MANILA, Philippines -- With December fast approaching, the Christmas shopping season is definitely in full swing. If you are still looking for unique gift ideas, a visit to this weekend's 10a Alabama Arts and Crafts fair may just be a good idea.
The fair is a bi-monthly showcase for handmade products from artists and crafty entrepreneurs. The latest fair features more than 40 sellers, the biggest number of participants since the event started almost two years ago.
What differentiates Alabama, as its regulars call refer to the event, from the other bazaars is the focus on handmade items and how the artists and crafters themselves are present at the fair.
In this era of mass production, Alabama is a venue where unique handcrafted and artisan products are the norm rather than the exception. Visitors can discover unique finds and actually meet the people behind the items.
Here are a few choice gift ideas and a preview of what to discover this weekend.
FOR PAPERVORES AND BOOKWORMS
1. Leather journals by Alunsina Handbound Journals (www.facebook.com/Alunsina.Handbound.Books)
Features long stitch, handbound, 100% non-adhesive, acid-free blank ivory paper with distressed edges, journal can be opened flat at 360 degrees without damaging the spine.
2. Mini leather journal necklace by Alunsina Handbound Journals (www.facebook.com/Alunsina.Handbound.Books)
Pendant has genuine leather covers, hand-sewn acid-free, ivory-colored blank pages you can write on.
3. Terrene Journal by Alunsina Handbound Journals (www.facebook.com/Alunsina.Handbound.Books)
Decoupage Old World map journal attached to a leather spine using solid metal rivets with metal clips on the corners of the covers to protect them from wear.
4. Rubber stamps from Rubber Ducky Stamp Co.
Rubber Ducky stamps are all drawn, carved and assembled by hand. Each stamp features a unique artwork mounted on a tanguile wooden handle. Accepts customized orders for personal logos, event imagery, wedding stamps, etc.
5. Washi tapes from Hey Kessy (www.heykessy.com/)
Hey Kessy supports the Handmade Movement by making washi tape more affordable and readily available in the Philippines.
6. Journals from Artefact (facebook.com/pages/Artefact-Handmade)
Covers are made from vintage audio reel boxes from the 1960s.
7. Book lockets from Junk Studio (facebook.com/junkstudio)
Lockets with covers of your favorite books.
8. Solid perfumes from Aromateria Scents & Sensibilities (aromateria.net)
Fragrances inspired by stories and pop culture.
FOR THE KIDS AND KIDS AT HEART
9. Plush Art from Monsterella Plush Art (facebook.com/ilovemonsterellaplushart)
Matryoshka dolls, owl sleep masks, aliens and cute pug plush pillows. They can also customize other animated characters such as Studio Ghibli characters and more.
10. Rag dolls by I am Handmade (iamhandmade.multiply.com)
Toys that aim to enrich the lives of children with handmade, back-to-basic materials.
11. Shape monsters and plushies from Pop Junk Love (facebook.com/popjunklove)
Upcycled junk turned into one-of-a-kind pieces.
12. Crocheted dragon, knight, wizard and damsel in distress from I am Heartmade (www.facebook.com/iamheartmade)
FOR NESTERS AND DOMESTIC DIVAS
13. Travel blanky from What If Handmade (whatifhandmade.multiply.com)
Keep warm and cozy with Travel Blanky. They come in either fleece or Ilocos hand-woven style of blanket. Blankets can be folded into the attached pouch and used as a pillow. Great for travel and long trips, to keep warm and comfy in cold movie houses and chilly air-conditioned places.
14. Go go towel from What If Handmade
Go-go Towel is handwoven in La Union province. It is made from cotton fiber, is textured and unbleached. Its pouch is mesh material half-way, to allow faster drying and prevent moldy, damp odor.
15. Pork cubes from What If Handmade
Use as door stop or as book end. Pork Cube's face is made from jute, while the rest of his body is made from random fabric. Weighted with sand and measures 5 cubic inches.
16. Owl doorstops from What If Handmade
WooHoo Owl doorstops can also serve as bookends. Weighted with pre-roasted sand to eliminate sand mites.
17. Fabric covered magnet board from Sitting Pretty
Not just for notes and reminders.
18. Laptop decals from Designer's Crib (designerscrib.multiply.com)
19. Egg Miniature Art from Orig.Kami Handmade Novelties by Alejo-Aytin (facebook.com/pages/Egg-Art-by-Ysab/212176212131013)
Handpainted bottles, painted wooden spoons, Origami cranes, painted recycled jute bags, washi eggs and egg Art
FOR THE WELL-ACCESSORIZED
20. Mother of Pearl Necklaces with printed illustrations by Thingamobs (facebook.com/pages/Thingamabobs)
21. Resin Frame Necklaces by Thingamobs (facebook.com/pages/Thingamabobs)
Replicas of famous paintings/illustrations printed on canvas and framed on resin.
22. Hand Painted Resin Necklaces by Thingamobs
One-of-a kind hand sculpted, molded and painted resin necklaces.
23. Soutache jewelery from Spiral Studio (facebook.com/MySpiralStudio)
One-of-a-kind handsewn flat braid jewelry made with wire and top quality semi-precious gemstones.
24. Faux felt watch from Gawani Femi (gawanifemi.multiply.com)
It's art through accessories. It's artcessories!
25. IPad Case from Gawani Femi
iPad inception! An iPad within and iPad!
26. Felt brooch from Gawani Femi
With needle and thread in hand, Femi has been making pins designed as thought bubbles, name tags, cuddly monsters, and anime props.
27. Obra Paduding (obrapaduding.multiply.com)
Obra Paduding collections can be enjoyed and worn by everyone, particularly enjoying pieces that are bold and make a statement, often with their own quirky personalities.
28. Braided bracelets from Simone's Closet (simonesfashioncloset.blogspot.com)
29. Fabric necklaces from Simone's Closet
30. Tansan accessories from Pop Pins (facebook.com/popmonsterpins)
Statement art pins and accessories made from bottle caps.
31. Jewelry from My Gilded Nest (facebook.com/MyGildedNest)
Carefully put together mix of charms and beads to create Adorable handcrafted pieces.
32. Pasta Rings from Bite-Size Accessories (bitesizedgoodness.multiply.com)
Polymer clay good enough to eat.
33. Sandwich charm bracelet from Bite-Size Accessories (bitesizedgoodness.multiply.com)
No carbs here.
FOR SWEET TOOTHS
34. Merry Macarons (facebook.com/merrymacarons)
A twist on the French macarons, Merry Macarons are made from a mix of Almonds and local Cashew nuts. Must-try flavors include Pistachio, Coco Calamansi, Coffee with Bacon Maple, Chocolate Potato Chip. Bestsellers are Chocolate, Red Velvet with Cream Cheese, Strawberry, Coffee Caramel, Green Tea, Cookies and Cream, and Rum Raisin.
The 10a Alabama Arts and Crafts Fair is located at 10a Alabama St. in Quezon City. It will be held on November 10 and 11 from 12 noon to 7 p.m. For more information and a map, visit its event page on Facebook.