Holiday Shopping Ideas: buy local and handmade!

I wanted to put together some holiday shopping ideas, as well as update you on where the boys and I are at. I know it’s been ages since I posted here so here’s a quick listicle update:

  • the boys and I moved over the summer – from Toronto to Hamilton. After nearly seven years together, Gingerheaddad and I are finally living in the same residence. Hurrah!
  • I have a ton of crochet patterns written and I just need to find the time to take pictures, edit and then publish them. Hoping to do that in the Christmas/New Year time frame. We shall see if I manage that (hah!)
  • I don’t blog every time I go to a market or publish a pattern so, for crochet-specific news, please do sign up for my newsletter here.
  • The boys are thriving in their inclusive classes. If I can carve out some time I want to write about how they are doing and especially how Owen is doing with his AAC (short story is – amazingly well).
  • I’m hoping to be teaching crochet at Handknit Yarns which is a gorgeous store specializing in local and independent yarn, right here in Hamilton.

I think that covers the major news since February (how can it have been so long?!) so, on to some holiday shopping ideas:


  • I’ve outlined below some reasons why you should consider doing at least some of your shopping from local sources, especially those which sell handmade items. But all of us will no doubt still buy some gifts from the big retailers – my sister sent me a gift card from Amazon which I intend to use to buy things the boys need. So, as a reminder, if you shop Amazon using the search function on my site, it doesn’t cost you any extra and I will get a small commission.
  • Go shop in my store! As of now, all of my pre-made items are on sale at 50% off. I have a few items to finish and take pictures of and I will add them as they are completed.
  • If you want a custom order in time for Christmas – you’re probably too late but please do check in with me just in case. Depending on where you are, the size of the piece and how quickly you need it, I may be able to squeeze something in!
  • From November 22nd to December 3rd I’m part of the Canadian Makers Holiday Online Market. There’s over 70 vendors participating, so if you’re in Canada and doing some of your shopping from home anyway, please go to and support Canadian crafters.

holiday shopping - 2017 Canadian Makers Holiday Online Marketplace graphic

Here’s a gallery of the items I have listed that you can get from the online market:

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In person

Some of you no doubt love holiday shopping in person, especially when it comes to holiday markets and fairs. So here’s a few places to check out if you want to get out of your pjs and into the Holiday spirit.

  • Everyone knows about One of Kind but for wee makers like me it’s just not feasible (at least yet!) to participate in something lasting that long, which costs so much.
  • Over the summer I was a vendor at some flea markets and craft fairs which are having holiday markets – like Parkdale Flea on December 9 and 10 and Bellwoods Flea.
  • Here in Hamilton there are a couple of markets which I am hoping to attend (and really hoping to participate in next year!). One is Stuffed which is taking place on November 25 at Collective Arts Brewery and the other is Craftadian on December 2 at McMaster Innovation Park.
  • If you’re like me, one of the reasons you can’t make it to a specific fair or market is because of the kids. So, for those of you looking for places that are open most of the time, definitely check out the Toronto Designers Market on Queen West and LEN on James St North in Hamilton (where I just did a ton of my Christmas shopping).

Why buy local and handmade?

Canadian Makers came up with #ShopYourThree as a way to encourage Canadians to buy at least 3 holiday gifts from local makers and artists. Buy why should you do it? Here’s a bunch of reasons:

  • Handmade goods consume less energy in production and, by shopping locally, you reduce shipping distance. It’s more environmentally sustainable.
  • Handmade items are unique and feel special – which is why they cost (and are worth) more. The recipients of handmade goods feel they are getting something more valuable.
  • Items crafted in small quantities, by hand, are typically much higher quality.
  • Buying handmade feels good!
  • Buying handmade, locally produced goods is a tangible way to support your community. A statistic I got from LEN: if you spend $100 in a chain store, only $13 remains in the local economy but if you spend $100 in a locally owned store, $48 stays in the local economy.

Shout out to some of the Canadian Makers I’m supporting this holiday season:

CheekyXO – skincare

Corktown Soap

skeinstudy – yarn

Canadian Stitchery – hand stitched adorbsness

Lemon Lily – tea

Candi Werx – you guys, Jules doesn’t just import and sell the best candy, she *makes* awesome chocolate stuff.

Fox and Bear Essentials – aromatherapy jewellery (ok, full disclosure, I’m hoping someone else supports this Canadian maker and gets some for me) 😀

Who are your favourite Canadian makers and where do you buy their things from? Feel free to share in the comments.


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