Showing posts with label Favorite Things. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Favorite Things. Show all posts

December 16, 2023

Great Finds and Buys at Marshalls & TJ Maxx

As many of us are on tight budgets this year, it's hard to stretch your money to get a little something for everyone on your list. I for one have a huge family, both counting mine and my husband's. It's overwhelming trying to think of things to buy or that I can make (or have time to make) for everyone. I'll bet that, like me, there are times you wish that you could just give someone a pomegranate or orange, like they used to do in Victorian times. I for one would appreciate the sentiment in that gesture, but I'm not so sure about some others in my family.

I do enjoy checking out TJ Maxx and Marshalls, since you never know what you might find. I was on the hunt for items to put in some breakfast-themed gift baskets that I was making for friends and family. On a recent trip to TJ Maxx, I found all kinds of gourmet teas, coffees and chocolates that were 70% off what you'd pay in a department store or boutique. As tempting as it is to hit the dollar store for stuff to fill a gift basket, to me the items you find there are just that: dollar store items (I'm not fooling anyone with those cheap teas). At least at Marshalls and TJ Maxx, you can be frugal and no one will know!

I ended up adding a coffee press to one of the baskets (also at half off of retail price), and to cushion the baskets' contents, picked up some dish towels that were a great bargain. There were 6 super absorbant towels that ended up costing less than $2 per towel. I made and bagged my own homemade pancake mix and cocoa mix and packaged it all up in a red mixing bowl (which were 3 for $10 at Marshalls). I added a felted potholder for a handmade touch.

I do confess to buying some blueberry syrup and some whisks at the local grocery store, since they were great bargains, and also the cute little bags to put the pancake/cocoa mixes in were from the craft store. But truly, if you haven't already, you need to visit for little odds and ends, like stocking stuffers and hostess gifts. Their Bath and Body section alone would make any gift recipient happy. And don't get me started on their holiday decorations, which are of such high quality! I bought a wreath there last year which was really inexpensive but looks so fancy.

If you're still searching for that last minute gift, don't forget about Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Most areas have a store nearby, and you can find something for everyone at great prices.

December 12, 2023

Handmade Holiday: Hostess Gift

'Tis the season for holiday parties and visits to friends and family, both near and far. It's not my nature to show up empty-handed at someone's holly-decked door, so I like to bring a little hostess gift to express my gratitude for the person's company and festivities. We have our first holiday party tomorrow evening, so I thought I'd bring my friend Kate and her family some homemade goodness.
I put together a little brown bag of kitchen goodies, including a hand-printed tea towel from Flying Rhymes, a great little shop with Scandanavian-inspired wares. Here are a few other examples of the printed tea towels. Quite charming!
I also embellished a jar of local jam with some scrapbooking paper and jute. All you need to do is cut a square a bit larger than the jar's lid,

fold it in half to make a triangle,

and fold in half again,

and yet again, so that it's folded into eighths.

Then you want to round the outer edge with scissors, forming a pie-shaped wedge.

Then you cut a few scallops or zigzags along the rounded edge. It's a little like those snowflakes you used to make as a kid, which would be equally nice on top of a jar of jam.
You just need to tie it on the top of the lid, which is easier said than done. It helps to have a second pair of hands to hold the paper in place.

I wish I could take credit for all of the hand-making here, but sadly, the only thing I had time to make was the jar of herbal tea, which was organically grown in my garden. It's a blend of peppermint and lemon balm, which I packaged in a recycled baby food jar.
The final touch was a flame-blackened spreader from Jonathan's Wild Cherry Wooden Spoons, a shop that I highly recommend for any handmade holiday gifts. The flame-blackened wood items are nice because they don't get "fuzzy" when they're wet, which wood naturally does.
I took a ride out to Jonathan's studio today and got to see where the spoons are made and shipped. I swooned over spoons, and all of the other wonderful items. I bought some Christmas gifts, and also a ladle for myself. I know I'll be headed out there to buy some more things very soon.

The final touch was a scrapbook paper flower to embellish the brown bag. I just made three more of the paper jar-toppers and punched two holes in the centers of them, then threaded some yarn through to secure them to the bag's handle. It's a step beyond the traditional red and green. I took a cue from the colors of the tea towel.
So that's it! I hope Kate likes it. It seems a little more interesting than a bottle of wine.

November 26, 2023

Just a Quick Note

Lily from Sorrelli Jewelry let me know that they are offering 20% off of all of their full-priced jewelry starting this Friday and ending on Monday, December 1st. So if you were coveting something sparkly that you saw during my Sorrelli giveaway, now's the chance to snatch it up!

November 2, 2023

Crocheted with Spontaneity

Wouldn't these earrings be great for a special someone's Christmas stocking? Check out this new online shop, called Spontaneity (which also offers free shipping). It was referred to me by the Indie-queen, Amy Purple of purplepinkandorange, who is THE authority on handmade and independent retailers. I love the idea of crocheted opens up so many possibilities in my mind for my own knits!
Related Posts with Thumbnails