The Best Homemade Gift Ideas Monthly Digest: free-gift-ideas-newsletter-june2008.html

by: Brenda Mullard

Table of Contents:

1. Fire Up The Bar-B-Q!

2. Welcome New Subscribers

3. June Is Wedding Month Contest

5. Crafter/Artist Interview of the Month

6. News and Reviews from My Subscribers

1.Fire Up The Bar-B-Q!

Buy at
Grill Master
Dana Simson

For dinner tonight we grilled some steaks and baked potatoes. When I smell charcole I know summer is here! I am sitting here on a Sunday night counting down the days until summer. As a teacher, I am getting as excited as the kids are for summer vacation to start. It’s 8:00pm, the sun is still shining and I can still hear the neighbor kids outside playing. I know with in a few minutes I will hear, ”Oh Mom, do we have to come in? But it’s still light out! It can’t be bedtime already.” Argh... I dread the Sunday night fight to get them to bed.

Father’s Day is approaching fast! It will be here in less than a month. Have you started making your Dad’s Day present yet? That’s right I said MAKE! My husband isn’t easy to shop for. I always love to have the kids make a gift for him. I have some great ideas at The Best Homemade Gift Ideas website for Father’s Day. Check it out!

Here’s a few other Father’s Day gift ideas for you!

Hallmark is great and all, but nothing beats a homemade Father’s Day card. Save money and make your own! This is a great activity for the kids.

Have Dad plan the menu for his special day. Let him pick out whatever he wants to eat for all of the meals on Father’s Day. (Yes, even if he wants Doritos and Mountain Dew for breakfast!)

Make Dad a t-shirt to wear with fabric paint. Use the queeze tubes of paint to write, “Our Dad Is The Best Hands Down” Then paint your children’s hands and put hand prints on the t-shirt.

Take Dad’s favorite chair and decorate it like a throne. After all he is king for the day!

Make Dad a gift basket with peanuts, Cracker Jacks, and soda or other favorite beverage. Buy Dad some tickets to see a major or minor league baseball game in your area. Add these tickets to the basket.

Set up a mini golf course in your back yard and putt around for a while.

I am always on the look out for more ideas to learn about and share with everyone. If you have a great Father’s Day gift idea you would like to share, please drop me an e-mail at:

2.Welcome New Subscribers

A big welcome goes out to all of my new subscribers! This website wouldn’t be worth creating if it wasn’t for all of you. Thanks for your continued support! It’s great to have you all here.

Buy at
I Love You with All My Hearts
Sally Huss

3. June is wedding month contest Ahhh… love is in the air. June is wedding month! I just added a new wedding page to my website. I continue to look for great homemade gift ideas for people to give as wedding gifts. Have you made someone something that made them cry? (Tears of happiness and joy that is…) Share that gift idea. We would love to hear about it. Tell us the whole story.

Here’s an idea I have used many times. I love to take pictures with my digital camera at the wedding… before the ceremony, during the wedding, and candid shots after the ceremony. Then I take pictures at the wedding dinner and reception. I take my picture card to a one hour photo place and have the pictures developed. ( Thank goodness for digital cameras!!! I can take a TON of pictures and pick the ones I want for my album) I buy a really nice photo album and put the picture in the album for the bride and groom to open at the gift opening the next day. Whala… Their very first wedding picture album. You should see the look on their faces when they realize it’s accually pictures of the day and night before. They have a hard time putting the biik down to finish opening gifts! Memorable and personalized!

4. Crafter/Artist Interview Of The Month I am always facinated by what people can create. This month I was very fortunate to meet a mosaic artist by the name of Heather Herley. I came across her mosaics and thought they were beautiful. I just had to share her talent! The work you see above and much more is for sale and

Without further or do, I am pleased to introduce Heather Herley…..

Tell us a little bit about yourself? My name is Heather, I am 28 years old and I live in Germantown, Wisconsin. I am currently working as a Social Worker for a meals-on-wheels program in Milwaukee County. I spend much of my free time working with mosaics and building my small art business - Herley Mosaics.

How long have you been making mosaics? How did you get started creating your mosaics?

I've been working with mosaics for about 4 and a half years now. I'm not really sure how the idea was sparked, but I started out by buying glass mosaic tiles on ebay. This was a great way to get started without needing to buy a lot of glass cutting tools.

Where do you usually create your mosaics? Up until about two months ago I had a studio in our basement, where my boyfriend also has a woodworking shop. However, this past winter, I realized that it was not working for me at all - too cold, too damp, too dark, and too blah!! I wasn't spending much time working in the studio because it just wasn't a comfortable or creative environment for me. About two months ago, I took over our guest bedroom and have created a new studio. Now I finally have some natural light shining in and it has made a huge difference!

I read that you use recycled glass to make your mosaics. Can you tell us more about that? I get the majority of my glass from a nearby stained glass shop in Menomonee Falls. They do large stained glass pieces and then sell their leftover, smaller pieces of glass as "scrap glass". It's a great way to recycle smaller pieces that wouldn't otherwise be utilized and would likely be thrown out at some point. I've also started using some broken plate tiles in my mosaics - finding lonely or chipped plates from local thrift stores.

What things inspire you to create your mosaic designs? I'm inspired by so many things! The reflective quality, variety of colors, and diversity in textures of glass is quite inspiring to me.

Was there anyone while you were growing up that encouraged your creativity? My parents were always supportive of anything that I wanted to do growing up, but I was always quite shy about my art and my music. It was really the encouragement of my good friends that made me finally decide to sell my work recently.

Do you create any other kind of artwork? I'd have to say that my other major artisitic passion would be in the form of music. I love playing the acoustic guitar. It's a wonderful stress reliever!

Have you ever given a mosaic as a gift? What was the person's reaction?

When I first starting creating mosaics, many of them were gifts for friends and family. I continue to enjoy giving them as gifts because if feels much more personal than something store bought. Everyone seems to enjoy getting something that was created with a lot of love!

If someone wanted to try a mosaic, what advice would you give them on how to get started? Definitely just jump right in. As I mentioned above, the best way to start is to purchase glass that is already cut into pieces for you (you can get them at many stained glass shops, online stores, or ebay). That way you don't have to invest in a lot of the cutting tools right away. The best advice I can give, though, is to invest in some Weldbond. It is really the best glue for most mosaics.

If someone was interested in purchasing one of your pieces, where could they do that?

I sell my mosaics online at my new Etsy shop and also have a website:

5. News and reviews Have you tried a product that you absolutely LOVE? Recently try a product you give a thumbs down? Share your opinion will all of us!

Do you have something you would like to see more of? Something I am missing? Something I don’t offer that you would like to see? Please tell me about it! E mail me at:

Do you see something you like on my website? Please let me know about that too.

Next month I am hoping to add a section called The Project of the Month. I will give out instructions for a project at the start of the month. When you finish the project of the month, take photographs and send them to me. Tell me what you thought of the project. I will post everyone's finished project photos in the next month's news letter.

Do you know somemone who would like this e zine as much as you do? Please forward it to any family or friends who enjoy arts, crafts, gift making and giving!

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