for the past three years i have religiously attended the One of a Kind Christmas Show (#OOAKX13). each year it has been one of the best places to find unique and creative specialty gifts for anyone on your holiday shopping list. with well over hundreds of artisan to choose from, it's an inspiring event that will leave you feeling in the crafty spirit. going to a show like this gives you an opportunity to chat one-on-one with local Canadian artists about their craft and their creative process. as Canadian's we should be super proud of these talented individuals. personally, I love buying homemade artisan gifts for others. I think there is something so very touching about finding a gift that speaks to someone – that was made slowly and thoughtfully by hand.
if you are in need of holiday gift ideas, here are my top six picks for the season!
1. PIETERSMA TINWORKS
did you know that historically tin tinsel was used on Christmas trees? designer Greg Pietersma did as he was learning the craft. after a few years he opened up a shop in Upper Canada selling not only tin tinsel, but these beautiful individually hand punched hurricane lanterns. with patterns including "the compass," "the bridal wreath" each design look stunning when lite indoors or outdoors to brighten a room.
2. AVRIL LORETI - MODERN HOME COLLECTION
Avril Loreti's entire collection of work is incredibly bright and colourful. I especially loved these tea towel calendars which sure you could use on a daily basis, but wouldn't they also look great draped on a wall in a home office, or a baby nursery to mark the year!
3. MONKEY BUTTER
monkey butter is the very best new gourmet peanut butter in town (even suitable for vegetarians)! based in Vancouver a hard working trio creates these tasty treats in small batches with the utmost care. after taste testing flavors like maple bacon, white chocolate, blueberry, i dare you to just have one bite.
4. CREATIONS LI
artist and activist Wai-Yant creates these hilarious handle-less mugs. these slowly handcrafted eye catching creations are sure to warm the hearts of any guy or gal. I mean, how can you not love cups with teeny little faces. I mean come on!
5. GRAHAM BLAIR WOODCUTS
these woodcut prints are show stopper. based out of Newfoundland artist Graham Blair starts with a sketch that is then transferred to a wood block and then hand-carved out. following traditional Japanese methods each impression piece is then created by rubbing a bamboo spoon on the back of the block after it has been inked. due to the nature of the artwork most prints are limited editions. what a perfect conversation piece.
6. TEALISH LOOSE LEAF TEA
TeaLish is something that could be the stocking stuffer OR the perfect gift should you arrange a few options together. i literally could not walk by the booth without smelling all the opened options. with beautiful packaging and award-winning teas, TeaLish will make seriously only coffee lover into a tea drinker.