Give your Favorite Things

girlchristmasIf you’re like me, you sometimes find it tough to come up with a good gift idea.

Is there a person on your gift list who doesn’t really “need” anything?

Do you avoid buying clothing for gifts because finding the right size can be an issue?

Or maybe you’re just tired of giving the same types of gifts to family and friends every year.

Until a couple of years ago, I could answer yes to all of the above. Then I thought of a new idea – I decided to give our favorite things. 🙂

I’m sure you’ll agree we’ve all sampled enough food, beverages, brand names, music/movies, etc. to be sure of the things we love the most.


With that in mind, I bought a medium-sized covered storage box (I wanted the container to be very useful to the recipient afterwards), and then I filled it with our favorite things, and I mean favorites! I used colorful ribbons and pretty tissue paper to arrange everything in a festive presentation. It was such fun to make a special shopping trip to purchase our favorite chocolates, tea, liqueur, jam, cookies, crackers, music CD, book, and video. (You’ll have your own categories of favorites, of course!)

This was a gift for my parents, who have no need and no space for “dust collectors”. Below is the little poem that I wrote and attached to their gift:


“We thought and we thought, and then thought some more,
As we searched and searched from store to store,
You’ve no need for knick-knacks, or do-dads, or “stuff”
Finding space for those things can be pretty rough!

So, here is a gift that will earn its keep.
You can use it all up – and that’s a relief!!!
You’ll find sweets and snacks and even booze!
There’s a CD for music, or a book if you choose.

The items are simple – not the treasure of kings
But these are a group of OUR favorite things!
They were gathered with care and lots of love, too.
And they come with a wish… Merry Christmas to you!!!”


The sky is the limit for different versions of this idea. I hope it helps the next time you’re having trouble finding the perfect present. 🙂


©2009 beadhappilyeverafter

As the Shoppers Rush Home . . .


cocoacupBundle up, Kids!

We’re going shopping again!

I’ve rented a bus, stocked up on cocoa and cookies, and handed the driver a big pile of Christmas CD’s.

Is it just me or does that guy remind you of anyone? Maybe it’s the long white beard and the red jacket. He seems to be in an awfully good mood too. He’s been ho, ho, ho-ing ever since he pulled up. 😉

Ok, seatbelts buckled? Then, we’re off to etsy!

Kanzashi Flower Bobby Pins

Who says you need a new holiday outfit? How about some festive new accessories, instead? Here’s a pretty pair of handmade kanzashi flower bobby pins in decadent ruby red. Petals of silk dupioni are layered in duchess satin, while a glittering crystal rhinestone accents the centers. From PetalMix

Embroidered Cuff

A magical concoction of snowflakes and sugar… Candy swirls, French Knots and Curly Wisps surround your wrist in purple, green, and red. An accessory for every holiday outfit…or just a pair of jeans and t-shirt! Made with an off-white, mottled wool. Backed with linen; vintage button closure. From Waterrose

Tiny Doll Bed

So TINY, so adorable!!! ALL Handmade and perfect for any doll that’s under 8 inches. Sturdy birch wood, hand cut, sanded, primed and painted with several coats of paint for LONG lasting play and enjoyment. Comes with a silky pink mattress, a blanket and a pillow, in lovely floral fabrics with pretty hand sewn trim. A sweet vintage baby lamb decal decorates the head and footboards with just a tiny dash of sparkly glitter. VERY limited item. From KittyKatDance

Colorful Pinch Bud Vases

Give the gift of art! Hand blown glass – Perfect for some stems from the garden, or for rooting new plants. Gorgeous transparent colors, pinched oval neck. From tannerglass


Yikes, look at the time! We’d better head home.

Aw…. Can you believe it? The poor driver fell asleep waiting for us. Guess he’s been working a lot of hours. He told me that this is the “busy season” at his other job. 😉

‘Til next time,


Making a list . . .

Checking it twice . . . Gonna find out who’s naughty or . . .

Oh, hello there! I’m going shopping.

Wanna come, too?

You do? That’s great!!! 😀

I don’t know about you, but I need to make some progress on my Christmas gifts. Let’s hop on over to etsy and do a little browsing, shall we?

Hmmm . . . Ornaments are always a nice present!!

Gingerbread Personalized Christmas Ornament

Anybody here love gingerbread people? This little one does.
Talk about adorable!!! Only 2-1/2 inches tall! Hand sculpted design, polymer clay. From Buttonwilloe

And look at this beautiful purse!

Little Blue Birdie Winter Wools Repurposed Blazer Bag
This stunning bag will take you all through winter into spring. Made from “UpCycled Wool” obtained from re-purposed clothing. The artist hunts through local thrift shops and friends closets for fine quality wool garments, brings them home and washes them in HOT water. The process is called fulling. The wool from this bag was retrieved from a nice wool blazer! From PineBlossoms

If there’s a young lady on your gift list, chances are she’d love a pretty winter outfit for her doll.

Crocheted Three-piece Holiday Poncho Set
This set consists of poncho, hat, and purse. It’s crocheted for an American Girl Doll using an acrylic blend yarn in a holiday cranberry with a gold metallic thread that adds sparkle. The set is trimmed in extremely soft white Bernat Boa eyelash yarn. From lavenderlore

This next item is one of those gifts that you’ll want to buy TWO of – so you can keep one for yourself! 😀

Felt Mitten Pin
Imagine how adorable this little mitten would be on your winter coat! Or you could use it to anchor your scarf while dashing through the snow on a bright winter day! Lots of hand embroidery, beads and a pretty button embellish this mini work of art. It’s 100% wool felt, all hand stitched, and measures just over 2 1/2″. From beedeebabee

And finally, what’s a gift without a festive tag?

Vintage Style, Victorian Inspired, Saint Nick Gift Tags
Old St Nicktags
These pretty tags will be kept long after the gift is gone – especially if you jot a special little message on them. Made on high quality ivory card stock, with a touch of red. A very realistic victorian style image is printed, and the sentiment has been handstamped. The edges have been shaded with a coordinating ink for a vintage look. Burgundy satin ribbon ties. From frenchcountry

Well, this was a good start but I’m not finished, so I’ll be browsing again soon. I hope you’ll join me again next time! 🙂


Easy Gifts to Make

We may be in the midst of the “computer age”, but sometimes you just need a piece of paper handy for jotting down a quick note, or a list, or a message.

Recently, I made some decorative notepads and I thought you might like to see them!


They cost only pennies to make. The main ingredient is a 12-pack of small white notepads. Add colorful cardstock covers and then embellish them as elaborately or as simply as you choose! I had so much fun with these. What cute little gifts or stocking stuffers they’d be!


Clenna has requested some ideas for crafts to make with children to be used as gifts for their parents, grandparents, etc. This might be a good project to work on with the kids – as long as an adult supervises the use of scissors! A child could even showcase some of his/her own drawings for the cover art. Grandma would surely love that!

I can take no credit for the original idea here. I found it months ago, bought the supplies, and have just now had the chance to actually make some. In one of my previous posts, I blogged about the talented designer and included a link to her video tutorial, where she gives complete directions and measurements. You can find it here.

So now I can’t wait to make notepads for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s – well, you know what I mean!

I’d love to see any that you make, too! 😀


Need a good gift idea?

Before I order a product for the first time, I always feel more comfortable if I’ve heard an enthusiastic recommendation from someone I know. Of course that’s not always possible and sometimes you’re just on your own. That was the case for me several months ago, but I thought you might like to hear about my experience.


Have you ever had your pictures made into a little book with captions and all? I took the plunge around Christmas time and made a hardcover book with holiday pictures of our family at the online photo website, Shutterfly. It turned out better than I could ever have imagined!


The software was very user friendly. You upload your photos and then use the drag and drop method to “fill” an album. You can choose from a wide array of pretty backgrounds, layouts, colors, fonts, captions, and more. If you wish to change styles from page to page – no problem! This is not necessarily a speedy project, but you can work on it over an indefinite period of time, as all of your work is saved and stored for you. I must have spent about a month or so but I usually only worked for half an hour at a time. You may be more decisive than I was and just plough through quickly. It really is so much fun! In the end, you’ll have a little treasure!


These days, when we all do so much digitally, we’re less likely to have hard copies of photos to hold in our hands. That might be a good thing from a storage angle, but there’s still nothing like curling up in a comfy chair with your favorite memories of a holiday or vacation. This photo book is the perfect blend of hardcopy pictures and minimal storage. The books are slim and compact, yet they hold quite a lot. I guess I sound like a commercial, but I thought you might need a good “gift idea” in the near future. If so, I highly recommend this! 🙂