2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Part I

Time to round up all the neat and clever and oh-so-tempting items for your holiday shopping and wish-listing needs. I’ve been collecting ideas for a few weeks now — and really, this is so fun, like I’m shopping for all of you. Each Wednesday, I’ll be posting collections of gifts and ideas for gifting and receiving. If you’ve got a suggestion or something you love that you’d like to share, please email me!

Shall we get started?

For the LEGO and Steampunk person you know: Steampunk LEGO by Guy Himber. According to the info I received, Himber has “worked on Special Make Up Effects and Animatronics for more than 50 feature films, including Edward Scissorhands, Independence Day, Stargate, and the Underworld trilogy. Himber (aka V&A Steamworks) is also an award-winning LEGO builder.”

This book comes out Friday and it’s a big ol’ hardback full of, well, Steampunk LEGO projects. (I think I just heard someone squeak with excitement.) Here are a few of the images inside:

Steampunk battle boat anyone?
Steamboat with massive gun – created by Rod Gillies.
Lego Steam engine
Edison’s Bane is a prototype locomotive, converting steam power into alternating electrical current. (V&A Steamworks – Guy Himber)

This is a coffee-table book, and I don’t think there’s a digital version, but if you have a LEGO fan or Steampunk devotee in your world, this might be a great gift.

Via Jennifer Estep, here’s an idea for those who love urban fantasy – and the cover art by Tony Mauro:

Maura's 2014 calendar of cover art

Tony Mauro has once again published his annual When Darkness Falls calendar. Tony is the cover artist for my Elemental Assassin series (and many other fantasy book series), and if you look at the graphic above, you will see that the cover art for The Spider is featured in the calendar. Gin is looking sharp, as usual.

Here are some of the other authors and books featured in the calendar:

December: Night’s End by Yasmine Galenorn (alternate design)

If you order the calendar through Tony’s website, he will autograph it for you. How cool is that? The calendar is also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Floor lamp with flat paddle shaped bulb area that has a full spectrum bulb

This is a bit more pricey, but Elyse recommends this lamp for all your reading/crafting/illumination needs. She says:

Last year I bought this lamp for reading/ knitting and I love it. It gives off a really natural light so it’s easy on the eyes. Also, if you are using it for crafting, it shows colors the way they look in sunlight.

It won’t light up a room, but for close work, it’s excellent. And the head and neck are adjustable.

I’m so tempted by this lamp, I can’t even tell you. The floor version (right) is about $100 online, but there’s also a desk version available for about $55.
Amanda calls herself a “candle lady (not quite Wisconsin level)” and she adores the Frostbeard Studio store on Etsy, which features book-themed candles.
pink floral candle - trashy romance novelBook-themed candles? Oh, yes. Old Books, or Oxford Library – or even Trashy Romance Novel, which I find…strangely attractive.
Amanda says she frequently buys “those little wax melter things,” too. (I bet Amanda’s apartment smells really good all the time.)
Soup and Sandwich ceramic tray - of course pictured with tomato soup and grilled cheese which is so good omg If you know someone who likes to reads while they eat (for example, everyone I know, including me) this set from Uncommon Goods might be very appreciated. There’s a set of two soup and sandwich trays for $30, plus a set of 4 ceramic french fry holders, too.

Eyeball Clock each eye rotates in a circle.If you spend a good amount of time rolling your eyes, or trying not to, this Eye Clock ($35) might make your day. The left eyeball keeps the hour, and the right keeps the minute. The description says, “The Eye Clock may not be the most precise, but it is the most understanding.” Ha!

Lightswitch with wooden gears and levers to turn the off on switch into a right left lever

Another gift for those Steampunk writers and readers you know: gear and toggle switchplates for single and double light switches.

They start at $40, and yes, it’s a bit much for a switchplate, obviously.

The switchplates are made of wood and brass, and reviews state that the wood used is kind of thin, so this isn’t good for a high-traffic area. But if you’re looking for something really odd and bizarre, this totally fits.

plaque that reads What matters most in life are quote and stuff tha ttell you waht life is really about. And here's a picture of a treeAnd finally, this made me laugh so hard when I saw it in a catalog, I needed Lamaze breathing to catch my breath.
The plaque reads:
What matters most in life are quotes and stuff that tell you what life is really about.   And here’s a picture of a tree.

There will be a new gift guide every Wednesday, and I’ve got jewelry, clothing, and indulgences to feature in upcoming gift guides.
So, what are you gifting this holiday season? Anything you recommend or want to share? 

Add Your Comment →

  1. Shae Connor says:

    My mother bought that tree plaque for my sister and me last Christmas. It hangs in a place of pride in our living room.

    I have a pretty awesome family. 😀

  2. DonnaMarie says:

    Signals scores again! Off to shop. Thanks Sarah.

  3. Jennifer in GA says:

    I have an Ott Light (like the Verilux, but just a different brand) and it really is a must-have for crafters. They are worth EVERY PENNY. Mine is a table top version, but I’m thinking I need a floor version now that I’m learning to knit and getting back into cross-stitch.

  4. jimthered says:

    I’d recommend Lego Shakespeare! BRICK SHAKESPEARE by John McCann and Monica Sweeney does the Bard’s works with Lego figures and sets. There are editions for the Tragedies (HAMLET, MACBETH, ROMEO AND JULIET, JULIUS CAESAR)and the Comedies (A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, THE TEMPEST, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW). I *think* I saw a collection mixing the tragedies and comies (like Shakespeare did! Hah!) but that only had four plays, so it may be better to get the “specialized” editions.

  5. Hannah says:

    The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones is an illustrated guide to the Game of Thrones world that sounds like it would be a great gift for a fan of the TV series and/or books.

  6. Jimthered! Thank you so much for mentioning the Lego Shakespeare! The household Lego fanatic (and I cannot describe how fanatic, but he’s built an airport in his room with 24 gates, 13 planes and a train system linking it so that’s a start on the fanatic level) … well, that kid is doing Shakespeare at school in the spring! This is a huge score! Thank you!

    Also on the Lego front – I highly rec the “Oyos” Lego-style sports guys. They have most major teams, with specific players. A little more pricey than regular Lego, but absolutely collectible. Bridges the gap for kids who are starting to think they might be too old for Lego, but still secretly want to play – when it’s your team, it’s okay to build a stadium.

    I have a tradition of giving the best ideas for kid gifts to my mother so she can score great grandma points, and this year I suggested a metal detector for the boy and the girl is desperate for a pom-pom puppy making kit (from Mindware). With lots of yarn. Gateway to knitting, I suspect. The girl has also been making her own flip books lately, so the cute link from Dear Author for those secret compartment flip books was awesome.

  7. Mullgirl says:

    Elyse is so right on that lamp. I have one for crafting and it’s really easy on the eyes and shows true colors. Also, it is hella expensive, but they are sold at Joann’s and they almost always have a 40% off coupon on one item. Also, also, they have an array of similar daylight lights in “prettier” offerings that are worth looking at.

  8. SB Sarah says:

    Hubby emailed me about that book, saying that while he’s digital only at this point, that’s a book worth having in paper, and that it would be a good Hanukkah gift for him. I was shocked. He hasn’t wanted a physical book in years.

  9. SB Sarah says:

    My living room is really dim, and every time I pull out my cross stitch, I think about how nice it would be to have that lamp over my shoulder. Hmmm. Hanukkah is coming…. (Winter, on the other hand, is already here. Go home, January, you’re drunk AND early.)

  10. jimthered says:

    Also, for the Gamer in the family (or the gaming family): KING OF NEW YORK. This dice/board/card game takes the general rules from the very good KING OF TOKYO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGaCjM2hal4 and adds more strategy. Your monsters can move around the five boroughs of NYC! You can destroy buildings, which results in military units popping up in your borough. You can destroy those military units, or have them fire at you, or have them fire at EVERYONE (and become NYC’s defender, with the Statue of Liberty coming to life and fighting alongside you). You can, of course, benefit from entering Manhattan — and become the target of all other monsters. And you can become a celebrity! It’s very fun, more complex (which I like, though I still love the original), and has a giant monster named Cap’N Fish.

  11. chacha1 says:

    I have a verilux floor lamp and it is so good that I can do embroidery or beadwork under it without having to put on my reading glasses. 🙂 Highly recommend for any crafter on your list.

  12. Kelly S. says:

    If you are an adventurous sort, I noticed that JoAnn’s has the table top Ott light as a doorbuster sale. Normally $99 on sale for $19.99. I have the Ott lights and they are very nice.

    I think I may be most tempted by the eye rolling clock…

  13. Celia Marsh says:

    I think the daylight lamps also help with SAD, and they are currently the only lamps I have, despite the price. (Which, incidentally isn’t THAT awful when you factor in the fact that they are cheap as anything to run.) I do cross stitch (sometimes, though mostly I just buy cross stitch kits and the lights make a HUGE difference for thread sorting, and the are my favorite things ever.

  14. […] Smart Bitches holiday gift guide, part 1. […]

Add Your Comment

Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By posting a comment, you consent to have your personally identifiable information collected and used in accordance with our privacy policy.

↑ Back to Top