Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Gift Guide- Part Five

The Fifth and Final (for now) Part of an Ongoing Series to Help You Find the Perfect Gift.

The Crafter- When you ask, "Where'd you get that?" you're not surprised when the answer is, "I made it."

Itty Knitty Necklace
The Ittty Knitty Necklace by Corinne of SeptemberHouse grabbed my attention while I was searching Etsy for something else entirely. It would make a great gift for the knitter who has everything, or who is a bit of a yarn snob, and therefore hard to buy for. Show her you appreciate her devotion to her craft with something she is sure to love.

Keeping with the fiber-lover theme, if you know someone who likes to play with fiber, but has yet to take the plunge into dying, consider a Greener Shades Dye Starter Kit available at Blue Mountain Handcrafts. It is more environmentally friendly than traditional acid dyes, with more consistent results than creating natural dyes (or using food coloring).

The act of creation, while incredibly fulfilling, takes a lot out of a person. Makers hands often become abused tools, rather than well-cared for body parts (mine are currently wrecked). Help your favorite crafter rejuvenate with a Quilter's Lotion Bar from Kay Butler of The Rustic Cottage.  It is different from normal lotions and butters because it is designed for people who handle fabrics and fibers, so it's residue is non-staining with a bit of tack. The unscented version would be my pick, but it is also available in the classic scents of lavender or oatmeal, milk, and honey. 

The next product is simple and ingenious. The Therapy Packs by The Ferris Wheels are both hot and cold packs specifically designed for different areas of pain. The Wrist Wraps and Wrist Supports would both be great for crafters. 

I proudly admit to being one of the aforementioned yarn snobs. I am so opposed to acrylic, that I pretend not to be allergic to animal fibers. When I spin wool, I have to take an occasional break to wash out my eyes (or shower) because they tend to swell shut. I hate acrylic yarn, I hate things made of acrylic yarn. Life is too short to knit with petroleum products. (Excuse me while I climb onto my high horse.) I will go so far as to say that my snobbery is a noble pursuit, as icky petroleum based synthetics are bad for the planet. 

I really like tea.

If you know someone like me, I wish you luck, and suggest that this mug from Heather of winemakerssister, with a quote from every knitter's favorite harlot, would make a fantastic gift. Combine it with the two items above, some fabulous tea (or coffee), a few handmade treats, and maybe some handmade soap, fragrance, or other spa goodies for a restorative gift basket with a touch of snark. 

Tiny Confections
Surely there is a baker (or eater) in your life who would be thrilled with the tiny, inedible confections cooked up by Stephanie Kilgast of PetitPlat. I'm astounded by the things she is able to create in detail, in miniature. 

Wrap It Up
Place your gift inside a project bag, like this one from Saremy Duffy of Chicken Boots. It looks like it could double as a shopping bag for the hyper-organized. Smaller gifts could go in a notions case.

The perfect card for any creator of things is this oversized postcard (that is sure to be displayed as mini-art) from Chandler O’Leary of Anagram Press. It surrounds the words of Elizabeth Zimmermann (if you knit, you owe her), with tatters of handmade life. I love it, as I love all of the Dead Feminists series.

Crafters tend to be a giving group of people, wanting nothing more than to share their creations, their knowledge, their thoughts, and their love of creating with others. In that spirit, consider making a donation in your recipient's name to support his or her fellow craftspeople. Oxfam America Unwrapped allows you to purchase a "gift" that is really a donation accompanied by a card that tells what the amount of money you donated could be used for. One of those options is support for indigenous craftswomen, helping artists sell their handicrafts for fare wages. 

Other donation values yield other gifts, and some of them have four legs. My mom and I gave my grandparents a donkey a few years ago (along with a stuffed Eeyore). What fiber enthusiast wouldn't love a sheep or alpaca, sans responsibility and possible illegal possession of livestock charges? With options ranging from art supplies for kids to a field of organic cotton, there is sure to be something perfect for your crafty loved one. 

I hope I've jump started your crafty gift giving ideas. Other installments of this series focus on gifts for recipients with different personality types and interests. 

I hope to have more Gift Guide features in the future, but this is it for the spring series.