Make It With Your Own Hands

Handmade Bookmarks

This week’s Wrap It Up Wednesday 2016 gift idea is a handmade gift.  Some people have the misconception that if they make something the gift won’t be as valuable because it doesn’t cost as much.  We find this can be so untrue!   Sometimes it is less expensive to do it yourself (DIY). Other times it is more expensive to gather all the supplies you need and make a gift yourself.  Not only that, but making the gift you are giving can be time consuming… and we all know time is money.  So please don’t think that just because you make something for someone that it won’t be valued.  Many people can appreciate the time and money spent on a handmade gift and will cherish and remember it even more.

Handmade Disney Bookmarks

Today, however, we are picturing a gift that will likely only cost your time. This assumes that you already have some paper to use and something to draw and color with. Recently we had some fun making bookmarks for those people on our list who we are giving books to.  I admit this is just me scratching a personal itch.  Over the years it has become annoying to me how much bookmarks cost.  The same goes for greeting cards, but that will have to be another post for some other day.

Making a bookmark is just one example of a handmade gift that you could give someone for Christmas this year. Handmade jewelry like bracelets, necklaces, or earrings are some ideas you might think about giving this year.  Handmade wood items are also popular to make.  You could make a frame, bookends, or a piece of yard art.  Speaking of art, draw a picture and you can easily put it on a mug,  canvas, or mouse pad and give it as a gift.  Baked goods are another popular handmade gift that I’ve often received and enjoy.

I think handmade gifts are a great way to personalize a gift Tweet: Handmade gifts are a great way to personalize a gift. making it inspirational or perhaps funny.  I always appreciate and remember a personalized gift.  To me it shows that thought and love was put into the gift.

Maybe you don’t have a do it yourself bone in your body.  Maybe you think you don’t have an ounce of creative energy in you.  In this case (although I doubt it is true), I recommend doing a little shopping at local craft shows or perhaps take a look at Etsy.


Here are some of my finds from doing a little bit of shopping at craft shows this year.  This is a pair of earrings I bought for $12.  One thing I like about them is that while I was browsing the woman who made them said, “Yes, I like to make things that are unusual.” This is a reminder to me that everyone has a different perspective.  To me there really isn’t anything terribly unusual about them.  I picked them out for the exact opposite reason.  I thought they looked like a neutral pair of earrings that I could wear with lots of different outfits. (Perhaps that was just part of her spiel and she says it no matter what a person picks up.)  Another one of my jewelry buys was this ring made from the handle of an old piece of flatware.

wp-1480958248800.jpgThis ring also has a little story to go with it.  I like it because it reminds me that I don’t have to get everything perfect on my first try.  Also, to me it is a whimsical piece that makes me smile.

I bought a flu bomb made from essential oils which ended up leading me to a Twelve Sprays of Christmas make and take party.  Earlier in the fall at another craft show, I bought a Frankenstein made from wood which went nicely with some wood pumpkins that I already had.

As you might guess the problem I have with being a vendor at a craft show is that I sometimes spend my earnings before I even get home.

Maybe you have a handmade gift that you love to give.

Or maybe you have received a handmade gift in that past that touched your heart.

Feel free to comment and tell us all about it.

Christmas Celebration in Peebles



This past Saturday, December 3rd, we went to the Peebles Christmas Celebration 2016 in Peebles, Ohio.

I took the opportunity to do a little Christmas shopping at the American Legion which was set up from 10AM to 4PM.  There were about 12 vendors selling their wares.  I bought a great little snowman made out of an old signal light cover and I picked up some information on Posh products including a small sample of some Cackle Spackle (I’ve used it a couple of times and it is a refreshing mask).  There were also crafters of jewelry and woodwork to buy from.  There were other independent consultants for Scentsy and other businesses.

I try not to spend a day in Peebles without going to my favorite coffee shop, The Greene Beanery.  I went there and bought some coffee and a mug for Christmas gifts.  I bought Timot Fair Trade Coffee.  One reason I like it (besides the dark chocolate and smooth nutty taste) is because it is chemical free. It has low acidity and a full body which most coffee lovers will enjoy.  I entered my name in their Christmas Gift Basket Raffle.  Fingers crossed that my ticket is a winner!

I also did some Christmas shopping for gifts at a store I’ve never been in before: The Gospel Connection Inc. It is a christian book store and full line music store.  It is a great place to go for christian gifts such as bibles, books, apparel, music, and wall art. In addition they have guitars, mandolins, other musical instruments and lots of accessories.  I bought some gifts for my niece, sister and mom which I’m pretty sure they are going to love.

As I was walking in town I stopped to see the nativity.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus were available for children to visit by the Christmas tree from 4pm to 6PM. At 6PM the Christmas tree was lit in the center of town.

I had a front row seat for all the action at my new Vine Street atelier where I am still getting settled.  I washed the windows, vacuumed and mopped.  I set up my computer most of the way, but unfortunately I forgot the cord for my monitor.

Signal Light Snowman

Shop online or check us out at an upcoming event.

Twelve Sprays of Christmas

Twelve Sprays of Christmas “Merry and Bright”

This week’s Wrap It Up Wednesday 2016 gift idea is room/linen spray.  Aromatherapy is a great gift to give someone on your list.  These sprays can pump up their energy, help with stress relief, give feelings of soothing or relaxation, and much more.

This is a great idea to pair with our embroidered pillowcases or sleep mask.

Whew! November was a very busy month for me.  I took the plunge and bought a new office space. At the same time I was moving boxes, I was orienting to a new position and participating for the first time in NaNoWriMo.  So when I had an invitation to attend a “12 Sprays of Christmas” make-and-take party earlier this month I was more than ready.

As a registered nurse I am a believer in the power of alternative therapies such as aromatherapy.  I had never been to an essential oils party before so I was excited to learn about the different oils and their potential uses for well-being.  Two of my favorite sprays were “Merry and Bright” and “Warm Winter Chai.”  After we made the bottles of spray we added the finishing touches by decorating with string, tags, and ribbon and placed them in a gift bag.  I already gave my mother-in-law “Gifts of the Magi” for her December birthday (she loved it).  The others I plan to give to teachers, friends, and family.

I recommend giving the gift of essential oils to yourself as well.  I  have a diffuser which I love to use with energizing or relaxing essential oils during AM or PM yoga. Consider diffusing your favorite oil or blend to add to your holiday cheer this season while you are playing holiday music, wrapping presents, or decorating for the season.

If you have some oils here is a Wrap it Up Wednesday 2016 DIY recipe:

Gifts of the Magi

A warm, clean, woodsy blend

1/4 cup distilled water

5 drops Frankincense

5 drops Myrrh

Do you have any favorite essential oil combinations that you like to use?  Feel free to leave a comment and share them with us.

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Give the Gift of Laughter


This week for Wrap It Up Wednesday 2016 we suggest you give the gift of laughter. Who doesn’t like to receive a gift that makes them smile when they open it?

This sign made me smile.  I bought it for my sister-in-law.

In our shop we have some of the witty sayings from Suzy Toronto.  These are great for the women on your list.   Make them smile with: “Pretending to be a Normal Person Day After Day is Exhausting!Tweet: Pretending to be a Normal Person Day After Day is Exhausting!

Some of Suzy’s funny gifts come in the form of coasters, bag tags, mouse pads, books, coloring books, and prints.

Whimsical can also make people laugh when then tear away the paper.  Like this fork that was repurposed into an elephant necklace.

Elephant Necklace Crafted from a Fork

My daughter found this fun ice cube tray for our Finding Dory lovers.

For our genius friend we bought this paper clip holder.

When you give  the gift of laughter not only will you make your friends and family laugh, but you will find yourself smiling too!

Inspire Them With Your Gift

Demdaco Journey of Grace Dream’s Possibility Angel Figurine

This week for Wrap it Up Wednesday 2016 our gift idea is to give an inspirational gift. Inspiration is defined as “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”  People are inspired in different ways, although some items seem to have a universal ability to inspire.  It is important to keep in mind the person you are buying for and what you think would inspire them.

There is an abundance of gift items available with inspirational quotes.  Consider notecards, stationary, or a journal with motivational quotes.

We have classic figurine collections by Demdaco such as Pure of Heart, Willow Tree, and Journey of Grace. We also like Enesco’s Children of Inner Light and Foundations.  We also have Eden’s Angels.  These gifts are a nice way to show your family or friend how much you appreciate their guidance.

In the past I have received tickets to a show, a spa day, and relaxing music which all gave me an inspirational boost.  Music can have the abililty to relax the mind and body.

A pocket piece or a piece of jewelry can be a beautiful and thoughtful gift that will inspire the gift recipient each time they see it or put it on and will hopefully provide comfort and guidance.  One unique idea I like is a singing bowl also known as a Himalayan bowl which is supposed to be helpful in meditation.

Inspiration is a powerful gift. It can offer comfort, motivation, and joy to those you care about on your list.


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What Gift Is Opened More Than Once?

Books To Reread

A book is a gift you can open again and again. – Garrison Keillor

This week’s Wrap it up Wednesday gift idea is a book.  It doesn’t have to be a book exactly. You could  give a magazine subscription, a gift certificate to a bookstore, etc.  The point is to give the gift of reading.  Have you got a non-reader on your list?  Give a book that says it with pictures.

One of my earliest memories is of sitting in my mom’s lap while she read a story (probably to put me to sleep for a nap).  I remember before I learned to read my mom would read to us and I couldn’t wait to learn how.  I guess maybe that is when I got hooked on books and it has stuck with me.

I usually have more than one book going at a time.  Right now I am working on four library books and rereading Charlotte’s Web and Eat Pray Love.  Oh – and I also pulled out 3 of my childhood favorites to read while I am working am participating in NaNoWriMo: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Lafcadio the Lion Who Shot Back, and The Velveteen Rabbit. After a hard day’s work  these books always make me smile.

Reading can be a great part of a nightly routine to help wind down for a good night’s sleep.  (Preferably not on a device with a back light.)    Now is a good time to start listening to those on your list to see if you can gain any clues to what they would like to reread or what they would like to read next.

What is one of your favorite books?


Bottoms Up!

Orange Cinnamon Spice Tea

Everyone has a beverage they enjoy.  For some it’s coffee, for others it’s tea, and still others love beer.  This week our gift idea for Wrap It Up Wednesday is to give the gift of drink.

One simple way to do this is to start with a fun mug and add some coffee beans or tea leaves. You could also add a cozy like our hand knit ones. There are lots of fun gifts for coffee or tea lovers.  We like the idea of giving a jar of your favorite tea leaves with a loose leaf tea brewing system like this one.

Loose Leaf Tea Brewing

For those beer lovers on your list consider giving a mix and match six pack or a gift certificate to a craft brewery with one of our hand crafted flight paddles.

Natural Wood Beer Flight Paddle

Our natural wood beer flight paddles are great for entertainers or craft brewers who like to offer a sampler of brews.  Each paddle holds four 5 ounce glasses.  Perfect for the bartender or beer lover on your list.

If you aren’t sure of a person’s beverage preference coasters make a good gift too. We like Suzy Toronto’s fun, colorful coasters for friends in our life.

Celebrating someone’s favorite drink is a gift they are sure to enjoy.

Shop online or check us out at an upcoming event to wrap up this gift for someone on your list.

How to Sleep Happy



It has been said that a well-spent day brings happy sleep.

Spend your day doing activities you enjoy or work that you love with people you care about and you will be on you way to happy sleep.

This week’s gift idea for Wrap it Up Wednesday 2016 is our embroidered pillowcases.  The soothing sentiments are sure to bring happy thoughts as you wind down for the night. All of our pillowcases are standard queen size unless otherwise noted and are 100% cotton.

The sentiments are perfect for gift giving to the happy couple, your favorite pet lover, anniversaries, or anyone naughty or nice on your list to shop for.

Whoever receives these pillowcases as a gift won’t be able to help but remember you when they turn out their light and keep you in their thoughts and dreams.

Make happy sleep a priority for yourself as well.  According to the Cleveland Clinic’s 6 Ways to Maintain Your Brain Health  getting a good night’s sleep helps to energize, improve mood, and helps the immune system. They recommend sleeping well, getting moving, brain exercise, eating antioxidant rich food, staying connected, & managing chronic health conditions.

Shop online or check us out at an upcoming event to wrap up this gift for someone on your list.



Who Else Wants a Good Night’s Sleep?

Sleep Masks.jpg
Beauty Sleep in Progress

We want a good night’s sleep especially with busier schedules that go hand in hand with the approaching holidays.  If you want to sock in a good night’s sleep too (or know someone that does) consider a sleep mask.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) encourages us to get a good night’s sleep to better impact our health.  More and more people are heeding their recommendations and taking a closer look at their sleep habits.  People are measuring how long they sleep and the quality of their sleep with activity trackers such as a Fitbit.

For our most recent craft and gift show we made these comfy little sleep masks.  Some of them we made from scratch and other designs we purchased online.  Not only does low lighting in the evening help prepare your mind and body for rest, but blocking unwanted light while you sleep helps your body produce the hormone melatonin naturally to help you sleep.  We made our masks lightweight with elastic and filling to ensure a good, comfortable fit. We also made the back side of our masks with dark purple fabric to help maximize light blockage.

No more counting sheep when you hit the hay to log Z’s when wearing one of these masks. Rest well and get up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

These masks are a simple little gift to give someone on their own or you might consider making them part of a bigger gift basket.  You could put them with a pair of pajamas, gift certificate, lotion, pillow/linen spray, or even some linen like our inspiration pillowcases. 

Use your imagination and leave comments about what ideas you have that could be added to a sleep gift basket.

The holidays approacheth and we are kicking off our holiday gift guide with #wrapitupWednesday.  Each week from here through the new year (2017!) we will post one of our gifts along with giving suggestions to go with it.

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For more information on sleep go to:

NIH Age Page: A Good Night’s Sleep