The Whatever Shopping Guide, Day 3: Other Gifts and Crafts

The Whatever 2011 shopping guide continues, and today we move away from books and focus on other gifts and crafts — which you can take to mean just about any other sort of thing a creative person might make: Music, art, knitting, jewelry, artisanal foodstuffs and so on. These can be great, unique gifts for special folks in your life, and things you can’t just get down at Wal Mart or Target. I hope you see some cool stuff here.

Please note that the comment thread today is only for creators to post about their gifts for sale; please do not leave other comments, as they will be snipped out to keep the thread from getting cluttered. Thanks!

Creators: Here’s how to post in this thread. Please follow these directions!

1. Creators (of things other than books) only. This is an intentionally expansive category, so if you’ve made something and have it available for the public to try or buy, you can probably post about in this thread. The exception to this is books (including comics and graphic novels), which have two previously existing threads, one for traditionally-published works and one for non-traditionally published works (Note: if you are an author and also create other stuff, you may promote that other stuff today). Don’t post if you are not the creator of the thing you want to promote, please.

2. Personally-created and completed works only. This thread is specifically for artists and creators who are making their own unique works. Mass-produceable things like CDs, buttons or T-shirts are acceptable if  you’ve personally created what’s on it. But please don’t use this thread for things that were created by others, which you happen to sell. Likewise, do not post about works in progress, even if you’re posting them publicly elsewhere. Remember that this is supposed to be a gift guide, and that these are things meant to be given to other people. Also, don’t just promote yourself unless you have something to sell or provide, that others may give as a gift.

3. One post per creator. In that post, you can list whatever creations of yours you like, but allow me to suggest you focus on your most recent creation. Note also that the majority of Whatever’s readership is in the US/Canada, so I suggest focusing on things available in North America.

4. Keep your description of your work brief (there will be a lot of posts, I’m guessing) and entertaining. Imagine the person is in front of you as you tell them about your work and is interested but easily distracted.

5. You may include a link to a sales site if you like by using standard HTML link scripting. Be warned that if you include too many links (typically three or more) your post may get sent to the moderating queue. If this happens, don’t panic: I’ll be going in through the day to release moderated posts. Note that posts will occasionally go into the moderation queue semi-randomly; Don’t panic about that either.

6. As noted above, comment posts that are not from creators promoting their work as specified above will be deleted, in order to keep the comment thread useful for people looking to find interesting work.

Now: Tell us about your stuff!

106 Comments on “The Whatever Shopping Guide, Day 3: Other Gifts and Crafts”

  1. Once again, a quick reminder:

    This comment thread is for creators only – any other comments and posts will be snipped out to keep the thread uncluttered and easy for people to browse for gifts. Creators: Please remember this is a shopping guide: Only promote work that is available this holiday season, not books to be published in the future.

    If you have a question about a work, contact the creator directly, please.

    If you have a book to promote, use one of the two already-existing threads.

    If you have a question for me, e-mail me.

    Thank you!

  2. Do you like T-Rex? Do you like cupcakes? How about a T-Rex eating a cupcake while wearing a jaunty party hat? Well, the Nomnivore can’t actually have his cupcake because he has sad little T-Rex arms. But that doesn’t matter! He’s the HAPPIEST LITTLE DINO EVER despite being unable to actually bring his delicious cupcake to his face.

    Bags, mugs, ties, and more if you want it:*

  3. [Deleted because this is a book and books belong in one of the previous two threads. Repost it there, Brent. Everyone else, please follow directions — JS]

  4. It’s December. You need a 2012 wall calendar. You’re in luck! I make eye-catching calendars out of my original, high quality landscape / nature photographs. Available with previews of each month from CafePress ($16.99) and LuLu ($14.99 + 25% off with code: COUNTDOWN though Dec 14). (Regular prints also available on my website: T. Sullivan Photography)

  5. I’m an American expat living in New Zealand. I make one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry, ornaments, paperweights, hollow books and paintings which are available on my Etsy site:

    Because I’m in NZ, I’d suggest anyone in the US who’d like to order something from the above shop for Christmas do so before December 12th, to ensure it gets there in time! :)

    Or! You can order something from my Zazzle storefront, which prints my work on demand. I’ve been told my Panda vs Unicorn shirt (based on a now-sold black velvet painting) could be the next Three Wolf Moon:

  6. Thanks John!

    My band The Leafs have a new EP for sale. We’re from Melbourne, Australia and have been described thus:

    ‘Inventive minimalism that brings to mind Magnetic Fields and Guided By Voices, but with a definite twist they can call their own. A two piece drum set and a guitar with the strings all tuned to the same note ensure that fluffy bullshit and padding simply doesn’t exist. Manic, intense and somehow perversely beautiful.’ (Bonemachine)

    We generally strive to be concise, with songs around the two-minute mark or shorter. On the new EP, though, we stretch out a little, channeling (raggedly) Ride-era shoegaze as well as ranters like LCD Soundsystem.

    You can find our EPs at

    CDs are for sale, and the downloadable version is free.


  7. Give the gift of mind-crushing drone! I created this 8 hour (yes HOUR) electro/drone album called Field Recordings from the Edge of Hell earlier this year. Perfect for this joyous holiday season! Warren Ellis endorsed it, so you know it has to be good? Free songs are free. Only a single dollar (or whatever) for all of it and free to stream forever.

    Give the gift of dark new-wave electro rock! My band released our new album Our Dead Bodies a couple months ago. Again, totally the thing to brighten up your holiday! We worked very hard on it and did everything ourselves. I wrote the songs. Free songs are free. Only four dollars (or whatever) for all of it and free to stream forever.

    Go ahead and buy a copy, then just copy it for everyone you know. It’s the Internet way! Happy holidays! (Thanks, John.)

  8. It’s Mostly SOAP! Beer Soap, Dope Soap, Bacon Soap, and more.
    Other fragrances include: Briars of Nantucket, Dreamsicle, Magnolia, Lemon Grass, and many more.

    We have them in them shaped like mermaids, santa claus, fairies, and penises. We also have them shaped like a normal bar, too.

    So come out and buy a Santa Claus shaped soap that smells like cannabis flowers for your hippie friend or bacon scented soap to get the dogs to play with your ugly nephew (or for your sister-in-law to keep in her purse when guy hunting). For your loved one, get a pleasant smelling love spell soap and a eucalyptus mint sugar scrub.

    TammyLane –
    TammyLane on Etsy –

  9. I make and sell jewelry and bookmarks under the name Hrtsmom’s Jewelry Etc. on Etsy ( and Silkfair ( I have a wide range of styles in earrings, necklaces and bracelets; my bookmarks are the metal shepherd’s-crook type. I like to work mainly in natural materials like gemstones, wood and clay. I also make my own paper beads and sell them loose as well as incorporating them in my designs. Thanks for the platform, John!

  10. Awesome people deserve awesome soap, and my company, Con*Tact Caffeine makes the finest caffeinated soap around! We have over 30 different scents to choose from, spanning through the familiar (Sandalwood, Creamsicle) to the unusual (Absinthe, Beer). Worried about caffeine? No problem! We can forge you a very special uncaffeinated version of every one of our scents available. All of our soap is vegan and locally sourced, handmade in small batches and produced by three very hardworking soapsmiths.

    At just $5 a bar (or the best deal, 6 for $25), Con*Tact is a great stocking stuffer. It’s the gift that keeps giving, too – all of our awesome labels are printed on sticker paper, so once the soap is unwrapped, there’s an extra little treasure to keep!

    New this month, we’ve rolled out “Scent Markings” which are solid perfumes, available in both pocket sized pots and small chapstick tubes, perfect for keeping the wearer smelling delightful all day long.

  11. Literary jewelry from Cemetery Cat Designs, with lines inspired and authorized Richelle Mead, Allison Pang, Jaye Wells, Nicole Peeler and Suzanne McLeod, plus Steampunk, and Lovecraft. I use semi precious stones, glass and brass and silver to create interesting homages to my favorite books..
    check it out…

  12. For those of you in the midwest area, my wife runs Photographie 51, a natural light photography outfit out of the Chicago area. Whether it’s author headshots, engagements, family photos, high school seniors, children, or just because, you’ll get boutique photography at reasonable rates.

    Here’s some of her more recent commercial work

    Or if you just like good photography, <a href=";?here are a few of my favorites.

    She also offers gift certificates which make great last minute Christmas or Baby Shower gifts so everyone can be in the picture. All the information on pricing and whatnot can be found here.

  13. I’m an artist who makes her living crafting jewelry. I do recycled fine silver, ornate wirework, resin work, gemstone pieces, as well as more affordable stuff. Everything comes packaged for gift giving. I also love to do custom work, so if you see something you like that has sold, I can at the very least make something similar. (Thanks, Scalzi!)

  14. I make photos and jewelry. The photos are mainly landscapes and botanical flower images and are available at DalyArtWorks on the ArtFire site. The jewelry is handmade and features glass, copper, and semi-precious stones like jasper and agate. It is also available through ArtFire at DalyCraftWorks. I have set up a coupon code just for Whatever readers: through December 31st, use WHATEVER11 at checkout to get 15% off the regular price of anything in either store. (Excludes gift certificates or gift wrapping.)

  15. I am an artist whose medium is stainless steel flatware. You could say my sculptures are cutting edge or very sharp; at the very least they are dishwasher safe! Seriously, each piece is unique, no molds are used and you really have to see them to believe it. I have just finished a sculpture of a dragon that is three and a half feet long. I have other sculptures at my website, Contact me for prices. Smallest item, a rose, is $75. The largest is a gorilla family for $10,500. The dragon is $2,100.

  16. My Etsy shop needed tidying up anyway –

    I make artwork composed of words written in wee-eyestrain-o-vision. These are all pen-and-ink originals. Each piece comes with a transcript and a free wishing star magnet. (My shop also has some vintage stuff in the other section, but the link should take you to the word art only.) You can read more about each piece at my blog, linked to in my name up there. Thanks for looking!

  17. I craft unique Santa ornaments and Santa art dolls, each with its own funny story: think Pirate Santa, Vampire Claus, and Santa: Pumpkin King. While you’re there, check out this Dinosaur Nativity:

    If you’ve had enough of the holidays, check out my oil paintings: mythological and often spooky.
    For those that don’t do Etsy, I’d be happy to set up an Ebay listing for you.

  18. My wife and I work in glass. Maddalena makes fused glass suncatchers with floral, dragonfly, and goddess motifs and framed trees for each season. We live in Vermont. The endless gray winters made her long for summer sights. Each piece is unique.

    Jon makes lampworked glass beads in a wide variety of colors which we then make into jewelry (pendants, earrings, pandora/troll/chamilia).

    We’d love to have you visit our website:

  19. Ever go to a convention and wish you had something to hang your badge from besides a cheap piece of cord? I did, and the results can be found in my Etsy shop, Beads Above:
    I also have some cool hair clips, suitable for cons, festivals, or just going out. Free shipping in the US until December 21.

  20. I make and sell stoneware pottery. While a majority of what I make is reproductions of historic pieces, around this time of year, I like to do some more modern stuff, too. If you’re looking for a great gift for someone, or just something for yourself, check out

    And if you have developed that allergy to PayPal that seems to be going around, contact me as and we can work out alternate payment arrangements.

    Order soon for Christmas delivery!

  21. I create personalized aromatherapy bath items ranging from soaps, body butters, perfumes, room sprays and more. Check out Secret Santa pre-wrapped gifts can still get to their destinations in time for Christmas!

  22. One of my more useful item is a helpful magnet for your dishwasher. If you are anything like us (and half of the people I know), you don’t always empty the dishwasher right away when it’s clean. After using a few items, you wonder: is the dishwasher dirty, or clean? If this has happened to you, you need a Dirty/Clean magnet, hand stamped and crafted by me.

    My Etsy shop also has some origami paper boxes and handmade stationery sets, along with decorative pottery projects. Happy holidays!

  23. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for that biologist, veterinarian, or med student in your life, take a look at my knitted biology experiments! I knit dissected frogs, rats, fetal pigs and more! But my current favorite item is the Alien Autopsy!

    Check ’em out in my Etsy shop:!

  24. I write knitting patterns, mostly children’s clothing and adult accessories. (There is just no way to say “adult” without thinking “dirty,” is there?) They are for sale (and some free) through Ravelry, and on

  25. I create custom, hand-crafted jewelry and accessories using gemstones, quality crystals, and freshwater pearls, on Sterling Silver, Gold-Filled, Copper or steel wire. My jewelry is guaranteed to be comfortable and durable – with proper care, it could last for generations! Please visit my website at to see what I’ve created!

  26. You know you always wanted a crochet octopus and/or brain slug (a la Futurama) to perch on your head. They make quite the thoughtful gift, as well. You can get them here, at my little shop, Mimi & Boo. Currently also featuring amigurumi jellyfish, mugs of hot chocolate, and other random adorableness.

    I can crochet, oh, pretty much anything you can think of, and am happy to take orders (although only a few more days for the Christmas cut off). If you’d like to see more examples of my work (Star Wars dudes, Mario, teeny hedgehogs, cheeseburgers, phallic chapstick cozies…) check out the facebook fan page here:!/mimiandboo?sk=photos

    Thanks for the opportunity to post our stuff, John!

  27. Gifts for geeks and girls who love geeks! I make “upcycled” computer hard drive platter spacer (the rings between the platters in the hard drive) jewelry.

    And gifts for vintage geeks! I make jewelry using Grandma Kathy’s beads, costume jewelry pieces, old dictionary illustrations, and more.

    Reinvented vintage and found object jewelry at Kathy O Inspirations

    Happy Holidays!

  28. NashPop offers quirky housewares and ceramics upcycled in fresh pop colors. Come check out our unique, upcycled items that have been given a second chance at life in vibrant colors.

    We are running a 15% off sale through December 11th to celebrate our grand opening! Use the code “GRANDOPENING” at checkout.

  29. Inspired by the etchings of Victorian naturalists, the exquisite drawings contained in each piece of Stellanova Jewelry are all original pen, ink, and watercolor pieces. The images are reduced and reproduced as tiny, illustrated specimens, delicately preserved under glass and set in sterling silver ovals, like little animal cameos. Each piece is hand-assembled by me and is accompanied by a keepsake information card so that you may learn more about each extraordinary creature.

    I make rings, cufflinks, necklaces and wine charms, perfect as gifts for jewelry wearers, wine drinkers, men who fancy french cuffs and your friends with fingers.

    My website:
    My etsy store:

  30. Bad concrete yard art! (I make no pretense, the concrete is the highest quality, the art, well …) An ideal response gift to Christmas fruitcake, my completely original, hand cast and finished concrete art may be just the gift for that quirky someone in your life.

  31. Have you ever seen those movies that have crystal balls that emit some kind of light and thought, “If I could have earrings like those, that would totally rock!”

    My wife makes earrings that makes me think of that. If you’re looking for inexpensive jewellery that’s beautiful, eye-catching and timeless, please visit her store at:

    She also makes pendants, shawl pins, rings, tie gems, and buttons — not everything’s on her store so ask if there’s something you’re interested in. Her website’s at

  32. I wrote an Android app that is for sale in the Google Android Market called ContactGrid. It allows you to lay out a grid of people that you want to find quickly. They don’t need to be in a predefined group. They don’t have to be alphabetized. You are in control of the size of the grid, who gets placed in it and where they are placed. It’s a simple app that I used constantly for a year, so I decided to share it with the rest of the world.

  33. Fine Art Photography, Michigan-based in general, and specific to Ann Arbor, MI, with a few others mixed in for fun & conversation.

    Raptors, Huron River, Abstracts, Architecture, Nature, Landscapes, and Wildlife – elegantly captured with simplicity, light, and subject in detail.

  34. My wife and I make deco-style wood&stained glass mirrors in a little business we call Nice Mirror. It’s not our primary source of income – we call it a marginally cash-positive hobby, in contrast to, say, golf. But it’s a nice diversion for two people who sit at desks all day and want to create something physical.

    We’re in the Northern Virginia/DC area which is pretty much the only place our largest sizes can be had; it’s just not cost effective to ship a full length dressing mirror. But our large vanity and below sizes ship nicely. I’ve even got a decent stock from a lackluster fall art show season so drop us a note if you like the look; I have stuff ready to go out for the holiday & we’re happy to email photos.

    Apologies for the mediocre website, but since the day job this is suppose to be a diversion from involves web development… well, the shoe-maker’s kids go barefoot, as the story goes.

  35. I made this Tarot deck. It’s not like any other deck out there – it’s bright and cartoony, well-researched, and full of a fresh attitude to the future. It’s called “The Tarot of the Silicon Dawn” and it’s available internationally – bug your local comic/book/game/occult shop, or hit up Amazon. It’s like $20-30 depending on where you get it.

    It’s got this really snazzy selective varnish process that lets some cards have imagery that only shows up when the light hits them right. It’s got robots, it’s got dragons. It’s both irreverent and totally serious. I think it’s pretty cool, and the reviews seem to be agreeing.

  36. Do you like: Dungeons and Dragons?

    My band, the Doubleclicks, made an EP. It’s called “Blatant Pandering,” because it has all the things we all love. And right now it’s just a dollar!
    It and all of our music is on your bandcamp website:

    And who are we? We are a nerdfolk sister duo based in Portland, Oregon. Paul and Storm call us “Face-meltingly wry.” Wil Wheaton called us his “favorite.” And someone awesome on Twitter called us “Weapons-grade adorable.”

    Have a wonderful holiday season, Whatever readers!

  37. I creat hand made kumihimo (japanese braiding) and beadwork jewelry, usually in the form of bracelets or cuffs. Several have no metals involved which makes them great for people with a metal allergy.

    Also some beadwork jewelry, hand dye fabrics for quilting and sewing, hand dye silk scarves- generally in the various shibori methods, or low immersion dyeing methods.

    You can purchase my items from Artfire, Big Cartel or Zibbet. There are quite a number of things under $50 and several under $25 that would make great stocking stuffers. For US orders, if ordered by the 20th, I can almost guarentee delivery by the 23rd.

    Have a great holiday season!


  38. I design gorgeous handmade jewelry exclusively for plus-size women. Each piece is created to look great on larger bodies in color, scale and length. Currently, you can choose from jewelry in two lines: the Signature Collection, which is great for workwear and includes Swarovski crystal and fine gemstones, and the Lost & Found Collection, which features fun cameo necklaces and some beautiful fantasy-inspired wing earrings and necklaces.

    (Also, there is a Keep Calm and Carry On cameo for the hipster in your life.)

  39. I make jewelry from pearls, stones, shells, metal, wood and glass. Natural elements are my thing because plastic just doesn’t feel right unless it’s in the form of a card! All of the jewelry that I make is for sale at my Etsy store: I only have a few things up right now but I will keep adding them through the month as I get the photos taken (the curse of a perfectionist streak!) Can’t wait to see you there!

    Hugs and kisses for all this John!

  40. Do you love beach glass? What a silly question, of COURSE you do! Stop by my shop, heART of the sea, for beach glass jewelry – and in the next day or two, beach glass bookmarks. Please feel free to contact me about a custom piece if you don’t see what you’re looking for!

    Many thanks John!

  41. I make various figurines, charms, jewelry, and buttons, mostly with a bent toward video game art! I have things like Portal turrets, skull charms, Pokeball charms, and a smattering of buttons with characters from Firefly and Team Fortress 2, as well as some other popular fandoms. If you or someone you know likes video games, you can probably find something you like on my online store!

    Go here to check out my stuff:

    Or like me on the facebooks:

    Or follow my sketchblog:

    I do custom work, commissions, and lots more! If you like my work and have something specific in mind, like a custom button, commission, or custom charms, shoot me an email at!

    Thanks for looking :)

  42. I make vibrant, “comic book style” acrylic paintings sure to appeal to your favourite nerd, cat-lover, kinkster, or weirdo. Clicking my name should take you to my Artfire store.

    I also make spectacular, realistic Glitter Bacon Ornaments for your Christmas tree. :D

  43. I’m a Wizard Rock, Filk, RockingJay, and Nerd Rock musician with seven CD’s available for download or purchase.
    My two most popular CD’s are my Harry Potter Wizard Rock album and my Hunger Games Inspired Rockingjay album.

  44. I am a professional illustrator who paints wildlife an fantasy art. I sell handcrafted and printed products based on my paintings over at Etsy. Please visit my shop at

    If you have more time before your gift giving I also offer private painting commissions.

  45. I make short films with my friends in Juneau, AK and recently released a DVD collecting almost fifty from the past several years – sketch comedy, political satire, animation, and mini-doc.

    You can find the DVD here :

    Many of our films are freely available on YouTube or at the Alaska Robotics website where I also publish my comics.

  46. I’m a singer-songwriter based in Anchorage, AK with a Twitter problem. Last year I toured all 50 states and most of Canada just so my typewriter and cremated cat could see the sights.

    I made a new double album called ‘Something Fierce’ that I bet you will like. You can listen for free or purchase at — also available at Amazon & iTunes & CDBaby.

    Sounds like: Joni Mitchell had a fling with Jason Mraz that resulted in a love child who was raised by Regina Spektor & Ogden Nash & weird uncle Tom Lehrer.

  47. Thanks, John!

    Got bunch of short stories, novels, poems, screenplays, or other assortments of words doing the rounds, and it’s getting tough to keep track of it all? Sure, you can keep going with that cluttered notebook or spreadsheet, but wouldn’t it be nice to organize it all while you’re on the go? If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you’re in luck! My app, Story Tracker, will help keep it all organized.

    Read more about Story Tracker on my website, and check it out on the App Store:

    If you’re not entirely convinced it’ll work for you, give the free Lite version a spin and see how you like it. I’ve also written some apps for artists (Artwork Tracker) and bonsai enthusiasts (Bonsai Album) that work in a similar way. Check ‘em out!

  48. Blast. I missed this yesterday.

    I make small, handpainted glass ornaments. They come in a variety of traditional round shapes, as well as hearts and eggs. Prices range from $2.50 to about $10.

    You can check out my site at

  49. Have you ever wanted to learn needlefelting? Have you ever wanted to have your own little personal monster by your side? Well have I got an item for you. FELT THIS! Kits are now available at my Artfire shop:

    Unleash your creativity and let your monster come to life with this kit-everything you need is included: needle tool, fibers, armature, googlie eyes and assorted yarns. Order NOW!

    Anna Walker
    @FELTit on Twitter

  50. My business is Tammy’s Tastings, and I make handmade chocolates, marshmallows, caramels and other sweet treats in Ann Arbor, MI and ship them all over the US. My bacon & smoked almond bark might be of special interest to Scalzi readers! Details are available here:

    This year’s chocolate collection includes salty bourbon caramel, chai, ginger and yuzu fillings. My seasonal caramels for this year are cinnamon almond. And then there’s the peppermint marshmallows – perfect for a mug of hot chocolate or a s’more!

  51. Howdy from Texas! My name is Tomi and I’m a quilter. No boots n hats here though. My quilts are inspired by Lord of the Rings and other speculative fiction. I do lots of special orders (cats, leaves of Lothlorian, Rohirrim horses) in just about any size you could want. I also do squares and triangles on occasion. My web site is located at:
    Come on over and take a look!

  52. I make two sizes of tote bags that are done up in the ‘House’ colours from Harry Potter. They are plain, to allow you to decorate them as you prefer, and come in two fabric combinations as well as two sizes.

    My etsy shop is at

  53. If you know a reader with dyslexia who is interested in skill building games, tips, and or tutoring sessions, please check out my Kickstarter campaign for a core-reading skillbuilding game Spyzzz. There are over $8,000 in rewards for backers, that include games, tutoring sessions, and other gifts for the parents of a child with dyslexia. A $5 backer pledge will allow you to sign up yourself, or someone you know with dyslexia to test our game (free game + the opportunity to influence game play!).

    Kelly McClymer


    A little book that my wife, friend and I put together… it features 10 pages of original photography of African animals in the wild. The book has rounded edges (for safety), a built in handle (so kids can carry it around easily) and is printed on high gloss heavy stock paper (for durability and lightweight enough for children to carry).

    The book also teaches the animal names in English, Spanish and Mandarin… our website has an audio pronunciation guide to help!

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