(or, How Etsy Saved Me from the Mall!)
THE CAST OF CHARACTERS:
#1 Son and His Significant Other: #1 Son is witty, urbane, smart, and plays in a band. He works as an account manager in a place where people get to wear shorts to work and bring their dogs every day. He's a big fan of Star Trek and Batman, he drinks beers no one else has heard of yet, and he always brings the right wine. Significant Other is petite, cuddly, kind, and also one of the best cooks on the planet. She's a Web developer who's probably somewhat aware of the fact that there's a (hand-designed) diamond ring in her immediate future. She's also in the middle of setting up housekeeping.
#2 Son and His Wife: #2 Son is an alpha geek. He leaps tall Cisco routers with a single bound, catches IP packets in his teeth, and could probably read all our email if he wanted to. He's a big fan of Star Wars and Spider-Man, drinks Natty Boh, and always brings the right wine because his wife helps him pick it out. His wife is beautiful, has a quiet sense of humor, and is one of the best cooks on the planet. She's a graphic designer who regards technology with a jaundiced eye and who has banished her husband's collections to the basement. She's also as sweet as she is beautiful.
Aged Mum: Aged Mum is in her eighties, and she unfortunately suffers from dementia. This does not stop her from having a sense of humor as well. Last Christmas at the height of the family festivities, she looked around at all of us and said, "I'm having a great time. But who are all these people?" She has a crafting tradition in her background, having been a hand-spinner and weaver for many years. My house is full of her beautiful work. Now she enjoys little things, which we purchase in quantity at the dollar store because she enjoys tearing them up. Winter is unkind to her skin.
Husband: Husband has perfected the art of stealth technology in gift giving. He utterly refuses to come up with a wish list, preferring instead to surprise everybody else. The result is that nobody ever has a clue as to what to give him. He drinks his own homebrewed beer and
is a big fan of old Republic serials. True to form, he located and purchased a Batman and a Star Wars vintage item for each son--back in October. His holiday refrain? "Oh, just get me a couple of packs of t-shirts and undershorts..." Right.
How to shop for all these people? Bear in mind that for the last two years, we've managed to give each son at least one DVD that he already owned, resulting in much angst with Amazon. I swore an oath that it would never happen again. Aged Mum and the daughters are weighted down with handmade jewelry from a devoted me. And I had to make pies today.
THE ETSY SOLUTION:
In between the pecan and the pumpkin pies . . .
Bodhicitta Glass....Home of Rewined Recycled Glassware
Here I found wonderful sets of four glasses made from--of all things-- recycled wine bottles. They're trimmed off, smoothed to a satin smoothness, and fire polished at the rims. They come in neat wine bottle colors and still feature those little wine-bottle dimples in the bottoms. Perfect for whatever brew is being served by either son. I bought two sets.
Bullfrog Laser Works
This Etsian has come up with the idea that people who do homebrew might like to show off their brewmanship. We're doing that by means of an absolutely brilliant handmade Quaff Pack. It's like a six pack carrier, only its handcrafted from wood, beautifully finished, and comes with your choice of custom message on the side. My husband's is going to say "Relax! Have a Homebrew." Now he can carry his beer to peoples' houses with pride as opposed to using recycled bags from the Safeway.
Skeletaldropkick makes high-fired ceramic mugs, bowls, plates, canopic jars (don't ask), and other items with an absolutely original flair. Years ago, my husband had a mug in the shape of a skull that I dropped and broke. I have now atoned for that completely with an absolutely, completely original high-fired skull mug. I'm still trying to figure out what I would put in a canopic jar--besides what usually goes in them, I mean.
With a daughter-in-law who loves to entertain, and a soon-to-be-daughter-in-law who not only loves to entertain but is just setting up housekeeping, serving items seemed like the way to go this year. Glynt Pottery stepped right up to the plate (sorry!) with two adorable and practical cream and sugar sets--one in blue, one in creamy yellow. Contemporary but traditional. Attractive and well-made. And kudos to Glynt Pottery for giving us helpful hints on why you can't abuse your hand-thrown pottery the way you can your Corning Ware!
Sweet Treats from Anita Crafty Creations
Last, but decidedly not least, Baltimore's own Anita. She concocts yummy, sweet treats for the body--soaps, bath goodies, lip balms, and-- my personal favorite--the unscented goat's milk and shea butter body cream with loads of vitamins. It comes in cute little pots, and Anita was kind enough to make a special listing so I could buy four of them. Let's see, that's one for each of the girls, one for Aged Mum, and-- well, shoot--one for me. I think I deserve it!
post written by amadison image from anitacraftycreations