Out of the box holiday gift ideas

Hi Friends,

We are just a few short days away from Thanksgiving and then the mad rush of the Holiday season really starts with gift buying madness as I call it :).  With this in mind I thought that I would share some “out of the box” gift giving ideas and also some ideas of giving back.

When I was young one of my most favorite things to do at Holiday time with my mom was to select names off the “Giving Tree” either at our church or at the mall (the Salvation Army here puts names on trees in our mall of people and kids of all ages who are in need).  My mom would always let me select about 4, we would go shopping and by things like gloves, hats, scarves etc.  We would take them home, wrap them up and bring them back the next week.  I have continued that tradition and I still find so much joy in doing it, knowing I’m providing someone who otherwise might not have a gift.

But, What if you want to give back but don’t have extra money to spend?  Being a single mom for many years and working 3 jobs to stay afloat  – that was totally my situation most Christmases.  I did not always have extra money to purchase gifts.  So I had to find creative ways to give back.  For those of you who feel like they want to do something but don’t have the extra funds here are some of my….

“creative – out of the box” ideas I’ve come up with:

  1.  Volunteer some time at a soup kitchen – there are so many places that would love to have someone stop in and help cook a meal or bake some cookies – don’t just think of Rescue Missions or Salvation Army – There is the Ronald McDonald house, we have one of those that is for adults called the Sarah House, there are hospice homes, disabled veteran homes – elderly shut-ins – do a search you will be surprised at what you will find locally in your area
  2. Volunteer some time at an animal rescue or humane association
  3. Have old towels and washcloths?  Animal rescues are always looking for these things.
  4. Have used but still good coats – boots and outerwear? – Donate them to a church or school – there are so many out there that would love something that you or your kids don’t fit anymore 
  5. Volunteer some time at your church… if they have a day care during service or youth group or after school group that might need some extra help
  6. Love to bake cookies or breads ?  How about dropping some off at a Hospital or hospice home especially for the over night shifts – even nursing homes.
  7. Knit or crochet?  How about a blanket or 2 for a nursing home resident
  8. Have holiday music on a CD or MP3 player?  Copy some on to some CDs (they are so cheap now a days) and drop off at nursing homes – respite houses – disabled homes VA hospitals etc
  9. How about a box of instant hot cocoa and a bag of marshmallows to a low income after school program or day care

For out of the box – low cost ideas for loved ones and friends:

  1.  Offer a friend with kids a free night of kid sitting so they can have the night off
  2. Offer to walk or sit a friends pet – especially during holiday time it’s hard sometimes to get things done like shopping if you have to keep stopping home to let a pet out
  3. Help a loved one who doesn’t write well do the addresses on their holiday cards – I used to print up for my mom – mailing addresses of our family so that when she would send cards for any occasion she wouldn’t have to write these out as she has bad arthritis in her hands.
  4. Offer to help a friend or loved one wrap their holiday gifts
  5. If you can foods and have extra – put together a little “gift box” of some of your delicious canned goods – I know for myself I love things made by hand and with love!
  6. Again if you knit or crochet – think about scarves, coffee cozies, gloves, hats, socks or a lap blanket for a loved one or friend. 
  7. Have a friend or loved one who reads?  How about hitting a used book store or thrift store and picking up a few new reads – wrap them with a few new tea bags for a special night of reading and tea  
  8. Have a friend who loves coffee?  Look for a pretty mug (places like Marshalls or TJ Maxx, even the thrift store sell some beautiful inexpensive mugs) – grab a couple sample bags of some flavored coffees and wrap them all up with a couple candy canes for stir sticks. 
  9. How about a little handmade journal this could even be for a young girl.
  10. Put together a little art set – put together according to age but you can find fairly inexpensive mini paint sets or small watercolor paint sets at Michaels – even check out your local dollar store you’d be surprised what you can find in there.  Pick up a pretty journal – or make one add to it a couple pretty pens again you can find gel pens for fairly inexpensive – you don’t have to buy a huge set just a couple.  Wrap it up with a few pieces of pretty ribbon you have in your stash kids & adults love little kits of pretty creative things!

I hope that this helps some of you out there looking for some unique ideas for giving or giving back.  There are really so many creative ideas and you may have some of your own that would be unique to your loved one, these are more of a “General one size fits all ideas” just to help you get those creative juices flowing with ideas!!

I hope to have time to share a few gift giving ideas that are handmade with all of you in the next few weeks for those of you who would like to give something handmade.

If you missed my video posted on Saturday you can watch it by clicking here I show you how to create your own tag kit for holiday time – this could also be made and given to a friend or loved one or change the colors – paper etc to something neutral and not holiday and give as a gift to be used for any occasion throughout the year.

This year for the Holidays I am committing to not buying more crafty stuff but I am going to use what I have and make some pretty handmade gifts and kits (because lets face it most of us have a lot of “stuff” we can use).  It feels so good to use things I bought and loved but have been holding on to for the “right time to use it”. Well NOW is the right time.

Who else is in?  All you have to do is use something you already have in your stash instead of buying something new.  Share that you are using your holiday stash and tag me on social media – if you share on your blog please link back here so I can see what you are making and creating!  Get creative and use up some of the delicious holiday stash you have collected!

I will have a new Holiday tutorial on Friday, 11/24 on my Youtube channel.  Many times my tutorials get posted there before I can share them on my blog so be sure to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss any of my free tutorials.  You can do that here .

I leave you all with a little pug and frenchie love on this chilly day here 🙂

Have an amazing Monday my friends!!

xxoo – Sherry

Art Journaling Video & Meet Luna

Hi Friends,

I know as the holidays get closer and there are more things that need to be done it becomes more difficult to find time to be creative.  

I for one am the first to forget to take pics at an event or outing because I am just enjoying myself and living in the moment.  I also think that it’s important sometimes to do just that – enjoy the moment and not worry about documenting it.  But if you are feeling that you want take a few minutes to document your gratitude or write down a memory then the video I have created below will give you inspiration to do just that.  It didn’t take me hours to create these pages, I added a lot of writing as I have been finding that writing things I’m grateful for is so much more powerful than just thinking them.  For a little color and pizazz I have thrown in a little watercolor and of course some glitter.

In keeping with the theme for this month which is Gratitude –

In this video I share with you my process of documenting everyday things in which I am thankful.  I also include some of the bigger things in my life which I am grateful for – such as my husband and son.  I am using some of the tags from the free monthly download that went out in my November newsletter.  (This month’s download was all about tags) If you missed out on this month’s download you can purchase it here .  I will have a link at the bottom to sign up for my newsletter or go to the section on my website called Artsy News.  I also used a quote on my page from the free download you can get on my blog post here .

Now for some really big news that was quite unexpected to us.

Since losing my Pebbles Labor Day weekend I have been telling my husband I’m not getting any more dogs.  But all the while missing my Pebbles my world has had a hole in it.    A few days ago a friend contacted me said that they had a friend who just got a puppy and they were being evicted and they needed to find it a home.  I was like NO WAY!  Of course that was not the end of the conversation it went on and I got off the phone saying I’ll think about it but probably not.  So after Dan and I talked about it we agreed to meet the puppy and see what she was like.  The story seemed all too familiar to Budha’s who we rescued when she was 6 (she passed last December at the age of 17) and I was thinking maybe this puppy needs me as much as I need her.  Dan of course was like “look if you want to get her then we will”.

So of course it was love at first site and I knew that I just couldn’t leave her to end up in whatever home they could find because they didn’t have time to properly find a home.  So Sunday afternoon we had a new family member.  Meet Little Luna.  She is a French Bulldog (not a pug I know).  But just look at that face and those ears lol

She’s just a wee 6lbs and only 12 weeks old. And we are so blessed to have her now a part of our family.

So creating has been taking a bit of a back burner as puppy training is not all that easy lol.  But I managed to get in a little bit here and there when she sleeps lol.

I have started some holiday creating already – here I created this watercolor wreath.

I will have a fun holiday tutorial for you on my Youtube Channel this Friday 11/17.  Be sure to subscribe to my channel here so you don’t miss any of my new tutorials.  Also for all of you who have subscribed thank you so much I just hit 1000 subscribers and I can’t believe it.  To many it probably seems like – well that’s not many – but it’s huge to me and means so very much!  All of your support and comments means the world to me!!

I mentioned above that I would have a link to sign up for my monthly newsletter you can do that here .

Thank you so much friends for sharing your time with me today.  Sending lots of love, peace and happiness your way!!

xoxo – Sherry

What’s in your heart?

Hi Friends what’s in your heart today?

Be sure to read to the bottom where you can snag another Freebie 

As the days of November quickly go by, I can’t help but think that I have so very many things to be grateful for and so I just wanted to share a few things that are in my heart and on my mind today.

Recently I created an art journal page for the Gratitude Junk Journal and the prompt that was provided – prompted me to create a page being thankful for coffee.  Seems so trivial I know.  But when I sat and thought about the simplicity of a cup of coffee I realized that this simple drink has so much more meaning to me that what it is on the surface. (below a photo of this layout)

I mean  – Don’t get me wrong I love my coffee – steaming hot & fresh out of the pot first thing in the morning – waking me up – providing me with the promise of a new day – a fresh start – a do over of sorts.

But but then I realized all the times I turn to coffee…

  • A call to a friend – do you want to meet for coffee and chat?

  • A text to my husband – it’s been a long day want to go for coffee after work?

  • A visit to my mom at the nursing home – mom look I brought you coffee with lots of sugar just how you love it.

  • A call from my son – you need help with something? – Let’s go grab a coffee and talk about it

As I sat and pondered all these things more continued to pop in my head –

  • all the times I visited someone in the hospital and for a bit of respite went down for a cup of coffee 

  • My son as a teenager going through a rough patch – Dan and I going for coffee to talk about how we will get through these days / months / years ahead

  • At an event or a retreat – hey you love coffee too – OMG me too – instant friends headed off to get coffee each day

The list goes on and on but you get the point.  Sometimes these simplest things in our lives are really the deep meaningful ones that happen while we are just living.  This month I’m choosing to be more mindful and pay attention to the little things that matter in my life.  To look at all those “little things” I’m blessed with on a daily basis.

Which brings me to the Freebie I have for all of you today

I want to remind each an everyone of you that I am so grateful for you!  I appreciate you stopping by – leaving me comments and sharing my posts.  So today I have another gratitude gift for you.  I have selected some of my favorite quotes and put them together here in a download that you can print off and use in your art or journals.

 Wishing all of you a wonderful and amazing weekend full of peace love and happiness!
xoxo- Sherry

For the first time ever I am selling a few of my beloved tags and hand made art journals at a steal – This is happening over on Instagram Each one is a one of a kind and the quantities are limited so when they are gone they’re gone.  The first one sold at lightening speed so be sure to turn on post notifications (that’s under those 3 little dots up at the top of my page).

Upcoming things to look for

11/11 – New YouTube Art Journaling Video – subscribe here so you don’t miss any of my videos

11/17 – Next Email freebie

11/20 – New Holiday Youtube Video

11/20 – Holiday Madness week starts here

11/23 – Tiare Smith Designs Team Post

I still have some really huge news that I’m dying to share and If you follow me on Instagram you are seeing sneak peeks on my Instagram Stories of something I’m working on (but you probably don’t realize it’s “This Big Thing” – To get sneak peeks behind the scenes give me a follow on Instagram here (watch my stories by clicking on my profile pic)

StencilGirl Holiday Blog Hop

Hi Friends welcome to the StencilGirl Creative Team blog hop

The creative team has put together over 12 amazing and inspiring creative holiday tutorials to start off your holiday season in the merriest way!.

I hope you will join me in creating some vintage style tags using distress inks and some Holiday StencilGirl Stencils.

Products used in todays video listed below and most of them can be found for an amazing price here:

  • Distress Inks:  Stormy Sky, peeled paint, forest moss , Pine needles, fired brick, walnut stain
  • Distress tags #8
  • Stazon inks in Gothic purple and Hawaii blue
  • golden heavy gel matte medium
  • ribbon vintage book pages, music sheet and map paper
  • Derivan Matisse fluid Matte white wash by paint Pam Carriker
  • StencilGirl Stencils used: Christmas Poinsettias by Gwen LaFleur,  Snowflake mask 1 by Cathy Nichols,  Christmas 1 by June Pfaff Daley,  Kristie Taylor Crystaled 12 pt mandala all of these can be found at www.stencilgirlproducts.com

Don’t forget to sign up for my newletter to receive a free monthly download.  November’s newsletter will go out 11/6 so be sure to sign up right here 

Be sure to take a moment to leave a comment on my blog and on each blog below to be entered to win a $25 StencilGirl Gift Certificate!  

Here are links to all the fantastic, magic, merry, holiday projects:
Sherry Canino  You are here.

Karen Gaunt

Tina Walker 

Torrie Gass

Cindy Gilstrap

Sandee Setliff

Kiala Givehand 

Janet Joehlin

Belen Sotelo

Louise Nelson

Debi Adams 

Carol Baxter

Giveaway details:
Comment by midnight CST in the USA on November 8th and we’ll randomly choose a $25 StencilGirl Gift Certificate winner. The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to win. We’ll announce the winner on our Facebook Page on November 9th.
Please feel free to share the hop with your friends and Happy Holidays my friends !!
xoxo – Sherry

 

How to enjoy the holidays & a Freebie

Hi Friends,

I know I haven’t shared a lot in the past week, to be honest I have been buried in projects that I can’t share at the moment, I’ve just been working away like a busy bee trying to get a jump on things before the holiday season is in full swing.

I really enjoy the holiday season but that was not always the case.  I grew up in a house with a lot of turmoil around the holidays so to be honest the holidays used to be my least favorite time of year.  As a matter of fact I used to tell my husband that I hated Christmas -yeah I know there are many who are saying … WHAT???  How could you hate Christmas.   Then there are those of you who – get it.

Either way that has all changed for me now and I fully embrace the holiday season, and I’d like to share a little bit with all of you how I was able to “flip this Sh*t around” so to speak.

I actually started to look at why I hated the Holidays so much, what was causing me to wish they would just not come this year.  So if you are feeling the same way, I would recommend you make a list and do it now. The sooner you do then the sooner you can change your feelings about the holidays – below is my list and after each one in pink is what I did to change my situation / feeling.

  • I disliked having to go to my extended family on the holidays just to be critiqued or have my little family critiqued – Quite frankly Just stopped going, I didn’t want to hurt peoples feelings so I would make up little white lies but once I didn’t have to go anymore my anxiety level went way down.  Because lets face it you have a whole year to do what everyone else wants you to do if that’s what you choose, it doesn’t have to be around the holidays.  
  • I disliked that at the last minute I was the one wrapping all the gifts and my husband always wanted to shop at the last minute for more things that I ended up wrapping (sorry but he’s so slow at this task lol) – I set him a deadline and when we start to go out shopping – he will always say oh we don’t need to get that now and now I say yes we are getting the shopping done and out of the way if you want to get it for (fill in the name) then let’s get it now.  At first he bucked at this a bit but I’m a tough lady (sometimes you just have to be lol) and I pushed and you know what? he’s pretty much used to it now.

  • I hated that my husband would always shop for me the day before Christmas which meant that instead of spending time together he was out shopping again another deadline for him lol, but you know what we talk about it way in advance so that this doesn’t happen and for the most part it has worked out.  He knows that it’s more important to me that he and I to spend time together than it is for me to have a bunch of gifts.
  • I disliked feeling like there was so much to do and to get ready but I was the only one that was doing  –  leaving me no time to actually enjoy the holiday season we talk about things ahead of time and see who is going to do what task, and what we plan to do together ( and both my husband and son help out a lot!).  Then we MAKE time to do fun holiday things.  Every year our local park has a 3 mile lights on the lake that you can go to and before it officially opens they have a night where you can walk through them in the evening.  It’s a tradition now that we go.   We head to Starbucks early grab a peppermint mocha and then head out for the 3 mile walk.  We have a lot of other things that we do as well, such as a near by Village has what they call a Dickens Christmas. We spend a day there walking through the village shops, sipping hot coffee or cocoa and then having a late afternoon lunch as this beautiful restaurant on the lake.  

So the moral of my story (and yeah it was a long one lol) is that the Holidays are Beautiful and Magical and wonderful to me now because I choose to let them be.  I let go of all the other “stuff” that was not important and made the holidays about spending time with those I love.  And I hope that my sharing all of this helps at least one person out there that might be feeling the same way. That maybe this can help you start to enjoy the holiday season!❤️

Okay moving on to some art!

I have been unable to get my hands on the new Jane Davenport collection and finally yesterday I was able to get the aquapastels and a package of the confetissue pieces.  So here I share a little info- video of my take on them. Someone asked if they were like gelatos and I would have to say no.  Once they are dry they are pretty set – they don’t continue to move but if you added more water they might- they seem more like a watercolor to me but definitely  not as creamy as a watercolor crayon.

A little peek at things I have been working on

I wanted to let you in on a little secret – Saturday the Stencilgirl team is having a magnificent Holiday hop so be sure to stop back in for some amazing inspiration and start your holiday crafty season on the right foot!

Now I can’t spoil what’s in store but I can share a little sneak peek with you – below and let you know that my project has a bit of Old World Holiday – Vintage Flair to it.

November here in the States

is known as the month of giving thanks.  Many of you have already begun the Gratitude Junk Journal online workshop with us.  For those who want to still want to sign up you can click here to join we are only on day 2 so not much to catch up on.  Also for those who might not know this is a “go at your own pace class” which makes it all that more amazing and you don’t have to worry about finishing each part right away or even in sequence.

Now a little something for all of you

to show my thanks for all your continued support!  I will probably be saying it over an over especially this month but I want you to all know that you are truly appreciated.  Throughout the year you share my posts, you leave me love and comments on all of the different socials media sites and here, You have bought my products, you have joined my workshops and you have shown me love and kindness that just cannot be thanked enough.

So throughout the month I will be giving back to all of you.  Today I have a beautiful free collage sheet for you to download, just signup below and your collage sheet will be immediately emailed to you.

Thank you my friends for all you do throughout the year!

xoxo – Sherry

Upcoming things to look for:

11/4 – Holiday Blog hop with StencilGirl Creative Team

11/6 – Monday will be the first post of a new blog series and you won’t want to miss this!

11/6 -November’s Newsletter will be going out 11/6 with the free monthly download -Be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter here – this month’s download is all about tags so don’t miss out!

I also have another “BIG” secret that I can’t say much about yet other than I have something amazing planned for 2018 and I’m dying to share with all of you. I am hoping that by the beginning of December I will be able to!  So be on the look out for sneak peeks here and there on my different social media sites! ❤️

 

Tiare Smith Designs Creative Team

Good Morning Friends today I have my first post for the Tiare Smith Designs Creative Team over on Tiare Smith Designs Blog.  I’m excited to share this will all of you and hope you have a few minutes to stop over there to see my tutorial and show me some love.  It would truly mean so much to me!! ❤️

Check out some of the products by Tiare Smith Designs that were used in creating these tags here

Thanks so much friends for sharing your time with me today!!

xoxo – Sherry

Ghostly Art Tags

We are but a week away from Halloween so let’s create something spooky together.

 

Hi Friends, I can’t help it I might be grown but I just LOVE Halloween.  Last weekend Dan, my son & (his girlfriend ) and I all went to a place called Demons Acres.  There they had a haunted house – a haunted maze called Jail Break, an Insane Asylum and a Haunted hayride.

Well we did them all except the haunted house and they were all so much fun.  The best being the haunted hayride which they are known for.

The pics are dark and not that great but I wanted to share anyways – there really was not much lighting out there!!  Very spooky ambiance for sure!!

This bottom one is me getting strapped into the Insane Asylum chair – super crazy scary!!

A couple pics from the Haunted Hay Ride

I Have to say that we all had a blast and it was worth the almost hour drive to get to this place out in the middle of no where lol.

So today I have a Halloween tutorial for you all – I am using mostly products by Tim Holtz to make these 2 tags.  I really had a blast making them, I hope you will join in and create a couple with me – just use what you have don’t worry if you don’t have all the exact same elements as I do.  All the products used are listed in the description of my Youtube video.

Come on lets have a little Halloween fun together !!

A reminder that we are only a little over a week away from starting the Gratitude Junk Journal online class.  The Facebook group has already opened and so many have already signed up and will be joining us in this amazing class.  Won’t you join us for 30 days of Gratitude Starting November 1st lets make this a fabulous start to a beautiful Holiday season.  Sign up today :  Gratitude Junk Journal    

Just look at the amazing line yup of artists in this beautiful class

Don’t forget to share in the comments some of the fun things that you do for Halloween fun, I’d love to hear from you!

Have an amazing day friends!

xoxo Sherry

My 5 Fall Favs

Another Beautiful Fall weekend

My idea of fall is more like weather in the 70s where it’s cool enough to wear a long sleeved shirt but you can still be in a pair of shorts.  Not Ideal for everyone I’m sure but since I’m always cold that’s my ideal.  This weekend was just that.  

Each season brings with it so much beauty and inspiration.  So I thought that I would share with you my 5 favs for fall.

  1.  Taking a walk through the leaves on a warm fall day

Yesterday was a perfect day for this – we live right near a beautiful park with gorgeous walking trails along the water.

2.  Picking up leaves – no I still haven’t out grown this

When we were walking there was plenty of leaves to choose from but I found my self drawn to the red ones – so bright and vibrant I couldn’t help put pick up 3 or 4 to bring home with me.

3.  A hot cup of coffee out on the deck in the cool fall air

there is just something magical about drinking something steaming hot in the cool crisp air that just gives you such a cozy feeling

4.  Reading a good book

I love nothing more than on a cool rainy fall day than to hunker down with a book – I especially like to re-read books that I have already read but love – the feel of the worn soft pages is like nothing else – just so familiar and comforting

5. Fresh baked bread and pastries

I truly enjoy baking in the fall and love the smell of warm apple bread fresh from the oven – but when I don’t have time to bake there is a little pastry shop not far from us with delicious pastries that my husband and I enjoy warmed up with a hot cup of coffee of course.

Looking over my 5 favs for fall I can see the “art” inspiration in each one. – Texture, colors, layers all just waiting to be added to my art journal with little bits and details written in.

If you haven’t seen my latest Autumn Themed art journal spread have a peek here it is full of autumn goodness.

Share your fall favs in the comments below I would love to hear what everyone else enjoys this time of year!!

xoxo – Sherry

An Artist I admire

Friends I’m excited to share with you all that I am a guest Artist in an online class with one of my most admired Artists – Traci Bautista.

We are both Guest Artists – along with several other amazing artists – teaching in Hacking the color wheel session 2

I had the great fortune to meet Traci at the September Retreat that I went to in Kentucky – photo below.

So it seems pretty surreal now teaching in the same online workshop with her.

  Hacking the Color Wheel Session 2

I urge you to check out the link here for all the details.   I am most excited about is the fact that Traci is Teaching a live session.  Since I taught in session 1 and have been to the live sessions I can tell you that it’s the next best thing to being right there in person.  You get to interact with the teacher and the other students and other teachers that attend,  and you can bet that I will certainly be there!

In my class we will be learning how to layer watercolors to create depth, below is a little sneak peek of my class 

You will walk away with a set of cards that will provide you will new color palettes to use, as well as a better understanding on how to layer, what colors give you the best depths and the difference between layering and mixing.

Here is a look at the other amazing artists and you can still sign up for Session 1 here  so you can see what we did in the first round of classes.

 

Wishing you all a beautiful weekend my friends !!

xoxo – Sherry