Thrift of giving
Ditch expensive retail gifts through local makers marts
We all like gifts. They’re fun. They show others you care. They make your insides fuzzy when the gifted giggly rips open the wrapping paper.
But not everyone’s rollin’ in the coin like Ebenezer Scrooge. Most merrymakers relate closer to Bob Cratchit from A Christmas Carol, the overworked and underpaid clerk. Ax factory-made luxuries and head to one of seven holiday artisan markets, where craft vendors sell handmade gifts that are 100-percent local and priced just right. Between now and Xmas, you can also craft, stitch, weave and upcycle the old into something shiny and new.
Happy Thanksgiving, Feliz Navidad, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Hanukkah.
And “Bah! Humbug!” for good measure.
Crocker Art Museum’s Holiday Artisan Market is a surefire way to find cool, artsy stuff to gift your beatnik friends or relatives. At this three-day event hosted at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, browse through more than 100 artists slinging glass, textiles, wood, ceramics, photography, paintings, sculpture and jewelry. Sit on Santa’s lap for a photo op, or follow the elves and pixies for some colorful face-paint. To keep the vibe festive, live music performances include choir, harp, Celtic band and classical guitar. More than 30 artists donated $2,000 worth of original artwork and prizes to be awarded to lucky attendees who participate in the “passport to treasure” treasure hunt with stamping stations located throughout the venue. Times vary; $5-$7; 6151 H Street, crockerart.org/press/cham-2018.
Shop small during Small Business Saturday at the Midtown Farmers Market. Sure, grab some seasonal produce, but also quit thinking about yourself and stop by rows of artisan and craft vendors selling original wares, jewelry, house decor, succulents and a lot more. There will be a “welcome station” where a limited number of #shopsmall tote bags will be given away to encourage shoppers. Vendors include cute, lil' baby socks by Trumpette, hand-printed T-shirts and hoodies by Driftwood Clothing, and beautiful, customized wooden home décor by Newton Booth Builds. 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; no entry cost; 1050 20th Street; exploremidtown.org/best-of-midtown/midtown-farmers-market.
The Ben Ali Shrine Ladies Holiday Craft Bazaar celebrates 50 years with aisles filled to the brim with homemade jams, grandma-chic knickknacks, Santa sightings, warm cocoa, homemade sandwiches and soups, toys for the little ones, handcrafted wooden gift ideas and enough holiday spirit to make any Grinch’s heart swell. Every year, this humble market takes place at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in East Sac, and it’s a fun way to peruse local crafty talents with the entire family. 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; no entry cost; 6151 H Street; benalishrine.org.
This is a DIYDS opportunity: Do It Your Damn Self. Join art instructor Jessica Filip at Verge Center for the Arts for a macramé ornament-making workshop. Macramé is a type of “unique, handwoven” gift, and Filip will teach you two techniques using pure, undyed cotton rope that will hang on a teeny, wooden dowel. Once hands get weaving, attendees will be able to create three mini macramé ornaments that’ll make perfect gifts or decorations for the holiday season. Filip is known for her large-scale textural woven works that hang prominently in both South (the restaurant) and Salon Paisley, so you’re learning from one of the busiest in town. 10 a.m.-12 p.m.; $40-$50; 625 S Street; vergeart.com.
Visit this indoor holiday market that features upcycled (think creative reuse) art, furniture, fashion, home décor and more. The Upcycle Pop Holiday Market enlists artists to take ho-hum materials and repurpose them into various works. Kombucha and live music will be handy, as well as beer and wine. Interactive art installations and a discussion panel that covers everything from ecology to artistic endeavors at Burning Man are also part of this eco-friendly event. 12 p.m.-6 p.m.; no entry cost; 7300 Folsom Boulevard.
For all you Cratchits, the Alt-Library’s Broke A$$ Holiday Market understands that some of the best gifts in life are handmade. Stop by McKinley Library, where organizers tout “kickass crafts that are low-cost and fabulous.” Craft supplies are provided, as are refreshments and seasonal tunes. Crafts include iris folding (a type of card-making), felted soap-making, a perler bead station, make-your-own wrapping paper and more. This event is 21 and over. 2 p.m.-4p.m.; no entry cost; 601 Alhambra Boulevard.
One of the largest artisan craft markets this season is this year’s Holiday Makers Mart at the Sacramento Convention Center, organized by Trisha Rhomberg (Old Gold) and Beth Pellegrini, who curates all the must-haves for that special someone. With 70 local makers and artists participating, including glass artist Meg Myers, the gorgeously beaded earrings of Nickels Flowers and the all-natural cactus scrubs and lip balms by Urb Apothecary. This event will also launch the Sac-Made brand, a resource directory idea that won a Creative Economy grant. It’s basically a culmination of all the talented, local manufacturers and area artisans all conveniently located at sacmade.com. 12 p.m.-6 p.m.; no entry cost; 1400 J Street.