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



A CIJ Year in Review – MairiDesign – #EtsyCIJ 2018

Contributor post by Cindy of Cynhumphrey

Let’s Meet Mairi Of mairidesign!


1. Where are you from?

I’m from Scotland but now live in the Czech Republic.

2. How and when did you find the team?

I joined the team last year after it was mentioned on a Facebook group.

3. What about CIJ inspires your craft or you?

Having regular themes for blog features, helps me with ideas of what to make next, meaning I stay active.

4. Please share any stories you have from your time in CIJ.

I’ve made lots of CIJ friends and like seeing all their lovely creations and vintage items, and also popping in to chat to hear what’s going on in life beyond the computer. I became a leader and have noticed that regular interaction is important in groups, blogs and social media.

5. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: mairidesign

Instagram: mairidesign

Pinterest: mairidesign

Twitter: mairidesign

Google +: Mairi Thompson

CIJ Favorite Holiday Recipe Exchange – Scottish Tablet

Contributor post by Cindy of Cynhumphrey

Let’s Make Scottish Tablet – Recipe From Mairi Of mairidesign

(throw away your calorie counter – it is Christmas after all)

1. What is your recipe?

“Scottish Tablet”
Recipe from Mairi Thompson

1 pint/500 millilitres milk
8 ounces/225 grams butter (cubed)
4 pounds/1.8 kilograms sugar (super fine/caster)
1 pound/450 grams condensed milk
Optional: vanilla, chocolate or whisky flavourings as desired

Lightly grease a baking tray with butter and set aside.

Use a large heavy based pan (non-stick or stainless steel will do), at least, a 2 litre/4 pint pan because it doubles in quantity as it heats, so the bigger the better.

This mixture gets HOT so wear an apron, use a long wooden spoon, and oven mits and goggles if you want.

It is important to keep stirring all the time to avoid sticking or burning.

Heat the milk to a low simmer then add the butter and stir until melted.

Add the sugar and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.

Raise the heat to high and bring to a hard boil for 5 minutes.

Once boiling, stir in the condensed milk, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes – don’t stop stirring.

Take off the heat and beat vigorously for five minutes, or until the mixture starts to feel more ‘stiff’ and ‘gritty’ under the spoon.

You can add flavoring now if you wish.

Pour into the baking tray.

Soak the cooking pan in warm, soapy water as soon as you’ve poured the mixture into the baking tray.

Allow the mixture to cool a little and then mark it off into bars, or squares with a sharp knife.

Refrigerate overnight (yes, this is the difficult part). The tablet is ready to eat when fully cooled. Cut or break into squares, or bars scored into squares, wrap in waxed paper, and store in an airtight jar or tin.

Wrap in clear film and tie with festive ribbon for gift giving.

Enjoy with an after dinner tea or coffee, or with a Hogmanay (New Year) whisky.

2. What is it about this recipe that you love?

I love its sweet, buttery, melt-in-the-mouth indulgence. Very comforting on a cold wintry day.

3. How did you learn to make this recipe?

I think most children in Scotland love tablet but, because it’s boiling sugar, we had to wait, and wait, and wait, until we were big enough to help our mums. My mum had a sweet tooth and baked a lot.

4. Please share a story or memory to go along with the recipe.

When I moved to Prague, I thought it would be nice to make a batch of tablet to share with my new friends. However, it turned out to be way too sweet for them, so I ended up eating most of it. One friend realized it made a good accompaniment to their vodka & tonic though. Thank goodness, I’d used up a fair bit of calories making it – there’s a reason for that stirring continuously for 30 minutes part!

5. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: Mairi Design

Facebook: Mairi Thompson

Twitter: mairidesign

Instagram: mairidesign1

Pinterest: mairidesign

Google +: Mairi Thompson

Wanelo: mairidesign

WordPress: Sea Glass Collection

Blogspot: Sea Glass Collection Blog



Leader Spotlight: Mairidesign

Contributor post by Cindy of Cynhumphrey

The Etsy Christmas In July team leaders are an integral part of our success! Get to know leader Mairi from Mairidesign today!

Tell us about yourself and your shop.

I’m Scottish but currently live in Prague, Czech Republic, where I teach English and make stained glass items for the home, like mirrors and suncatchers, and glass jewelery. I’ve recently fell in love with sea glass collecting and have been making jewelery with the pieces gifted to me by the Mediterranean Sea. It’s all about glass with me, be it Tiffany, Mackintosh, Czech beads or sea gems, you’ll find lots of glassy treasures in my shop.

What is your favorite leadership quote?

“If at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again.” Robert the Bruce, king of Scotland, 1314. Said to have been inspired by a humble spider stoically weaving his web as Bruce hid from his English pursuers in a cave.

What leader in your life has most influenced you?

This person wasn’t present in my life but my journey has traveled, a little, in his footsteps and I’ve been inspired by his style. Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a Scottish artist and architect, who had a professional influence on the development of the Modern movement. As well as structural designs, he integrated his ideas throughout by also designing the interior, furniture and textiles.
My first job was working in a stained glass studio, where we made Mackintosh style home decor. I then went on to Art School and studied silversmith and jewelry design in the building that Mackintosh had designed a hundred years before. I have since worked in retail and a graphic design/print studio and have now gone full circle by making more Mackintosh style home decor.

What is your greatest leadership skill and how did you attain it?

Through teaching English as a second language to learners of all ages, I have helped others to better communicate in our language. With guidance and patience, I lead them to be confident in using it, to not worry about mistakes but help eliminate them and to never give up.

What leadership skill do you want to achieve and how will you attain it?

I hope to encourage others to recognize and utilize their talents so that they can be proud of their achievements whether it be small steps of improvement or giant leaps of success.

What are your social media sites?