We've put off thinking about it for weeks, but now there's no denying that the holidays are just about here. And with that comes the pressure to turn out beautifully handmade gifts for everyone on your list (or at least your favorite people). Here's the deal: Get a head start now, be less frantic later. We promised ourselves to do that last year, but this time we'll actually follow through. Fittingly, this week's Craft Bits has a few great starter projects for kicking off the season.
Craft Bits — This Soap Saved a Life, Handmade Gifts and Vintage Maternity?
But first, a heartwarming story about how handmade soap pretty much saved a life. Dennis Anderson was broke, homeless and had few job prospects. And then he met a soap-maker. He invested his last $20 in soap-making supplies, took some photos of the finished products and listed them on Etsy. Sales immediately followed. Now he has a successful business. And that soap-maker he met? She's now his fiance.
For the full story on how soap-making turned Anderson's life around, visit CNN.
Got an old suit jacket? Then you have the makings of an unexpected laptop case. (And if you don't have one lying around, any thrift store has more than it can ever sell.) Great for boyfriends, husbands or anyone who can appreciate a well-tailored case.
For the how-to, visit Lifehacker.
Soap is always a lovely gift, but lotion bars are a little more unexpected. Plus, they're a less-messy way to moisturize during the dry winter months. (Who wouldn't appreciate that?) The recipe is pretty simple, so we'll definitely be trying it out this year.
For an easy lotion soap recipe, visit The Seattle Times.
We've never come across it in our vintage hunts, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Right? Or are all vintage-clad pregnant ladies just going for flowy dresses? So many questions have come from this article in The Guardian about how (and if) women should opt for vintage maternity clothes. What's your take?
Read the full article on vintage maternity in The Guardian.
Turning records into journals is a suggestion that makes a few of us record-collectors blanch. But overall, it's a good idea if you limit your crafting to the really undesirable albums in the stacks. Because really, no one wants a "Sing Along With Mitch" album.
To learn how one woman turned her record journals into a business, visit PhillyBurbs.