By: Anh-Minh Le, decor8 contributor
Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it?s time to get down to the business of holiday shopping. Luckily for those of you in the SF Bay Area who insist on waiting until after the turkey is eaten before you even think about presents, there are a plethora of great shopping events coming up.
The following is a list of some local happenings where you can find unique, handmade gifts that are sure to please your friends and family.
Post-Postcard 10 at the Lab
11/30 (6-9pm); 12/01 (1-8pm); 12/02-03 (11am-6pm)
For affordable, small-format art, the 10th annual Post-Postcard Show is not to be missed. The promo material says it best: ?Art lovers can explore original works and discover hidden gems at affordable prices while supporting emerging artists and a great alternative art space.? Everything is priced between $1 and $30.
Hayes Valley Block Party
Not really a sales event, but rather a very cool holiday thing to do. For the Block Party, vendors usually stay open later, many offer snacks and drinks, and you?ll even find a DJ or two at some businesses. I hear that Santa and Mrs. Claus may be hanging around as well.
Mill Valley Community Center Holiday Craft Fair
Shop for gifts and decorations ? including jewelry, cards, knitwear and candles ? handmade by over 50 local artists.
Artist-Xchange Holiday Party
Live music, refreshments, hors d?oeuvres and ? of course ? lovely artwork will be your reward for stopping by this Mission District gallery for their holiday party. Even those on the tightest budget can find something beautiful here.
(Psst…Mention the ?Shop Local First? promo between December 4-9 and you?ll receive 15% off at the Artist-Xchange! To see which other Mission businesses are participating in the SLF event, click here.)
CCA Holiday Fair
You?ve got just a few hours to shop goods made by the talented students, alumni, faculty and staff at CCA. (For those without a car, the Oakland campus is accessible by BART.)
12/14 (6-11pm); 12/16, 12/17 (12-5pm)
That?s right. You get three chances to shop at one of my favorite resources. Not only can you pick up beautiful handmade goods from local artists and designers, but you can even grab a cocktail or bite to eat at Canvas (the restaurant/art gallery that plays host to this regular event). In the past, I?ve purchased handbags, calendars, jewelry, clothing and small-scale art at Feria Urbana.
The Crucible?s Gifty Holiday Art Sale + Open House
Cross more people off your holiday list with a trip to the Crucible. There will be jewelry, sculptures, glass, ceramics, clothing and more. You can also catch a demo, enjoy refreshments, and take advantage of a kid?s activity area.
This list is by no means complete, so if you know of any other events ? around San Francisco or other parts of the world ? please feel free to add them in the comments section of this post.
[Update: This just in from Victoria from SFGirlbyBay. More fun sales! See Victoria's bits below. Thanks, Lady V!]
Here’s a couple of smaller gift shows going on – these are some really talented friends of mine. I know there’s more coming up, so if I hear of anything else I’ll let you know!
Velo Rouge Cafe Sale
12/05, 4-8 pm
798 Arguello Blvd near the entrance to GG park
Call for show details.
(image from feria urbana)
I had a chat with Chocosho earlier this week about giving decor8 readers a little love since so many of you are hunting for unique pressies right now. So how ’bout a discount? Between now and December 7, 2006, decor8 readers save 20% on all items purchased at Chocosho. With so many great items, from tees to stationery, lighting to acrylic birds for the walls (I want these), plushies, gifts for men, clothing, and everything in between (love the bedding), don’t miss out on this very special savings. Now enough of my blah blah, head over to Chocosho – but hurry, offer ends Dec. 7th! Enter code decor8 at checkout.
(images from chocosho)
Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or to get a jump start on building your own collection, check out the Daily Painters Gallery. (thanks for the tip, Micah!). With over 100 new paintings every day in an easy-to-browse gallery format, this online gallery makes it easy to find art at an affordable price, most priced under $100!
Unfortunately, this gallery does link some of the artists out to their eBay auctions and this can be a pain if you want to make a quick purchase. But some artists make their works available for a set price via their blogs, which I love.
Other than the eBay thing, everything else about the Daily Painters Gallery is just great. Check it out!
(images from the daily painters gallery)
Here’s a delightful way to keep warm this winter! Light some candles and cuddle up with cozy things from Bholu in Australia. These hand-embroidered works designed by Aussie native Jodie Fried, are created by the hands of the Gujarati women artisians that dwell in the remote desert villages in western Gujarat, India. Using traditional techniques, these ladies bring to life Jodie’s designs using felt and silk hand embroidery stitching, simple yet bold and very textural for the modern interior.
Psst: If you are a reader down under, Bholu will exhibit at the Melbourne Design Market this weekend, on Sunday December 3, 10-5 pm, Federation Square (under covered car park), Melbourne. Rain or shine. Free admission.
(images from bholu)
Have you ever thought about the architecture of winter? What makes a city a good winter city? After spending a few months in Europe just as the weather was starting to change, I noticed that cities in the Netherlands and northern Germany have a way of taking urban dwellers from warmth to cold without them hardly noticing the rapidly dropping temps. Cities there tend to know exactly how to extend the period of comfortable outdoor space and are currently looking at more ways to make winter a time of pleasure vs. one of dread.
As we dined in an outdoor cafe in Eindhoven initially not thinking twice about it, it was only halfway into our meal that it dawned on me that it was 45 degrees and we were eating outdoors and feeling quite cozy. Looking around, I noticed we were seated beneath a large canopy with plastic side partitions separating our cafe from the next, along with several large heat lamps scattered throughout the space. It also helped that this cafe was packed with warm bodies, as residents embraced the concept merrily, sipping and slurping and laughing and chatting. This cold rainy day wasn’t about to stop them from living life. Eindhoven wasn’t about to give up the pleasure of dining outdoors simply because summer was over.
Of course, there’s more than a space heater in an outdoor cafe that makes urban winters more enjoyable. Outdoor markets, beverages sold streetside such as hot mulled spice wine (it sure kept me warm!), street performers playing (vs. disappearing until Spring), lots of passages and arcades to take shelter in, and of course, the residents dressing accordingly. Here in the states, particularly the northeast where I live, people are always complaining about how cold they are as they stand before you in jeans, a sweater and a wool over coat. No wonder. They are still dressed as though it’s Autumn. If you want to get the most pleasure out of winter, layer up! Invest in quality gear – a hat, gloves and a scarf, and get outside and move around. Take up a winter sport. Hiking in the forest, cross country skiing, even sled riding on a regular basis makes winter fun.
Another observation while in northern Europe, the locals view winter as just another season that has it’s ups and downs, not a time to go completely inactive by heading home directly after work and staying there until we wake again the next morning to return to work yet again. In some cultures, simply gathering around a table with candles, a big meal and good conversation with friends and family help to make the winter season more of a pleasure. I know my friends in Germany do this often in the winter, and after partaking in such gatherings myself, it’s something I’ve vowed to do here in the states with my own crew.
What got me started on this subject was that moment mentioned earlier whilst in Eindhoven when I realized I was outside eating on a very cold rainy day. When I returned to the states, the Nov/Dec AB issue was waiting in the mail which covers the very subject my husband and I chatted about while flying home – what makes a city a good winter city. AB explores this subject in depth, along with additional coverage on designing a winter city (from an architect’s perspective) and there’s even a feature on what the locals would do to make Boston a better winter city.
Here’s what some had to say, “Taking a page out of Providence’s Waterfire evenings, imagine a Fire and Ice walk along the Rose Kennedy Greenway, where large-scale ice sculptures interspersed with braziers would illuminate a romantic walk. Have stops along the way where small choirs could sing – Boston has an unbelievably large number of choruses. Hot chocolate, hot cider, and fleece earmuffs could be sold by vendors under heaters.” – Diane Georgopoulos FAIA for AB.
When it comes to winter, I think the key is to avoid giving in to negative thinking, ‘getting through it’ or ‘passing by the time as quickly as possible’. Afterall, this is your life we’re talking about and no one should be on a race to make it pass by more quickly! You want to enjoy each day that you have been blessed to exist on this planet. The key is to find ways to make the best out of the weather so that you can enjoy each and every snowflake. If you live in a cold climate, what does your city do to keep its residents happy, tourism somewhat alive, and spirits high? What are you planning to do this winter to make the season fun and interesting? Any home projects, fitness plans, career goals, etc.?
Oh, and if you don’t have a copy of Architecture Boston, which covers this very subject in depth, try to get your hands on a copy soon.
(image from one of my favorite photographers, simply photo. you can purchase her lovely postcards shown above on etsy.)