With the last shopping weekend before Christmas and Hanukkah, we’re down to the wire. To save you from the dreaded rush shipping costs, we’ve asked our editors, contributors and some of our favorite savvy shoppers around the web to offer up their favorite go-to shops in their (and maybe your?) hometowns to help you snag some indie or artisan gifts for those you love best. NYC– The Union Square Park Holiday Market is always a great source for last minute stocking stuffers and recession-friendly gifts like hand-knit scarves, handmade toys, candles and personalized wooden ornaments from Chiosonne. You’re not only...Read More
I’ve been a fan of white serving pieces ever since my mother taught me that the food should be the star of the dishes, and not the dishes themselves. (Of course that presumes that I am capable of creating star-like food to begin with. Thank goodness for catering.) The handmade Lotus Nesting Bowls from California potter Whitney Smith are just my kind of thing: Useful, elegant, clean. Although by the looks of some of her other items, I could just be convinced to break my own rule and invest in a cake stand in a gorgeous robin’s egg blue....Read More
Recently, Better Homes & Gardens’ Better.TV asked me to show them four hot toys for the holidays and while it was nearly impossible to cull it down from about 6 million, I did my best to oblige. I didn’t decide based on what was selling out at the megastores this year, but what I thought were cool toys from responsible companies who actually care about the environment and the quality of the toys they put out. Plus, my kids really dig them. -The Recycled Tea Set from Green Toys available at Kangarooboo-All-natural Anamalz from Hape available at Oompa Toys...Read More
I wrestle with the idea of what to get my two-month old daughter for Christmas, because well, she’s two-months and what the heck does she care about what’s sitting under the tree for her, right? But then I have to wonder if it’ll come back to bite me in the butt down the road. So when I saw the completely handmade dolls from Poppy Seed Tree, I figured I couldn’t go wrong. Artist Meredith Franz uses a variety of fabrics (some recycled, some not) to create adorable one-of-a-kind dolls that come with a name card, back story, and the...Read More
Update 12/13: We’ve created a Save Handmade Page to keep you posted on ways to help and latest news around this important issue. Stop by any time! Update 12/14: The act was in fact not passed by the CPSC which is a regulatory agency but by congress – apologies for any confusion. We interrupt the tidings of comfort and joy to bring you some heartbreaking news. Of course we’re all for strengthening the safety standards of mass-produced toys made in China, and banning toxins like phthalates and lead. But this year, Congress passed the ill-conceived Consumer Products Safety Improvement...Read More
I am going nuts for the handmade LEGO(ish) soaps we just discovered from the California-based etsy shop, Washable Art. They are adorable, they’re original, and hello? They are $5 a pack. No wonder she can’t keep them in stock. I can’t think of a better stocking stuffer, or impromptu gift for surprise holiday guests of all ages. Besides, they just might be the first ever toy pieces that you don’t end up finding under the couch for months to come. –Liz [via indie fixx] If the item is sold out, check here to see all the goodies available then...Read More
It doesn’t seem fair that kids can now have a nicer pretend kitchen than my real one. Then again, mine does run on more than just imagination. Our friends at Natural Pod has just debuted two heirloom quality wooden play kitchens that they designed themselves, and they seriously make me long to be a kid again. The gorgeous Chef’s Kitchen and Hutch (sold separately or together) includes a sliding chopping board and oven rack, fun twirly knobs, and a removable sink for easy clean-up. The Chef’s Portable Kitchen is better for smaller spaces, sporting the same great knobs/sink/play-top, minus...Read More
The most thoughtful cards are ones you make yourself, I suppose, if you have any sort of artistic ability. If you want a card with a smudged scribble and some glitter on it, I could probably manage that. But when I want to send the very best, I tend to look around for handmade cards made by someone with some actual talent. Hooray for designer Shannon Barnes’ Flaunt, where little pieces of mulberry paper are ripped up and rearranged and adorned to create fabulous animals and shapes on a beautiful range of greeting cards. These are perfect for sending...Read More
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