Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Less than 60 Days to the Holidays. . . Are you Ready?

how to get organized for the holidays http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/11/less-than-60-days-to-holidays-are-you.html
Can you believe it's already November? What happened? Seems like yesterday I was playing tennis outside (that's because it WAS yesterday) With the unseasonable warm weather, sometimes it is easy to forget that the holidays are just around the corner. If you haven't thought about it until now, it isn't too late to get organized and make holiday gifts before time gets away from you.

Read on for a some ideas and a practical plan to stay organized even when making handmade gifts this holiday.
This year is very special. Not only will I celebrate my birthday on December 24, but the start of Hanukkah falls on December 24 as well. Time for a Carvel ice cream cake in the shape of a Christmas tree lit with Hanukkah candles!

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how to make an advent calendar http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/11/less-than-60-days-to-holidays-are-you.html
Count down the days no matter what you are celebrating with an Advent Calendar! Carolyn Dube shows you how to use up all your gelli prints ( or gives you an excuse to make more) in her part of the Handcrafted Holidays course!

6 tips on how to stay organized

I’ve heard from many of you about how you run out of time to get everything done around the holidays and that can prevent you from creating a handmade gift from the heart. So, I wanted to share these 6 tips on how to stay organized throughout the season so you can get done on time to enjoy the holidays.

1. Adopt a Holiday Tracker

Whether you prefer a purse-sized moleskin journal or an electronic spreadsheet, it helps to keep your holiday gift giving organized if you record your ideas and progress. Some important info to track:

  • People you need and want to give a gift to.
  • Gift ideas (don’t forget to think of things you can handcraft) for each person. If you plan to buy items don’t forget to write down sizes, stores you need to visit and prices.
  • Be sure to have a way to mark the purchases you made or gifts completed so you know what gifts still need to get done.

Another great thing to record is your master list of hiding places. This is especially helpful when you start creating and shopping months in advance and stash away your gifts so prying eyes can’t spoil the surprise. Once, a portrait client hid my commission under her bed and her husband found it the night the burglar alarm went off.

2. Gussy Up Gift Cards


No matter how hard you try to find or make the perfect gift for everyone on your list, sometimes the best bet is to purchase a gift card. You can still personalize the gift card by getting one to a store that is meaningful for the recipient such as bookstore card for the bookworm on your list.

Marjie Kemper shows you how to use household items while learning new technique to transform them into gorgeous gift boxes to upgrade your holiday packaging.

3. Edible Homemade Gifts

There are lots of wonderful ways to package and give edible gifts such as cookies, candies, spaghetti sauce, vinegar and even infused vodka. The key to making it manageable is to make a large batch of the same thing and parcel it out in beautiful packaging and boxes to give everyone.


An ideal way to package the goodies you make is this tzedakah box, a project from the Handcrafted Holidays class. Although the intention is to use this box to save for charity, these same techniques can be used to decorate a tin for cookies or other holiday treats.

4. Create a Wrapping Station


Lucky you if you can make a wrapping station out of a spare room, but a spare closet is what I use to stash wrapping paper, gift bags (including pretty ones I recycle), boxes, scissors and tape so everything is all ready to go when I need to wrap.


Another way to add a very personal touch to your presents is to wrap gifts with love and handmade wrapping paper. Andrea Gomoll shares all these techniques in her portion of the Handcrafted Holidays course.

5. Make a List and Check it Twice

Have you ever shown up for your child’s December recital only to discover that all the other supermoms are giving the teacher gifts, but all you have is your video camera? I have. In order to save you the embarrassment of a similar faux-pas, here’s a list of people not to forget over the holidays:
  • Teachers (school and extracurricular teachers such as music, sports, bus drivers, etc.) 
  • Fitness instructors, personal trainers and yoga teachers 
  • Hair stylist and nail technicians. Every year, I actually give handmade gifts to everyone at the salon that touches my hair starting with the receptionist who books my appointment, and often squeezes me in for an emergency appointment when my white roots are taking over! 
  • Childcare provider or caregiver of any sort 

You also want to have cards ready for all the people you plan to tip at the end of the year so you’re not handing over a tip in a plain white, bill-paying envelope including,

  • Mail carriers 
  • Garbage collectors 
  • Milk delivery person 
  • Pet groomer 
  • House cleaner 
  • Dry cleaners 
  • Elevator operator 



collection of the Artist, daughter swallowed up by the Hannukah table

6. Prepare to Craft

Now that you have your gift giving list in place (complete with handmade and store-bought ideas), a holiday tracker and a place to wrap, it’s time to get crafty! If you need more ideas, a community  to keep you on track and video instruction on just how to create one-of-a-kind gifts from the heart, consider joining me and 10 other professional artists for the Handcrafted Holidays class.


Join us for our newest class, Handcrafted Holidays! It's a smorgasbord of teachers. Enjoy them buffet style as you sample ideas for crafted gifts for the holidays!



Are you ready to create your own handmade gifts from the heart?

Colorful Advent Calendar with Carolyn Dube • Mexican Star PiƱata with Danita Art  Poinsettia Mola with Jane LaFazioGift Boxes with Marjie Kemper • Wrapping Embellishments with Andrea Gomoll  Inspirational Word Ornaments with Miriam Schulman  Wonder Poppets with Mystele Paint  Star Ornament with Blenda Tyvoll  Tzedakah Box with Jessica Sporn  Golden Letters with Joanne Sharpe  •

  • Nothing compares to giving handcrafted gifts from the heart to your loved ones.
  • Our online format gives you the guidance you need and step-by-step instructions so you will complete your project without the frustration of going it alone.
  • Plus you'll have the bonus of external accountability to get your holiday projects done in time!
  • Our teacher team has done the heavy lifting of figuring out 10 unique gifts to create, so you won’t need to struggle to come up with ideas. 

Registration now open!!!