5 Gift Ideas for the Person Who Has It All

From guest author Corina Mentink.

Buying presents for someone is hard enough as it is, let alone when the person you’re buying for already owns all your great ideas. Every year, there’s always that one person who’s impossible to shop for – regardless of how well you know them you always get stuck.

You pray they drop hints, maybe this year they will have a specific item they need – then you’ll have it covered! But when that doesn’t work, you walk around the shops for hours, sit online and desperately hope the holiday gods will inspire you and give you some brilliant idea.

Nothing happens though. You can’t find anything they don’t already own, which means it’s another birthday, Christmas or anniversary gift you’re going to have too (somehow!) avoid. This year, we look into a few ideas to keep your mind thinking and come up with a present that will not only surprise them, but you too.


1. Buy an Experience

There is nothing better than doing an activity that you love, either with someone you care about or simply by yourself. Buying an experience, whether it be a relaxing getaway, cooking classes, a pampering massage, concert tickets, skydiving or a rally driving experience for the adrenalin junky can be the perfect gift for people that are hard to buy for.

Depending on your budget, you can be as adventurous or as laid back as you like. Consider their interests or something different that they wouldn’t have tried before. Anything from horse riding to flying lessons and cruises to eating out will give them a day to remember.

2. Gift a Hamper

Giving a gift hamper can be a perfect present for the one that has everything, for work colleagues and clients, or people you don’t know too well yet. Whether they be a chocolate lover, a chef in the making or can appreciate a well-crafted beer, there a gift hampers to suit all tastes and personalities.

Man food gift hampers are ideal for the typical bloke, who loves their snacks, beer and sports; or gift hampers filled with indulging bath delights, pick-me up treats or cocktail kits can be a great idea for women.

Gift hampers allow the freedom to have all bases covered, if you’re unsure what they like, a generic hamper with a bit of everything can be sure to include a treat in there for them.

3. Get Creative

Getting those creative juices flowing can be the perfect opportunity to show someone how much they truly mean to you – it can also be super fun and work wonders for your wallet.

Making gifts can be a great way to personalise the present in a special and unique way. If you’re not a creative-minded person, you can look for ideas on sites like Pinterest or even bake their favourite food or treat.

4. Capture a Memory

There is something pretty spectacular about capturing your favourite memories from the past and reliving them over and over again. Giving a photo as a gift can be as unique and fun as you want to make it – from a collage of celebrations or a simple one-moment in time.

With most photo printing shops being able to do almost anything these days, your choices are very widespread. Whether you want to make something yourself from a selection of photos, or leave it in the hand of the experts, anything from photo books, to photos printed on a canvas, photo boxes or just simply a super stylish photo frame. It’s hard to go wrong with photo gifts and the ideas are endless.

5. Have a Little Fun

Not every present though has to be sentimental and well thought of, having a little fun without needing to be overly creative or spend too much can work just as well.  If they have a pool, floating ping pong tables and entertaining pool toys can spark the excitement of even the older ones.

Spare of the moment joke games or novelty items can be great for the humours-minded friend and don’t require too much thought.  If they are a collector, adding something quirky to the mix can be sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Depending on whether you’re in summer or winter, you can also use this to provoke seasonal gifts too.

Guest author Corina Mentink is the Director of Boxt.com.au, a leading online provider of Gifts and Hampers in Australia. Connect with Corina on LinkedIn.  Image purchased by author from StockFresh.com; used by permission.

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Winner’s Choice Giveaway! Etsy Gift Card, Amazon Gift Card or PayPal ~ 2 Winners! (WW ~ 2/18)

Cotton Ridge Giveaways

Welcome to Our Giveaway!

Hosted & Sponsored By

Cotton Ridge Create! and Dancing With Fireflies

Happy Winter! Crysta of Dancing With Fireflies and Kathie of Cotton Ridge are pleased to host and sponsor this giveaway as a little thank you to our readers. Enter below to to win one of two prizes! Please see the details below.

Amazon Gift Card

First Prize: $25 Etsy Gift Card, Amazon Gift Card, or PayPal Cash, Winner’s Choice

The first winner drawn will have the choice of a $25 Etsy Gift Card, Amazon Gift Card, or PayPal Cash. If you are not familiar with Etsy, please visit the site to discover individual shops run by artists and handcrafters. Many take commissions and do custom work. There are also shops featuring vintage goods and supplies for crafting! The Etsy Gift Card can be used at any Etsy shop that accepts Gift Cards.

Second Prize: $15 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash, Winner’s Choice

The second winner drawn will have the choice of a $15 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash.

The giveaway is open World Wide and will run from 12:00 am on January 31 through midnight February 18, 2014. Must be at least 18 years old to enter. The two winners will be contacted via email and will have two days to claim the prizes. If unclaimed, a new winner will be drawn. The winners’ entries will be verified. Please enter the contest using the Rafflecopter form below. All entries are optional.

Thank you for entering our giveaway, we appreciate your support!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Kathie at Cotton Ridge will personally email the gift code or PayPal cash to the winners. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Etsy, Amazon, PayPal, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. We hereby release Facebook of any liability. Gift Box image purchased from Deposit Photos.

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New Free Online Craftsy Class: Complete Knife Skills with Brendan McDermott

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Craftsy and will receive a small commission if the links below are used to make a purchase. My recommendation is based on personal, positive experience with this company.

Free Online Cooking Class

Learn new kitchen skills with Craftsy! Check out the new free mini-course, Complete Knife Skills with Brendan McDermott, and impress your family and friends.

More Free Classes

Not interested in cooking? Learn something new in 2014 with one of Craftsy’s many FREE mini classes! Try your hand at quilting, sewing, make a pizza at home, or learn to take beautiful family portraits. Commit to learning a new skill in the new year. Look at what you can learn for free here: Craftsy Free Classes.

I have been very impressed with my experiences with Craftsy – if you are interested in reading more about Craftsy’s online classes and how they work, you may like my two articles: Online Class Review: Shoot It! Product Photography by Craftsy and Fab Felt Christmas & Holiday Crafts Online Course ~ A Review.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Craftsy and will receive a small commission if the links on this page are used to make a purchase. My recommendation is based on personal, positive experience with this company.

Art Schools Around The World: Arrowmont In Gatlinburg, TN

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Craftsy and of Amazon.com, and will receive a small commission if the links on this page are used to make a purchase.

One of my regrets from my college experience is neglecting to take art classes.  The College of William and Mary has an entire building devoted to the arts, yet I chose other electives instead.  Perhaps I was a little intimidated.  My dream now is to take art and craft classes when and where I can – even on the internet!  A few years ago I had the opportunity to take wheel-thrown and handbuilding pottery lessons locally.  When my daughter is old enough – and given the resources – I hope to travel and experience more art studios and schools. Fortunately, we have many available here in Huntsville, Alabama, and in the region.

Ceramics by PunkToad on flickr

Arrowmont School Ceramics

My plan is to make “Art Schools Around The World” a series on this blog, featuring various places where I’d love to study.  Sometimes it will be a more realistic spot for me, such as Arrowmont or the Appalachian Center for Craft in Cookeville, TN.  Other times an international school will be featured – a pipe dream for me, maybe, but who knows!  And, perhaps I will help you discover one that is nearby of which you were unaware.

I am somewhat familiar with Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts because of our annual family trips to the Gatlinburg, TN area.  If you have not been, I would recommend it!  You can read my posts about the Arts & Crafts Community Art Loop and other things to do.  Although Gatlinburg, Sevierville, and Pigeon Forge can be a little “tourist-y,”  there are lots of attractions for the nature-lover, arts and crafts enthusiasts, and kids.

The school has a shop in Gatlinburg near Ripley’s Aquarium that we’ve visited several times over the years.  We are always so impressed with the creativity and skill of the teachers and students.

About the School

The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts offers weekend workshops, as well as one-week and two-week workshops.  Taught by both university faculty and practicing studio artists, there are classes for the beginner to advanced artist.  The campus of 14 acres in Gatlinburg, TN  holds professionally equipped studios and student housing. Residents of the local community also have the opportunity to take weekly classes.

The school offers education in the many fields, including:

  • ceramics
  • fiber
  • metals/jewelry
  • painting
  • drawing
  • photography
  • warm glass
  • woodturning
  • woodworking
  • mixed media
  • books and paper

Other offerings include the year-long Artists-in-Residence Program, conferences and symposia, exhibitions and galleries open to the public, and an art supplies store.  In addition, the school provides a full day of art teaching to the students of Sevier County Schools each year.

Arrowmont School Studio by PunkToad on flickr

Arrowmont School Studio

Helpful Links

Is there an art and craft school that you would like to see featured?  Please contact me.

Text Copyright 2014 Kathryn Depew. Information source: Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts web site.  Images from flickr.com used under the Creative Commons license. Images credit: PunkToad: Ceramics and Studio.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Craftsy and of Amazon.com, and will receive a small commission if the links on this page are used to make a purchase.

Craftsy Fine Art

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Valentine’s Day DIY Pinterest Sweepstakes! $25 Amazon Gift Card, 6 Winners (U.S. ~ 2/22)


Let’s get crafty for Valentine’s Day! We’re featuring beautiful DIY projects from the Guidecentral community and around the web. Pin your heart out & win!

Click Here To Enter The Contest ~ It’s Easy!

The Sweepstakes is available only to those 21 years of age or older (at the time of entry), who are legal residents of the United States or the District of Columbia. Winners will be chosen on or around 2/23/2014.

Amazon Gift Card

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A Creative Valentines Day

Peanut Butter Butterscotch Heart Shaped Rice Krispie BarsEvery Valentines Day for the past few years, we celebrate the holiday with a party for the kids (and dinner out for us).  Last year these Valentine Peanut Butter Butterscotch Rice Krispies Treats were a big hit!  And the kids had a great time making their own tile coasters.  Visit the Creative Kids area of this blog for more great activities for your kids!Valentines Party Making Tile Coasters 4

Below are some beautiful, creative Valentines Day gifts from the artists and crafters from Etsy.  Just click on an image below to see the item.  These are only a few of the many wonderful ideas you’ll find!

‘A Creative Valentines Day’ by cottonridge

Valentine's Day Gift, Felted Wool, Vintage Fabric Rose and Burlap Heart Pillow, Red Needle Felt Heart. All You Need Is Love - Fairyfolk
Heart Printable, Garden Floral Heart, Retro, Valentines Print, Nursery Printable, Home Decor, Instant Download - RosieAndViolets
FREE SHIPPING -- Valentine birdy pillow - yumusakseyler
Heart Bowl - Handmade Pottery Heart Shaped Bowl in our Denim Blue Glaze - nealpottery
Cupid's Dart, Blue Cupid's Dart Seeds Catanache Gorgeous Cutting Flower - thegardenstudio
Valentine's Terrarium SPECIAL- FREE shipping for limited time - One DIY kit with glass orb, succulent, pink moss and white pebbles - SucculentsAndMore1
5 Personalized Natural Birch Bark  Square Vase - Wedding Centerpiece - Home decor-Valentine- Rustic Wedding- Flower Tablepieces - BirchHouseMarket
Art Print, Rose Window Stained Glass Painting Print, Geometric Abstract Art Print Poster, Home Decor, Wall Hanging, Birthday Gift for Her - GildLeaf
Personalized Monogrammed Tall Birch Wood Vase Rustic Decor (Item Number 140176) - braggingbags
Mr. & Mrs. Custom Pillow Cover with Wedding Date --100% Linen Pillow-- Wedding Decor -- Wedding Gift -- Personalized Pillow- shabby chic - SoVintageChic
Home is wherever I'm with you, Love Art Print, Typography Print, Housewarming Gift, Valentine Day - evesand
Fine Art Photography - red love heart valentines day photo print mailbox P.S I love you 8x10  wall art - libertadleal
Typographic Inspirational quote, I love You A Bushel & A Peck, Valentines Day Wall Decor, Wall Art Chalkboard Style - DoodleGraphics
Valentines Day Card, Handmade Card, Anniversry Card, Button Card, Love Card. Hand Crafted Card, Romantic Card, Greeting Card, Passion, Heart - ArtisanButtons
Paper Roses | Quilling Roses - Scrapbooking Embellishments - Set of 20 (in one colour) - ColourfulCorner
DIY Personalized Valentine's Day Gift - Child's Handprint Tree - Printable pdf Kids Holiday Craft Project - peachwik

Treasury tool by StylishHome.

Text and Images Copyright 2014 Kathryn Depew, except for Etsy images, which belong to the sellers.

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Home Storage Tips to Eliminate Clutter

It’s almost time for Spring Cleaning!  Make room for more art and craft supplies!  Following are some organizational tips and an infographic from guest author Justin Krauss.

Maximizing the space in your garage can be a difficult task. Once you do free up some room during Spring Cleaning, things are sure to pile back up by the end of the year. However, by adding a few elements to your garage you will be able to get more out of the space without feeling like you are drowning in a pile of stuff each time you head to the car. Organizing your tools and equipment is made easier when you have new storage cabinets or overhead shelves. While this does mean you will need to add these pieces of furniture, the space you get as a result is well worth it.

Inside your home, you can also work to maximize room in your kitchen, living room and other areas so that you get the space you need. Read through the following infographic for tips on how to make the most out of the space in your home.


Written by Justin Krauss of Garage Flooring, LLC., a leading provider of Garage Flooring and Garage Storage accessories.


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Introducing Changing Lives Beverages ~ Help Others While Taking Care of Yourself

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post.

Socially Responsible Consumption

Have you ever desired to help a Veteran, or thank an active member of the military for their service, but didn’t know where to start?  Changing Lives Beverages was created to do just that: provide a way to help others while making your normal beverage purchases.

Helping Veterans and active duty military personnel is the first cause they are taking on in 2014.  Changing Lives Beverages also hires veterans and college students to deliver products, changing their lives while helping the economy!

With every purchase, at least $3.00 per case goes back to the causes, and $10.00 per case when they do special events!  Watch this video to learn more about who they help and how they do it:


At Changing Lives Beverages we are committed to funding charitable causes and creating jobs. Your purchases will support the health, comfort, and independence of America’s Bravest along with their caregivers.  The majority of funds raised by this campaign will be used to create our first limited run of SURVIVALwater™ and hire the first CLB logistics company employees. The veterans hired by us will be offered shares in the company after one year of service.

When you contribute, you will receive a gift to help you spread the word about this wonderful company!  Click here to find out how you can help!  Every bit helps. You can become a Life Changer!


Changing Lives Beverages

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post.


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Creative Ideas For A Fun-Filled Party Experience

The Ideal Themed Party

What are the ingredients to a successful party?  Good music, delicious food and fashionable costumes. If you want to set the mood of the party, try adding a cool theme—this will surely enhance the party experience.

Putting a little effort into planning a themed party is a sure way to make the event a success. So, if you are looking for amazing party ideas, here’s everything you need to know to make the celebration an enjoyable and memorable event for everyone.  From guest author Debra Wright.

Party Idea #1: The Roaring Twenties

Balloons by redfern.biz on flickr

Parties from different time periods are great, but nothing beats the roaring twenties. It was the beginning of the modern age, a time of changing old values and behaviour as well as enjoying the good life.

The Idea: Have a Great Gatsby themed party.

Setting:  If you can afford the expense, you can rent a French château-style mansion. However, if you are on a tight budget, you can still set the mood without spending for such a venue by simply renting a room and decorating it with helium balloons (in colours such as metallic gold and white), potted orchids and fairy lights. To get your guests in the party spirit, hire a jazz band and dance the night away.

Dress Code:  For women, any dress that sparkles will work, from bright-coloured gowns to straight cut cocktails that are embellished with sequins or rhinestones. You can top it with a pretty headpiece or tiara, which you can find in stores and even in party supplies shops online. The men can copy Jay Gatsby’s fashionable ensemble. They can go for casual fitted pants, a cosy sweater, shawl collar cardigans or crisp pink or white suits.

Food and Drink: It all starts and ends with the champagne. In between sips, serve some finger food such as oysters, fresh veggies, glazed hams, beef fillets and lemon cakes.

Party Idea #2: The Hollywood Fever

Hollywood makes blockbuster movies like The Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter. In addition, Tinseltown also offers great party ideas for your birthday and other special occasions.

Champagne Glass by Lee Hayward on flickr

The Idea: Go for a modern glam Hollywood themed party.

Setting: In Hollywood parties, the entrance is everything. That said, be sure to roll out the red carpet and get the cameras flashing. You can hire official photographers and ask your guests to strike a pose. To set the mood of the night, you can decorate the room with Hollywood party accessories like glitter star balloons, movie set cut-outs, and a VIP entrance sign. You can light some candle sticks or lanterns to achieve an elegant atmosphere. On top of that, hire a live band to serenade you with the best classic songs—that would certainly be the icing of the cake.

Dress Code: The ladies and gentlemen can dress as their favourite actors, or perhaps their favourite character from a movie. You, as the host, could specify a movie genre (e.g. musical, western, action, romance) or era (e.g. black & white, old Hollywood and silent movies).

Food and Drink: The food should be as glamorous as the theme. That said, champagne, martinis and sparkling juice should be overflowing. Finger food like olives, fruit kebabs, cheese platters and mini sandwiches work best for this theme. For bite size desserts go for profiteroles, mini-tarts and chocolate-dipped strawberries.

Although planning a themed party is a little difficult since it takes time to organise, the bottom line is, doing it is a great way to help release stress as well as unleash your artistry. It is not only fun, but it also tests your ability to be imaginative when it comes to choosing party supplies and accessories for every occasion.

By Debra Wright

Debra Wright is a creative online writer who supplies cyberspace with interesting and informative write-ups about her favourite topics including entertainment and parties. A wide reader and ardent web surfer, she believes she can do anything as long as she has an Internet connection. Follow Debra on twitter @debrawrites. Image author owned.

Images from flickr.com used under the Creative Commons license.  Image credits: redfern.biz and Lee J Hayward.

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