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This, That and the Handmade Thing

Holiday Market hosts hundreds of Northwest vendors

Whether a gifting list has five people on it or 25, Eugene Saturday Market’s Holiday Market has enough variety in one place to be true one-stop shopping. Kim Still from Holiday Market says that during the course of this season, almost 400 different artisans will pack the 250 spaces at Lane County Fairgrounds. If you’re afraid you’ll miss your favorite artisan in the sea of stands, check out www.holidaymarket.org for a vendors schedule and map.

Still emphasizes that while some artisans come from as far away as Portland, the market is also packed with even more local vendors. “When people shop at Holiday Market, they’re supporting the local economy in a really direct way,” she says. 

“One thing that’s been really popular this year is clothing that’s upcycled,” Still says. Cynthia Doe of Cindylicious Clothing and Jewelry creates sweaters made of cut-up recycled sweaters, and Kendra Brock makes dresses and other clothing out of T-shirts, she says.

For a fun, pop culture-themed gifts, check out Mindy Carmichael’s Mindy’s World/Art Recycling booth. Among other things, she creates nightlights from Spam cans with rock ‘n’ roll and pop culture themes like Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash and Star Trek. They’re a perfect addition to bathrooms or existing Patsy Cline shrines.

The quirky art doesn’t end there. “One guy, Cliff Martin, goes and buys toys and things and electronics and deconstructs them in the most amazing ways to make jewelry and little plaques that are just goofy,” Still says. Martin also makes three-dimensional collages from the  clamshell plastic that makes opening electronic stuff so difficult and earrings with “little tiny superhero heads.”

Speaking of tiny heads, “We have toys!” Still says. Joseph Alford and his kids make crayons shaped like cars, horses and little people from existing crayons. Color with them or keep them as figurines.

For cool designs on clothing, Still recommends checking out Caroline Dunn’s work. Dunn designed the background graphic on this year’s Holiday Market poster, and she creates Celtic-style art and T-shirts featuring awesome ravens and dragons and trees (oh my!). See celticfantasy.com for a preview.

For the bookworm or history buff in the family, “We have an author, Joe Blakely, who writes books mostly about Oregon history,” Still says. Blakely’s Eugene’s Civic Stadium: From Muddy Football Games to Professional Baseball tells the story of Eugene’s most unique sports venue from inception to the present. “It’s just cool that we have an author in the room all the time,” she adds.

The market can even surprise shoppers by supplying gifts in unexpected categories — like biking supplies. Dan Coyle’s wooden bike helmets, made from a variety of woods, lined with cork and safety tested, present a dilemma: Are they too cool to wear or too cool not to wear?

Holiday Market runs 10 am to 6 pm Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 23, and Monday, Dec. 24, at Lane County Fairgrounds, 796 W. 13th Ave.; admission is free.