Small, Local, Handmade Gift Guide: Tea

I come from a long line of tea drinking women, and think that early winter is the perfect time to stock up on new teas.  If you have a tea loving friend or relative, you might want to consider one of these tea themed gifts...

This set of natural and reusable organic tea bags, along with some loose tea via Natural Linens on Etsy (they also carry reusable and organic coffee filters).

 A cheery handmade mug to put it in

Lemon flavored tea stirring "spoons", just for fun

or maybe a set of all natural, tea flavored lip balms from Orange Thyme on Etsy

Adventurous or especially health conscious friends and family might enjoy A Kombucha Starter Kit

For those who like to make their own gifts...

This recipe for chai concentrate looks so good.

I have always wanted to try making candles in old tea cups.

p.s.  This cup cozy, paired with a Mason jar, and one of these would make the perfect gift for an eco friendly tea-drinker-on-the-go. 

p.p.s.  These cup cozy patterns also look fun.  They have a built in pocket for tea bags!


Small, Local Handmade Gift Guide: Hand Knits

There's a reason I'm starting with the knit gifts - those who take their knitting seriously know that holiday knitting begins in July.  BUT... those of us who have waited until after Thanksgiving for the holiday "inspiration" (read: pressure) to strike, still have plenty of gift-worthy options to consider.

For example...

A gorgeous infinity cowl pattern or any of these exquisite knits by Elena Rosenberg.

A cute little knitted hedgehog by Yarnigans on Etsy (it ships for free!)

Simple and classic wool mittens for every person on your list (these are very local and unbelievably affordable).

This less-tricky-than-it-appears mug cozy (the pattern is FREE at yarn.com).

The perfect slippers pattern by Elizabeth Murphy on Ravelry

Or, alternatively, for that friend or family member who has always wanted to give it a try...

A Learn to Knit Kit from the always stylish, Purl Soho, and a budget friendly version from Fiber Wild on Etsy. 


2012 Holiday Gift Guide and Holiday Order Details

Starting with Small Business Saturday, and running until the middle of December, we'll be sharing our favorite small, local, and handmade gift ideas.  We hope that this list inspires you to buy or make something that honors the gifts that you and your area can provide.

For those who have asked, our gift certificates are available all year round and are a great way to give the gift of shoes without giving away the surprise (it's hard to get a foot tracing on the sly).  You can email Dave directly (info@aurorashoeco.com) to order a certificate.  Orders placed before Monday, November 26th should arrive before the start of Hanukkah.  Orders placed by Friday, December 14th should arrive in time for Christmas.  As always, we are happy to include free shipping on all of your gift certificate orders.

Those who would like to purchase shoes can receive free shipping through the end of the year with the promo code "Elias" in honor of Dave's (very) new baby son.  Orders received by December 4th should ship in time for Christmas.

Happy Holidays!

p.s.  Our 2011 gift guides including one for your brother, your sister, your parents, and someone special.


Meet the Neighbors: Unite Two Design

At the Aurora Shoe Company, we passionately support small business and handmade and local goods. As a visitor of our blog, we thought that you might feel the same way. In our Meet the Neighbors series we're featuring businesses and people who reflect our own values and whom we feel lucky to call neighbors and friends.

 It was a real treat to visit the gallery and workshop belonging to Keith and Theresa of Unite Two Design.  I had seen their work in a recent newspaper feature, but the detail and charm of their work is best appreciated in person.  Described as "farm punk", the furniture, home goods, and jewelry at Unite Two Design are a fresh blend of old materials and innovative design.  

Having grown up on an old farm, I know all about old wood, rusty pipes, and random pieces of ancient equipment.  It takes a real visionary to take those discarded elements and to give them a new and stylish life.  There is only so much that I can say - you have to see it for yourself...

reclaimed wood

handmade necklace
reclaimed metal
reclaimed barn wood
reclaimed sign

reclaimed stop sign

It was really inspiring to see all of this functional art and to hear the stories behind the different pieces.  Keith and Theresa are constantly working on new projects, but they always welcome the chance to work with clients on commissioned pieces.  I can just imagine all of the personalized gifts that could be created using a board from Grandpa's old barn, or a tool from Dad's workshop.  The blend of old materials and new design presents so many interesting opportunities.

repurposed metal

Keith and Theresa couldn't have been more friendly or more welcoming.  They invited us to check out their workspace as well, but I took way too many pictures and will save that for another post (it's such a cool space).

You can view more of Keith and Theresa's designs by visiting their website. You can also stay up to date with their unique shop offerings by following their page on Facebook.  If you're local, consider stopping by on your next trip to Skaneateles.  They're next door to Creekside Books, at 37 Fennell Street (you can find gallery hours on their Facebook page).

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