Last minute suggestions for holiday gift ideas, each crafted by talented artisans
If you’re still looking for holiday gift ideas for that someone special, here are several suggestions for handmade items they’ll treasure. Craig and Kari Bodmer left their city life and careers to start a cottage business where they would have “the opportunity to do beautiful work every day.” Set on an idyllic 10-acre farm in Oregon’s wine country, their small hand-weaving studio features a technology over 2,500 years old. Craig does most of the designing and weaving of the luxurious Bodmer throws and blankets, while Kari takes care of the fabric after it leaves the loom. Even the silk banding on the blankets are hand-woven. Each piece is created from yarn of softly spun, worsted fine baby alpaca fiber. Natural colors, with dyed colors used only as accents, are combined with weave structure (the order in which the yarns are interlaced) creating an irresistibly soft treasure. This structure adds layers of interest and creates depth in the fabric. I can attest to the ultra smooth feel and warmth of the lightweight Dark T throw, shown draped on the chair. It has asymmetrical stripes with loom-tied crimped fringe, the finishing touch on an elegant piece of craftsmanship. As you nestle underneath, you can almost hear the rhythmic clicks of the loom.
Three friends with a dream – Akee, Cory and Timothy – made their mark on the candle industry from Louisiana. After many months of researching materials, then working closely with a world-class perfumer, Akeewakee (ay-kee way-kee) was born. The organic hand-poured candles are made from soy and filtered beeswax for clean, long burn. High essential oils from a French perfume company create subtle fragrances, light enough even for those with allergies or scent sensitivities. The mouth blown glass vessels hold delicate scented candles, such as Cinnamon Leaf, Ginger Citron and Orange Blossom.
An artistic couple fell in love with Normandy while traveling and brought that inspiration back to their Texas studio. Authentic Camembert cheese labels are screen-printed onto hardwood plank lazy susans, then distressed for vintage character. This Cocorico rooster is my favorite of the year-round designs, but it is available in two holiday patterns as well.
After years of being in the design field, our third husband and wife team opened an online boutique that reflects their non-prescriptive look and love of the well-worn. Pale & Interesting is based on interior stylist Atlanta Bartlett and interior and furniture designer Dave Cotte’s philosophy of mixing it up. Their handmade cushion covers are made from vintage floral fabrics of linen, cotton and French grain sacks. Envelope backs fastened with chunky shell buttons are finishing details that set handcrafted goods apart from those mass-produced. Perfect gifts for those who love to fluff their nest.
Our last couple, Fred and Judy Danforth, is the 6th generation to carry on the tradition of pewtersmithing. Each piece of Danforth Pewter holloware is handcrafted in their Vermont workshop. Using handmade wood and steel tools, it takes a master spinner to work a pewter disk over a steel chunk (form) while it’s spinning on a lathe.
The pace is crucial, or else the metal could become fatigued and break. Pewter vases require additional steps to create their distinctive shapes. Their pewter is known for its lustrous satin finish. Each piece is signed and bears the Danforth lion touchmark.
Mac owners love their computers, and what better way to protect a laptop at home or when traveling than with a BookBook. These unique hardback leather cases are designed exclusively for MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and iPad owners by Twelve South. Laptops rest on a velvety soft, padded interior which is nestled between a pair of rigid covers. The iPad cover props for easier movie viewing. Another plus for the decorating obsessed, when we’re not using the technology we’ve all become so dependent on, it blends in with our accessories. Happy Shopping!
Bodmer – throws and blankets
Akeewakee, Candles.co.uk, Penache Boutique, Locallectual – candles
Napa Style – lazy susan
Pale & Interesting – cushion covers
Danforth Pewter, Vimeo – pewterware
Twelve South – BookBook Case
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