Time to Shop: It’s the 2nd annual Shop Local holiday gift guide (Part 1)


By Cynthia Prairie

For the second year in a row, The Chester Telegraph has traveled around the region to window shop for you, looking for interesting and beautiful gifts to give this holiday season. We’ve tried to cover everyone on your list. This week, in Part 1, we concentrate on housewares, stocking stuffers and food, many perfect as host/hostess gifts. And, of course, we searched for items to please every budget.

We weren’t able to make it to every shop, so if you know of some unique items at shops that we didn’t mention, be sure to use the comment section below to add to the article. In the meantime, happy holidays and Shop Local! Next week, we concentrate on family gifts, including your pets! Click any photo to launch the gallery.

Housewares for the hip

Marbelized candles

ON THE COVER: DaVallia Art and Accents has a caseful of carved Santas for the collector. Above: Marbleized candles and gourds etched to look like birds, at 103 Artisans Marketplace.

103 Artisans Marketplace, VT Rt. 103 S. at Pineview Road in Chester, which has been specializing not only in New England made crafts but fair trade goods, has a great line of elegant Vermont made marblized candles. $4.95 for a set of  four small dinner candles and $8.95 for two large ones. Co-owner Payne Junker is also a metalworker and has created a mitten tree for the mudroom or next to the woodstove. $85.

Erskine’s Grain and Supplies54 Grain Store Road in Chester, has leather mounted jingle bell strips for $17.85.

Jingle bells at Erskine's.

Jingle bells at Erskine’s.

The Garden Gallery Gift Shop, on Route 11 in Londonderry, has some unusual retro hanging lamps, from the cloth Chinese style ones for $39 all the way up to $65 for colorful multi-tiered shell lamps. Either would be perfect to introduce your college student to the ’60s.

Hand-thrown cups, made in Vermont and inscribed with inspirational sayings on a birch-bark like exterior are $30 each at DaVallia Art and Accents, 78 the Common in Chester.

Sage Jewelry, down the alley at 78 the Common, has a bowlful of hand-painted ornaments made from baby gourds. They are fanciful and fun and $16 each.

Chinese lanterns at The Garden Gift Shop in Londonderry.

Chinese lanterns at The Garden Gift Shop in Londonderry.

If you want something a bit more odoriferous, take a quick jog over to the Gift Shop at Motel in the Meadow, 936 Rt. 11 W. in Chester, and pick up some Kringle Candles. They run from $3 to $25 and come in a variety of seasonal scents that are not overwhelming: Balsam, Spruce, Wild Holly Berry and Cozy Cabin, just to name a few. Graceful glass votive stemware is also available for $20 a pair or $11 per stem.

The Polish Pottery Shop, which shares space with Sage Jewelry, has in stock some

The Polish Pottery Shop has a fine selection of holiday and everyday ware.

The Polish Pottery Shop has a fine selection of holiday and everyday ware.

wonderful holiday-themed items, including bowls, cups, patters and a tree-shaped luminary. Prices range from $21 to $54.

DaVallia Art and Accents has a case filled with hand carved Santas for $25 to $120.

Misty Valley Books, 58 the Common in Chester, offers a variety of its “Magic Reading Carpets” in various sizes and shapes with prices from $95 to $1,000.  But for something a little less expensive, MVB has a delightful assortment of cocktail napkins that would be great for a party or for hostess gifts.

Erskine's has the largest selection of work gloves -- for him and her -- around.

Erskine’s has the largest selection of work gloves — for him and her — around.

For the person who just got into raising sheep, Erskine’s has a 5-foot oak shepherd’s crook for only $24.25.

Splatter aprons by Robert Sarly  of VTica.

Splatter aprons by Robert Sarly of VTica.

And once again, VTica founder Robert Sarly has created hand-splattered artistic aprons — for cooking in or for creating your own artwork! $35 each, at the Vermont Institute for Contemporary Art, 15 Depot St. in Chester.


Stuff those stockings

For the best selection of work, garden and all-purpose leather gloves for the entire family, you don’t have to go farther than Erskine’s Grain and Supplies, in Chester. $2.90 to $28.

Colorful mini bookmark sets — Japanese dolls, Mr. Fox and friends and forest creatures — are $5.99 at Misty Valley Books. Be sure to look around for other bookmark sets around the shop.

Ye Old Shoppe at the Inn Victoria, 321 Main St. in Chester, has a number of items perfect for Christmas stockings such as tea accessories and cookies.

Adorable mini bookmark sets are for kids and adults. At Misty Valley Books.

Adorable mini bookmark sets are for kids and adults. At Misty Valley Books.

Lisai’s Chester Market, on Depot Street in Chester, is selling clementines for 25 cents each, or buy an entire case for $4.99.

Michele Bargfrede of Sage Jewelry knows what can keep kids busy. She’s stocked Silly Sticks. For $6 each your creative child can transform himself into a villain with a mustache or with googly eyes or … the possibilities are endless.

Salon 2000, 22 Avon Road in Chester, has a selection of nail polishes in avant-garde colors — matte ice blues, grays etc.  — for the cool person in your life.

Eat, drink and be merry

Buy a $40 gift certificate, get a mug at the Country Girl Diner.

Buy a $40 gift certificate, get a mug at the Country Girl Diner.

Country Girl Diner46 VT Rt. 103 S. in Chester, is offering gift certificates in any denomination. However, if you purchase a $40 gift certificate, you’ll get a free Country Girl Diner coffee mug, which you can keep yourself or use to hold the certificate.

103 Artisans Marketplace (formerly Gallery 103) has been expanding its Chocolate Shop selections. The Junkers have stocked an amazing selection of truffles — some decorated for the holidays — that you can by individually ($2.95) or in boxed multiples for a 5 percent discount.

103 Artisans Marketplace has delectable truffles. Buy by the piece.

103 Artisans Marketplace has delectable truffles. Buy by the piece.

Check out the selection of Mo’s Gourmet fresh fudge at Motel in the Meadow’s Gift Shop. Some of the many varieties include spiced pumpkin, dark chocolate and chocolate raspberry. $7.  Owner Pat Budnick will also put together gift baskets at your request, complete with napkins, maple syrup, fudge, candles etc. $10 to $40.

Ask Lonnie Lisai to help you pick out the perfect gift wine from Lisai’s Chester Market.

Art for art’s sake

Several of Caryn King's animal portraits are for sale at DaVallia Art and Accents.

Several of Caryn King’s animal portraits are for sale at DaVallia Art and Accents.

DaVallia Art and Accents has some fascinating farm animal portraits by Caryn King, $200 to $300.

Upstairs from the Garden Gallery gift shop is an art gallery run by Tom Platt, Judy’s husband. You’ll find art of all type for sale, from small woodcuts to large canvases, from photo realism to oils, carvings and sketches, many of them by New England artists. Prices range from $300 to $35,000.

For someone who loves live entertainment, Broadway musicals or drama, the Weston Playhouse offers gift certificates in any dollar amount for the upcoming summer season. To purchase, contact Lindsey Carlson by email at lcarlson@westonplayhouse.org or at 802-824-8167 x108.

Music is art too, and if you know of someone who has always wanted to sing but just can’t get up the nerve to do so, buy them an hour singing lesson with Chester resident Stan Norsworthy. At $25 an hour, he teaches all styles of voice — except rap — as well as support breathing and the technical aspects of singing. (802-875-1383)


Poppies by Johanne Durocher Yordan at VTica.

The Vermont Institute of Contemporary Art, 15 Depot St. in Chester, has some not too expensive but still wonderfully creative works that might remind some of Georgia O’Keefe’s flower portraits. These, by Johanne Durocher Yordan, are of poppies painted on Vermont maps. (You may even spot your home town in one.) Prices range from $125 to $750.

Unusual stained glass hangings are at VTica.

Unusual stained glass hangings are at VTica.

Be sure to take the time to view the other artworks on display before Christmas, including stained glass hangings that incorporate found objects by Brandon artist Laura Rideout ($75 and up; works by Chester resident Frieda Post; and a show by the Vermont Watercolor Society, with works starting at $300.

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Filed Under: Business & Personal FinanceCommunity and Arts LifeFeaturedIn the Community

About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 40 years. Cynthia 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, and has won numerous state awards for her reporting. As an editor, she has overseen her staffs to win many awards for indepth coverage. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

RSSComments (4)

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  1. Beatrice Lee says:

    Is it possible to buy things on line from Artisans Marketplace?

  2. The Healing Experience says:

    The Healing Experience Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork is located at 240 Depot St. in Chester, Vermont.
    Sessions are designed to calm the mind while promoting relaxation and wellness. An integrative approach of many modalities is used. Your nationally certified massage therapist is hospital experienced since 2008 and is currently a member of the Springfield Hospital Benefits Program, Mt. Ascutney Hospital CAM and its Healing Arts Center.
    Gift certificates, couple’s massage, special events, hot stone therapy, incentives and reasonable rates are available.
    To give the gift of wellness improvement for yourself or for another, please contact
    (802) 875-2402 or email wigetsch@yahoo.com.

  3. Melissa Howe says:

    Endless Creations Pottery Studio has very affordable “personalized” gifts for Christmas! Come paint your own pottery for one-of-a-kind gifts! Travel mugs, hand-print plates, mugs, Christmas Ornaments, pet dishes, yarn bowls, jewelry boxes and so much more! We are painting right up until Friday Dec.20 for Christmas presents! 802-875-2008 http://www.endlesscreationspottery.com

  4. Tory Spater says:

    1. Bonnie’s Bundles dolls in the Stone Village, Bonnie Watters, Rte. 103.
    2. Rebecca Haas Jewelry, Lovers Lane.
    3. Tsuga Studios, Nick Kekic hand-blown glass, Goldthwaite Road.

    All are in Chester.