Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thoughts on gifts...

We have a lot of family and friend birthdays in the winter. A lot. Virtually every week from November through March, even doubling up here and there. A lot.

The picture is of my 'finished basket'. A place where completed creations rest until a birthday or other holiday comes along.

I often crochet and knit for relaxation. While watching TV or traveling or waiting for this child or that, I put yarn to hook or needles. A scarf, a baby afghan, a hat, a shawl - whatever strikes my fancy at the moment and I add it to the finished basket.

If I'm sewing an easy project, I'll often make more than one and put the extras in the basket. Easy projects are great 'assembly line' candidates.

I also occasionally get the beading bug. When that happens, I make at least two things so I can add to the basket.

Today I went 'shopping' in my finished basket and found a scarf for a friend from work who has a birthday this weekend. While I was perusing the scarf pile, I discovered a baked potato bag in the basket and decided to include it, too. Easy, stress free shopping.

All these extras become great gifts throughout the year, but especially during this time when the holidays take precedence on time and energy. I highly recommend it.

Another thing I recommend... step outside the box. I am a sucker for clearance yarn (think I might have mentioned that before). Mostly because I can try out all the different specialty yarns at much more affordable prices. Also because it get me outside the box of what I would typically purchase as far as color or texture. It's kind of a challenge too... unusual colors, maybe not enough to actually make a complete project out of one yarn so you must combine with another.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, some people when they create things their color pallete or material choices are so focused that all their finished projects have a certain look. Branded if you will. Shopping in the clearance section gets me out of that branded-ness. It helps me to expand beyond my natural tendancies. What's really cool about that is I can almost always find something in my 'finished basket' that suits the recipient. Instead of giving away a gift that looks like me, I give gifts that look like the recipient.

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Thank you for sharing your kind thoughts!