Good Gifts: For the Quirky Sophisticate

Are you still putting off your holiday shopping like I am? If so then I am here to help... you. I'm pretty sure there's no help for me. I have a disease and the only cure is spiked eggnog and some sort of roasted meat, unless there is a 12 step program for serial procrastinators. But, back to you. Let's do this, shall we?

I have a specific kind of person in mind for these gifts -- me. But since I have more personalities than Sybil, let's just say that this selection of goodies appeals to my more youthful and carefree side, the side that would like to go out and get crunked until 2 am. But this side would still pull herself together the next morning to make coffee and straighten the pillows. And this side is not so youthful that she might resort to utter insanity, like wearing neon spandex leggings. Let's call her homey with a dash of derring do.

What better to document the adventures of your inner wild child than a mini digital Rolleiflex camera? Thread a waxed leather string through the side holes and wear that sexy beast as a purse. Dance floor problems solved. Booya! $280 from Amazon.

Gotta have a hot necklace if you're going to party. This handmade specimen by Nomoi Koru is flashy not trashy. $34 from Etsy.

But life is not all about bad 80s coverbands and overpriced drinks. Your house needs love and attention, too. 144 Empty Parking Lots by Jenny Odell (thanks to the gods of 20x200 for listening to my prayers!) will give your home that requisite touch of existentialism. I say spring for the 11x14 size if you can afford it -- size matters for this piece. $50 from 20x200.

These are just damn cute, but still suggestive enough to have some edge. Kissing creamer and sugar set by Reshape Studio (ps: they have some very cute vases, too). $64 from Etsy.

You like glamor, I like glamor, and I love Art Deco. This gold beaded pillow has the holiday X factor in spades. $42 from Urban Outfitters.

And now a couple of cheap thrills before I hit you over the head and steal your wallet: this Christmas ornament with a living airplant by Tortoise Loves Donkey is sleek enough to live beyond its holiday expiration date. Mount a hook on your window and tie one on. $9.50 from Etsy.

A fainting spell comes upon me every time I look at this picture... Muhammad Ali training underwater, photographed by Flip Schulke. 24x36 poster for $2.25 from Amazon. No, that is not a typo.

Got money? Then by all means Tord Boontje for Artecnica's completely useless (as far as I can tell) Witches Kitchen Utensil Set is the gift you must purchase... for me. Does that joke ever get old? Not really. The gargantuan price of this set is in direct proportion to my oversized obsession. $770 from Unica Home.

That's it for today, little buddies. I hope you got some great ideas to wow your friends and loved ones. Tune in later this week for more gifts n things, and perhaps a surprise guest to school you on all the best last minute prezzies you can nab right here in Austin.

On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever

20x200 can be hit or miss for me. On one hand, it makes works by master artists like the Starn twins or Roger Ballen available to middle class collectors, and it also spreads the word about up and coming photographers like Todd Hido and Eirik Johnson. But it can often dive deep into the twee abyss, cranking out overly cute editions. I don't fault them for it (hey, we've all got to make a living somehow), but I like 20x200 best when it takes risks and puts out thoughtful work from relatively unknown artists. And if that thoughtful work is aesthetically interesting, well then super extra bonus points. Long story short, I like recently published Jenny Odell's work a lot. Thank you, 20x200. You get a gold star from me.

Odell's composite images created from satellite views feature industrial buildings, pools, grain silos, and boats. Voyeurism coupled with a smidgen of melancholy, finished by a dash of slick techno remove, makes for a fine series of work.

195 Yachts, Cargo Lines, Tankers, and Other Ships is available for purchase at 20x200 HERE.

I really hope the pools are up for grabs next...

Holiday Gift Guide - Under $25

I know, I know, you all are sick of Christmas stuff all over the entire world wide web and you were really hoping that your cynical friends over at Design Crisis would rise above it.  Sorry.  Not only am I bringing you an under $25 round-up, we're going to be Holiday-Guiding it up all week long.  Recession woes got you down?  Today's your day.  Save up a few grand for the holidays?  Check back mid-week.  Living off inherited cash from Daddy's oil well?  Stop back by on Friday. Unfortunately, I fall into the first category.  Plus, I subscribe to the one for them / one for me school of holiday shopping, so I have to keep the numbers down.  Let's round this up already, shall we?

(I am actually writing this late sunday night, and I am as tired as can be, so, today, in exchange for snarky comments, you're getting bullet-point links.  Sorry, and I still love you).  (also, handmade items are noted, hooray!)

1. (HANDMADE) The Middletons Plate Set  2 plates = $24

2. Areaware Pico Bunny Pillow $24 

3. Red Cross Doormat $25  (I have this and LOVE it!)

4. Areaware Pico Blue Penguin Pillow $24

1. (HANDMADE) Dot Bowl in Felted Wool one bowl, $14

2. (HANDMADE) Small Faux Bois Vessel $25

3 & 4. (HANDMADE) Skinny Laminx Tea Towels $12 each

1. Raised By Wolves organic cotton onesie $16

2. (HANDMADE) Whistle Bear, mounted paper cut out, $26 (hey, what's one extra dollar?)

3. (HANDMADE) Naughty Secretary Club Abe Was A Babe Necklace $22

4. (HANDMADE) Play With Me Leather Earrings $26

5. (HANDMADE) Early Eve Elephant, mounted paper cut out, $26

6. (HANDMADE) Monogram Totebag (they have every letter) size small, $22

7. (HANDMADE) Baseball Cuff $25

1 & 2. Prints by William Crump at 20 x 200, $20

3 & 4. (HANDMADE) Prints by Restless Things, $4 & $17.50

(HANDMADE) 2009 Calendar  $25

1. Catalina Estrada Wallet $20 

2. Detail of Catalina Estrada Wallet

3. Seibei Strange Invaders T-Shirt $22

4. Knife Wall Hook $25

And, finally, if you want to know what to get me for under $25:

D.I.Y. Swan Ice Sculpture Kit, $20.  Booya