From Merry Makers

Winter Slow Down & #24DaysofPresence

OMHG Winter Slow Down 2014

This December on OMHG we are taking a collective deep breath and putting the brakes on for the great Winter Slow Down of 2014. Think of it as a season of slow, or a holiday without hustle, permission to ease into a winter of contentment and calm-even if life is swirling around us. Whether you are a maker,  small business owner, shopper or someone who hides from the rush, it can be hard not to get caught up in the frenzy of the holiday season and end up overwhelmed. Commitments like packing orders, promoting sales, events, shows and magic making for our families are all important but we often prioritize them over rest and then need to squeeze in simple goodness. What if this year we all made our own policies that protect our right to slow down for one month a year? It starts here!

Instead of regular posts and social media-ing from December 1-24th OMHG is celebrating a new kind of advent with our #24DaysOfPresence challenge. For the weeks leading up to Christmas take time to document the gifts each day brings whether it is a lovely sunset, a sweet note, or a quiet moment then share them (or don’t!) with the hashtag #24DaysOfPresence. Connect with others who know that the real treasure is never presents but the gift of presence. Once we slow down we can start to pay attention to where our presence is most needed in our lives and communities. Why is being present not only for ourselves but especially for others so very hard?

Jean Vanier on Presence & Doubt #24DaysOfPresence The thought of slowing down causes many of us to become doubtful and we fear whether there is any real value in being present. Get some help busting those obstacles from our community and by being clear about your plans for the winter. Let your friends, family and customers know that you are taking part in the Winter Slow Down by posting one of our badges on your website and social media or write up your policy for a season of slow.

Here are 10 suggestions for things you could change to help slow down this season: 

  1. Prioritize connection & pay attention: Slow is a reminder that more isn’t always best, so focus on the connections you do have whether that is providing customer service with humanity and care or paying attention to what you and those you love need most.
  2. Take a break from regular blogging & updating: Let your readers and followers know you are taking a break and when you’ll be back! Link them back to this post and give them permission to slow down too.
  3. Reduce your online time: What if you only logged on once a day for one hour? How about once a week? Try limiting the time you spend online and focusing on real connection when you do plug in (setting a policy for what days you are available helps!).
  4. Limit answering email to one day a week: Set up an email autoresponder to let people know you are not as available this month, once you’ve made it a policy you are more likely to respect your own boundaries!
  5. Set a firm cut off date for placing orders or shutting down operations: Don’t go taking orders or setting up more work right up until the final hour, if you’ve ever made the mistake of agreeing to custom orders shortly before Christmas you know how big of a stress-reducer this can be! Let everyone know what days you will not be available and stick to it!
  6. Schedule rest time after social time: Social events are tiring no matter how extroverted you are. Build in rest time instead of going from one holiday party or show to another so you can really enjoy the events you attend.
  7. Start Distraction-Free Sundays: Are you able to turn off all the things for one day a week? In our house we put all the devices in one room on Sundays and only use them if there is an emergency. During the winter we try to keep the TV off, avoid commitments and wear our cozy clothes all day, we make big meals (and offer to share with others).
  8. Set your own hours: Start work an hour later or quit an hour earlier every day. If you have a day job go to bed an hour earlier and wake up an hour earlier. Use the time you made for resting.
  9. Create a ‘time out’ spot in your home: Whether it is a nook or a chair at your dining room table spend one hour every day there working on something you love. This can be playing board games with your children or planning out your meals for the week- whatever brings you joy.
  10.  Remember memories matter: Just like you can create policies to protect your slow season you can create a holiday philosophy that is all about making memories not making purchases. What kind of memories do you want to make this year? Use those as a guide to make your strategic plan for slowing down.

In solidarity with our season of slow after this week OMHG will be publishing just a couple of posts (one is a big one on the reason slowing down is personal for me) before January of 2015 when we’ll be back with a plan for the new year. Our last public #OMHG chat of the year is December 11 and our community will be hosting a video party on December 18th for citizens from 12-2pm EST on my 32nd birthday!

Thank you to our talented Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn for sharing her pattern with
OMHG!

Do you struggle to slow down and be present at this time of year? What will you prioritize during the Winter Slow Down? 

Oh My! Gift Guide: For the Home

Oh My! Gift Guide: For the Home

This holiday season, we’ve asked some of our favourite creatives, bloggers, makers and OMHG members to join us in rounding up great gift ideas. This week we’re sharing the loveliest gifts for the home – we dress our homes with things we love, why not gift home items made with love!

mugs

Avril’s PickWildflower Mug from Xenia Taler

“My husband and I always gift each other fun mugs for Christmas. Xenia Taler’s designs are always so whimsical and beautiful. I would love to wake up to this beauty on Christmas morning!” – Avril Loreti is a textile designer and maker of bright, colorful, modern home decor and everyday art. The more colour that she can beautifully squeeze into a design the better! Follow Avril on Instagram for daily colour and pattern love.

pins

Marisa’s PickFrench Rolling Pin from Cattails Woodwork

“These birch rolling pins are lovingly made one by one by artisan woodworker Brenda Watts in an old carriage house in rural PEI. I can’t think of a better gift for your favourite home chef or baker – a modern heirloom that is not only beautiful but useful too.”- Marisa is a Canadian craft designer, author and shop girl. Follow her on Instagram for crafty adventures and DIY inspiration.

folded light

Sam’s PickKlimoppe Paper Lamp from Studio Snowpuppe

“These awesome origami wall lamps are from Dutch design duo Studio Snowpuppe. I love their structural quality and pared back use of materials – they are a geometric sculpture for your wall as well as a light! You can customise the colour of the shade and the chord to perfectly match your interiors and arrange them in whichever formation takes your fancy – oh the possibilities! Be sure to also check out the wonderful tale about Snowpuppe the snowman who invented the lamp!” – Sam Osborne is a brightly coloured designer nerd creating bold, modern design and illustrations for interiors, stationery, giftware, brands and more. She also designs and sells her own range of homewares & gifts.

table runner

Sarah’s Pick – Hundreds of Millions Table Runner from Avril Loreti

“I first spotted Avril’s work at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto, and I immediately fell in love with her sense of fun (paint chip placemats!) and bold colours. It was difficult to choose just one item from her collection of pillows, art and linens, but this Hundreds of Millions table runner is such a perfect burst of colour in an otherwise grey winter. ” – Sarah Gardiner is a fan of all things Canadian and handmade. She loves pretty paper, buttons and tries hard to never make the same thing twice. You can find her work at www.hiddenroomoriginals.com.

bread glass

Isaac’s PickBread and Badger Drinkware

“Bread and Badger drinkware is like a tattoo for your home. Amanda and her husband Sean have been sandblasting designs onto coffee mugs, pint glasses, and more for many years, and these make a great gift for someone who needs a little flair in their cupboard or wants to dress up their drinks. The big mugs come in bright colors to complement contemporary décor (I drink my coffee from one every morning), and the pint, rocks, and shot glasses are classic and sturdy. They even do custom work for that very special someone.” – Isaac Watson is the founder of Maker’s Nation, helping makers thrive through business education and in-person community-building. Isaac lives in Portland, Oregon.

Unurth ceramics } Oh My! Gift Guide

Jessika’s Pickceramics for the home from Unurth 

“Jenn of Unurth is one of the most wonder-full women I know and her work captures that joyful spirit perfectly. When we shop directly from a maker we bring a bit of their heart and soul into our homes or the life of whoever we are gifting to. Jenn’s work adds richness to any space and I like to think of her ceramic home goods from planters to plates spreading a little bit of her light wherever they go.” Jessika is the founder of Oh My! Handmade, learn more about her here

Pata Pri | Oh My! Gift Guide

Jessika’s Bonus Pick – Handmade twin bedding by Pata Pri 

“My obsession with this quadruple gauze bedding handprinted with clouds by Yuko of Pata Pri has been ongoing for over three years. My youngest daughter sleeps with this blanket every night and it has only become lovelier with each wash, a bed of Yuko’s linens would be a handmade dream!”

Come see what else we’re loving over on our Pinterest board & our community marketing board of holiday sales and promotions here.

Follow OMIYAGE’s board Gifts For The Home on Pinterest.

And follow OMHG’s Etsy Gift Guide for more great picks:

Need more gift guides? Week One – Creative GiftsWeek Two – Giftable ArtWeek Three – Gifts for Kids, Week Four – Animal Gifts.

Have a great gift idea? Share it in the comments and we’ll add our favourites to the Pinterest and Etsy boards.