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2021 Holiday Guide for Creative Gifts

CREATIVE GIFT GIVING: MY TOP PICKS

Every year I put together a gift guide of my absolute favorite products from the year. I love to give gifts, especially creative gifts that have a touch of the unexpected or feel like a fresh, lucky find. I think you’ll like this year’s list! Note: I receive a small commission on a few of these items, but I think they are all amazing. I only recommend things that I love!

Design Secrets, by Kit Kemp

I am a sucker for a great design book. Too often I feel as if there is so much filler in design books. I crave info and lots of photos to explore. I love a book that I can go back to again and again for inspiration. Kit Kemp’s Design Secrets is exactly that; an absolute gem. It was published this year, so it’s new and up-to-date. I will be giving this book as a hostess gift and to friends that I know love design.

 

Cover of Kit Kemp Design Secrets Book

Chris Shands Art

I love all of Chris Shands’ artwork! One day I will splurge and purchase a large piece for my living room wall, but in the meantime, there are minis! She calls them Petit Bijou and you can still get one at Palette Home. They are in the $450 range, but if you want to delight someone special, this is it! Move quickly as I’m sure they will sell out soon.

Painting by artist Chris Shands

Bellisari’s Gourmet Sauces & Spreads

Gourmet convenience is ALWAYS a hit, especially with a Bellisari’s sauces and spreads. Not only are they unique and crave-worthy flavor combinations, but the blog and web site are chock-full of recipes featuring their products and fabulous cooking tips in general. If you favor videos, they’ve got those too! I’ve know Annette for years and I’ve been one of many lucky friends who get to experience her talent first hand. Check out the “gift” section of their site for easy, prepackaged gift sets. The one shown below can be found here. If you show up to a party with Bellisari’s in tow, you’ll definitely get asked back next year!

Bellisari's 4 piece sauce pack with holiday decor

 

2022 Desk Calendar

It wouldn’t be my gift list if I didn’t include my 2022 Desk Calendar! This is an annual favorite for many, which means a lot to me, and this year’s designs are my absolute favorites. My calendar makes a lovely accompaniment to a gift card. Some how it feels less like “I paused in the grocery line for you” and more like “I thought about something you might enjoy all year in addition to this gift card”. Think teacher and hostess gifts! It’s $22 and available in my shop.

images of the pages of Jenny Bova's 2022 Desk Calendar photographed at an angle

 

Creative Bug Subscription

Want to be an absolute hero to someone who craves creativity? Gift them a subscription to Creative Bug! I often feel this platform takes a back seat to other learning platforms that are very generalist. Creative Bug is devoted to makers of all kinds. I’m talking about an all-star line up of teachers like watercolor with Yao Cheng, drawing with Lisa Congdon, and embroidery with Rebecca Ringquist. We all know someone who would love an annual subscription. Start with 2 months free and 50% off for life!

Image from artist Lisa Congdon's Creative Bug Class

The Art of Tea Gift Box

If you’ve ever met me (or been on a Zoom call with me) you know that I have tea (usually iced) of some sort in hand. I love flavored teas, wellness teas, and caffeine infused black teas (or matcha for a mega blast). Coffee may seem like everyone’s favorite, but do some asking around and you’ll find there are more tea fans than you ever imagined. The Art of Tea sells lovely samplers and gifts like this exquisite gift box. I’m partial to their patterned tea packages and will definitely be getting in touch with them as I’d love to design patterns for tea packaging! Hint, hint.

Image of a leather box with patterned tea packets inside.

 

7. Blackwing Pencil Piano Box

I’m a sucker for these pencils. I sketch a lot with pencils, and I love to have one handy for sodoku and crossword puzzles. Nothing will ever take away my love of graphite on paper, not even the snazziest gadgets, so I searched out the best I could find and stocked up. I prefer the Matte pencil because it is soft and lends itself to sketching, but you can fill this sleek piano box with any type of Blackwing pencils or even a mix of all 4 kinds. For $60 it makes a lovely and unexpectedly analog gift. You’ll be surprised how many people love it. If you’re a real pencil freak, check out their annual subscription box, Volumes, where you get a new set of 12 limited edition pencils four times a year.

Black pencil box with pencils inside

Collage of images for all of the items in the 2021 gift guide

 

handwritten jenny sign-off 

Jenny was recently included in Makeist's 2023 Artist's Calendar Roundup and in the Bates College 2022 Online Gift Guide.
A November color palette that doesn't even touch red or yellow! Jenny's mood board this month is channeling a laid-back autumn Sunday.
We finally added a gift-wrapping add-on to the shop! Check out the paper options and gift tags. We are glad to accommodate your special requests!

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