Gift Ideas for the Crafter

Stephanie Mulry Jewels

This past weekend I picked up an issue of Mollie Makes, a British crafty publication.  There was an article called The Art of Giving.  It's something I think people should read. Written by Lottie Storey she points out that the "true gifts aren't the easily acquired consumables...rather, giving in its purest sense has to embody something of the giver".  Something like hand making a quilt, stitching a house warming gift, or knitting a Christmas stocking.  What do you do if you aren't crafty? And you want to buy something for the crafter in your life?  I posed this question to our EtsyNY team and I received some feedback.

What to buy for the knitter? Alicia of Birdy 27 Designs said, yarn of course!  But make sure to get a gift receipt, some knitters only like to work with certain yarns.  You can always get a gift certificate to a favorite yarn shop.  If you really really love the receiver and that person knits alot, Brand from PurlBKnit suggests a winder and a swift.

Since I work in a yarn store I know what a winder does and I am a knitter hobbyist.  If I knitted for a living I know a winder would be extremely appreciated.  Ok what the heck is a winder? 

A swift winds the yarn and then it goes onto a ball winder.  Doing this to the yarn makes it much easier to work with the yarn.

Ok so what do I buy for someone who designs jewelry?  I don't know anything about jewelry.  Amy from Sweet Olive Jewelry was nice enough to tell me what's on her wish list, a good book! I know I always love some new magazines or books.  Nothing like actual inspiration  you can tack to the wall.

Bibles for the general techniques:

  • "The Complete Metalsmith" by Tim McCreight
  • "Metalsmithing For Jewelry Makers" by Jinks McGrath

Advanced/unusual techniques:

  • "Creative Stonesetting" by John Cogswell

Inspiring contemporary designs:

  • "The New Jewelers" by Olivier Dupon

Magazine for wearable art:

  • "Ornament" Magazine

Ok some givers feel strongly about giving certain things, I know I know it's suppose to be about the receiver not the giver.  But what if you have a person who doesn't want to give a book.  Or someone who is completely digital.  Stephanie from Stephanie Mulry Jewels suggests a gift card to ebay.  I know of so many artists who find inspirational things on ebay, items to use in their business or maybe for their own use!

And last but not least, the sewist.  I am a designer and sewist.  Like Alicia from Birdy 27, I always welcome more fabric or a gift card to a fabric store.  For my 40th Birthday this past year a friend gave me a Liberty of London fabric bundle.....Love!  I have it sitting on my work table as inspiration until I decide what to do with this beauty!

Now if you really want to make something keep checking our blog for DIY posts.  You can also check my blog for how to's on pom pom ornaments, felt stockings and more!

Happy Crafting!

Tracey Toole


Finds From the Team!

Gift Guide: For the Graduate

Now that graduation season is fully upon us, I thought that you might be searching for the perfect gift to give your graduate. Well, to help you out with your search, check out these awesome gift ideas for grads found on Etsy!

(the gifts in bold below are made by members of the Etsy New York Team)
  1. Modern Monogram Calling Cards- These calling cards will definitely make your graduate look like a true professional.
  2. Green Book Pendant- They may not be hitting the books as hard as they used to once they graduate, but this pretty little book pendant can serve as a reminder of all the hard work they accomplished.
  3. Heart and Arrow Adjustable Ring- These dainty rings are sure to please and you can choose either gold or silver.
  4. Correspondence Card Set- This stationery set will be perfect for your graduate to write a personalized thank you note for any gifts received or after that job interview!
  5. Hand Stamped Keychain- You can easily personalize this keychain with the initials of their college or high school and their name, so they'll always have a reminder of their alma mater.
  6. Leather Wallet with Feather and Brown Leather Wallet- For her and for him: get them a grown-up leather wallet that will last for years to come.
  7. Long-Distance Map- Even if graduation means they'll be moving on and away, this print is a cute reminder of where they came from.
  8. Your Future is So Bright- If you're planning to give a monetary gift (which trust me, they'll appreciate), then pair it with a fun and quirky card like this one, that will give them a little laugh too!
  9. Letterpress Coasters- If your graduate will soon be moving into their first apartment, these coasters would make a sweet housewarming gift.
  10. Stacking Gold Rings- This classic set of gold rings will never go out of style and they are chic way to accessorize for your brand new job.

Tell me: Are you planning to attend a graduation in the next few months?

By Nnenna of star-crossed smile

Handmade Gifts for Teachers

Only a couple more weeks before the 3rd Annual Holiday Handmade Cavalcade, and as you put together your shopping lists don't forget some of the most important people in your child's life... teachers! My daughter just started preschool this year, so I'm searching for some handmade gifts that will show her teachers how wonderful I think they are. Here are some things that I am eyeing...

Jody's beautiful lamp work creates wonderful swirls of color that is sure to please the most cheerful preschool teacher.

Teachers are experts at making something incredible out of recycled materials. How better to acknowledge their resourcefulness than this beautiful handbag made out of a tie?

Colony Collapse Read Bee Necklace by JTopolski
Science teachers are sure to love this colony collapse necklace, not only stylish but educational.

Vintage 1960s Dress Pattern by luckx4
This fun dress pattern is a perfect gift for that fashionable teacher.

We Move Mountains Print by VirginiaKraljevic
Remind your teacher of just how valuable they are with this original print.
Eco Friendly Hemp Blend and Leather Handle Tote Bag by SansMap
Give your teacher the gift of a sophisticated and practical bag! Perfect for toting around graded papers and lessons in style.

The gift ideas don't end there. For more ideas before the big shopping day, check out the vendor page of the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade website. You'll be inspired!


2011 Holiday Handmade Cavalcade Gift Guide for Him

Here it is, the second in our series of gift guides featuring the work of artisans participating in this year's Holiday Handmade Cavalcade (December 3 at Public Assembly in Williamsburg).

First things first:

Cerveza Con Lima Body Bar by NordeaSoaperie.


Sterling Molar Cufflinks by SaruStar.

And for outer-wear (although I suppose not necessarily exclusively):

Black Knit Cap for Men or Women by EllisDesign.

Accompanied by a few essential accouterments (one a bit saucy):

Set of Two Neon Green Hand Screened Handkerchiefs by ApertureAgog

Little Black Book, Mini, Hand Woven in Satin Ribbon by PriaVanda

Don't forget his abode! It may benefit from some styling too. A great manly choice for the wall: 

Rusty Hammer 8x10 print by AstrOdub

Come to the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade for more special gifts for the men on your list!

Until next time --