Every year there are about one zillion posts by bloggers like me who give advice about what the in-est, hot-est, rad-est gift of the year for the holidays is. I dunno about youse guys, but I typically get all glassy-eyed when I read them. It seems like just another way to show me things that I’ve seen in the stores, things I cannot afford, do not want, or refuse to spend my 401K on. (I don’t have a 401K.) (But I have a savings account in a piggy bank that has a few rubber bands, some lint and a crisp $5 bill in it.)
What I enjoy seeing, however, are ideas for unique things – gifts that would be amazing to give, and even more amazing to receive. Not tokens of mediocrity. Nay. Things that are meaningful. So hopefully you can find some of those things in my list here – these are services and products that are not your typical gifts, but things that are personal, some a little expensive, and all things I would love to get. So it’s kind of a list of things you should buy for me disguised in an Oprah-esque “My Favorite Things….” model. No one ever said bloggers were not self-serving. Right? No one ever said that, I’m pretty sure.
Video Montage from Willow Street Films
I’ve shown off the work from this company before, but have to bring it back for this list. Aubrey Hardwick has a talent for sifting through your hours and hours (and hours) of home videos and putting them together in a shorter more beautiful and watchable way. She’ll also show up for any occasion (invited, of course) to film it and put a gorgeous, cohesive little ditty together to give to friends, relatives and if it’s possible, combinations of those two categories. I’m having problems embedding the videos – so click these links to be taken to them.
Or this style – which was created for a birthday party and given out as a gift:
Contact Willow Street Films here. [Update: Oh la la look what Aubrey offered!: For Willow Street Films there is a 20% discount for anyone who tells me that Jodi sent you! Happy Holidays.]
Remember back in the olden days when pictures were shot on film and developed in an actual darkroom? Remember those occasions where you’d have a special day where you got all dressed up and had a proper picture taken by a proper photographer? (I am not talking about JCPenny here. No offense JCPenny.) (I am also not referencing your husband and his fancy pants SLR that distracts the hypothetical anesthesiologist while you are hypothetically giving birth). Let’s make a deal with each other and help bring this tradition back! Old School is cool, baby. And I just happen to be in the know about a photography studio in Boerum Hill, and the work these people do – I won’t even use my lame-o vocabulary to try and describe it. You must see their superpower magical ultra style on their website, here. And here are a few examples to whet yer whistle:
I was recently reminded as I was holding a naked baby that my favorite baby is a naked baby. Second only to that is a baby in beautiful soft cotton, in something that isn’t busy or pokey or scratchy or trying too hard to be really really cute. Basically, a baby in baby underwear is what makes my heart pitter and patter. So the appearance of Goatmilk on the children’s clothing scene is like a revelation to me. This line is inspired by the classics – simple and organic and will make you want to eat any baby whole who is lucky enough to be wearing it against their baby skin. I can barely drink these pictures in without needing to order the entire line ASAP for all my boys. Unfortunately, the line isn’t available in Retail stores until January, and online in early February. Worth the wait though? Obviously. (Goatmilk will be sold at some of my favorite stores including Acorn, Eggy, Monkey & The Bug, Petit Bebe and Sweet William. Go here to buy online.) (But not until February. Remember?)
Portraits by Lori Nelson
The uber-talented and strangely great-looking Lori Nelson has impressed everyone with the magic of her paintings. Totally fanciful situations with gorgeous backdrops and landscapes, often with a stray breast showing or an errant hot-dog being eaten. Lori has begun an adventure of marrying her unique, beautiful style with portraiture of real people. For a limited time, she’s accepting commissions, with backdrops full of things that are meaningful to you. Love the Brooklyn Bridge? It’ll be in the background. Is there a favorite toy your kid cannot live without? Put it in the background. She polishes these portraits off with a super-shiny thick layer of resin which gives them the most ethereal and polished look. Here’s an example of two of these portraits – they connect, but are separate pieces. What better way to capture the total magic of being a child? Lori has this ability to paint children the way we remember them. Gorgeous, dreamy, beautiful and forever young.
Contact Lori here, and I haven’t actually asked her for permission to do this, but mention Pistols and I’ll bet she’ll hook you up with a super-good deal. (Otherwise I’ll tell on her to my mom. Did I mention she’s my sister?)
Another great thing about each of these things I’m recommending, is that they are all created by people who I know, who are hard-working and honest and kind and sweet. And more talented than me. Do you have ideas to add to my list? Please, let me know in the comments!
Happy Holidays friends!