(Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash)
It’s that time of year again, when I get to indulge myself by window shopping from some of my favourite website finds over the year.
I’m not being paid by any of these companies, I just love what they do and take pleasure in sharing them with you, plus I get to plug my own things a little too….
But, I won’t start with me. As I love anything creative, lets kick it off with a few creative suggestions.
A Skillshare Subscription
My year has been consumed by Skillshare. I can’t quite remember how I came across it, but it’s changed my business and increased my creative output tenfold.
It’s an online platform with video lessons on just about every subject you could think of. You pay a monthly or annual subscription and get access to all of the classes.
So far this year I’ve learnt all about Print on demand sites, new watercolour techniques, how to use photoshop and lightroom, how to create my own fonts, all about digital painting, how to make my own photo backdrops, how to create a cinemagraph, some creative photography techniques, modern calligraphy, creating repeat patterns and I still have oodles of classes saved to watch.
Each lesson is broken down into bite size chunks and there’s a nice community of people to cheer you on and give help and feedback.
You can also take part in challenges, which are great for broadening your creative outlook. It really is brilliant!
There are three gift subscription options, 3, 6 or 12 months, which you can find HERE.
The DIY Tribe
This is probably one for the small creative people in your lives, although I quite fancy trying some of their craft kits myself….I’ve never been good at sewing!
I came across them at a fair I was doing and instantly thought of several little people who would love their kits or workshops. They’re perfect if you want to get away from plastic tat and teach some real skills in a fun way.
Little Acorn Makes
While I’m on the subject of little people….I have a five year old boy, who’s getting to the age where he wants to choose what he wears. As he will only wear what he calls ‘comfy clothes’, he spends most of his time looking something like a trucker, much to my dismay.
But Little Acorn Makes have the perfect solution. The softest, comfiest kids clothes, handmade in fun and sweet fabrics. If you can’t find what you want on their website which you’ll find HERE, you can message them and they’ll make a custom order.
These have been my go to gift for the past few months and everyone’s loved them! They’re a good balance of lovely artwork and naughtiness. Subtle humour…
They’re available in various shapes and sizes, but my favourite is the Classic Mug 444ml from Zazzle (they hold a really good sized cuppa) and are the ones in the picture. You can find the Nice Tits one HERE and the Big Cock one HERE
They’re made to order, so allow plenty of time if they are a Christmas gift.
I love a scented candle. I know they’re a classic gift as I often receive them, however I rarely burn them as I don’t like all the nasty chemicals that are used to make them.
So I was over the moon when my sister in law started glo. Made using 100% soy wax and cotton wicks, her candles are made in small batches and hand poured in Kent. I know she’s put her heart and soul into them and that they’re made to the highest quality.
At the time of writing this the website had only been up and running for a few days, but I’ve put in my first order and can’t wait for my candle and diffuser to arrive. The house is going to smell lush and I don’t have to worry that I’m poisoning everyone.
You can order them HERE.
Ele creates the most beautiful and magical lightbox scenes using old books. She also creates other lovely works of art, but it’s the lightboxes which take my breath away.
They’re made to order (she’ll work with you to create something magic and personal). As you can imagine, they take a while to make, so you’ll need to get in there quick if you want one for this Christmas; maybe a good plan for next year?
You can find her website HERE.
The Seasons Calender
Created by yours truly, the seasons calender has six illustrations per month, of things to look out for, what’s in season or celebrations that take place during that month. And each illustration is hand lettered.
I loved creating this, though it was a bit of an epic undertaking. I’m looking forward to 2019, and actually getting to use it. Maybe it’s the year I’ll get organised (my inner monologue is muttering something derogatory to that comment).
It’s available through Zazzle, you can choose to have UK or American dates and change the style of the grid. You can also choose the start date (in case you’re reading this in march and thinking there’s no point buying a calender now).
HERE‘s the link.
Again, they’re printed to order, so make sure to leave enough time before the big day.
The Naughty Potter
aka. Vanessa Conyers, but the naughty potter is her instagram handle and I love it.
Her pottery is simply beautiful. A mix of modern and timeless, quirky and classic.
You can buy her pottery HERE. But….she also runs The Pottery Parlour, where you can go and make your own, with guidance.
I took my Carpenter for his birthday and we all loved it! If you’re anywhere near Blandford Forum and looking for a gift that’s a bit different, it’s ideal. I put the poor Carpenter through a bit of an ordeal by keeping the destination of our outing a secret. He nearly cried with happiness when he realised I wasn’t going to make him throw himself down a hill, or jump out of a plane!
You can find out more HERE.
Red Brick Glass
I have no idea how I found this company……but at some point through the year, I’ve flagged them as a possibility for my gift guide. It may have been through Instagram.
It was probably the fact that they do workshops that interested me (hint hint to the Carpenter if you’re reading this).
You can buy their beautiful creations and find out about courses HERE.
Vinegar and Brown Paper
And whilst I’m on a glass thing…..I would like a whole shelf in my house dedicated to these:
Plus…if anyone’s stuck for a present for me, this would be quite fitting.
The website is HERE.
I have lots of lovely pieces of jewellery on my website. All hand made by me in my little workshop, inspired by nature, history and the world around me.
You can browse through it all HERE.
I also have limited edition, fine art prints which are available through the same site, and oodles of other fun and beautiful designs on a variety of products through Zazzle and Redbubble.
I’ve put together collections for each website of items or designs that would be nice for christmas.
The Zazzle ones are not necessarily covered in Christmas motifs….a present is for life, not just for Christmas. There are also quite a few pieces which Father Christmas might find handy for stocking fillers (playing cards, badges, stickers and wot not).
On Redbubble’s there’s a collection of Christmasy designs, but I’ll put the link to the whole shop and you can browse through.
A Place for a Homeless Person this Christmas
And lastly, but certainly not least, this is something I do every year. It makes my Christmas a little warmer to know that at least one more homeless person is off the streets for Christmas, with warm food, a health check and advice for the future.
If you’d like to, you can do the same HERE.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Whatever you’ve got planned, remember this bit of advice from my Father.