The Best Homemade Gift Ideas Monthly Digest: May 1,2008 by: Brenda Mullard

Table of Contents:

1. Happy Spring Everyone!

2. New Subscriber News

3. New Gift Idea Submissions

4. Contests

5. Crafter/Artist Interview of the Month

6. News and Reviews from My Subscribers

1.Happy Spring Everyone!

As I sit here tonight writing this new e zine I am starting to think about summer and warmer weather. Here in Wisconsin we have has a devil of a winter. The temperatures have actually gotten into the 70's the past few days and it has been pure heaven! I can't wait to get home from teaching school all day to open my windows and "play" outside with my kids.

April is almost over already and May is right around the corner I have been looking for great homemade gift ideas for mothers day. I have a few added to The Best Homemade Gift Ideas website,( but I am always on the look out for more ideas to learn about and share with everyone. If you have a great gift idea you would like to share, please drop me an e-mail at

2.New Subscriber News

Do you have news you would like to share with us? Come on, don't be shy! Did you have a great reaction to a homemade gift you gave? Did you try a new project that was a great success? Don't be afraid to share it. We are all in this together and the more we all can learn from each other the better!

3.New gift Idea Submissions Kudos go out to Amy V. for her wonderful recipe submissions she sent me this month. The recipes she sent to me can be found on the Valued Readers Submissions page on my website in the fresh baked goods section of the page. Those recipes are absolutely yummy and would make any person happy to receive lov'in from the oven! Here's one of Amy's submissions as a teaser for you all:

Old Fashion Coffee Cake

1. Cream 1-cup shortening, 2 cups sugar 2. Then add: 4 eggs, 1/2 tsp. Vanilla, 1 cup milk, 3 cups flour, 3 tsp. baking powder

3. Cinnamon and sugar mix 1 Tbsp. cinnamon, 5 Tbsp. sugar

4. Use a Bundt pan, grease with shortening then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture

5. 1/3 batter, sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mix, add another 1/3 of batter and sprinkle more cinnamon/sugar mix, last 1/3 and last cinnamon/sugar mix

6. Bake 1 hour at 325 degrees. Then turn oven off and leave in oven for 1 hour. After 2nd hour remove the cake from pan immediately allowing to cool turned over.


A little friendly competition never hurt anyone! I am looking for the best homemade gift idea submissions every month. The winner will receive their very own mention on my website home page as well as their gift idea submission published on my site. Your gift idea will be seen by hundreds of people each month. So get going and start submitting those great ideas!You may be the next winner!

5. Crafter/Artist Interview Of The Month

I love meeting new artists and learning about what they do and how they do it. This month I was very fortunate to meet a paper mache artist by the name of Natalie Kibbe. I saw her work and knew she was someone I wanted to meet right away. She granted me an interview that I would like to share with you. The work you see above and much more is for sale at

Tell us a little bit about yourself? My name is Natalie. I have an amazing husband and two wonderful kids, Mackenzie, 14, and Noah, 12. I am a stay-at-home-mom and feel lucky that I am able to do what I do.

Did you like to create things when you were a child?

I did not. My Mom is super-creative and Talented so I guess I always thought that was her 'thing'. She is excellent with the sewing machine and can embroider better than anyone I know. She was and still is always making something, as I am now. It wasn't until I was in high school that I realized that maybe I had some interest in art.

How long have you been creating art with papermache? I started to paper mache in 2005. I had seen an article in Country Living Magazine about a paper mache artist. She was very inspiring to me because her little pieces were so whimsical and full of life. You couldn't help but to smile when you looked at them.

How did you get into using paper mache for a medium to make your art?

That was the hard part. After reading the article, I decided to give it a try. I went to the library and could not find any books on how to begin, other than in the children's section. I had to pretty much figure it out on my own. It took me a couple of months to really get it down. Where do you work on your paper mache?

I am lucky enough to have my own craft room. Long gone are the days of crafting at the dining room table. Of course, now I just wish that my room were a bit bigger...

What’s your favorite part of doing paper mache?

I love the fact that I can take an idea and turn it into something tangible that will hopefully be around for a long, long time.

What’s your least favorite part of paper mache?

My hands get cold pretty fast when I am sculpting with the paste. I wish there was a way to avoid it, because once they get cold, there's no going back! How do you begin the paper mache process?

I almost always sketch my pieces out. They don't always come out the way that I sketched them, but this helps me to remember important details. What things inspire you?

Children's books, movies, my kids, just about anything!

Do you work with any other kinds of art medium to create?

When I'm working with papier mache, I'm usually sewing. I have another shop on Etsy for my children's clothing. If someone was interested in purchasing any of your work where could they go to see what you have available for sale?

Do you give your creations away as gifts?

I have made my sculptures for gifts for my Mom and every year I make one for my kids for Christmas. It is really fun to try to personalize theirs to what they are learning or doing that year. Although they are not always holiday-themed, one year I made my son Noah a Santa with a sack of toys. In the sack he had a golf club, a soccer ball, and some Legos. For my daughter Mackenzie I did Mrs. Santa holding a plate of fresh-baked cookies. Mackenzie learned to bake that year and has been making cookies nearly everyday since then. Not so good for me, I have no control! She does give most of them away, thank goodness!

Thank you Natalie! Please check out her work. It is whimsical and wonderful!

6.News and Reviews From My Subscribers

Do you have a tip or a product you have found and want to share with others please feel free to do that! It can be the good, the bad, and the ugly! We want to hear about it!

Do you know someone who might enjoy this e-zine? Feel free to send this e zine to friends and family!

Readers baked good submissions
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