Ho, Ho.... Uh oh!

Oh, no! Christmas is less than two weeks away and all my DIY plans are slowly melting like the ice on my boots in front of the fire… 

Here is where I deviate from all that is great about being creative and making all my own gifts and move toward my Christmas reality… My plan to make all my gifts is not going to get done! If you are in the same situation, don’t despair! Here's just the ticket! Look for local art options for a great gift and a fun afternoon of seeing what is trending in art.  

Many local artists depend on last-minute sales to help them make their yearly goals and will have pop-up sales or extended hours to make holiday shopping easier. Don’t be shy about just walking into these little boutiques, even if you are used to shopping at large chains or afraid that you can’t afford original art. You may be pleasantly surprised! You’ll love the experience and find all kinds of special and one-of-a-kind goodies that the people on your list will love. Also, many of these boutiques will have art pieces priced from just a few dollars to well, the sky’s the limit. Hand-made coasters or Christmas ornaments can be less than $10 and will stand out to the recipient, even though you don’t spend much. You can do a quick search online for local art stores or local art co-ops and you should end up with some good options. Your sales could make a difference in keeping a local shop open in your community and it is a lot more fun than fighting the crowds in the big box stores where most everything is made in factories overseas.

If you are more into the online thing, try out etsy.com. This is a haven for hand-made work from artists who create one-of-a-kind pieces. You can search there by artist or by an art genre or something more specific, like silver snowman earrings or lamp worked wine glass charms.

My favorites for hand-made gifting? My local 2nd Ave Art Guild has work from about 15 local artists and is a blessing for this small town. For those of you wanting to just check out art or order something special, go to http://www.bethwoessner.com or  http://www.adrianerwiltse.com/ and of course, check out http://mysticspringstudios.com for some of Anne Marie’s wonderful jewelry.

What’s on your list? I want a Beth Love pig painting or a Carolyn Johnson necklace made from beads and baubles I picked up for her in China (and now that she has them all strung so cleverly, I want back). Share your Christmas art list and your favorite local art shop or online art shopping site so others looking for those last-minute gifts can get some ideas.

Merry art hunting!

Margaret Butcher