This time of year everyone has gift-giving on their mind. Buying local is (finally!) gaining in popularity, but unless you make it out to the craft fairs, galleries or markets it can be hard to actually get those gifts locally. I thought I’d do a bit of legwork for you all and come up with some great gift ideas that are all made by NB artists and makers, and the best part is that you can buy them from the comfort of your home on the interwebs. Who wants to schlep around to all the stores, find parking, freeze your tush off in the winter gales etc etc when you can just sit at home in your comfy pants and drink rum and eggnog while still shopping locally?? Thank you Internet. What you spend in shipping will make up for the gas to drive around and the mental strain of shops at Christmas time. Bonus points if you live near the maker and can just pick up the gift yourself!
I did a similar post last year, but there seems to be no end to New Brunswick’s local creative talent so here are 16 more gifts ideas made by NB makers. You can totally support the local creative economy and rock Christmas giving this year!
(Click on the titles to shop the products)
Ploome Fibre Arts are hand-dyed yarns and handmade wool products made by Anna Mathis. She just had a baby so the incredible felted necklaces and garments will have to wait but she’s still got beautiful yarns to choose from. Top pick: “Candy Apple with Sprinkles” hand-dyed yarn
Handmade natural soaps, essential oils and body products made in Fredericton, NB. I have tried one of their soaps (ah-mazing) and also their cranberry lip butter. It’s the only lip gloss/chapstick that hasn’t dried out my lips. Top pick: Rose soap
Handworks Gallery now sells a large selection of their inventory online. You can browse by category – wood/jewelry/glass/etc. making it super easy to find the perfect gift. Top pick: White Eastern Cedar Wood Whale by Peter Ross
Renate Roske-Shelton is a visual artist who lives in Back Bay, down in Charlotte County, NB. She paints colourful renditions of local scenery like fishing coves and wooded beaches. Renate’s work has real energy and would brighten up any space. Top pick: Ingall’s Head Lobster Boat, Watercolor and Ink on Paper, 12″ x 16″
I saw A Craft Business at a craft market in Sussex last summer and fell in love with their whimsical style. They make handmade journals, terrarium jewelry and mini sculptures. You have to check out their tiny gnomes! Top pick: Lupin-filled terrarium earrings
Jessica Doyle and her husband Chris Day just opened up their shop and studio Doyle and Day on Water Street in Saint John. Jessica is an artist and sewist whose designs are featured on her handmade bags, greeting cards, and of course prints to hand on the wall. Top pick: Mushrooms magnetic locket set (made with recycled steel auto parts)
Vena Carr is an artist and graphic designer from Fredericton. When she isn’t working her day job with CraftNB, Vena is creating delightful drawings with a touch of adorbs. On RedBubble you can apply her images to anything from a mug to a T-shirt! Top pick: This Cute Llama shirt
Jewelry made with recycled bullets. ‘Nuff said. Top pick: The Rosa Ring.
Simone Ritter is a visual artist from St. Andrews’ who loves to paint nature, water scenes and eSPECIALly vintage campers. She did a whole series of vintage campers that just evoke the ease and breeze of summer glamping. Top pick: Hardcover Camper book
Julie Whitenect is a printmaker from Saint John, NB who also works for ArtsLinkNB. She is a well-connected and inspirational lady who just put up a bunch of prints for sale on her website. I love this new series inspired by places in Saint John, but with a pop of neon. Top pick: ‘Imaged-fervour’ M 12″x9″, mixed media silkscreen on paper
Jeska Grue is a fashion designer from Sackville, NB. Her style is simple, classic with a rustic beauty, and her pieces are so comfortable and yet exude elegance. I own this wrap top, which also happens to be my top pick!
Rébecca Belliveau is an Acadian artist who creates works with an eerie beauty. She sells photo and metal prints on Etsy, but her book Acadie Mystique: Paranormal legends of Acadia seems also well worth checking out. Top pick: Hier A Devenu Aujourd’hui, Fine Arts Metal Print
Donna Mulholland is a visual artist who uses bright colours like they’re going out of style. I love when one of her photos pops up on social media because it always adds colour to my day. Her paintings are gorgeous, but if you want a little affordable piece by Donna, these Christmas ornaments are the way to go. Top pick: Original Abstract Holiday ornament
Brigadoon Fibre Farm is a family run fibre farm and shop. They produce yarns and fibre products from their alpacas and sheep, and grow much of their own food on the farm. I love seeing photos of their alpacas on Instagram – one just had a baby this summer! Top pick: This woven project bag is beautiful – gorgeous colours and perfect for that crafter who always has a project on the go!
Deeyu Dolls are handcrafted by Kayleigh Perkins (I went to highschool with her!!) right here in Saint John, NB. Each doll is unique and has an organic look that reminds one of handcrafted dolls in olden times, like Little House on the Prairie, when you didn’t have a doll unless you made it yourself. For those looking to simplify your kids’ toys, this tactile and playful toy will last a lifetime. Top pick: “Maria” – I like her hair.
Of course I have to put in a plug for my own little magazine! I just published Issue #6 – all about local fashion. The dress on the cover was made by Adrienne Goodine in Fredericton and shot by the incredibly talented Lance Kenneth Blakney. Inside are stories about NB fashion; designers, models, artists and more. A great stocking stuffer!
I hope you found some great gift ideas. Still stumped? Check out my post from last year, you’ll find carved leather, fluffy felted birds, handmade kites and more!
Merry Christmas everyone!