Over the past few years, Raymond and I have had a lot of fun travelling together during the elfy downtime. We’ve been all over the world to places like San Francisco, South Korea, and Brussels. And lucky for us, we were able to travel together again this year.
This past winter I was heading down to New York City for the birthday of one of my best friends, and I invited Raymond along since you know it’s simply not a birthday party without Raymond there!
Raymond had never visited the Big Apple before, but he loved it, especially all the different modes of transportation that we took. Plus, it was rather cold while we were there, so Raymond felt right at home.
Excited for his first ride on the New York City Subway
Emerging from the subway station
Going for a brisk walk on the High Line
Enjoying the view from above the busy streets
Raymond hailed a cab like a pro
Raymond telling the cab driver where he wanted to go
Where else in the world do you think Raymond went this year? Stayed tuned to find out!
Just look at how adorable this French Bulldog is in her Christmas tree pullover sweater! Made from plush fleece and adorned with a cheery tree, this pullover will put any pup in a festive mood. And you will feel your own warm fuzzies, as all profits from your purchase will go to helping dogs in need.
Over the next couple of weekends, some Anthropologie stores across the USA and Canada are hosting holiday craft events for children. Recommended for ages 5–8, kids will be able to create some fun crafts while mom and dad sneak in a little shopping. You can visit Anthropologie’s website to see if your local store is hosting this event, and if you plan to attend, make sure to call the store to RSVP.
If you’re on the hunt for some special holiday gifts, hit up an indie craft fair this weekend or next weekend. At these markets you can find all kinds of goodies from jewelry to stationery to ceramics—all handmade and many times local. By shopping at one of these fairs, not only will you be able to find truly unique Christmas presents for your loved ones, you will also be supporting local small businesses, so it’s a win-win. Always fun, indie craft fairs are basically Etsy in event form, complete with DJs and food trucks.
Below I’ve highlighted a few of these merry markets, but if you have a favourite local indie craft fair in your area, let me know in the comments!
A two-day event, the 4th annual Holiday Strawberry Swing is going on this weekend over First Friday. Held at the historic West Bottoms at The Foundation, the Holiday Swing will be a fun time, as you can find local, handmade Christmas gifts there while listening to live music and sipping a festive drink. This event’s 30+ vendors sell a myriad of products, such as jewelry, quilts, wood work, mobiles, photography, painting, zines, and much more.
Holiday Strawberry Swing
1221 Union Avenue
Friday, 5 December: 10am–8pm
Saturday, 6 December: 10am–6pm
The Renegade Craft Fair December Market sounds like quite the festive fête! At this market in Grand Park there will be more than 250 independent makers, as well as workshops, food trucks, music, and a photo booth. The vendors will be selling handmade holiday gift wrap, health & beauty products, jewelry, toys, apparel, stationery, housewares, and more. If all that isn’t enticing enough, well behaved pets are welcome to attend, and there’s an official afterparty called Meet the Makers [RSVP here].
Renegade Craft Fair December Market
200 N. Grand Avenue
[between Broadway and Spring Street]
Saturday, 13 December: 10am–5pm
Sunday, 14 December: 10am–5pm
Tap into the Maine DIY scene at the Picnic Holiday Sale. At this juried craft fair’s sixth year, not only can you find handmade accessories, housewares, stationery, and the like—you can also shop for vintage goods. While perusing the items, you can nibble on tasty treats from a local bakery, cafe, or coffee shop. For an awesome bonus, kiddos and adults can have their photo taken with the Yeti!
Picnic Holiday Sale
Portland Company Complex
58 Fore Street
Sunday, 14 December
The BUST Christmas Craftacular has everything you could want in a craft fair: handmade wares, DIY workshops, goodie bags for the first 100 shoppers, a raffle, tasty treats, and a DJ! Seventy stalls contain clothing, artwork, soap, accessories, textiles, stationery, ceramics, and much more. After shopping, try your hand at one of the workshops where you can make items like a perspex necklace [all day; £10], linoprint Christmas cards [3.30–5pm; free], or felt slippers [12.30–2pm; free].
BUST Christmas Craftacular
The Islington Metal Works
7 Torrens Street
[directly behind Angel tube station]
Sunday, 14 December
The 5th annual ICE Holiday Pop-Up Shop features hand-crafted goodies from more than 70 artists, crafters, and makers from all over the USA. Located in Candler Park and open through Christmas Eve, you could easily finish up your Christmas shopping by stopping in this shop.
ICE Holiday Pop-Up Shop
1390 McLendon Avenue NE
Now through 24 December
Additional Craft Fairs This Weekend
While I would love to feature all of the indie Christmas craft markets, but that would make for a rather massive blog post. But, since I like y’all, here are a few more craft fairs going on this weekend around the United States.
Continue reading →
After writing about Gävlebocken yesterday, of course I have to highlight something julbock-related from Etsy today! This sweet tea towel features yule goats, red apples, and Swedish paper hearts. Bright & cheerful and made with a linen/cotton blend, this towel will add a touch of julstämning to any kitchen.
Psst… Want to learn how to make your own paper hearts? Head on over to the Craft Cottage for easy-to-follow instructions.
As evidenced by some of my Etsy selections and by my own personal Christmas tree, I LOVE julbocks [Swedish yule goats]. So it should come as no surprise that I also adore Gävlebocken, the massive julbock that is constructed each year at Castle Square in Gävle, Sweden. And when I say “massive,” I mean it—Gävlebocken weighs 3.6 tons and is 13 meters tall!
A holiday tradition since 1966, Gävlebocken is erected each year at the beginning of Advent, and he is made of straw and adorned with red ribbons, similar to his smaller counterparts. Gävlebocken is usually accompanied by a shorter goat, referred to as his little brother or Lillbocken.
For some weird reason, Gävlebocken is a favourite target of vandals, particularly arsonists The poor goat has been burned down or otherwise destroyed 27 times in his history. The organization who creates the goat each year [Southern Merchants] has taken measures to try and ensure Gävlebocken’s survival, including installing a 24-hour webcam, coating the goat with ice, and soaking the straw with a variety of anti-flammable liquids.
Speaking of Gävlebocken’s webcam, you can view the live feed yourself here!
Screen capture of Gävlebocken’s webcam from the middle of the night
Besides watching Gävlebocken’s webcam, it’s also fun to follow him on social media—he has a lot of personality for a straw goat. Check him out on Instagram [gavlebocken] or Twitter [@Gavlebocken]. Gävlebocken even has a blog, which is particularly amusing. For example, yesterday he wrote about his little brother and said “[He] is the cutest little strawgoat you can imagine, and sometimes we play hide and seek or tag the Goat. Great fun!” Oh, and don’t fret—he posts online in Swedish and English, so you can keep up with all the goaty goings-on.
Intrigued by Gävlebocken? Shoot him an email at email@example.com to tell him God Jul or visit him this holiday season:
802 50 Gävle
This darling mobile features a wee Christmas tree and presents atop a fluffy white cloud that is sprinkling snowflakes down below. The needle felted mobile is merely 3 inches in width, which just adds to how adorable it is. Festive and sweet, this decoration would be perfect in the living room, a child’s room, or anywhere you would like to hang some whimsy.
Listening to music is one of my absolute favourite pastimes—be it while I’m working, hanging out at home, or seeing a band live. So during the holiday season, I certainly enjoy turning on the festive tunes. Below are some of my favourite winter songs, perfect for when you’re baking, trimming the tree, or just enjoying the company of your loved ones during this special time of year. Give ‘em a listen!
What’s your favourite Christmas song? Let me know in the comments!
A sweet gift for newlyweds, this Mr. and Mrs. ornament is customized with the year and the couple’s names. The text and design are handstamped on nickel, copper, and silver discs, so the ornament has a perfectly imperfect look.
If you’re anything like me, then your dog is a member of the family with his own stocking hanging by the fireplace. So when I saw this Advent calendar for dogs, I immediately loved it! Handmade with felt and filled with Mr. Linus’ homemade, all natural peanut butter bones, this Advent calendar will keep your furry friend happy all throughout December.