My handcrafted leather hair accessories are as practical as they are beautiful, and they make great holiday gifts… in fact, I’m giving one away at midnight on December 24th 2014! A lucky winner will be randomly selected to win one of my leather oak leaf hair slides in the color of their choice 🙂
Use the Rafflecopter below to enter the Giveaway before 11:59 pm PST on December 23rd. Be sure to leave the mandatory comment on the blog post with the same name you use to fill out the Rafflecopter – all entries by winner must be easily verified or a new winner will be chosen. Not including usernames when asked will also get you disqualified.
This series about handmade holiday gifts has been a lot of fun to write. I really like being able to promote other independent artists, and it’s been so nice to hear from others with similar ideals. I actually have three more posts drafted for this series, but I think I am going to stop early. Not because anyone offended me, or anything silly like that. It’s just that between holiday planning and orders and year end business tasks, I’m very pressed for time.
I’m also starting to feel a bit bombarded by commercials and the pervasive pressure to shop, shop, SHOP! That intensely commercial aspect of our culture can be really overwhelming for me (and judging by the other shoppers that I encountered today, I’m not the only one feeling that way). So rather than contribute to all of the commercialism and holiday pressure, I’m going to slow down and shift my focus.
Again, it has been my pleasure to promote my fellow artisans; and I do hope that my posts inspired you to buy handmade, buy local, or make your own special gifts this year. There are so many more talented artists that I could showcase (and I am brainstorming on ways to do this all year long) but for today, I’d like to share a very different kind of gift guide:
“To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.”
~ Oren Arnold
Many thanks to my friend Talia for sharing this with me at the exact moment that I needed to hear it <3
Last year around the holidays, I made a big deal about the importance of supporting independent artists and local small businesses. I recently posted on my facebook fan page about my intent to do the same this year. My goal is to promote independent artists and businesses (including my own).
One reason that I am so passionate about this is that your purchase from a big box store is really just a drop in the bucket of their profit margin; while your support of an independent artist actually has a powerful impact on the life of an individual! Buying handmade also benefits you and your intended recipient, in that you’re choosing to give something unique — which (at least in my book) is wonderful and special.
“Y is for Yule” via http://www.etsy.com/shop/EmilyBalivet
Another reason that I’m so vocal about this is that there were several years when the holidays were really really stressful for me. I made myself crazy and spent far more than I could afford, trying to make everything perfect — and by the time the holidays arrived I was uptight, angsty and disappointed. It occurred to me that the reason for this was that I had become a very well trained consumer — and in the process, I lost sight of the things that really make the holidays magical and special for me. Sappy as it sounds, those things are family, love, comfort, and taking time to relax and reflect on the year behind me. For the past 4 years I’ve made a concerted effort to focus on those aspects of the holidays, and it has made a tremendous difference in my stress level and satisfaction! I’d like to share that serenity with you.
Our consumer culture is so driven by the media push to “buy, buy buy” and to “act quickly!” and “don’t miss that super gonzo mega sale!” that we actually think that we have to do these things in order to express our love to our family and friends! Really, we don’t. Black Friday is a media construct and we can opt out, or at least seek meaningful alternatives. We can choose to do things with the folks we love and we can make things for them; if you’re not the crafty sort or you don’t have time to make things, then please consider doing your gift shopping with independent artists!
Tree topper via http://www.etsy.com/shop/faeryspellcreations
In the coming weeks I’ll showcase handmade items that I love, in the hopes that you’ll support these amazing artists too — or at least feel inspired to support other artists and small businesses. I’m also going to spotlight special treats that you can give or do for yourself, because self care is SO important this time of year! Hopefully, I can do this in a way that is tasteful and low key; it is not my intent to bombard you with more pressure to consume. I simply want to offer positive alternatives that I hope will help you to create a more serene and meaningful holiday season.
I forgot to post this earlier … It’s the image that I used for my Christmas – Solstice – Hanukkah – Kwanza- holiday cards last year. They weren’t mailed till New Year’s Eve (I blame the flu bug that had a death grip on me for most of Dec.) but I know that the recipients felt the love and intent behind them, so I’m okay with that.
At first, I was less than thrilled with my dove (I think she looks a little more like a hummingbird 😉 but now I like her in spite – and because – of her imperfections. I may even make this an annual tradition .
Just a quick reminder ~ the USPS says that if you want your packages to arrive by December 25th, they should be shipped by December 21st (which is also the winter Solstice).
If you’d like to avoid shipping and shopping hassles all together, gift cards are a great way to go. They allow your loved ones to choose just what they want, and best of all it spares you from dealing with crowded malls and congested traffic. I’m now offering these in both of my Etsy shops.
You can print them at home or if you prefer, I can personalize and mail it for you… Did I mention that I’m a calligrapher?
These are available in multiple denominations in my mask & jewelry shop, which showcases one of a kind beaded jewelry and original leather masks… Aannd, you guessed it! You can also find gift certificates in my bead and jewelry supply shop, Treefrog Beads, which focuses on vintage and unusual materials. This is an awesome gift for your favorite bead addict 🙂
Whatever you choose (and however you celebrate) I hope that you find a way to avoid the stress, and enjoy some time with the people you love! .