Tag: creative holiday gifts

Holiday Shopping Gets a Handmade Makeover

I love the holiday season. I really do. I love the lights, the music, the decorations, the baking, the shopping, and, most of all, the Christmas tree. I know that many people (including my roommate, who has been proclaiming “Bah Humbug” for at least a month now) hate the bustle and craziness, the traffic and long lines. And, of course, one of the biggest complaints about the season is the commercialism. Somehow, the Christmas shopping season seems earlier and earlier every year, and all of the emphasis is placed on getting the best deals and the most fashionable and expensive presents.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I like presents—both the giving and the receiving of them. However, I decided this year I’d like to try something other than going to the crowded mall and checking out the same stores and websites. I’m ready to give something unexpected. An obvious solution to my present conundrum is to shop (or make) handmade.

One of the things I like best about living in Columbus is its great art and craft culture. I am a crafter myself, but I mostly scrapbook and occasionally make cards, so my present creation is pretty limited (I’ve been working sporatically on a Colorado vacation scrapbook for my parents for about 3 years now). But I love to see what other artists and crafters create, and it’s so much more fun to buy unique, handmade items than it is to walk around a store where everything is made overseas via mass production and it all looks all the same. I also think it’s great that craft items now range from kitschy and fun, such as Nintendo-themed jewelry, all the way to elegant and beautiful, such as gorgeous mohair knit scarves and sweaters. The Columbus art and craft community is chock-full of presents that are personal and cool and full of soul. They are a delight to give, as well as to receive, and it’s so satisfying to actually be able to talk to and meet with (or at least email) the creator of your presents before buying them.

I may still pick up a movie or two, or perhaps a requested book, but my plan for my holiday shopping this year is to go unique and shop handmade. I even got off to a head start at Wholly Craft and the Craftin Outlaws fair last month. Should the holiday spirit really start to kick in, I may even make a thing or two (or finish that scrapbook for mom and dad).  It may just be the best holiday gift season yet!

If you, too, would like to do some of your own craft shopping, or even make some of your own gifts, you may want to check out Holiday Craftacular Spectacular at CMA on December 11. Workshops will take place all day that will allow you to create everything from polymer food charm beads to festive gift tags, plus shop from local vendors for your own handmade holiday gifts. For Craftacular Spectacular tickets click here.

Over the past 18 months, in preparation for opening CMA’s new Center for Creativity (on Jan. 1, 2011), the entire education staff immersed ourselves in research on creativity, particularly what is necessary to cultivate creativity.  Musings from the Center for Creativity is an opportunity for us to share our thoughts on this topic.  Please share your views and resources with us, as well.

Art Speaks. Join the Conversation.

Dayna Jalkanen, Educator for Family Programs

Top 10 CMA Holiday Gifts to Spark Creativity

During the holidays, we celebrate family traditions, teaching our children about generosity, peace, and goodwill. We share with one another, giving of ourselves, of our time and of our homes. And, somewhere along the line, we still have to find time for holiday shopping. The Columbus Museum of Art Museum Store offers a wide variety of unique gift ideas for the children on your list that will not only elicit oohs and ahhs, but spark your child’s creativity.

1. Playfoam $10.95

Just squish the Playfoam up, shape it however you like, squash it back down, and start all over again.  Never dries out!

2. Pattern Play $36

Create endless freeform designs with Pattern Play wooden blocks or learn to replicate patterns using the 40 illustrated cards, included with each set.

3. My Life According to Me $14.95

A journal for girls with inspiring little questions, fun quizzes, drawing and writing ideas and plenty of blank space.

4. This is Not a Book $12.95

In this uniquely skewed look at the purpose and function of “a book,” Keri Smith offers an illustrated guide that asks readers to creatively examine all the different ways This Is Not a Book can be used.

5. Whatchamadrawit $19.95

The fast-action, fun-filled drawing game includes 110 Whatchamadrawit cards to get your creative juices flowing and a timer to get your competitive spirit going.

6. Supposing (by Alastair Reid, illustrated by Bob Gill) $15.95

First published in 1960, Supposing is a book of speculation, mischief, and paradox.

7. Fine Art Scratch and Sketch $12.99

Create your very own museum, scratching all the way.

8. Squiggles $ 7.95

This special book shows how drawing a simple spiral will let you make a lion’s mane, a beautiful flower, cotton candy, and much, much more.

9. Art-to-Go Set $19.95

A case full of colored pencils, oil pastels, watercolors, and markers for creative fun on the go.

10. Doodle Wire $14.95

Loop, curl, coil, and swirl soft steel wire into 16 different creations.

Don’t forget, CMA members always receive a discount in the Columbus Museum of Art Museum Store (between 10 and 15 percent). Bring in the coupon from the back of the most recent Art Speaks and receive 25% off your purchase. Also check out these CMA holiday offers for more savings and gift ideas. CMA’s Museum Store is open during regular Museum hours, Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 am – 5:30 pm and Thursdays 10:00 am – 8:30 pm (Closing at 3 pm Thanksgiving and Christmas eves). For more information call 614.221.4848.

Think Creative, Think Local This Holiday Season

This holiday season support local Columbus artists when you shop in our Think Creative, Think Local sections of the Columbus Museum of Art Store. Choose from a number of local handmade items such as this Heart of Ohio sketchbook ($19.95). Hand embroidered right around the corner in Hilliard, B.Radley features cross-stitched Moleskine sketchbooks to spark your creativity. The mastermind behind B.Radley, Martha, is an art major turned jewelry designer who moonlights at CMA. She adores endless hours toiling away with needle and thread to create beautiful, hand-stitched works of art. B.Radley’s sketchbooks come in several colors and stitched designs.

Also check out these beautiful recycled wool pillows by local Columbus artist Abby Feinknopf. “When I work, I design using my own color theory, as a I believe there is a magic, or a spark, that occurs when colors are combined, and when completely different textures play off each other and prove eye-catching. In my fabric illustration work I strive to create a connection between the piece and the viewer.  My wool pillows depicting a cottage, for example, might remind the viewer of a vacation spot or tickle them with the details of blooming flowers in the window boxes.  I want my pieces to hug their viewers, warm them, bring them a smile and to remind them that happiness can be obtained through a variety of color and texture combinations,” says Feinknopf.

Lawrence & Audrey Goldsmith have worked together producing fine art and fine craft work since 1976 including these beautiful glass kaleidoscopes. Audrey and Lawrence have a home studio in the Columbus and have been making kaleidoscopes since the 1980s when they were selected as gifts for each of the United States’ governors when Ohio hosted the National Governor’s Conference.  Their glass art incorporates detailed hand cut stained glass and kiln fused glass. Their handcrafted work is unique, copyrighted, and no two pieces are exactly alike.

Stop by the Museum Store to see more of their work, and work by other local Columbus artists.

Throughout the season you can also look for these special holiday offers from the Columbus Museum of Art Store. The Museum Store is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 AM-5:30 PM and open late on Thursday 10 AM – 8:30 PM (closing early Thanksgiving and Christmas eves at 3 PM).