With the holiday and the rush of getting ready for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, I have fallen behind in my posting for the 30 Days of Handmade Christmas but I am back now, ready to catch and give you 3 more reasons why you should buy handmade gifts this year.
Day 4: Buying Handmade Supports Artists Originally, Day 4 of the 30 Days of Handmade Christmas was set to be posted on Thanksgiving, a day when we give thanks for all the blessings in our lives, including the blessings of a roof over our heads, food on the table, and the health and well-being of our families. For many craftspeople and artists, your support is what helps us play the rent, buy the groceries, and take care of the people we love. And for that, I am truly grateful.
Day 5: Buying Handmade Supports Small Business
Yesterday was Small Business Saturday, a day where we support the entrepreneurs who serve our community and contribute to our economy. While many folks associate this with local “Mom and Pop shops,” many of the benefits to supporting small businesses on Main Street also apply to artists and craftspeople who sell their work in craft fairs, festivals, and in online marketplaces like Etsy. Believe me, there is nothing smaller than a business, like mine, where the manufacturing, marketing, sales, shipping, and more are all done by 1 or 2 people. And the money we make from our sales goes directly back into our community in a cycle that benefits everyone.
Day 6 – Buying Handmade Is An Investment In The Future
Supporting creative businesses and the makers of handmade items lets artists continue doing what they love and that means that the next time you go looking for something special, either for yourself or as a gift, that there will still be wonderful, creative items from you to choose from.
Tomorrow, families across the country will be gathering together and observing wonderful family traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Whether it’s making mom’s pumpkin pie recipe, setting the table with your great-grandmother’s china, or playing a game of touch football with the kids while the turkey finishes cooking, the holidays are a great time for honoring special memories and traditions.
This is why an appreciation for tradition is today’s reason to buy handmade gifts. (Click here to see more reasons to to have a “Handmade Christmas”). Not only is making an item by hand a time-honored practice, but many indie artists and craftsmen keep traditional skills and crafts alive when they would otherwise have died out. And even among those who use more modern techniques, you can find wonderful artists who incorporate traditional materials, styles, and motifs into their work or who are inspired by the great artist and craftsmen from past generations.
You can also find meaningful, handmade gifts that tap into your own personal history and family traditions. For example, a few weeks ago I wrote about my family’s tradition of passing Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women from generation to generation and how the memory of a tea party spent chatting about our favorite Little Women characters with my grandmother inspired my Little Women Novel Tea Necklace. In a few weeks, it will be Christmas and I will be honoring my family’s tradition but giving my goddaughter her own tea set, a copy of Little Women, and one of my new child-sized Little Women necklaces. I know that we will have a lot of fun, drinking tea and reading together and I am sure I will tell her all about my grandmother, (her great-grandmother), and how she loved this book too. Someday, Katrina may do the same with her daughter so that this wonderful book and the history of the generations of women in my family who have loved it will live on.
I hope you will consider starting a tradition of putting handmade gift beneath your Christmas tree. Speaking of handmade gifts, I wanted to mention that we will be having a Black Friday Sale this weekend with free gift wrap and a store-wide 25% discount on my handmade literary jewelry and gifts for book lovers Visit our Etsy shop, C.S. Literary Jewelry at www.etsy.com/shop/csliteraryjewelry and use the coupon code: SANTA14 to receive your discount!
I will be back tomorrow with Day 4 of the 30 Days of Handmade Christmas but since many of you will be spending the day with family and not on the internet, I wanted to take this moment to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s Day 2 of the 30 Days of Handmade Christmas and my second reason for buying handmade gifts this Christmas is: Quality. While it seems that many holiday gifts these days are meant to be disposable or last only until the next upgrade, handmade gifts are made with love and care and meant to last.
I will be back tomorrow for Day 3, but in the meanwhile, I would like to invite you to visit my Etsy shop, C. S. Literary Jewelry, for great handmade gifts for book lovers, tea drinkers, theatre fans, and more. I will be having a store-wide sale for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday with free holiday gift wrap and a 25% discount with the coupon code: SANTA14. Click here for more information about my holiday sales, shipping, and everything you need to know for quick and easy holiday shopping!
You can also see the rest of the 30 Days of Handmade Christmas series here or check out two of my latest treasury showcases of high quality, handmade items that would make wonderful Christmas gifts for your friends and family.
As you go about looking for the perfect holiday gifts for your family, friends, and loved ones, I would like to urge you to consider putting some handmade gifts under your Christmas tree. Obviously, as someone who designs, makes, and sells handmade jewelry, I am more than a little biased towards the idea of a handmade Christmas but there are so many reasons why handmade gifts are amazing and I would like a chance to tell you about them. So starting tomorrow and continuing every day until Christmas Eve, I am going to be sharing all of the many reasons to buy handmade gifts this year and sharing some of my favorite handmade gift ideas that I have discovered in my travels around Etsy.
It’s the time of year to count our blessings and give thanks for all the wonderful things in our lives. One of the things that I am most grateful for is all of you and the wonderful support and encouragement you give me and my business. So I want to take this time to say “thank you” to my amazing friends and customers with a very special Thanksgiving Sale and Giveaway.
Mark your calendar for C. S. Literary Jewelry’s biggest sale of the year. On Friday, November 21st, my newsletter subscribers will receive an exclusive, one-day 40% discount on my handmade literary jewelry. Get great Christmas gifts for book lovers at an unbeatable low prices or pick up a little holiday treat for yourself. If you haven’t already, you can become eligible for the sale by signing up for my newsletter here.
I am also having a Thanksgiving Giveaway. To enter, write a poem, snap a photo, or create a craft or piece of artwork that expresses something that you are grateful for and share it on my Facebook page. Entries are due on Tuesday, November 18th and a winner will randomly be chosen on Thursday, November 20th.
For the final installment in this year’s blog series of great literary Halloween costumes, I decided to take a trip down the rabbit hole to Wonderland with some costumes inspired the classic book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. There are so many wonderful Alice in Wonderland characters to dress up as and a lot of gorgeous handmade costumes and accessories available to help you do it. As someone who has a thing for cool hats, the sheer number of Mad Hatter hats on Etsy is enough to make me giddy. There are also a ton of great resources available for anyone looking for a Halloween costume or cosplay costume of Alice, herself. My favorite combination is this Alice in Wonderland dress by Miss Em’s Costumes:
But as iconic and cool as both Alice and the Mad Hatter are, my favorite Alice in Wonderland character is the gentleman whose appearance started Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the White Rabbit. Maybe I feel a kinship with the Rabbit because of all the times I have been late for very important dates but I have always had a soft spot for him and I just love his little waistcoat and pocket watch. So I really wanted to put together a great White Rabbit costume that expresses my fondness for the character. While poking around on Etsy, I came across some amazing Steampunk Alice in Wonderland and Mad Hatter costumes and accessories but, while there are some adorable White Rabbit costumes for kids on Etsy, I haven’t been able to find an adult costume that had the same sort of cool Steampunk style so I decided to put one together myself.
Truth be told, I simply love top hats because they can go from flirty and sassy to dressy and classy depending on how you wear them and the attitude you have while you are wearing them. But what I love about this particular hat is all the great Steampunk details of the clock and clock hands and the fact that the ears are bendable, giving you the option to shape them however you like.
Now you need a waistcoat. For a regular White Rabbit costume, you could probably get away with wearing a regular vest, particularly if it was in a fairly traditional pattern like a pinstripe or tweed. But for a Steampunk costume, you can really indulge in something scrumptious, like this Sexy School Marm Cravat and Waistcoat by Revive Gifts.
The lace cravat detailing really adds a touch of drama to the outfit. I love the brooch that you can use to fasten the lace together, giving you options about how daring you want to be with your neckline. However, for a White Rabbit costume, I like the idea of using as many Alice in Wonderland inspired accessories as possible, so I would swap out the brooch that comes with the waistcoat for my new White Rabbit Alice in Wonderland Book Brooch.
Once you have your waistcoat, pair it with a white shirt, a matching pair of slacks or skirt, (possibly worn with these), and a pocket watch and you are all set to hop off to Wonderland. You can go with a traditional pocket watch on a chain that would fasten to your waistcoat buttons and tuck into a pocket, like this one, but personally, I think that a pocket watch necklace on an extra long chain (so that it hangs below the cravat) has more impact. I looked at some gorgeous options on Etsy but my absolute favorite was this brass pocket watch necklace by Rag Trader that is both elegant and has a touch of classic literature style that works beautifully with a White Rabbit costume.
And this brings us to the end of this year’s Literary Halloween Costume series. I hope you have enjoyed it. If you were inspired to dress up as any of the characters we discussed, I would love to see your costumes. (Actually, I would love to see any book or poetry inspired costumes so feel free to leave a comment with a photo). I am already thinking of which famous fictional characters from books and literature that I am going to feature next year so if you have anyone you would like to see, you can let me know that too.