Shopping for the Holidays

The Holidays are approaching with full speed…Thanksgiving is already behind us and Christmas is  just around the corner and that means the shopping season is officially in full bloom.  Please consider shopping locally and handmade this year. Support small artists. Your gifts will have so much more meaning, not only to you (handmade, custom ordered one of a kind) but also to the local artist who loves his or her craft and takes pride and joy in making it (unlike the Made In China, things) . Here are a few favorites!
Crafty Sisters
This is a tiny craft/hobby business that my sister and I have. Era makes gorgeous jewelry using precious metals and gorgeous gemstones.  Her work is one of a kind (she does not replicate her creations) and make great gifts!  I make greeting cards and other random things. You can find our crafts on our Facebook page Visit our page, we often have drawings or giveaways.  Here is a tiny fraction of what you will find…
. bling2earring3earringsneckbling4earrings

cards1 c2 card4 cards


Amy’s Soap Garden

I met Amy (and her fabulous soaps) during an Art and Crafts event last summer and fell in love with her product!  The soap is of outstanding quality and there is a wide selection when it comes to colors and scents.  Soaps make awesome stocking stuffers, hostess gifts and if you are like me, they make excellent linen closet deodorizers.
Visit her shop or her facebook page to see her inventory and treat yourself or your loved ones to some awesome soaps. 

Brandy Houllahan logo

Brandy is another amazing jewelry artist.  She makes all of her metals and is truly creative with her pieces.  You can find her beautiful work on her website or on facebook
Here is a sample of her beauties (the picture does not do them any justice, take a look at her website)

brandy brandy2


Sweet Caroline’s Jams and Jellies
sweet caroline
I make a lot of jams and this lady is my inspiration!!  I hope that one day, my jams will come close to hers in taste and creativity.  Caroline pares unique flavors together and creates magic.  You can enjoy her jams on a pastry, cheese, integrate them into cooking or like I do by the spoonful.  Along with jams, Caroline make Shrubs–delicious vinegar based syrup infused with fruit that when added to sparkling water (or booze) creates refreshing beverages.  I tasted her blueberry basil shrub and fell in love.  Read more about her and her creations on her website Sweet Caroline’s jams and jellies are available on her website or at various farmer’s markets.  Check out  her facebook page for her whereabouts
Helsing Junction Farm
                                                        Certified Organic
Helsing Junction is our community supported agriculture (CSA) farm in Rochester, Washington.  Annie and Susan have established an amazing farm that delivers local-organic goods directly to consumers all over South Puget Sound.  A CSA share would be a wonderful gift.  A gift that will keep on giving for 18 weeks.  A gift that will nourish the body and the soul.  I highly recommend everyone to look into this option (as a gift to yourself or others).  Annie and Susan are willing to work out a payment plan if the price seems a bit scary to you (it’s actually more economical for us to get our produce from them, than the grocery store) and they started to accept EBT cards.  If you do not live in the area where this farms delivers, do a google search, surely, there is a farm near you that will provide you with fresh, local and organic goodies.  Read about these inspiring ladies, their farm and the CSA programs on their website Now is a good time to sign up for the next year!  They are currently busy planning for your future meals.
Portage Bay Grange: Feed and Mercantile
If you live or work in Seattle and have not visited Portage Bay Grange, you are missing a true gem. This store is full of practical, high quality goods, perfect for anyone interested in gardening, poultry or self reliance. We buy 95% of our chicken feed here, and they are also a great supply of poultry amendments. They always have interesting animals in the shop, many of which are for sale. PBG also offers free classes on all kinds of different topics, many of which we have attended and enjoyed. Visit them next time you are in town or at

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