So this year, for lack of money, I decided to make my Christmas presents. Other years, I’ve thought of doing it, but I’ve had enough money to buy most of them. This year I have more art supplies than money so I went handcrafted!
Well, not entirely. But for those who are considering it for next year: Here is what I learned:
- Don’t learn a new craft. If you are serious about making nice gifts, don’t use this time to learn something new. There is no time to learn it properly, then get and the item won’t turn out very well.
- Make a list of your recipients. That way, you will make gifts that the recipients will like and you won’t make too many or too few.
- Time is the real expense. What you won’t spend in money, you will spend in time. I started making the presents at the beginning of December, after NaNoWrimo wrapped, but the few hours I had after work and the weekends wasn’t enough. Now I promised myself that this year I will have Christmas in July. Right.
- People like small handcrafted things better than large bought things. Making a small gift shows a lot more thought and care than buying it, so the things you make don’t have to be elaborate or large.
- Shipping will cost. Don’t forget, buying the presents is not the only expense. If you live away from most of your family like I do, you will have to send most of your presents through the mail or UPS or FedEx or whatever. Luckily you can decide the item’s weight and size.
- Don’t forget to do your homework. As always, just because you know how to make something, doesn’t mean you have it all planned out. Sketch out your project, even if it’s on the back of an envelope. It will save you time and money and your sanity later.
I’m sure there are a lot more that I haven’t thought of.
On a completely other note, I’m pretty sure that tweeting book reviews is not going to work. I’ve also hatched a plan to started another blog strictly about books.
It’s almost November (a few more hours…), and I’m going to the midnight launch of National Novel Writing month in Portland. So I’ll be dreaming up a novel in November.
Go to www.nanowrimo.org to witness (or get in on) the madness.
Also, find me on Twitter: “ThePripyet.” I’ll tweet some book reviews during the month instead of writing here. I don’t have a pic yet, but don’t get freaked out. I’m planning to add one very soon.
And, for the record, The Adventures of Augie March is slow going.
I really need to get into the habit of blogging while here in Portland. I stopped because I was packing to make my way here and then didn’t really continue because I was trying to unpack. That, and the fact I haven’t really been making anything. I’m still trying to make that table centerpeice for my mother which was supposed to be a gift for last Christmas. Most of the week, I’m working or worrying about money. *Sigh*
One thing that I have enough of are books (even so, I still heed the call of the Library). I’ve discovered that a great place to read is on the bus to work. I’m awake, unlike times past when the only real time I had to read was before I went to bed. Complex, ‘deep’ novels are hard to get into while half asleep. I can only bemoan all the books I got rid of because they would be so much better on the bus. I’ve already read Who on Earth is Tom Baker (Baker), and Rogue Moon (Budrys) that way. I’m currently chewing on The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow.
Since I’ve always wanted to amass a bunch of reviews about the books I read (I’ve made false starts over the years) I was thinking that’s what I’d use my twitter account for: book reviews in 140 characters or less. That’s all I can really come up with after most books anyway. I’ve always got this space If I need to go in depth. If I decide to do it I’ll leave the details here, so stay tuned…
So I joined Twitter a few days ago…
I don’t have much to tweet about and I mostly joined to follow people, but — I foresee a time in the future when it could be a good quick promotion tool.
It’s surprising how some people can give you glimpses into their life in the two lines allotted and others don’t have much to say at all.
In the meantime, I’ll use it for the rare times I have petite brilliant idea and happen to be in front of my computer. As if those two things are concurrent often…
Meanwhile I’m off to Tampa (FL)… (though certainly not for fun).