Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Why and How-To for Handmade Gifts

The milestones and celebrations of life ask for gifts that signify or lend equal importance. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, reunions all spring to mind as occasions for gifts that will inspire and leave memories worth remembering in their wake. Store-bought arts and crafts tend to evoke less meaningful reactions from friends and loved ones; hence their tendency to wind up in a landfill. For those up to the task, the handmade gifts remains a creative alternative sure to make the best impression: a heartfelt one.

Here are a few reasons why handmade gifts, be they hand-woven baskets or personally sculpted rings and bracelets, make the best gifts:

1. It’s personal

Hearkening back to those famous lines from The Godfather, there’s a difference between what business is and what’s personal. Following that logic, a store-bought gift feels artificial and business-like; a handmade gift lends personality to the occasion. A personalized gift says it all to your friend or loved one: “you matter, because I spent time and effort on a gift for you.” It’s something from the heart, and unlike a trinket made in China, it’s memorable (and, maybe as or importantly, it doesn’t contribute to the U.S. trade deficit with certain countries in the Far East).

2. It’s probably cheaper

Probably. Unless you’re recreating the Mona Lisa or Michelangelo’s David, paper mache, paper, thread, even the constituent parts required of metalwork and art collectively cost less in small portions. Then again, why go cheap if the intention is to inspire genuine smiles and warmth? Other than engagement rings and graduation gifts, handmade gifts present the gift-giver with a great excuse to go big or go home.

3. It’s probably green

Particularly if the intended recipient is a Gen-Y’er, environmentally conscious, vegetarian, or vegan, a handmade gift is the right choice for the right reasons: it will inspire the recipient’s inner hippie and leave our world a bit less polluted. An important caveat to remember: if a green philosophy is the centerpiece of your masterpiece, just make sure its overall impact on energy consumption and the environment really is zero, or as close to it as possible. Nothing is as cringe-worthy as a widely panned gift with honorable intentions.

4. It may support a starving artist

You don’t have to go far in your community to meet the artist whose passion is art. Even if you don’t make a handmade gift, buying one at a local store will contribute back to your community by encouraging the production and sale of local art. With the economy lingering on in recovery mode, many artists and artisans, devoid of wealthy benefactors or corporate sponsors, find themselves with empty wallets and in desperate straits. All the more reason to avoid the big business of mass-produced effects and steal the show with a humble token straight from the heart of Americana.

5. Making it will probably relieve stress

The process of creation is known to relieve stress and promote positive energy. If you, in your role as gift-giver, make the threaded bracelet, portrait, or basket, you’ll in all likelihood save yourself a future trip to the doctor or gym. Who says gift-giving can’t be a two-way street?

So you’re convinced that you’d like to give that special someone, friend, or family member a handmade jewelry gift. Where to start? There’s no guide that contains all the ideas on earth for a great handmade gift, so the best place to start is with what the intended gift recipient likes or would like. What’s their passion? Likes? Just as importantly, what are their dislikes? A heartfelt gift is one that begins, after all, with the heart.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Too lazy to dress properly? Let your T-shirt say so

lazy shirt
It's no big secret that a lot of people are lazy. There's nothing really wrong with that as long as you're not sponging off of everyone else. If you're doing what society requires of you, but little else, you probably want to make sure that the rest of the world gets that. Wearing your message on your clothes can help you get that across faster, and you won't have to waste the energy to explain it to other people. Just saying you want to boycott Mondays or that you're an unemployed English major doesn't really hold as much interest for others as proudly displaying it across your chest. Advertise, and fellow lazy people will find you…assuming they have the energy.

Lazy shirt at SnorgTees

Silver Art Rounds

Are you looking for a good and effective method of investment? Then you can do so by purchasing silver art rounds. Unlike other silver pieces, art rounds have a rather special value not only because of their material makeup, but also due to their design and structure.

Silver rounds have been used for centuries as a form of currency. Past civilizations have used rounds embossed with faces of people and sketches of animals to represent their existing trade and economy, and over the years they transformed into highly valuable pieces due to their historical background. In addition, their sketches and embellishments highlight the forms of art during their time, thus placing more monetary value on each piece.

In more present times, silver art rounds are not only used as collectibles; they are also used as jewelry pieces. You can then find such rounds equipped with precious stones and are part of necklaces and bracelets for both men and women. Thus, you can use silver rounds not only as a means of investment, but also to flaunt your sense of style.

If you are planning to purchase silver art rounds, there are three places you can go to. First is that of silver bullion sellers, who have their own collection of art rounds under their care. Another place to go to is that of silver art collectors, who have their own share of antique silver rounds. Finally, if you mean to use silver rounds as jewelry stores, you can acquire them at auctions or jewelry stores.

One important thing to consider when purchasing silver art rounds is that you know your purpose of purchase. Some buyers do not the difference between buying for numismatics and buying per weight. The two options have different measurements of valuing silver, and you may be shortchanged in case you haven’t exactly stated your purpose of purchase.

If you buy silver bullion by their weight, it is also a good investment as buying jewelry and collector’s items, as their monetary value follows that of the price of gold per pound. Thus, in times of recession, you don’t have to worry too much since you still have your money safe and intact, in the form of silver.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Threadless Sale!

Threadless is having "2 cool 4 school sale". All tees are just $9 and $12. They've got everything. The best of the best. T-shirts that are just so beautifully ironic it makes you think and laugh. Check it out.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Series 7

cool t shirts
These really awesome tees have been restocked at FullBleed. Be sure to stock up while they are still available.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Make Your Own T-Shirt: Design Tips

There are many reasons to design your own t-shirt. From bragging rights to business. Whether you own your own t-shirt company, or are making your first shirt, here are some important things to remember:

Keep It Simple

A simple design will translate to the shirt with more grace than a more intricate one. Keep your ideas simple but effective.

Color Is More Expensive

Nothing beats a cool white on black tshirt (in my opinion.) However some of you less monotone designers may require a little color. Be careful, color can triple your printing costs. By keeping your designs one color you'll save time and money.

The Bigger The Better

Keep your design file large. It's easier for the printer to make a large graphic smaller than the other way around.

However a better idea is:

Download Printer Templates

Most printers provide templates your t-shirt design should be placed on. This template can provide you some easy sizing guidelines.

Making your own custom tshirts can be fun and profitable. Design smart to save yourself trouble later.