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Happy Handmade Holidays!

You know that we at Kidoinfo love making things with our kids. Just as much, we love supporting local artists with our gift-buying dollars. Rhode Island and Massachusetts are rich in opportunities to admire and buy locally-made items, often directly from their makers.

Here’s this year’s Kidoinfo list of recommendations for buying handmade holiday gifts:

 Bandaid Content Gallery 47 57 Agency
artwork by catia chien. available at craftland.

In Rhode Island:

Craftland Show
12/5-12/24 daily from 11:00 AM-6:00 PM. Open late on Thursdays and Saturdays until 8:00 PM.
Location: 235 Westminster Street, Providence.
Silk-screened onesies, stuffed toys in the form of slabs of bacon, as well as fine jewelry and paintings have all been found here in years past. Always eclectic and fresh, with special events scheduled throughout the month.
Admission is free.

Interstitial Baby Frame-2 Artists Deb Kracht Scrapheads

Foundry Holiday Show
12/5-12/14. Thursdays & Fridays, Noon-8:00 PM; Saturdays & Sundays, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM.
Location: Pawtucket Armory, 172 Exchange Street, Pawtucket.
The Foundry Show, which has been around for over twenty-five years, is a great place to find first-run, seconds, and discontinued craft items. You’ll find a wide array of hand-crafted items, including the newest bags from a la mode (alamodestuff.com), hand-bound books from Rag and Bone (ragandbonebindery.com), and adorable baby spoons from Beehive Kitchenware (http://www.beehivekitchenware.com/).
Admission is free (donations of canned goods are encouraged–they’ll be given to the RI Food Bank)
frame (above left) by beehive kitchenware. mini sculptures (above right) by ArtHead Studio

_MG_5598bMineral Spring Artist Open Studios & Sale
Friday, 12/5. 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM (Reception)
Saturday, 12/6. Noon – 5:00 PM
Sunday, 12/7. Noon – 4:00 PM
Location: 560 Mineral Spring Avenue, Pawtucket, RI (across from Lorraine’s Fabrics)
Over 20 artists will participate. It is always a treat to see where the artists create their work. In addition to buying direct from the artist, you often get a chance to see works in progress and learn more about their process and inspiration. Beth Curtin will be showing her portraits of children and her teens as well as selling her beautiful handmade dolls in Room 312. Children welcome!
Admission is free.
portrait by Beth Curtin

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Rag and Bone Open Studio
Saturday,12/6. 10:00 AM-4:00 PM.
Location: Rag and Bone Bindery – 1088 Main Street, Pawtucket.
Loyal customers, as well as first-timers, will have the opportunity to preview and purchase Rag and Bone’s line of beautiful, whimsical, handmade gifts for the holidays (and at a 25 percent discount!). From growth charts for the little ones, a journal for your favorite niece, or a digital scrapbook for your mom, Rag and Bone Bindery is guaranteed to have something for the special people in your life.
Admission is free.
photo albums by rag and bone bindery

RISD Alumni Art Sale
Saturday, 12/13. 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. (Arrive early to avoid–or to get a good place in–a long line.)
Location: Rhode Island Convention Center, One Sabin Street, Providence.
Alumni from all over the world come back to Providence with thousands of items for sale, including toys, fine art, greeting cards, jewelry, furniture, clothing, ceramics, and much more.
Admission is $7, free for children under 14 and current RISD students.

The city of Providence supports the arts with their new BUY ART program.  When you shop from downcity merchants this holiday season you will receive a limited edition “I BUY ART” button created by Providence artists. Find out more about participating venues and local events at BuyArtProvidence.com.

NOTE: Festival de Noel at the French American School will not be held this year.

In Massachusetts:

Bazaar Bizarre
Sunday, 12/7. Noon-7:00 PM (Arrive early to avoid–or to get a good place in–a long line.)
Location: The Castle at Park Plaza, 101 Arlington Street, Boston
A group of artist friends started this show in 2001 as an antidote to that dreaded other kind of craft fair (the kind with duck silhouettes stenciled on little shelves and rosebuds formed from wood shavings). Expect irresistibly clever and lovely jewelry, clothing, art, and toys.
Admission is $1.00.

Sowa Holiday Market
Saturday, 12/13 & Sunday, 12/14. 10:00 AM-6:00 PM
Location: 74 Union Park Street, Boston (free parking at 500 & 540 Harrison Avenue)
Eighty New England artists bring their amazing wares. Quirky soft dolls, jewelry, hand bags…all chosen for their delightfulness. And everything is hand crafted, of course.
Admission is $5.

The Harvard Square Holiday Craft Fair
12/6, 7, 12, 13, 14, and daily from the 18th through the 23rd.
Saturdays: 10:00 AM-7:00 PM, Sundays: noon-6:00 PM, weekdays: noon-7:30 PM
Location: First Parish Unitarian Church (at the corner of Mass Ave. and Church Street in Harvard Square).
A long-running, juried show featuring the work of a changing mix of New England craftspeople and world-traveling importers. This show aims to be less like a show and more like a party where you can buy awesome stuff!
Admission is free.

Tell your friends! Give handmade gifts this holiday season–to yourself and the ones you love. If you have a local holiday show to recommend, please share the details in the comments below.

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  • In Scituate, The Greenery specializes in fair trade and home made gifts, especially non toxic toys and organic baby stuff. It’s a beautiful experience just to walk into that store — feels like the holidays.

    check it out: http://www.shopjust.com/Gifts.html

    132 Danielson Pike, North Scituate, RI 02357 (15 minutes from Providence)

  • Here is another great event:

    The Pawtuxet Village Holiday Sale
    “great affordable gifts made by local artists”
    What: Holiday Party
    Start Time: Saturday, December 13 at 10:00am
    End Time: Saturday, December 13 at 8:00pm
    Where: The Aspray Boat House

  • Three Sisters on 1074 Hope Street in Providence is hosting a show for local craftspeople every Thursday in December from 6-9 P.M. There will be a variety of hand-made items.

  • The Artisans’ sale at TOTs in the white church in Barrington was really good last year–small, but all good quality, interesting stuff. It’s on 12/6 this year.