Last Minute Gift Ideas - Shop Local, Shop Handmade

I admit to being a procrastinator, especially when it comes to the busy holidays. For example, I only last weekend (that would be a mere two weeks before Christmas) designed and ordered this year's Holiday card. So folks, don't expect an on time card from our family!

So, for those last minute shoppers who don't want to brave the mall this weekend, I'm suggesting you get out to a local market place for some unique, handmade gifts. Small artisan shops and vendors can be found even our small midwestern town - you might have to use social media or contact consignment shops to find them.

Some handmade treasures I've come across locally:

Beaded Wrap Bracelets
Today's Arm Candy #handmade
A friend of mine makes these and they can be found through etsy stores. The bracelet is flexible and wraps around the wrist four times for an instant layered look. The mixture of stones and crystals compliments casual and formal attire - I even wear mine to yoga practice.

Personalized charm necklaces
For A Special Friend
I found these simple necklaces at the local farmer's market. I'm not a "chunky" jewelry wearer (I rarely accessorize to begin with) and I love that the charms are small, interchangeable and personalized to the wearer. I gave the necklace above to a friend who moved away, bought a horse charmed one for my daughter and this one for me:
Capture Life

Handmade Soap, Specialty Syrup and Vintage Stuff
Made Fest Finds
I love handmade soap - they come in all sorts of fragrances from earthy to floral and are a great luxury to use. Real.Soaps are handmade in Chicago and also available via etsy. Your local natural store may also carry handmade soaps.

Sages Specialty Syrups are made in Indiana and the business owners frequent local farmer's markets. The syrup jazzes up the standard cocktail (mango ginger martini anyone?) or sparkling water or tea. I bought some spiced pumpkin syrup to mix into my fall coffee. You can find similar specialty syrups at your local foodie store.

Vintage camera - perfect for that sentimental photographer. I now own three vintage cameras - two of them, including the Kodak Duaflex pictured above still take film and one of these days I'm going to try make it work. For now, it's a nice conversation piece, along with my Brownie Hawkeye.

Local Designer Clothing - Chicago designer Kate VanAsten makes beautiful clothing at Wulfka. I found her at a local artisan fair and bought the beautiful Isis Dress. She also has skirts and shrugs available.

We're in the final stretch before Christmas, so good luck with the final days of shopping!

Nicki  – (December 19, 2014 at 7:55 AM)  

You have done better than me - I started a holiday card. Twice. I ultimately chucked the idea all together and decided to skip that ritual. I am not regretting the choice and will be heading out this weekend to pick up a couple cards to send to some family.

Love the gift suggestions and feel a little guilty that most of our gifts this year, who am I kidding - nearly all of our gifts this year were internet purchased. My husband is on a mission to amass a certain number of frequent flyer points and when he is on a mission ...

Merry Christmas Shirley!

Unknown  – (December 19, 2014 at 12:40 PM)  

Great ideas. Locally and or handmade gifts are the best. I buy a lot of gifts from local, independent shops and galleries who have things from local artists. I also love Etsy. My gifts to coworkers and neighbors this year are my cookies and a nut mix (that I still have to make!). And I only just started sending out my holiday cards. It's all good. :)

Amy at love made my home  – (December 20, 2014 at 9:48 AM)  

Great ideas! I hope that you get everything done that you want to before Christmas. That dress looks wonderful on you!! Happy Christmas! xx

tinajo  – (December 21, 2014 at 2:00 PM)  

You look lovely in that dress, have a great Christmas!

Lisa Gordon  – (December 21, 2014 at 3:59 PM)  

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and a bright and beautiful New Year, Shirley.

Liz  – (December 22, 2014 at 10:15 AM)  

You have some great finds there!

Anita Johnson  – (December 25, 2014 at 10:24 AM)  

Merry Christmas, Shirley. Beautiful know I love the camera piece! (o:

puna  – (December 26, 2014 at 1:38 PM)  

Merry Christmas Shirley! You look beautiful.

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