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Kay Shannon

The Best Homemade Gift Ideas Monthly Digest: free-gift-ideas-newsletter-September2008.html

by: Brenda Mullard

Table of Contents:

1. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

2. Welcome New Subscribers

3. What’s new?

4. Crafter/Artist Interview of the Month

5. Project of the month



1) It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Parent jump for joy and teachers sigh. Its back to school time. I always laugh every year when I see the Staples office supply store commercial on TV. The commercial shows a Dad skipping through the store throwing school supplies into a cart. The Christmas song,”It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” is playing in the background and the two kids have the most disgusted looks on their faces dragging their feet through the isles. The commercial was done in 1996, but I still see it a couple of times what school shopping starts.

As for me, the teacher side of me is also excited for school to start. But at the same time I feel a little sad knowing summer vacation has come to an end. I have enjoyed being home with my own kids for the summer but I am ready for the new challenges of the new school year. Teachers are a lot like the students. We miss our teacher friends and are glad to see them that first day too. We talk and catch up on what we, and our families did over the summer. We get a little nervous wondering what our new students are going to be like, and how we will go back to juggling our own families along with our school duties.

After a few weeks back to school, it’s like we never left and it all comes back quickly!

2.Welcome New Subscribers

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

3.What’s New?

I have been very busy this month adding new sections and pages. There are new projects in the summer gift ideas pages. Take a look at the

colorful clogs project or the

American flag wall or door decoration. I have also stared designing paper greeting cards.
I plan to add more every month. Feel free to take a look.

As always if there is something you are looking for and can’t find please e mail me. or if you have a great gift ideas of favorite project you would like to share….. by all means, send me those too. I would love to hear from you.


4. Crafter/Artist Interview of the Month This months artist/crafter is int fiber. (arts that is) She is a lady who can wave a mean crochet hook! Well, enough of my babbling. Here's Dottie!

Dottie is the one in the middle. The 2 other lovely ladies are her daughters.

Can you tell us a little bit about you? Where are you from? Family?

I am an artist and an art teacher to children grades K-8. I have 3 children, aged 20 to 26. My youngest still lives at home with us. She has an amazing talent for art and is currently studying graphic design. My oldest teaches Latin in High School, and my middle girl is studying medical lab research at Western Carolina University. As an art instructor, I've done my time in art school, workshops, etc. But nothing speaks to me like the fiber arts. Yarn is my medium of choice these days, and a crochet hook is my favorite tool.

How old were your when you first picked up a crochet hook?

I was about 7. My grandmother had just taught me to knit. I was enthralled that I could create from strands of yarn a swatch of knitted fabric! Some time later, a crotchety great aunt came to visit, and I guess I wanted to show off my newfound "grown up" skills. "What are you making?" she asked of my current work-in-progress. God! I didn't know that I had to have a NAME for it. So I just quickly mumbled: "handkerchiefs", because it was the first square item I could think of. She laughed and laughed. I grabbed my needles and yarn and went outside and wept in total humiliation. (I was a tender hearted soul). I quit knitting for a while, then learned to crochet from my mom. I've been on and off with the fiber arts for many years. Somehow -- I manage to carry on. And in spite of the crotchety aunt, I sometimes have no real "name" or purpose -- other than to create, and hopefully, to give someone else a smile in the process.

How did you learn to crochet?

My mom. I also inherited her work habits. She always had a work-in-progress, too. I usually keep about 3 different creations going at once. I must have some form of adult ADHD, because I get bored with one project, and have to skip to another one.

Where do you find your designs to crochet?

About 99% of all the items I have for sale at Etsy are truly my own creation. I have spent hours figuring out how to piece granny squares to make a cool looking purse or tote, or hexagons and octagons... I was always terrible in math at school, so it gives me a smile now to know that I'm enjoying the whole geometry exploration!

Have you ever made your own designs?

All of them! I'm especially into making my Monster Mitts now! Silly little puppet-like washcloths for mom and baby... "Monster" was a term I began using early in January for my original "monster" amigurumi stuffed dolls (acrylic yarns). They have been quite successful. Spring was on the horizon, I took that idea and decided to make my monsters out of cotton yarn. As a mother of 3 children, I soon realized that these little dudes (made like hand puppets) would make great little scrubbers for mom having a hard time giving a kid a bath... then I thought that the little kid needed a funny little mitt too. The monster mitts are basically washcloths all dressed up.

Where do you come up with the ideas for your little characters?

My little monsters, were born, pretty much of a huge emotion, either happiness, goofiness, weirdness... you name it. I've always been interested in faces and expressions in my art. Yarn is just one more way to make it happen.

Have you ever given one of your crocheted pieces as a gift? What was the person's reaction?

LOL! Wow, I have given one of everything I've ever created to all my friends, relatives, neighbors... They all shake their heads ruefully when they see me coming with *yet another* crocheted masterpiece! Would you like one?


5. Project of the Month My newest crafty gift idea is colorful kids and adult clogs. You can find the instructions for this idea here.

Like always, if you try this gift idea show us pictures and tell us how it all went for you! We all learn from each other.

6. Looking for reader recipes! Do you have a great recipe for comfort foods to make on those chilly autumn evenings or a fun tailgating goodie to take to share at a football gathering. Please send them my way! I would like to put these together for an autumn recipe page.





Here are some back to school gift ideas

Supplies for any student to get a great start to the new school year!

These gel pens make finishing homework more creative and fun. I think I might order a set of these!

This would be great in a basket with a gift certificate for music downloads!

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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