Secret Santa – #CIJParty 2018

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

We are going to have a Secret Santa with a twist! Usually it involves picking a name and then giving them the gift, but since we’re virtual we are improvising!

Members of the Etsy Christmas In July Team have chosen these Secret Santa gifts!

Mairi from mairidesign says:

A star for a star colleague, which can be hung in the window or on their tree. It can even be personalised with their name scrolled in wire. With this secret Santa gift, no-one need know from whence it came, only that they are your Christmas star.

mairidesign

Joanna from Aromatika Sapounia from JoannasScentedSoaps says:

This would be a nice secret santa gift for anyone: a set with luxury glycerin soaps and a charm for good luck, a handmade glass ornament.

JoannasScentedSoaps

patontheback from patontheback says:

What a thoughtful way to cheer a co-worker and a practical gift. A handcrafted mug rug. Gender neutral, yet good looking.

patontheback

spoiledfelines1 from SpoiledFelinesArt says:

I think this handmade natural bracelet would be a great Secret Santa gift for any female on your gift-giving list. I think it would be great for a friend, co-worker, family member because its shades of neutral, earth tones makes it a great jewelry accessory, and will work well with anyone’s wardrobe

This bracelet has 7 of the 3/4 inch fancy beads with swirls of earth-tone hues; each is separated by a 1/4 inch dark brown, oblong wood bead (8 wood beads in total). The length of this bracelet is approximately 8 inches in length, which should fit an average-sized wrist, and has a antique-gold toned, fancy toggle-style closure.

SpoiledFelinesArt

friedasophie from friedasophie says:

I would give this necklace to my friend Tatjana who is currently going through chemo-therapy, so that she will get energy & protection through the stone. And just to put a smile on her face!

friedasophie

Patricia from TheOldBarnDoor says:

This scarf features one of my own photographs (of birch bark). The colors and design are neutral enough to go with just about anything a lady has in her wardrobe and can accent a casual turtle neck, a fancy blouse even a spring coat. So soft and luxurious, the scarf is one of a kind and sure to surprise and delight the recipient. A great price point too!

TheOldBarnDoor

mistycat1234 from carolinagirlz2 says:

I would give a Bucilla Heart Felt Holiday ornament kit, an easy project that someone could make without major crafting skills!

carolinagirlz2

Rebecca Turkovics from OrnamentsByRebeccaT says:

I would give this vintage Santa ornament because… well, it is a secret “Santa” exchange.

OrnamentsByRebeccaT

Cristal Hughes from DesignsbyCristal says:

This lanyard would go to my daughter who I’m praying will start to study the Bible soon and give her life completely to God. I always try to instill the word of God into both my children and especially more so in today’s time.

I look at this scripture lanyard as a tool for her to carry around when times get hard to be faithful in God’s word. This lanyard has some very helpful scriptures to give a new or old Christian a boost when it’s needed. In my belief having this close and personal relationship with God is by far one of the most important and unconditional relationships one can ever have!

DesignsbyCristal

Carla from CarlasCraft says:

I would share this Secret Santa gift with one of my friends, Isis, who was laid off from her job in February and has been diligently interviewing since. I love the Peace theme and using the wooden letters for that 3-D effect. Also, the use of an old book cover embossed and then mounted on the canvas is a fun technique I so enjoy!

CarlasCraft

Reclaimed Materials – A Gateway To Creativity

Contributor post by Catherine of DesignsByCnC

Over Labor Day weekend, I attended our area’s largest flea market.  As a handmade artist, I enjoy going from booth to booth to see the beautiful home decor pieces, furniture and outdoor sculptures all created using reclaimed materials.

The booths with the pallet art and furniture were extremely popular, with pieces ranging from decorative wall art to dining room tables, as well as outdoor furniture. We discovered a unique bench handcrafted using pallets and a tailgate from an old Chevrolet pickup truck.   With our focus turning to autumn decor, I found myself drawn to the vintage framed screens hand painted with colorful scarecrows and pumpkins.  One of my favorite booths is that of an artist that reclaims framed windows from old homes and paints beautiful landscape scenes on the glass with stunning results.

Products handcrafted using reclaimed materials are unique, artful and more sustainable than many of today’s mass produced items.

As I admired the creativity, I was reminded of the idiom “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”.  Each year small businesses reclaim and salvage a significant amount of materials.  This not only helps eliminate landfill waste but also preserves part of our past.

I posed the question, Does your business upcycle or use reclaimed, salvaged materials? to the members of the Etsy Christmas In July Team.

 

GypsyGeneralStore from GypsyGeneralStore answered:

“They don’t make ’em like they used to”…. I grew up listening to my Dad make that statement time and time again and it’s true! I would rather repair, recycle or reuse something “old” than buy something new. I love to salvage bits and bobs, odds and ends – I have a stash of “trash” just waiting for a new purpose! This time of year, I love to give rusty old tart tins a new lease on life:

Christmas Star Ornament Tart Tin

Christmas Star Ornament Tart Tin

 

spoiledfelines1 from SpoiledFelinesArt had this response:

I grew up in Southeast Louisiana. When I was a young girl, my father taught me to respect nature as it is a finite part of our environment. We would go for walks along the waterways just talking about life and taking in the beauty of the sun setting over the marshlands. Sometimes we would come upon a unique piece of driftwood, which would end up in his workshop waiting for the perfect wood carving project to showcase its beauty.

Most of the items in my shop are made from reclaimed wood. I chose to feature my father’s hand carved woodpecker bird because I love its overall appearance, particularly the bird’s beautiful red head and its unique cypress driftwood perch!

Red Headed Woodpecker Bird Carving

Red Headed Woodpecker Bird Carving

 

Heather Barber from MooseintheMint shared:

I use a variety of games pieces to make a selection of items, from magnets to jewelry, scrapbooks to decorations. One box with an incomplete game can make a scrapbook or a clock with the board, a variety of cards and magnets from the cards, and some fun jewelry or key rings from the game’s pieces.

Scrapbook From Upcycled London Monopoly Board

Scrapbook From Upcycled London Monopoly Board

 

Bevan Blackshaw from TimberDimensions commented:

As a furniture maker, I have a deep and enduring respect, as well as appreciation, for the materials I work with. I despise waste and do whatever I can to reduce, reuse, upcycle, repurpose the offcuts I generate. I make bangles, pendants, earrings, brooches, and finger rings regularly. The one item I most enjoy is my Book Bird. A practical, functional item that I really do enjoy making. I love what I do!!

Book Bird Page Holder

Book Bird Page Holder

 

Corkycrafts from Corkycrafts added:

I repurpose wine corks in my shop. Hence the name Corky crafts. Guess what I promote wine drinking… HA HA HA….uh well least we have fun in our craft room.

My friends & family donate their corks and every cork creation gives life to a little cork that kept wine fresh. Speaking of fresh here is a new fresh item in our shop just in time for your Christmas planning….

Wine Cork Snowman Ornament

 

Melissa R from missy69 stated:

I love this subject! I love to take garbage and turn it into something beautiful, or something old new again. I love glass, wood, and old or broken jewelry to reclaim/recycle/upcycle any of those terms work great. Below is a ring created from a broken pendant, and a broken ring that was just left as a band. I used wire to wire wrap them, and the result is beautiful and affordable. Nice small size to fit a small hand or pinky ring.

 

Upcycled Blue Topaz Marquise Silver and Gold Wire Wrapped Ring

Upcycled Blue Topaz Marquise Silver and Gold Wire Wrapped Ring

 

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns remarked:

My shop is mainly ceramic homewares and jewellery, but I do love using repurposed materials to create some different jewellery pieces.
One of the materials I use are marbles – yes, my kids old marbles! The colours and patterns in them are truly beautiful and they are lightweight and lend themselves to necklaces, earrings, bracelets, pretty much anything!

Upcycled Marble Earrings

Upcycled Marble Earrings

 

Lisajoy Sachs from saxdsign had this response:

This is great! Using reclaimed, salvaged materials is a perfect way to help save the environment. We offer recycled aluminum Nespresso capsule pods to crafters to make items out of. Interestingly enough, most of these get shipped overseas from the US. It is a great way to recycle and not let these go into the landfills. And the art and jewelry made out of them is really cool.

Nespresso Pod Empties

Nespresso Pod Empties

 

Chris Preiser from CreativeChris000 responded with:

I love to re-purpose and recycle items into my handmade creations, but was getting tired of using the same old bottles, bottle caps, etc as my materials and wanted something new to work with. About 2 years ago I realized the possibility of re-purposing soda cans and quickly began making lots of ornaments and decorations with them. Today, the majority of my creations have some sort of ‘soda can ornament’ incorporated into them, and people are always shocked to find out that the item they are purchasing was made with a soda can!

 

il_570xn-1064357031_3mjw

Upcycled Aluminum Butterfly and Flower Set

 

Maryann from gojjell said:

My husband does wood turning as a hobby and I am frequently salvaging different types of timber off cuts or ‘non usable bits’! left on the workshop floor. From such finds, I weave my magic and create one of a kind jewellery, usually pendants or necklaces, featuring these re-purposed timber off cuts.
The necklace below features a fine silver heart and two round Tasmanian Oak beads prepared by me and incorporated into this creation.

Fine silver heart necklace

Fine silver heart necklace

 

October – New Arrivals

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Join the Christmas In July team as we celebrate October – New Arrivals.

Lia Russo from Ghirlandiamo says:

I saw these so nice and so tiny pumpkins and immediately imagined them on a green meadow: it would be a nice contrast of colors!

So I prepared the base with some stabilized lichen (it means its real lichen treated, so that it remains always the same).

Some maple leaves with their stunning forms and shades completed my fall landscape.

I think it’s a colorful wreath to enhancing any front door in this beautiful period of the year.

Ghirlandiamo

Ghirlandiamo

Sarah Johnson from BellaBoutique23 says:

Decorative notebooks are something new I have added to my shop. I had the idea of making a pumpkin Notebook for the Fall season. Use for Journaling, writing something everyday that you are thankful for, or makes a fun gift for someone with a Fall Birthday!

BellaBoutique23

BellaBoutique23

Walter Silva from WalterSilva says:

I love searching for discarded desk organizers at antique malls or flea markets and painting them with a fresh coat of Chalk Paint, voila NEW and improved desk organizer!

Then I hand rub WAX onto the piece, so nice!

WalterSilva

WalterSilva

Judith Messenger from FabriArts says:

I just added this tablerunner/wallhanging to my shop today. I’ve been working on stocking my shop with table linens such as tablerunners and placemats. I had been working in a more neutral pallet, and also finished a quilt this summer using earth tones. I wanted to make something much more colorful, so chose these lovely turquoise, blue and teal batiks for a set of placemats and the runner. The bright colors made me smile each time I worked on the set. These pieces could bring a touch of the Caribbean to your decor all year long!

FabriArts

FabriArts

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says:

Christmas is just around the corner, and I love the fun of the season…. I love to wear Christmas jewelry and I like to decorate my tree with unique decorations – this makes the occasion even more ‘special’ and ‘personal’!

DeeDeeDeesigns

DeeDeeDeesigns

Patricia and Rebecca from northandsouthshabby says:

Several  years ago I stumbled upon a similar big eared elf much like this one at a thrift shop – it was love at first sight! I have been obsessed with these elves ever since. ( Who am I kidding? I’m at the hording stage!) I soon discovered that these elves come in several sizes which range from large 7 inch ones, to tiny 2.25 inch pixies. The predominant outfit color is red, followed by white polka dot. There are a few blue and green outfits out there too, but not many. They were made in Japan, by a handful of manufacturers, who seemed to blatantly copy each other! All were made post World War II from the early 1950’s to the 1960’s. I haven’t been able to locate any locally of late and now engage in online bidding wars at estate sales.

To me this elf ( and the rest of his “cousins” in our shop) represent the quintessential nostalgic Christmas decoration. A little shabby, but bright, warmly conjuring up memories of bygone holidays. Guaranteed to bring a smile and lots Christmas cheer to any spot.

northandsouthshabby

northandsouthshabby

Marjorie Scenna from mscenna says:

In honor of World Teacher’s Day, from a fellow teacher….a colorful apple keychain with recycled and repurposed vintage beads!

mscenna

mscenna

Ina from InaSudjana says:

This bolster style headbands holder was a special request from a lovely customer to match a personalized name banner that I made with this color combination.

It is always very rewarding to venture out of my comfort zone and work with different media.

InaSudjana

InaSudjana

Natalia from KMalinkaVintage says:

Just listed vintage 80’s black eel skin leather handbag. I found this lovely purse in a Palm Springs thrift store. It can be a great gift idea for her!

KMalinkaVintage

KMalinkaVintage

be Woolen from beWoolen says:

Just listed! I fell in love with the color when I saw this yarn. It is 100% superwash wool. really soft, not itchy so I decided to offer it in other colors as well. But this is my personal favorite.

beWoolen

beWoolen

Angie Fitzpatrick from CraftyMom75 says:

Listed just now! I have made aprons with this same design before, but I found this fabric and fell in love! Such a great fall feel with the yellows and gray print really made me think of October afternoons and hanging out at craft fairs!

CraftyMom75

CraftyMom75

Amy Spock from BeadsandThreadsbyAmy says:

I love cooking for the holidays, and found this adorable pattern for a Thanksgiving Apron. I love it! Quirky, cute, and full of personality!

BeadsandThreadsbyAmy

BeadsandThreadsbyAmy

NeatoKeen from NeatoKeen says:

I love Swedish, Danish and Norwegian linens, but stopped buying and selling them when so many wonderful Scandinavian shops started up on Etsy. They have much better access to these amazing pieces than I. However, I couldn’t pass up this Scandi textile, because it has the sweetest printed graphics I’ve ever laid eyes upon…I love the playful children, the proud parents, the colorful dala horse and explosion of flowers!

NeatoKeen

NeatoKeen

Sally Manke from SallyManke says:

My original art quilt depicts the South Shore in the little Lake Michigan Village of Arcadia were we make our home. The solitude found on this public beach is reflected in the quiet sky and water at sunset. Using my Lake Michigan sunset photos, I created this art quilt in my home studio.

SallyManke

SallyManke

 

Giving Thanks

We’ve been through the mad rush of Black Friday weekend and what a whirlwind it was! But wait a minute… didn’t we just celebrate being thankful for what we already have? Our team got together to share what they are thankful for as well!

Children & Family:

I am thankful for the precious gift of children God has entrusted us with. I am always humbled by the miracle and the beauty of a delicate new life born into this world. ”
~ Rita

I’m thankful for all the special moments I have with family and friends.

Being thankful for the sound of happy healthy children.”

I’m thankful for my my angels (ages 4 and 1) that light up my day and remind me to laugh more, hug more, cuddle more and enjoy the small things.”

ART:

I am thankful for the ability to interact with kids and share the gift of art and science (together when possible). I typically have several pieces in my shop where all or a portion of the sale helps me to buy supplies for these projects.

I am thankful for the fact that there was art in our school when I was a child. I believe that it has made me appreciate art so much more.”

Life, Health, & Home:

I’m thankful I have a warm home to live in as many around the world have no place to live or very inadequate housing.

What says home more than a quilt?? These painted diamonds papers have a quilted feel to them ~ just like home. I love quilts!

I’m thankful that the future comes one day at a time.

The older I get I realize just how important health is… This charm represents health and well being.”

As we go through the crazy hustle and bustle of the fast approaching holidays, let’s not wait for November to come back around to reflect on what we are thankful for.

Stay Thankful!

Frenchie