Stocking Stuffer Bags

Raise your hand if you LIKE wrapping stocking stuffers.


For me, it usually involves neck cramps and teeny tiny pieces of wrapping paper and teeny tiny pieces of tape and why do we wrap them anyway if they get stuffed in a stocking? I guess some people don’t, but since this is how we roll, I have come up with a solution.

Reusable stocking stuffer bags.

Yes. This idea might not help you now, with only, what four days until Christmas? But after Christmas, get thee to your nearest fabric store and buy up the holiday fabric at a nifty 75% off. I think Jo-Ann’s Fabrics still had Christmas fabric marked down in June. And pick up some clearance holiday ribbon as well.

If you can get enough different fabric prints, you might even be able to make enough bags that each person in the family gets an individualized print for his or her stocking. Then you can just stuff all Z’s stocking stuffers into the Hello Kitty bags, give Homes the manly holly, and there’s no need for name tags even! Yes! Brilliant!

I even made long skinny bags for toothbrushes! Doubly brilliant!

Caveat: this idea works better if you don’t foolishly hope, for the better part of the year, that the stocking stuffer bags will make themselves. Because I am wiser and more experienced in this craft, I can assure you: they won’t. So now I am madly sewing stocking stuffer bags. And while I sew, Z is very, very quiet in her bedroom.

And then, I finally notice how quiet it is, so I get up to check on her, and find her room looking like this:

After I make threats and cry, I take a look around her room and realize that at least 64.4% of the things strewn about were stocking stuffers from last year. So I might just take her stocking stuffer bags and stuff them. In the garbage can.

You know I won’t. But I gotta admit, it’s a tempting idea.

I won’t be updating the blog over the next week so that I can focus on sewing more stocking stuffer bags spending time with family. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern

You gotta love the title of this book. I did, and that’s why I picked it up. Those little flowery-looking things in the background? Those are 20-sided dice.

Yes, my nerdy friends, this is the book for YOU. (And you know who you are, although I shan’t name names.) (Yes I just wrote “shan’t.”)

Oh yes, the book review!

Set-Up: Contemporary middle-America (not Middle Earth, although Lord of the Rings references abound). Jessie’s so-called friends are using her, and it isn’t long into the story before they commit the cardinal sin: thou shalt not steal the crush of your BFF (or support said crush-thief). The so-called friends are also turning into punk poseurs, and they’re obnoxious.

Main character’s goals: Find new friends. Keep on making skirts. Stay away from the nerds, and stop crushing on hunky nerd boy.

My reaction: With her strange skirts, her math flashcards, and her love of audio books, I thought Jessie was already kind of a nerd (and she also admits this from the beginning), so why is she so worried about joining the uber-nerds?¬† But soon I recognized the subtle differences of her habits and the habits of the species Totallus Ren-fair-ius World-of-Warcraftiae. Oops, that’s not WoW, it’s Dungeons and Dragons. I guess they’re different somehow.

Anyway, I still loved Jessie, and she’s funny, which makes the book funny, which makes me like it even if there are subtle shades of dork explored here.

Of interest to writers: The family is lovable, both parents are present, and Jessie gets unending support from these folks. I wonder if this book (along with Flash Burnout by L. K Madigan) is some sort of response to recent talk about parents always being absent or losers in young adult literature.

I think a couple of things were too easy for Jessie, like the ending with her old crush. That’s all I’m going to say, because I don’t want to give anything away.

Oh, and she does some wonderful “larger-than-life” things, like how she resolves things with Bizza, and with the old crush.

Bottom Line: Totally worth a read, even if you aren’t a Renaissance Fair-attending, 20-sided dice-rolling, skirt-making nerd. Even a cool person would want to be this cool nerd’s friend.

To learn more about Julie Halpern and her books, you can visit her website  by clicking here.

And! Winner of a signed copy of Vintage Veronica….


wait for it…


I’ll be in touch to talk about the details of getting you your very own, autographed copy of Vintage Veronica by Erica Perl!

(It’s a contest. An overabundance of exclamation points is totally warranted.) !!!!!!