Sunday, 29 November 2015

An Independent Gift Guide


If you are me you have probably already started to buy Christmas gifts. If you are like me you probably have many more still to get. I try to buy as much as I can from independent designer/makers throughout the year. I think it is important to support small an local businesses. At Christmas time becomes an issue no matter ho hard we try to not be rushed it just happens, we try to fit in an extra visit to a friend or an extra family event. We all do it, and we do it every year. What tends to suffer as a result of this is we resort to surfing the net for gifts and dare I say it fill an Amazon basket. I am not sure about how they behave global but in the UK they are corporate tax avoiders, big time tax loop holes, they are bad news. So I have compiled a list of great little makers and where you can buy from them online. Bare in mind that not all of these makers ship globally and do allow for last postage dates.
I love the work of June Olsen, originally from Norway she has long since made a family, life and career here in the UK. Her concrete bowls really are beautiful and are finished with either a gold or copper leaf, (I love ALL things copper). You can also buy one of her quirky origami candlesticks which would go rather well either side of the concrete bowl, on a long table, with a little winter foliage interspersed for a perfectly styled, on trend Scandi Christmas. Or you know give them away as gifts! You can buy work from June at An Artful Life, (for a 10% discount use the code NOSTALGIECAT at the checkout). Alternatively you could contact her directly though her Facebook page.
If you are looking something more stocking sized than concrete bowls you should head over to Rachel Lucie's site. She lives and works in West Yorkshire creating some truly unique pieces. So often I think I could never afford to buy people really nice jewllery for Christmas and still eat but you will find a range of prices on her site. All handcrafted by Rachel herself, none of this part manufactured stuff you see on Etsy nowadays. The freshwater river pearls are on my wishlist the Christmas!
One of my favourite artists, Julia Ogden happens to be a local lass. She works on original paintings, screen-prints and mixed media drawings in her sunny Hebden Bridge studio. Julia also teaches and creates bespoke paper goods so you can stop by her website for cards too. For the festive season Julia has translated her artwork to a range of Christmas stockings, cushions, notebooks and tree decorations, you can see a selection of these in her blog post found here. Please message her about buying one of these new products as they are so new they are not on her site as yet, how exclusive is that!
So we have all the films where men buy awful underwear for ladies, there is no fear of this happening if you shop at Luck Sew & Sew. Carly and her mother Diane design and make all of the vintage inspired lingerie themselves, they have even included a special pair of candy cane knickers to her collection this Christmas which will make a really fun gift in a stocking. Also they ship worldwide!
Not all designer makers make small items, no, some of them create beautiful furniture. Simon Rushton makes stunning benches that can be used indoors or outside, being a Lancashire lad living in Yorkshire you can be assured that his benches will stand up to the elements. You can customise your bench asking for a smooth finish, rustic look or burned wood. You can request pyrography to be added to your bench at an additional cost. The benches are made from reclaimed wood and each one is exclusive to you. The benches are treated in Osmo Oil. Osmo Oil protects the wood from UV rays as well as water. Osmo should be reapplied every 3-4 years. The size of each bench varies depending on the size of sleepers available at the time.The majority of the benches are around 4 - 5 feet in length and 16 inches from the floor to the top of the seat in height. If you would like a different size he is happy for you to contact him as most things can be accommodated.

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