McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
Five Creative Gifts I gave at Christmas
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Aug. 4, 2013 5:16 p.m.
Jan. 9, 2013 11:20 a.m.

1. Bake Goods from a Local Cookie Shop. We have this incredible cookie store in town called Sis' Sweets Cookies and Cafe. One day in late December I went and bought an assortment of 3 dozen cookies and brownies took them home, assembled on plates, and delivered the goodies. I figured this was a win-win situation…I didn’t have to bake, I supported a small business, and my neighbors got delicious cookies and brownies.

2. Alpaca Bird Nesting Ball. I was out taking Community Pictures on Alpaca Days for the Kansas City Star at Manna Meadows, a small Alpaca Farm in Bonner Springs. Who knew there was such cool stuff at an Alpaca Farm? During the festival they had demonstrations, animals to pet (I met a two week old baby Alpaca), and a little retail shop. At their retail shop, I found Bird Nesting Balls filled with Alpaca fur which I thought was a very unique gift for the person who has everything. Once all the fur is gone you can refill the ball with lint from your dryer. I thought this was a pretty cool place hidden away in the country.

3. Reclaimed Light Bulb Aquarium with Living Moss Ball. I ran into a Light Bulb Aquarium one day when I was surfing the internet. I found this really site with directions on how to make my own, but I ran into problems finding the right plants. So I went to Etsy for completed Light Bulb Aquarium and found sometime even cooler!

4. Himalayan Salt Slabs – This idea came from watching Rachel Ray on one of my rare days home during the day. Rachel Ray was talking about this salt brick that you can serve cheese balls, cook, freeze and it was easy to clean. So this led me to research Salt Bricks. Most Himalayan Salt Slabs are beautiful, translucent, quartz-like slabs of pure Himalayan Pink salt, hand-cut directly from Jurassic-era deposits deep in the Himalayan Mountains. Chilled in the refrigerator, the slabs become a serving platter or tray for fruits, sushi, vegetables or cheese. Present cold desserts and even sorbet on slabs that have been frozen in the freezer. The slabs will impart an enhanced salt and mineral flavor to food by which no other method can compare. Himalayan salt is naturally anti-microbial, so clean up requires just a quick scrub or rinse. Salt bricks are a great gift for people who love to cook or entertain. I found free shipping at Salt Works.

5. Ragged Quilt – The good idea fairy was floating around in July when I decided I would make a ragged quilt for my niece for Christmas. I’m one of those people who sew off and on and throw instructions out the window so I decided to give myself plenty of time to finish this project. After a few more trips to the fabric store to buy more fabric, I got the blanket completed the weekend before Christmas.


(part of the blanket)

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