Holiday Shopping Ideas

November 4, 2009

Holiday shopping suggestions.
5bluebirds_sm Left: “KJE Felties” make a fun gift. See information below. ©2009 Karen Engelbretson.

It’s time again, in this culture, to think about gift-giving. There are boutiques and bazaars and specialty shops galore, and I’m sure there will be more coming up I haven’t heard about yet. In the meantime here are some suggestions to keep in mind for unusual items to give friends and family.

Karen Engelbretson is making more of her delightful bird “KJE Felties.” (Visit that link to find a short profile of Karen and her primer on felting!)

You can find flocks of these at The Grand Hand Gallery from mid-November through December. There will be an open house and fifth anniversary party on Saturday, November 21, from 5 to 8 p.m.

In Stillwater “Darn. Knit. (Anyway)” a yarn and fabric shop have the “KJE Felties” for sale now through the holidays. (All I could find was their Facebook link. At least there's a photo of the shop so you'll recognize it!)

Additionally Karen will have these delightful ornaments as well as her Kiss Letter Press coasters and cards and botanical prints at the Third Annual Artist’s Boutique, 4901—11th Ave. S., Minneapolis, one day only: Saturday, November 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (She will be joined by 10 other artists who offer jewelry, art, photography and paintings.)

Image006 26 Right: handbound book by Marcia Engeltjes.

Bookbinder Marcia Engeltjes' gorgeous handbound leather books (noted for their embellishments) will be available at “50 Artists on 50th,” this Saturday, November 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  (She will be located along the back wall of the Burroughs Community School Gymnasium at 1601 W. 50th Street, Minneapolis.) (Remember that Marcia does accept commissions.) You can view hundreds of photos of her work and contact her at her website or reach her by phone at 651-222-3029. You can see more of her work at a previous post of mine.

Sculptor and painter Marcia McEachron has moved her studio to a new location, still in the California Building, 2205 California Street NE, Minneapolis. Her studio is now located on the first floor. (Note: her website says #111, but the notice I received says #101, so check the building directory when you arrive.) She will be open on Saturday, November 14 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. She will have lots of new wire sculptures which make unique gifts for family and friends. There will also be hand-made cards. (I have a 20 inch tall bended wire goat that is stunningly fantastic—one bit of wire bent all about to capture the essense of goat—how great is that! She makes every animal you can imagine. You'll want several to display together.)

Saturday, November 14 is a busy day—plan your shopping route now! Stop by MCBA between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. for the Book Arts Festival. There will be hundreds of book-arts related items from local artists working in many disciplines: letterpress cards, fine press artist’s books; handmade journals, decorative paper, broadsides, art prints and posters; art supplies and tools; and handmade gifts and keepsakes for all occasions.

If making jewelry for friends and family is your gig, Mo’R Designs is having a moving sale through November 15. They carry jewelry, beads, fossils, crystals, and more. They will remain in Rosedale Shopping Mall, but will move to the upper level, adjacent to JC Penny and Ruby Tuesday. Since the new space is smaller they are reducing their stock. Sale prices range from 40 to 60 percent off, with 20 percent off beads, meteorites, and carvings.

Readers of my blog will have gathered I’m not much of  a holiday shopper. I like to buy small one-of-a-kind type things and support local artists. And for the gift that can't be wrapped in a small package I’m totally sold on the idea of charity giving. You may recall that last year I got a goat from my mom.

I recommend that you consider this option as well. I won’t recommend a “vendor” as I believe you need to research them to your own satisfaction—based on your own ethical and religious convictions. For instance I don’t want to work through an agency that is bureaucratically top-heavy and I refuse to work with a company that believes gifts should be given with faith-based-messages attached. If something isn’t freely given, without such strings, I think it is not a gift.  

Whatever your shopping choices, it’s unlikely you’ll see me out and about. This is the time of year I find it best to stay at home, away from the shops and the frazzled shoppers. I’ll venture forth into the retail world again after the New Year.

    • karen
    • November 4, 2009

    Hi Roz. Thanks for the big mention here at your blog. KJE Felties are ready to fly off and into your home as a tree ornament or a little friend on your bedside table. This year there will be a limited edition bird available at each location. You’ll know it by its red tag.

    • karen
    • November 5, 2009

    Yes, I will tell you what it is. And why.

    • karen
    • November 5, 2009

    Here’s the website link: The site’s live now and the class schedule’s up. Learn to make your own dress form from duct tape… on a Friday nite! Free parking downtown Stillwater now thru May 1, 2010!

  1. Reply

    I have fallen in love with the little owl feltie featured on the Grand Hand’s recent mailing. It is adorable!

    • Roz
    • November 10, 2009

    Diane, I have one, it sits in my cupboard on a lovely twig. It is BEAUTIFUL and fantastic. You need one for your tree!

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