Handmade is a movement not a trend

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and the best is yet to come: New Year's - my favorite!

I have a little crafty opinion to share...Last week the New York Times published an article about The Recession and crafting revealing that despite downturns in major retail markets, crafting businesses from Michaels to Etsy to indie crafters are actually getting a boost. 'Bout time is all I have to say! Although I do think the article is a little too assuming that handmade and cheap go hand in hand - a thought that many of the readers shared as well. It's a common misconception. Just because the materials at first glance seem cheaper than buying a designer version of a product, doesn't mean you can't find something much, much cheaper at somewhere else like Wal-Mart, Target, Macy's or even Nordstrom. Then on top of materials, if you buy handmade you are also paying for the artists time - and that ain't and shouldn't be free!

I think (hope) that more and more people are buying handmade and local goods because they are wanting to get out of the loop of mass consumerism. I've noticed people are more interested in supporting their neighbors and community than purchasing the latest facotry-made, single-serving, pointless, clutter-increasing do-dads. There's an increasing desire - a shift - to support those mom-and-pop shops that have been on the decline for so long. People are finally realizing that they feel better when buying 1 or 2 things from their neighbor than buying 10 things from the big-box store.
It's similar to the Locavore movement (which I also love...).

At any rate...have a wonderful New Year! I will be back on the blog next week!

Some of my holiday goodies

Wanted to share some of my Christmas gifts with you. These are just my crocheted projects...I forgot to take pictures of the projects I sewed for my dad and my friends! Oh well next year. The patterns are from all over the web, my new favorite website and my favorite crochet book The Happy Hooker. If you have any questions about where to find any of them, just leave me a message.

Ornament Swap Photos

Here are the photos of the ornaments I received from Cake & Pie's Holiday Ornament Swap on Swap-bot.

Ornaments made by (in order):
Maitreya at craftlog.org
Wild Child Designs
Marlo at imakecutestuff.etsy.com
Karley at shesewslovely.ca
And me!

Beaded Icicle ornament tutorial

Here are the steps to create a simple icicle ornament for your tanenbaum. I recently mailed these ornaments out to various corners of the U.S. and England and Switzerland as part of Cake & Pie's Holiday Ornament Swap on Swap-bot. If you've never done a swap, there are many fun ones on Swap-bot and I'm thinking of doing a sock exchange next month...

To create a beaded icicle ornament you will need:

-Variety of "ice" looking beads in various sizes (about 10-15 beads per icicle)
-Six-strand embroidery floss
-Tapestry needle
-Hot glue gun

Arrange your beads into an icicle-ish formation
Cut a strand of floss about 12 inches in length
Thread your tapestry needle and start stringing your beads beginning with the bottom bead of your icicle
When you get to the last bead, make a loop and then start stringing the beads again in the opposite direction
When you get to the end, tie a knot and trim the extra floss
Tie a knot using your loop to secure the top bead as well
Add a dab of hot glue to secure your knots

Hang on your tree!

Trim that tree

Can you believe it? Wasn't it just Thanksgiving and now there are only 17 days left until Christmas..

We just got our tree this weekend, a nice little 5-foot Noble. Every year, I like to add a new ornament or two. This year I will have 10 ornaments coming from the fun Swap-bot ornament exchange. I already have a few and I'll share some photos soon. ***Update - Click here for swap photos.***

In the meantime, I've been eyeing some classic crochet snowflakes from mypicot.

Or Etsy has an entire post of their
favorite handmade ornaments to buy: check it out here. This one is my favorite from The Cupcake Girls.