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.
Taos Pueblo

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.
Harris tweed

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.

Collie Days

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!


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.

Christmas Tree Decorations

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


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.


Happy Holidays card

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


Felt Owl Christmas Stocking

I loved making these waterless snow globes.


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.


Felted Santa Claus

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


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.


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.


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.


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!


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


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).


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


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.


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


And that’s it!


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 – Introduction – #EtsyCIJ 2018

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

Christmas is a time for joyful memories to be made, perhaps, a time for reflection and religion, and, sometimes, just to relax.


The #EtsyCIJ team is worldwide and today, July 8th, we find out what Christmas means to each of us. Our team members were asked what makes Christmas special to them, how they make Christmas special for others, what three words best describe Christmas for themselves and what they are most looking forward to for Christmas 2018.

Join us throughout the day to meet the members and read their stories.

Invite your friends and share with us what makes Christmas special to you.

Tree Decorations – #CIJParty 2017

Post contributor from Julie at EveryoneLovesGifts0

When it comes to Christmas time everyone loves to decorate their tree. I know when I was younger I was not allowed to decorate the tree as that was my Mum’s job and something she loved to do. More so the tree had to be prefect so no little fingers are allowed.

Now I have my own daughter, she decorates the tree with my husband but they always need my approval to see if I like it!

With this blog I thought it would be a good idea to get a feel of other Christmas tree decorations out there, let your imagination run wild and have fun with it. After all, Christmas is a time to family and fun.

First up is my Christmas Tree (pleas excuse the background this was before we decorated). I have always had a fake green tree yet I liked the look of a black tree. It is usual and not something you would consider at Christmas, yet I love the look of a black tree.
That being said as it is black I wanted silver and white to go with the tree so the decorations stand out. So that being said I went with silver glitter decorations and white feather boas to make it look like snow as falling. To complete the look I went with white twinkle lights. (PS, excuse the Christmas hat at the top, my daughter insisted that stays).


My Christmas Tree Decoration

I love this Christmas tree, it looks classic yet modern at the same time with twists of ‘snow’ at the bottom. I love all the different Christmas decorations that hang off the branches, this tree feels magical to me.


Fun Tree Decoration

Although this is a real Christmas tree, the decorations are simple, to the point while looking classy at the same time. The colour scheme stays the same with gold and red decorations while you can see the twinkling white light in the tree.


Classic Tree Decoration

Decorations that feel fun and magical for the Children. I love this look of decoration, I know this may not be everyone’s cup of tea but if your children have a little Christmas tree themselves, why not look for a decoration like this? With lights behind this decoration it is sure to make a magical tree for them.


Fun Decorations for Kids

I love decorations like this. On a Christmas tree you can see it is bright colours, yet with glitter snowflakes on the balls it gives it a warm/cool feeling inside as well. This on a tree with similar decorations would go perfect together.


Glitter Snowflake Tree Balls

Christmas Movie Ideas – #CIJParty 2017

Post contributor from Julie at EveryoneLovesGifts0

When it comes to Christmas time everyone loves a good Christmas move that they can share with the family. Below I have added some classic and best Christmas film that are good to watch time and time again and those you may not have seen before.


Home Alone (PG)
I don’t know anyone who does not love a good Home Alone movie. I can not remember how many times I have seen these films but they never get old.

The first Home Alone came out in 1990! It is about an eight year old that get’s in trouble at home while his whole family has gone on holiday. Because of such a big family and the rest to get to the airport in the morning they forgot about him.
Unfortunately he is left home alone to protect his family house from want-to-be burglars.

A Christmas Carol (PG)
Again, a Christmas movie that is a classic.
The re-make was made in 2009, A Christmas Carol is an animated movie from Charles Dickens. A Victorian-era miser takes on a journey of self-redemption. However, with several mysterious Christmas apparitions it is a journey he wont forget.

This Christmas (PG)
A Christmas-time drama that is centered around the Whitfield family’s first holiday together in four years. Do you think the family’s holiday will go without a hitch?

Arthur Christmas (PG)
Santa’s clumsy son Arthur gets put on a mission with St. Nick’s father to give out a present they misplaced to a young girl in less than 2 hours. What could possible happen? A funny film that is great for all the family.

Love the Coopers (PG 13)
The intertwined stories of four generations of Coopers unfold right before the annual family reunion on Christmas Eve.

Story Time Listing Blitz

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Here at Christmas in July we decided to do a Listing Blitz a bit differently! We made the blitz become a story revolving around the blitz listings.

There were specific rules to follow, but mostly the purpose was to blitz (promote) the other members listings as much as possible.

Alicia from AliciasFindings states:

Autumn is a wonderful time of changing colors and harvests. There are many items to be harvested here at team CIJ including jewelry,wood crafts,card notions and more. Come and experience the bounty of the teams harvest…


Kristy Jo from KrystalKlarityBeads says:

….where you can surround yourself with your favorite things. Shop at your leisure from home. It is easy here in an Etsy Autumnland to find all those gifts for the upcoming celebrations and…


Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter said:

My BE THANKFUL banner gives a wonderful message during the Thanksgiving season. My granddaughter last year made one for her teacher to hang in the classroom… when I gave her 3 choices… HAPPY THANKSGIVING, GIVE THANKS, BE THANKFUL… she choice BE THANKFUL and she said that a lot of the kids in her class need to BE THANKFUL for what they have and are not. A good rule for all of us.


AliciasFindings states:

Yes we all need to Be Thankful during Harvest Season! Some are thankful for friends, family or health. I am thankful for my ability to still create…


Gari Anne from beadloverskorner says:

I am thankful for all of those things and also the cooler weather and the beautiful color changes around us. Leaves are falling and the landscape takes on the beautiful colors of the fall.

Ina from InaSudjana said:
Let these colours fill the Northern hemisphere. Absorb the gorgeous orange hues and let the pretty season begin…


MOJEART from MOJEART states:

 We all need an Angel. This Angel use to be out every year a top a Christmas Tree. The past two Seasons she has not been on display. The crown is just for fun.
Rheta Parziale from VintageEves said:
And as the angel looked down from the tree, the family gathered round the table for a Christmas feast. The ham was cooked, the bread was broken and the good china came out of the cabinet ….
Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says:
Sharing a meal as a family and enjoying each other’s company is the best part of every holiday and something to be truly thankful for. Set your table with a personalized touch and invite others.



Wish Lists

It’s always fun to see what other people’s tastes are, so this week I asked the team what is on their wishlist this holiday season. Take a look!

“I have been wanting to try my hand at metal stamping and what better way to do so then with this amazing kit!
I love to be able to create varied pieces, since I feel it helps me provide something for everyone.”

-Alicia of Alicia’s Findings

“I like owls and I like drinking hot chocolate. I love beautiful mugs, and this one caught my eye. I can just imagine my hot chocolate in there, with some whipped cream on top. Before I drink it I would take some pictures of it and put it on my blog.”

Carola Bartz

“This is an incredible item. The hand wrapped cameo is amazing…great detail and color. It isn’t the traditional cameo, either, and is great for horse lovers! I adore this piece, and it is definitely on my wish list.”

-Amy Spock of Beads and Threads by Amy

What’s on your wish-list? Share with us below!

Happy wishing!


‘Tis a Gift to be Simple

Ideas for bringing back simplicity to gift giving.
This time of year, it is so crazy and many people ask “What can I give?”
I always tell people, something from your heart is best.  Ah, but what and where to start brings angst to so many people.

The shaker tune “Simple Gifts”  comes to mind.Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right
Joseph Bracket ~1848
Let’s keep everything in perspective if we can.
Pay attention to your friends and family, listen to what they like and mention during the year.  You’ll be surprised at what
comes off in normal conversations or text that can be useful when it comes to gift giving. 
To keep it simple, think of what the person likes and go from there.  Keep a secret pinterest board to keep track of things.Then, think of what you like and your talents and gifts.  Is there something that meshes?  If they like music and you cansew, then you have many options.  If you are pressed for time…Here’s a few ideas for young adults and over.  Hard to buy for people create anxiety in many gift givers, but it need not be that way.  Just keep it simple.
For instance, a last minute but meaningful gift for a sister, brother, aunt, cousin, uncle….anyone really that is related.  In your family, I’m sure there is a recipe that is treasured by most.Okay, so Aunt Millie never really cooked much, but she made a great potato salad that everyone loved at family gatherings.  Do you have the recipe?  Or, perhaps Uncle Bill made an awesome hot sauce, maybe your cousin Dale made a fabulous cake, and your sister made old-fashioned gnocci from scratch.So, you have one or many of those treasured recipes as your own heirloom legacy,but much of your family does not…..why not give them a lasting memento that will be in the family for many more decades and centuries.  It is simple way to keep the memory of your loved ones alive and the tradition of the recipe alive.  Most often the loved recipes, besides tasting delicious are reminiscent of good family times, a priceless treasure.  Young adults will also appreciate some family recipes, as will newlyweds and those just starting out on their own.
Not a unique idea, but a simple one nonetheless and very much appreciated by all.————–
Making a recipe card ornament or framed recipe. 
You can make a chalkboard recipe, print and frame.
Powerpoint has a great chalkboard template.

chalkboard recipe

chalkboard recipe

I didn’t use the chalkboard font even, but it still
looks great printed out.  Then, just frame for
a great easy simple gift.

If you are not digitally inclined, then use the real recipe….
recipe card ornament

Making a recipe card ornament







Gifts from the Heart

Gifts from the Heart

If you use as a refrigerator magnet, you do not even need the
ribbon, could not be simpler and it’s so much appreciated.

You will receive smiles.

Remember, simple gifts are gifts from the heart.