Friends, Craftsters, Countrymen, lend me your ears...
Do you love Christmas? I don't. I hate it. HAHAHAHAHA
Seriously though, let me share a little story with you. Once upon a time there was a stunningly beautiful, totally modest, girl who loved absolutely everything about Christmas. For years, said girl was a sucker for advertising and a slave to the Mecca of Capitalism - the mall.
One day she took up knitting. Then sewing. Then cooking. Suddenly, she was obsessed with transforming herself into a craftastic domestic goddess. She was 21 years old.
When it came to be Christmas time that year she decided that the mall sucked because she could never find anything there that was a) affordable, b) not a cheaply made piece of crap or c) meaningful enough to give as a gift.
That's when our beautiful heroine found a craft-a-long thread on Craftster all about crafting your Christmas gifts bit by bit over the course of the year.
She solemnly vowed to do so, and the next year she was leading the aforementioned thread, and the next, and the next.
Fast forward to today.
If you haven't figured it out yet, I am your Christmas heroine! These past few weeks I've been marinating on an idea to encourage more participation in my holiday craft-a-long so that I can spread my crafty gospel throughout the land.
Here's what I propose:
* At the beginning of each month I will post a few ideas and themes to inspire you to craft for Christmas.
* By midnight on the last day of each month you can notify me of your completed gift project one of three ways a) posting a picture and comment to this thread on Craftster, b) uploading a photo to the Flickr Group http://www.flickr.com/groups/2009holidayhandmadecrusade/
or c) post it on your blog, and leave me a blog comment at http://www.geekxnerd.com
with a link to your post.
*YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FOLLOW MY THEMES
I'm totally flexible here, the point is to get some gifts done ahead of time, non-conformity is welcome.
* Winter holidays of all races and religions are welcome. Christmas is my particular flava', so that's what I'll be writing about here.
What's in this for you?
At the end of each month, I will compile all of the entries via Crafster, Flickr and my blog comments into a single raffle drawing for a FABULOUS PRIZE!!!
I've called upon some of my favorite fellow craftsters, artists and indie businesses and they've agreed to generously donate their goods and services to YOU!
* You can participate one month, two months, twelve months. Whatever works for you.
* If you make two or more gifts per month, each will count as an entry to the raffle. Pretty sweet, huh? That's what I call INCENTIVE!
Remember, participating in a Christmas craft-a-long does not mean that you have to deck your house out in red and green and sing carols all year long. Simmer down. I like to think of Christmas as a culmination of crafty love that accumulates all year long.
So, who's down for the crafty lovin'?
Join me to take back Christmas from the mall with our loving, crafty hands!
Your Craftastic Christmas CrusaderYour theme for December is: Shake and Bake!
: This is it Crusaders! What a journey we've made together this year! Our last theme for the year is 'Shake and Bake.' Food is the ultimate last minute gift - and you know, I've yet to find a person who doesn't appreciate it. Whip up something tasty for someone you love, and if you are so inclined, share the recipe here!
Also - if you are crazy with last minute crafting, certainly post that stuff too! SPECIAL DECEMBER BONUS ENTRIES
This month you will receive one raffle entry for monthly theme suggestions. I want the Crusade to carry on in 2010, and I am opening the floor to suggestions for themes. I would love to hear your ideas! Entries to be eligible for the raffle are due on December 24th by midnight EST Your theme for November is: Warm and Toasty!
: Alright Holiday Crusaders, we are getting down to the line, and for many of us two things are becoming a precious commodity: TIME and WARMTH! Use this month to whip up some warmth inspiring gifts for those on your list. Think scarves, hats, mittens, blankets. All of these projects are quick and easy and will keep your friends and family warm and toasty!
Live in a warm climate? No worries...take some of these ideas and translate them into lighter, cooler fare. For example, instead of a wool knit scarf, make a silk dyed scarf. Entries to be eligible for the raffle are due on November 30th by midnight EST
Your theme for October is: Hearth and Home!: During autumn and harvest time, I get decidedly nest-y. I think something about my personality makes me want to prepare our little home and make it as comfortable as possible as we transition to spending more time indoors. So, therefore, I declare October's theme Hearth and Home. Make something that will spruce up someone on your gift list's home. This time of year is great for finding wreath making materials, or perhaps you could sew a pillow or create a beautiful piece of art. Anything to make a home more cozy! The sky is the the limit! Entries for March are now closed. The raffle winner for the month of March is: GumInMyHair
Entries to be eligible for the raffle are due on October 31st by midnight EST
Your theme for September is: Back to School!: It's September people, and that means it's back to school time! I don't know about you, but I've been out of school for years now, and I still get an excited, 'It's a new year!' feeling in September.
This month, you can take this them literally and make some fun, (perhaps holiday themed) school supplies for the little ones in your life...or you could make some fun work supplies for the big people you know. Ex: Fun fabric cubes for organizing a desk or a craft space, a new wallet, a fabric covered folder. Use your imagination!
Entries to be eligible for the raffle are due on September 30th by midnight EST
Your theme for August is: Work-In-Progress!: Are you thinking that maybe you would like to give a large handmade gift to someone on your list for the holidays? START NOW my friends, because if you don't, it ain't getting done by December. I am sagely speaking from experience.
This is possibly the easiest theme yet! All you have to do is post a photo of a work-in-progress, and you are entered in this month's raffle!
Entries to be eligible for the raffle are due on August 31st by midnight EST
Your theme for July is: Save the Summer!: Save a little sunshine for the winter holidays by saving a piece of summer. You can literally do this by trying your hand at making jam, or canning some homemade pasta sauce. How about pressing some beautiful flowers into a frame? Inspired by the summer beauty around you? Sketch, paint or photograph your surroundings and frame that in a recycled frame from Goodwill.
Entries to be eligible for the raffle are due on July 31st by midnight EST
[Entries are now closed for July. The July raffle winner is: Homerof2! Please PM me with your snail mail address to redeem your prize. Thank you all for playing along!
Your theme for June is: Crafty-papa!: Surprise, surprise, last month's theme is being tweaked to honor the awesome men in our lives. Use a little extra Father's Day crafty mojo to make a gift for the winter holidays. Feel free to expand the theme to craft for your grandfathers, stepfathers, new fathers, any man that is special in your life.
Entries to be eligible for the raffle are due on June 30th by midnight EST
Prize for June will be announced ASAP!
Your theme for May is: Crafty-mama!: Let's honor our mum's this month by using a little extra Mother's Day crafty mojo to make a gift for the winter holidays. Feel free to expand the theme to craft for your grandmothers, stepmothers, new mothers, any woman that is special in your life. Got kids? Craft for them, they made you the crafty-mama you are today!
Entries to be eligible for the raffle are due on May 30th by midnight EST
Prize for May will be announced soon!
Entries are now closed for May. The May raffle winner is: cosmomouse! Please PM me with your snail mail address to redeem your prize. Thank you all for playing along!
Your theme for April is: Eco-crafting!: Let's honor Earth Day this month by doing some recycling, upcycling and eco-friendly crafting. What does that mean? Well, it can mean many different things, maybe you can repurpose and revamp something that you purchased at a thrift store, or you could make something from recycled materials. Perhaps you could make a nature inspired piece of art or craft with materials that have been produced sustainably.
Need some inspiration?
Check out how to fuse plastic bags into a sweet laptop case over at Threadbanger: http://www.threadbanger.com/episode/THR_20090320 While you're there, you should pretty much check out their entire archives. Lots of recycling goodness to be found there.
Make your own laundry detergent: http://tipnut.com/10-homemade-laundry-soap-detergent-recipes/
This simple t-shirt shrug tutorial is rockin' my universe: http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/tshirt_shrug
There are so many ways to interpret this theme - I can't wait to see what you come up with!
Announcing the raffle prize for the month of April!
The prize for the month of April is a Merfish Necklace from Resurrection Fern: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12967142@N05/3286932687/ Visit Margie's amazing blog Resurrection Fern: http://resurrectionfern.typepad.com/, photo stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12967142@N05/ and shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5052132. Thanks go to Margie for making this giveaway possible!
Entries close 4/30/09 at midnight EST. The winner will be announced on 5/1/09
Entries are now closed for April. The April raffle winner is: oneredboot! Please PM me with your snail mail address to redeem your prize. Thank you all for playing along!
Now announcing the Holiday Handmade Crusade theme for the month of March:
March's theme is Craft a memory. Pick someone on your holiday gift list and think of all of the memories that you've made with that person. Perhaps you could make something special to commemorate that awesome trip to Montreal with your Aunty June. Or maybe you want to make a photo collage about that time you had a midnight picnic with all of your friends at the beach. Whatever it is, use a memory as a catalyst for your craft project.
There are some books out there about this very topic that I just love:
Stitched in Time by Alicia Paulson: I got this book for Christmas last year, and it's filled with projects outlining how to incorporate family photos, recipes and children's drawings into sewing projects. http://www.amazon.com/Stitched-Time-Memory-Keeping-Projects-Creator/dp/0307406261/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235847812&sr=8-1
52 Projects by Jeffrey Yamaguchi: http://www.amazon.com/52-Projects-Everyday-Creativity-Perigee/dp/0399532064/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235847931&sr=1-1 Check out the What's Your Project section of Jeffrey's site for inspiration. http://www.52projects.com/52_projects/whats_your_project/
Or how about these projects:
The pillow I made for my sister for Christmas last year: http://www.flickr.com/photos/geekxnerd/3131726959/in/set-72157610696478351/
Art out of T-shirts via Apartment Therapy: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/dc/inspiration/a-different-kind-of-diy-art-077110
Photo Type Case via Ali Edwards: http://aliedwards.typepad.com/_a_/2008/05/weekend-creat-2.html
The possibilities are infinite on this one. Entries to be eligible for the raffle are due on March 31st by midnight EST.
The March raffle winner will receive a copy of Mixed Media Self-Portraits: Inspiration and Techniques by Cate Coulacos Prato courtesy of Interweave Press. http://www.amazon.com/Mixed-Media-Self-Portraits-Cate-Coulacos-Prato/dp/1596680822/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235846885&sr=1-1
The winner will also receive a copy of the CraftyPod zine, courtesy of Sister Diane of Craftypod fame. http://www.craftypod.com
GumInMyHair has won a copy of Mixed Media Self-Portraits: Inspiration and Techniques by Cate Coulacos Prato courtesy of Interweave Press. http://www.amazon.com/Mixed-Media-Self-Portraits-Cate-Coulacos-Prato/dp/1596680822/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235846885&sr=1-1
, plus a copy of the CraftyPod zine, courtesy of Sister Diane of Craftypod fame http://www.craftypod.com
. GumInMyHair, please PM me with your e-mail address so we can discuss how you will redeem your prize. Congratulations!
Your theme for February is: Make something for the one you love!:
Okay, think about this. Those of you that are "attached" will most likely be doing something special with your sweetie for Valentine's Day. All of you are crafty, so I bet that good portion of you will be making something for your sweetie as well. Well V-day is smack in the middle of the month, so what to do with all of that crafty energy for the rest of the month?! Use the lovey-dovey energy surrounding this month to craft something extra to put away for your sweetie for Christmas!
Not attached? Hate Valentine's day. Bitter? Angry? Alone? No worries, I get it. I used to be Bridget Jones incarnate before I got married. I hated Valentine's Day. Take back the holiday by making something for someone you love that is not your sweetie! Love your mom? Baby? Best friend? Brother? Etc? Use your crafty energy this month to get a gift out of the way for someone special in your life. Romantic, or not. Entries close on 2/28/09 at midnight. Winners announced 3/1/09
February prize announced on Geek+Nerd here: http://www.geekxnerd.com/2009/02/holiday-handmade-crusade-announcement_20.html
Sorry for the external link - but I'm in a hurry! Entries for February are now closed. The raffle winner for the month of February is: oneredboot
Oneredboot has won a "Broken Hearted" print by Abigail Halpin: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=17554889
. Oneredboot, please PM me with your e-mail address so we can discuss how you will redeem your print.
Your theme for January is: ORNAMENTS!: Make one, make one hundred. Ornaments are a great small gift to have on hand for anyone!
Need some inspiration? Check out the 2008 Holiday Ornament Swap Group via Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/holidayornamentswap08/Announcing the raffle prize for the month of January!!!
The prize for the month of January is a $10 Gift Certificate to SewMamaSew: http://sewmamasew.com/
. One caveat, the certificate applies to product only, not the shipping costs.
Entries close 1/31/09 at midnight. The winner will be announced on 2/1/09
SewMamaSew is a wonderful online fabric resource, and they have a tremendously fun blog as well. One of my favorite features of their blog is the Handmade Holidays Series they put together in November. Each day of the month they focus on a different theme for gift-making, with links to patterns. SewMamaSew provides ton of crafty inspiration for prezzy making! Many thanks go to Kristin Link for making this giveaway possible!
Check out SewMamaSew's Handmade Holiday Archives!
[/s] Entries are now closed for January. The January raffle winner is: llisaredd
llisaredd, Please PM me with your e-mail address to redeem your gift certificate. Thank you all for playing along!