Things 2017

It’s that time of year again. To celebrate family, friends, common bonds, and I suppose to many of us, new stuff. It’s my personal belief to look for gifts that could be useful, unique, or at least not set aside and forgotten a month later because in that case, whats the point? I you have to ask someone what they want for Christmas then you’re doing it wrong.

If you have no ideas maybe just give something tasty rather than guess and buy someone a cheap something that won’t matter a week from now. Disappointment this time of year is a selfish feeling, wasted energy and its important to remind each other that the joy of this time of year is not in the biggest box, its in the quiet time we get to have with one another, right? Right.

This won’t be the last time I post this month but let me just say, I hope you all enjoy the season and if your not able to then I hope you find joy in some small way. It’s so important for us all to remember what we have in common rather than how we are different from one another and the holiday season is a great time to exercise that.

At any rate, for several years off and on I have written up a little gift suggestion post. Things I think are unique, fun, or overlooked but to be honest, it’s getting harder to make these lists. I don’t lead the most minimal life out there but I like to find products that will last and add something true to my life, so when I think about gift giving I try to consider things that could be more than fleeting. That said, the list this year isn’t as long, I kept coming up with ideas that I had included in previous years lists already. Maybe worth noting that none of the links below are affiliate links. Well except for the first one ;)

50ft Print Club Print Club Gift Subscription
After discovering a few subscribers to the 50ft Print Club had given the membership as a gift I decided it may be nice to offer up a single year subscription as an option. You can visit the original post on the Print Club for the back story but the basic idea is that each month I pack up a 4×6 print of my choosing, a letter that talks about the print, and often a little hand written note. I put it into an envelope, add a stamp, and send them off to subscribers. It’s a nice little collectable, a surprise piece of snail mail each month, and a great way to support what I do here on the site!

I am nearly to the end of the first year of prints in the series so I will start any purchase of this officially in January but will also send along one for December as well so you have a little something to show for the gift. Because of the one time purchase nature of this the digital bonus stuff from the Standard memberships won’t be included, just the prints. Think of it as a scaled back, simpler version at a discounted rate. Speaking of the rate, this single year cost may or may not see a little rate increase after the holidays, depending on how this goes, it’s a bit of an experiment. Also, please, feel free to spread the word if you know of any 50ft fans out there that may be interested. Thanks so much! Here is a link to the Regular 50ft Print Club/subscriptions as well as the new gift subscription and Tip Jar or directly to the 50ft Print Club Gift Subscription here.

Now, onto the rest.

Nomadic Pencil Cases
I have used a Japanese Nomad Pencil cases for a long while now as a means to keep small things like pens, sharpies, USB Drives, and of course Apple dongles, organized in my bag and recently picked up a second one because I love them so much. They have held up very well from day to day, even with my unusually roughlifestyle. Both are pictured above and you can find them on Jet Pens here or here.

Lihit Lab Smart Fit Shoulder Bag
Another handy Japanese item, this time its a minimal shoulder bag that I have used for a couple of years now and love for days when all I need are the basics. Lately I have used one to carry either my 12” MacBook, my iPad Pro 10.5, or both. It has just enough room for a couple of pens, some buisness Cards, a small notebook and a couple of charging cables. It doubles as a sort of inner sleeve for a larger bag as well which can be handy sometimes. Don’t forget to get a shoulder strap as well though, they are sold separately. I found the bags available on amazon through different sellers depending on the color etc. so pay attention to who you are buying from for timely delivery. There is also a smaller version of the bag out there as well, I think JetPens may sell them.

Scarf Shop Scarves
My friends all know how much I love a good scarf. I always look forward to the colder months when I can start breaking out my favorites again. YoungDoo got me one of these light cotton scarves last year for Christmas and I have loved it ever since. It’s thin weave and extra long length lets me wrap it around my neck a good 3-4 times which I love because it’s so cozy without being suffocating. They also have some great looking wool options as well and different sizes based on what you think someone would like. They are all hand made and kettle dyed in small batches so your looking at well attended to hand craftsmanship. Heres a link to the cotton one on their web shop, you can find their other products there as well.

Haand Short Coffee Mugs
While on a day trip a couple of years back we stopped though a small local diner/restaurant/market place in Saxapahaw, NC and discovered these beautiful mugs which they were using to serve their coffee in. Turns out they were made by a small company in NC that makes a number of other lovely porcelain items as well. They have a slightly off kilter aesthetic if that makes sense, not quite perfectly round or straight yet perfectly balanced and comfortable in the band. Really a lovely, minimal mug. Also be sure to check out their Silver Dollar Bowls! Here is a link to their web shop.

Ceramic Furin Chimes
Speaking of the magic of mind made items, I fell in love with these simple chimes which were also made here in NC. Modeled after Japanese Furin chimes they have a lovely tone to them as they drift in the breeze. Would make a wonderful addition to any porch. Offered in small and medium sizes.

Henchgirl Trade Paperback
While I don’t have as much time to enjoy comics anymore I really loved discovering Henchgirl and following along from issue to issue. I am a sucker for clever indie comics with heart and this series knocks it out of the park. Original, clever, and fun, Henchgirl has just the right mix of silly puns, potentially heartbreaking developments, and a touch of oddball superhero action. I can easily recommend this to anyone into comics.

Muji Neck Cushion
I am a lover of all things Muji and their micro-bead filled neck pillow is no exception. Just the right amount of cozy and soft it is perfect for an afternoon nap. Don’t confuse it with your typical boring airplane pillow, this has its own vibe and adds a touch of cozy class to any nap time.

Polaroid OneStep 2
The Impossible Film Project folded into the Polaroid brand this year and totally shifted their focus to a more broad appeal. In this process they created a cool new version of a classic polaroid camera and while I have not been able to try one myself I have read good things. Be mindful the film is still on the expensive side I think it makes a perfect companion for any iPhone shooter because it gives you a nice helping of analogue magic.

Helinox Swivel Chair
I am two years in, going on three, with this amazing camp chair. It has held up through rough festival seasons and kept on ticking. While it takes a minute to get it all set up its pretty amazing how comfortable these chairs are. I chose the swivel version because it was such a nice touch to be able to fluidly pivot around. Don’t settle for an REI knock off, the Helinox chairs are the best out there. Heres an alternative link to their whole line.

What Good Shall I Do This Day?
Not much to say here, I just love these enamel signs and feel this is a message we could all use as a reminder every day.


Ttable Office Stationery
While notebooks and stationery have become trendy among many in the US, I still visit Korea and see them running laps around some of the stuff I see come out in the US. Soul has a unique ecosystem of accessible manufacturing that gives small designers huge potential to create with a wonderful amount of creativity and class. I just wish more of it was available here stateside. I discovered that one of my favorite Korean stationery brands, Ttable Office is available through a Canadian shop that also sells on amazon in the US and had to share. We have a number of their paper mobiles at home and love them. They also have beautiful cards as well. Anything of theirs would be a charming gift and while they do not carry their whole line there are still a few charming pieces available. Here is a link to their official website.

Foxtail Ball
I don’t know if you have ever seen these before but they sure are a lot of fun. It’s a soft baseball with a tail, you swing it by its tail to launch it into the sky to a friend who then tries to catch it by the tail as close to the ball as possible. You can award different points based on where you catch it or just have fun tossing it around. I was happy to see these sill in production as it is a childhood favorite.

Smiski Figure
I’m not really into the whole mystery toy in a box fad, it has always felt like too much of a gimmick and just a little too much like gambling for my taste, BUT, I came across this series while in Seoul and fell madly in love with these weird little glowing figures. Not super easy to find around in the US but I’m sure you could find them on amazon or around. The official Facebook page for the brand linked to the shop below for US sales.

Buddha Machine 1, 2017 edition
I love my Buddha Machines, I have collected four of them through the years starting with the first edition which is now apparently 12 years old! It remains one of my favorites and was excited to find out that they were making a new batch with the original sounds in them. Older models can be hard to come by now so it’s nice to see them bring them back. If you don’t know what this little box is, it is a looping ambient music box. It contains a number of short looping ambient songs, you turn it on and it loops until you turn it off, the only other options are to change the loop and change the volume. It’s simplicity has turned it into a cult collectable among ambient music fans but it would fit right in to any work space that could use a little zen. (Worth noting Bleep.com ships from the UK but its a solid, quick place to shop, have not found a US distributor with these latest players yet.)

Nintendo Switch with Mario Odyssey.
OK, so with this one I feel like Im cheating a bit but this game brought me so much joy to play through I could not help but take a moment to plug it and recommend it to anyone and everyone that has ever played a video game, or not. The rest of the industry could learn a thing or two from this release.


Thats it! Thats all I’ve got to share this time around, maybe not as much as years prior but maybe there are some ideas here that helped a few of you. If I come across anything else fun or remember something that could fit here I will add it later on. Have fun out there.

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