KRAFTY KORNER: Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town




OMG! The first day of December is already here!

Kawaii animals illustrated by Torrance’s Keri Kaba-Dien makes monthly planning and organization more fun to do. (Courtesy of Kabahead Kreations)

Where did the time go? The countdown begins. In the next 24 days, plan for action. That jolly ole gent will be coming to town before you know it.

To feel the spirit of the holidays, start with getting your house in order. Pull out the whole kit and caboodle of ornaments, lights and wrapping paper. Pick out that perfect tree. Deck those halls with boughs of holly for the most joyful time of the year.

Savvy shoppers love to buy on sale—take advantage of all the specials out there now. We’re spending less than in years past, but thinking more creatively.

Be knowledgeable. Do a bit of homework. Spend an hour flipping through those advertising glossies arriving by mail, check out some newspapers, go online to your fave sites. Clip coupons, input online promo codes. Bargains are out there if you look hard enough.

Brick and mortar stores want you in their house, certainly not in yours. Big mall stores continue to have huge sales every weekend. Macy’s deals are plentiful. Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom shoppers give discounts for friends and family on select days. Pre-sale purchases save dollars before the sale even starts. One hitch—you have to return to pick-up your items on sale day.

Most gals prefer to see and touch new fashion merchandise, accessories and jewelry. When shopping on a busy weekend, patience is truly a virtue. Include that Starbuck’s break. There are lines to pay, get a gift box, even to use the restroom.

Online shoppers prefer the convenience of clicking that order button any hour of the day. No crowd, no line. Whether or not it’s cheaper depends on the merchandise and shipping cost. Look for free shipping, usually when you spend a specified amount of money on that visit. Quick ship will jack up the cost.

This past cyber Monday, the Lakers NBA site sent out an email offering a 30 per cent off on merchandise. As it turned out, all three items on my list were out-of-stock, plus no free shipping. Ugh!

Check out the Rafu Holiday Gift Guide on December 4 for gift ideas with that aloha flavor, coupons and cookbook offerings!

For really cool stuff with that Asian flair, head out to the December arts and crafts shows. Only two weekends remain. The imaginAir Crafts Boutique takes place this Saturday at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center where you pay as you shop.

Find the Kabahead Kreations tag for Keri Kaba-Dien’s line of stationery.

When shopping for monthly planners that she liked five years ago, there were none to be found. This graphic designer put on her thinking cap and decided to not only gift them to friends, but to put them out in the marketplace. That was a couple of thousand planners ago.

Guess who she loves? Sanrio, Tokidoki and Spicy Brown—all with those cutesy, animated characters. Her own line of whimsical note cards was launched in 2009, followed by an online store this year for everyone to peruse her stash.

Krafty Delites #2 is the big Sunday event at the Carson Community Center while St. Mary’s Episcopal Church hosts their annual Christmas boutique in Los Angeles.

Saturday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
imaginAir Crafts Boutique
Torrance Cultural Arts Center
3550 Civic Center Dr., Torrance
310-719-8697, Deanna Takahashi

Sunday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Krafty Delites #2
Carson Community Center
801 E. Carson St., Carson
310-329-5874, Stephanie Nakayama

Sunday, Dec. 5, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
St. Mary’s Christmas Boutique
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
963 S. Mariposa, Los Angeles
213-215-3883, Fifi Newcomb

Saturday, Dec. 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Kimochi’s Silver Bells Arts & Crafts Faire
The Event Center at St. Mary’s Cathedral
1111 Gough St., San Francisco
415-931-2294, Steve Ishii

Sunday, Dec. 12, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
A Time for Sharing Holiday Boutique
Gardena Elks Lodge
1735 W. 162nd St., Gardena
310-329-5874, Stephanie Nakayama


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