Frugal Friday--Getting my Craft On

9:19 AMHeather

Second grade was a year I'd like to erase from my memory. I hated it. Teased mercilessly due to a speech impediment, living on an Army base with friends moving away constantly, and bored to death by the curriculum. My only ray of sunshine was Art. Until my speech therapy was moved to that time frame. I was sick a lot that year with strep and headaches. And I spent hours hand sewing stuffed animals with fabric scraps while home from school. It was so therapeutic to create something from nothing. Ah, let the crafting begin!!!

I have always LOVED crafting!!! Combine that with my love for gift giving, and it's a perfect combination. Rest assured--I do not give away macrame owls or hand-woven potholders [anymore]. The trick, honestly, is finding something to make that looks like it came from a cool one-of-a-kind boutique instead of a garage sale reject. If I am making a gift, I always TRY to make something that I THINK that person will enjoy and appreciate. Side note: if you have received a handcrafted gift from me that you hated, please know that my heart was in the right place. Feel free to sell it on ebay. Let me also clarify--yes, I love to make gifts because they are great on my budget. But, it's not necessarily that I am cheap. I just love to put a little of myself into a gift.

So, here are a few of my favorite handcrafted gifts I have given.

Which would YOU want to receive? My other FAVORITE gift that I like to give--and don't have pictures of--are digital photo books. These are great for grandmas, friends, cousins--just about anyone! I have discovered you can pull photos from someone's F.acebook account, but you have to be careful of their quality. I have stumbled across Winkflash as my favorite photo gift website, and I hit it big with a 16" x 20" canvas created from a favorite picture of my kids. My hard-to-buy-for in-laws LOVED it so much they asked for another! Some other favorite photo gift websites include Snapfish, SeeHere, Picaboo, and Shutterfly. I seem to be on all their e-mail distribution lists, and I'm telling you--they have sales regularly. GREAT sales! So I keep an eye out for these and jump on a sale when it hits 50% or more AND when I have the gift budget for this.

Okay, ONE more list for you--if you can stand it. I want to share my top 5 FAVORITE websites for craft ideas. These are where I craftlift all my best ideas!
One Pretty Thing
Blue Cricket Designs
The Crafting Chicks
Oops I Craft My Pants

INTENTIONAL challenge: Join the crafting revolution! It's just plain fun. If you live near me, you can come hop in on our monthly craft club, Art and Soul. If not, check out our blog to see our monthly projects with instructions and supply lists. And, please, please do me a favor. If you are one of my beloveds who receive handcrafted gifts but you hate them...just e-mail me and let me know! I'll move you to the gift-buying category so I can give to you in a way that makes you happy. Now, go surf the web and let me know any ideas I can craftlift from YOU!

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