L’Ammie phone cosy on sale at Nano­pod.


Go local this holiday season

Now that the holiday shopping frenzy has kicked in, it’s time to make a list and get out there.

This year, maybe skip the mall and buy some of your gifts from some of Toronto’s indie designers. There’s no shortage of shows, so read on to find out where to track down funky, affordable gifts that will impress and make you feel good knowing you’re supporting local artisans.

Gifts galore at SpeakEasy

Tonight marks the eighth annual SpeakEasy holiday craft sale at the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen St. W., second floor).

It’s a pay-what-you-can event, though organizers suggest a $4 donation.

This sale always delivers a fun mix of cool Toronto favourites and a sprinkling of newbie crafter-designers selling quirky merchandise just in time for the holidays.

Expect to peruse more than 40 displays of jewelry, ceramics, collectibles, paper goods, handmade soaps and tree decorations as well as funky bags, distinctive accessories, even some original artwork and gourmet treats, too.

This event is licensed and the sale runs from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Highlights on the roster: Unique silver jewelry by PaperSnake, great cards, dolls and ornaments by Kim’s Suitcase and groovy buttons by Sweetie Pie Press. www.speakeasyto.com

DUDE, where’s my gift list?

Starting tomorrow night, and through to Sunday, the Downtown Urban Design Event — a.k.a., “The DUDE” — lands in its long-term venue at the Latvian House (491 College St., near Bathurst) for the seventh year.

This show is like a distilled One Of A Kind Show for hipsters — intimate (29 versus 800 vendors), with each booth boasting swoon-worthy items by local talent. Expect mostly indie veterans (Sno­flake, Dagg & Stacey, AKA Clothing) and emerging designers of note, with an emphasis on fashion, plus some potters, Monster Factory plush toys, fab jewelry by Marmalade and Paper Snake, silk kimono pillows by Grace Designs and lots more quirky-cool goodness.

Known for its known for its fun opening night shindig (6 p.m. to midnight), the DUDE is a solid source for inspired gift-hunting. Admission is free — go to www.dudeshow.comfor more info.

Spectacular craftacular

This weekend hearlds the first Holiday Spectacular Craftacular at the Nanopod studio and shop at 322 Harbord St. (between Clinton Street and Grace).

Owner Tosca Teran’s metal and new silkscreened creations will be displayed alongside the work of guest artists, students and crafters from all over Toronto — lots of wallet-friendly and yet highly unusual lovelies, including jewelry, scarves, tees, paper goods, ceramics, knitted iPod cosies, soft toys and other gifts for those who appreciate the handmade.

Some familiar names and lots of new creative mojo on offer, too.

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.-10 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m.

Admission is free. For a sneak peek, visit www.nanopod.tv/nanotacular

distill sale

Creative collectibles hub, Distill, is hosting a two-day sale that warrants a trip down to the Distillery — everything is priced at 30 per cent off this weekend.

Discover original artwork, fashion and craft nuggets by more than 100 emerging Canadian artisans. Visitors will discover an impressive selection of paintings, glass work, jewelry, stylish wearables, one-of-a-kind handbags and lots more.

When: Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

Where: 55 Mill St., at the Distillery Historic District.



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