Giving gifts.

Giving gifts is one of my favorite things to do. It is a process. Sometimes it is fun. Sometimes it is stressful. To me, each person is such a unique individual and I want the gift to be a reflection of him or her. It might be a practical gift. It might be a little frivolous. There almost always seems to be a moment when I'm searching when *gasp* "I find the perfect gift." A few ways that I go about finding those "perfect" gifts:

+Bookmarking things found online if a certain person pops into my mind. I might not need a gift for him/her right away, but at least I can look back when a birthday or holiday approaches.
+Starting written lists as the gift-giving event looms in the distance. I find that as I write ideas down, more ideas surface.
+Listening and remembering "wish list" items mentioned in conversations with family and friends.
+Being intentional about giving gifts by making purchases that are: practical, handcrafted, created locally, made from recycled items, bigger than the gift itself and part of a larger cause.

As the holiday approaches, I'll share some of my favorite gifts ideas. Today - Etsy. The Etsy tagline describes it best: your place to buy and sell all things handmade. The options seem a bit overwhelming and endless. You'll find artwork, cloth diaper covers, cards, jewelry, clothing and so on and so on. You'll have to sift through some crap, but there is some amazing work by some very talented ladies. I like to start by finding one item I like and then view who else "hearts this item." It is a site for exploration and discovery. Don't be scared. Check it out.

Here are a handful of items that I have purchased for gifts:

Pia├žava fiber bracelets with recycled aluminum tube. I have both received these as a gift and given them has a gift.
Shop: Brazilian Eco Designs.

A pair of 4" x 4" coasters made up of a 1920s map of Minneapolis & St. Paul. This shop has a ton of other map coaster options.
Shop: gertiebyrd

Letterpressed spiderweb coasters that can be used for so much more than a coaster.
Shop: 12fifteen

Letterpressed Father's Day card which looks awesome framed.
Shop: afavorite

Rockin' necklace made with antique buttons and a flower made from a zipper. I have to admit that I bought this as a gift to myself.
Shop: jenloveskev (she has a pretty sweet blog too)

(photo credits: all of the photos are taken directly from the sellers' shops)


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