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EW’s guide to local gifts

For The Urban Homesteader

OSU Extension Service

996 Jefferson St., 541-344-5859

These gardening buckets ($15) are made by a Master Gardener using recycled materials. Each purchase supports OSU’s adaptive gardening program, which helps to make gardening possible for people with physical injuries or disabilities. The bucket has a water-resistant seat cover with 2-inch-thick padding. The top can be removed for storage inside the bucket. A removable apron that holds tools is attached with Velcro. 

The Garden Rhythm gardening journal ($17) is possibly the most useful book any gardener will receive. Its illustrated pages are filled with earth-friendly methods for productive gardening along with a month-by-month calendar with advice on planting, pruning, fertilizing and more. It’s written specifically for our little nook of heaven west of the Cascades, and all proceeds benefit OSU Extension and Lane County Master Gardener Association.

 

Tater Towers

Visit drgrimmestatertower.com or call 541-621-2197 for retailers 

These wooden boxes are perfect for the apartment dweller or established gardener who wants to maximize her space and yield ($59). Use individual levels for lettuce, beets, radishes or other smaller crops. Stack the towers for potatoes or other root crops. Each tower comes with pre-cut, pre-drilled pieces and hardware for an easy to assemble 2-foot tall, 4-level unit. Each level is approximately 18 x 18 x 6 inches. 

 

Gray’s Garden Center

737 W. 6th Ave., 541-345-1569

Bulbs are the gift that gives twice — once when you get them and again when the bulb starts to reveal its beautiful bloom in the dead of winter. These amaryllis and paperwhite bulb kits ($10) include everything your recipient needs to grow a gorgeous red, white or striped bloom, just add water and sunlight. 

 

Home Fermenter Center 

123 Monroe St., 541-485-6238

Get started making kombucha immediately and save tons of money while you’re at it. The Kombucha Kit ($45) includes a gallon jar, cheesecloth, funnel, sugar, kombucha starter and eight bottles — everything you need to make kombucha at home. It’s easy and rewarding, especially once you start saying sayonara to the $4 bottles from the store.

 

 

 

For Pet People

 

Wags Dog Emporium 

485 Coburg Rd., Ste. G, 541-338-8801

Sparkle up your pup with a red sparkly bow tie. This particular red sequined one is called “The Felix,” and it has a detachable bow tie and Velcro closure. It works for kitties, too, if you tranquilize them first so they don’t know they’re wearing it. 

 

McKenzie Feed & Pet Supplies

4441 Main St., Spfd., 541-726-2951

You can say poo to the Oregon Ducks colors while still declaring your collegiate allegiance with locally made collars ($12), leashes ($15) and harnesses ($23). They come in tie-dye or solid colors for both Ducks and Beaver fans and are made from strong metal hardware and durable, vibrantly colored polyester webbing. Made in Eugene by Moose Pet Wear. 

 

 

 

For The Earth Mamas And Papas

 

Potala Gate

1030 Willamette St., 541-338-4611

Potala Gate is the place to go for gifts for the Tibetan Buddhist in your life. Give a statue such as this Kwan Yin ($34) to help your giftee visualize the perfect qualities he aspires to attain through meditation practice. Singing bowls, such as this hand-hammered model ($75) with wooden striker and cushion ($12), produce a first harmonic tone along with audible harmonic overtones. The clear, bell-like tones bring wellbeing and are often used to open and close meditation sessions. Plus, the store has an amazing selection of incense. 

 

UO Natural and Cultural Museum

natural-history.uoregon.edu, 541-346-1671

Who wouldn’t want to wander through a museum on pretty much any day of the year? The museum hosts permanent collections of fossils and native artifacts from around the world, along with an extensive Oregon collection exploring our past 300 million years. Museum of Natural and Cultural History memberships include free admission to exhibits and many events, invitations to members-only receptions and exhibit openings, museum store discounts and more. Join for half-price during Winter Wednesdays (December 3, 10 and 17) and during its Winter Solstice Celebration (December 12, 5-8 pm). Purchase a new yearlong family membership for two adults and up to four children for only $25.

 

 

 

For The Foodies

 

Marché Provisions

Fifth Street Public Market, 541-342-3612

Olive wood is known for its distinct pattern and pleasing, sweet aroma that lasts for years when cared for with frequent coats of olive oil (what else?). The olive wood bowl ($20), spoons ($7.50-$22) and mortar and pestle ($28) are from a Tunisian company called Natural Olive Wood. Their competitive pricing makes it easy to share this delightful wood that is beautiful enough to be decorative but rugged enough for daily use. The Le Paludier Fleur de Sel ($12) is hand-harvested the traditional way from the salt marshes of Brittany. 

 

Euphoria Chocolate Company

Visit euphoriachocolate.com for store locations,
541-343-9223

The holidays smell like chocolate, peppermint and warming spices, and local chocolatier Euphoria has you covered for your holiday treats. Available only this time of year are the Oreo Gift Box featuring Oreo cookies dipped in dark, milk and white chocolate and topped with peppermint ($12.95), a peppermint candy cream truffle ($4.50), peppermint bark ($8.95) and a six-piece spice truffle set in a tree-shaped box — these nuggets of deliciousness are flavored with anise, cardamom, chipotle, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. 

 

Prem Rose Edibles 

Visit premroseedibles.com to order or find retailers

“Prem” means love in ancient Sanskrit, and these products are made with plenty of it. Eating rose-infused foods feels like you’re a guest at a fairy feast, although rose petals are a bona fide ingredient in many cultures. The roses that go into these products are organic, grown on the owner’s farm outside of Eugene and infuse chocolate sauce, tea, jam, honey, chocolates and now vinegar with a wonderful floral essence.

 

 

For Your Significant Other

 

Tsunami Books

2585 Willamette St., 541-345-8986

Reviews of this new book, Our Secret Life in the Movies, are suddenly all over the media, and for good reason. It’s a gem. Authors Michael McGriff (an Oregon native and former Tsunami Books employee) and J. M. Tyree lived together in San Francisco and spent a year watching every film in the Criterion Collection. The result is coming-of-age stories steeped with nostalgia. Hard to describe, easy to read, deeply satisfying for anyone who likes words, movies, mid-century angst or just growing up and being human. 

 

New Twist

Fifth Street Public Market, 541-342-8686

Architectural firms getting into the jewelry design business might seem like a long shot, but for Marmol Radziner, it works. The principal, Ron Radziner, couldn’t find men’s jewelry that was masculine yet minimal, so he began designing his own. Shown is a ring in solid standard and solid thin ($70 each) and men’s standard dark cuff ($225) and small thin women’s cuff in natural ($215). All items are brass and are generally unadorned. 

 

Freudian Slip 

248 E. 5th Ave., Ste 15, 541-345-7547
Why do thongs make a great gift? They fit inside a stocking or your pocket. They can be used as a hankie in a pinch. Men or women can wear and enjoy them. They may not be comfortable, but yeah, they’re pretty sexy. Freudian Slip’s thongs ($20 each) are available in numerous colors and are made in America. These beauties are available in four versions with different size ranges: the low rise, the original rise, the petite style and a plus size. 

 

Cindy’s Hallmark

Oakway Center, 541-683-0690

Even men know that “life is good.” If they know it, let them show it with T-shirts in different colors and manly messages ($32). Or let them show it privately with boxers ($22). Items are available in many colors and styles and with witty or wise slogans. Everyday or holiday-themed slogans and colors are available.

 

The Pearl Day Spa

1375 Pearl St., 541-683-3377

Raise your hand if your S.O. has never had a professional massage … it’s more common than you think. If the person on your list already has everything, get them an experience instead of more stuff. Couples massage is one they won’t forget. Make a date night extra special, or just introduce someone to the joy of relaxing. Pricing varies. Individual massage rates are $70 per hour. 

 

Skeie’s Jewelers

Oakway Center, 541-345-0354 

Trust us, she will always remember the exact occasion when she received a Pandora charm for her bracelet. The variety of charms available lets her express her unique style and remember the details of all of life’s special occasions, like what color your pajamas were on Christmas morning. Shown is a sterling silver bracelet with various charms from the 2014 Christmas Gift Collection ($640, bracelet without charms, $45).

 

 

For The Lover Of The Outdoors

 

Berg’s Ski Shop

367 West 13th Ave., 541-683-1300

Once you get ’em, you’ll use ’em, even if it’s just down to the corner coffee shop during winter whiteout days like we had last year. Once fully equipped with lightweight, rugged, aluminum snowshoes, poles and a gear bag, you’ll be ready for day hiking or wandering anywhere the winter weather takes you ($130). Available in men’s, women’s and children’s, in a variety of sizes. 

 

Tsunami Books 

2585 Willamette St., 541-345-8986

South Eugene resident and author William Sullivan hikes over to Tsunami, unzips his backpack and sells his books to the shop right on the spot. The updated 2014-2015 edition of Central Oregon Cascades ($19) includes a dozen new hikes and a guide to hot springs, campgrounds, cabin rentals and wildflowers. Oregon Favorites: Trails and Tales ($25) is a full-color collection of 62 stories about some favorite Oregon outdoor destinations along with travel tips for these spots. 

 

Linda Perkins

Green Earth Baskets,
541-912-5364

Linda Perkins, an Oregon Country Fair crafter for 28 years, began making her woven basketry two decades ago. Her baskets are made using Native American techniques and locally gathered pine needles. This woven pine needle basket ($190) uses a spiral stitch, raffia and wooden beads. She has more than 25 baskets available for purchase in all different sizes and styles. 

 

REI

306 Lawrence St., 541-465-1800

The REI Flash 18 Pack ($34.50) comes in seven colors and is the perfect lightweight pack for every outdoor adventure. The empty pack weighs only 18 ounces and is made of sturdy ripstop nylon. It’s got a reservoir for a hydration system and a zippered inside pocket. Its removable back panel doubles as a sitting pad, and it converts into a stuff sack simply by turning it inside out. 

 

 

 

For The Techies

 

Eugene Toy and Hobby

32 E. 11th Ave., 541-344-2117

This Dromida KODO remote control quadcopter ($60) is suitable for a novice or RC expert thanks to easy, normal and expert flight modes that change with a flip of the switch. Even if other drone fliers are at the same festival you are, the Dromida’s performance won’t be affected. It takes photos and videos and flies for 10 to 12 minutes on a charge even after storing a full two gigs of videos. Comes fully assembled, charges in 40 minutes and flies as far as you can see it. It’s pretty easy to handle, but it comes with extra blades and blade protectors for the times when it does crash-land. It’s a dream to fly around, but if something does go wrong, the staff at Eugene Toy and Hobby will help you fix it. 

 

The Mac Store

Valley River Center, 800-689-8191

The Fugoo portable wireless Bluetooth speaker goes where you go ($200). With a 40-hour battery life and Mac and Android functionalities, Fugoo also has accessories that allow it to mount onto a bike and make it waterproof. Wireless connectivity up to 33 feet and weights only 1.1 pounds. Your giftee has an active lifestyle? Yeah, see what happens after they get this baby.

 

Black Sun Books

2467 Hilyard St., 541-484-3777

Wooden Books gathered six short, previously published volumes on intellectual pursuits and bound them together into gorgeous compilations of graphics and essays ($20 each). Scienca contains mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and astronomy. Designa contains Islamic design, Celtic patterns, curves, the golden section, symmetry and perspective. Quadrivium contains sacred numbers, geometry, music and cosmology. Read them cover to cover or flip to any page for nuggets of wisdom and inspiration.

 

 

 

You Got Me What?

 

GoDucks.com

This will have to be a placeholder gift, because actual Duck season tickets don’t go up for sale to the general public until April, but any Duck fan will be so grateful for the promise of receiving tickets to every game that they won’t notice they’re just holding an IOU (Reserved, $521; Faculty/Staff, $424; Endzone Reserved, $424; Discounted Reserved, $348).

 

EVO Authorized Retailers

Outdoor Elements, Fifth Street Public Market,
541-505-9373

NW Pool & Spa, 2511 W. 5th Ave., 541-344-1079

Cook’s Pots & TableTops, 2807 Oak St.,
541-338-4339

Give your home chef the style and convenience of a restaurant kitchen with the Evo Professional Classic Wheeled Cart, made in Beaverton ($3,500). The round, 30-inch diameter cooking surface means your giftee never has to turn away from guests while cooking. Run a gas line to it from your home, or wheel it wherever you want it and cook with a propane tank. The Evo has too many options to list and can grill, roast, sear, smoke, toast, steam or bake anything, all at the same time, thanks to the circular heating zones that vary in temperature from 225 to 700 degrees. 

 

Float Om Healing Center and Isolation Tanks

111 E. 16th Ave., 541-632-3231

Treat your giftee to the experience of floating in a sensory deprivation flotation tank ($50 for 90 minutes). The person comes in, takes a shower and puts themselves into a tank with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts dissolved in 10 inches of 93.5-degree water. The salts make the water dense enough to allow the body to float, and the skin-receptor neutral temperature causes you to lose track of where your body begins or ends in the water. The person then floats for 90 minutes in complete darkness and silence in a lightproof and soundproof tank. When it is time to come out, music starts playing, the person showers and emerges back in the world. Floating can help relieve stress, help with injury recovery and chronic pain, help with addiction and PTSD, and it’s also just downright relaxing and an unforgettable experience. With no gravity or external stimulation, your body and brain start opening up in amazing ways. 

 

Wheelworks

407 W. 11th Ave., 541-431-7300

The new Vespa Sprint model ($5,099) might seem like a big investment, but think of it this way: At 117 miles per gallon, and at $3.75 per gallon for gas, the rider can travel about 31.2 miles per dollar. At that rate, it’s only going to cost about $800 to drive around the circumference of the Earth. Yeah, your college student, poor suffering spouse or any driver tapped into the petroleum system would appreciate that deal. 

 

 

 

For Kids Of All Ages

 

Robb’s Pillow Furniture

1851 River Rd., 541-689-8435

Robb Bokich’s pillow furniture, which he’s handmade since 1973, is better than any beanbag. Filled with comfortable no-pressure-point foam, the Raindrop Chair ($79) can be used flat as a giant pillow, leaned up against a wall like a loveseat or turned on its side, where it becomes a snuggy-bug chair. Special-needs kids and adults love these because they are soft and comforting to the touch, like a hug. We kid-tested this, and believe us, it’s approved. 

 

Smith Family Bookstore

768 E. 13th Ave., 541-345-1651;
525 Willamette St.,
 541-343-4717

Written and illustrated by Oregon women, the new book The Twelve Days of Christmas in Oregon ($13) will satisfy faraway kids who want a taste of Oregon and the kids who want to know more of what Oregon’s all about. The book counts down the traditional rhyme with gifts of crabbers, sea lions, Portland food carts, waterfalls, birds and animals of the Beaver State. Each page also has a letter written about a cousin’s anticipated visit and all the sights they’ll see. 

 

Replay Toys

255 E. 18th Ave., 541-782-8711

This cozy little toyshop specializes in gently used collectible toys, especially Legos, action figures and board games. This Black Knight’s Castle Lego set ($120, set #6086) was originally released in 1992. It is 100 percent complete with instructions, 569 pieces, 12 mini-figures and four horses. If this set isn’t there anymore, you’ll find another awesome deal. Maybe that Lego Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtle Lair set is still there…

 

Oregon Art Supply

1020 Pearl St., 541-683-2787

Give someone the gift of creativity with the Just Paint It! book ($19) and an assortment of brushes, paints and papers. Just Paint It! is a 2014 book that approaches art with the belief that anyone can paint, and it encourages readers not only to learn but to experiment and play with their art. Chapters cover practical issues such as materials, color and pattern, and include simple exercises to discover what is possible. 

 

Luxe

Oakway Center, 541-743-0291

This magnetic board with a canvas print of the outline of our fair state includes four magnets and a hand-stained hardwood frame ($50). Whether you use it in your office, bedroom or home command center, you can display your memories and keep your shit together while professing your love for the best state in the West.