Holiday Gift Guide
The best local gift-makers you've never heard of
The secret is out.
Albuquerque is home to an underground of league of geniuses, and they’re poised to take over the world. They’re armed with sophisticated super powers, able to create spectacular, never-before-imagined items from almost nothing. No one can stop them. And based on our intelligence, only a few citizens of Burque have even heard of them. But we can’t keep mum any longer. These local gift-makers are awesome!
It’s almost as though Santa embedded an especially resourceful brigade of elves in the Albuquerque area; here they are, toiling in obscurity, so very far away from the North Pole. The weird thing is, everyone outside of New Mexico already seems to know it.
Gift Grab Bag
An enterprising 3rd 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)
Made in New Mexico DVDs
Plenty of big-budget Hollywood movies have been shot here in New Mexico (Transformers, Terminator Salvation), but we've also got our own homegrown film industry filled with talented writers, directors and actors. Here's just a sample of some of the local indie efforts available on DVD.
Crafty Lady: Anne Taintor
An attitude is a terrible thing to waste
No doubt you've seen Anne Taintor's goods. Her images of smiling women from '30s, '40s and '50s ads coupled with sassy lines such as, "I feel a sin coming on" and "Guess where I'm tattooed" adorn products as diverse and useful as emery boards, pill boxes, cosmetic bags and, thankfully, flasks (all priced from $4.50 to $25). But did you know that Taintor's a local girl? She's been designing her wares out of Abiquiu since 1985. Her line is available anywhere anything awesome is sold and at annetaintor.com. What says "I get you" to your new-mom friend more than a bag embossed with "Wow! I get to give birth AND change diapers!"? Nothing. Except maybe that flask ...
Persephone Wilson knows a thing or two about children's clothing: She has two daughters of her very own. So the longtime South Valley resident set up her kids’ apparel business, P's Tees, right in her own neighborhood. Wilson's pint-sized artistry is displayed on everything from T-shirts to dresses and onesies, with children’s sizes ranging from newborn to 4T. Wilson’s designs include skulls, lightning bolts and light bulbs—motifs you won’t find at a regular department store.
Bath Time in New Mexico
Give the gift of relaxation with this compendium of New Mexico-made body products. Prices generally range from around $5 for a bar of soap to about $14 for lotions and the like, while a gift set can go for up to $30.
Eat This Book: At Home With The Range Café
The Range Café began the same way the Alibi did—penniless in the autumn of 1992. (The Range has a month of seniority, opening on Sept. 2 to the Alibi’s Oct. 9.) After inflation, the Alibi is still basically penniless. The Range, meanwhile, has three locations worldwide. And it’s even gotten into the publishing business.
Our favorite ABQ vendors on cottage-industry supersite etsy.com
These ceramic dinner plates have personality—yours. The silhouette plates are cameo-style portraits that the artist models after whatever shot-in-profile photo you send in. She'll even include the name of your poser on the plate. Each is hand-painted in the color of your choice and glazed without toxins.