2020 - Be The Change

This morning this photo of a very busy local Denver area mall ended up in my Facebook news feed:
It frustrates me that people even in the peak of Denver's Covid crisis (with an estimated 1 in 41 Coloradans being Covid positive) can't imagine a Christmas without BIG mall shopping!

So I decided to write a blog post that helps people find great gifts and imagine a different way to prepare for Christmas! Each person in our society needs to change their behavior for true change to occur! Along the way I have included links to articles that may help guide or inspire you. As you continue down the page, I include a list of links to actual products, retailers or tutorials that can get you started!

Lets make Christmas less about consumerist culture and more about carefully considered gift giving!

We can do that in several ways:
  1. Practice minimalism
  2. Personalized gift giving - spend time considering the recipients interests
  3. Make gifts
  4. Consider upcycling items > reduce/reuse/recycle
  5. Support small businesses
  6. Buy quality products not cheap poor quality things that don't last
We can turn the tide of consumerism, ignore mass marketing and enjoy Christmas at the same time and no time is better for a revolution than a COVID Christmas!

Step 1 Discovery - What is Minimalism?

Click here to learn about 8 principles of minimalism:
Read this article about Hygge philosophy for inspiration:
I personally love the Japanese philosophy of Wabi Sabi as inspiration:

Step 2 Recipient focused giving!

Who are you gifting to and why?
Be intentional! Perhaps start with a review of your gift giving through a mind map like this:
List who you are giving gifts to and a phrase to explain why you intend to give them a gift. This intentional analysis of gift giving can be clarifying and help you prioritize your gift giving and time.

Step 3 Can I make them something? 

Here are just a few examples with links to inspire:

Step 4 Consider Upcycling or Reusing!

  • Paint an old item to give it new life  - in this example I chalk painted an old wooden bowl! these make great home decor gifts or vessels to fill with themed gift items (like the cooking/cocktail or bullet journaling kit ideas above) 
  • What do I have I can rejuvenate and regift?
Old photo frames are perfect for upcycling by painting them to suit current home decor trends!
Earlier this year, I chalk painted this frame to make it suit the color scheme of all the other frames on our photo collage wall!

Step 5 If you buy, support a small business!

Try these searches on Etsy:
  • leather gifts
  • handmade jewelry
  • seaglass jewelry
  • gin/medicine bottle jewelry is really cool!
  • macrame jewelry
  • vintage picnic basket
  • wood jewelry
  • handmade toys
  • handmade pottery
  • watercolor art
  • modern art
Here are a few specific makers that I LOVE on Etsy:
Quilted pot holders and bowl cozies
Reused glass jewelery
Native American Jewelry:
Seaglass gifts
Reused ocean plastic!
Macrame jewelry
Custom leather and wood gifts
Crochet toys
Wood toys
Record clock!
Rag dolls and clothes

Step 6 Buy Quality Products

The fashion and home decor industries rely on fashion trends to sell merchandise that has led to a massive industry in cheap products that aren't designed to last. Here is an article you may wish to read to understand this further:

Try bucking the trend this year and buy higher quality products that will last longer and minimize impact on the Earth by not ending up in landfill in early 2021!

This year I focused on hand made and custom design!
Hubby and I designed our own family T-shirt design to commemorate 2020 and make us feel closer together even though we are on the opposite side of the globe to two of our children, we used this company and instead of the cheaper options we chose the tri-blend tshirts that are a great quality and should last well:
I also made pillowcases, reusable bags & covered books in a very special fabric I had printed on Spoonflower, Then I just bought a few very special Lego kits to build on Christmas day and some board/card games too, that way we remember the experiences we have had together in Christmases past and can have similar but different experiences for this year rather than get gifts that are item focused!

Pouffe #2

 All year I've been trying to use up my hoard of 2" busy print scrappy squares, I've made baby quilts, dog beds and now I'm focused on pouffes.

These are relatively easy to make, this is a picture of the basic layout before I sewed the side seams this morning:
433 scrappy squares are used in each pouffe and they are stuffed with sewing room scraps too!
This is the second one I've made and I'm planning a third as well, that should finish the task of using up the 2" busy print scraps before the end of this year! 
Next year I'll focus on 2.5" busy print scraps! It's a never ending process 😂🤣

NAA quilt finish!

This morning I put the binding on my North African Adventures quilt and took it out to get some photos:

My quilt has three extra borders added to make it a generous lap quilt:

My pattern book for the wall quilt that is my quilt center will be available on Amazon very soon - stay tuned! 

I really love this finish!
I'm so pleased I went with such a bold color palette!

That fabulous yellow background fabric is a

painters palette solid called yarrow!


 Yesterday I quilted my North African Adventures quilt!

I'll bind it Monday and then weather permitting get some good photos of it outside! 

A happy feeling!

During 2020 I've made over 2100 face masks, half a dozen quilts, about twelve items of clothing and other miscellaneous items! That generated a lot of fabric scraps! 
So I made 10 scrappy quilted dog beds, they are not only pieced using scraps but stuffed with scraps too!
Today I offered 9 of them free on Nextdoor and they were all claimed within an hour!

One recipient even sent me this photo of her dog using the new bed! How delightful!

I kept the 10th one for my loyal sewing companion Ebony the Maltipoo our 11yr old matriarch, she loves it: