I’ve been thinking about Christmas shopping lately, and of course the stores know it. My email inbox is full of sale adverts, and the mailbox with flyers. My husband Wade and I sometimes shop for each other, and sometimes we buy for ourselves. Wade’s been shopping for his hot rod project this fall, so he’s feeling spoiled already, and I have been working on decluttering and realizing; I don’t need more stuff. So much stuff!
Not the best attitude to go into Christmas shopping with, at least from a consumerist point of view, but I’m channeling my mindset toward gifts that really mean something to the giver, the recipient, and the creator. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to give from a 3 point perspective this year? So here’s my list of gifts that will bless in all kinds of directions this year:
Often lists like this are created so that the author can receive an affiliate commission on any sales created through these referrals. That’s not happening here. Please note that I am not receiving a commission on the products listed below; I just love them and want you to know about them!
You may have seen my favourite mug in some of my photos; I drink all of my hot beverages out of handbuilt mugs. This fall I visited my friend Marilyn Farrow’s open studio sale and bought stoneware bowls to fill with caramel corn and give as teacher gifts. I love that my children’s teachers receive a gift that’s both temporary & permanent, and artisan-made. Find a local potter in your area and dress up your home baking this year!
This is my unfulfilled Christmas wish, right here.
Kevin Young’s XOCO WestCoast Chocolate is just a work of art, don’t you think? I lust after the deliciousness of this Squamish, British Columbia chocolatier via his Instagram feed and yearn for the day when he ships across the province. If you have a artisan chocolate shop in your area, savour those little bites of wonder! Most small-batch chocolate shops work with fair trade and organic ingredients, another reason to shop local!
As long as we’re talking rainbow of colours, I have to give a shout out to the beautiful hues of my assistant Robin’s hand-dyed and painted yarn and wool. SO much pretty! My oldest daughter knits and while she’s started out with cheap yarn from a big box store, her tastes are quickly running to the real thing; hand dyed wool for a more luxurious outcome. Etsy is a great place to look for gifts made by artists all over the world, and Robin’s shop on Etsy is a treasure box of colour.
We tend to think of commercially made supplies as being fronted by faceless manufacturers but when it comes to art supplies, this is often far from the truth. Many of the suppliers I use in my watercolour painting are run by individuals and families. Here’s a few businesses where your order passes through the hands of the owner and designer:
Rosemary & Co
Handmade brushes, a family business with thirty years of expertise. While I love the brushes, I got even more excited by the beautiful handmade watercolor sketchbook I found on the web site. A splurge but oh, so beautiful!
Designed by engineer Robert Baxter, a Robax palette is a limited run treasure. I asked Robert if he’d consider making his palettes available on Amazon, but he tells me that he’s much happier creating them in small batches for the love of artists. They may not be widely available, but they are so versatile; there are six round palettes, three rectangular palettes, and a range of ways to configure them to work for you in your studio. Every time I use my Robax palette in a video, I get requests for the source, and I get a little thrill every time I give this rotating palette a spin to make it easier to reach a different colour.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Steve of the Portable Painter for a couple of my giveaways. An innovative design makes the Portable Painter unbeatable for painting on the go, and the generosity of the owner makes him one of my favourite manufacturers to work with. You can buy the Portable Painter on Amazon, but if you shop from their web site, you can save 10% using the code ANGELA. Make plein air painting easier in 2019!
The Angela Fehr Collection
We have a postal strike in Canada, so while I do have paintings for sale and will be sharing a glimpse into a special collection in a few days, I can’t guarantee arrival by Christmas. But my 2019 Angela Fehr calendar ships directly from the printer, so you can order here and get yours with time to spare. I’ve already sent calendars to Canada, the USA, France, Australia and the United Kingdom; I’m taking over the world with colour!
This year I’m donating 100% of the profits from the sale of my 2019 watercolour calendar to Food for the Hungry Canada. Thank you for your support!
Printable Gift Lists
I do love Amazon for its ability to create custom wish lists of favourite products. That’s made it so easy to show you what I use and recommend; I get so many requests for information about what I’m using in my classes and on my videos, so having it all in one place saves me hours of email responses and link hunting. And I am blessed with a small referral commission when students order using my recommendations, something I’m always thankful for.
I’ve put together three lists of some of my favourite gift ideas for watercolour, thinking you might enjoy seeing some items that any watercolourist might like to find beneath the Christmas tree on December 25th. I thought that you just might like to print and share these with a loved one who’s a little shopping challenged; if my husband knew how to shop online, I’d be printing one for him!
Take a look, then leave a comment below and tell me your favourite gifting strategy. How do you buy gifts that create a personal connection to someone you love? I’d love to hear about your favourite artisan in your area as well!