Handmade for the holidays: Shiny Fuzzy Muddy

In my home, gifting handcrafted items for Christmas is not a trend it is tradition. For those who also love to seek unique and quality gifts for their loved ones, the talented textile designer Stephanie Symns has created a gorgeous and diverse list of items and where to buy them.

— In Gratitude, Meredith Nicole

The Christmas season is rapidly approaching and with it Christmas and craft fairs are chock full of gorgeous hand-made local goods. Call me biased (full disclosure I’m a current vendor) but one of my favourite shows is

Shiny Fuzzy Muddy

. It’s an annual show that takes place at the Heritage Hall on Main Street on the weekend of December 10


and 11


. This particular show is well-loved for it’s expert curation – which makes sense as it was formed as a non-profit collective in 2003 by artists

Janna Hurtzig


Arleigh Wood


Frances Dickinson


Kari Woo

 as a way to bring their own art to people.

Heyday Designs medium crown porcelain vessel I have long admired these talented ladies and their show is legendary in Vancouver, so it’s pretty exciting to participate this year with my own work. Created as an antidote to large-scale craft fairs, Shiny Fuzzy Muddy offers a lovely shopping atmosphere where you can be guaranteed to cross off a bunch of gifts for even the pickiest of friends and family! I confess that I kind of want one of everything (so you’ll seriously have to visit to check everything out) but here’s a shortlist of the items I’m coveting:

  Claire from

Heyday Design

 makes these beautiful multifunctional porcelain jars that are cast from vintage glass jars. These have been on my radar forever and they really are gorgeous and multi-functional objects – they’re food safe and equally at home as a vase or container, as for sipping a hot beverage.  Each object is made over the course of 5 separate days involving over 30 steps. And you can check out the process in a



on her site. For my money this is fantastic gift for under $60 with several smaller versions to choose for as little as $38.Heyday Designs procelain spraycan sculpture

These are great for Mums, Aunts, Grandmothers and your bestie, but if you want to take things a step further and make an impression with your hipster artist friend (boy or girl), you can’t go past a porcelain spraycan sculpture that makes the spraycan rattling noise when you put your finger on the nozzle and shake. Only $60 each… word.

Winterluxe recycled cashmere armwarmersWinterluxe

 makes some pretty fantastic flip mits for both men and women and arm warmers for only $38. Say what?

And best of all they’re made from recycled cashmere so you can feel good AND feel good about rescuing textiles from the landfill.

 Vanessa Lam “Nomadic Tendencies”anessa Lam “The Nightwatch”Looking for art? There’s plenty to see here. Check out the work of

Vanessa Lam

. A multimedia artist who works out of the super cool Arts Factory, Vanessa’s work merges sculpture, photography and mixed media painting.

At Shiny Fuzzy Muddy she’ll be showing some small assemblage sculptures as well as small paintings and collages on paper. I love her use of found materials and stitching.

  If functional and beautiful streamlined leather goods are your thing, check out

AW by Andrea Wong

. Andrea came out of the fashion industry an accomplished designer with a desire to slow down and return to work with her hands. Taking a back to basics approach she sources all her materials as locally and sustainably as possible.  From the beautifully crafted zip around pouch at $42 to the beautifully proportioned Copain Cross Body ($155) these are gifts that will be treasured and last for years to come. I must admit that I’ve also been eyeing the Northwest Cross Body ($215) for quite some time as a go-to everyday bag.

Westerly Shoes “Main Street”Westerly Shoes “Cambie” So finally I had to include the handmade shoes and boots by Renée MacDonald of

Westerly shoes.

 A splurge for sure but these shoes are more than just shoes, they’re custom made for your feet – or rather each of your feet (each order begins with a full measurement of each of your feet, and hours can go into perfecting the fit before any leather is even cut) and are objects of lovingly crafted beauty with the experience as rich as the shoes you receive at the end.

Not only are they customized just for you in fit and finish they will be the talk of any room you enter. So if you want to give (or get) a gift like this, pooling resources could be the way to go. Seriously it’s the grown up equivalent of a trip to Disney for the special peeps in your life…

Luprints Moonrise TeatowelOK and last but not least – how about the wrapping of those gifts??! Wrapping is fun but what a bummer to go throw a bunch of gorgeous paper in the bin (that’s just not very environmentally friendly is it??!). How about using the Japanese technique of wrapping using furoshiki – I suggest wrapping in a gorgeous tea towel by


. Screen printed by hand in beautiful Pemberton these are works of art in themselves – and make a great additional gift.

Happy holidays all – I look forward to seeing you at Shiny Fuzzy Muddy!

Stephanie Symns heads up Antipod Workshop, a design studio with a focus on bold textiles for the home. If you’d like to know about upcoming textile workshops in Antipod’s Vancouver studio please sign up to the newsletter. You can learn more about Stephanie, her work and make purchases online on her website or on Oden Gallery

For more craft go to Oden Gallery and to stay current on what’s happening in craft and design follow on twitter, Instagram and facebook!

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