amandajocrafts

December 5, 2012

On Prepping for a Favorite Things Party.

Yes, like Oprah 🙂

As I mentioned in my last post about the Harry Potter party, my friends really like being crafty. We routinely have themed parties, and when we all lived in the same state, we’d scrapbook together often. This year for Christmas, we decided a favorite things party would be the perfect twist on the traditional grab bag and we could have lots of fun in the process :).

In short, a favorite things party is where you bring your favorite things! For us, we chose to bring 3 $10 favorite things (as in, we bought/made three of the same gift, spending about $10 on each one). We’ll pull names out of a hat to see who gets who’s gifts.

I had a smidgen of trouble coming up with my favorite thing. These are my oldest, dearest friends (we’ll be celebrating our deccenial friendaversary this year…..long story) and so nothing I pick would really be a surprise. In addition, although I was supposed to bring MY favorite thing, I certainly wanted the recipients to enjoy it, as well! And, of course, I wanted to be cute and crafty.

However, I ended up deciding on something I’m really excited about, and you’ll get to see it after our favorite things party! For now, here’s some things I ended up NOT picking…just in case you’re looking for ideas yourself!

1) A book.

(I nixed this because I wanted to be more creative, but reading is certainly one of my favorite things!)

– Book (Perhaps The Night Circus?)

– Bookmark

2) Pamper Your Hands

– Nail polish.

– Hand lotion. My favorite scent is Bath and Body Works’ “Twilight Woods”:

– Nail file

3) Crocheting

(Had to nix this because the coupon for a tutorial wouldn’t have been effective, as I live states away from the rest of my friends at the moment!)

– Yarn

– Crochet Stitch Markers

– Coupon for crochet lessons from your truly

4) Pittsburgh

(My home town. Need I say more?)

– I didn’t have the details of this one quite figured out, but I thought perhaps a mug and ornament that both had the city skyline (or the Steelers!) on them.

5) Organization Lover

– Made a DIY to-do frame, using the tutorial here:

– A 2013 calendar, with photos of my friends and me in it.

6) My Friends

(Cheesy, but they’re my favorite, too!)

– A 3 4×6 opening frame with pictures of us inside through the years of our friendship.

Have you ever done a favorite things party? What would be your favorite thing?

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November 29, 2012

On Supporting Handmade.

Oh Christmas!

I’m not one for getting swept up in the commercialism of the season, but boy oh boy do I love giving gifts! You heard me right–my favorite part of gifting is not the receiving, but the look of delight on someone’s face at Christmas that lets me know I got them just the right thing. It’s all about making people happy 🙂

This Christmas, as I’ve done for the past couple of years now, I’m doing my best to gift handmade and support small businesses. Of course, I definitely bought stuff (with coupons!) from big stores (Kohls and I are best buds), but at the same time, I’m making a concentrated effort to support handmade whenever possible!

It’s definitely worth paying the little extra to know that not only are you making the day of the person to whom you are giving the gift, but you’re also making the day of that seller! (Do you know how excited I get when I sell an item? Really? There’s typically some jumping involved :))

So, let me know below if you’re planning on supporting handmade this season, through Etsy or craft fairs or wherever, and I’ll get you started with some of my favorites. (That I didn’t get for other people, don’t want to spoil any surprises!) If you like any of them, just click on the picture to send you there!

Hair Pin Buttons by Chatterblossom

Autumn Pillow by NeedlesnPinsStitchery

Hobbiton Necklace by PrettyLittleCharmsUK

Country Button Earrings by ciaralg

“I Like Big Books” Tote by PamelaFugateDesigns

How have you supported handmade this holiday season?

October 23, 2012

On Etsy Scarves, At Last!

Just a quick post to say: at last, at last!

I have (finally!) created some scarves for Etsy (the yarn has been sitting there for a month–darn the homework!) and listed the first one today. I’m so happy with the yarn and the pattern (just a simple shell pattern I created, but it gives off a nice elegant vibe).

Look for more coming soon, too!

October 8, 2012

On Loving a Bama+Ry Purchase.

Well, I had to wait to post this one until after my mom’s received it for her birthday, because it was a gift for her.

I’d been “creeping” on Bama+Ry’s Etsy shop for quite some time now, in fact ever since she started cropping up in the Etsy Success forums and not only asking great questions, but also providing wonderful advice. Then I found her blog and started to get to know the person behind the shop. It wasn’t long before I was itching to purchase a creation of hers.

Excellently, what I was thinking for my mom’s birthday aligned perfectly with her shop. When I was younger, my mom used to read me Guess How Much I Love You  all the time. It’s a story about Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare, and they are essentially holding a contest about who loves who more. And Little Nutbrown Hare will say “I love you as high as I can reach” and Big Nutbrown Hare would say “I love you as high as I can reach.” At the end, Little Nutbrown Hare says “I love you right up to the moon” and, right after he falls asleep, Big Nutbrown Hare whispers “I love you right up to the moon…and back.”

Even as I got older, my mom and I would say that to each other. So, for her birthday, even though we don’t get to see each other as much anymore (me being all moved out of the house and supposedly grown up and all that!), I wanted to tell her how much I love her. After a complete quick, efficient messages between Bama+Ry and I, my pendant was in the works!

Even though it was a custom order, I received it very quickly, and I’m so happy with the way it turned out. My mom came to visit me for our birthday (yes, we have the same one!) and she was so happy and excited! It couldn’t have turned out better!

Thank you Bama+Ry!

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