I'm a big, big believer in shopping locally and in supporting artists by buying their work directly. And so, la! My annual Buy This Stuff post! :) Pleeeease be sure to click on all the links below if you want to learn more about these artisans!
OTHER AWESOME STUFF
- Daddy Doesn't Purr (But I Love Him Anyway) by Jason Michael - A charming tale told by a cat about what it's like to be adopted into a new family. Proceeds of this story of a special sort of blended family are being donated to two animal charities in Virginia. This would be a lovely bedtime story book.
- True Haiku for You: A Daily Dose of Spiritual Growth by Jason Michael - A book for the adults! "Begun as therapy writing in 2001 after the death of his father, and inspired by watching Dr. Wayne Dyer's PBS special, There's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, Jason's "Haiku Project" has amassed some 4400 haiku to date and there's no end in sight. True Haiku for You is a collection of 366 haiku primarily on inspirational, motivational and spiritual themes designed to be a daily reminder of our self-worth, of our need to persevere, and of our innate ability to overcome any crisis. Meant to be read one haiku per day True Haiku for You strives to be a reminder that God is all around us, without and within." (I also love this book.)
- Acting Out Yoga books by Danielle Palli - If you're looking for new ways to get your youngsters moving around and trying new things, you should really consider buying one (or both!) of these two books. Harvir in the Amazon follows the adventures of Harvir the ferret in the Amazon rainforest; Anna in Paris recounts the journey of another ferret, Fondue, and his wanderings through Paris. Both ferrets make use of yoga poses throughout their travels, and kids are encouraged to try out these poses as well! The Acting Out Yoga series is an innovative introduction to yoga for both the storyteller and the story listener! An additional bonus is that portions of the purchase price are also donated to children's charities - Harvir proceeds go to a nonprofit organization that provides much-needed school supplies and medical care to young children in the Amazon Jungle, and Anna purchases support the Healthy Start Coalition of Manatee County!
- Natural Charm - Julie creates affordable, beautiful jewelry and rosaries out of flowers, herbs, spices, candy, coffee (!!!), and tea. She also has several lines of map pendants - the You Are Here collection (which includes an option for putting two maps together, ideal for lovers separated by miles), the Halloween Town Maps collection, and - perfect for holiday gift giving! - the Christmas Town Maps collection! Buy your special someone a necklace that features one of 9 real cities with a Christmas-y name! I love Julie's stuff so much..you will, too!
- Capsulariums - Bones are pretty. Laurel's creations using bones are exquisite. From earrings that showcase smaller bones to necklaces that incorporate clock parts to showcase the art to pieces of artwork that really just must be seen to be believed, Laurel's capsulariums are one of a kind pieces that just amaze me.
- Belethil - Home of the best dang elf ear jewelry you'll find. Alanya makes absolutely gorgeous stuff and her stock fluctuates often..there's not a lot posted in her Etsy store right now, but watch that space, folks. And if you want something custom made, you'd best contact her ASAP..demand for her work is pretty heavy!
- AFMetalsmith - Amanda's focus has a strong Celtic leaning, and you won't find better celtic critter knotwork pendants anywhere else. Dragons, owls, deer, bears, ravens and more...it's all just beautiful, and available in varied metals. The store also offers trinket rings, wedding rings, scent lockets, enameled pieces...so much goodness!! (I'd be remiss if I didn't point out her whimsical wingnut jewelry as well.) ALSO ALSO...Amanda's knotwork can be found at ElectricCelt, where it's been used to adorn wooden lightswitches and a truly lovely Ogham divination set.
- Celtic Art Store - I discovered this artisan at a local Ren faire last year. I was feeling completey overwhelmed by the crowd and the day, and when Erin invited me into her booth to trace a knotwork pattern with a small instrument, I had ZERO interest in complying. That said...wow, did it help my brain calm down and focus. A lot. It's like walking a labyrinth for those of us that have no time and no access to a labyrinth. :) These bits of magic are called Mandalynths, and they're truly great for helping with stress, anxiety, autism, ADHD and PTSD. (Click on the type of pattern to see which version is recommended for what ails ya.) You'll also find a new-but-growing line of glass dome jewelry in this brand spanking new web store!
- Ego Likeness - You've rocked out to their music ...now bring them into your home. The majority of their art is done on old book covers and combines varied mediums into some truly interesting images. If you've seen the band in person, this is the art they're selling at their merch table. I'm not going to link to their art because there's too dang much to choose from. Just go to their store and start looking. (Sometimes there's jewelry available as well. There isn't right now, but if you like stuff that incorporates animal skulls, you should keep an eye on this space.
OTHER AWESOME STUFF
- Trilodeon - This unique Pittsburgh-based company uses alchemy-inspired art (and the odd trilobite or two) on its offerings of eye masks, pillows, patches, scented meditation pillows, prints, t-shirts, eye pillows, and hea/coldt packs. Lots of links because I love everything these guys make. Note: Shop on December 1st and use the code YAY20 to save 20% on your order!
- Alternate Histories - Another Pittsburgh-based company that I love madly! These guys take old images and maps and insert monsters into them, or twist them into reflecting a history where monsters and aliens are a common part of life in America. You can search their store by US regions, which is something I think is pretty great. Want proof there's a creature running rampant in Sacramento? A lake monster in Cleveland? Do you suspect robots were involved in the Revolutionary War? Would you like a map showing exactly where the zombie outbreaks have been in Pittsburgh? Look no further! You'll also find some of the most unique holiday cards on the market as well as a series of prints advertising why you should flee America's monsters. (And psst..use code TURKEYDAY to get 25% off your order until 12/1/2014!)
- Shadow Elements - Mary creates some of the best cat beds out there. She uses organic buckwheat, and you can purchase varied covers to fit your and your kitty's needs. Pair it up with a soothing travel dream pillow and case for your own snoozing needs! (The pillows are not currently listed, but let her know you're interested and she'll hook you up!) Mary also creates lovely stained glass pieces and an assortment of tote bags for your gifting needs!
There is NO way I can list every awesome person I know that creates fantastic things. :( But this is a good start! :)
Hope the start of your $WINTERHOLIDAY season treats you gently! <3