Christmas Decor – #CIJParty 2017

Guest Contributor post by Judith from FabriArts
The Christmas season is my favourite time of year to decorate. I usually start on December 1st and when my kids were small, we had a game to identify which new decoration I placed out each day. Combined with Advent calendars where they could add a decoration each day, the excitement built each day until the big events on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Members of the Etsy Christmas in July team have lots of ideas to help with your holiday decorating. Whether you want handcrafted original items for your tree, your walls, your sofa, shelves or tables, cards, prints or paper goods or vintage finds, the members of the Etsy Christmas in July team have lots for you to choose from. We even have Christmas accessories for your pets! Buy now, and ensure that you’ll have everything ready for that special time of year – no waiting around, hoping that your items will arrive in time!

Here are just a few items available. Visit these Etsy shops to discover more treats in store for your holiday decorating!

These bright, colorful, fun and positive dolls are very similar to small Christmas dwarfs or fairies. Each of them could represent you or a family member! Nice, cute figurines will decorate your Christmas tree and make it unique and cozy! This is especially important if there are children in the house. My family and I have received a lot of positive emotions from the process of working on these dolls, and I hope I can convey the mood to you. The toys are made entirely of natural materials: wood beads, cork, cotton yarn, jute yarn. Those doll faces are decorated using a wood burning tool.

KrugerShop

Donna Schindler from TreasuresFromTheLake says:

These beach glass ornaments will brighten up any Christmas tree. I have an indoor, large palm tree that I put them on and it brings back memories of my Family Florida Christmas’s.

TreasuresFromTheLake

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says:

These decorations are beautiful one of a kind Christmas ornaments, and as such are a perfect keepsake for family and friends. They are also great memory gifts for teachers.

DeeDeeDeesigns

Elisabeth Perez from LizPOriginals says:

This year I fell in love with charms and then it was just a small step to design Christmas ornaments with them–rich reds and bright greens with creamy pearls and whimsical charms compliment any tree. Use them on your wreath as well or add charm to your gift bags for the holidays!

LizPOriginals

These Christmas stars are all custom made to order.  They are great for children with unusual names, ideal for toddlers who are just starting to recognize their initials, and can have the year stamped on the back (perhaps for a first Christmas). It’s lovely to be able to make matching decorations for a whole family.

MooseintheMint

spoiledfelines1 from SpoiledFelinesArt says:

I love Christmas decorations, especially handmade ones. The reason that I like “handmade decorations” is because each one is unique … not mass produced … a lot of love and attention to detail goes into making handmade items … and that’s important to me!

SpoiledFelinesArt

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says:

Christmas ornaments aren’t the biggest seller in June, but we keep them listed all year long because we Love Christmas! Just when the thoughts of Christmas are so far away, we are thankful for the Etsy CIJ Team bringing Christmas Joy in July (and all year long)!

We engrave our crystal ornaments with any design option we have available, any font in our selection, and accept custom order requests. Christmas ornaments make the best gifts for Baby Showers and Newborns, Newlyweds and Anniversary Gifts, and to Commemorative Any Special Event!

DesignstheLimit

DesignstheLimit

Elena Kulanina from KNOTandLiving says:

These minimalist wooden Christmas decorations were hand painted carefully with love. I’m always inspired by minimalism and these alternative Xmas decorations are just perfect for the modern homes: Scandinavian, Minimalistic, Neutral Pastel interiors.

KNOTandLiving

KNOTandLiving

Diana from joliefemmebydiana says:

This is a fun sock monkey teeny tote! Makes a fun decoration for table or mantel and also makes a great gift! The bright colors and fun little sock monkey with a Santa outfit will make you smile!

joliefemmebydiana

Lia Russo from Ghirlandiamo says:

Every time is possible, I love to craft using natural materials. And I think that so many kinds of nuts and a red bow can very well represent a handmade and unique Christmas decoration!

Ghirlandiamo

 

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz says:

When I think of Christmas in my childhood I always remember the drives in the evening through the snowy landscape of Germany (my dad was a veterinarian and had to go out to the farms, being it Christmas or not, and I often accompanied him). It was dark, but the car’s headlights would illuminate the snow laden trees at the side of the country roads. Those memories inspired me to make a mini canvas that can be used as an Christmas ornament. I added the moose because the forest is their habitat and it creates a serene atmosphere.

CarolaBartz

Linda from LazyYVintage says:

This Enesco ornament is one of my favorites as it is part of the save the Earth collection and promotes recycling with a elf sitting on top of a recycling bin. At Christmas we do our very best to enjoy the season in a green way by keeping the wrappings to a minimum and making gifts for each other and our love ones.

LazyYVintage

pam colangelo from PearlsVintagebyPam says:

I love Christmas decor. As A child I did not celebrate Christmas nor decorate. I was always a collector. When my daughter was a child I collected music boxes. Sadly most of them broke in storage. I found this Christmas music box at a benefit flea market fair. So I helped others, collected another music box and got an Etsy item to sell.

PearlsVintagebyPam

Lizzy and Boo from LizzysBibsandBobs says:

I have always loved everything Christmas ever since I was a little girl. One of my favourite things are Snowmen – which is funny, since I live in Australia and we celebrate Christmas in the Summer! Over the years I have collected many different Snowmen in many forms, so have decided to share some of my collection with someone else who loves them as much as me! This sweet little fellow would be a wonderful addition to anyone’s Christmas Decor!

LizzysBibsandBobs

willowvalleyvintage from WillowValleyVintage says:

I love finding Christmas items at estate sales! Most of the time they are in fantastic condition and carefully stored. My daughter and I recently found this Sad Elf. He’s not wearing traditional Christmas colors and we thought that made him “unique.”

WillowValleyVintage

Marion Walsh from BlueButterflyCrafts says:

 A cute snowman to bring Christmas love and cheer in your home. He will bring a smile to everyone’s face for the holidays

BlueButterflyCrafts

Liz from TheLittleEmptyNest says:

This is one of my miniature dollhouse / fairy garden Christmas decor collections featuring a mini stocking, tree skirt and ornaments. Each of my designs are original and handmade by me with the intent of spreading a bit of the joy and happiness that went into their creation!

TheLittleEmptyNest

Jennie Clark from FromBasementToArt says:

Heirloom was my Pfaltzgraff pattern when I married a looong time ago. Finding these holiday candlestick holders was a joy.

FromBasementToArt

Patricia from TheOldBarnDoor says:

I have found that taking images from my antique postcard collection and turning them into decorative pillow covers a wonderful way to combine two of my favorite things. I tend to favor Christmas decor with an old-style feeling as it brings warm memories flooding back.  Nothing quite like a sleigh ride on a frosty day to fill the air with laughter!

TheOldBarnDoor

Judith Messenger from FabriArts says:

Something I always put up at Christmas time are my Advent calendars. Last year, I had 3 of them on the go at the holiday season. I make quilted Advent calendars, which can be used year after year. They all have little pockets that can be filled with treats, toys, messages or small gifts that can be treasured each day in December to count down to Christmas. This modern design is one of my favorites!

FabriArts

Cristal Hughes from DesignsbyCristal says:

I love Christmas anything! My friends call me Cristal Christmas! For me it’s not about the gifts under the tree it’s about what’s on the tree and all the loving festivities that come with the holiday. At my house I have something Christmas related in every room so this got me to thinking why not create some Christmas decor for pets. I’m sure there are some lovers of Christmas out there just like me! If I could afford it I’d let all my Christmas decor stay up all year long.

DesignsbyCristal

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeSupplies says:

These large gold flickering sequins are ideal for adding your own flair to your Christmas decor … glittery and shiny they dd sparkle and pizzazz to Christmas wreaths, bunting, cards and any Christmas craft you may have in mind!

DeeDeeSupplies

Christine from cwagenblass9 says:

I think receiving a handmade Christmas card shows that the sender has put a little more care into his card giving. Each card is cutout and hand assembled. Red foil is used on the ornament background.

cwagenblass9

Valerie from Samanthasunshineshop says:

This photo is of my Christmas Tree decorated with my grandmother’s vintage ornaments. The ornaments were handed down to me. They are from the 1940’s and 1950’s. Being able to decorate my tree with these family ornaments, makes it feel like everyone is still together and brings back great memories of Christmas past. In processing the photo, I added a “vintage feel” to accent the ornaments.

Samanthasunshineshop

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says:

The first Christmas together as a couple is so special, it deserves a party all its own. More often than not, those first few years are lean ones financially, and Stock Lane Studio has affordable, printable holiday decorations that will turn any place into a Christmas home.

StockLaneStudio

Dana Martin from IllCallYouFromParis says:

This wintery Snow Birds watercolor print is a festive holiday decoration that you can keep up all year long!

IllCallYouFromParis

IllCallYouFromParis

Musical Introduction – #CIJParty 2017

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Good morning everyone! Once again this year we kick off our Etsy Christmas In July Party with a musical introduction! What is a party without music?

I would like to introduce you to The Choraleers Acappella Singing Group! They discovered our Christmas In July Party while searching the internet – it indeed is a small world! I invited Damon, the representative of group and the singers to join us!

The sextet was established over 35 years ago at Texas Southern University and performs Doo Wop, Gospel, Holiday and Motown hits. We have performed at private parties, weddings and at country clubs.

They are based out of Houston, Texas USA! Please contact Damon if you are in the area and are looking for performers!thechoraleersphoto

I also invited members of the Etsy Christmas In July team to share their Christmas Inspired musical items.

Heather Barber from MooseintheMint says:

This music pendant would be lovely for a young chorister or musician to wear in a Christmas concert, these are all completely unique.

MooseintheMint

MooseintheMint

Expressyourself with Jewelry from expressyourself says:

This Musical pendant is a great idea for the musicians and music-lovers as a Christmas gift.

expressyourself

expressyourself

JO from alustrousjewellery says:

These beautiful sterling silver musical notes would be great to wear while singing Christmas carols.

alustrousjewellery

alustrousjewellery

Gillian Haqqani from Gillisflowers says:

A number of items in my shop are made from old paper, including old sheet music. Here’s a Christmas themed example.

Gillisflowers

Gillisflowers

Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter says:

My music tree ornament is one of my best sellers… everyone seems to love this little music tree. The colors pop on your Christmas tree.

ThisandThatCrafter

ThisandThatCrafter

Erin Gille from GilleCelebrations says:

Musicians or guitarist will love receiving this bright red glass ornament. It is embellished with a handcut, glitter, black guitar.

GilleCelebrations

GilleCelebrations

willowvalleyvintage from WillowValleyVintage says:

My daughter and I love finding Gurley candles!

This sweet Choir Girl Candle is perfect for a music themed Christmas vignette!

WillowValleyVintage

WillowValleyVintage

Jeanne from TheSandlapperShop says:

This listing includes instructions on how to make a crocheted bell ornament. One of my favorite parts of Christmas is listening to hand bells and who can resist harness bells as horses dash across the snow pulling a sleigh?

TheSandlapperShop

TheSandlapperShop

Sheila from hollyhillwreaths says:

I am always looking for unique items to add interest to my wreaths. I found this cherub angel with trumpet while on vacation. I loved the antique gold Old World feel of it. I created a wreath around it and love the peacock blue with the gold.

hollyhillwreaths

hollyhillwreaths

Kelly from ColourscapeStudios says:

I loved Jingle Bells as a kid, and this tag brings a smile to my face, as I think “making spirits bright” is a wonderful thing to do during the holidays!

ColourscapeStudios

ColourscapeStudios

Wedding Party Gifts

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

When you are getting married you have so much to plan and so many people needed to help you get it together. There are caterers,photographers and more, but some of the most special people helping you will be your “wedding party”.

For being right there with you, most couples buy their special people gifts or tokens of remembrance of the day. These could be anything personalized, glassware, candy, apparel, jewelry and more.

Here at CIJ we want to know what “wedding party” gifts do you have and to tell us something about them.

Joanna Marzec from PaintingsGallery says I love the idea of having a painting or a print which feature where the couple was married. It would brings back this special memories from the wedding day every time they look at it.

il_570xn-712367061_acna

Scottish Island Art

Heather Barber from MooseintheMint said I’ve made up personalized cuff links for the wedding party before – sometimes just as a special gift to groom from the bride, and sometimes for the whole party – groom, fathers, ushers, as a lovely memento of the day.

They are all individually packaged with labels with the initials of each on.

il_570xn-967292380_iplz

Personalized wooden letter tile cuff link

Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter states that this is a pair of vintage earrings that would be great for the Bride if she is going for a Vintage look OR for either of the Mothers in the wedding party. A great gift for a mom to give her daughter that is being married OR for a daughter to give her mom to wear at her wedding.

il_570xN.1199587845_30iv.jpg

Vintage gold rhinestone earrings

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says we offer a number of gifts and favors for weddings and create personalized toasting and ceremony sets for the bride and groom. Our personalized stemless champagne flutes are one of our most popular items and we are now offering the additional option of having the bottom sand-frosted as well! We are a Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice Award Winner again in 2017 and have four sections of our shop devoted to Weddings for the Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Registry Gifts, & Ceremony Essentials @DesignstheLimit

Frosted stemless champagne glass

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio said sweet and whimsical bridal cards to ask those near and dear to be a part of the wedding party. fun interactive mirror cards for bridesmaids, maid and matron of honor, flower girl, and ring bearer.

Will you be my bridesmaid card set

Personalization

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

This blog is going to be all about personalized items. Those little touches that make something special.  Of course we would love to know:

A) Why did you start offering personalized items? / What was your inspiration?
B) How do you do it? (pyrography, painting, calligraphy, etc.)
C) What types of items do you sell with the personalized option? / What’s your best seller?

Heather Barber from MooseintheMint says I was making pre-made racks for weddings, but then someone asked if I could made a new baby gift. That customer has become one of my best customers and a good friend, and will often make new suggestions.
I use letter tiles for the names, with small wooden decorations in various shapes that are hand coloured. These decorations are stars, hearts and flowers as well as train shapes.
I also do flat plaques for people who want them as door plaques, rather than these as a shelf decoration
The train design is the most popular – I’ve done these for new babies and other children, but also as Father’s day gift for a Grandad!

il_570xn-804254354_7cl7

Julie Herbert from EveryoneLovesGifts0 said personalised items are personal to each individual who purchases the item, the item has meaning to the person who the item is for and there is great thought that goes into a personalised item. You cannot pick it off a shelf. The item I have featured is a personalised pearl bracelet. The buyer can choose any name they like to go on the bracelet. I have used pearls as well as rhinestones and a Handmade With Love charm. Featured item is my best seller, great for weddings, birthdays or other great occasions. A timeless classic.

il_570xN.952851146_nzna.jpg

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio states many of my prints and printables can be personalized. I offered customization because it’s an extra step that I knew I could take that would lead to a larger customer base, and it’s a fun part of the craft. I enjoy the interaction I get with all sorts of customer, and we have frequent discussions back and forth to make sure custom work is just right before sending it off.

What I offer: In my print and printable shop I offer custom graphic design and photo signs and occasionally cards. From new parents and new brides to proud parents of high school grads and new businesses needing an ‘open’ sign. I can add names, messages and images to art I already have listened in the shop, or something more specific. The only thing I can’t do is add anything that I haven’t made myself and I don’t have a license for. So sometimes I’m limited by what fonts I have and I try and show the client a similar font. Or I propose a more generic alternative to a name brand theme (like a princess crown instead of a picture of a name brand princess).

I have a number of ways to let the shopper know I customize:
I use keywords in titles and tags (customize, personalize, customization. . . . .); I check of the ‘request a custom order’ button; some listings announce it in the listing photo; I have 2 ‘request customization’ listings, one for prints and one for printables. Those come in handy. Often, a customer sees something they like and contact me about customization. We discuss their ideas and what I can do. I send them a quick sample of what it might look like so they can visualize what I might do. I then direct them to the ‘customize it’ listing so they can purchase that and I’ll get to work on their product. I do this to ensure that the customer is as invested in the product as I am before I spend a lot of time working on a custom product just to find out that they have moved on to someone else. Purchasing this listing also clarifies that my time and skills are important (many long conversations in ‘messages’ about how to make it just right and find out what they client really means), and that’s how I make my living, and the extra time I put into discussions, designing, editing and re-editing is part of it so the price of a custom listing is higher.

il_570xN.1006175058_jiyz.jpg

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns discusses that most of the creations in my shop are ceramic (which are also able to be personalised), but I also love recycling materials, so some of my jewellery is made from reclaimed items – such as paper.

I have had a range of paper jewellery in my shop for a while and recently introduced personalised – name – necklaces. They are available in two sizes, just let me know your name!
Stay tuned for bracelets and also inspirational beads in the future.

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Secret Pal or Secret Santa Gift Ideas

Contributor post by Opal from Apron Strings Owl Lady 

They are used as a fun way to honor co-workers, to surprise other’s at holidays, birthdays and other events – even secretly sent in the mail – have you ever participated in a secret pal gift give-a-way?

Most are conducted by just leaving the gift on the person’s desk or workplace. Some of my friends call these Amigo Secreto (secret friend) or Amigo Invisible (invisible friend). What is this called in your country?

With Etsy, it’d be very simple to send secret gifts to special people in our lives. Thank you Alicia of AliciasFindings for thinking of this topic. Do you have items in your shop that would be perfect for this type of small gift giving? We’d love to see them and hear your story.

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says

 I love Secret Santa gift exchanges at work! And trying to guess who the gift-giver was. The game often helps break the ice, solidify friendships and spark new ones!

Here’s a fun Secret Santa Gift great for the office – a mousepad adorned with Love Locks that used to adorn bridges that spanned the Seine River in Paris. The topic of the love locks will certainly bring out conversations and it’s perfect for a traveling buddy or to send a subtle romantic message. . . .

Computer Mousepad christmas gift, Gold Paris Love office Mouse pad, Mousepad Teacher Present desk accessory Romantic Holiday Geek Nerd Gift

Computer Mouse Pad Gift

Diana from joliefemmebydiana says

This is a fun and decorative gift for a secret santa. It’s fun to draw names and then see what cute little thing or funny thing you can find to make someone else smile. It’s always a fun surprise!

Winter Mittens Mini Sac Tote with Snowman Plushie

Winter Mittens Mini Sack Tote

Suzi TC from Oldewoods says

In my last office we had a Kris Kringle where all of our names were written down and went into a bucket. We each chose a slip (keeping it secret of course!) then bought a gift with a value up to $20 for our special colleague. All the pressies went into the Santa Sack and were given out at our Christmas Party. The Banksia Bomb was especially created with affordable festive giving in mind 🙂

Gift Pack - Natural Essential Oil Diffuser with Banksia Bomb Festive Oil Blend

Gift Pak – Banksia Bomb

Melissa R from missy69 says

Secret Santa is always so much fun! Most gift items are given a price of 25 dollars or less, or it used to be when I was in the working force. This leather wrap bracelet, is perfect as a friend or Secret Santa gift. Versatile, and affordable, in neutral colors for Fall and Winter wear. Free shipping, right now, until Jan 1, 2017 on all orders of 35 dollars or more.

Boho Chic Brown Glass Beads and White Glow Beads Single Leather Wrap Bracelet Fall Neutral Tones Handmade Jewelry Gift for Her

Boho Chic Brown Glass Beads

Jerry and Opal from ApronStringsOwlLady says

 I always loved being the giver or the recipient on these Santa and secret pal gifting days. So much fun!

I would probably just make them something like this if it was for a church friend, or even a co worker that I knew what she liked. It’s a take on a country bird bath theme, a little rustic then turned into an inspirational white Dove gift.

Give God The Praise Inspirational Dove Gift, Secret Pal Secret Santa Gift, Country Bird Bath, Rustic haybale gift, Thank you Friendship gift

Inspirational White Dove Gift

Heather Barber from MooseintheMint says

 At work when we did Secret Santa, it tended to be the secretary who organised who got their exchange – I think it involved lots of sealed envelopes!

I think this would be a lovely gift for a dog loving colleague, especially those who often have their pet photos on their desk. Or alternatively, it is suitable if you are in a group who posts their gift to their exchange partner

Dog lover gift, Dogaholic sign, Wooden hanging plaque, Humorous birthday gift, Animal lover present, Funny family sign

Dog Lover Sign

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz says

 I love Secret Santas, they are fun and just create joy. We did it back in college and my daughter did it with her friends while they were still in school. It was always very enjoyable to find a little gift. I have chosen a little holiday ornament on a 3×3 canvas that is not necessarily specific for Christmas but is perfect for any lover of nature, wild animals like moose and wolves, and just for winter in general. It can be hung in a tree, on a mantelpiece or wherever is space.
Mixed Media Christmas Ornament, Winter Landscape with Trees, Moose and Wolf, Full Moon Scene, Holiday Decoration, Original Canvas Artwork

Mixed Media Christmas Ornament

Circular Sarah Coventry Fire and Ice Lapel Pin Winter Holiday Wreath Gold and Silver Brooch Vintage Jewelry Stocking Stuffers Gift for Her

Circular Fire & Ice Brooch

For the co-worker or friend who loves holiday jewelry this Sarah Coventry fire and ice brooch is a perfect secret Santa gift; small, beautiful, and thoughtful.
If I didn’t already have one from a secret Santa friend, I might not of shared this one.

In college, we did a Secret Santa and it was loads of fun. It was a great way to get to know the other girls in my dorm and to relieve some of the stress from final exams.

One of the gifts that I received was an adorable stuffed hippo wearing a stocking cap nestled inside a small Christmas stocking. I still have him today and each year we place him under our Christmas tree.

For a sweet and easy gift for a Secret Santa gift exchange, this Christmas Cocoa Holder is perfect. Just add a packet of cocoa and a peppermint stick and your gift is ready to go.

Christmas Cocoa Holder - Hot Chocolate Favor - Stocking Stuffer - Gift For Coworker - Secret Santa Gift

Christmas Cocoa Holder

ay from DaffodilLaneStudio says

Secret Santa is especially fun when it’s HARD to figure out who gave what!! I like the Secret Santa game that involves SWAPPING! A gift is opened and the next person can choose to “keep or swap” for someone else’s already opened gift! It keeps the game going just a little bit longer! ( A favorite for my family – but then I have some ruthless swappers living at my house! )

Wouldn’t it be fun to choose a “vintage” Secret Santa gift for your next office exchange? This little cutie is a great choice because it works with any holiday décor. Perfect on your desk too! Vintage reindeer NEVER get thrown away! They just keep delighting young and old for years to come!

Plastic Christmas Deer Vintage Rudolph Reindeer Kitsch Retro 50s Christmas Holiday Decoration

Vintage Plastic Christmas Deer

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

 We love secret Santa gifts that are both fun and functionable! These adorable Christmas carolers candles will sing their way into your hearts and decorate your home at the same time!
Christmas Carolers Candles Figurines - Set of 2 - Merry Christmas Carols - New Unused - Christmas Holiday Decor - Gift Idea

Christmas Carolers Candle Figurines

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says

 Most of the gifts in our shop are individually personalized for the recipient, but we have the perfect gift for the stressed out coworker or anyone who needs to drink to their good health and for wellness. Available in Red or White stemless wine glasses or on any product in our shop.
Now "LOADING" Design Personalized Stemless Wine Glasses with Option to Include a Monogram in Choice of Font from Our Selection (Each)

Personalized Stemless Wine Glass

We originally created this design for the Net Neutrality movement, but decided to keep it around for love of the good fight and the humor of the double meaning which it invokes when engraved on a wine, whiskey, or coffee mug!

Artsy Lady from WeirdVanity says

 I love Secret Santa! Its a tradition i have been part of since my days in grad school. In school we were on a limited budget, so most of the presents were handmade, which was even more amazing! One of the gifts i received was a handmade Ganesha statue , another time i got a pencil sketch (which was super cool!). at work the budget was higher so that meant store bought presents like scented candles or mugs.

A really cool Secret Santa present would be this handmade custom pet portrait for that colleague or friend who loves his/ her pet!

Custom Pet Portrait Necklace - holiday gift - watercolor handmade- pet memorial -Custom Pet jewelry - Gift dog lovers- personalized gift

Custom Pet Portrait Necklace

Corkycrafts from Corkycrafts says

 Secret Santa brings back many fun memories of grammar school. Our teacher would ask us to bring ornaments into school handmade and give them to her in a brown lunch bag and she would distribute to students by hiding them in your locker or in your desk while you were at lunch or recess, which means you never know who got your ornament until they opened it. Secret was you couldn’t tell who got yours or who had you unless somebody squealed. One year in 4th grade I got a handmade wood bell ornament and many decades later its still displayed on my tree.

This would make a great Secret Santa gift for work or school or even for your child’s teacher.

Crochet angel, Christmas ornament, small tree topper, baptism gift, door prize

Crochet Christmas Angel Ornament

toysfrom70s from toysfrom70s says

 A Secret Santa gift exchange is all about the mystery and fun plus sharing the Christmas spirit. This small bear could sit on somebody’s desk at work and its festive and fun decor throughout the holidays.
Teddy bear figurine collectible/ Secret Santa gift, gifts for coworkers

Collectible Teddy Bear Figurine

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeSupplies says

 These Christmas coloured beads would make the ideal secret santa gift for the craft lover in your life! They are ideal for adding sparkle, bling and pizzazz to clothing, accessories handbags, quilts, wedding favours, table decorations and an array of craft projects.
Faceted Tear Drop Acrylic Sew on Beads Available in Blue, Lime Green and Red Jewellery and Craft Supplies 1.8 cm x 1.1cm - quantity 20

Faceted Tear Drop Acrylic Beads

Sue from SuesAkornShop says
 Secret Santa’s are so much fun and it’s always a fun time trying to guess who the Santa is!

This vase is great for a co workers desk or for their home. Change the flowers with the seasons or occasions or keep your favorites in this gorgeous mercury glass vase.

Silver Mercury Glass Vase, Lined Glass Vase, Wedding , Anniversary, Silver Vase, Rounded Vase, Table Centerpiece, Flower Holder

Silver Mercury Glass Vase

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

 We love Secret Santa gift exchanges! Whether it’s for a man or woman, just about everyone would love a great deck of Christmas playing cards! Host an office party or family gathering with a friendly game bridge or poker! A great way to kick start the Holiday season!
Vintage Hallmark Double Deck Christmas Playing Cards - Red Poinsettias - Holiday Poker Bridge Card Games - Card Party - Stocking Stuffer

Vintage Christmas Playing Cards

Julia from Fabpatterns1015 says

 A perfect Secret Santa gift; especially, for that favorite teacher! Stuffed, fabric apple, for ornament, shelf, curio, or where ever you wish to use it. Customizable, too!
Apple Fabric Smiles Handmade

Apple Fabric Smiles Ornament

Christa from WintergreenDesign says

 Secret Santa exchanges have always been a great holiday tradition. Most of the secret Santa exchanges I have been apart of have included the exchanging of Christmas Ornaments… I think they are a thoughtful gift and whether you know someone well or not you are likely to find an ornament that will fit the person and your budget.

For a Secret Santa exchange I would definitely go with an ornament. In my shop I have dozen of designs that can be customized by color or hair style making an ornament perfect for your recipient.

Bearded Elf Ornament, Elf Decoration, Striped Elf Christmas Paper Quilled Ornament in Crimson Red, Customizable Beard, Stocking Stuffer

Bearded Elf Ornament

Cristal Hughes from DesignsbyCristal says

 I loved being apart of the Secret Santa type parties they were so much fun!!!. As the bag was being passed around for you to choose a name you could tell everyone was hoping somebody who was a great gift giver pulled their name. So, I think getting something the person has listed on their wish list would be a pleasant surprise especially if this were there only gift.
Horses lanyard, badge holder or keychain

Horses Lanyard

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says

 These colourful earrings would make a gorgeous secret santa gift for the jewelery lover. Imprinted with a flower decoration, these handmade earrings are lightweight and an easy transition from day wear to night attire.
Ceramic Earrings Handmade Jewellery Matte Light Blue Purple Oval with Flower design Imprint Comes in Handmade Gift Pouch

Handmade Ceramic Jewelry

Roses Workshop from RosesWorkshop says

 I have had several customers recently saying their purchase was for a Secret Santa gift. Since I already wrap all my items in tissue tied up with a simple satin ribbon, they are ready for giving. Here’s an idea that is even useful around the office:
British wool mug cosy / cup cover hand knitted in lichen green wool with wooden button

British Wool Mug Cosy

Esther-Nicole Designs from TheENDboutique says

 Perfectly Unique Holiday or Christmas Gift idea for your Secret Santa, or Holiday Christmas Party 35+ COLOR CHOICES

3pc Rose Pen Holiday Gift Set

3pc Rose Pen CHRISTMAS GIFT SET Holiday Christmas Party Gift Idea~Office Christmas Party Secret Santa Gift Mom Christmas gift idea Set Mom

Rose Pen Set

Pen Flower Bouquet Gift Set Perfect Gift to Co-worker, Best Friend or Floral bouquet/Flower Alternative for your Girlfriend, Wife or Mom.
Create a Custom Centerpiece for Home or Office Desk Décor.

Mary Steed from MaryJaneCreations says

 I think secret santa is a lovely idea. Here is one for the ladies… If not your choice, I’ve other charmed items too.
Moon Charm Pendant, Christmas Present, Crystal and Bead Pendant, Ladies Pendant Gift, Gifts for Her, Moon Pendant, Blue Bead Pendant, Et 153

Moon Charm Pendant

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.

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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.

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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!

 

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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!

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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Cosy Fire Read Book Coaster