Homemade Gifts for the Holidays

I was thrilled when I was asked to be guest blogger over at Aftcra, which is a selling platform for American made Handmade items.

I wanted to share my article with my readers and also provide the link for the published one. Enjoy!

Homemade Gifts for the Holidays!

Is it just me, or has this whole holiday season thing gotten way out of control?  I'm pretty sure that a year is still as long as it used to be, so why does the season seem to be arriving earlier and earlier each year?  The cynical side of me wants to blame the big retailers, the ones who bank on our lemming-like behavior to overflow their coffers each fall.  When I was a kid (not as long ago as this rant is making me sound) holiday decorations and merchandise didn't appear until after Thanksgiving.  Nowadays it is common for retailers to start pushing their wares well before Halloween, and many people have already finished shopping by Thanksgiving night, thanks to Black Friday (excuse me, Thursday).  While I can’t control the commerciality of the holidays, there is at least one tradition that I refuse to relinquish, and that is the tradition of sharing handmade gifts with my family and friends.
About five years ago I started creating my own Christmas cards and before I knew it I was making hand-made greeting cards for almost every occasion. The response to my cards was phenomenal, and soon Taylormadecards4u was born. Then, about three years ago I started my blog, Taylormardecards4u.com, where I am able to share card creations, offer tutorials, and review products. I have since expanded my handmade items to include altered art, wall hangings, memory boxes, and various other items. I have also been privileged to be a participant on many design teams both as a member and a guest designer. In November and December of 2014 I was published in an online magazine, Scrapbooking.com, and will have some new items featured in Just Steampunk, coming out November 2015.

As a practitioner of handmade arts, I fully support the community of my fellow artists and purchase from them regularly.  My real mission, however, is to convince the average consumer that buying handmade is well worth their time and money, and helps build a stronger community for us all.
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You can find many of my handmade items over at my etsy store and now on Amazon Handmade.