Making the Holidays Fun

Okay, you’ve either survived or dodged Black Friday, and you’re not convinced Cyber Monday is the total answer for you, so now is the time to do what in your heart you know you should do.

Make this an Arts and Crafts holiday.

Not only are there thousands of talented craftsmen and craftswomen who need your support, but where would you rather be: fighting a surly mob roaming the aisles at Best Buy or WalMart, or strolling leisurely through a serene gallery, an oak-scented workshop, an artisan showroom, or a true antiques shop?

Or simply clicking on one of the firms available right here at

Could shopping for your friends or family be any easier?

While I have always been proud of my sons’ accomplishments in school, I was just as pleased when Eric, after having looked at a couple’s wedding registry at a major shopping mall, decided instead to buy his friends a signed print, then asked his father to make a frame for it. Naturally, I could have bought a frame for less than it cost me to ship one from Asheville to Salt Lake City, but the few dollars difference didn’t matter. According to Eric, the couple was more pleased with the handmade frame and limited edition print than with any of their mall-bought gifts.

The same goes for antique shops, online or in person. Stop looking just for big chunks of brown furniture and instead study what’s inside the glass display cases: Arts and Crafts jewelry, an assortment of vintage items made of sterling silver, spun bronze, or hammered copper, unsigned cheap green pots, inexpensive tiles decorated with flying geese, hand-printed books, and hand-embroidered textiles: table runners, tablecloths, napkins, and placemats.

A friend of mine once took a table runner with one end badly frayed and faded by the sun, folded it to hide the damaged portion, and then placed it in a frame from her local craft store. What had once been a ten-dollar discard hidden in a drawer now looks like a classy piece of art displayed on her wall.

Food gets eaten, clothes go out of style, electronics will be outdated in just six months, but hand-crafted gifts, whether one hundred years old or one month old, will always be appreciated.

Interesting people give interesting gifts.

Be that person.

Until next Monday,

Get at least one Arts and Crafts gift this week!


PS – And don’t forget you can also give the gift that gives back to you: a Weekend Package at the 28th National Arts and Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn on February 20-22. We’ll even send a 2015 poster for you to wrap. Just call us at (828) 628-1915.

And for a copy of the 2015 brochure, click here: