It’s so very unsexy, but for the longest time I have wanted a garment steamer — maybe this one from Jiffy. Or perhaps the commercial version. Or should I say, I wanted a steamer until I started reading about the Xbox Kinect, and now I have the overpowering urge to revel in controller-free gaming — and I have never owned any kind of gaming console or device, ever. (Hmm, which photo above looks like more fun? Hmmm…) Maybe all this seems a bit crass — I do think the holidays are about giving, not getting. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think about it. Anything on your wish list yet? — Mary T.
As a certified foodie extraordinaire, this list is essentially comprised of things I either own and love, or are coveting. All of these culinary-oriented duos would be great on their own or in conjunction with each other — all at around $100 or less! And, yes, you can get them all in time for Christmas! — Megan B.
Fresh herbs are key for effortlessly flavorful cooking, and these Edward Scissorhands-esque 5 blade herb snips ($9.95 at cooking.com), make quick work for fine chives. How about throwing in a wooly pocket ($49), planted with herbs? I love the peacock blue number, BTW.
A good pepper mill is a beautiful thing. Even more beautiful in lime green lacquer, by Peugeot ($33) — pair it with a stunning wood salt cellar like this french olive wood model, by Berard $48.95, both available at Amazon.
For the home cook who loves to entertain, one of these gorgeous, raw, organic handmade cutting boards from Gray Works on Etsy would make great serving pieces. With boards ranging from $30-200+, (with custom engraving for an extra $15) — gift certificates in $50, $75, $100, or $150 increments, there’s something for any budget. And it’d be extra awesome when gifted along side a charcuterie class (check for a local farm near you) — or perhaps a cheese making or knife skills class at Sur la Table.
For the chocolate lover, may I suggest a pair of brightly-hued French latte bowls ($30 for 6 at Anthropologie), and a container of Organic, Fair Trade Chipotle Spice Sipping Chocolate by Theo ($10).
Are you buying a gift for your favorite DIY’er this holiday? Here are some ideas to keep them inspired and well-stocked for the next year! –Rebecca F.
Rotary cutter â€“ Rotary cutters are excellent to cut through several layers of fabric and paper. Also makes quick work of strip cutting.
Self-healing cutting mat â€“ Great for using with a rotary cutter or Xacto knives. No more shredding magazines!
Sharp craft scissors or a gift of scissor sharpening â€“ You donâ€™t know what sharp scissors are until you have new ones! Or, for more experienced DIYâ€™ers, a gift of scissor sharpening from a local fabric/craft store is also a great and unexpected treat.
Steel ruler â€“ Wooden rulers get nicked and can cause rough edges when used with a cutting blade. A steel or metal ruler guarantees a nice crisp edge.
Sharpie fine point pen sets â€“ Great for customized projects like labels, cards and coding systems, these come in handy often, and this pack includes almost any color one could ask for.
Durable plastic or vinyl tablecloth â€“ For those of us that donâ€™t have a dedicated project space, a plastic table cover is indispensible for protecting that kitchen table from crafting mishaps!
A label maker â€“ Help your favorite DIYer stay organized!
Task lamp â€“ Great for shedding light on projects that involve detailed beading, sewing, etc.
Personalized labels â€“ A beautiful touch to add that special final sentiment to handmade gifts!
Have ideas for specialized craft categories? Share in comments!
Mr. Claus is a busy guy. Heâ€™s making a list, and then meticulously checking it over more than once. Take the global population into account, do some quick math and youâ€™re realizing he must be running that tight schedule on some pretty calculated military time. So how does he also have time to see us when weâ€™re sleeping and know when weâ€™re awake? Easy. He sends scout elves. This week I was introduced Elf on the Shelf, a concept that is apparently a very popular Christmas tradition. The book, written by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell, explains how Santa resolves his logistical issue by sending elves that watch children by day and report back to him at night. The elves return to their assigned houses by morning and assume a different hiding spot each day to keep kids guessing while on their best behavior. Crafty and effective! Reviews seem to show that many families love the tradition; others think itâ€™s silly, while still others ask the tough questions, like, why doesnâ€™t the elf have feet? What do you think readers? Do you have an elf on your shelf? â€“Sarah C.
While surfing the web for some new holiday recipes recently, I stumbled upon this listing for Santaâ€™s Whiskers Cookies. The source? The Mrs. herself! The link brought me to Mrs. Clausâ€™ Cookbook at Northpole.com. Further investigation unearthed a world of holiday cheer for those who celebrate Christmas. Festive recipes, crafts, games and even letters to Santa and ElfChat with chief correspondents Bif and Bonnie are a few of the features on this massive site dedicated to ringing in the holiday for parents and kids alike. Looking for the weather at the North Pole? Get the five day forecast here and track Santaâ€™s epic flight via NORAD starting December 24! â€“Sarah C.