Tag Archives: Stocking Stuffers

Little Big Gift Guide: Thrifty Ideas for Stocking Stuffers

12 Dec

Today is the first installment of a three-part series I’m doing on inexpensive, yet still fun and creative and useful, Christmas gifts. The goal is to give items that would be a welcome gift and not just junk that will likely be tossed out at the end of the day. To be included in this gift guide it must be useful, lovely, and budget-friendly. Today, Thrifty Stocking Stuffers, and later this week, Thriftier Stocking Stuffers, and last but not least, Thriftiest Stocking Stuffers.

Instagram magnets: for $14.99 Stickygram will create 9 magnets out of the Instagram photos of your choice. My plan is to do this and split the photo magnets among family members.

Phone cords: for whatever reason, the necessary USB cord for the iPhone seems to always crack and wear, leaving exposed wires that result in a poor connection. I could always use an extra USB cord, and for that matter, extra screen protectors and replacement ear buds (they always find their way to the washing machine at our house) make handy stocking stuffers, as well.

Flash drives: I’m lusting after this key-style flash drive. Particularly useful for students and nerds! Especially useful for nerd-students.

My Etsy shop: Shameless self-promotion time! In my shop I have a number of smaller items that would make excellent stocking stuffers. Support small business and an active reuse market! Also, my thrifting habit.

Books: The thriftiest way to give books is to give away books you no longer want to keep (which I’m cool with as long as the recipient would be interested in it), or to find something while thrifting or at a library book sale. But don’t forget independent book sellers or even mass-market retailers. My dear friend Stefanie loves to give books at holidays and we all look forward to getting them.

Personalized calendar: for as long as my mother has purchased calendars she’s always had a cat calendar every year. Somewhere along the line Anthony and I started purchasing calendars for her as our Christmas present. After a couple years I had the idea of making her a cat calendar using photos I took of her own cats, and she loved it. When Isobel came along we made her cat and granddaughter calendars. She looks forward to this every year.

Shop Etsy faves: If you do happen to have a budget for presents, and the person you are buying for has an etsy account, take a look at items they’ve favorited through their profile for ideas. My friends and I started using Etsy faves as a wishlist and like to buy items off their lists when we can afford it. We know they’ll love whatever we buy them, and since we all know about this idea we include faves at a few pricepoints. We have had the issue of two of us buying the same present for someone only once (since faves aren’t an actual registry, after all) and overall this system works well. I love supporting small biz while making a friend happy.

Magnets: I always need more magnets, Instagram or otherwise, and by this I mean cute magnets, of course.

Gift cards: Gift cards aren’t an usual gift idea, but when times are tough sometimes the best gift someone can receive is a gift card for some much-needed clothes or a luxury they wouldn’t purchase for themselves otherwise. When my cousin had her second child, my Aunt Kay said she’d by her the gift card of her choice: a mani-pedi, a massage, or one month’s worth of a housecleaning service. (For the record, my cousin chose housekeeping. I would have, too!) I like to buy gift cards for iTunes, Target, Amazon, Old Navy, or our local favorite sushi restaurant.

Dishtowels: It’s common knowledge that I’m a dishtowel junkie. They are an inexpensive way add style to a kitchen—a room that’s hard to change without major remodeling. And they fit in a stocking perfectly, too.

Mouse pad: It seems like mouse pads have a short shelf life before they get all faded and gross-looking. Adorable options abound on Etsy.

Photo books: After Isobel was born I scraped together the three brain cells I had left and made a photo book for each Grandmother. I bought inexpensive photo albums at Michael’s and filled them with photos of Isobel, starting with a shot of my giant pregnant belly and ending with Isobel at three months old. In my mom’s book I included photos of her holding Isobel plus other shots of the family, and vice versa for my mother in law. We had these ready in time for Mother’s Day and they were a huge hit. The grandmothers had their books on them at all times so when people asked about their grandchild they could proudly show off their photos. After all was said and done they cost less than ten bucks each. You can always go to one of those photo sites for a more professional looking book, but they loved their albums and still treasure them. I ended up using a photo book service to make a Friends of Isobel book, which we created to help introduce Isobel to our friends that she might not see that often. (You can read about that here.)

Cute socks: Perfect for winter, warm, cute socks are always welcome in a stocking.

Today’s installment was for those of you lucky enough to have a budget, but what if your budget too strict for this gift guide? Never fear, later this week I’ll be coming out with two more gift guides for really-low and even no budget gifts that still meet the lovely and useful criteria. Stay tuned!

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Etsy Picks: Stocking Stuffers

5 Dec

Today I finally had to surrender to my to-do list. I’ve been so busy lately between the shop, my photography business, working full time, being a wife and mother and other family obligations;  I had to realize that I can’t do it all. I wish I could, but it’s better that I save my energy and do a few things well than do a lot of things crappily.

This means I may not get to add more Christmas items and stocking stuffers to my etsy shop in time for Christmas. Although it’s terribly disappointing, I’m glad to not have to live under the stress of trying to constantly accomplish things and instead can enjoy time with my family and focus on my photography clients and celebrating the holidays.

I am going to follow through on my promise to post my Etsy Children’s Picks post because I am nearly done with that one already. I hope to have that up next week. Since I don’t have time to devote to adding more things to my shop I’m going to promote the items I do have up.  I’ve also chosen some other awesome finds from Etsy that would also make perfect stocking stuffers.

I’m also extremely proud to announce that I’m a part of a new Etsy Street Team – Team Librarian.  Check us out, and if you have an Etsy shop and are involved in the library field or just have an intense love of books, contact Lisa and join forces with the best Street Team out there: Team Librarian.

1. Vintage Lion Placemats

I’m selling the pair of these in my shop and I just love their 1970s charm.

At the time I listed the estimate of the shipping based on the information I had. I can come down on the shipping (depending on your location), so if you are interested, convo me with your address and I can quote you an adjusted rate.

2. GreebleMonkey 2011 Calendar

Aimee Geese is a photographer and blogger living in Colorado. She sells calendars on Etsy that feature her gorgeous photography.

I am not exaggerating when I say I wish I could be half the photographer she is.

3. Austrian plate

I love using little plates like this to hold jewelry or my vitamins.

4. Felted ‘Shrooms

If I received these babies in my stocking, there would be much squeeing of approval.

5. Peacock Earrings

Peacock feathers are always in style.

6. Houseplant Needlepoint

A cute little stocking stuffer.

7. Fairytale Jewelry Box

8. Cassette Tape Appliques

Inexpensive and adorable.

9. Vintage Owl Vase

Could your desk use some pimping?

10. Itty Bitty Silver Music Note Ring

A fave.

11. Clear Glass Bowl

I use bowls this size to feed my cats. Also perfect for a personal portion of salsa.

12. Neko Case

A Japanese cat-themed case for your iphone or ipod touch.

(And yes, I think I’m very clever.)

13. Peacock Dish

If you don’t buy this my Mom will “borrow it” from me. Permanently.

Little Big Gifts – Vintage Collection

22 Nov

It’s taken many an Isobel nap time to complete, but my latest collection, Little Big Gifts, is up in the shop and ready to go. In this collection I’m featuring small gifts that are inexpensively priced that would make great gifts for the holiday season and perfect stocking stuffers. I’m also hoping that the non-celebrating amongst you will also be interested in this collection simply because they are cute pieces that I’ve priced them attractively as well.

You’ll notice the glass bubble try in the first photo. How I love that petite little tray. There’s something about the circular pattern that is so wonderfully vintage yet so perfectly suited for a modern home. It would be great as a tray to hold outgoing mail or jewlery.

This tiny wooden frame holds a delicate yet perfect scene of Japanese fishermen.

Ever interested in ways to pimp my desk or office, this colorful needlepoint would brighten up any space.

The Parthenon. You don’t get more vintage than ancient Greek ruins now, do you?

Avocado Pyrex? Yes, please.

This Mid Century Mod bowl features the rare “Starlight” pattern and was made in Bavaria.

My mom tried to convince me not to sell this lapis-colored peacock dish because it was “too pretty.”

As you can see, Isobel really likes this plastic daisy.

I use bowls like this emerald green and crystal clear one for cat food bowls. Luxurious!

This tiny, Japanese sparrow-vase could also pimp out a desk with vintage class.

Vintage Avon. Happy Holidays.

Last but certainly not least, we have the Austrian Heraldic plate. Nothing says “badass” like a two-headed eagle.

I have several more items in the shop besides these and I will be adding more as we progress toward the holidays. I hope you check them out.

Thank you so much for your support of me and my shop. I really appreciate all the kind words. It keeps me going. Truly. Think handmade or vintage for the holidays this year!