Design Idea 974F Design Idea A52G
by Kristal Wick, Author, Designer and Instructor, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Ideas for Holiday Gift Making

I don't have to tell you how quickly the holidays are coming, it happens every year. Geeeeze, you'd think we'd all remember last year with all the last-minute chaos and days flitting by like butterflies in a wildflower meadow. You'd think we'd remember after the exhausting feat of trying to get the perfect gifts for our loved ones and resorting to the malls on D-Day (December 24), the groan from our bank account as we declared "next year will be different". You'd think we'd remember getting so caught up in the holiday drama of commercialism and family shenanigans that we forgot the heart-felt meaning of the holidays; be it Kwanzaa or Christmas, Hanukkah or Boxing Day. Well gang, I've got some tips for making this holiday season BETTER; more fulfilling, calmer and enjoyable. Of course all this starts with beads...

Grab a cup of java or vino, put on some calming music, get out your notebooks and ask yourself why you make jewelry in the first place? Who better to enjoy your passion than your loved ones? Isn't this what the season is all about? Love, family and friends? Well then, let's get going! Come on, most men in your life use key rings--why not make a special key ring customized just for them? Get crackalakin!

Start NOW

Make your list and order your supplies immediately, if not sooner. One of the most common road blocks during your holiday gift-making schedule is unavailable supplies; your fave earring wires are out of stock; the holiday shipping schedule takes twice as long, etc. These unexpected delays should be expected by now, remember last year? Why not enjoy fall evenings gift making instead of experiencing the last-minute pressure of staying up way past your bedtime making just one more bracelet for Aunt Flora and stumbling into work the next day, blurried red eyes and a "bead hangover?"

Try This

I always miss out on jewelry patterns and projects I fall in love with too late in the year to make in time to wear during the holidays. Scout out last year's pics and projects you forgot you wanted to create. As far as gifts go, try giving your holiday jewelry gifts to your peeps on Thanksgiving (I can hear you hyperventilating with panic at getting these done even EARLIER than December). This way they can wear your gift throughout the holidays and will be tickled to have some new baubles to wear to their holiday parties.

Last-Minute Winners

OK, even with these suggestions some of you will still be sweating away the week before gift-giving and need a few last-minute ideas (you know who you are).
  1. How about an Apoxie Sculpt® ring? These stunners are great for the blingsters in your life. Just fill the empty chamber with Apoxie Sculpt and stick in some crystal chatons. Let cure 24 hours and you've got a beauty.

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  2. Using Crystal Passions® cubes, add metal cap ends, wire wrap with a loop, hang on a cord and it looks like a present!

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  3. Here's something fun for all your beading peeps who make their own jewelry and have every bead on the planet; give them an organizer. I haven't met a beader yet who doesn't squeal in delight over beading organizers.

  4. Print out a pretty gift certificate on your computer to have you make something customized especially for them.
In any case, whether you're a Procrastinator Polly or Early Ethel, the point is to stop, take a slow breath, realize and honor the deep heartfelt love and convey that through your passion of jewelry-making. Folks feel it when something is made out of love rather than the crazy pressure to finish. Keep bringing yourself back to that inner pleasure of creative flow while jewelry-making this holiday season and recite one of your new mantras, "Beading is the reason for the season, Baubles are the Bomb," or hum "Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Bling-a-la-la-la lalalala." Enjoy!