Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Reflections

It’s been a great year for us (and I definitely don’t mean financially).

Here are some of the 2009 highlights

I found Etsy. Actually I knew about this site but didn’t really delve into the community until this summer.   This same time last year the business was neglected after the recession took it's toll on us and working on other projects.   Etsy has revitalized my love for my craft and pledge to buy handmade whenever possible. (I’m sure they love me too because I spend a fortune there).  I feel like I got my MoJo back!!  Thanks Etsy!

Picture perfect! Okay my pictures aren’t that great but they have greatly improved. We can’t quite afford a professional photographer yet so our resident staff photographer (me) is thankful for last year's Christmas gift to update the photos on the site. They weren’t that bad were they?

I have 787 new friends!   We've gone social network crazy and connected with super people all over the net.  It is wonderful to know more about our customers and admirers and also share a personal side.  Check us on MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, KaboodlePlumdrop and Etsy.

Beeswax is Back!  Our tapers were a top selling product for us this year.  Even though I have hundreds of scents these tapers are always a staple on my dining room table because they look so nice and the natural pleasant aroma doesn’t mix with the food.

Our best selling scents for 2009:

I will miss 2009 but I am so looking forward to 2010!   What were your highlights?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gift Guide pick #30 - Kwanzaa

The first day of Kwanzaa starts December 26th.  The Achi-An African Board Game (similar to tic-tac-toe) is a charming Kwanzaa gift or to play with family and friends each day as you celebrate the 7 principles of Kwanzaa.   Find this and other historic game reproductions from around the globe at Antiquity Gamecrafters.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gift Guide #29 - The Sports Enthusiast

From the sports fans to the athlete to those who coach them I found several gift ideas they would love. Take a look.

These cute Tennis Earrings  from Little Charm are inexpensive enough to give out to the whole woman's tennis team.

For those sports fans who love their team and can't stand their rivals this Rival Team Sucks T-Shirt by Arch Rival Tees is the perfect in your face statement.

I use to be a gymnast and I would have loved to find a Gymnast Pendant such as this.  The Silver Diva has several hard to find sterling silver sports pendants and they also personalize it more with a name or saying!

The Dallas Cowboys of Old print is a great addition to someone's game/sports room or the "man cave" of the die-hard Cowboys fan.  Find more fantastic art at Essence of Us - Artwork by Bill Olivas.

The New Years resolutions to get in shape will start in only a couple of weeks.   Encourage them with this attractive Flower Power Yoga mat Bag by  Chella Bella Designs.

The Carved Walking Stick by Grumpys Gallery is a wonderful gift for the hiker in your life. The carvings are magnificent and each stick comes with an adjustable leather strap, rubber boot and a compass so your hiker always knows where to go (unless he/she doesn't now how to read a compass).

Keep your athlete hydrated through practices and the game.  I love these Custom Team Water Bottles by JJ's Pointworks.  You can get these personalized with your athlete's name or team or the even the team logo.  I like these as a gift for coaches as well. 

This is my absolute favorite.  I know they must have sold out the the Detroit Lion Dammit Dolls (just I'm not...sorry Detroit.) :-)   Instead of punching holes in the upholstery of their couch you can give the Dammit Doll to that frustrated fan.  I can just see DH (dear husband) punching the face in of this doll when their favorite player fumbles the ball.  This is a fabulous idea brought to you by PGH Patchwork Gal.  It may not be available for Christmas delivery but give this to them after because the college bowls and playoffs are coming up and they there will be plenty of "Dammit's" going on on living room couches.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gift Guide #28 - Chris Cringle/Secret Santa

This is a beautiful 2010 Desk Calender by Amelia Kay Photography that is the solution for people you hardly know but you picked for the school/work Secret Santa. These are lovely photos by the shop owner to admire in the home or office all year long.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gift Guide #27 - The Artist

If you are a crafter, designer or artist sometimes the inspiration for a creation hits in the weirdest places.  Sure you can text a note to yourself about what you intend to make, although sometimes there aren't words that explain ART.  Sketching that idea right away makes it easier to capture your exact thought.

This snazzy le petit artiste Art Set by  Pink Lemonade Boutique come in several designs and includes a sketch pad, pencil case and a tote to hold them all in.  The linen covered designs on the set give it a cool artist vibe.  I love it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gift Guide pick #27 - The Naughty

Remember the lump of coal your mom threatened you with if you didn't do your chores or finish your homework?  You can either give this as a gag gift to your friend that has a sense of humor (afterward presenting your real gift ) or anonymously to that co-worker who keeps eating your lunch.   The Original Coal Gram comes in a elegant red ring box with actual coal in the transparent box!  Find it at Coal Gram!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gift Guide #26 - the Sweet Tooth

This Christmas Snack Basket literally has my name written all over it.  LOL.  Four tasty sweet treats totaling one pound presented in a cute basket.  Find this and other sweets from a name you can trust Nicole's Homemade Treats.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gift Guide pick #25 - Teacher

Your child may not like having to bring one of these home but I'm sure their teacher would love having note cards like this.  I love the Create-a-teacher 50 mini note cards!  These note cards can be personalized from the name, skin tone to all the way to their hair style!  Let your favorite teacher know that you appreciate them with this unique gift from  Flutter by Notes or check out the many other styles they have.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gift Guide pick # 24 - Brother

This skull necklace is a great gift for young men into goth or just likes skulls. Actually, I like this type of jewelry on a man's neck.  The leather cord with the brass makes it pop without being too flashy.  The whispy skull is a unique accent and makes a handsome gift.

Under Glass has several variations of this necklace and many (including this one) are currently on sale with free shipping so get it soon! 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gift Guide pick #23 - for the Big Kid

Some years ago I picked up my boss for work and she overslept and answered the door in giant bunny slippers.  I had to do a double take that I was at the right house. My corporate, power suit, blackberry attached to hip boss in pink fuzzy floppy ears?  Many of us still are little kids as adults...some more than others.  We found these adorable slippers and socks for the kids at heart on your list.

Lets hope these are the only mice you see around the house.

Takes me back to my cheerleading days.  These look so warm!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gift Guide pick #22 - The Traveler

My other favorite hobby is traveling.  I still have a longer list of where I want to go than were I've been. With time and finances I will be 90 until I cross each country off my list. For the traveler or wannabe traveler these items are great for a person who loves their city or reminisce about that quaint town in the south of France.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gift Guide pick #21 - Eco Friendy

So what is upcycling?  I hadn't heard this term used until I saw a few items on the Etsy website.  A simple definition would be taking material that was used for one thing and resuing the materials for something completely different. I found several  up-cycled, recycled and environmentally friendly gifts to give to friends and family to start them on the road to protecting the environment.

I hardly see any men wearing a necktie anymore.  So what do we do with them?  How about a Necktie WalletPrixprix has many vintage designs to choose and dress up that boring wallet.

These Shades of Pink Mittens look soooo warm.  All made from recycled sweaters from Grandma Linda's House!

Check out these Jumbo Puzzle Set for the little ones.  Made out of recycled crayons!  Find them at  Ivy Lane Designs.

Personalized Reusable Snack Bags are the way to go instead of plastic or paper bags.  Get them at Bleu Roo Handcrafted Sweetness.

I love these Plantable Peace Dove Christmas Tags.  They provide double (or triple) duty.   Use them on your tree as a gift tag or card and then the receiver can plant them!  You can find these and more at Recycled Ideas.

Get rid of those nasty sponges that you either keep until dear life or replace quite often.  Rebecca Jay makes these colorful crocheted Dishcloths that can be put in the washer and used over and over again instead of disposable sponges.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I've fallen and I can't get up

Okay after "Surprise Kitty" I didn't think I would go "awww" out loud again for a while.  This is the also one of the cutest and funniest most adorable videos so I had to share.  I think I felt like this after the Thanksgiving feast trying to get out the chair.

Gift Guide pick #20 - Writer or Gardner

This is a Cozy Thatched Roof Cottage Hand-painted Rock.  Yes a rock!!  The rich beautiful detail is amazingly stunning.  Give this to your the writer in your family who is still writing his/her novel or manuscript to use as a large paperweight for all those papers. Oh wait a minute.... everything is probably on computer now.  Then place it on a shelf were everyone can see and it will probably inspire yet another story yet to be written.  This is also a fantastic piece of art to exhibit in a lovely garden in which someone with a green thumb would be thrilled to have.  Find this and other original items at Witch Hazel's Shoppe.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gift Guide #19 - The Diva

The Handbag Charm Necklace for your diva friend to put on and bling the night away. The Brown Stilleto Mood Book of Dates she can carry during to day to keep her busy life organized.
purchase the necklace at NatureSeason.  Find the weekly planner at My Book Of List.  Two hot items for the trendy women on the go.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gift Guide pick 18# - The Host

These Balsam Fir Sachets are great hostess gifts than the same old bottle of cheap wine.  Heck I have so many bottles of wine and I don't drink!  The natural aroma and the green with mod design fits in perfectly with any decor.  Sewn Naturals has other sachets in several unique designs as well as many other items for sale.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gift Guide pick #17 - Boy

With all the recalls coming out weekly on toys why not give a non toxic toy from skilled craftsmen (and
women) and let the child use their imagination.

For the future Mario Andretti the Organic Wooden Driving Toy is a treat with two wooden cars and two bridges/tunnels.  The shop Little Sapling Toys recycles as well by replanting a tree each time a purchase is made.

 Banished Woodworking makes the Mini Wood Helicopter for the future pilot. Made of pure wood it can be left unfinished to make it a painting project with your little pilot.

These are both fantastic gifts for little tykes to expand their minds and maybe one day develop video games instead of spending hours playing them.