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?

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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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Slow Your Creative Roll

In life, there is a time and a place to slow our roll; even our creative roll.
Club Creative Studio has a focus on always being creative. Why would you think that today I would focus on ways to slow creativity down?
It is important to find a way to insert simplicity in life, even creative simplicity.
If your creative spirit is in constant soaring mode, you may wish that at times, your creativity had a slow down button.
Journey Quote
Here are five suggestions for creating a balance when it comes to slowing your pace along your creative path 
 
1. Cut dwelling time. 
 
Strive to spend only 20% of your time dwelling on a problem and 80% of your time focusing on a solution. Instead of the other way around. 
 
Keep this thought in mind to avoid stress and free your time up productively.
 
2. Create slower. 
 
Make your creative time a time of relaxation rather than a time to just add to the
stress of your day or for a deadline. One thing that works well to slow down when creating is to put down the brush, tool, pencil. etc., between use. Play calming music in the background, or simply forget about the clock and focus on the process and love of the project.  Dedicate a bock of time in advance to your project freeing you from other responsibilities. 
3. Enjoy simple pleasures. 
 
Take time to appreciate the joy that you get from your creative time and savor it.  It may be the fact that you are alone, in a great workspace, collaborating with others, not in a rush, knowing that you are producing something of value, or escaping reality for a time. you have the power to promote your own happiness and gain joy from your creative time relishing in the simple pleasures it allows you to have.
 
4. Pencil It In.
 
Pretty much everyone’s memory  has a few leaks. So help yourself. Write down what you
need to do or want to do for a specific day in advance. Write down your ideas or voice record them before they fly away. It will save you time and give you a break from busy or idol hands. Brainstorming for yourself can be in the form of typed lists or artful journals too. 
 
Write down the one habit or area you are focusing on in your creative life and put
that note where you can see it every day. For example in a frame or on your workspace table. This gives you a direction and focus which will slow down your distractions.
 
5. Breathe Deeply.
 
When you are stressed, confused, short on time, lost in a problem or the past or future ; remember to simply breathe. Focus on the air going in and out, and physically slow down.
 
This will calm your body down and bring your mind back into the present moment
again. And it is actually sometimes enough to just do this for a 20-30 seconds to
create a remarkable effect inside of yourself.
Slow your "Creative Roll" from time to time.
Slow your “Creative Roll” from time to time.
Take steps today to slow your creative pace and see what happens. Maybe you will be more focused, less stressed, more open to ideas or simply more productive. The main thought here is to be aware that your creative pace is part of a journey that demands time.  Working against the clock or with it is a choice.
 
 
 
 
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Learning Curve Patience

Club Creative Studio is a busy place everyday. An interesting fact to note when looking around the studio is noticing that there are two types of “to-do” lists.  Sometimes specific plans for the day are at hand and sometimes projects just sprout up, seemingly out of nowhere. Each process however, requires patience for a learning curve.

Section of Club Creative Studio’s Workspace
Section of Club Creative Studio's Workspace
Section of Club Creative Studio’s Workspace

Every day, no matter how natural creating beads or designing items seems to me, I am immersed into learning something new. It’s a great challenge to attempt new techniques and stretch imagination.

Artistically, I am doing what I never thought I would or could so that I can learn that I can do it regularly. – Veronica Campos-Hallstrom

Veronica Campos-Hallstrom: Bead Artist/Jewelry Designer/Creative Catalist
Veronica Campos-Hallstrom: Bead Artist/Jewelry Designer/Creative Catalyst

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
Pablo Picasso

The quote above from Pablo Picasso, holds truth to me as I learn and evolve in my art.  Each day, I too feel that I am discovering, learning and perfecting a variety of techniques.

Accepting challenges and making progress are wonderful things. This is a true art process experience.  Artistically, I am doing what I never thought I would or could so that I can learn that I can do it regularly. It truly brings great joy knowing that I do create Art That Sets You Apart.

If you have desires to learn a specific or new art technique, chances are you do one of two things: you experiment and self-teach, or you call upon a skilled instructor.  I am happy to say that I have artistically grown by participating in both approaches.

In the next few months I will have a focus on taking short instructional courses for a few projects I am not familiar with as far as technique goes.  Wish me luck as I open the flood gates of bead-weaving with small silica Seed Beads. I am sure it will be one more thing I can get hooked on!

Stay tuned to this blog, Facebook and the website as I feature and bring to market new items stemming from this time of new discovery.

http://www.facebook.com/clubcreativestudio

http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

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