The Basic Idea
So here we go trying to make a note of all the wonderful innovative and unique gift Ideas that I keep coming across during those frantic searches for Granny and Grandads Christmas presents or exactly what can we buy for the sister who has everything!! Then, when searching you find something that is just ideal for Great Aunt Gladys but this is November and her Birthday is not until August and of course by then you just don’t remember where or what was this ideal gift solution. This is where this blog will hopefully HELP.
Individually Created Personalised Gifts
Crafts people are out there in their droves, all beavering away creating some outstanding items, many of them totally unique and individual. Crafting is definitely the biggest cottage industry in the 21st century but it is incredibly hard for many of these people to get their work out to a wider audience. Some of this is due to a lack of technical know-how and also a certain resistance to engaging with the perceived vast unknown of the internet: there is a widely held belief that once you put your beloved piece of lovingly crafted work up for all to see it is only a short time before someone else is producing the same thing, quicker, cheaper and even (god forbid) better! This may or may not be the case but there is certainly a risk of plagiarism of some kind, just with the nature of the internet. It does spawn the idea that everything is fair game and if you can get it for free or at least compare it with others and then get it cheaper. But then sites like notonthehighstreet.com and Etsy and to a lesser degree Folksy have sprung up and proved that there is a demand for many things individual, and people at least some of them, are prepared to pay a premium for unique handmade items. The other end of the scale seems to be found on E-bay with its plethora of shops promising something for virtually nothing, mind you £5 for an A4 sheet of copy paper with some fuzzy word art printed on it isn’t my idea of a bargain. It is not just e-bay but Amazon shops are also getting in on the act but before I am shot down in flames by these 2 retail giants, let me state that much of the time if you know what you are buying, you can achieve unbelievable value for money in the art and crafts items offered but just make sure you know exactly what you are buying. There is a trend even on some of the higher end shops that you are shown a print in a frame but it turns out the price shown is just the print, (which is why the P&P is so often FREE).
Finding your LOCAL Creatives
Trying to find your local creative crafters on line can be as easy as searching for “watercolour artists in [your postcode]” or for others who are a little more obscure in artistic areas visits to local galleries and craft fairs may still be the order of the day. You can also search on the above mentioned sites and then filter the results to reflect your geographic area and also try searching for your favourite products / techniques that you have found but with your postcode included in google. Pinterest and google images are both great search tools for creative ideas and will throw up literally thousands of relevant images. Finally there is Facebook et al whch will also reveal a vast number of individuals all vying for your interest.
All being well and now I have got as far as starting this blog, I will attempt to keep posting with details of things I spot and pass on the contact info and details of anything I think might be of interest. So watch this space.