Gift Grab Bag: From Bikes To Books

Shout Tags

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An enterprising 3 rd grade student at Georgia O’Keeffe Elementary School named Toby designed these nifty slogan-covered dog tags to help raise money for the Ethiopia Reads charity. In a very short amount of time, the school was able to fully fund the building of a library in Addis Ababa. The brightly colored, laser-engraved accessories—which have been featured on CNN—come with dozens of positive messages and a 4- or 24-inch chain. At a mere $5, they make great stocking stuffers—plus, a portion of the proceeds go toward building more libraries. (Devin O’Leary)

Stone Guitar Picks By Joanne Mathews

Her brother, a guitarist, suggested it. Different stones produce different tones depending on porousness. Mathews has hand-carved guitar picks from tiger’s eye, jasper, agate, Belgian marble, chrysoprase, obsidian and New Mexico petrified wood. Using a polishing wheel and her own two hands, Mathews makes the picks to accommodate a variety of playing styles, including traditional, jazz or bass. She’s also made picks from mother of pearl and abalone, and hard woods like ebony. "I can custom make it in any stone you want," she says. She sells them in sets of three for $75. (Marisa Demarco)

West End Press

West End Press has been publishing regional and progressive drama, fiction and poetry since its founding in N.Y.C. in 1975. The now Albuquerque-based publisher (here since 1985) highlights the work of first-time writers, giving new voices a chance to be heard along with the known names of Luci Tapahonso, Paula Gunn Allen and Luis Alberto Urrea. The press particularly emphasizes the writing of working-class and multicultural authors. Browse the wide selection of books, priced at $10.95 and up, on the West End Press website. (Erin Adair-Hodges)

Ravello Bicycle

There’s a bicycle manufacturer in Albuquerque? You bet. Ravellos are built right here in the Duke City by lifelong bike enthusiast, road racer, cycling coach and certified welder Brian Myers. Ravello makes tandem bikes, framesets and custom road bikes. But the company’s specialty is the patent-pending Go Light travel bike. It’s a two-piece shaped aluminum bicycle designed to be disassembled and packed in standard carry-on luggage. No lie! A basic aluminum frameset with carbon fork will run you $1,250. Remember the Christmas your dad got you that neon orange Huffy with the banana seat and the sissy bar? Here’s your chance to return the favor. Only better. (Devin O’Leary)

Erin Adams Design

Employees of this glass mosaic manufacturing company are putting their skills to other creative uses, making magnets, gift cards and even wrapping paper. Their medium is "quilts”—Adams’ trademark multicolor tiles with rounded corners. The quilts are attached to magnets to create pretty and unusual fridge adornments. A set of six small magnets costs $14. Bird-shaped magnets go for $8.50 each. Cards with the same patterns are $12 per set of eight, and wrapping paper costs $5.50 per 2-foot by 3-foot sheet. (Marisa Demarco)

Joan Weissman Studio

Carpet? Please. Modern means rugs, and Joan Weissman Studio, on Silver, has got your floors, ahem, covered. Every rug is custom designed and hand-hewn in a range that includes hand-tufted rugs, needlepoint tapestries and environmentally sound Tibetan hemp rugs. Why should works of art only go on walls? For ordering information on these very high-end pieces, log onto the studio’s website. (Erin Adair-Hodges)

Belt Buckles By Nikki Zabicki

Richly hued, rock-and-roll pop-art designs and 505 flavor—all holding up your pants. Starting at around $48, Nikki Zabicki’s mixed-media, hand-painted and silk-screened buckles are secured on an aluminum backing and come with a black leather belt. She’s also done a ton of custom work, portraits and personalized images for gifts. Why make belt buckles? "I was a collector of them," Zabicki says. "I had tons of vintage belts." Plus, friends often said they’d like to have a piece of her art but couldn’t really afford it. "So I started doing little paintings on buckles." (Marisa Demarco)

Mimi Green's Designer Dog Wear

Amanda Jackson Miller and her husband have four dogs: two pups from the pound and two from New Mexico Pug Rescue. All four doggies, along with the other employees’ pets, romp around the studio while their humans hand-craft animal accessories. Mimi Green’s goods are in stores in every state in the union, as well as Europe, Japan and Australia. The company opened in April 2008, and business bloomed overnight. "It was quick," Miller says. "One day we had no business, and the next day we were so slammed we had to hire a bunch of people." Mimi Green tries to use products that are good for the environment and keep its manufacturing in New Mexico. Fabrics sourced from around the world are pieced together into mosaic-like dog collars and other canine wearables (each unique collar contains at least six fabrics). A Mimi Green staffer can embroider your dog’s name onto the collar, add crocheted flowers or even construct bow-ties that are guaranteed to stay on. "Every night, before I go to bed, I crochet dog flowers," Jackson Miller says. "It’s a 24-hour business." (Marisa Demarco)

Disc-It Grill

Call it a plow disc, a discada , a cowboy wok or a Texas paella pan, the Disc-It boils down to one super-cool, ultra-customizable outdoor grill. The unusual concave shape of the propane-fired pan allows you to cook everything from fajitas to bananas Foster. Disc-It is a modern take on a traditional Southwestern cooking appliance with more than 250 patterns that can be plasma-cut into the steel supports, handles and base plates (animals, hot air balloons, team logos, religious symbols, cars, chile peppers, mermaids, Indian designs and the nothing-short-of-awesome AR15 rifle). All the work is done in the Montaño family’s 22,000-square-foot steel fabrication warehouse near Downtown. The basic price on the grill is $399. (Devin O’Leary)

Pequeños Burqueños

The movement began in 2007. It was cultural resistance, a reaction to Mayor Martin Chavez’ effort to brand the city as The Q. “¡Soy de Burque!” was the response proclaimed on T-shirts. Regardless of if the whole Q thing sticks around after Chavez departs, the anonymous Soy de Burque founder says his mission won’t change. "We should continue to be proud of where we’re from," he says. "We have such a strong culture here. It thrives in so many ways that people ignore." He’s developed a complete line of Burque pride items: Hoodies, laptop sleeves, jackets, tote bags, shortes , you name it, all bearing “Soy de Burque,” “Hecho en Burque,” zia symbols or a simple "Burque" in Old English script. This year, he launched his favorite line, Pequeños Burqueños, a series of shirts, onesies, nighties and bibs for infants and tots. The unnamed leader, who draws every design and has them screen-printed in the 505, says he loves seeing strangers wearing his gear. "I usually just say, ‘That’s a great shirt!’ or, ‘I have one, too!’ " (Marisa Demarco)

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