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December 3, 2013

"We can all be individuals as long as we all do it together."
-- Major Frank Burns, MASH

What's wrong with giving everyone on your Christmas list the same
'individual' gift?  You'll save time and money while still giving a useful
and thoughtful present.  I like this idea!

Here are a few gifty group suggestions
that are useful and economical:
Lia Griffith offers a quick and easy tutorial
on how to stencil customized doormats. 

How often does the word concrete come
up when discussing Christmas gifts?
I was completely fascinated when I saw this photo of concrete votive
candles and blown away by how simple they are to make.  Click here
for the step-by-step photo tutorial.

You don't need a garage full of electric tools
to create this darling canvas night light:
The illustrated instructions are shockingly simple and how cute
would this be in a nursery instead of a traditional, tiny night light?

This next idea will have you running to Lowes or Home Depot:
Who doesn't need a set of matching trivets?  And you only need 4 things to
make them - a ceramic tile, a sticky felt pad, a Sharpie, and a pair of scissors. 

You're asking, "Why a Sharpie?"
Because the trivet looks more finished if you use
the Sharpie to paint the outer edges of the tile.
If you happen to have a glue gun use it adhere the felt
to the tile.  It will go on easier and stick longer.
These tiles were glued to a plaque found in a thrift shop.  Home
improvement stores offer a vast selection of gorgeous tiles in a
myriad of sizes and patterns.  But you can also make your own design:
Megan at Make Something Mondays posted an
easy tutorial on how to customize tile coasters.

And what could be more personal than a set of coasters that feature family photos?
Alene of Juggling With Kids posted easy
instructions on how to make photo coasters.

Who couldn't use extra oven mitts along
with a set of new cooking utensils?
  Match the color of the mitt to the color
scheme of the gift recipient's kitchen.

Line a basket with newspaper and fill it with  coffee, biscotti, and
a measuring spoon along with a card for a year's paper subscription.
Newspapers across the country are struggling to stay in business
and many offer unbelievably inexpensive subscription rates. 

This is a small, simple gift but it's guaranteed to produce really big smiles:
Customize the jar with a toy car or truck that
matches the recipient's vehicle!  SO cute!

Create Garden Tool Kits with repurposed blue jeans:
Discount and home improvement stores offer very inexpensive
plastic buckets which can be covered with the help of a glue gun.

Or how 'bout giving regular tool kits?

A few basic tools - a hammer, Phillips head
and regular screwdrivers, a tape measure
and a pair of pliers - in a carrying case or
tool box will come in handy more often
than you can imagine.

 You might be thinking, "My brother-in-law has tons of tools.
My sister doesn't need a tool kit."
WRONG!  EVERY woman needs her own tool kit.  Period.

  When I was young I asked my grandmother, "Mamaw, do gifts have to be useful?"

Her Scottish heritage reared it's proud head and she replied, "The gifts you
give represent your values."  My grandmother raised 6 children through
the worst economic depression in our country's history while teaching school
and helping my grandfather work their meager farm. 

As a result of her loving influence I've tried to give gifts that
were practical, useful, and sparkly whenever possible!

Tuesday's Miss Money Pitt Update
Today is my last regular weekly update on the renovation of our Mid-Century Modern beauty.  She's proven to be a tough ol' bird but a charming Southern lady down to her foundation.

Full of surprises and joys, the house has frustrated us and confounded us more than we could ever have imagined.  My husband has hung in there, grappling with each new challenge and, when he couldn't work through a problem (after many tries), figured  out a way to work around it.

The appliances have been delivered, the cable man does his magic today and the moving truck comes tomorrow.  Yes, I will publish Before and After photos but not until our furniture is in place and the drop cloths and ladders have been removed.

My mysterious connection to the house will also be revealed - that is an entire post unto itself.  In the meantime, thank you for your patience, friends, as we've labored to revive our beautiful Earthly Forever Home.


  1. Love these gift ideas. And now you've got me excited to see your pictures of your house when you put them up.

  2. Jan, I cannot wait to see your revival of your new home!

  3. Brilliant selection of gift ideas that I am sure will be used time and again,
    lorraine x