The office secret Santa, the best-buddies gift exchange, the holiday party white elephants, teachers, babysitters … the list of reasons to throw down $20 or less on gifts in December could stretch for miles. And when it comes to finding that one-of-a-kind something that’s sure to delight the recipient, Atlanta’s ever-growing crafting community offers plenty of quirky, cool and practical options.
This story originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Living Intown magazine.
Beautiful Briny Sea Salt Blends
Created by Atlanta chef and restaurateur Suzy Sheffield, Beautiful Briny Sea is a line of sea salt blends that up the ante of any recipe. The thoughtful selection includes the sweet Friends Forever, which features a dose of honey; a subtly aromatic lavender blend; and the headier Magic Unicorn, which contains smoked paprika, rosemary and garlic. For a truly seasonal spirit, check out Santa Salt, which includes rosemary and pink peppercorn. Most of the products are $8 per tin, making a package of two a reasonably priced and decidedly delightful option for home cooking enthusiasts.
Cottage Industree Journals
Despite the proliferation of digital note-taking apps, many people maintain a soft spot for handwritten journaling or even just to-do lists. Cottage Industree’s line of journals, at $14 each, add a bit of whimsy to the practice with front and back covers made from vintage hardcover books, including the Hardy Boys, quaint children’s book illustrations and readers dating from the 1920s to 1970s. Some have weathered covers and even original library pocket card holders that show their years of use, offering a bit of inspiration for anyone who enjoys quiet contemplation or just fancy a different place for jotting down notes.
As Atlanta continues to undergo seemingly constant development, many signs of days gone by (literally days in some cases) can be lost. Remember El Azteca on Ponce? The neon sign might have seemed just an average part of the scenery while it was there, but when you see it on Custom Coasters’ hand-cut marble stone coasters ($12 a piece), you’ll feel downright nostalgic. Not-gone-but-still-iconic images of the Big Chicken and Mary Mac’s Tea Room, or pictures of one of our many Peachtree-and-Peachtree intersections, will leave fond smiles on recipients’ faces as they use the coasters for years to come.
Available at The Beehive and Crafted Westside.
Dream Beard Oils
A well-groomed beard is to men what a well-coiffed mane is to women, except men don’t have the benefit of whole aisles devoted to products that keep that hair in check. Enter locally made Dream Beard, whose lines of beard oils ($15 each) are formulated with essential oils that keep everything from a five-o’clock shadow to a resplendent ZZ Top face-coif clean, soft and healthy. Jojoba, vitamin E, olive oil, rosemary, pine and even frankincense are just a few of the ingredients included in products with evocative names like The Bearded Barber and The Gentleman Beard.
Available at Crafted Westside and online at dreambeard.com.
Glak Love Ornaments
For several years, Glak Love founder and principle designer Angelyn Pass has been selling her line of delicate and whimsical Christmas tree ornaments ($16 each) at the city’s neighborhood festivals and holiday markets. Clear orbs contain translucent scenes of cats and squirrels declaring a holiday truce, reindeer prancing, a couple on a snowy winter’s night walk and other playful panoramas that charm without being twee. The shine and shimmer in the ornaments’ scenes comes from the medium, as Pass transforms exposed film negatives into mini-masterpieces in a process she calls “celluloidic artistry.”
Mama Neighborhood Soaps and Candles
Did you know Buckhead smells of lavender and oatmeal? We didn’t either, until we came across Mama’s line of soaps and candles with scents inspired by Atlanta neighborhoods. Classy Inman Park is rose geranium, whereas its hippie neighbor, Little Five Points, is patchouli and rosemary. The Old Fourth Ward keeps it fresh with spearmint and peppermint, and Decatur takes a more herbal note with lemongrass and lavender. And, as a whole, Atlanta is honey almond. At $16, the soy candles are a standalone present, whereas the $9 soaps offer a chance to celebrate more than one ’hood.
Mama Avondale Estates. 112 N. Avondale Road, Avondale Estates. 404-377-7800; Mama Krog Street Market. 99 Krog St., Atlanta. 404-909-9994. loveyourmama.com
For more ideas about gifts, decorating, where to eat and what to do, check out our complete Atlanta Holiday Guide.
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