Gift-Giving Best Practices

Don’t take it personal if you get a “bad” gift, maybe it is because the giver doesn’t know WHAT to give. Today , I share some ideas on gift-giving and best practice solutions for sharing gifts.

 WHAT WAS THE “WORST” GIFT YOU EVER RECEIVED?

I ask this question to survey those that may want to share their responses.  I think everyone has been given at least one gift that they considered to be “bad” and questioned the giver’s thoughts. What constituted for a “bad” gift and why did you dislike it?

I ‘d like to share two short stories about my “worst” gifts.  The “worst” gifts to me were both from my loving husband. Poor guy, looking back I know he meant well. One event was on Mother’s Day, the other was on Christmas.

Let’s start with the Mother’s Day gift. A few weeks before Mother’s Day, we were in a store together. I was tired from shopping so I stopped in the furniture section of the store where I had a seat on one of the couches.  Mind you, I didn’t pay attention to which couch I sat, I merely sat to rest my legs for a few minutes while my husband milled around the same area.  End of story…so I thought.

Here comes Mother’s Day and lo and behold a delivery truck arrives in the driveway. MUCH TO MY SURPRISE the delivery was the same exact couch that I sat on at the store two weeks ago! Call me ungrateful but,  while it was true that we did not need a new couch, we also did not need THAT plaid couch that was also a heavy sleeper bed! Matching plaid with the rest of our living room décor was next to impossible.

Each day I looked at that couch, I hated it more. I grew to appreciate the gesture but, we had no conversation about the couch and he had no idea if I even liked it or not. I lived with that couch for many years. I was GLAD to finally see it go when we gave it away before a big move.

When giving gifts hint around and listen to the needs of the one you want to treat.

Allow me to share the short story about my Christmas gift one year.  Again, bash me for seeming ungrateful but, gifts may seem more personal than the gift giver thinks if it is very specific.  I thought my gift one year had a double meaning and I regretted it.

I had been on a health kick and Christmas was coming. I had been running and had enjoyed that activity although it was challenging. Running was a personal thing for me, just knowing that I had to do it for exercise and weight control was the real stem of running for me.

My Christmas gift one year from my husband had a running theme. I got new running shoes, a new running outfit and a runner’s magazine. REALLY??? I thought that was not a good gift at all. I took it to mean that I needed to keep it up because I was over weight in his eyes, which was not true.  I did not look at the gift the same way as he did. He looked at it as encouraging and having the correct attire and information on hand. I looked at it as an insult and a reminder that I needed to use the gifts which were specific just to running.  Again, with time, I appreciated the kind gestures but, at the time my reaction was probably typical from associating a double meaning to the gift.  Intentional or not, a gift will be assigned a meaning. You want it to be a good one.

Gift-giving is personal. Make it thoughtful for the one receiving it.

Some will agree with the thoughts that a gift card or gift certificate  are too easy to buy and give. Some believe that not enough thought goes into that type of gift-giving. I tend to disagree.

Top Five Reasons to Give A Gift Certificate

1. Saves time.  If you do not have time to shop, giving a gift certificate saves the giver time and stress finding the “perfect” gift. Also saves on boxing and wrapping paper.

2. Personal Taste is not in Question. If you have different tastes than the gift-receiver, it makes sense for them to be able to pick out what they want based on their personal likes not yours. Also one size fits all,  you determine the appropriate amounts for each person you buy for.

3. Last minute Gifts.  Gift certificates make great last-minute gifts if you have forgotten someone on your list or if a surprise occasion pops up.

4. Expiration dates. Most gift cards and certificates can be used in a reasonable period of time, giving the shopper time to find a sale or a particular item they may want or need at a different time. You choose the amounts you spend to stay on target with your particular budget.

5. Less Stress. Giving a certificate places less stress on thoughts of finding that “perfect” gift and instead gives freedom from running the risk of buying something that is not wanted or is not useful. The thrill of shopping is now placed onto someone else who is in need of something specific at a different time and place.

Let’s vow to have no more “worst gift” status.  You would hate being known as a bad gift-giver. Instead; have peace-of-mind that giving a certificate can be presented in a special way, accommodated with a special card with meaningful sediments and received with love for taking their true desires into consideration.  Giving a gift card is not as terrible as it seems. People like spending money in their own ways and in their own time. Cards and certificates allow them to do just that.

As you are now enlightened with the benefits of giving gift certificates as gifts, I am pleased to inform you that Club Creative Studio now offers gift certificates!

Perfect for the busy person who has no idea of the personal tastes of another when it comes to jewelry.  Why risk buying something that will not be worn for the reasons of not being the right expressive style, fit, or comfort for a person’s personality and moods?

IMG_0237

Club Creative Studio Gift Certificates are available in denominations of $40.00, $50.00, $60.00 and $100 U.S. Dollar Funds and have an expiration date of six months from date of purchase for online orders.  It’s a great way to share art and let someone pick out their personal favorites.

Giving hand-made items can be tricky as gifts if you do not have an option of return.  With a gift certificate purchase, items that are being looked at for purchase are more likely to be sought after with greater considerations because they want their money to go as far as possible, with the added bonus of knowing that they have a quality item with someone behind their creations.

Consider giving the gift of creativity, a gift certificate from Club Creative Studio and make someone happy while you avoid the “worst gift-giver” title. Simply go to the website and in the category tab you will find Online Gift Certificate- click on that tab and your option choice of purchase amount.  I’ll send you the card in the mail with everything filled in.

http://clubcreativestudio.com/products/707.html

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Soldered Art- Feature Friday

Welcome to the blog at Club Creative Studio. If you are new here, Friday is typically reserved for a post called: “Feature Friday”.  I happily highlight what I am working on or a recent project on Friday.

Club Creative Studio- Soldered Art

I have a new love for soldering and I have been busy creating and building up an inventory with this medium as a focus.  I have soldered a bit in the past however, I have never taken this art to this extreme, creating several successful hand-made pendants.

Club Creative Studio- Soldered Sea Theme

The recent creations have been placed as a new category on the website under Soldered Art.  Also,  many items created with a sea theme will be available in a venue in New Jersey along the shore.

Club Creative Studio Art

Club Creative Studio’s Soldered Art is designed to be one-of-a-kind, statement pieces. I have incorporated a variety of elements to include, wire, ceramic tile, shells, mixed metals, hand-rolled polymer clay and glass beads, charms, buttons, stones, semi-precious gems, crystals and a few other surprises.

Club Creative Studio Art

Please visit the Club Creative Studio website shop and see what is in the tab category called: Soldered Art. Also, our Facebook page includes occasional “Sneak Peak” photographs of art as well, so you may get to see an item before it is posted to website at: http://www.facebook.com/clubcreativestudio

If you like your jewelry to be worn as a focal point and extension of your personal style, check out the category Soldered Art.

 

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Just Say YES- Celebrate the Letter Y

When you enter the sweet spot in life where you appreciate art, it’s easy to just say “YES” to all things handmade. Hand-crafted items have many special qualities that you simply can not find in manufactured goods.  I don’t have to convince the world, but I hope you can learn to just say yes to hand-made items when you have the opportunity.

My Mother enjoys sewing so when I found these charms, it was a "no-brainer" to incorporate them into a necklace.
My Mother enjoys sewing so when I found these charms, it was a “no-brainer” to incorporate them into a necklace.

With Mother’s Day approaching, I know that hand-made items are common, popular and appreciated. Moms just seem to have a soft spot for the items that her little pride and joy children make with love. And for good reason.  Something that is hand-made has HEART. Personality and self-expression are traits that are always included in hand-made creations.

It is for this reason that I urge you to remember that hand-made art is made with heart and soul. The underlying value of uniqueness is invaluable.  This is the main reason why Club Creative Studio creates on a daily basis. Art That Sets You Apart are more than tagline words. Our hand-made art truly does set you apart and sets the artist apart from factory goods- because they have qualities that make it easy to say “YES” to creativity and craftsmanship.

Club Creative Studio theme initial bracelet
Club Creative Studio- Personalized Initial Bracelet

For occasions such as Mother’s Day, I enjoy creating custom pieces that include a personal story for the gifted. Fitting items are always something that include birthstones, or birth month colored crystals or beads. Also I have created items that included special keepsake items incased in resin, such as a photo of a loved one or a cherished item (like a lucky quarter,) for one customer.  Theme jewelry and anything in a favorite color has also been very popular.

Club Creative Studio Sea theme bracelet
Club Creative Studio- Sea Theme Bracelet

Be sure to keep HAND-MADE items TOP OF MIND for Mom and others because it is easy to just say yes to hand-made, unique items made from a caring artist’s hands. Please visit our website often and view the venue page located at the bottom of our website homepage for other areas near you that offer Club Creative Studio art. Thank you for wearing and sharing our creations.

http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

 

 

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Stick Art: Expressive and Low-Cost

Wonderful low-cost art.
Wonderful low-cost art.

Welcome to the Club Creative Studio Two-Cent Tuesday post.  Today I will feature a few ideas I learned about via Pinterest using a low-cost supplies.

Each of the projects that I will highlight today are made from painted wooden pop sickle sticks.  The first one is a framed creation with same sized sticks, the second project includes a variety of stick sizes and additional wooden cut-out shapes.  Both involve paints and the use of a glue gun for quick results.

Framed Art Project

The first project was made by a group of second graders. Their art project was presented as a school class auction item.  Usually for this type of event, each class in a school collaborates and makes an item that is creative and interesting and it is auctioned off  to raise funds. Each of the class supporter’s bidding can get pretty competitive in their price wars to raise funds and have a chance to own art.  I know that this would have certainly caught my eye!

I am awaiting information on the pinner of this photo and source to share the details of the story behind this pop sickle art. When and if it arrives I will edit this post.  In the meantime, I am guessing that acrylic paints were used and each child contributed a set amount of sticks to form this art. The source: Holly McGavin, posted that the sticks were attached to foam core and then framed out. What a colorful result from something that is a low-cost, easy and quick. I love this project idea.

This project idea has inspired my daughter to create her own art, using inspirational quotes on each of her sticks and painted in the same technique. I think this has no age boundaries, I am even thinking of creating like this too! I love that a simple frame makes this look more worthy of hanging.  If it is a done as a class I suggest that  on one side the design is painted and the other side the artist’s signature is added. This makes the piece even more personal. Each stick can be readily identified this way for later reference.

Snowflake Project

Found on the site called:  Call Me May this project is also easy to make with variety possibilities as well.  How fun it looks, when completed I suggest hanging on a door, wall or from the ceiling! Using a variety of stick sizes, your snowflake shapes can be created in many interesting shapes and diameters. These are obviously painted (or spray painted) in a tint but they would also look beautiful in white and decorated further with added embellishments like glitter for a glam/festive look or buttons and gears for a vintage feel.

Source: callmemaybe8748.weebly.com
Source: http://www.callmemaybe8748.weebly.com

Have fun with your imagination and create with love like these projects were. I love sharing information that is low-cost and appealing. If you live in an area where you have a winter season, the snowflake theme can be current right up until spring!  Please stop by this Club Creative Studio blog often as the creativity is endless.  You never know what will jump-start your creative juices. Let us know what you think about this project in the comment box below!

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Rock’n Art

Natural stones can ROCK YOUR WORLD!

Club Creative Studio’s Blog today is called: Between A Rock.  I have  used stones, rocks and gems in several art creations.  I have never felt like I was”caught between a rock and a hard place” when designing with them because there are so many options to incorporate wire to create mixed media art.

Special meaning associated with art.

One recent and particular custom piece comes to mind to speak about because it had special significance to the person requesting that I design an item that incorporated her “fool’s gold”. This nugget was special because her husband was a truck driver and he had the idea to “do something with this” someday.  He did not get around to it but, she kept it close to her heart since he passed away.  Fast forward to 41 years later, his bride decided for him to do “something” with it she gave it to me to create something special.

She wore the necklace I created on the day that what would have been their 41st wedding anniversary.

It is a sweet story that I will never forget.

I love knowing that special meaning can be associated with art.  I love knowing that something that I created with love had more love associated with it for someone else.

If we take time to look around our world, you might find yourself appreciating the little things in life like rocks and pebbles.  The next time you find one, take time to admire the marbling effects, the texture, the shape and even the weight of nature.  A mere stone is special if it is a single stone or grouped into a functional or natural setting. Here are photos of a few man-made stone walls found in the Western part of North Carolina.  I could not resist taking photos of my views. I wonder if you appreciate them as well.

Let no stone be left unturned! This is a wall located in downtown Sylvia, North Carolina.
I love wire wrapping polished stones.

Many natural stones or dyed rocks have interesting patterns, as highlighted in my cuff bracelet design here. Enjoy, admire, own it.Historically, stones have important status.  Paleo archeologists have discovered evidence dating back 250 million years suggesting that pre historic man used warm clay, earth and stone in medicines. The use of clays for healing was also recorded around 2500 B.C. in Mesopotamia. Some scholars also believe that other prehistoric ancestors used ochres made from naturally tinted clay and iron oxides were used not only to paint caves, but also to heal wounds. Interestingly, iron is a main element in the basalt stones used in modern-day stone massage therapy.

Lodestone, a magnetic rock, was discovered in China around 8th century BC. It is believed that needles made from these magnetic stones around this time replaced bone acupuncture needles.   And in Japan, warm stones were worn around the waist to aid digestion.  Stones also play an important role in Native American beliefs. Some tribal elders believe stones to be ancient beings that have souls.  Stones were also used in northern Europe as the original electric blankets without the electricity. People would put warm stones in bed. Warm stones were also used during childbirth to help reduce pain and spasms.

And, if you found yourself in the generation of the PET ROCK, or know of the WORRY STONE, rocks take on additional meanings. I have been working for the past few days creating bracelets that have wire and various stones. I like the feeling that there is a deeper connection to nature when I am creating with stone.  I’ll be highlighting those creations soon as I find ways to perfect my wrapping techniques further.

Rocks, pebbles, stones...oh my! my photo is from an old street in downtown Philadelphia.
Rocks, pebbles, stones…oh my! my photo is from an old street in downtown Philadelphia.

What type of people like stone jewelry?  I think anyone can “rock” this look because it is natural and can be a very neutral accessory.  People are drawn to the earth themes of wearing a stone accessory.  It is quite opposite from the shiny bling of a diamond or gemstone.  Adding a rock item to your collection of accessories provides a variety in range from semi-precious stones or a common rock you can find on a curbside or natural forest path.  No matter if a stone is man-made or dyed, it can bring a look of nature, calmness and simplicity. Smooth or rugged, a stone piece can be a statement piece of wearable art or a simple highlight of what nature has to offer us.  Stones can be used in their natural state, carved, polished, combined with other elements, caged in wire, attached to a pendant and even made  as a faux clay bead.  There is no limit to the display of a real stone in jewelry except for its weight.  Many artists attempt to mimic qualities of stone in other mediums.  A common look is from turquoise, and marble.  And why not? The natural stones can be expensive and hard to find, not to mention heavy to wear in their real states.

Image Copyright: Club Creative Studio

 Please visit and revisit the Natural Stone section in the Club

 Creative Studio online storefront. Inventory changes often!

http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

Find softness in a harsh rock setting like this one from a small north Carolina town called Sylva.

Are you attracted to rocks? Do you enjoy wearing jewelry that has rocks incorporated? Club Creative Studio has items that are unique and are inspired by nature.

Be sure to check out the website to view wire-wrapped stones. It is truly Art That Will Set You Apart!

http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

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Creative Thankfulness (4)

Club Creative Studio continues to take part in the Gratitude Project 2012, by posting publicly for 90 days something that I am thankful for. On the days that I blog, I am posting about how something with the creativity theme touches my life in thankfulness.  Today is the 4th post that coincides with this blog.

Special identification/informational tags for Club Creative Studio Art located at the Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA

It is with gratitude that I have had an opportunity to display and sell art in a new venue.  Last week, I prepared Club Creative Studio hand-made art to be included with other talented artist’s work within the Abington Art Center’s Gallery Gift Shop shelves.  Laura Burnham, Executive Director of Abington Art Center accepted work and will arrange a space for it to be available to the public for purchase.

Laura preparing to display Club Creative Studio Art at the Abington Art Center.
One-of-a-kind, hand-made pendant from Club Creative Studio.

There are several reasons that warrant my excitement and thankfulness.  I am thrilled to be located in a new area where art and artists are appreciated by many.  I feel that this door has been opened to me so that others can readily see up close and personal what I do when I create Art That Sets You Apart. It is great to have many more local eyes fixed upon what I love to create.

Club Creative Studio hand-made pendant.

Being part of an atmosphere that is a constant support for artists is a blessing.  It is motivating and inspiring to reach higher on a creative level.

Abington Art Center 515 Meetinghouse Road, Jenkintown, PA

I am pleased to offer one-of-a-kind, hand-made art in a variety of venues, especially at the Abington Art Center but, as always online at:

http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

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Creative Thankfulness (3)

Club Creative Studio’s Handmade wire art necklace.

Yesterday’s post from Club Creative Studio shared a few challenges of the latest wire worked project.  Any single day can be filled with obstacles if you are trying a creative project for a first time or have been away from a technique for any duration of time.  Today’s Feature Friday post will share a few successes from the challenges of working with wire in a new way.

Wire art from Club Creative Studio.

Basicly, when I sat to create these necklaces, I wanted to have the feeling and look of the technique of chain maille but, not all of the complicated segments. That look combines individual loops in a maze-like pattern repeated over and over that link together.  This did the trick for me because for one, I did not get a headache or confused too often and for the second reason, I was able to duplicate the method using a variation of technique.

Colored wire art from Club Creative Studio.

Today, I am thankful for variety at the design table, especially the variety of wire.

Wire lends itself to change.  Wire has different levels of strength and durability, it has a range in gauge (thickness), presents itself in suitable qualities, and it  is offered in a variety of colors as well. It is a wonderful to experiment with. When I wrap in wire, it also looks wonderful to mix silver, gold or copper wires together. I love working with wire. Does it show?

Handmade art from http;//www.clubcreativestudio.com

Please “Like” our artistic expressions at the Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/clubcreativestudio.com

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Multi-Strand Art From Club Creative Studio

Click on the link below to enjoy a short video highlighting hand-made, MULTI-STRAND necklaces from Club Creative Studio.

Multi-Strand Art From Club Creative Studio.

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Sunny Side Up

Today’s Club Creative Studio Feature Friday post celebrates the color YELLOW

How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun. -Vincent Van Gogh

Yellow flowers help complete my table arrangement with the Club Creative Studio Keepsake Rim Trim beaded vase embellishment.

Do you want to grab a little attention?  Wear a piece of jewelry that is an eye-attracting yellow color, or an item with yellow accents.

Club Creative Studio hand-made necklace.

That may do the trick since yellow is considered the most visible color, it is also the most attention-getting color. Yellow can be used in small amount to draw notice, such as on traffic sign or advertisements.

Yellow is a great color to highlight.

In this Club Creative Studio Hand-made clay beads. Notice that “pop” of yellow really stands out!

While that same wonderful sunny yellow color stands out and makes you feel happy and warm, yellow also often tends to be the most fatiguing to the eye.  This is said to be reasoned out due to the high amount of light that is reflected.   So, in today’s extreme use on computer monitors, the background color yellow can lead to extreme eyestrain.

One thing is for sure, when you wear a Club Creative Studio art items heads will turn no matter what color is highlighted in the design, and that won’t be because of eye strain!

Club Creative Studio- Sunny yellow hand-rolled polymer clay beads.
http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

The studied flip-side of the psychological effects of happy yellow are frustration and anger, however.  It seems that studies have been done to also prove that people are more likely to lose their tempers in yellow rooms and babies tend to cry more in yellow rooms.  This goes to show even for colors everything in MODERATION should keep us all at an even keel.  For me yellow has always brought to mind a sunny side up egg.  It is a pleasing color that also makes me have a hankering for eggs!

Club Creative Studio hand-torched glass beads.
http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

Speaking of balance, yellow can also increase the metabolism. So, let’s keep a healthy dose of yellow in our wardrobes.  How does yellow make YOU feel?

Club Creative Studio- Wine Cork Necklace.
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Black and White

Black and white “Tube Bead” from Club Creative Studio
http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

Club Creative Studio is no doubt in love with creating art items using bright and vivid color combinations.  However, this does not mean that anything created in neutrals of black and white are tossed to the side.  NOOOOO, far from that idea.  I also create using black and white in polymer clay and glass.

Hand-made bracelet by Club Creative Studio. http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

I love creating in black and white because of the contrast it lends us visually.  Black happens to be my “favorite color” so, to combine black with any other color is always aesthetically pleasing  to me.  I use black to define and separate areas.  The outlines become just as important that the other elements in my clay bead designs.

Club Creative Studio creates one-of-a-kind art. This is a hand-made necklace featuring a hand-designed black and white crystal pendant with unique elements.

The stark contrast when using black and white draw our eyes into focus of the division of shape and that seems to attract and keep our attention.

Club Creative Studio creates black and white beads for high contrast focal beads.

I am blogging about black and white today because it is “Cow Appreciation Day” today.  Being from the midwest, cows are pretty important.  I will celebrate them today by creating more black and white beads to match the common milk cow, and the abilities of black and white in art to stand out from the ordinary.  Do you like black and white contrast colors together?  What do you like about black and white accessories?

Club Creative Studio Black and White hand-made cuff bracelet.
Club Creative Studio guitar pic earrings. The black and white contrast is what I love in this design.

The next time you see someone wearing items that are designed in black and white, try to determine why you are drawn to that combination.  They are striking for sure.

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