Cool Side of the Pillow
Two-dimensional pins are so 2009. Not only do local artist Carey Anne McDonald’s pillow-like pins ($15) puff out to draw attention, but they are decorated with hand-applied beads and images—not to mention infused with local lavender, so they smell fantastic too. Tons of designs are available at Spirit in Art (5 Firehouse Lane, Madrid, 438-3235), a co-op full of great gift ideas.
Believe it or not, all of the images on Santa Fe-based Janet Paul’s mosaic-like bottles and jars ($5-$25) are made from clay. You’ve probably seen Paul’s vibrant polymer creations at arts and crafts fairs on the Plaza in summer. Now, your hookup for her work year-round is One of One (160-A Alcadesa St., 983-7939), the little Railyard shop that specializes in one-of-a-kind, mostly local crafts. Check out Paul’s website (janetsclayworkshop.com) for more cool stuff.
The art of letter-writing is a lost one. For those of us lucky enough to have a snail-mail pen pal (or maybe those of us who want one), a gift of wax seals ($9.95-$12.95) and sealing wax ($3.95) is sure to encourage some of that old-fashioned USPS stuff. It takes a few tries to get the hang of dripping and stamping the wax just right but, once you get it, it makes any correspondence special. Pick up the right letters at The Gilded Page (DeVargas Center, Guadalupe Street and Paseo de Peralta, 820-0098).
At the Jennie Cooley Gallery (826 Canyon Road, 983-2630), offbeat art is at its best. Cooley’s top-notch artists create everything from recycled metal ornaments ($15-$19) to exquisite oil paintings, all with an edge, an attitude and a formidable sense of humor. These ornaments by K O’Neill (kathleenoneill.com) are sure to make the recipient smile—right before he or she hangs it where it can stay all year. (Cooley's doors close in January, so now is the time to augment your collection.)
Follow That Magpie
Inspired by vintage images and old-school calligraphy, Magpie Pottery’s ceramic buttons ($12-$26) can make just about any garment a work of art. The Eldorado studio creates sewable works of art from only the best high-fired porcelain clay. If fine art buttons aren’t your favorite crafter’s style, Santa Fe Fabrics (533 W. Cordova Road, 988-5888) has thousands of “regular” (in other words, not hand-crafted) buttons for less than $5.
What’s Your Fetish?
You don’t choose a fetish—a fetish chooses you. That said, you may have to choose a fetish for your giftee. No worries; the knowledgable staff at Keshi (227 Don Gaspar Ave., 989-8728) can help educate and inspire when it comes to Native American animal medicine. The shop, which is run in equitable collaboration with Native American artists, stocks thousands of beautiful handcrafted fetishes in every species imaginable. They start at $10 and very few are more than $100, but most are in the $30-$40 range.
Skip the group pedicures or girls’ weekend in Aspen this year—all you do is gossip anyway. This holiday season, get your female friends art (they’ll appreciate it). The Gathering of Sisters ($85), a clay raku creation by Albuquerque artist Christina Sullo, has a decidedly earthy vibe, and comes in various numbers of ladies, perfect for you to tailor your gifting to your number of homies. Pick up yours at Conley Studio Pottery (2870 Hwy. 14, Madrid, 438-0782).
Western paraphernalia is all the rage in the mainstream nowadays; though, in Santa Fe, we wouldn’t know this “all the rage” from the constant “all the rage” we experience here. Lucky for us, local painter Spencer Kimball specializes in retro-inspired Western prints, from the traditional (a cowboy on a bucking bronco) to the not-so-traditional (a shirtless paper doll who dreams of dancing in her Maidenform bra). Kimball’s matted prints ($44-$92) are ready to frame—plus, Posters of Santa Fe (111 E. Place Ave., 982-6645) also has a collection of canvas giclees, not to mention few originals.
Artists are known for being a little messy. That’s all well and good, but what about when the napthalo green has gone hopelessly missing and that camel-hair brush from Prague fell out of the coffee can in which it was stored? We all need a little help sometimes, and that’s where Artisan Santa Fe (2601 Cerrillos Road, 954-4179) comes in. This attractive (yet useful!) cart rings in at $98.10.
Is That a Banana on Your Head Or…
If the Chiquita Banana lady and a muerto had a baby, this necklace would be a homage to it. Jeweler Ruth Parrott, who also co-owns Beadweaver (503 Old Santa Fe Trail, 955-1600), was inspired when the shop received a shipment of those great skull beads. She let her creativity take hold, and now the little muertos ($38) are flying off the shelves. Kind of delicate, kind of spooky, kind of flashy—this is the perfect necklace for the eclectic artist (or teacher, or janitor or accountant) in your life.