Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fresh Recylcing for Christmas

Isn't is true that old saying? Everything old is new again. We have only to look at fashion trends to know it's so.

For Christmas, it is truer than one might think. Oh, I know from reading that 44% of children under the age of 10 have a iPad 2 at the top of their Christmas list, but did you also notice this past summer than when Toy Story 3 came out, the new reduxes of old toys flew off the shelves? Who can resist a slinky dog or a Mr. Potato Head? I have Mr. Potato Heads for different seasons.

Think about giving some of these 'old' things new life for gifts & stocking stuffers:

~I don't care how old you are, a new coloring book and a box of 64 crayons (with the sharpener in the back) instantly brings out the kid in all of us.

~Mood rings. Admit it, you see these in stores by the cash register and still check your 'mood'.

~Jacks. The real metal ones. Get down on the floor and see how you can still do 'sixies'.

~Sea Monkeys. Remember when you really believed you could train them to do tricks?

~Razzles. The candy that turns into a gum. The candy part tastes great. I can only last about a minute once it turns to gum, but getting there is the real fun. These have made a real resurgence in the past several years. I think you can get a big container of them at Sams Club, but they are also at Wegmans or places like Cracker Barrel.

~A Lifesavers Story Book. Admittedly, these are nowhere as cool as they used to be when I was a kid and you got 10 assorted packs of Lifesavers, but they still provide a cheap thrill to a stocking.

~Love's Baby Soft. Yes, it still exists. I even saw it at Urban Outfitters. It doesn't smell like funky socks either, so for a retro flashback gift for a girlfriend, this would be serious fun.

Support your local thrift stores. Found recently in thrift or secondhand shops are these nifty things that might make great gifts if I didn't hoard them for myself:

~Cashmere sweaters. That's right, the real deal. They may be missing a button, but I can do that if the sweater is less than $10.

~Vintage milk glass coffee mugs with retro advertising or logos on them. My faves: McDs and Christmas themed ones. Pair this with some great coffee, biscotti and/or chocolate (isn't any gift improved with chocolate?) for a very cool gift.

~Cute little handbags. For grown-up girls, tuck in a vintage hankie, pocket mirror and a great lipgloss or lipbalm (may I suggest Rosebud which is produced a couple of miles up the road from me? It's also Sephora's biggest seller:Rosebud Perfume Co. at Sephora) Even better, for a little girl, you can get candy jewelry, lipstick, etc at the dollar store. Tuck that in with a coin purse full of quarters for an AWESOME gift.

~Some of the best record albums ever made for less than $1. Baby, nowadays some of the covers qualify as bonafide art. If the record is good, you can still play it. If it's scratched, Google directions for making cool bowls with them or use the records as placemats for a fun party.

~Seriously great old books. Sometimes you'll stumble upon a first edition. Sometimes autographed copies. I'll admit, if the cover is pretty without the jacket, I buy it for decoration or to turn into an altered book. Sometimes an old book that is really tattered gets upcycled for gift wrapping, tags, shredded for filler, etc.

Don't forget to take time for yourself though. Doesn't matter how cool or amazing your plans are if you freak yourself right out of the Christmas spirit. You are hereby given permission for at least one guilty pleasure if not two guilty pleasures WITHOUT the guilt. Be it a Starbucks run, a new book (Christmas themed of course!) or a very chick-flick Christmas movie from Lifetime or the Hallmark Channel, go for it. ;-)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Kicking off Christmas

Ashley and Kirsten below totally freaking out over the hotel room view in NYC on Thanksgiving weekend. The Macy's Parade and Thanksgiving with my sisters was a huge part of our Christmas kick-off. Just spending a few moments to remind anyone who may venture here to take care of yourself this Christmas season. Generally if you're reading this, it's because you are a girly girl who likes to play with art supplies and skews towards vintage, eclectic style, but all are welcome!

But...if you are a girly girl, you may also be the one in charge of Christmas in your home. That may also mean you get what amounts to a third full time job for the month of December, sometimes stretching into January. So, take the time to care for yourself. You know the saying, if Mrs. Claus ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! (or something like that, but it's true)

If you do get some time to take a few moments to yourself to play with art supplies or make heartfelt gifts for your loved ones and friends, check these links out for great ideas, tutorials and more:

One Pretty Thing ~tons of links to tutorials for everything under the sun, you could get lost for hours here

Little Pink Studio ~if you're into vintage chic, Cerri will show you the way

The Graphics Fairy ~loads of vintage images to download for creating to your hearts content

If you're in the mood for guided Christmas creating, check out these workshops or tutorials:

Teresa McFayden ~offering her 5th annual Christmas e-course

I'm Just a girl ~Spark your Christmas workship with a big emphasis on transforming what you already own. You know I'm a green, tree-hugger, so this speaks to me.

christytomlinson: 12 Artsy Ornaments of Christmas.. a mini workshop ~12 different talented artists will guide you through not only ornaments, but also home decor and gifts as well.

Tim Holtz ~I think this is Tim's 5th year of his 12 Tags of Christmas. Free for you to enjoy, duplicate or use for inspiration. You'll learn lots of new tips here too!

Through December, if you like, keep checking back to the Granny Panty Chic blog for more Christmas ideas and (hopefully) inspiration. I'll admit, I get totally giddy over this month. It's just gotta spill somewhere and it's gonna be here I decided. ;-)