Posted by Mairi from mairidesign

Whether this disguise is used to conceal ones presence in the greenery or purely to make a fashion statement, we can all agree that camouflage is here to stay. It’s so versatile that it’s suitable for accessories for both sexes and for all ages as well as for home furnishings. Take walk through our hidden treasures and click on the photos to buy in Etsy.

Rita Szöllősi from RitzySelection says:

Once upon a time …… there was once a couple of beautiful cushions. Time passed over and worn, they were old. But hipp-hopp charmed the cushions of the good fairy and new cushions were given to the old pillows. This is my camouflage story!

Sleep well, on your beautiful new cushion covers, dear children!


Linen Camouflage Cushion covers

Przemila K from CanisArtStudio says:

Animals are masters of camouflage. I was fascinated by patterns and colors of lizards and snakes. A large pastel drawing depicting protected European reptiles and amphibians for those who are passionate about these unusual animals.


Snake Lizard Frog Pastel Painting

Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter says:

Camouflage Yarn… Great to make many wonderful creations with…

Variegated Green Brown Beige / Camouflage Yarn

Kristal Leigh from KLeighVintage says:

My shop features camouflage jackets, cargo pants and sometimes bags. Each item is collected from estate sales from retired military families. They make a wonderful fashion statement or gifts for friends who have had dear love ones serve.

My favorite story was from a man who bought a WW1 camouflage medical bag for his wife as a Christmas gift. Her father had served and passed away when she was a child. He wanted to buy her something with meaning and to remind her of her father. This story brought me to tears and made me so thankful that the items we do sell can make such a big impact on someone else’s life.


Camouflage Army Pants

Walter Silva from WalterSilva says:

I have always been fascinated with most, but not all Camouflage Patterns. I was approached by a customer who asked if I could make a camouflage Fine Pen Box for a veteran, loved the final result! So I decided to add this as a regular item.


Camouflage Fine Pen Wood Storage Box

Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital says:

I didn’t actually think of camouflage when I created this set – but I’ve often thought that’s how the colors turned out. I just liked the yellow, green and brown combination, so it’s been lurking about in my shop ever since.


Digital Paper Pack Yellow Green

Robyn Campbell from RobynFayeDesigns says:

I was thinking about Fathers Day when I came up with this. The camouflage pattern is very masculine, combined with the shape of a motor home makes a unique coaster fit for a man cave.

Camo RV coaster

Beth Morgan from FromBeths says:

A personal favorite from my Etsy shop. Girls love camo too! Celebrate with camo ! Made with love for my niece.


16th Birthday Party Decorations

Lisa van Heerden from PricklyPaw says:

I had been making a lot of original art and it reminded me of an abstract camouflage. Since I work in multiple mediums like original paintings, digital art on blankets and hand painted shoes, I thought it made sense to make some camo military themed shoes. I am also influenced because in NC we have several military bases like marines Camp LaJeune and Fort Bragg which is an Army base. This is a traditional army camo (and by the way, apparently the top selling camouflage is Mossy Oak for hunters…) so I decided to put their motto on the shoe. As I have done this I realize I have stirred so many political questions. I am sure my Army clientele will love these shoes, but I think so will anyone wanting to make a political statement and spark a dialogue when there is none.


Custom Military Shoes

Catherine Clifford from DesignsByCnC says:

I have a son-in-law who is a duck hunter and loves all things camouflage. A couple of years ago I created this birthday card in his honor.

This went over so well that I received more requests for camouflage themed greeting cards. So my camouflage collection was born. I now offer birthday, baby, wedding, anniversary and Christmas cards with a camouflage theme. This also includes pink camo for the ladies!


Camo Birthday Card

Aviation History Month

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

This topic is all about the history of mechanical flight, which includes kites, gliders and more.

Here at CIJ we want to know what do you have that is about aviation, flight or something along that vein.

Heather Barber from MooseintheMint says this is a fun aeroplane decoration, ideal for child’s bedroom or playroom.

Great for those youngsters who are interested in transport, flight or mechanics.


FLY hanging letter decoration

Linda from LazyYVintage said a little different take on aviation. A holiday ornament Hot Air Balloon handcrafted Silvestri. Hot air balloons do require some mechanisms for flight. This always reminds us of the Hot Air Balloon festival each year in Harvard IL. I’ve never been up in one yet, but we are thinking of giving it a try next summer. Well, Jim will definitely give it a try…..I’d be a little bit skittish about it.


Hot Air Balloon Christmas Ornament Handcrafted Silvestri

National Book Lovers Day – November 5th

Contributor post by Catherine of DesignsByCnC

On National Book Lovers Day we are encouraged to find a good book settle into a comfortable place and just read the day away! On a chilly day, I take great delight in curling up on the couch with a cozy blanket and a wonderful book to read.  I enjoy the classics, with one of my favorites being “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott.

Books have been around for thousands of years.  With a book, you have the whole world in your hands.  They not only have the ability to educate us but also the capacity to enthrall and captivate us.

“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.”- Mason Cooley

Reading is a common thread that binds us together in the fabric of life.  In the spirit of National Book Lover’s Day, the members of the Etsy Christmas In July Team share their favorite books along with a featured item from their shop.


pam colangelo  from PearlsVintagebyPam shared this classic:

My favorite book is “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Eric Sloane.  I read this classic book as a child. I could relate to the adversity, being raised by a single parent with money struggles and the importance of Family. The theme of Overcoming Adversity was near and dear to my heart!



The Cracker Barrel by Eric Sloane



Linda from LazyYVintage added:

I cannot choose a favorite! I love to read and have since I was about 10 years old and read Black Velvet. I couldn’t read enough about horses then. I think I read every story a 10-year old could about horses. Moved on to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Later it was romance stories. My Dad was a mystery reader, so I tried a lot of Agatha Christie and Elliott McQueen. In high school and in college I took Shakespeare classes, reading all I could by him (even if I couldn’t yet completely understand some of it).

So, the reader digest collection I received from Grandma Ruby when I was 21 years old was magical. So many stories in one book, or in a series of books.

Give me a book and some time off, and you’ll find me on my backyard swing or curled up in my favorite spot on the couch. You can never have too many books either. They are everywhere here. Decorating an end table or shelf, stacked ready to read, in a box ready to donate to the library.

I still keep my children’s books to read to the grandbabies. We are working our way through Alice in Wonderland. They ask me to read to them when they spend the night. It makes me smile and know that they will be all right in a world full of information!


Readers Digest Condensed Books – 1960’s



Lisajoy Sachs  from saxdsign suggested:

Oh, hands down my favorite book of all time is Ken Follett’s Pillars of the earth. First published in 1989 when I was a mere teenager. I read this book every summer. It is a VERY long book, but a great summer read. As a Historical Novel, Mr. Follett takes you away to a world of adventure in a time when building a cathedral took decades. This book embraces the reader to the point where you can’t put it down.

It is the type of book where you can easily relate to any of the characters and emerge yourself completely.

I picked the following piece from my shop because it is a type of stone cut into a “Book Matched” pair. Book matched means that it is cut from the same stone and it matches the same on both sides as if it were hinged like a book.



Coyamito Agate Cabochon Tear Drop Earrings



Christina Paul  from lebeauchaton responded:

What a fun post! I could never choose a favorite book but I adore anything Jane Austen. My shadow box painting reads “I’d rather be at Pemberly” after D’arcy’s estate from Pride and Prejudice, which I’ve read and reread countless times.



Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice Shadow Box



Annmarie Scott  from PaperCloudSky said:

As an illustrator, with shelves full of favourite books, the one I have been re-visiting recently is Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’.
Why Alice? She is full of curiosity, knows her own minded, is always ready for adventure and she is absorbed in the wonderful world of a book.

The item I’d like to share from PaperCloudSky is a textile art brooch in a bag, featuring my white rabbit ink illustration and detailed with embroidery cotton hand stitching.



White Rabbit Fabric Brooch

I have also recently completed a series of print and postcard illustrations placing Alice in a somewhat tropical wonderland – inspired by Alice’s adventures and my own back yard in Brisbane, Australia.
Happy National Book Lovers Day



Heather Barber  from MooseintheMint commented:

It’s really hard to choose just one book!  I regularly have a couple of books on the go, but one of the books that I return to is Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt. It’s the beginning of a series where you can watch the children grow up and develop.
This coaster is great for those who like to snuggle up with an old favourite , a cup of hot chocolate and a roaring fire!



Cosy Fire Read Book Coaster



Gift Set Ideas For Holiday Gift Giving

Contributor post by Catherine of DesignsByCnC

During the holiday season it can be difficult to find the perfect gift for that special someone on your Christmas list. There are many times when I simply cannot decide on just one single gift.  With several small gifts combined together, you can give a spectacular gift set.

I love the fact that a gift set can be themed to the interests or hobby of the recipient.  We have a hunter in the family so naturally camouflage comes to mind.  For the hunter, a gift set including camouflage soap and towels.

Extremely popular for the ladies are spa gift sets that often include lotions and bath salts.  It gives her the gift of relaxation after a long stressful day.

My favorite type of gift sets are those that are food themed.  For a morning treat, combine a gourmet coffee blend with a unique handmade mug.  An epicurean delight is a cheese board and tools along with a fancy cheese.

To help you with your holiday gift giving, the Etsy Christmas In July Team offers these gift set ideas:


Suggested by Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns:

This set of four dishes is ideal for holiday gift giving – the dishes are perfect to hold candles to decorate the holiday table or equally suitable for condiments such as mustards, chutneys and dipping sauces.



Ceramic Condiment Dish Set


Linda  from LazyYVintage recommends:

A set of Mikasa Christmas crystal for your holiday table setting. Two adorable Mikasa candle holders to enhance your centerpiece will be included in your gift set. Then the matching Mikasa Holiday Bells serving bowl and small crystal tray adds beauty and usefulness for your serving needs. Order all three and receive a 25% discount with the coupon code Mikasa25. The crystal trio makes a lovely hostess gift or a gift for your holiday table.


Mikasa Crystal Serving Bowl

Mikasa Crystal Serving Bowl


An idea from Julie Herbert at EveryoneLovesGifts0:

Combine these elegant crystal earrings with our coordinating bracelet to create the perfect gift set for teenagers and adults alike. Faceted Rondelle Crystal comes with three different colours to choose from. A great gift for all occasions to put a smile on your loved one’s face.

Preciosa Faceted Crystal Earrings

Preciosa Faceted Crystal Earrings


Valerie Brown  from FirepanJewellery adds:

My Colors of White pendants and earrings work well as gifts sets (and have happy recipients as fans!). You have the opportunity to choose a color that the recipient will like. These pieces of enamel jewellery are modern in style and unique, which really is appreciated when it comes to gifts!



Colors of White Enamel Pendants



Suggested by pam colangelo  from PearlsVintagebyPam:

This is a Men’s Suspender and Neck Tie Set! It is very retro. The colors and paisley design make this set unique. Men’s gifts are difficult to find. A man who wears suspenders and a tie that appreciates wearing stylish and daring clothes will love this gift. This is a gift for all aged men. Bright colors create perfect wear for the holidays.


Men’s Paisley Tie and Suspenders Set


NeatoKeen  from NeatoKeen recommends:

A complete set of vintage cocktail napkins makes a unique gift for that hard-to-buy-for man in your life. Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief? Doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief? Lots of fun discussion will ensue after he opens this unusual gift set that dates from the Mid Century.


Vintage Cocktail Napkins


Sue and Misty  from shabbyshopgirls says:

For the person who has everything!
These delightful little poodle dogs are here to help out with passing out the hand towels to your guests. Whether they are actually used, or just displayed in a bathroom, guests will certainly enjoy these charming towels!



Vintage Poodle Dogs Hand Towels


Treasury Challenge Winner February – CartoCreative

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

On Etsy many shop owners curate treasuries. A treasury is a curated shop gallery comprised  of 16 items from any shop.  Most of the time they are done by theme, color or anything you can imagine.

The Christmas in July team has challenges to create treasuries centered on themes of our choosing. We then pick a winner based on views, creativity and the like.

The February winner is CartoCreative who loves graphic design, cartography and bold colors.

1. What made you start your shop?

Steve and I have always wanted to have our own business. After university, we travelled quite a bit, and when we got back home, we were racking our brains on how we could combine our talents and interests. We needed something to keep us grounded for a bit, but that would still let us express our creative urges.


2. What made you get into making map prints?

While we were travelling, we would draw maps and skylines of the places we were going and to remember places we had been. A friend of ours saw our work and convinced us to make prints and put them for sale. Shortly after, we took part in a local market and all of our prints sold within a few hours. We were amazed at the reaction and realized maybe we weren’t crazy and other people could be interested in maps just as much as we are.


3. Do you enjoy other crafts (do you make anything else)? If so what crafts?

When I was little, I was obsessed with doing needlepoint. I learned to knit two years ago, but I only ever made one headband, part of a scarf, a sweater that somehow ended up with huge pointed shoulders, and half a blanket. Otherwise I do art on occasion (drawings, collages, and paintings) and have had a few art shows. Steve, CartoCreative’s other half, is really the artistic one, he’s a ridiculously good artist.


4. Do you have a favorite craft website? What is it and why?

It’s not exactly a craft website, but I love browsing through all of the interesting pictures on Pinterest and finding really cool do-it-yourself projects.


5. What are your social media links?


This shop is a great mix of two talented people coming together! If you or someone you know loves maps, history and the written word you have to check out this shop!

Treasury Challenge Winner January – LollysCubbyHole

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

On Etsy many shop owners curate treasuries. A treasury is a curated shop gallery comprised  of 16 items from any shop.  Most of the time they are done by theme, color or anything you can imagine.

The Christmas in July team has challenges to create treasuries centered on themes of our choosing. We then pick a winner based on views, creativity and the like.

The January winner is LollysCubbyHole who loves burlap, vintage fabrics and creating beautiful treasures for weddings.

1. Why did you start an Etsy shop?

I found myself in the middle of 23 acres, with my husband traveling 3 days of each week, my two sons grown, married and living elsewhere. I pondered the question, “who am I” and what am I doing with the rest of my life”? I decided that I could go into therapy to discover that question or I could jump into an Etsy Shop! I chose the latter!


2. What made you love vintage?

I opened the Original LollysCubbyHole as a way to share years of personal collections I had carefully saved for my children.

Surprisingly the dolls, puppets, watches and such did not hold much interest for my two boys! So, yes, LollysCubbyHole began as a Vintage Shop only. I love the memories I have of growing up in West Virginia, the barns, the antiques, the many things that I now see listed on Etsy were within arm’s reach for me as a child. Living next door to my great grandparents, I watched as they churned their own butter, planted and harvested their own crops and raised their own chickens. Mason jars, washboards, enamel cookware, tools, you name it…we had it all!


3. What made you start making burlap items and many other items for weddings?

I started getting requests from friends and family who knew that I had a crafter’s heart, and coming from a grandmother and mother who were seamstresses ( not professionally but out of a need to clothe children on a budget ) I loved the thought of starting up the sewing machine. Private orders were so appreciated that I decided to make a few things for LollysCubbyHole.


4. What is one thing you wish you had known about or had done better when starting your shop?

Ha! The one thing I wish I HAD known, and still WANT to know is how to I reach my target group? How do I unlock the secret of SEO and internet shopping? I listened to seasoned shop owners and read a lot, so I have no regrets in how I was a learning process.


5. What are your social media links and other shop links?

You can find me here: ( my vintage lives there now)

If you know someone that is having a wedding or you just need something to spruce up your home decor come check out Becky’s shop!

Self Improvement Month – September

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

September is a month with lots of changes, new beginnings and hopefully a great start to a new you!

There are many ways we can self improve whether it be physical, emotional or mentally.

Here at Team Christmas in July we wish to know how your craft has improved you and show a picture of one of your items that improved your skills.

Candy Frizzell of TrueEarthDesigns told me:

How my craft has improved is sourcing and the choosing of higher grade gemstones and working with different types of bails to make the Y necklace styles. My design style is mostly in the classic gallery with a mixture of tribal.


Valentina Caceres of JuguetesEloisa explained:

Every time I make one of my toys I think my craft improves. Also, learning of new tool to use has improve it a lot!. If I have to choose one item that has improved my craft it will possible be this one. This castle set has help me going on a next level of toys, allowing to experiment in size, colors, different shapes and adding something else, in this case the drawbridge. It was a real challenge, both doing the castle and the dragons!


Kristy Jo of KrystalKlarityBeads stated:

I came into this with no real experience so I know I have learned and improved. I have made changes in grade of materials, quality of our supplies that we use and the ones we sell. I think I have made the most improvement on expressing myself in classic, almost minimalist pieces like this. I also have improved on allowing myself to make what I feel and not always think it has to be like everyone elses’ to sell.


Arlene of ThisandThatCrafter said:

Getting more into my upcycling… Trying to recreate instead of throw away…

Here are some of my up-cycled tags and ribbons….

I am going to start cutting strips of plain sheets and stamping them for the holidays… Will post some once I get them done.


Walter Silva of WalterSilva mentioned:

Lately, I have been drawing a lot on deconstructed cardboard boxes with Sharpies.
I just draw and have fun… Now I am developing these doodles to the next level with Caran d’ache crayons and importing them into Photoshop and voila, very cool doodles on new items. Learning that a simple fun drawing can be developed with other materials is so rewarding. You can follow these steps on my instagram, where I post them.

Follow me on Instagram


There is so much you can improve on both big and small…so start a Self Improvement Revolution!

Celebrate America, CIJ Style!

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy


O, beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties,
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

I love the Fourth of July!  Americans put aside our political, social, and societal differences to celebrate our freedom.  We pay homage to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country “Land of the Free and The Home of the Brave”.  In that spirit, our Christmas in July team offers these stories and our heartfelt wishes for a Happy, Safe, and Glorious Independence Day!  Let freedom ring!

I can picture this hanky in the hand of a woman welcoming her soldier home or a little girl waving to a Fourth of July Parade..  From

I can picture this hanky in the hand of a woman welcoming her soldier home or waving to the participants in a parade down main street.

Jeanne from TheSandlapperShop says “My grandmother and great grandmother loved to crochet and these vintage hankies with the lover’s knot crocheted edging are from them. I love the hankies and the memories of the special ladies who made them. The red, white, and blue handkerchief is so patriotic.  “American the Beautiful” – what a wonderful song and description of the country’s beauty: my favorite 4th of July memories are watching fireworks. I especially love how the timing is set to music. One year I was so lucky as to watch them in Boston while listening to the Boston Pops and earlier that day I walked the Freedom Trail. A wonderful double dose of patriotism! “
This would be adorable shading a new American during those lovely parades, or wrapped up for an evening of fireworks!

This would be adorable shading a new American during those lovely parades, or wrapped up for an evening of fireworks! From

Faith McCathern from QuinnsBin says, “We truly do live in the greatest country on earth! We favorite memory from July 4th spending the day with family enjoying our freedom. We are so thankful to all the young men and women who protect our rights and keep us free”.

Adorable, cool, patriotic dress for those Fourth of July BBQs. from

Adorable, cool, patriotic dress for those Fourth of July BBQs.

Elizabeth Scheffler from LuckyLizzys says “My favorite memories of Independence Day are running around with all of my friends in my neighborhood with sparklers after a fun day of parades and BBQ’s.”
The only thing more stunning than this will be the fireworks! from

The only thing more stunning than this will be the fireworks!

Lisa Prus from InsomniacTreasures says  “Every couple of years, I pack my kids in the car, say goodbye to the hubby and take a road trip to explore some part of this wonderful country. We have seen some unusual sights, enjoyed a variety of local foods, and made it a point to simply enjoy being with each other…enjoying our independence.”
Nothing says America quite like our Lady Liberty: quite the gift from France. from

Nothing says America quite like our Lady Liberty: quite the gift from France.

Boriana Marinova from GermanistikArt says  “I come from Sofia, Bulgaria in Europa and the quilling Statue of Liberty card is my greeting to all Americans. Freedom is a state of mind. Enjoy it! “
This would look beautiful welcoming someone home-perhaps on a covered porch sipping sweet tea as the sky lights up with red, white, and blue fire works? from

This would look beautiful welcoming someone home-perhaps on a covered porch sipping sweet tea as the sky lights up with red, white, and blue fire works?

carriageoncherry from CarriageOnCherry says  “When you live aboard for so many years you gain such an appreciation for this beautiful country. The freedoms in American that we enjoy should be treasured. My husband became a citizen of the United States several years ago. To see so many countries represented in one court room, individuals raising their right hand and taking a pledge to call this country their home gave me goose bumps and brought tears to my eyes. In fact, it still does. I have learned more about this country through his eyes and excitement. So on the 4th of July in our home we celebrate “our” country, we celebrate the right to become a citizen and we appreciate and treasure our freedoms! God bless America!”
Pair this with a red, white, and blue T-shirt and you are ready for a Celebration of our Independence, for sure! from

Pair this with a red, white, and blue T-shirt and you are ready for a Celebration of our Independence, for sure!

ChimericSoul from ChimericSoul saysMy favorite song is “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood and “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” by Toby Keith.”
Perfect for the Fourth in Maine or other charming sea-side community and their celebrations! from

Perfect for the Fourth in Maine or other charming sea-side community and their celebrations!

reetmomma from reetmomma says “I am a military wife (retired, USN) with several other family members who served or are now serving, including my wonderful son. Life is not always perfect in the USA, but I cannot imagine another place I would want to live. We take our freedoms and liberties for granted and often forget those who paid the price. GOD bless our home country!  Loving RED WHITE n BLUE!
What a perfect place to store your memories of the people that make this Country so GREAT! from

What a perfect place to store your memories of the people that make this Country so GREAT!

Sarah Johnson from BellaBoutique23 says  “My husband has spent two tours in Iraq serving our country and I am so proud of him and thankful for all the sacrifices that he and many men and women make for our country so that we can be free. When my husband came home from his first deployment I was a music teacher in an elementary school, For the end of the year program we sang patriotic songs and had a slide show as they sang to honor my husband and other soldiers who had just returned from a deployment. We invited several of the soldiers in Aaron’s unit to come to the assembly. That is such a special memory for me. One of the songs was “God Bless the USA”. We also sang a song by Mark Scultz “Letters From War”, a very moving song that always brings tears to my eyes. So thank you to all of the soldiers who have sacrificed, given their lives, and spent time away from family so we can keep our freedom. I am so proud to be an American! God Bless America!”
Adorable attire for the tiniest American in your family.   from

Adorable attire for the tiniest American in your family.

Jean Harbort from LittleMeBling says “My hometown has a July 4th parade and festival! When I was a child, I remember reserving seats with my parents so that we could sit on the curb and catch as much candy as possible during the parade. Now our tradition includes my entire family going to the parade and our children sitting on the curb and getting as much candy as possible!”
Perfect for your Fourth of July tablescape- patriotic napkins (and eco-friendly, too)! from

Perfect for your Fourth of July tablescape- patriotic napkins (and eco-friendly, too)!

Rita Hagenhoff from SticksNStonesGifts says  “I am a military wife, my husband retired from the US Navy. My dear father was a decorated Army soldier, recipient of the Purple Heart, and proud to serve our beloved country. I grew up in a small Missouri town, were patriotism was a part of everyday life for everyone there. I am proud to be an American!”
Lovely patriotic scarf. from /

Lovely patriotic scarf.
from /

Rachel Palmer from 910woolgathering adds “Memories of being a kid and those stinky snake fireworks and watching my kids later with theirs.”
Stunning platter of one of our most well-loved Presidents who taught us about perseverance, honesty, and integrity. from

Stunning platter of one of our most well-loved Presidents who taught us about perseverance, honesty, and integrity.

Rose Baker from RosebudsOriginals says  “Who doesn’t love old Abe, one of our fore fathers that helped pave the way for future generations.My dear old dad is retired from the Coast Guard, he would take off for duty at months at the time, when I was growing up. I never understood why he would come and go, but it wasn’t until years later I understood and was grateful that he helped protect our borders, so we could have our freedom and liberty. The things we take for granted always comes at a price, as freedom isn’t really free. Many thanks goes to our men and women that give up their lives, so we can have ours. Thank God for our America the Beautiful!”

I would like to thank all of our service members in every branch of our armed forces for their service and dedication to all Americans.
Please enjoy a safe, happy Fourth of July.  We live in the greatest country on Earth, and we celebrate that blessing every year as a country united!
Amy Spock

CIJ Etsy Craft Party – Follow Up

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Etsy invites everyone to arrange a local party and craft the day away. This year the #craftparty (official hashtag of 2014!) was held on Friday, June 6th.


The theme was Recapture Photographs! What can you make when you take photos and alter them in some way? Lots of very crafty ideas apparently!

Team Christmas in July decided to do a virtual party via the CIJ blog and boy was it fun!!

Jennifer of CaffeinatedPapercuts made a few tutorials:

The first was a Patchwork Paper Shadowbox that was  a way of showcasing your photos around other objects.

She then showed us to make handmade coasters that I want to try!

Lastly she made a Altered Photo frame that was very shabby chic!


Jennifer also posted Ida of  HerterCrochetDesigns tutorial:

Decorating your tree with photo ornaments! It is super fun involving photos, glue, jar lids and lots of creativity!


Jessica of CrochetNature did a tutorial on:

How we can crochet an edge on paper. It has a lot to do with slip stitching and concentrating! Looked so lovely and fun!


We had swag bags made of all types of printable goodies! One of our little thank you’s for being there!

We had posts galore on all types of social media ranging from facebook, twitter, pinterest, google + and more!

Some of our members even had a Craft Party sale using the Code CIJPARTY14!

Finally we also had some members donate prizes to some lucky winners who entered our Rafflecopter Giveaway!

I want to thank everyone who participated in this especially CIJ captain Michelle and my co-chair Jennifer!

This was an amazing event and one I want to try again!



‘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.