Lately it seems I've been either working or madly shopping online for Christmas. I don't know why I've been so driven - maybe I just want to get it done so I can enjoy the season. But truthfully, I do enjoy buying gifts for people. Figuring out just what they'd enjoy, narrowing the options, making that final decision, and then the anticipation of waiting for it to arrive. I love it.
I've come across some pretty good places to shop, too. I don't know about you, but I love handmade items. They're so unusual, and like nothing you could get at the mall. And even better - there's always the chance that you can really customize what you buy. There are two artisans, if you will, that have gotten me particularly excited about their individual crafts.
I'm still working my way through my first order of 3 soaps, which included a geranium mint, and a lavender tea tree bar. She has salt scrub bars, such as some yummy coffee peppermint ones made with a coconut oil base and a sugar scrub crumble or these cinnamon and safflower ones. I die.
Since I placed my first order she's also created these bars in orange calendula. I think I could shower for hours with those.
My family members (other than L, who has fragrance allergies) are all a bunch of fragrance geeks. We all love wonderful smelling soaps and lotions - we'd sit around sniffing things all day, although the boys would deny it to the death. So Lehi Country Soap is right up my/our alley. Oh, and the lather? Most satisfying.
The other vendor I got really excited about is actually a blogging friend of mine. Jenny makes the most wonderful imaginative play items under the name Knees and Paws. You can find her on Facebook, and can also link to her Etsy shop from there. If you have small children in your life who like to pretend they're dogs, or cats, or unicorns (or for that matter, elephants or any other animal you can think of) she can create the perfect play set to send them into imagination heaven. When I was a little girl, one of my little brothers used to pretend he was Blackie the dog and would run around naked with a washcloth on his head - that was his fur. Jenny's items blow Blackie's washcloth completely out of the water. Take a look at what she can do:
Are there matching tails? Oh yes, and hooves for hands and feet too. Incredible. And she'll make them in any color you want.
Black poodle, anyone? Yes, please, especially with the cute pink bows (and matching tail!) and even a collar with a name tag that your child can customize.
Or perhaps your little one prefers kitties. She can make them in any color, furry or short haired. Matching tail and collar? But of course! But those EARS with the little pink insides just killed me.
These were my favorite Knees and Paws items, but she has many MANY more to choose from. Jenny's creativity is limited only by your imagination. I would suggest that you grandmas and mommies get over to Knees and Paws and have a little glimpse. Such cuteness...
So that's what's been occupying my time for the past several days. And these are only a couple of sites I've been peeking at. L's wish list seems to run towards bike accessories, and solar powered things (he's into disaster preparedness these days). Oh, and a pricey pair of leather flip flops that are without a doubt THE BEST shoes on the market. I have a pair, and I've actually hiked in them - well, hike is a strong word for what I do, but they are as comfortable as walking shoes because they have such a wonderful arch support. I've had mine for about 3 years now, and I wear them every day. Love them. What are they? Go to Zappos.com and look up Olukai. The all leather ones with the leather toe piece. You'll never wear anything else. I promise.
What are your Christmas gift finds? Ooooh, I have one more. Restoration Hardware (which has the most wonderful and most expensive furniture I've ever drooled over) just came out with a line of gift items for children and *SURPRISE* they are quite reasonably priced for the most part. Go to the Restoration Hardware site and at the top you can link to RH Baby and Child (or something like that). Cute things like faux fur slipper boots, fluffy faux fur jackets, faux fur trapper style hats (soooo cute...), and all manner of things - even a pretty tea set. I bought a great little baby gift there and the quality is lovely.
So have fun shopping and if you find something wonderful, let me know. I'm always open to a great idea! Because I'll just be right here... you know, shopping away.