I was going to start the count down to Christmas with this week’s Oh Etsy post, but somehow I ended up spending a couple of hours drooling over beautiful linen and canvas inspiration. So classic and beautiful. It reminds me of freshly pressed laundry, all clean and soft and… okay, I have no idea what freshly pressed laundry feels like. I make a point of purchasing fabrics that require very little maintenance because I detest ironing that much!  But I can imagine how lovely it must feel to have freshly pressed linens! Lets be honest, I’m going to have to do a lot more ‘growing up’ before I start ironing linens. In the meantime I’ll just continue to lust after everything you see here and dream in cream and beige…ONE / Burlap OttomanLovintage Finds / $89
TWO / Hand Felted Acorns - Set of fiveCity Crochet / $12
THREE / Kitchen ApronStudio Patro / $68
FOUR / Turkish Bath TowelsDesign by Soft Tovvel /$32.50
FIVE / ‘Hello’ Tote BagArtisEverything / $17

Sometimes the smallest gifts are the hardest to buy. As much as I love taking part in office Secret Santa type gift exchanges, I always find it daunting trying to find a great gift within the low price range. I get a little too ambitious even if I’m giving something handmade. Sometimes I just need a couple of ideas to get my brain on the right track…With this in mind, I thought I’ve give a bit of inspiration of for those of you who have decided to take part in our Christmas Gift Swaps (or even those of you facing a similar dilemma with your own gift shopping this festive season.) All of these lovelies are around $10 or under and not only would they fit in an envelope quite comfortably (for easy postage), but I think they would also make beautiful little stocking stuffers.
If you would like to sign up there’s still time to join in the fun - just drop me an email at [email protected] with your postal address and I will add you to the list! (Full Details HERE)
[Image Via: Paper n Stitch]
With Christmas just around the corner (and maybe some office Secret Santa’s or Gift Swaps to start shopping for) I thought I’d share some tips that I have learnt for buying the perfect gift. Now, I don’t like to blow my own horn, but I’m pretty awesome at buying gifts. I would even go so far as to say that its kind of ‘my thing’. This certainly isn’t due to any hidden gift giving talents. I’m no more insightful than the next person, but I have some clever tricks to ensure you’re always buying your loved ones something they’ll really enjoy and not just candles or socks this Christmas.

So, this sounds pretty basic, but I know so many people who don’t do this. Listen to the people you care about; what do they like? What are their interests? And I don’t mean just around Christmas or birthdays, I mean all year round. If a loved one mentions that book they’ve been wanting to read or that hobby they’ve been wanting to get into, I open up the notebook app (or even a draft message) make a quick note in my phone. Something like “Tom - Carl Sagan book” and save it for later. The best thing about doing this is that it just looks like you are sending a text message so your target is none the wiser and you have a handy reminder for later.

Speaking of which…

2. Set Up Reminders
In your phone, on your computer, in your calendar. Put a reminder in for the most important people’s birthdays. Not just for the day itself, but a few weeks in advance. This way you will know that birthday is coming up and have ample time to plan what you want to buy for that special someone. Especially if you are like me and you do a lot of your shopping online, you will appreciate the extra time when there is a 2 week wait on shipping!

3. Use Online Searches
And I don’t mean Google; sites like Ebay and Amazon are a veritable treasure chest of items you’ve never even thought of! Whenever I am stuck for gift ideas I head over to Ebay and start searching topics that my recipient might enjoy. Try names of television programs, hobbies, favourite actors or even general items like ‘leather bag’ and see what comes up! I can’t count how many times this has saved me when I was out of inspiration!

4. Bookmark it!
So you come across the perfect art print for your mum on Society6 and you think, ‘oh I should buy this for her birthday!’ But her birthday is months away and you’re a bit poor until payday, so you decide you’ll come back later, closer to the date and get it then.

No, you wont. You’ll forget and then when it comes time to buy her a gift you’ll be sitting there thinking ‘now what was that thing I saw back in June…?’ Bookmark that shit! And don’t let your bookmarks get lost in between links to funny pictures of cats… I have a ‘Buy’ Folder set up, with sub-folders for each of my family members/housemates/close friends. I save anything cool I see in these folders over the year, so when it approaches Christmas or Birthdays I can just open up the relevant folder and browse a ready made list of gift ideas. Just remember to name your bookmarks as what they actually are, (ie: ‘Owl Measuring cups from Anthropology’) instead of the default name so that if you come across a broken link when you come back, you can Google the item and try to find it elsewhere.

5. The Final Test
Many people may disagree with this last tip but it’s my number one rule: Buy something that you would like to receive. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should buy something to your own taste, but if when you put yourself in the recipients shoes, would you be happy to receive this gift? This is my final test when deciding on gift purchases. Even though tastes may differ, when someone can see the thought and care that has gone into a present, even if it’s not something they would have bought for themselves, chances are they are going to enjoy it regardless. Some of the best gifts I have ever received were items that I would have never in a million years picked out for myself, but I could see the love and thought that went into the purchase and that made me cherish the gift all the more.

So there you have it. Nothing ground breaking or crazy, just some simple ideas that will hopefully help you get through this festive season.