By Laura Marrich, Steven Robert Allen, Christie Chisholm, Amy Dalness, Marisa Demarco, Devin D. O'Leary, Hillari Straba
Japanese Paper (quarter sheets), $3.50 eachThree Piglet Guest Soaps, $18.95Mexican Calendar Girls Postcards, $9.95
PaperGami 114 Tulane SE, 255-2228 10700 Corrales NW, 899-3409 213 San Francisco, Santa Fe, (505) 982-3080
PaperGami carries the largest selection of Japanese paper in the country. Yeah, you heard us. Japanese paper, which is hand silk-screened, makes ideal art paper since it doesn’t break down when glued. But PaperGami offers much more than paper; like these adorable guest soaps shaped like piglets, which are the most delicious thing we may have ever smelled. Oh, and these Mexican calendar girls cards, which are too cool to pass up.
Puppet Theatre and Playspace (Half Wing, Chalkboard), $109.95
Out of The Blue 8001 Wyoming NE, Suite C-3, 822-5060 2502 Rio Grande NW, 242-4455
To hell with those high-tech gifts that require no imagination. This holiday season, give the gift of creativity with a Puppet Theatre and Playspace! The jointed play box is handcrafted from sturdy, hard maple wood, and adorned with colorful "theater curtains"--perfect for peeking through! And the walls are made of chalkboard, so budding artists can really let their imaginations run away with them. Great for kids of all ages!
Rodeo Sweethearts Guitar, $199
Encore Music 5314 Menaul NE 888-0722
For the cowgirl crooner in your life, you can do no wrong with this gorgeous hunk of six-string magic created by the fine folks at Recording King instruments, part of its Western Collectible Guitar Series. This beauty plays pretty well for a $200 guitar--and dig that star inlay on the neck. Comes with an embroidered strap and a Songs of the West songbook. Giddyap!
Bead Kit, prices vary
Stone Mountain Bead Gallery 3100 Central SE 260-1121
Force your friends into creativity with a bead kit. This one costs $34, but you could assemble one for almost any price. Stone Mountain Bead Gallery has a selection of hundreds of beads, priced anywhere from 8 cents to $2 a piece. Purchase any thickness of cord in a variety of materials (these are leather) and a couple of clasps. Put the whole thing in an appealing bag like this one, and you've got yourself a thoughtful gift.
IllParcel Crochet Kit, $22
Retrospect 504 West Cordova, Santa Fe (505) 820-1400
Give the gift of craft with this simple and sexy kit from IllParcel. Make sure to wrap it up quick—the easy directions and colorful photos inside will tempt you to rip the box open and crochet yourself a bikini top. Take your creative energy out on the ribbon.
The Absolute Sandman: Volume One, $99
Addicted to Comics 5201 Lomas NE 255-3234
You don't have to be an avid comic book reader to appreciate this gorgeous leatherbound, slipcovered edition collecting the first 20 issues of writer Neil Gaiman's groundbreaking graphic fantasy series. There's also a magnificent gallery of character design sketches--just the thing for the highbrow connoisseur of fantasy art. Addicted to Comics recently moved and are just now settling into their new digs. Poke around for other amazing graphic novel collections, used DVDs and videogames, and a fine selection of collectible toys.