That may seem counter-intuitive: here I am, writing a quilting/crafting/art-ish blog and I don’t make all my gifts?
These days I’m looking to DEDUCT activities from my December, not ADD to it. I want to find the Joy in giving, in singing in the Christmas concert, in listening to the flute choir at church, in cooking what nourishes my soul rather than making stuff for the sake of making stuff.
The quilting projects that I’m working on right now serve as a release of energy and tension – they have their purpose, just no deadline of December 25.
If you enjoy the creative part of crafting this time of the year, you have my complete and utter admiration. I’m just not that good.
With the thought that there are plenty of you out there in the great darkness of the internet in the same situation, I’ve come up with a few ideas and thoughts.
Inspiration that lasts throughout the year.
I’m loving subscriptions to magazines. You know, those things that come in the mail wrapped in plastic with glossy pages? That I can snuggle up with in my ‘jammies and an adult beverage in the evening after a particularly frustrating day at my real job?
It’s hard to snuggle with my iPad after I’ve spent all day on the computer. E-zines just don’t appeal to me. I wish they did because I feel a little dopey no wanting any more electronic mail.
Coming out soon is Modern Quilts Illustrated, brought to you by a pair of the masters of modern quilting, Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr. They take the traditional types of quilts and engineer them in such a way using colors and construction techniques that takes them to a new level of “wow.”
(Just so you know, I’m also thinkin’ that their newest book Transparency Quilts might be too fabulous to wait for. Just sayin’.)
The grand dame magazine of art quilting has to be Quilting Arts. Not so much on the snuggly, toss-on-the-back-of-a-sofa quilt, but the “OMG how-was-that-done?” sort of quilt. It has proven time and again to be a go-to resource for techniques and innovations in the world of creative art quilts.
If you have never killed an afternoon browsing Etsy, well, I just don’t know what to say.
My sister almost didn’t get her knitted bracelet from lapisbeach for her birthday last month. My college son had to post guard around the whippie pies I sent from Whipped Bake Shop. I ordered for myself the personalized ribbon labels from gutenTags. The notecards and hand-painted scarf from Lyric Art have a place under our tree.
If you’re not much of an online person (time IS getting short), the chocolate confectioner around the corner would like to see your smile. There are still some church bazaars going on. The fitness studio that I go to is run by a woman who lives down the street – she would love to sell you a gift certificate. It’s there. You just have to step away from the mall.Support your locally owned businesses.
Another reason to step away from the mall.
Let’s face it – the world is getting smaller and smaller. A lot of us depend on that global business model for our jobs. But you can play it closer to home if you try.
The locally-owned hardware store needs you. (Ours closed it’s doors last week. I admit I cried.) The local quilt store would love to have you darken their door. My yoga instructor works at Starbucks, and my purchases there keep her teaching the classes I attend. It’s all good.Giving in Joy is it’s own reward.
Food pantries. Animal shelters. Veterans organizations. You don’t have to be particularly religious to know that putting a buck or two in the bellringer’s bucket is good.
I keeps the humanity in the season. Be happy about that. Find the joy in knowing that you’re part of the community of the world. As fault-laden as we are, we’re it. And we’re in it together.
My warmest wishes for all of you and those you love. Thank you for coming by. Merry Christmas!
All the best – Chris
P.S. I have no ties to any of the groups that listed above. They really don’t know who I am or that I’m writing about them.