Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Case for Handmade

This Christmas, I am buying mostly handmade gifts. The people I've told this to are shocked. "What are we getting? Hot glued imported masks?" my brother in-law asked. Others suspect they're getting country-bumpkin roosters and potpourri-filled Santas. Not that there's anything wrong with those things, but my point is that many people don't realize there is a huge market of beautiful, trendy handmade items.

There is a big difference between homemade and handmade. That difference lies in the quality and taste level.

Etsy is a great place, of course, to buy hand crafted products in every style and genre. Here's a listing of stores I've bought gifts from (I'm not going to say what I bought since many of the gift recipients read this blog!).

These fantastic vintage type-writer key products make great gifts for fathers, grandfathers, brothers, and uncles.

For the photographer in your life, these are an ingenious product.

If you're on the market for something personalized, this is a good option. And so is this.

Don't forget the yogis. This is a cute shop with great products.

Can't ever go wrong with jewelry. This shop is great for youthful gift recipients, and this one is great for everyone else.

A shameless plug, LivvySue offers great children's accessories, including bibs and hair pretties, and clothing sized 6 months through 5T. Our new button hair pretties make great stocking stuffers! (pictured above)

Even if you can't do all of your holiday shopping on Etsy (or other handmade source sites or local shops), try to buy a few things to support small businesses through this tough economic time.

Happy shopping, readers!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Thanksgiving is this week. I must admit that one thing I am hugely thankful for is that I'm almost finished with Olivia's Christmas coat. This morning, I began making the collar, which is a new technique of construction for me. I started with three stitches and added one every other row until there were 21 total stitches. Then I started with the shaping by knitting twelve, turning, and knitting back to the beginning. By doing this twice and then knitting four rows in between, the collar begins to curve nicely around the neck of the garment. It's exciting to watch this happen, because I honestly wasn't sure what would happen when I started.

I decided on the location of the photo shoot for our Christmas card; the gazebo in the Oregon District where by husband proposed to me and where we had many of our wedding photographs taken. The neighborhood decorates the gazebo for Christmas, and it should be a picture-perfect spot for Olivia to model her new coat!

The other picture above is of a top started for Olivia. It has been sitting on my sewing table and needs a little attention. I should be able to finish it during one of my vacation days coming up.
Also, check out LivvySue Boutique where we added our new product, toddler bibs, this week. There are styles for boys and girls, and the original custom pattern provides maximum coverage for toddlers. Plus, they are backed with terry cloth, making them super absorbent to sop up all that messy spaghetti sauce!

Happy Thanksgiving, blog readers. 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

When Will it End?

I realize my problems and stresses are minor compared to many. That doesn't stop me from feeling the stress. This week, I traveled 5 out of 7 days. On top of that, I have a couple freelance projects keeping me busy, am gearing up to start another MBA course, am hip deep in knitting and sewing projects... And, oh yeah, I'm also a mom, wife, granddaughter, daughter. My head feels like it's going to spin off my shoulders!

Focusing on what brings me joy, my family and art, I have devoted as much time as possible to them. I finished a couple projects including this cute Susan B. Anderson elephant pacifier holder and Tudora neck warmer - made of the fabulous Debbie Bliss yarn.

I'm also slogging through Olivia's Christmas Coat, finishing the right this weekend. Once that is finished, the only pieces left are the collar, blocking, and sewing together. Finally.

I'm much better at updating Twitter than this blog. Find me by following: sarahhibner.

Until next time...