Rachel Austin is wild about atlases, as evidenced by the map paintings featured in her Etsy shop ($60-$550. rachelaustin.etsy.com). Every mixed-media creation begins with a chunk of map overlaid with playful designs in a waxy, translucent medium that add brightness and depth. These whimsical, layered works come in a variety of sizes, and each title comes from a location visible on the underlying map.
78 Plush Monsters
Need a stuffed pal for your favorite niece or your best friend’s inner child? Dolls for Friends’ cuddly alien creatures ($15-$30. dollsforfriends.etsy.com) are handcrafted from reclaimed fabric scraps, and each comes with a cleverly written description of its unique name and personality. The Dolls for Friends shop is worth checking out just to read the descriptions, some of which are written in rhyming couplets.
79 Giraffes, Sharks and Robots, Oh My!
These aren’t your father’s neckties—unless your father is an aging hipster with a flair for vinyl. SugarLust (sugarlust.etsy.com) refurbishes old ties ($15) with vinyl appliqués of unusual animals or futuristic robots, making every item a conversation piece. If neckties aren’t your thing, the shop also carries similarly themed messenger bags.
80 Circular Resining
Modica makes classy-looking necklaces from circles of polished cherry wood inlaid with colored resins ($35-$80. modica.etsy.com). Select from popular designs or create your own arrangement from a palette of 20-plus colors. Each item is made to order, so it’s best to get your holiday order in at least two to three weeks in advance.
81 Bridge City Pride
One can never have enough Portland-themed T-shirts, and Sweet Babu (sweetbabu.etsy.com) is the place to look. This shop features a bewildering variety of engaging screen-printed American Apparel tees with whimsical, Stumptown-centric designs ($23-$29). Check out the image of a funambulist balanced on the lift cables of the Steel Bridge. Shirts are available in both men’s and women’s fits, and a wide array of colors are offered for each pattern.
82 Linens and Things
Your mother (or other party-hosting relative) will love the handprinted placemats and napkins from Erin Albin’s Appetite Home (appetitehome.etsy.com). Adorned with organic designs like oak leaves or morning glories, a set of four earth-toned napkins ($22) or reversible placemats ($28) will brighten any winter table. Appetite Home and its sister shop, Appetite, offer loads of other screen-printed items as well, including pillows, table runners and wallets.
83 Famous People Say It Better
Letterary Press (letterarypress.etsy.com) creates handprinted cards with quotations from all your favorite witty authors. Grab a boxed assortment of eight cards and envelopes, printed on recycled cardstock with 100 percent soy-based ink ($16.95). Sets feature aphorisms by Thoreau, Austen, Dickinson, Emerson, Twain, Shakespeare, Alcott or Wilde—or choose a mixed set with quotes from eight authors. Individual cards are also available ($4) if one design catches your eye.
84 Instant Memories
When you turn on your compact fluorescent lights this winter, you can illuminate someone else’s past with these wonderful lamps by Phoebe Owens ($35-$75. phoebe1.etsy.com). Each lampshade is created from a series of interlocking color slides, and no two designs are alike. Custom orders are encouraged, so dig out those old family vacation slides, or let Owens create a set from your digital photos.
85 Jewelry Goes Green
Julia Garretson’s jewelry, featuring recycled and reclaimed materials (juliagarretson.etsy.com), is the perfect gift for the eco-conscious friends. Bikers will love the earrings with glass beads and chunks of old bike tires suspended on long silver posts ($18). Others might prefer the rectangles made of scrap copper coated with colorful fired enamel ($14).
86 Return of the Shrinky Dink
These are the coolest Shrinky Dink earrings you’ve ever seen ($12-$26. passionflower.etsy.com). Heidi Cain’s most popular designs feature birds and bicycles (though usually not on the same pair), mostly rendered as spindly black-and-white prints with color accents. Made from the same heat-hardened plastic as the ’70s children’s kits, these lovelies are lightweight and dangly. See her profile for a list of local boutiques that keep these earrings in stock.
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