Welcome back guys!  IT'S BLACK FRIDAY WEEK!!  I don't say that as a small business owner.  I say that as consumer, who adores a good deal and could absolutely use a good dose of retail therapy.  Weirdly, Black Friday kind of snuck up on me.  I knew it was coming but it still feels like it should be ages away. I think it's a symptom of my time warp. If you read last weeks post you know what I mean.

On Monday, though, I started finding deals posted for Black Friday and I became intrigued.  I started perusing and the next thing I know it was almost 2:30 in the morning!  Just to be a total jerk (because I know she's going to read this and she'll have to wait until Christmas to find out what it is - insert evil laugh here) I'm gonna let you in on a little secret: I've already bought one of Ashley's presents.  I have a bit to make up for because she already had the gift I wanted to give her for her birthday and I never had an opportunity to replace it.  A couple weeks ago I saw something online and I immediately texted her, "Umm, we have a no shopping for ourselves policy in place until Christmas, right?" In fact, it was the new Mending Matters book by Katrina Rodabaugh and I was being super careful not to mention it by name or send any Instagram posts about it... and then she posted this on Instagram:


In fairness to her, I thought I was being slick by telling her I wasn't planning on buying books.  I shot myself in the foot with that one. Still, that was a set back but, like me, Ash is super easy to shop for.  Basically if you can make something with it, store craft supplies or includes wine, we're totally down for it.  

My brother on the other hand is way more difficult to shop for.  I have a standard three things that I get for him: sweatshirts, booze and maybe something goofy that usually immediately gets handed to the kids.  This year I'm torn.  I mean how many sweatshirts does one guy need? I'm going to meditate on it for a few more weeks but I fully anticipate falling back in line with the status quo.

Last week I told you guys that I had huge plans for Christmas this year.  That's pretty standard for me. The problem I generally have is that I make a gift list and then I look at it and I immediately think, "I can make 95% of this list" without taking into account the amount of time it would actually take to do so.  Even this week I was on one of my fave Etsy stores poking around and thought, "I can make that." And then I had a whole conversation with myself with follow up questions like, "but how long will it take you to make that?", "will it take you more time and money to try to make that?", and "can you actually make that?"  The last question is my favourite, because for me, that question, is a challenge.  "Oh you don't think I can make that? Let me show you."  See?  Full conversations by myself.

Honestly, I don't believe that I can necessarily save money by making things myself.  Mostly I just want to try because I like to make things.  Sometimes, it occurs to me that there are people on my gift list that would actually prefer the store bought, professionally made version and then I think, "to bad for you, you're getting handmade by Chantal." I think it's hilarious because I don't think there's a way to tell any maker that you prefer store bought without sounding like a jerk and I've already received the pleasure of making the present.  Win win for me.

That's it for me for this week! Two of the huge items on my 'to make' list are calendars and photo albums which all needs to be done within the next few days to take advantage of these crazy online deals.  It's a lot of work but, at least, 75% of the work for me is choosing the pictures to include.  My nieces are so ridiculously cute choosing my favourite twelve pictures of them out of a years worth of pictures is a virtually impossible task. Until we speak again, PEACE to you and yours and happy knitting!

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