Saturday, December 31, 2011

What are you doing New Years Eve?

If you're anything like me heading to bed soonish with a good thick application of vapo rub on your chest and a fresh box of tissues. It's not all about the hacking though, We enjoyed a butter chicken feast spicy enough to clear my sinus for a little while and watched Rango on Netflix together before banishing the girls to bed to cough and sneeze themselves to sleep. In case you're wondering yes, we are all a little sick. Any strong healing thoughts are welcome, appreciated and currently high on my wish list for the new calendar year.

To end the year on a good note I give you my girls this last month:

One of my favourite wishes for the coming year can be found here It's better said than I could ever say myself and speaks to me in all the right ways. To you and all of yours I wish you safe and happy celebrations tonight. I'll see you in 2012.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Handmade Holidays

The only snow we've seen:

This holiday season I have managed to do a little hand made here and there. Our window decor for example. Also on that list hand painted lights on the tree (varying shades of turquoise and peridot green ranging from deep and rich to pale and delicate) sculpey wire and thread peacock ornaments (look for these in the shop sooner or later I had a lot of fun with them) and the barest minimum of baking.

How were your holidays?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hand Made Holiday

So, I have this friend on facebook; I went to art school with her and her husband way back when. Today she posted on her status about how her holiday shopping this year is mostly made up of handmade treasures making this year's trip to the mall less stressful and as a result more enjoyable. In the comments she went on to say that if everyone in the small town where she now lives in made the choice to give one gift that was locally hand made the change that would cause would be astronomical.

Think of it, one gift hand crafted by an artist or artisan who lives in your own back yard; a kind of 100 mile challenge of the holiday variety. In large city centers this is so easy to put into practice, even in smaller communities getting a lovingly handcrafted gift can be as simple as keeping an eye open for craft fairs and gift galleries that specialize in local artists. A quick visit to Etsy can locate local artists and their wares within specific search parameters, so if you're looking for an iPhone case that isn't the same as every other hipster's; a t-shirt for your in house baby paleontologist, an earth friendly coffee mug for the caffeine deprived loved one or a special bauble to adorn the throat of your significant other, you can find one in your country, state, province, city or town.

If everyone made the choice to purchase one gift from a local artist/artisan think of the change that could create!

For the artists in our communities making a living from designing and creating.

For the people who receive the gifts that had a little extra thought put into them.

For those doing the gifting dealing with a less stressful shopping experience...

the list could go on and on because like the long long list of handmade gifts that can be gifted the ripple effect from buying one single handmade gift locally would just spread out and out.

This is a movement I can really get behind because it's one small purchase, it's a baby step towards bigger change; not a call for a belly flop into the deep end. Would making the choice to make one of your gifts handmade be something that you could add to your holiday gift giving traditions? I'm not suggesting you drop the most wanted toy (in our house that would be an easy bake oven) from your kids list in favour of a hand made toy but I am suggesting that instead of buying an impersonal gift basket of pre-packaged teas and cookies you think about visiting a holiday craft fair and picking up some hand-made soaps or artisan toffees.

I couldn't write a post like this without (as I've been known to explain to the Peanut) putting actions to my words. Our gifts to grandparents, cousins and even a few gifts to the Peanut and the Bean have been (or are currently being) lovingly handcrafted. I'd love for this to become a wave of small change for the rest of the season and next year and the year after that too. Spread the word, it's going to be a thing.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

This year is a little different

Not least because the Bean's trying to pull down the tree at every opportunity. It may be because it's been less than a month since my Gran passed (on the 24th anniversary of my Dad's passing no less) and I'm just not feeling organized or like I have any grip on the holidays this year.

Don't get me wrong, we've had the tree trimmed and the lights out for a few weeks now. But the gifting, the baking, the planning to get out and do fun holiday themed things just seems beyond my reach. I need a kick in the butt.

Anyone else feel the same? how do you get the holiday fuse lit?

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