Category Archives: Cultural Crafting and Gifts

Everything from decorating your house, unique ways to use your photos, and plenty of craft ideas with an international theme

Shop Good

When we found out we were moving to Oklahoma City, we immediately started liking the Thunder. The team is easy to like because they are good, but also because the entire city is crazy about them.

Originally I went out to our local sports store and purchased a championship shirt for Hubby, but it was too small and then they lost, so I figured I would keep looking. I’m glad I did because it led me to a great little shop called Shop Good.  Shop Good sells ethically made and social justice products which provide funding for local and international charities.  For example, this shirt (which I bought for Hubby) provides funds for Sunbeam Family Services, an organization that helps young mothers in OKC get on their feet. If you’re looking for fun tees, they have some great designs to check out.

Need a gift for a girlfriend? This bracelet available at Shop Good is made by South American artisans and provided through the Andean Collection. Its $26 price tag provides fair wages and benefits to the artists.

Or want a little something to spice up a simple dress for a night out? This clutch from Sseko Designs helps employ young Ugandan women to make sandals and clutches while they learn business models and prepare for college. So far, Sseko has graduated three classes of women from their program and every single one of them is currently in college. Wow!

Of course Shop Good isn’t the only store that sells fair-trade and social justice products. If you are interested in looking at some other shops that have this humanitarian approach, scope out these:

If you know of any other great shops that help the international community, please share!


Love Locked

Today is my two-year wedding anniversary to the most wonderful man who just so happens to be my best friend. To commemorate our day, I decided to be creative with Hubby’s gift and got an idea from pictures I’ve been seeing on a variety of blogs: the love padlock. The cultural phenomenon  of hanging a padlock with lovers’ initials has covered historical sites around the world. Have you hung a lock on any of these?

Mount Huanshan, China courtesy of Wikipedia

Locks in Moscow, Russia courtesy of Hotel Club.

Padlocks on the Pont des Arts in Paris courtesy of David Lebovitz.

I wanted us to have our own love padlock but rather than permanently place it, I wanted to be able to take it with us.  So here’s what I did:

1. First I purchased a 5×7″ matted frame, a padlock, and one of these 3M metal command hooks.

2. I created a 5×7″ Publisher document with important words and events from our marriage, leaving a space for where the hook would go.

3. Then I framed the Publisher document and placed the command hook on top of the glass over the reserved space.

4. Since the lock I bought has a four digit code, I put our anniversary 06.19 as the combination.

And voila! A one-of-a-kind anniversary gift for Hubby.

Give Dad the World

Today is my dad’s birthday, but unfortunately I am in San Diego and he is across the country in Atlanta.  But in honor of him and in preparation of Father’s Day (June 17th in the U.S.) in a few weeks, I’ve been searching for some internationally themed gifts to give to one of my favorite men in the world.  Here are a couple different ideas:

For the Stamp Collecting Dad:  The World Encyclopedia of Stamps & Stamp Collecting and some Postcrossing supplies (postcards of his hometown and stamps that add to $1.05)

For the Coffee Connoissuer Dad: The Around the World Coffee Sampler with blends from Sumatra (Indonesia), Ethiopia, and Guatemala from Great Coffee (you could always throw in one of the classic World’s Best Dad mugs too!)

For the Global Fanatic Dad: Gear from the birthplace of golf, St. Andrews

For the Globe Trotting Dad: Do a little DIY and make this hand-sewn leather passport cover from Design Sponge

For the Lifelong Learning Dad: Rosetta Stone

For the Fashion Forward Dad: Personalized map cuff links from Juanitas

For the Softie Side of Dad: Thank him from abroad with a photo of you. 

Let me know if you find any other great global gifts for Father’s Day!



Navigator’s Delight: 7 Fun Ideas for Map Decor

I have noticed a trend among my traveling companions that we all love maps. Whether vintage, scratch-off, or artistic, there is something that draws us to them.  Perhaps it brings back the good ol days when we were lost in Venice, Cusco, or Kyoto.  Navigator, I am not!  Here are some fun ways I’ve found recently to incorporate maps into home decor:

Kate Sproston Designs pillows could mark the location of your soul mate or soul city. 

Shed some light on the world (or through it) with the All Around the World Hanging Pendant from Naturally Heartfelt.

I saw these scratch-off maps at Paper Source yesterday and want one for me! 

16 maps + 1 frame = all the places I love on Sassafassed

Chalk the world up with HANNAHJM’s Chalkboard World Map

Add some extra seating with this pouf from Impressionen.

Give the kitchen a mini make-over with mapped drawer pulls from Sherri Truitt.

For more map ideas, check out these Pinterest boards:


9 Ways to Creatively Display Your Photos from Abroad

If you are anything like me, you have thousands of pictures from abroad but most of them are sitting on your computer…Facebook if you’re lucky.  Check out these 9 unique photo displays and give yourself a reason to browse through those old photos again.

1. Bring your photos into your entertaining with this DIY Photo Runner by HGTV Design Happens.

2. Don’t have any more wall space? Cover your fridge with these cute DIY Mini Polaroid Magnets by Ambrosia Creative.

3. If you have lots of 4×6 photos but not enough frames, this mod podge craft from Hope Anchors the Soul may be the perfect solution.

4. Decorate your sofa with these one-of-a-kind pillows.  Find the How-To at

5. Combine your photos, ticket stubs, and memorabilia into one frame using Alphabet Frame from Design Aglow.

6.  For those of you that like to switch out photos regularly, these clipboards featured on Ashley Ann Photography make that an easy task.

7. Incorporate your abroad experiences into the holidays as a reminder of the great gift you’ve been given.  Find the instructions for these at Clover Lane.

8. Wear your travels on your wrist with this personalized bangle.  Order at ByMyCrap on Etsy.

9. Put your memories in order with this creative calendar journal from Design Sponge.