Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Gift Guide - Part Two

Part Two of an Ongoing Series to Help You Find the Perfect Gift.

The Natural - He keeps his own bees, she shears her own sheep. They prefer the comfort of nature to the complexity of life in the city, even if that is where they are stationed. They yearn to feel the grass beneath their feet and sunshine on their skin, to experience things in a form as close to their original state as possible. 

Botanical Perfume 
Roxana Villa of Illuminated Perfume turns out some extraordinary scents, but Chaparral is the essence of a personal drive to connect with with the natural world. It will appeal to anyone who, for even a moment, has had the overwhelming urge to "be in nature". I don't have the expertise to properly describe it to you, but I'm going to try anyway; it is the scent of slightly singed sage, the lingering remnants of an extinguished campfire on a crisp night. See, I can't describe it, you just need to buy it. I have only tried the solid version, and love the added depth provided by the beeswax. 

As if all of that weren't enough, it is beautifully packaged for gift giving. Not only would I buy from Illuminated Perfume again, I have. I've also added some of the adorable little samples into gift baskets. 
I'm having to take breaks during typing to huff the scent from my wrist. Have I mentioned you should really just buy this, and try it for yourself? (I should point out that sticking your nose down in the little container does not provide an accurate representation of what it smells like on a person. It needs to be tried properly.)

Wood Turned Vessel
Jerry Smith of J&L WoodTurning creates incredible pieces of art out of the generally humble wooden bowl. He gets bonus points for being a West Virginian. 

Organic Cotton Quilt
Quilting is one of those crafts that epitomizes handmade. And while some places may have heated up enough to go sans blanket, we still get cold nights, and cool breezes throughout spring. Quilts also end disputes over the setting on the thermostat, and are great for picnics, lazy days under a tree, and fort building.
Back to the brilliantly handmade stuff. The Organic Quilt Company offers certified organic quilts and other sewn things for babies and toddlers. I love the Sea Grass Organic Cotton Baby Quilt. It's green, and it's green; I'm sold.

If your recipient is a bit larger, try this offering form Mary McNulty Design. She is opening a new shop called Quilted Greens, which I can only hope will contain more organic and sustainable designs. 

Small Things
The newest trend in lip balm seems to be the use of non-plastic, compost-able tubes. As an added bonus, they are far cuter than those boring plastic things. Jill McKeever of For Strange Women backs up the enticing packaging with her own recipe base that sounds divine. What nature lover wouldn't love to receive her Welcome to the Forest gift set? Even I, person allergic to pine and most of the rest of nature, am adding this to my wish list. I mean, really, look at it! If I weren't comically broke, it would be mine.

Whether your nature lover lives in a tree house, a high rise, or a dorm room, I'm sure LizzieJoeDesigns' wine cork doorknob message center could be put to good use. Bye bye pile of sticky notes. 

Wrap It Up
I love the cards created by Erica Williams of Subtle Acts. The stark graphics are offset by the enigmatic charm inherent to kraft paper. They are subtle, and that is why I love them. They are a perfect binding for your loving words (or whatever you chose to scrawl or illustrate inside of them). 

If you've maxed out your daily word allotment, or just can't fill that big blank card, go for a gift tag. Your nature loving pals will appreciate one made of plantable paper, and since there is little sentiment attached to a simple To/From tag, your feelings won't be hurt when they bury your card. The Lost Spells of Lixo has several shapes and seeds to choose from, but I'm partial to the herb garden set. 

Instead of using wrapping paper or a traditional gift bag, place gifts in an appropriately sized reusable bag. Tote bags are great, as pretty much everyone can use another shopping bag or basic carry-all. There are seemingly infinite choices, but I think the LOVE Languages print from Toni Telepman of The Bucktoothed Bunny would be a great gift giving option. I really like the single shoulder strap design of this particular bag. It's kind of a messenger style tote. 

Being at one with nature and shunning material possessions can make a person hard to shop for. Instead of buying stuff, there is always the option to make an honorary donation to your loved one's favorite cause. The Conservation Fund and The Sierra Club Foundation both get an A+ from the American Institute of Philanthropy and four stars from Charity Navigator.  

I hope I've jump started your nature loving gift giving ideas. Further installments of this series will focus on gifts for recipients with different personality types and interests. 


  1. I am so very grateful to bee part of this most fabulous collection, Thank you, I am deeply humbled by your words and so appreciate your love of nature.

  2. Wow, such an amazing array of gifts! I'm so honored you chose to include my tote! Thank you :)

  3. What a lovely idea! You have chosen some really love items, and I could not be happier to have one of my cards selected for this gift guide!

    Thank you so much Elizabeth!