I think this is my favorite page of all. I just love crafting! There are so many different types of crafts, I don't think anyone is excluded in this area. There is truly something for everyone.

I have so many favorites. I like making seasonal wreaths for our home. I like making dried flower arangements too. There is just so much!

I have to admit though, I have never tried stamping. It seems that it would get costly. I have also not yet tried the Keepsake/Memory Books. I have everything I need to start, STILL! I just need the time now. I purchased all different templates, backgrounds, stickers, scissors, and even an album, my husband's mom even got me some great stuff for doing the memory books this Christmas. I just keep putting it in my craft area and then I get so overwhelmed. I can't decide where or even how to start at this point. It is my goal to do SOMETHING....ANYTHING!

My Favorite Craft is My Gift Baskets

I am going to be adding to these every week or two since this is the time when I am starting them. The first thing I do is make a list of people I want to give these baskets to and what some of their interests and likes are. I also figure in three or four "generic" baskets that can be given to unexpected holiday company or a new friend or even your mail man!

Then I make a list of jams and preserves that I am planning to make, cookies I will make, and one or two home-made candies. I tally up what the quantities are for what I want to put in each basket and keep that as a guideline for baking and canning later on.

Now I shop in the local stores, even your very small, basic grocery store will start to display flavored coffees and cocoas closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I begin picking these up, one or two boxes each week. I freeze them for freshness. I pick up other little gifts to add too, like: coffee cups, a stocking, slippers, candles, chocolate dipped spoons, tea strainers. Then I make my cookies, at least I make the dough, I prepare enough for my baskets and then some extra for the children and my hubby. The children and I make fudge or hard candy(another favorite is peanut brittle), and possibly some little ornament that the children can do almost indepedently.

We package the candy and cookies in different things every year. Last year I used the Christmas decorated sandwich baggies. The years before I saved the glass jars from things like spaghetti sauce, peanuts, what ever I could. If you use glass all you have to do is get spray-craft glue and put a nice piece of fabric on the lid. It dresses up the jar and the basket.

I also collect all different sizes of baskets. The very little ones that come from the florest can be used for the generic gifts. They usually hold only one or two 1/2 pint jars and a couple flavored coffee packets. The other ones I line with decorated tissue papers and fill with the children. They really love this part! We take everything into the livingroom (our kitchen is too small) and we make piles of each thing. Then we set up the baskets and fill in an assembly order fashion. We just love seeing how much we end up being able to give without spending a fortune and every spare minute!

My very favorite part is when we go out a day or two before Christmas and deliver the baskets. People always look SO surprised and very happy.

As I said before, I will be adding to this topic frequently in the next couple of months. The ideas are fresh in my head so I may as well use it!

"The Country Sampler"