It’s that time of the year again!

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Leggi questo post in: Italiano

i’m still without a camera, can you believe it?! i’d love to give the store that’s making all these problems a bunch of negative publicity, but i’ll refrain…

so let’s talk about christmas gifts! in my opinion, the best choice is to make them yourself. i’m making a few, even though i can’t take any pictures of them to show you. (grrrr!!!) second choice, in case of manual incompetence or lack of time, would be to buy handmade gifts. as alessia from alessia, scrap & craft says, “Choosing a handmade gift shows sincere caring and wins compared to any other anonymous or mass produced gift. the pleasure of receiving and giving unique handmade gifts is priceless and preferring italian artists and artisans helps move the micro-economy of our country. this christmas think about this and choose gifts made with hands and heart, instead of with machines.” wise words, right? though you could substitute “italian” for whatever area you are in.

and for me, even better would be handmade with upcycled materials. all you need to do is do a search on etsy (preferibly in your own geographical area) for “repurposed” or “recycled,” for example, and…gracious, how many gorgeous things!

this is how i recently found irene, who produces accessories, toys, bags, etc from repurposed fabric. i fell in love with both the fish brooch and the headband, and i ordered the fish brooch that you see above (a gift for myself!).

i also found these coasters made with the pages of recycled books and painted glass. i ordered them and sent them to a friend for her wedding last month and i already am planning on ordering another set for another friend.

other things that i’m keeping an eye on that i really like are this brooch, this other brooch, this vase made with a lightbulb with an airplant inside, and these earrings made from typewriter keys. (fabulous! “in one ear, out the other”! i’ve already bought this necklace from the same seller.)

i’ve also been slightly obsessive lately over records. i really like these earrings made from old records and these earrings shaped like records made from recycled paper that i saw at the “corto circuito” market at lake avernus.

an alternative to handmade gifts are books. i’ve recently discovered a few books for kids that are very interesting because they stimulate their creativity. last year a friend gave this book to my daughter and it’s still a favorite in our home. you trace around your hand in different ways and transform the shape into different animals. (the original in english is this.) you don’t need to be able to read because the drawn instructions are very clear.

another much appreciated gift was this book here (which i haven’t been able to find in italian). you make fingerprints with the ink and make different people, animals, etc out of them with glitter glue, sequins and marker in the pre-printed scenes. you don’t need to read to use this book either.

and lastly, the line of doodle books. this book for girls was given to my daughter, but there are all sorts of versions, for boys, dinosaurs, on the telephone, etc. (here is the original in english) there are bunches of scenes that you need to complete. we like this book, but it’s better for kids who can read the directions on every page. my daughter doesn’t like that she can’t do it on her own without asking me what’s written.

a friend told me about this cd for kids by a group that i like. normally i am not a fan of kids music because i often find it “dumbed down” and too simple. i don’t understand why we should think that kids aren’t capable of appreciating more complex music. i still haven’t heard this cd, but i want to order it. you can hear excerpts from the tracks here on american amazon and they seem very interesting, fun but also intelligent.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Lisa, I love your Christmas list.
    The fish you bought is Gorgeous!! I had to favourite the seller myself 😉
    As for the Christmas gifts, I'll combine handmade with store bought gifts. Family members who are still not tired of my crochets have already hinted to me what they would like to receive (a huge weight off my shoulders)the others I will have to guide myself according to their preferences.

  2. Lisa,
    I wrote you a mail but it kept getting back that delivery failed so here I would use this space to say THANK YOU for all the wonderful comments you left on my posts. I know that your time is valuable and I truly appreciate your attention.
    Hugs,
    Maya

  3. @irene: prego! te l'ho detto che l'avrei fatto! 🙂

    @maya: how could anyone be tired of your crochets? they're so wonderful! i know that i would love to get them!
    i don't know why the mail kept failing. but, are you kidding? i love looking through your blog and it continues to be one of my favorites. you are very inspirational and seeing what you do makes me excited, even though i never have enough time to do anything. (though i'm absolutely determined that i WILL make one of those cork necklaces you made. i have everything all ready, i just need to get down to it!) i don't have time to follow regularly, but when i do have time, i like to make up for the missed time! thanks for all of *your* comments! they really mean a lot to me!

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