Yes, it’s that time of year again! The Christmas shopping season is upon us! And the age-old question is this: What do you get the person who has everything and doesn’t need anything?

Well, why not consider a lovingly handcrafted Christmas ornament?

Why you may ask? Here are a few reasons why.

1. It’s seasonal. For the person who has everything, they don’t need another thing to have on hand all year round. A Christmas ornament can be displayed once a year at the holidays and stored away for another year. No pressure to find a place for it in their home, or find use for it all year long. But it invokes wonderful memories at Christmas when it’s hung on the tree.

2. Make it personal. Choose the ornament you give wisely. If done correctly it will be highly personal to the one who receives it. Here are some ways to choose:

  • Style. An ornament that matches their decorating style says, I know you, I know what you like and I put a lot of time and effort into this gift
  • Memory. Choose something that brings back a memory you share together. A personalized photo ornament, an ornament that features a location you have traveled to, or a special date in your lives.

3. Choose Handmade. Buying a handmade ornament or making one yourself, also says, “I really took the time to think about you and this gift I wanted to give.” (See the end of this blog post for an easy handcrafted ornament project you can do at home.)

So, to help you on your journey, here are a few handmade ornaments you can consider purchasing. These are all available on Etsy, where you can shop for unique, handmade, vintage gifts from small business owners. When you shop on Esty, you fuel the creativity and dreams of a shop owner.

• Personalized Wood Burned Ornament

• Acrylic Pour Painted Ornament

IMG 2661 1
Beth Ann Erickson Designs • Acrylic Poured Ornament

• Personalized Map Ornament

• First Home Ornament

• Handpainted Home Ornament

Screen Shot 2021 10 19 at 4.58.16 AM
LifeHandpaintedHandpainted House Ornament

MAKE IT YOURSELF

For a quick do-it-yourself idea, all you need are live edge birch wood rounds from your local craft store, some black, red, or green paint, a white paint pen or gel pen, a drill, and some twine.

Step one: Drill a hole large enough for your twine to fit through as a hanger

Step two: Paint a colored circle on your wood round (Let dry)

Step three: draw or write your desired design on the painted circle

Step four: attach your twine and you are all set!

Good luck in all your holiday shopping and crafting!

It is that time of year! Time to figure out what to do with all your photos from this year. The ones from vacation, the ones from sporting events and day trips, the ones from holidays last year and so much more!

See the galleries below for some of my favorite ideas from www.zazzle.com. I hope this helps get your creativity flowing!

Christmas Cards

Gold Glitter Photo Christmas CardFlat Holiday Card

Gold Glitter Photo Christmas CardFlat Holiday Card

by EricksonDesigns

Merry & Bright Flat Card Christmas Card

Merry & Bright Flat Card Christmas Card

by EricksonDesigns

Love, Joy & Peace Flat Card Christmas Card

Love, Joy & Peace Flat Card Christmas Card

by EricksonDesigns

Country Rustic Wood Merry Christmas Photo Card

Country Rustic Wood Merry Christmas Photo Card

by kat_parrella

Photo Calendars

Family Photo 2019 Calendar Seasonal Backgrounds

Family Photo 2019 Calendar Seasonal Backgrounds

by superdazzle

Winter Abundance | 2019 Photo Calendar

Winter Abundance | 2019 Photo Calendar

by RedwoodAndVine

Gift Ideas

Create Your Own Holiday Christmas Family Photo Coffee Mug

Create Your Own Holiday Christmas Family Photo Coffee Mug

by UrHomeNeeds

Trendy White Overlay | Your Family Photo Canvas Print

Trendy White Overlay | Your Family Photo Canvas Print

by christine592

Oregon Coast Lighthouse USB Wooden Flash Drive

Oregon Coast Lighthouse USB Wooden Flash Drive

by MadDogPhotography

Modern Typography Christmas Four Photo Grid Coffee Mug

Modern Typography Christmas Four Photo Grid Coffee Mug

by christine592

Baby's First Christmas Block Ornament

Baby's First Christmas Block Ornament

by EricksonDesigns

Custom Photo Pewter Framed Ornament

Custom Photo Pewter Framed Ornament

by MadDogPhotography

I hope this gallery of images inspires you and gives you creative ideas of how to use all those photos you take each year! A personalized photo gift will convey the thought and love that went into the gift you are giving that special someone.

6 Mason Jar Tutorials Revisited

Maybe it’s just me, but I am obsessed with Mason jars. I am always looking for a new way to use them and I am still coming up with a few new ideas here and there! With the beginning of the New Year, I thought this would be a good time to revisit six of our previous Mason jar tutorials, along with a few new ideas and a glimpse into coming tutorials.

We have touched on how to use mason jars for gifts, storage and how to use the lids and rings to create unique memories for your Christmas tree.

But first a little Valentines Day treats! New to the Etsy shop are two instant downloads that can be used on a Mason jar or a milk bottle to make a sweet treat for your special someone! These downloads are designed to match two candies, Reese’s Pieces and Red-hots! Click the images above to purchase the download and complete your own Valentine’s Day project. Then read on to review our previous Mason jar tutorials and find on that fits your needs.

Tutorials revisited:

  1. The Art of Mason Jar Gifts • Using Mason Jars as gift baskets.
    (www.bethericksondesigns.com/allthingscreative/2016/4/25/the-art-of-mason-jar-gift)
  2. The Art of Mason Jars and Chalkboard Paint • Using mason jars as canisters.
    (www.bethericksondesigns.com/allthingscreative/2016/5/30/the-art-of-mason-jars
  3. Pumpkin Granola and The Art of Hostess Gifts • Pumpkin granola packaged in a mason jar for a hostess gift, free recipe and download included. (www.bethericksondesigns.com/allthingcreative/2016/11/10/pumpkin-granola-and-the-art-of-hostess-gifts)
  4. Mason Jar Easter gifts • Using Mason jars as Easter baskets with a free download.
    (www.bethericksondesigns.com/allthingcreative/2017/3/29/mason-jar-easter-gifts-free-download)
  5. Father’s Day Gifts Simplified • Dad has everything he needs right? Why not tell him how you feel about him with a themed candy jar.
    (www.bethericksondesigns.com/allthingscreative/2017/6/9/fathers-day-gifts-simplified)
  6. Homemade Christmas Ornaments • Photo Christmas ornaments made from Mason jar rings and lids.
    (www.bethericksondesigns.com/allthingscreative/2017/12/14/diy-homemade-photo-christmas-ornaments)

I am sure these are not the last Mason jar ideas I will come up with, but I thought it might be helpful to have them all listed in one place for easy reference! I am sure if you searched online you could probably find a ton more! Why? Because Mason jars are really just so much fun to find new use for! From vases to water glasses and so much more!

Just to prove my point, coming soon to the blog I will have a tutorial on making table numbers for your wedding or party using the Mason jar rings, lids and wine or sparkling cider bottles.

Visit www.bethericksondesigns.com for other great tutorials and daily encouragements!

Saturday • November 25

Roadside Safety

Is there a teenager in your life that has just started driving or is about too? A roadside emergency kit would be the perfect gift for them. Its keeps them safe and makes you feel better about them driving. Search Amazon, Google or shop local retailers and your sure to find what your looking for.

Day 6 tomorrow, don't forget to stop and see what it says!

Friday • November 24 • Black Friday

Handmade Kitchen Linens

Do you know someone who loves to cook? Do they use cast iron skillets or often put their frying pan in the oven. These little skillet handle covers make a great gift or stocking stuffer! Check them out here.

A few other great gift idea for the chef or cook in your life is a reversible potholder/trivets. Handmade and machine quilted.  Click here to shop now. Or a microwave potato bag, sold here.

See you tomorrow for day 5!

Thursday • November 23 • Happy Thanksgiving

Movie Night

A movie night out or a movie night in, this gift basket is sure to please anyone from a dating couple, teenagers to a family of four or more! There are several ways to accomplish this fun gift.

Movie Night In: Purchase a popcorn bowl, gourmet popcorn, movie sized boxes of candy and include a gift card for a rental or movie purchase. For gourmet popcorn from a family run business visit Dell Cove Spices. Include a personalized popcorn bowl like the one above from EarthlyChic.

Movie Night Out: Package a theater gift card, restaurant gift card and some candy together in a cute little bag or box! Perfect for the one the go family or couple.

Stop by tomorrow to see what's in store for day four!

Wednesday • November 22

Christmas Ornaments

I love to give my stepsons a Christmas ornament each year, chosen just for them. It’s a fun way to make memories and it also means they will each of a small collection of ornaments to take with them when they move into their own place.

You can find Christmas ornaments as unique as the person your giving it to.  From themed to personalized, Etsy has it all.

The ornaments pictured here come from these two shops on Etsy: Kute Kustom Kreations and Roz Petalz Studio.

See you on Thanksgiving for day three in The ART of GIVING!

Life has seemed to take off and I have just simply not had time to write any blog posts and now we are deep into the holidays with Thanksgiving upon us and Christmas shopping. I just finished with my final craft fair of the year and now I seem to have a little bit of time on my hands and started thinking about Christmas the art of giving and how it makes someone feel when you come up with perfect gift to give them. I have compiled some ideas and will be sharing them over the next seven days. Since we have Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up, now is the perfect time to share them with you. Maybe I will come up with some more ideas after the first seven days. We shall see. Here is today's to kick start the series!

Tuesday • November 21

Mason Jar Tumbler

These Mason jar tumblers make the perfect vessel for a gift full of surprises. They boast a handmade reversible mason jar cozy and a silicone lid to drink from. Coffee, tea and water all taste better if served in glass! Fill it with candy, gift cards, nail polish, and packages of peanuts, tea, coffee and more, to give a gift as unique as the person you are giving it too. (CLICK HERE TO SHOP)

Look for our next gift idea tomorrow and for the next seven days. Do you have an Idea I should feature or want to share? Go ahead a post a comment! Until tomorrow!

Hostess gifts used to be the norm along with thank you cards for just about everything from hosting friends for dinner to gifts of all kinds.  It seems that these two traditions showing appreciation for family and friends have gone by the wayside. But why has this happened? Are we too selfish to think of others? We think they will cost a lot of money?  Are we worried people will think us weird or old-fashioned?

Well, I say who cares what anyone thinks. It’s time to bring these two traditions back to being normal. A hostess gift does not have to cost you a bundle and a thank you note can be sent by e-mail, but personally I think a hand written, mailed note, that someone has taken the time to address, stamp and place in the mail box means so much more!

Thank you cards are very affordable these days with places like Ross, Marshalls, The Dollar Tree and Tuesday Morning. Hostess gifts can also be affordable.

This whole idea of a homemade hostess gift came to me when I was making pumpkin granola for a potluck from a recipe given to me by my sister. As I was putting it in mason jars to take to the potluck, it struck me, if I designed a label and a recipe card to go with it, that it would make a wonderful gift.  That’s how this blog post was born. I am including a designed pumpkin granola recipe card along with a blank one with this post. Use it as many times as you like and share it with friends and family. My sister created this granola from a cookie recipe a friend gave her and it was a huge success at my church potluck. Enjoy!

Hostess Gift Ideas:

Most of us have mason jars just sitting around our house and they are super easy to fill with some homemade granola, wrap with some pretty scrapbooking paper or one of our mason jar wraps sold HERE and ribbon.  Complete these steps and you have a very affordable hostess gift ready to go. Another idea is to include the recipe for your granola on a decorated recipe card. Punch a hole in the card and tie with the ribbon you are using to decorate your mason jar.

  • Mason Jar filled with the host favorite candy
  • Mason Jar filled with homemade candied nuts (See Pinterest for recipes)
  • A scented candle
  • A dishtowel appropriate to the season
  • A bouquet of flowers or a plant
  • A bottle of wine or sparkling cider (which can also be decorated with one of our mason jar wraps)
  • A tin of homemade chocolates or cookies
  • One Hour Bowl Cozies (as seen HERE) to match the Hostesses kitchen

There are also many handmade items you can give as hostess gifts, a few homemade note cards, a handmade Christmas ornament, a hand-sewn pot holder or dish cloth, a bread basket liner and more.

Let’s join together to bring back the art of hostess gifts this holiday season. Visit our Etsy store to purchase our Mason jar wraps (They can be used to wrap a peanut jar, a mason jar, a bottle of wine or cider and more!) or thank you cards that you can print at home.

More holiday tips and tricks to come in the next few weeks!

Pumpkin Pecan Granola

  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in large bowl until oats are coated, line cookie sheet with parchment, cook at 10 min intervals, stirring between until browned and crunchy, cool and then store in glass containers.

Gifts that give back!

What has Christmas become in your home? Is it all about what you can get instead of give? What do your children think Christmas is all about? I have really been thinking a lot about this lately. I am not perfect in this area, so please don’t feel like I have got it all together. I mean I already have a list on my fridge of gifts that people can get me!

The truth is Christmas in not about getting, it’s about giving! So, what if the perfect gift could also give back to someone one in need? What if it could support a family in a third world country, save someone from sex trafficking, support a village in need, provide clean water, help a single mom or the family next door.

I am making it my goal this year to have my gifts help others. It may not be possible for each and every gift I give to do this, but I know it’s possible for some of them to help others.

I want Christmas to mean something more than just getting. I want it to be about serving, sacrificing, loving and caring about others. I want my gifts to say, I thought of you when I saw this and I wanted to support someone in need.

In the hopes that you will join me in this endeavor this year I have complied a list of places where yo can purchase gifts that give. I have included each organizations mission statement or description as found on their website. Please understand that I have just skimmed through their websites to see what their mission statements say. Please do your own research and make sure you fully support the organizations goals before purchasing.

Prodigal Pottery, www.etsy.com/shop/prodigalpottery

Prodigal Pottery started from the dream to create jobs for women fleeing homelessness and domestic abuse in a safe and therapeutic environment. Kings Home is home and safe haven to over 50 women who are seeking hope and restoration from pasts riddled with abuse and homelessness.

Mudlove Pottery, www.mudlove.com

Through our partnership with Water for Good, every product you purchase provides one week of clean water to someone in need. The Central African Republic is a country in desperate need of hope, love, and basic necessities. Access to safe, clean water has the power to transform communities and save lives.

Mercy Jewelry, www.etsy.com/shop/mercyjewelry

M.E.R.CY Jewelry is a ministry that exists to provide the women a life with dignity. Through this ministry, they hear about Christ's love and His healing

Threads worldwide, www.threadsworldwide.com

Creating life-changing work for women around the world through the fair trade of artisan jewelry.

Love Sees Collection, www.etsy.com/shop/loveseescollection

Love Sees Sterling Silver and Gold Vermeil Jewelry with Love Phrases! The Gift that Gives Back. 10% of proceeds donated to teen suicide prevention and awareness.

Bead for life, www.beadforlife.com

Creating sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of poverty by connecting people worldwide in a circle of exchange that enriches everyone.

Feathers & Grace, www.etsy.com/shop/feathersandgrace

We have a profound & beautiful purpose here at Feathers & Grace: To Celebrate, Encourage, Love, and Cherish every beautiful life! With every purchase, you are helping make a beautiful difference in the lives of children and families around the world!

Live Love Studio, www.etsy.com/shop/livelovestudio

We have a big passion to spread goodness to the world in a tangible way. With each purchase, you are providing ONE MEAL to a hungry tummy in East Tennessee Appalachia, through the efforts of Second Harvest Food Bank.

Purpose Jewelry, http://www.purposejewelry.org

Purpose jewelry is handcrafted by survivors of modern-day slavery. 100% of the proceeds benefit International Sanctuary, a non-profit that provides holistic care for young women rescued from sex trafficking.

Mercy INK, www.etsy.com/shop/mercyink

Mercy INK is happy to support the ministry of Restore Elikia, a non-profit in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 Ten Thousand Village, www.tenthousandvilaages.com

Every purchase improves the lives of makers by supporting their craft and providing a fair, stable income.

Gifts With Humanity, www.giftswithhumanity.com

Gifts With Humanity is a brand of Global Crafts. Our mission is to offer income-generating opportunities to craftspeople in developing countries by following fair trade practices including paying in advance at least the market price for items, ensuring that craftspeople receive payment, and ensuring that the craftspeople work in fair working conditions. We work directly with artisans, craftspeople, and producer groups to achieve these goals and hopefully help improve the lives of some of the people with whom we share this planet.

Cross Culture Market, www.crossculturemarket.org

Cross Culture Market buys hand-made crafts from native artisans through Christian missionaries and humanitarian organizations. We sell these unique products in our store and online at www.crossculturemarket.org. You can find jewelry, home decor, purses, body products, holiday decorations, stationery, gourmet foods and other gifts made in every corner of the globe on our shelves!

serve, www.serrv.org

Serrv is a nonprofit organization with a mission to eradicate poverty wherever it resides by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers worldwide.

Earth Divas, www.earthdivas.com

Earth Divas, a fair trade company that is 100% focused on providing women in the developing world opportunities to earn a decent wage. We are unlike most businesses in that we exist not to make a profit. Our goal is to pay artisans as much as we can, and if we do show a profit, we give 100% of it to the artisans.

My own Etsy site, www.bethannerickson.etsy.com has a handful of hand beaded snowflake Christmas ornaments, three dollars from each ornament will go to Women of Purpose, Camano Island Chapter, who help bring life, hope and opportunity to women and children in developing countries. Currently this group supports a village in Southeast Asia. Through their financial support, the village of Thongkouang will be transformed into a thriving, self-sufficient community with healthy, safe, educated children. Women of Purpose also supports child protection work in Asia. Both of these programs help to prevent the human trafficking of women and children.

This list just scratches the surface. There are many more places you can purchase gifts that give. A simple google search will give you places to shop right at your fingertips. If you purchase from one of the organizations listed here, please mention you read about them on my blog! Happy Christmas shopping! "He is the reason for the season!"

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