Shop Local, Play Global

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and hordes of people are heading to stores for Black Friday sales.  Some are already in line. I don’t now what’s wrong with me, I love saving money as much as the next person, but never enough to stand in line at 4 a.m. to buy something that I’m not sure I need.

What I really want to do, something that combines shopping with helping artists–is buy handmade gifts for the holidays. It’s a good way to support art as well as the people who make it.

I’d much prefer to shop locally, keep the money in the c0mmunity, and show support for people who own businesses in my community. Local art stores, art fairs, and shops need your help to thrive. Support them, please

T. J. Goerlitz, over at Studio Mailbox, has an intriguing list of gifts, experiences, and services on her blog today. T.J. just came back to Minneapolis from spending years in Germany, so her hand-picked list includes artists in Europe.

I’d be inconsistent if I didn’t suggest you buy Raw Art Journaling for someone who could use a creative boost.  The book makes a thoughtful gift, is easy to wrap and you can get free shipping from now through the holidays by using the code on my website.

And here are some other ways to get yourself  and your studio or office organized before it refills itself with gifts.

Let’s start off my clearing out junk

Get rid of unwanted Direct Mail (and save some trees.)

Stop unwanted catalogs. This site requires that you know the name of the catalog (or company), but it is incredibly detailed, so you can get rid of only the ones you don’t like.

Sit down with your kids or grandkids and teach them how to make a snowflake using this diagram from

Or just stop worrying about wasting paper and make a virtual snowflake with virtual scissors and paper using the same pattern. It takes a bit of practice, but they all wind up looking wonderful.

Or laugh at do-it yourself projects gone oh, so wrong.

–Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach  who is not yet thinking past Thanksgiving. She’ll start next week.