Chanukah Gift Guide 7: For Crafty Friends

Hi, friends! We’re almost at the end of Chanukah Gift Guide 2016, but I couldn’t wrap it up without a few specialty gift guides for specific people on your list. Today we’re shopping for artsy, crafty, maker friends who love to make beautiful things with their hands. Hope you enjoy!

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  • Watercolor print supply pouch. Lately I’m loving the combination of natural linen and a fantastic cotton print. This handmade pouch will help any creative person organize the supplies they keep with them on the go, whether that’s a tiny embroidery hoop or micron pens and a Moleskine.
  • Iron Utility Scissors. A nice, weighty pair of scissors to sit on the desk, ready for whatever cutting needs present themselves.
  • Wood mini chest with ceramic drawers. Crafters and artsy people love little compartments. Perfect for needles, thread, fabric scraps, paper ephemera, buttons, or beads.
  • Le Creueset batter bowl. Maybe your artsy friend doesn’t paint or stitch- maybe they bake delicious treats for family and friends. This batter bowl with a handle and pouring spout will be useful for so many recipes, but is probably not something they would purchase for themselves. The signature Le Creueset design and glazing will give them a thrill every time they use it.
  • Daily planner notepad. Creative minds need to get their goals down on paper just like the rest of us. This planner pad offers 50 days of scaffolded goal setting, scheduling, and prioritizing for even the busiest day.
  • iLive Bluetooth speaker. This portable speaker can go wherever you go, offering great wireless sound quality at craft nights or just late nights in your own studio.
  • Cross stitch pincushion. This beautiful linen pincushion is almost too fancy to use, but who can resist its plump figure and gorgeous embroidery? Such a great gift with a little box of new pins or by itself.
  • Printable wall art. This instant download is designed to be printed at home or at your local copy shop for inexpensive and inspiring art that captures their passion.
  • Ceramic charms. Crafty types love supporting other makers, and these ceramic charms are made by hand with 18k gold accents in Birmingham, Alabama.

Chanukah Gift Guide 6: For the Guys

It can be hard to believe, but there is a perfect gift for every guy on your list. Think about what they love to do, and find a little something that will make it easier or more fun for them to do it. So often we give “aspirational” or motivational gifts, never realizing that those gifts imply that we want them to change or improve. Instead, try to find something they’ll find fascinating, engaging, or useful in the everyday reality they’re already living.

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  • Framed “Pinnacle” Photograph. Printed on high-quality watercolor paper and framed in black wood, this stunning art photo is great inspiration for someone with a little-known obsession with photography and travel.
  • Leather toiletry dopp kit. This leather dopp bag was handcrafted in Barcelona using traditional techniques. That means it will keep up with all his adventures and only improve with the years, keeping all the necessities close at hand.
  • Tile Mate Bluetooth tag. Attach a Tile to anything you don’t want to misplace and easily track it by sound or map through the app. Full details on all its functions here!
  • Unconventional Flying Objects: A Former NASA Scientist Explains How UFOs Really Work. Forget whether UFOs are real, how do they fly?! In this book, scientist Paul Hill “makes technological sense… of the unconventional object, ” making UFOs not only possible, but achievable.
  • Smooth Grip Ballpoint. Comfortable to hold and easy on the eyes, the Levenger Smooth Grip Ballpoint has a quiet class all its own. Replace all his finicky plastic pens with one weighty writing instrument that writes and feels just as good as it looks.
  • Skagen blue stainless steel watch. There is something so cool about this watch. Maybe it’s the blue ion-plated stainless steel from top to bottom. Or maybe it’s the minimalistic face and the slinky mesh band. Whatever the reason, it looks as sharp with a sweater and jeans as a suit and tie.
  • Foodie Dice: Seasonal Dinners. This set of laser-engraved birch dice helps you change up your dinner stand-byes with exciting and creative new combinations. Use the results as a cue for recipe hunting, or improvise with the ingredients all on your own! Pair this present with a great bottle of wine and you have the perfect date night.
  • Cookie Brittle. Because sometimes, you want someone else to do the baking. This Lucite box of white-chocolate-coated cookie brittle will be the perfect thing for that easy and faraway friend who loves to snack.



Chanukah Gift Guide 5: Judaica

Sometimes you want to give a meaningful piece of great Judaica, but the right gift can be so hard to find, especially if you love a more modern aesthetic. Here are a few ideas to get you started!


  • Kirby kiddush cups. A little something different for passing kiddush wine around the table, these glasses feel heavy and smooth in the hand. The unique design makes every Shabbat a celebration, and their distinctive silhouette will look beautiful on a shelf or tray all week long.
  • Square Eshet Chayil tray. Designed by David Fisher, a Jerusalem graphic artist, this tray features a gorgeous laser cut design on the back of thick, durable glass. Eshet Chayil, the praises sung each Friday night as tribute to the women of the home, is reinterpreted in this modern floral motif that comes in deep turquoise, wine, and green.
  • Set of 6 letterpress Chanukah cards. Not the usual Chanukah card! This textured letterpress set is cut to look like a tear-off ticket to the Festival of Lights. Click through to see the gorgeous typographical detail. Package this with an organza bag of chocolate gelt and a dreidel or two, and you are good to go.
  • The Jewish Holiday Journal. Finally, a great way to keep track of favorite holiday memories, recipes, and reflections! Write a few lines each year and watch your family story grow. The book is divided into sections with simple prompts for recording travel, special moments, noteworthy events, and even holiday menus.
  • Hammered stainless steel Tzedakah box. Why are stylish Tzedakah boxes so hard to find? This stainless steel charity box has a contemporary feel and thoughtful details.
  • Israel’s Sky and Sea home blessing. This stained glass home blessing is a beautiful gift for families or even young professionals just settling in to their first home. Shades of blue and turquoise are pieced together to make a present that will be such a pleasure to open.
  • Kate Spade seder plate. I have never seen a Kate Spade design that I didn’t like, so  this seder plate just had to be included. Porcelain cups with shiny gold lettering pop on the simple white tray. A great gift for weddings, too.
  • Floral glass mezuzah. It’s so easy to buy all plastic mezuzah covers and never update them to something a little more special. This handmade aquamarine mezuzah case glows with color. I am also partial to this one from the same artist.
  • Five-light modern crystal candelabra. In general, candelabras are made of heavy silver in traditional designs, leaving those of us who love clean lines to find our own individual candlesticks for ushering in Shabbat. This piece brings the classic candelabra back to life in sparkling crystal with a modern feel.

Chanukah Gift Guide 4: For the Homebodies

Everybody has a homebody they love, and that person does not want zip-lining passes for the holidays. They also don’t want to learn improv with you. Homebodies love to be seen for who they are, people who love to be cozy and don’t want to have to apologize for it. So here are nine gifts that say, “I know it’s 5:15pm, but put on your pajamas and settle in for the evening.”

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  • The Year of Cozy: 125 Recipes, Crafts, and Other Homemade Adventures. This book is full of things to do every month that will make your life more cozy, crafty, yummy, and welcoming. Because sometimes it’s those little handmade moments that make your home a happy retreat.
  • Fatwood Fire-starter Crate. Few things are lovelier than a crackling fire on a cold night, and customers rave about these fire starters that get you from chilled to toasty in just minutes.
  • Harney and Sons Black Tea, Paris. Spoil someone you love with this black tea accented with flavors of  vanilla and caramel. Over 1,000 reviewers loved this kosher blend inspired by Paris, and more than a few mentioned the classic storage tin.
  • Velvet Bow Slippers. These velvet slippers with faux fur lining would be just as happy in an English cottage as your third floor walk up. Voluminous grosgrain bows adorn the front and coordinate with the polka-dot sole.
  • Let’s Stay Home pillow. Handlettered in your color of choice, this farmhouse pillow case has your evening plans all figured out.
  • Cornflower mug. There’s just something delicious about wrapping your hands around a great big mug. Fill it with coffee, tea, or soup and settle in for a classic movie or a long catch-up with a friend.
  • Dove Gray Chambray Napkins. Everyone needs a set of napkins that can be thrown in the wash without a thought and just get softer with time. Why save cloth napkins for best when they can elevate your everyday meals for just a couple of dollars? This version in cotton and linen will look even better crinkled straight from the dryer.
  • Pure Beeswax Tapers. Hand-poured beeswax tapers don’t smoke or drip, and smell so clean and delicious, never interfering with other scents on your table. Wrapped up with string, they make the perfect gift for hosts, too.
  • Arrow Jacquard Warmest Throw. Get comfortable under a bright woven throw blanket and spend the afternoon watching the snow fall outside the window.

Chanukah Gift Guide 3: For the Ladies

They’re your girlfriends and they are just plain fun to shop for.


  • Improv tunic sweater. A chic sweater jacket can be hard to find, but throw this on over a stretchy pencil skirt and flats, and you’ve never looked better running around town. The graceful seaming carves out a beautiful silhouette. It’s the perfect cozy gift.
  • Navy blue crystal studs. Navy is unexpected and so high-end mixed with shades of gray and blush. These studs are a variation on the basics we all own, but in a shade your friend is probably not buying herself.
  • Marc Jacobs shimmer finish polish. Shimmery polish from a luxe brand is a can’t-miss present. This shade is neutral enough to be work-appropriate but will transition beautifully to holiday events or hot cocoa at your neighborhood hangout.
  • Adele pageboy cap. I used to own a cap just like this and can’t tell you how often I miss it. It looks good with everything and adds a sassy touch on uninspired days.
  • Isaac Mizrahi leather clutch. What a great TJMaxx find! Beautiful navy leather is set off by a winter-friendly pop of floral. It’s an easy way to add a new neutral to the routine.
  • All Over Glow shimmer. This well-reviewed highlighter will bring a glow back to wintery skin and will be such a thrill to unwrap.
  • 13″ cashmere gloves. Nothing is as spoiling as cashmere gloves on a cold day. This extra long pair keeps wrists toasty warm and looks unspeakably elegant.
  • love potion key chain. This key chain is the sweetest little treat. Clip it to your bag as a charm or use it to corral your keys.
  • Multicolored furry stole. This is currently half off at Ann Taylor and I’m sitting on my hands to keep from ordering it for myself. Layer it over a winter white sweater or dress up last year’s coat. It’s hard to find an excuse to buy oneself a furry stole, but getting it in the mail from a friend? That’s a friend who really gets you.


Chanukah Gift Guide 2: For Kids

It’s always tough to find the balance between what kids want to receive and what we want to give them. We want practicality, non-obnoxious color choices, and experiential toys that they won’t get tired of in just a couple of days. They want bright plastic, many tiny pieces, and sound effects. What to do?

Here’s a selection of gifts that kids will enjoy and parents will be glad to add to their home. Most of them are interactive, and a few of them are cozy and warm. Perfect if your family follows the “want, need, wear, read” gift philosophy.

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  • Make your own comic book kit. Everything you need to illustrate your own comic book, including a postage-paid envelope to send it back for professional binding. Such a cool gift for a kid who is creative and has something to tell the world.
  • Tegu magnetic wooden blocks. Not only are these blocks beautiful, they’re magnetic and feel so good in the hand! This set comes with 24 pieces, which is enough for some serious architectural feats.
  • Doodle cookbook. Such a fun book to use with your preschooler or early elementary-aged child. Read them the doodle recipes and watch them interpret them, using ingredients such as “blobs”, “loops” and “scribbles”.
  • Hanna Andersson slippers. Everyone loves a good monster slipper, especially my two year old niece.
  • Custom cloth baby album. This gorgeous and cuddly family book holds ten photos printed on 100% cotton. There is even room for captions and a special message to the recipient! These make the perfect gift for any baby or toddler, or any photo-obsessed parents you might know.
  • Hape Toys play kitchen. A play kitchen you won’t mind staring at for a few years. It comes with all the pots and pans you need, and even “cuttable” velcro food.
  • Cozy cotton beanie. For that stylish little girl who loves a good pompom, as we all do.

What are your favorite gift ideas for kids?



Chanukah Gift Guide 1: For Moms

Although Thanksgiving isn’t behind us yet, I’m already thinking about Chanukah. I long for the tiny flickering candles, the warmth, the light. It’s a holiday that encourages hope and kindness, quiet joy and gratitude, and who doesn’t need a little more of that?

Here’s installment 1 of this year’s Chanukah gift guide. I wanted to focus on gifts for moms first of all, since they can be notoriously hard to shop for and often get relegated to smelly Bath and Bodyworks gift sets when all they really want is a little elegant spoiling. Give them some subtle color, luxe materials, or a handmade treasure, and you’re good to go. These picks are just as welcome for the 30-year-old moms on your list as for your own cool mom.


  • Cursive Initial Ring. This is a classic mom gift with exceptionally good design. Each script letter flows beautifully from the band in one graceful line. Try a few stacked for each child in the family or let it stand alone.
  • Wooden Vases. Nothing brightens a winter day like full blooms, especially next to a bed made up with fresh snowy linens. These sycamore vases are beautiful filled with peonies or on their own.
  • Leather Travel Case Set. I’ve written before about the importance of pouches for day-to-day organization but these are a little slice of luxury heaven. This champagne leather is gorgeous, and don’t be discouraged if this set is out of your price range. West Elm has a similar large and small version, for those of us on a budget.
  • Enamel Queen Anne Frame. Jonathan Adler knows what’s up, and right now everything on his site is 20% off with the code GETFESTIVE. Don’t mind if I do, Jonathan.
  • Nike Heather Infinity Scarf. Somewhere between blush and lilac, this silky smooth scarf will look and feel just as good running errands as working out. Feminine and high tech is always a winning combination.
  • 3 Little Seed Farm Liquid Soaps. These amber glass bottles hold the best mix of shea butter, organic olive oil, goat’s milk, and essential oils. Imagine having scents like Rosemary Mint, Orange Blossom, and Lavender next to every sink in the house! And no more expensive bar soaps that get soggy and feel less-than-luxe in just a few days.
  • Violet Bottle Matches. We all use them for Shabbat candles (or scented Diptiques if we’re lucky), but matchbooks have never been this lovely to look at. The violet ombre bottle holds 48 purple-tipped matches, and can always be refilled when they run low.
  • Well Read Women Reader’s Journal. If you enjoyed Samantha Hahn’s Well Read Women book of portraits, you’ll fall for this reader’s journal where you can record all your favorite books and reflect on them for years to come. Watercolor portraits and generous, smooth paper make reading an even better experience as you create an heirloom that gives much more insight into your thoughts and interests than you might have expected.
  • Heart Flower Necklace. Brimming with detail, this cutout necklace looks much more like a fantastic length of fabric or a hand-drawn illustration than a traditional heart pendant. Young and somehow cheery, it communicates all the love of heart-shaped jewelry without any of the fussiness we’ve come to expect.

This is already super fun! What gift guide should be next?