When Heather suggested making this a Handmade Christmas back in September, I was excited. I consider myself an artistic, creative, and crafty person. I normally try my best to have the most handmade Christmas possible, but this year there was extra encouragement to go above and beyond.
I took so much inspiration from Heather’s posts, tutorials, and creative spotlights. Those lead me to more crafty blogs than I could imagine, and now my Google Reader is overflowing with creativity.
Although I would call myself an artist of all trades, I had two focuses this year: knitting and baking.
Since the Holiday season is the busiest time for me at work (and I was going on a 10 day vacation in the middle of all of it) I knew that I needed to limit myself and not take on too much. Back in September – well, actually before – I started to think about possible knit gifts. I spent a while (hours) browsing Etsy , Ravelry and other crafty sites for inspiration. After browsing a while, I settled on a few things that I thought would be reasonable to make within the time frame I had.
Handmade Tip #1: It always seems like you have more time than you do. Time goes by quickly – especially during the Holiday season, so be sure not to overbook your crafty projects.
I decided that, rather than learning many different patterns for each person, I would make the same couple of patterns for the people on my list. For me, learning the knitting pattern is the hardest part. I knit much faster when I know the pattern and have made it a few times already. This definitely helped me cut down my time spent knitting.
Now, that’s not to say that each gift has to be exactly the same. Switch up yarn colors, add buttons or other embellishments to make them unique to the person you are giving it to!
On to the baking.
This one I honestly didn’t think about till about the end of November. I knew I would be making some treats for gifts, but I wasn’t really concerned about what those treats would be. My family bakes a lot, so I have many recipes that I know I could make in a pinch, if I can’t find something new and unique.
I ended up coming across some really easy recipes for things that I hadn’t ever made before that made great gifts: granola and roasted nuts.
More specifically, these:
Coconut-Cherry Granola (aka: Peanut Butter Granola)
Handmade Tip #2: Make sure you make it clear to your husband (or anyone else in your household) that what you are making is to give away as a gift – not for immediate eating.
I learned a lot about myself, and my abilities after taking on this challenge. I learned that some nights, it is more fun to make three batches of granola than watch three hours of TV shows. I learned that I will eventually use all of the
junk stuff that I have collected over the years – I just need to be creative and use the things I have before buying more things. I learned that I NEED to organize my craft room better so that I don’t loose things mid-project. I learned that there is SO much inspiration on the internet, and that there is a virtually endless amount of things that I could do with the talents and supplies that I have.
That being said, I’m not usually one to make goals for the new year, but have a goal to share with you (ya know, to keep me accountable and all 😉 )
In 2011 I will start an Etsy shop.
Its gonna take a lot of time and work, and its kinda scary, but I’m gonna do it. Really. Really? Really.
Ok, now share with me: What is YOUR big goal for 2011??