It’s easy to fall into the trap of spending a fortune at Christmas – the shops obviously encourage it, bewildering the harried shopper with numerous offers that make you start thinking “who do I know who’d like this random discounted object?”, rather than shopping with a specific list of people in mind.
If you’re like me, you love to give people presents, but in fact the pressure around Christmas shopping can really take the joy out of it.
Local Christmas Gift ideas
This year, I’ll be doing less shopping at the chain stores and more around our local arts and crafts shops and galleries, supporting local entrepreneurs and artists. Spending time in galleries and picking up pieces that have been created with love and detail are definitely part of my Christmas philosophy this year.
Here are a few that I’ll be visiting.
The Lyndendale Gallery
The Lyndendale Gallery is owned by artist Denise Gillies and is situated on 828 Crooked Brook Road in the beautiful Ferguson Valley near Bunbury. It’s a picturesque spot for the tourist, and a well worn stop for local artists who supply the gallery with an ever changing selection of art work for sale.
The photo below gives some idea of the range of works by southwest artists and artisans.
Lyndendale Gallery is open from 11 to 5 Friday to Sunday and at other times by arrangement.
See ‘Lyndendale Gallery’ and ‘Workshops at Lyndendale Gallery’ on Facebook
Folios and Fibre
Jane Flower is a talented creator and her eco dyed scarves and garments are delicate and beautiful. She also hand makes individual journals and notebook covers which make gorgeous gifts and stocking fillers. You’ll also find other unique textile pieces at the small gallery, which is really worth a visit. You’ll find Folios and Fibre on the Bussell Highway at Stratham on the way to Busselton.
Folios and Fibre is open 10am to 4pm Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon.
Jenny’s Homemade Tomato Sauce
Do you like to cook? Maybe you’ve invented a special seasoning blend you can bottle? Or if you live in the Bunbury region then how about buying a bottle or two of Jenny’s tomato sauce. Jenny and her husband, Neil, own a tomato and avocado farm, and one of Jenny’s specialties is making a wonderful Tomato Sauce, that is delicious and can be used by itself or in any number of recipes.
Phone Jenny on 043 833 0628
Rustic French Living
I love this shop set in an old church. The store is owned by Jo Macintosh (Click on the link to read about Jo’s interesting story that involves an ancestor and a chateau in France), and more about her and her shop Rustic French Living here too.
The tiny store, Rustic French Living is set in the middle of Boyanup, just 15 minutes from Bunbury. It’s choc a bloc with homeware and gifts representing a rustic, shabby chic style.
Peppermint Lane Lodge
If you’re looking for somewhere idyllic to stay in the Ferguson Valley area, then a place I’ve recently discovered might just be the ticket. It’s set in a picture perfect setting near the Wellington Forest. If it’s a sylvan setting you’re after, this small lodge has it in spades.
Peppermint Lane Lodge, 351 Wellington Mill Road
Now while I’ll be shopping at local stores for Christmas gifts, I do also love giving my own personalised gifts to my family. And something that I am able to create with all the photos we take as we travel around this beautiful State of Western Australia are … Photo Books.
Often our photo books promote local small businesses in a roundabout way too, because we love including pictures of wineries, gastronomic lunches, and also new frocks, clothes or jewellery that I buy locally.
Anyway, Dave and I love to design our own photo books.
Turn your hobby into unique Christmas gifts
If your year has been filled with weddings, births, memorable holidays or special reunions and you have a stock of photos from all the events, a brilliant way to showcase them is in Photo Books rather than photo albums.
Telling photo stories is such fun. Beautiful landscapes, city-scapes, wonderful food, or fauna and flora sprinkled between photos of people give a lovely sense of narrative – where, when, and how late into the night you partied. Put in some of the candid shots of friends or family, you know the ones you took when they were unaware of the camera, and collage them for effect.
The one below is taken from a book we created about the Cape to Cape walking trail in Western Australia.
I think photo books make a stylish alternative to emailing dozens of pictures, or creating Facebook galleries, don’t you?
(By the way I’m hooking up with Travel Photo Thursday today, where you’ll find some more fantastic stories relating to travel)
Do you have a local store or entrepreneur that you can recommend for Christmas gifts? Why not give them a shout out in the comments?