You can be crafty, too!

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

Around the holidays, I love giving and receiving crafted goods.  It means so much to me that my loved ones think enough of me to pour their heart and souls into creating a gift for me.  My mother used to crochet blankets and doilies, my aunt used to quilt picture albums and create Cabbage Patch doll clothes, and my grandmother used to can foods for holiday gifts.  I loved every gift and still treasure them today.

Our Christmas in July team has some wonderful kits, supplies, and patterns to offer you for your holiday crafting.  Whether a beginner or expert, you are sure to find all of your supplies for crafting the perfect, heartwarming gift.

1) Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

 This is the time to start making or thinking about giving a gift of crafting supplies! We have many different kits available in our shop – our favorite being this beautiful Nativity Scene Tree Skirt Kit by Bucilla. Whether you like to craft yourself, or know others who would love to make this tree skirt, it would be a beautiful gift or made up, a gorgeous heirloom to pass down generation to generation!
tree skirt kit

Beautiful Christmas Tree Skirt Kit. Click the pic to view the listing.

2) Barbara from AuntBsAttic says

 My youngest fell in love with outer space when he was 4 years old. His Favorite Uncle lives out in the country – free of street light interference – and most nights are spent on the back porch looking through several telescopes. When I saw this fabric, I was flooded with wonderful star gazing memories – of visits to my brother’s house, and the happy squeals of a child discovering his first hidden treasures in the night sky (and he now owns his own telescopes and is an avid star gazer!)
Out of this world fabric.  Just click the pic to be taken to the listing on Etsy!

Out of this world fabric. Just click the pic to be taken to the listing on Etsy!

3) Sheila and Shannon from BeadyEyedBird says

 This little item has been used by my happy customers to make a simple and quick (and adorable) necklace — for themselves or for gifts for others. Just add a simple ball chain and you’re there! When I lived in Santa Fe, we often saw the most gorgeous blue birds — bluejays & bluebirds, primarily! And I LOVED them. So of course I was delighted to find this pendant and offer it to others. Another reason I love these is because I used to get goose eggs and spray paint them gold for Easter, and tell my daughter these were very special eggs laid by the Easter bunny, just for her. Ah, I loved those days! (And she did too…) So the gold egg in this wonderful art pendant reminds me of that too.
Make a quick necklace for that special person with this charming pendant.  Just click the pic to view the Etsy listing!

Make a quick necklace for that special person with this charming pendant. Just click the pic to view the Etsy listing!

4) Jennifer Loftfield from CaffeinatedPapercuts says

 I love scrap booking (it’s an easy offshoot) but I always feel like I’m “behind” in keeping up with the piles of photos laying around. To catch up, I’ve started dong some traditional scrap booking and some pocket scrap booking. That said, I can never leave anything just a flat, boring piece of paper so I decked out some journaling / pocket cards for my pages and decided to offer them in my shop as well! They’d be just as perfect to use on a card, tag…anything you can think of.
Lovely Holiday Scrap Book Tags to add to your holiday memories.  Simply click the pic to see the Etsy listing.

Lovely Holiday Scrap Book Tags to add to your holiday memories. Simply click the pic to see the Etsy listing.

5) Amy Spock from BeadsandThreadsbyAmy says

I love to sew, and have way too many patterns! I actually ended up with a duplicate of this one. If you like decorating your home for the holidays, these patterns will sure let you do that. They’d also make great gifts!
Home decor, easy sew patterns would make great holiday gifts!  Click the pic to view the listing!

Home decor, easy sew patterns would make great holiday gifts! Click the pic to view the listing!

6) Carolyn Eady from SproutsPressDesigns says

 I’m not sure if this counts as a supply, since it’s also a kit. But here goes anyways.

This is a bookbinding kit I put together as a result of requests for workshops outside of my city. While I love to teach in person, it’s just not always possible, so I created a simple, step by step kit for eager bookbinder enthusiasts. This kit is a beginners kit, easy peasy, low stress and simple. It comes with all the tools and materials needed, so it makes a great gift or the perfect thing to bring on a cottage vacation!

Stunning book binding kit would make a lovely, personalized gift for any one in your family.  Click the pic to see more details!

Stunning book binding kit would make a lovely, personalized gift for any one in your family. Click the pic to see more details!

7) Rachel Palmer from 910woolgathering says

 Along with my hand made knit and crochet items I carry supplies as well, from my own hand spun yarn to excess factory yarns I no longer need. This particular hand spun is made from a natural colored sheeps wool and is three ply. I spun this at a re enactment event, and this item is great for recreating items for other re-enactors or any other typical use for yarn.
Stunning yarn for crochet or knitting a heartfelt gift!  Click the pic for more information about this lovely yarn.

Stunning yarn for crochet or knitting a heartfelt gift! Click the pic for more information about this lovely yarn.

8) Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital says

 My shop is mainly all about digital craft supplies – DIY printable papers for scrap booking, card making, decoupage, any craft project needing background papers. This Christmas themed paper pack is one of my favorites. It is useful for making Christmas cards and tags and scrap booking and more.
Scrapbooking, anyone?  Downloadable paper is a perfect way to display those family pictures!  Just click on the pic to view the Etsy listing!

Scrapbooking, anyone? Downloadable paper is a perfect way to display those family pictures! Just click on the pic to view the Etsy listing!

9) msmadmax from madmaxshop says

 All the supplies in my shop have been found in an old sewing basket…they are at least 60-70 years old. If you are looking for that special vintage item… want to enhance your restoration project…accent an accessory…create earrings or give a vintage sweater an authentic look…check out the supplies section in my shop.
These vintage buttons could be used for so many things-jewelry, embellishment, or clothing.  Click the pic to see these 60 year old beauties!

These vintage buttons could be used for so many things-jewelry, embellishment, or clothing. Click the pic to see these 60 year old beauties!

With Christmas and the Holiday Season just 4 months away, visit any of these shops to help you find the perfect supply to make the perfect gift.  Handmade says “I Love You”.

#CIJRoadTrip – Croatia: Varaždin

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Let’s travel to Croatia – Varaždin with Zlatka from Laurelisjewelry

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

I live in Varaždin, Croatia. There is a lot special stuff about this little town, these are just a few of them:

Varaždin is a small historical town which first written reference was on 20 August 1181, when King Béla III mentioned it in a legal document.

It was declared a free royal borough in 1209 by the Hungarian King Andrew II. The town became the economic and military centre of northern Croatia. Due to Turkish raids, the town was structured defensively around the old fortress, and acquired the shape of a typical medieval Wasserburg. In 1756, the Ban Francis Nadásdy chose Varaždin as his official residence, and Varaždin became the capital of all of Croatia. It hosted the Croatian Sabor and the Royal Croatian Council founded by Empress Maria Theresa.The fire of 1776 destroyed most of the town, resulting in the administrative institutions moving back to Zagreb.

By the 19th century Varaždin had been completely rebuilt and expanded, with flourishing crafts and trade, and later the manufacture of silk and bricks. The theatre, music school, and fire department were founded.

In the 20th century Varaždin developed into the industrial centre of Northwestern Croatia
Varaždin represents the best preserved and richest urban complex in continental Croatia.

The Old Town (fortress) is an example of medieval defensive buildings. Construction began in the 14th century, and in the following century the rounded towers, typical of Gothic architecture in Croatia, were added. Today it houses the Town Museum.

The Old and Contemporary Masters Gallery is located in the Sermage Palace, built in the rococo style in 1750.

In 1523, Margrave Georg of Brandenburg built the town hall in late baroque style, with the Varaždin coat of arms at the foot of the tower, and it has continued in its function until the present day. There is a guard-changing ceremony every Saturday.

There are many baroque and rococo palaces and houses in the town. Worth particular mention is Varaždin’s Croatian National Theatre, built in 1873
A baroque music festival has been held annually in Varaždin since 1971, and attracts some of the finest musicians and their fans from Croatia and the world. Recommended to visitors is also the historical street festival Špancir fest every September.

The city features its old city guard, named Purgari, in various city ceremonies as well as the weekly ceremony of the ‘change of the guards’ in front of the city hall. Additionally, Varaždin police officers patrol on bicycles in the warmer months.

Varaždin’s cemetery date back to 1773 and it was long time an ordinary place until 1905, when Herman Haller had an idea to make it more beautiful and park-like with large trees and alleys for citizens to stroll through. The reconstruction of the cemetery was done between 1905 and 1947 when it got the form for which it later became one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe. It is an outstanding example of landscape architecture and protected cultural and natural park.

Today Varaždin is a popular destination for the summer holidays. The city has numerous areas of interests ranging from cultural areas (reflected by many museums, galleries and theaters in the area), shopping centers in the downtown core, various sports and recreation facilities, also a rich history in cuisine. The close of the tourist season is marked by two annual festivals. he annual ŠpancirFest begins at the end of August and ends in September (lasts for 10 days). At this time. the city welcomes artists, street performers, musicians and vendors for what is called “the street walking festival”.

The city also hosts the Varaždin Baroque Evenings festival, first held in 1971. The festival honours baroque music and culture, both of which hold a special place in Varaždin’s identity.

Varaždin is also the host of the Radar Festival, which hosts concerts at the end of summer. It has already hosted various popular artists as Bob Dylan, Carlos Santana, The Animals, Manic Street Preachers, Solomon Burke and many others

Herzer Palace - Varaždin - Croatia

Herzer Palace – Varaždin – Croatia

Varaždin Civil Guard - Croatia

Varaždin Civil Guard – Croatia

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

Varaždin!
Zagreb
Zadar
Trakošćan
Plitvica Lakes
Islands

Varaždin Main Square With City Hall - Croatia

Varaždin Main Square With City Hall – Croatia

Varaždin Old Castle - Croatia

Varaždin Old Castle – Croatia

Varaždin Streets - Croatia

Varaždin Streets – Croatia

Varaždin Špancirfest - Festival In Late August - Croatia

Varaždin Špancirfest – Festival In Late August – Croatia

3.  How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

Not very much. I am mainly inspired by fantasy and Gothic, but sometimes I find inspiration in medieval history of my town.

Varaždin Cemetary - Croatia

Varaždin Cemetary – Croatia

Varaždin Cemetary - Croatia

Varaždin Cemetary – Croatia

Croatian National Theatre In Varaždin - Croatia

Croatian National Theatre In Varaždin – Croatia

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

Not this fall! I usually had a place in Spancirfest, but now, with a little baby and job, I just don’t have time.

Gothic Victorian Earrings From LAURELISjewelery

Gothic Victorian Earrings From LAURELISjewelery

Victorian Gothic pendant From LAURELISjewelery

Victorian Gothic pendant From LAURELISjewelery

Black Punk Rock Faux Leather BraceleFrom LAURELISjewelery

Black Punk Rock Faux Leather BraceleFrom LAURELISjewelery

5. What are your social media sites?

www.facebook.com/LAURELISjewelery
twitter.com/laurelisjewlery
laurelis.deviantart.com/