesn’t love luxury items? Those little (or big) things that say, “I deserve this, and I’m going to enjoy the heck out of it!” Such things are different for all of us, and can range from an exotic scented shampoo to a BMW. But however we define them, they make us feel rewarded, special and happy. We asked our CIJ team members to tell us about the luxury items they treasure or crave, and about things they sell that say “LUXURY”.

Here’s what they said —

Melissa R from missy69 said:

I love gemstones, and have been collecting them for years. So, to me a luxury item would be a flawless, perfect color 3 ct Tanzanite, Or Blue Diamond. I don’t have any of those in my store, lol. I have created my own blue diamond wedding band, and I wear it all the time. Below is a picture of a lovely 16x10mm golden yellow citrine pear shape gemstone, set in sterling silver basket style prong pendant. November babies, this is your gemstone. It is on clearance sale right now, with free shipping to domestic addresses.

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Valerie Brown from FirepanJewellery said:

I suppose because I spend my days in making jewellery in my studio, wearing old clothes that are okay to potentially get ruined, luxury items for me would be beautiful handmade clothes! Then I would accessorize with one of my favorite forms of jewellery – a brooch! Brooches are trending right now, but I’ve always loved them. In the past (before I was a goldsmith), if I was to splurge on a piece of handmade jewellery it would be a unique brooch.

This brooch is one of a kind. I designed this brooch based on a photo of a beach in Spain. It is champleve enamel, which is an intensive process, where you first saw out the scene and solder it to the backing and then begin the enameling process. The enamel is built up through many layers and firings in the kiln, which is how you get the various colors showing through.

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Stormy day brooch, champleve enamel, sterling silver, fine silver, kiln fired enamel, seaside bay, stormy sky, tropical, ooak, handmade

Woolly Momo from WoollyMomo said:

I think luxury items are anything that look good whilst also keeping me warm – I really feel the cold at this time of year so being cosy tops the luxury list for me! However, I truly believe luxury does not have to mean expensive – it’s more about the feeling it gives you, both inside and out, rather than the price.

As woollies season is well and truly upon us, I thought this hat would be a good example of a luxury item. Not only is the design really on trend for the season, it is the softest hat I sell in my little shop.

Its so warm that I even made one for myself and then in turn got asked by my Hubs to make one for him too (he’s bald and so needs something soft but extra warm to keep his brain from freezing this time of year!)

Our hats have kept us both lovely and warm and everyone who touches them is amazed at how silky soft and cosy they feel!

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Pure Wool and Silk Ribbed Beanie Hat. Angora, Sheep Wool & Silk Slouchy and Chunky Wool Ribbed Hat. Unisex Pure Wool Ribbed Hat. Warm Beanie

pam colangelo from PearlsVintagebyPam said:

The Gold Scroll Design with Chain Strap Spells Luxury For Me. I Love Brass Items and Purse Accessories, Plus Dresser and Vanity Décor. This Make Up Case is Luxurious. I Bought it at an Antique Fair and Paid More Than I Should Have But I Was in Love.
There Are 3 Compartments- Like a 3 Car Garage. Lots of Room: A Compartment For Money, Make Up, Tissues, and the Like. PLUS THERE’S a MIRROR.

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Cosmetic Case-Art Deco Powder & Make Up Compact Vtg 1950’s Brass Cigarette Holder Lipstick Case Gold Chain Handle Antique-Gift-Idea

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls said:

 We love a beautiful set of sheets! Many people don’t treat themselves to sheet sets – instead gifting them usually as wedding or shower presents. Treat yourself with this gorgeous set featuring lovely lavender Irises!
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4 Piece Queen Sheet Set by Martex – Purple Irises Beige Stripes- Queen Flat Fitted 2 Pillowcases – Vintage Floral Bedding Linens Sheets

Nancy Duncan Fellowship from EponasCrystals said:

Beautiful golden rutilated quartz teardrop statement ring. The setting is a vintage bali style with swirls and balls in antiqued sterling silver. This is definitely a statement piece!
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Golden Rutilated Quartz Teardrop Statement Ring Sterling Silver Vintage

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit said:

When it comes to luxury items, Design your next gift to have a Personalized touch! We specialize in providing gifts for every gift recipient for any giving occasion, but when you are buying a gift for the Top Shelf gentleman we recommend our 100% lead-free crystal wine and distiller decanters which are provided with your choice of any design and font combination deep-sand carved into the decanter and stopper for the best combination of quality in both the product and artistic services. Say ‘No More’ to impersonal gift cards and make every gift a personalized gift giving experience with gift wrap and cards available when shipping directly to your recipient or home during the busy holiday season.
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Connoisseur Distiller’s Decanter and Stopper with Deep-Sand Carved Personalization with Choice of Design & Font from Our Selection (Each)

Lauren Vanhemert from BellaBolsaDesigns said:

For me, I agree with Richard and Tatiana that anything personalized is a luxury, especially when you can use personal items and mementos as part of the artistic design. I put together this customized photo wristlet wallet using love letters and photos to commemorate a 50th Anniversary. I can’t think of a better or more luxurious Wedding, Anniversary, or holiday gift than something personal to carry day after day.
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Personalized Gift with Photo, Custom Photo Wristlet, Personalized Wristlets, Wristlets, Wedding Gift, Anniversary Gift, Birthday Gift

Nirit and Avi Berman from BermanDesigners said:

We have some luxury items. This one is an aquamarine that sits at the center of the ring, surrounded by a distinctive pattern of diamonds. The ring is made out from 18 karat gold, in a traditional jewelry technique to create a piece of jewelry that is tactile, soft, unique and affordable. We created it for these times when you want to wear a powerful ring. The ring is durable for lifetime wear. It is made, like all our jewelry, with best attention to details and quality.
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Round Bezel Ring Aquamarine Diamonds Pave Ring | Fine Jewelry, 18k Solid Gold Ring, Round Aquamarine Facet Aqua Marine Engagement ring

Many thanks to those who participated — such lovely stories and items!

Until Next Time,

Sheila