Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Cyber Holiday Shopping Ideas

I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving and time with your loved ones. We just had a whirlwind trip up to Oregon and back in less than a week. It was good to be with family but the drive from California is a killer.

Hopefully, you were able to drop in yesterday for Make-It Monday for the 4th week of homemade gift ideas. I'll continue posting some ideas up until Christmas for those looking for a handmade touch to their gifts. However, now that the holiday shopping season is officially on with the passing of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I thought that I'd share some ideas of gifts that are handmade...by other people. I confess, I know all of the artists described below and have seen their work first-hand. Actually, I own something from each of them and love what I own. If you're looking for a gift with a special touch, why not check out their sites to see if there is something to your liking?!

Artwork by Peter K. Mathios: We are blessed to have Peter in our family. He truly has a wonderful talent. Over the years, I've seen many of his paintings up close -- they are truly amazing. He is the 2009 International Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year AND his one of his painting recently tied for 7th place in the 2010 Federal Duck Stamp Contest. Yes, original paintings don't really fall in the "frugal" category. But, his art is a great value. He sells large original pieces as well as prints. I love his new "Ending Rain", a 16 x 24 giclee print ($285) - seen above! Oh, and his "Spring Chickens", a 7 x 11.5 giclee print, will be available in January ($195). I so admired the original and I'm excited that it is now available as print!

For someone who wants an original for the price of a print, his original small daily paintings are perfect. I love his new "High Skies Mallard, 5 x 5 acrylic ($245) - seen above.

For those on a budget, you can get a sampling of several of his paintings with his set of 4 Thirstystone Coasters featuring Waterfowl artwork (only $20) or his Birds book that features over 60 color images ($40)!

Ebooks by Jessica Fisher (aka FishMama): My big sister Jessica has three downloadable ebooks available -- all food related. You can download them instantly and create a gift around them:

Cooking with Kids or Pretty. Cool. Cakes. : Download the ebooks ($4 each or $6 for both) and have them bound for $3 - $5. Then, add onto the gift with cooking utensils. Target has a child-size baking kit (rolling pin, cookie cutters & whisk) for just $2.50. A child-size apron would be great too! I recently created a rather large gift basket for a Silent Auction around these two cookbooks. Check it out here for some other ideas of what you could include.

Muffin Kit: I saw this on her blog LifeAsMom the other day and I just LOVE it! This $1 download is a super easy and frugal gift idea. The download includes the recipe, printable gift cards and instructions on how to make a Muffin Kit.

Bedazzled Hair Clips by Jamie: Jamie is my other wonderfully, creative big sister. Everything she creates is just beautiful. I have one of her hair clips and it adds just a bit of "fancy". (Okay, so really it was Ella's hair clip and I've swiped it.) Jamie also uses high-quality Swarovski crystals in her hair clips. You can pay big bucks for something similar in a department store...but just $7 (plus shipping) through Jamie's etsy shop. You could even use one of these hairclips as a gift AND as a creative way to decorate a package.

And speaking of Etsy, it is a great place to shop for handmade items and support a small business owner! They make it easy to find just what you want. There you can search by category or even by color. Say you have a sister who loves chartreuse. Just type chartreuse into the search engine and up pops items from all categories with that word in their listing. Even if the word search doesn't lead you to the perfect item...it might lead you to the perfect shop. And even if you can afford something that you see, browsing might give you the inspiration you need to make your own handmade gift.

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