Make Merry with Local Artists’ Cards, Stocking-Stuffers and More

Because many artists can’t earn a living alone through sales of paintings, sculpture and other larger-scale works, they depend on revenue from affordable gift-able items they create. Several, in fact, are featuring holiday cards with Florida themes, humor and their own distinctive flourish in their product lines. Not only are these items different from anything you’ll find in a department store, they come with the feel-good karma of supporting the local artists community.

Look for locally crafted cards and stocking-stuffers at upcoming holiday markets (see below), in galleries, indie shops such asξStrands of Sunshine, or click on the links provided below to access their web/shopping sites.

Also, buying local doesn’t just give you and the merchant a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. It also benefits the economy at large. David Morris (not Creative Pinellas Journal’s beloved contributor), the Vice President of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonprofit economic research and development organization, shares in a recentŒæŒæTimeŒæstory, that buying local enhances the velocity of money.

“The idea is,” Morris explains, “that if currency circulates more quickly, the money passes through more hands äóî and more people have had the benefit of the money and what it has purchased for them.”

So spread the love. It’s a win-win for us all this holiday season. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started:

John L Gascot,Œæknown for his äóìLatin Pop,äó has created a whimsical and inspirational line of cards that speaks to Floridians with busy lives. His collection includes a Wonder Woman with mistlestoe earrings and wishes for a “season full of wonder.” Purchase online atŒæŒæor at his Pinellas Park space, located in the Studios at 5663, which can be found in the Pinellas Arts Village on Park Boulevard and 56th Street.

Gianna Pergamo, proprietor ofŒæPergamo Paper Goods, has become an indie market favorite with her retro-anthropomorphic critter prints and accessories. For the past several years her Etsy shop has featured an extensive line of holiday greeting cards and ornaments that combine beautiful artistry with kitschy humor. Plus, who doesn’t want to imagine a world that looks perpetually like the 1950s and is run by walking, talking dogs, cats, gators, raccoons, foxes and other wildlife?

Rubbish by Natty Moss Bond:ŒæDon’t confuse the cheeky name with the quality of Ms. Bond’s work. The name “rubbish” refers to theŒæreclaimed materials she uses to create her recycled, mixed-media cards. Bond’s card stock comes from old file folders, and the collage comes from books, magazines and junk mail. She prints the inspirational, sometimes naughty words on the back of once used office paper that is tea stained to fit in with the vintage feel. Find Bond’s cards atŒæCraftsman House GalleryŒæandŒæARTicles Art Gallery & Custom Framing.ŒæIn Bradenton in theŒæVillage of the ArtsŒægo toŒæDivine Excess Folk Art Gallery. Send an an email to for more information.

Elizabeth Faubert ,Œæ Inspired by her cat Ethel, who once seemed ready to crack open the Steinbeck classic “Of Mice and Men” sitting on a table, professional photographer Faubert says she thought it would be amusing to snap a photo of her posed as if reading it, and the idea grew to include other cats, dogs and animals of all sorts with books. This holiday season she’s featuring a 5-by-7 card, pictured left.Œæ

Coralette Damme, dba The Crafty Hag, has new German silhouette-inspired holiday cards for sale. Hand-printed, combining small rubber stamps hand-carved from her original designs, they are mixed and matched at the moment of creation. Says Damme: “They are somewhat like snowflakes, all are similar but no two exactly alike.” You can purchase the cards and other holiday items at St. Petersburg’s Saturday Morning Market, the Atomic Holiday Bazaar in Sarasota, and Holizaar at The Studio@620 (read more below). Damme’s designs will be available for reproduction on assorted print on demand items in her Redbubble shop there will also be a limited selection available at strands of sunshine in the near future orŒæon her website,Œæ

Upcoming holiday markets featuring local artist merchandise:

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoorMiracle on Cleveland StreetŒægets Clearwater in the Christmas spirit with vendors with arts and crafts and holiday themed-food and refreshments along downtown Clearwater’s main corridor on Sat., Dec. 2, 5-10 p.m. During the family-friendly event with holiday-themed activities, Bazaar Art will present an Art Throwdown and Open Air Art Bazaar by local artists at Station Square Park on the 600 block and at 331 Cleveland St. Fun stuff includes a holiday wonderland with falling snow, an ice skating rink, horse-drawn carriage rides, pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus, a giant gingerbread house, face painting, inflatable bounce houses and more.ŒæCapping off the event will be a free concert byŒæThe Atlanta Rhythm Section, whose hits includeŒæSo Into You, Champagne Jam, Imaginary LoverŒæandŒæSpooky.ŒæShaun Hopper and Fire & Ice will open the show.ŒæŒæGoods,ŒæRemi’s Crafts n Creations,ŒæThree 20 Magnets, Braille With Vision -ŒæTampa Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.ŒæandŒæŒæHouse and Home InteriorsŒæon Wednesday, Dec. 6, 4-8 p.m. at Great Explorations Children’s Museum, St. Petersburg.

Light up your weeknight with shopping fun at the DTSP Night Market 6-10 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7, at theξPlaza Tower & Courtyard Shops, 111 Second Ave N.E. The event is sure to wow visitors with aξcurated selection of local artists, crafters and other local businesses.ξ Set up on the second floor, the event overlooks theξThe Ale & the Witch pub and large courtyard, where live entertainment and local craft beers offer a pleasant respite. Expect to findξhand-crafted jewelry, upcycled home goods, bath and beauty products, artisanal food products, screen printed T-shirts, vintage treasures and home decor. Participants:ξArtist Frederick Woods, aka Rootman,ξWide Sky,ξFinFish,ξAmazon To Andes,ξWordier Than Thou,ξBluStone Creations,ξRetro Nuevo Jewelry Designsξand Sunshine City Books.ξMore information atξ

Image may contain: tree and outdoorIndie Flea Holiday Popup at Bandit CoffeeξThe proprietors of the Tampa Indie Flea and St. Pete Indie Market have conceived a little holiday baby just in time to help you with your gift shopping.ξFood trucks, coffee and breakfast, letterpress, vintage, succulents, handmade goods, art, jewelry and leather goods will be featured.ξ Sat., Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Click on their Facebook event page for updates. Bandit is located at 2662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.

Celebrating their 10th annual holiday celebration at The Studio@620, the Holizaar returns on Sat., Dec. 16, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some 30 vendors will be hawking original art, handmade jewelry, fashions and more. This year’s vendors include OrganicFlame Pottery; Judy Bales, Printmaker;ŒæArt by Ungala; and much more.

Crafty Fest Holiday Indie Art, Handmade & Vintage Market at ARTpoolŒæGather at one of St. Pete’s first vintage-art mainstays for a holiday edition of their beloved monthly event. “Our markets are a ton of fun and feature the best artisans in Tampa Bay including lots of Etsy folks too,” says ARTPool owner Marina Williams. Sellers can apply for a booth atŒæ Dec. 16-17, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. atŒæARTpool Gallery,Œæ2030 Central Ave, St. Petersburg.

ξYuletide FireBlow Your Own Glass Ornament Participate in a family-friendly activity that results in a treasured keepsake. Runs through Dec. 31 at Morean Glass Studio & Hot ShopξandξMorean Arts Center.

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