2nd annual Shop Local Gift Guide Part 2: For them, her, him and those animals over there

Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls made by Pat Budnick.

Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls made by Pat Budnick.

 

By Cynthia Prairie

Last week, Part I of our 2nd Annual Shop Local Holiday Gift Guide offered up a load of  ideas from housewares, stocking-stuffers and food in all price ranges, and within a short travel distance. This week, we tackle gifts for those sometimes hard-to-buy-for folks — family, friends, loved ones (including pets) and have we come up with some great ideas. If you don’t see your favorite shop here, please enter all the details in the comments section below the story. (Click any photo to launch the gallery!)

Catering to the kids

Country on the Common, 80 The Common,  known for its wonderful and inexpensive women’s clothing, has a selection of stuffed animals for babies. These handmade elephants are made of recycled high-quality towels and run $18.

Pat Budnick at Motel in the Meadow, 936 Rt. 11 W., has been creating Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls for quite awhile now. She calls them “child-proof” and vows that kids cannot pull out the hair! $50 each. As a companion gift, head over to the Hugging Bear Shoppe, 244 Main St., to pick up a copy of the Raggedy Ann and Andy stories. Speaking of the Hugging Bear, owner Georgette Thomas has a huge variety of puppets, from small hand-held ones to larger classic puppets, such as Pinocchio and Geppetto. ($45 each.) Just head downstairs from the main shop to be delighted by the array.

Puppets galore are available at the Hugging Bear Shoppe, including these three pigs.

Puppets galore are available at the Hugging Bear Shoppe, including these three pigs.

Don’t miss the chance to head over to Bonnie’s Bundles, 250 North St. in Chester, to see the whimsical collection of Bonnie’s handmade dolls. (Warning: You might just decide to keep it for yourself.)

Plush and soft wide-wale corduroy stuffed animals are available at The Garden Gallery Gift Shop, Route 11 in Londonderry: Cats, alligators and elephants, oh my, for only $25. A nice selection of Mary Meyer stuffed animals ($6.98 to $13.98) is

waterbottles, wimpy kid

For the kids: Ecco water bottles and, of course, a great selection of books at Misty Valley Books.

ready for the little ones at 103 Artisans Marketplace, VT Rt. 103 S. at 7 Pineview Road, along with baby books by local artists and heavy duty mittens ($30.)

Of course, Misty Valley Books, 58 The Common, has a huge choice of books for every age, including a dedicated room for the tykes and a super collection of books for teens and young adults. Once you choose the books, pick up an Ecco Kids water bottle. $10.

Kids’ fall jackets for $29.99 as well as gloves and mittens start at $9.99 at Ye Old Shoppe at the Inn Victoria.

Looking for that perfect pair of elf shoes for your little pixie? Country on the Common is selling colorful boiled woolen ones for $34 for little feet up to $56 for adults.

Boiled wool pixie boots at Country on the Common

Boiled wool pixie boots at Country on the Common

Country on the Common also has a nice selection of American Girl doll dresses, made by a Perkinsville artist, for $18 to $27. (If you’ve ever made an outfit for one of those dolls, you’ll know why it’s a time-saver to buy one!)

Absolutely adorable beaded cupcake and fruit hats for babies are available at Sage Jewelry for $25.

The Village Children’s Shop, 145 Main St. in Chester, carries beautiful clothes for boys and girls up to 24 months. Sweaters, pants, socks, shoes … everything to get the little one bundled for winter. Sweaters start at $30; Robeez soft sole shoes start at $25.

Cupcake and berry hats at Sage Jewelry.

Cupcake and berry hats at Sage Jewelry.

Robeez soft sole shoes for infants are available at the Chester Children's Shop.

Robeez soft sole shoes for infants are available at the Village Children’s Shop.

For those kids up to 6, The Village Children’s Shop specializes in eclectic toys as well. You can buy a mini grocery cart for $70 or a wooden pirate ship playset for $72. The shop also has career-oriented costumes. So, if your child has Gordon Ramsey-sized dreams, buy her a chef’s jacket with hat and utensils for $32.  (Curse words not included.) And where else will you find a mini piano? $72.

From the heart for her

Ye Olde Shoppe at the Inn Victoria in Chester always seems to have an item or two that you wouldn’t have thought to even look for in a small town like Chester. This year, you can “get your fairy on” by purchasing a handmade bustier and tutu from Fairy Transformations. Prices vary, but the effect is wild.

Get Your Fairy On with these handmade tutu and bodice creations, ordered through Ye Olde Shoppe at the Inn Victoria.

Get Your Fairy On with these handmade tutu and bodice creations, ordered through Ye Olde Shoppe at the Inn Victoria.

For the conservationist in your life, Sage Jewelry has a good selection of Lou’s recycled bags, purses and coupon caddies, many with vintage ties as the handles. Prices range from $14 to $49.

Fabulous shawl's made by Sharon Baker at Country on the Common.

Fabulous shawls made by Sharon Baker at Country on the Common.

One of the hottest items around is a handmade poncho-style shawl by Sharon Baker at Country on the Common. Since she started producing these beautiful and unique creations, made of viscose, fleece or rayon blends, she has sold upward of 200. The patterns in the materials are unique, and the colors are staggering and sophisticated. There are very few duplicates, so you have a work of wearable art. Cost is $42 to $89.

Now, it’s hard to go wrong with jewelry, whether the girl in your life is your wife, daughter or friend.

Michele Bargfrede at Sage Jewelry has re-imagined her signature tree necklaces, wrapping the silver around various large gemstones for a stunning look. With chain, they run $75 to $140.

Sage Jewelry's re-imagined tree design.

Sage Jewelry’s re-imagined tree design.

Jesse Alon of DaVallia Art and Accents, 78 The Common, works in silver and terrazzo. She has a fine selection of her handmade jewelry necklaces, bracelets and earrings, starting around $50.

Sarah Yake at Salon 2000, 22 Avon St. in Chester, creates leather cuffs with sterling embellishments, including some of cow hide with antler buttons. $45 to $75. If leather isn’t her thing, Salon 2000 offers gift certificates for a variety of pampering spa services, starting at $15 for a paraffin treatment for those dry winter hands; $50 for a facial up to $85 for a full-hour massage.

Salon 2000 has hair extensions in amazing colors.

Salon 2000 has hair extensions in amazing colors.

Lucy Bergamini is a fine-art glass artist who also creates elegant glass jewelry. You can find some of her colorful and elegant works at 103 Artisans Marketplace. $36 to $114.

The Garden Gallery shop in Londonderry has a wonderful Bohemian glass necklace ($110) and earrings ($35). For something less expensive, owner Judy Platt also has beaded rings — they are adjustable — for $17.

For something completely different, Salon 2000 sells hair extensions in eight fantasy shades, $30 each with installation included.

He’s not so hard to buy for

Mittens aren’t just for kids. 103 Artisans Marketplace has felted

Mittens for men out of recycled sweaters are warm, wind proof and welcoming.

Mittens for men out of recycled sweaters are warm, wind proof and welcoming, at 103 Artisans Marketplace. You can also buy the mitten tree!

wool, fleece-lined mittens made from recycled sweaters. Windproof and perfect for bringing in the wood. $45, by a Saxtons River craftswoman. Chester craftsman Dave Ryan has made chess and cribbage boards from native wood. $32 to $85. While at the shop, check out the wooden and marble pens and watches with wooden wristbands, handmade by Ron Blais of New Hampshire for $75 to $185.

Marble pens and watches with wooden wristbands, handmade by  a New Hampshire craftsman.

103 Artisans Marketplace has marble pens and watches with wooden wristbands, handmade by a New Hampshire craftsman.

For the equestrian, DaVallia Art and Accents has a marvelous metal sculpture of a horse. Just $38.

For him, the Garden Gallery shop has padded I-Pad cases for $45 and for a bit of kitsch or for those who you wish would quit smoking — ashtrays bearing a likeness of Jesus — $12.

Sage Jewelry in Chester has men’s toiletry bags made of recycled plastic. They are fun and unique and only $28. Hand-hammered silver fish chimes can put a bit of music in his air, for $45. Or how about a hand-wrought sterling key ring? They are hands whose fingers are in various positions. $15.

A Lifetime of Vermont People, signed by the author, at Misty Valley Books.

A Lifetime of Vermont People, signed by the author, at Misty Valley Books.

Handmade walking sticks start at $24.99 at Ye Old Shoppe at the Inn Victoria. But as weather gets worse, don’t forget the icewalkers — for everyone in the family — $19.95 to $49.95 at Erskine’s Grain and Supplies, on Grain Store Road in the Chester Depot.

Books are the first thing on many people’s wish lists, so check out Misty Valley Books in Chester. Bill and Lynne Reed have signed copies of Peter Miller’s renowned A Lifetime of Vermont People, a coffee table collection of portraits in pictures and words. Or get ready for MVBooks New Voices series coming in late January with a five-book collection of new works. Be sure to see what Misty Valley has planned for its New Voices weekend.

German Horse Muffins, at Erskine's in Chester.

German Horse Muffins, at Erskine’s in Chester.

Don’t forget the pets

salt bricks

Salt licks at Erskines

Horses reign in Vermont, so it’s no wonder Erskine’s in Chester has plenty for your four-legged ride. Take the soft horse treats — German Horse Muffins (made for horses, not of them)  — for only $5. Salt and mineral bricks, including a 2-pound piece of pink Himalayan rock salt on a rope, should keep your horses healthy. $2 to $3. And you can also pick up horse leads in nylon, leather or rope for $20 to $30.

Of course, owner Mike Erskine stocks lots and lots of goodies for your other four legged friends, so stop by and give a spin around the store. For you as much as your pet: pick up a tick twister at Erskine’s for $4.75. Erskine’s also has safety vests and wearable rugs and blankets for fido — $17.50 to $40.

And finally, check out the dog bells and leashes at Ye Old Shoppe at the Inn Victoria. Only $9.99 for a festive fido!

Bells and leashes at the Inn Victoria shop.

Bells and leashes at the Inn Victoria shop.

 

And next week: What to get for that hard-working editor of The Chester Telegraph. (just kidding.)

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About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 30 years. She has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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  1. Mike Schwarz says:

    Please check out these toasty warm and super soft socks with a kick of humor! They are manufactured right here in the USA through a well-established Vermont company. All socks are designed by Mike Schwarz who is a survivor and thriver since sustaining a TBI. These socks are stocked at MacLaomainn’s Scottish Pub. You can also check out elschwarezdesigns.com. These make great gifts! Pay-pal, personal checks or money orders apply.