With Christmas less than two weeks away, the gift buying imperative is upon us. This year I have decided to try to purchase Christmas gifts which are produced by individual American makers. A great place to find such gifts are the myriad of holiday markets in America. The Germans are also big fans of Christmas markets and have been for more than a few years. The Striezelmarkt pictured above has been held in the northern German city of Dresden since 1434.
Next weekend I plan on attending the Renegade Craft Fair at Magnuson Park’s Hangar 30. More than 175 local makers will be hawking their wares. If you attend you can do more than buy handmade gifts; you can participate in hands-on workshops and gorge yourself on tasty treats from local vendors. What’s not to like?
I couldn’t wait for the Renegade Craft Fair, so last weekend I attended the Urban Craft Uprising at Seattle Center. There were a ton of great gifts on offer from lots of makers from Portland and Seattle. I plan on doing a load of posts on all the makers I met last weekend, but I wanted to let you know about the two firms I discovered that simply have to be on your gift buying list for this year.
Great & Small is a firm from Portland, Oregon that makes simply amazing handmade, hand painted, utterly original works of art depicting various members of the animal kingdom.
I got myself a narwhale at the Urban Craft Uprising.
These Great & Small guys really have a sense of humor. Don’t believe me? Well check out their KISS Panda Band series featuring Gene Simmons Panda,
Paul Stanley Panda,
and Peter Criss Panda.
You can almost hear the strains of “Rock and Roll All Nite” just looking at these pandas! Great & Small will be in attendance at the Crafty Wonderland in Portland, Dec 13-15.
If you are looking for really whimsical stuffed animals, look no further than Careful It Bites. Kelice Penney is the amazing seamstress that sews the delightful collection of Careful It Bites animals in Seattle. My favorites of Kelice’s creations are her Woolly Yetis,
and her hilarious Flasher Bat.
So rather than shopping at the mall this year for gifts made God knows where, with God knows what, by God knows who, buy gifts made by your neighbors in Seattle, Portland or wherever else in this wonderful country you happen to live. By purchasing gifts made by members of our extended American family, we can put money back into our communities and be able to give unique wonderful presents in the bargain.
Now get shopping!