The SplatF Holiday Gift Guide
I don’t believe it either, but it’s already late November. You’ve got about a month to figure out holiday gifts. And I’m here to help with a few ideas for the design geek/lumberjack/special lady in your life.
1) Funky wallets for him and her from Tinymeat in Portland, Ore., including the Thrifty Cuts billfold ($16) or Lasercat Pride trifold ($20), or Lasercat zippered pouch ($16). I also love their passport cases, especially Paper Planes ($18). I met Tinymeat proprietor Michael Wood over the summer in his small Portland shop/studio — really nice guy, and a really cool store.
2) Apple’s new iPad mini ($329 and up). I’ve been using mine for a couple of weeks, and I still love it — it’s the “real” iPad. If you’d like to give one as a gift this year, order soon — supplies are limited and Apple’s online store is already backordered two weeks. I have an Apple smart cover for mine, but I’m not crazy about it. You might consider a Nedrelow wool sleeve ($19-$29), which I still use daily for my laptop. Insist on a Kindle? I’d get the Kindle Paperwhite ($119 and up), or, under duress, the Kindle Fire HD ($199 and up).
3) Adoboloco hot sauce ($20 for a 3-bottle gift pack). The bottle design caught my eye, but the sauce itself will keep me coming back. The milder jalapeño is the best new sauce I’ve had in a long time — bright and flavorful, great on tacos or scrambled eggs. I’m trying the others next. (Also available at many grocery stores, such as my local favorite, Court Street Grocers, which, btw, could use your help recovering from Hurricane Sandy.)
4) Fäviken (hardcover, $33 at Amazon, $50 retail). Young Swede Magnus Nilsson is one of the most interesting, exciting chefs in the world, and his remote farmhouse restaurant in Northern Sweden — serving local, foraged food to a handful of nightly pilgrims — sounds amazing. This is the perfect book for wintry afternoon reading, including the Fäviken story, detailed techniques, and recipes, ranging from “Hazelhen, fresh lingonberries” to birch syrup to “Wild trout roe in a warm crust of dried pigs’ blood”. Other neat, newish food books: The Mile End Cookbook ($16), The Art of the Restaurateur ($22), or the newest Lucky Peach magazine ($7).
5) Unofficial taxidermy Lego deer kit ($28). If Fäviken gets you in the mood for deer, here’s a creative outlet. Sourced and offered by designer David Cole — read his Nov. 2011 SplatF Creators interview here. Also available: The unofficial taxidermy Lego fox kit ($28).
6) For the ladies… Some picks, courtesy my fashion-editor wife. We’ll start with the new, limited-edition Butter London for Goop nail lacquer kit ($36). Then, check out these holiday grab bags from Of A Kind ($45 or $95), including postcards, sweets, a clutch, soaps, etc. And if you’re really in love (or in trouble), here’s a splurge: $990 shoes by Isabel Marant.
7) Cool pens! I first saw these magic erasable Pilot Frixion pens in Tokyo and brought home a bunch. Now you can order them from the comfort of Amazon — $12.59 for a 6-pack color assortment in extra-fine. Unlike the crappy erasable pens of my youth, which left ink smudges everywhere, these use friction to turn the “thermo-sensitive” gel ink invisible. (Just don’t leave your notebook in a cold car or the freezer; the ink comes back!)
8) Herschel Pop Quiz backpack (assorted colors, $70). I’m a big fan of Herschel, which has updated the classic backpack with modern styling but has also kept things simple. The Pop Quiz is higher up the line; also check out the Classic ($40), Heritage ($55), and Settlement ($55).
9) Juniper Ridge soap, for your favorite lumberjack. “The mountains in a bottle.” I’ve been using the Big Sur liquid soap ($35, in a cool, camp-inspired bottle), and will try out the Big Sur bar soap ($10) soon. (The Siskiyou Cedar bar was a little too foresty for me, but maybe you’ll like it more.) Try four bars in a gift pack ($43) or even a tin of douglas fir tea ($12).
10) Got this far and hate everything? Check out last year’s SplatF Slacker Gift Guide — many things on there are still worth giving and receiving. Oh, and gift cards are fine, too. I’d want one for Amazon, the Apple Store, Fab, or CB2. I’ll also be back with another Slacker Gift Guide in late December if you’re lazy about this stuff.