Holiday Gifts: offbeat finds at this weekend's craft markets

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      The handmade nation is gearing up for a Vancouver weekend full of artisan markets. Shiny Fuzzy Muddy, Got Craft?, and Weirdos Holiday Market all happen this Saturday and Sunday (December 8 and 9).

      We scoped out the vendors and here are a few of the highlights to look for.


      Mama Mui Lab at Shiny, Fuzzy, Muddy
      Mama Mui


      Shiny Fuzzy Muddy

      Saturday (December 8) at 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.and Sunday (December 9) at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Heritage Hall (3102 Main Street)

      DIANNA WATTERS HANDMADE Cross-stitch is making a serious comeback, and Watters serves up an array of DIY kits with a contemporary edge. You can buy easily stitchable images for holiday ornaments, or more all-seasonal imagery like graphic mountain landscapes and abstracted flowers.


      MAMA MUI LAB It's all about the charismatic, wizened faces as Seoul-born SFM newcomer Sung Ah Cho takes ceramics to a strange and wonderful new level. Her visages adorn decorative and practical pieces in a range of forms, from three-dimensional plates to unusual bowls and conical figures.


      KATHLEEN TENNOCK CERAMIC STUDIO Ceramic takes on the feel of stone in Tennock's ancient-yet-somehow-contemporary-feeling vessels. Using clay, the artist draws on her experiences growing up in South Africa, employing primitive methods of firing like sawdust and Naked Raku to create her tactile designs.


      First Growth Reclaimed ornament, at Got Craft?


      GOT CRAFT?

      Saturday and Sunday (December 8 and 9) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Maritime Labour Centre (1880 Triumph Street)

      FIRST GROWTH RECLAIMED DESIGN These Vancouverites use wood—mostly beautifully grainy Douglas fir—that's been salvaged from local pre-1940's homes that are being demolished or deconstructed as part of the housing boom here. We love their non-kitschy laser-cut ornaments, which take the form of everything from simple acorns and maple leaves to flying-V guitars, classic cars, Noth Shore mountains, and even the East Van Cross. 

      STRATHCONA 1890 URBAN SEED COLLECTIONS  Here's a gift that keeps on giving: open pollinated, heirloom, and non-GMO seeds for the conscious gardener on your list. Founder Judy Kenzie decorates each old-fashioned tin container with gorgeous, historical botanical illustrations that capture the feel of early Vancouver. We love the Bee Garden, a mix of seeds for nectar and pollen flowers to attract honey bees, native bees, and bumble bees. And who on your list doesn't need the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Seeds, a colourful edible collection suitable for direct-sow gardening (think tiger-eye beans and baby-finger carrots), plus wood plant markers made from reclaimed B.C. pine beetle wood, Plant Tonic, information sheets, and recipes?

      THE BASIC STITCHES More cool cross-stitch—it's a thing, people—as these two "lawyers by day, stitchers by night" bring rap lyrics and sarcasm to your grandma's hobby. Mini-ornament and sheet patterns and kits include "Merry fucking Christmas", "It's lit", and "Make your own bacon". Easy enough for you to finish by Christmas.


      West Coast Macabre at the Weirdos Market
      West Coast Macabre



      Saturday and Sunday (December 8 and 9) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hall (1739 Venables Street)

      BONETIQUE: YOLANDA MASON Perfect for your curiosity cabinet, exquisite little sculptures crafted from found bones, some sitting under bell jars and many taking the form of new animals, fantastical and real.

      SOVKA DESIGN Haunting handmade dolls with long yarn hair, some conjoined at the head, some stitched with their hearts and innards on the outside, some sporting just a few too many eyes.

      WEST COAST MACABRE Beautifully framed and pinned butterflies, bugs, and moths are the highlights here, embellished with found objects,set off by Victorian-style, embossed backgrounds and scrolling decorative metal work.