I’m sure there will be multiple updates to this guide, so I’m going to put them on top so you can see them quickly…
I can’t believe I forgot to mention the perennial Mama Calendar. Coleen does this calendar every year, and it is always amazing. Here’s her info:
How to order your Mama Calendar: Send $12 by paypal or US mail to: the mama calendar coleen murphy firstname.lastname@example.org
Only $10 if you track me down to get it in person! Also $10 a piece for orders of ten or more. Email for mailing address if you need to pay by check.
I also just stumbled upon this amazing artist on Tumblr. His paintings make me happy, and I love that he makes greeting cards, as well: http://www.etsy.com/shop/jonshawpaintings
Below is the original post…
I watch a minimal amount of television. I don’t have cable, and I watch maybe 1 or 2 guilty pleasure shows regularly. But even with that, I’ve already seen enough “buy buy buy buy buy” commercials that I seriously would like to vomit. Maybe that makes me a grinch. Maybe it’s passe to talk about consumerism and greed over the holidays. Maybe my kids will be in therapy forever because I have, over the years, slowly dialed back the gift giving and traditional holiday celebrating to almost zero. Maybe the real way to show someone you care about them is to brave the crowds on black Friday and give an underpaid Wal-Mart worker something to do on the day after Thanksgiving. I don’t know.
What I DO know is I have a ton of very talented friends and relations who make shit. So, I feel like if you really would like to buy something for someone over the holidays – why not put your consumer dollars directly into the hands of an original artist or craftsperson. Yeah yeah. I know you are broke and handmade shit costs more…but maybe you buy too much, anyway. Maybe forcing yourself to buy something more expensive, and less of it, will help your family value what they *do* get more. I dunno. I don’t think my kids are particularly more evolved than anyone else just because they don’t get a bunch of crap from me over the holidays. And probably this year I won’t end up getting anything except things they really need. But in case you are interested in keeping your holiday dollars in the art/craft economy, here are some suggestions for you. <3
In no particular order:
Linger Bath and Body: Amber makes some of the best soaps I have ever had the pleasure to use. They retain their fragrance through the whole bar, and she has tons of really great “flavors.” I always keep extra bars on hand for when I have guests, so they think I’m all fancy and shit. And I have my own special bar in the shower that the kids aren’t allowed to use.
My friend Pam makes the most delicious jams ever. She started sending them as holiday gifts a few years ago, and Tao of Bird would eat them all up before I had much of a chance. When I finally did manage to sneak some onto a piece of toast, I was blown away. So much yum, with unique flavors that go on forever, and ALL proceeds go to bull terrier rescue! Can’t beat that! Here’s what Pam has to say about her Jams:
Kick out the jams!!! And help some awesome li’l doggies along the way. All of my jams, dessert sauces, and mustard are loving made in my very clean but not-government-conforming personal kitchen. All fruit was sourced from one of three small farms — Hardin Farms in Eau Claire, Michigan, the Stella Gardens organic co-op in East Troy, Wisconsin, or the Fickau family orchard in Mukwonago, WI. All liquor used was purchased at a small family business. Flavors range from traditional to mad scientist.
Generally, my stuff comes in 4oz jars, BUT I have a limited number of 8oz jars available. Just ask. Small jars are $5 each, or 3 for $12, or 5 for $20. Large jars are $8. I also have a very, very limited number of Roma tomato quarts for $15 each — they taste just like summer!
Shipping is on you — if you don’t want to use a flat rate box (ideal if you are getting more than one, cuz these are in glass jars), I will let you know the actual shipping cost.
100% of the proceeds go to the Fort Dearborn Bull Terrier Rescue organization. Yes, 100%. So, if you buy five jams, the rescue gets that $20. This way we all get to give a little something to someone
Questions or whatnot, contact me at email@example.com
If you’re interested in a fancy gift basket, let me know and I’ll get my crafty mom on it!
I met Colin Mullin when he started organizing weekly sign-making workshops for Occupy Austin. Now he’s selling prints of some of his beautiful artwork on his website: http://www.colinmullin.com/index.html
Art by Dan Grzeca
I’m really proud of all of the zinesters I’ve known in my life who have grown up to become independent artists. Of the printmaking variety, Dan Grzeca is probably one of the most prolific. He does amazing works with animal/wooden building themes, and much more. You can check out his prints here: http://groundup.bigcartel.com/
HappyMakerTreats – Pansy is basically a genius of all things, but she’s especially a genius at making delicious cookies. She can adapt recipes to satisfy any dietary restrictions you might have, and everything she does tastes awesome. I know at least one person who will be getting some Happy Maker Treats this month! You should also indulge! She also makes and sells aprons.
My friend Jessica recently started making organic merino wool tube socks! Super comfy, soft, and warm! Also, she is doing organic cloth diapers and wool diaper covers on a word of mouth order basis. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or at http://www.littlefawnorganics.com for diapers.
art by John Porcellino
I’ve known John Porcellino since we both lived in the Chicago area, publishing zines. John was one of the very first local zinesters I knew, and gave me the die-cast bulldozer that became the basis for my tattoo. I’m so glad that John P is still creating and publishing his comic book King Cat Comics and Stories. There are none like him. His books make me happy to be alive. <3 You can find his comics and other merchandise here: http://www.johnporcellino.blogspot.com/p/buy-comix.html
Ally Shaw is another zine friend of mine from way back. She now resides in England, and makes the coolest jewelry! I’m vowing this year will be the year that I buy something from her awesome Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/feralstrumpet
Yet another zine friend who I used to live with in Chicago, Andy Lowry now creates one-of-a-kind decorative home goods. I need to vow to get one of her awesome custom serving trays this year, as well! Check out her website here: http://www.whygirlsgoastray.com.
Beth Winegarner grew up in the zine world, too. (How awesome is it that zines nurtured so many artistic people into lifelong careers in creative fields!) Now she’s a journalist, writing books about important topics like this one: http://www.bethwinegarner.com/the-columbine-effect/
Check out Sarah’s awesome jewelry at her website here: http://www.worldonastring.us/
Tracie is just getting started creating natural bodycare products under the business name Teabody Naturals. So far, she only has a Facebook Page, but keep your eye out for more information, or email here to find out what she has available: email@example.com
How to describe Imagine? He’s the wonderful child of a friend I made through the internet at the height of hipmama days. Imagine makes incredible Lego designs, and you can find his book here: http://www.blurb.com/b/4566814-imagine-designs. He’s such an awesome kid.
Ray Maseman (aka Raymond) is another awesome printmaker. I keep typing things about Raymond’s artwork and it just sounds so silly to describe it, I’m erasing. Whimsical? Silly? Fantastic? All adjectives sound really trite. I think my favorite concept in Raymond’s art is the penguin in a bird-shaped flying machine. That pretty much describes how I feel about all of Raymond’s artwork. It’s like a penguin in a bird-shaped flying machine…or a giraffe in a boat. You can find greeting cards here: http://www.cafepress.com/raymaseman, various cards and merchandise here: http://www.zazzle.com/maseman, and prints here: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A6685299011%2Cp_lbr_three_browse-bin%3ARay%20Maseman
In addition to my friends who make cool stuff, here are some other suggestions for non-commercial gift giving:
From my friend Karen: My sister makes amazing things, she is hauling her lot to a craft show this weekend but said next week her ebay store will be stocked up. She creates steam punk sculptures, repurposed books, cute stuffed critters along with original paintings and drawings. Her ebay name is pleasant_surprise
Bliss Point Cupcakes: https://m.facebook.com/blisspointcupcakes?ref=stream&_ft_&_rdr
Upcycled goods: http://adaptivereuser.com/home.html
Feel free to make your own suggestions in comments. Independent makers only, please!
P.S. I almost forgot about meeeeee! I will be putting out a new zine this year, as well as postcards. I’m currently doing a fundraiser, and taking pre-orders through that fundraiser. Please help fund my zine and zine library this year. <3 Thank you. Here’s the link: https://www.wepay.com/donations/oyster-lexicon-zine-and-crustacean-zine-library-fundraiser