Holiday Gift Guide

KW Holiday Gift Guide: Kate’s Handmade Finds for the Home

It is that time of year when most of us are inevitably looking for a special gift to give, whether it be for a family member, friend, child’s teacher, or office mate.

We decided it would be fun to bring back our Holiday Gift Guide in order to showcase some fantastic gift ideas we’d choose for that special someone in our lives. (Or, ahem…ourselves!)

Since buying our “forever” home in 2013, a well-loved but not very well-maintained Victorian, my husband and I have slowly chipped away (literally and figuratively) at updating, modernizing, and, in some cases, totally gutting many of the rooms in the house. As each room is completed, I have enjoyed filling the space with original prints, plants, and a quirky mix of furniture while trying to balance the reality of making the spaces functional for ourselves, daughters, and menagerie of pets. With this in mind, for my gift guide, I’m focusing on lovely pieces to adorn your home or apartment. Any of the below options would make an excellent gift for someone, friend or family member alike!

I cannot go into a home improvement store, garden center, or, if I am being totally honest, even Ikea, without bringing home a plant. I gravitate towards the ones that are a little sad and wonky, and love to see them grow and thrive once they are transplanted and in our home. I don’t love “typical” ceramic pots, though, and am always on the lookout for good alternate options. 

The clean modern lines, beautiful texture, and all-over leaf pattern of this White Primitive Leaf Vase by Tactile Matter really caught my eye when browsing the Otherwild site a few weeks ago. The artist behind Tactile Matter, Kenesha Sneed, is also a graphic illustrator, and you can really see her aesthetic come through in her ceramic pieces. How great would this pot look with a staghorn fern or saguaro cactus? As a bonus, plants make awesome housewarming, host/ess, or teacher gifts, too!

If a large pot isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, consider this gorgeous Flatware by Dina No, lovely Gem Dish by Eliza Fernand, or totally unique Porcelain Diner Tumblers by Em Gift

If you know someone in your life who appreciates both crafting and functionality, gift giving can sometimes be an overwhelming task. Crafters can also sometimes be pretty particular about the materials they prefer, style they like, and projects they will complete. 

Call me biased as I am lucky enough to know the women behind this fabulous collaboration, but I can’t help but covet the Stowe Bag Kit put together in celebration of A Verb for Keeping Warm‘s 6th anniversary, and see it as the perfect present for any crafter – particular or not – in your life. The kit, sold by Fringe Supply Co., comes with everything you need to create a Stowe Bag, including the sewing pattern, US grown Organic cotton chambray, organic cotton dyed with natural indigo, Japanese sashiko thread, and sashiko embroidery needles. Once complete, the Stowe bag makes for perfect project organization around the home, and the recipient can make as many versions as s/he likes with the pattern!

If you’re worried about giving a gift that requires some work on the part of the recipient, Karen of Fringe has curated a lovely collection of thoughtful, useful gifts, including a variety of gorgeous Bento Bags by Ambatalia, the Field Bag,  a canvas project bag useful for all manner of home organization and storage, and a beautiful and functional Double Zip Pouch by Bookhou.

We’re expecting our 2nd daughter, due around the New Year, and spent last weekend putting the baby’s room together. While many of the items are being re-used from Charlie’s nursery, the space is still lacking in a few finishing touches. 

When looking to add soft furnishing to the baby’s room, I immediately thought of my friend Betsy Olmsted‘s quirky and colorful textile designs. Designed in her Saratoga Springs, NY studio, her line of pillows includes zodiac signs as well as a plethora of adorable woodland creatures. While totally appropriate for a baby’s room, they would also look great in a living room, play area, or den. 

If you’re unsure of the other pillows or colors in your recipient’s home, Betsy also has a line of wood log carriers (I am particularly fond of the Mushrooms), Scarves (I love the Curious Fox), and even a book, Hand Printing Studio, with a wide variety of tutorials and tips to all manner of hand-printing techniques.

I’m quick to decide on large pieces of furniture – a new rug, couch, or set of chairs – but somehow get a little stuck when it comes to the finishing touches of a room. I usually pick or hang items on the wall last, a closure to the process if you will, and the finality is a little daunting. (As if the frames can’t be easily removed or replaced!)

The prints of artist Christine Lantz of Stellaire Studio would fit seamlessly in any room. I am particularly fond of her nature series – the land and seascapes are stark, detailed, geometric, and organic all at once. Many of the pieces utilize a lot of neutral colors with subtle shades of green and gold, so you could go as far as to buy a few in order to make a lovely set.

Christine also has a wide variety of other prints, including Six Cats (surely you know someone who loves cats!), Treasure, and Succulents No. 2 if you’re not sure if stark landscapes are just right for your recipient.

That’s it! Are there any fabulous handmade items you have your eye on for yourself or someone else?

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