The Best Homemade Gift Ideas Monthly Digest: free-gift-ideas-newsletter-January2009.html

by: Brenda Mullard

Table of Contents:

1. Looking Forward To A New Decade!

2. Making New Year’s Resolutions .

3. Welcome New Subscribers

4. What’s new?

5.Crafter/Artist Interview of the Month

6. Project of the month

7. Reader Recipes

Buy at
Happy New Year
Norman Rockwell

1) Looking Forward To A New Decade! As I look forward to 2010 I am amazed at how in the past 2 years the website has grown. I am so grateful for all of my readers and followers! I look forward to new and exciting homemade gift ideas. I look forward to continued growth. Thank you 2009 for all you have blessed me and my family with. Welcome 2010!

2. Making New Year’s Resolutions It’s that time of year again where we all want to focus on becoming better. Have better health. Be more financially responsible. Be more caring and giving… We take a moment and reflect on what went right for us in the past year and where we may need to improve. Whatever your New Year’s resolution might be, here are some suggestions that will help you to turn your resolutions into habits that stick.

Have A Specific, Actionable Plan Large vague goals fail. One of the reasons vague goals fail is because they hard to tell when you have accomplished your resolution. “I want to be more focused” might be a resolution. Focused where? Focused how? It's easier to control our behavior if we have a plan that takes daily decision making out of play. Planning also requires thought, and the more we think about something the greater our emotional investment.

Just Do It Making resolutions that have a component of “doing something” are much easier to keep than those that say “I won’t do” I will exercise 3 times a week versus I won’t be lazy anymore. Write down what you want to do and make sure to tell someone what your resolution is. This will make you accountable for your resolution.

Remind Yourself Everyday Remind yourself everyday what your goals are. Put a special message on you calendar or your cell phone that will show up everyday to remind you what you need to do.

Make a resolution to check out what's new each month at The Best Homemade Gift Ideas

3.Welcome New Subscribers

Each month my subscriber list grows for my monthly newsletter. Thanks so much to everyone for spreading the word about the Best Homemade Gift Ideas website and newsletter! This website wouldn’t be worth creating if it weren’t for my wonderful valued readers. Thanks for your continued support! It’s great to have you here with me. I love to find out where everyone is from and what it is you create and do. Please drop me an e-mail if you get a chance. I am always looking for new artists or crafters each month for this newsletter.

4.What’s New?

Valentine’s Day is February 14th. Don’t forget to make a special homemade gift for you sweetie! Check out my Valentine gift page for lots of ideas.

Each page on this website is chalked full of homemade gift ideas. Check any one of them out to make something for that someone special.

For those of you already thinking about Easter I have lots of homemade gift ideas on my Easter page as well. If you have any new homemade gift ideas you would like to share please click here and submit your idea! Don't forget about the Best Homemade Gift Ideas Blog!

5. Crafter/Artist Interview of the Month This month's artist/crafter of the month is Milt from Appleton Wisconsin. After talking with Milt I found out he lives in the same neighborhood as I do. His wood creations are marveoulous!So without further due, here's Milt.

What kinds of objects do you create with wood?

Bowls and flower vases are the most frequent items turned. I have also done custom work for several churches in the form of candle sticks. One pair was 10 foot high with 3 candle holders on each. From the scrape wood I have made several hundred wooden cat tails ranging from very small to full size. (They have accounted for over 15% of dollar sales the past few years.

How old were you when you tried your first woodturning? I was in 8th grade when my father bough a used lathe and showed me a few thing about turning. I tinkered a bit on and off thru HS but nothing serious until 8 years ago, just before I retired at 70.

How did your interest in the craft begin? My eldest son bought me a low end lathe for my birthday. He of course knew that I did other woodworking.

And what attracted you to it? The range of woods that are available each with it's unique color and grain pattern.

How did you go about learning how to do woodturning? The store "WoodCraft" offered beginning lessons. I went to one class. Then about a year latter I joined the NEW Wood Turners that meet once a month for 6 hours with demos of how to.

What types of wood do you generally use? Most are hard woods, local and some exotics from around the world. The exotics are expensive but I picked up a large quantity at an estate sale a few years ago. I do not enjoy working with wood that is perfect, as it blocks my creativity. Knots, roots and crotch wood make more artistic appearing items.

Do you think of yourself more as an artist, a craftsperson or a tradesman? There has been an ongoing discussion for years, Is wood working an art or just a craft. My product sells better at art shows than craft shows.

Where do you look for inspiration when starting a new piece? There are several classic forms that my be tried from a certain piece of log. I generally just get the piece round and then firm up what it will be.

If you had to choose a favorite piece you have made what would it be? There are 3 bowls that come to mind. Two were from the root of a smooth bark Sumac. All 3 have been sold but I've wished often that I had them back.

Which type of work do you get the most pleasure out of creating: a functional item or something that is purely decorative? No question, creating a decorative item. But most people expect wood bowls to have function (What would I put in it?) They do not look at them as art.

What has been the most difficult aspect of your craft for you to learn? Drying wood without it cracking.

If someone were interested in getting into woodturning, what advice would you give them? Talk to several wood turners before deciding what size and price range you can afford. The cost of tools and chucks can equal that of the lathe.

If someone was interested in buying a piece of your work, how might they go about that? I have most of my inventory listed on a store front with and search for mcschmit9 under sellers. or

Thank you Milt for sharing your expertise in the area of woodturning!

6. Project of the Month This month’s project comes to us from MollyMillions. Molly writes:

I made this for a Christmas present. I bought a cheap clock from a thrift store with a wide enough border and covered it in Archie characters. Re-reading the comics, I kept wondering why I liked these so much whereas now they drive me crazy. Advice: Make sure the clock works before you buy it. Otherwise you will be horribly angry and have to buy a clock mechanism from Michael's. This is a simple decoupage project.

I am begining to design my Valentine's Day greeting cards so keep an eye out for new card designs coming soon! I try to update my blog often with new project ideas, tips, and tricks. Feel free to stop by everyday! Become a follower and get notified when a new post is added!

I have a homemade gift ideas discussion forum Have a question about a gift idea? Need help? Ask and you shall receive! Come and join an existing discussion, ask a question or start a new thread!

Do you have a great craft idea? Are you an artist who wants to share your expertise?

Do you want to be published? Do you have a great gift idea you would like to share? Go to my share your gift ideas page and follow the directions on this page. Your idea won't only be used in my monthly e zine but you will also have a page published on my website. So what are you waiting for?

Do You like this newsletter/e zine?? VOTE NOW We are featured on the website Best E Zines!

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7. Looking for reader recipes!

Do you have a great recipe that you would like to share? I know I am always looking for a super yummy recipe to take to the family gatherings throughout the whole holiday season. What about a family friendly recipe for Christmas cookies? Please send them my way! Here’s another yummy recipe from one of our valued readers!

Here is a hot cereal slow cooker recipe for you all to try. Nothing like hot cereal on a cold winter morning!

Warm and Fruity Breakfast Cereal

Cereal Ingredients

5 cups water

2 cups seven-grain cereal

1 medium apple, peeled and chopped

1 cup unsweetened apple juice

1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup chopped dates

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

Chopped walnuts, optional

Cooking Directions

In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 11 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until fruits are softened. Sprinkle individual servings with walnuts if desired

If you tried this recipe tell me how it went for you! I accually have some cooking in my slow cooker right now. I can't wait til tomorrow morning! Share your favorite recipes too!

Do you have a talent, a passion or just know a lot about a certain subject? Do you want to learn how to make money by sharing what you know?

I never thought it was possible and yet here I am! I am so lucky to be able to do all the things I am able to with my kids and husband. Gradually I have seen my website take off and it has been an exciting ride. I would have never believed that I could get paid to share information about subjects I know and love. Even if you are a little bit skeptical watch the passion video. It's amazing what you can do and where Site Build It will take you!

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