Economic concerns may have shortened shopping lists, but the holiday spirit urges shoppers on. Tucked within with this week’s offering are ideas for finding something a little out of the ordinary.
The Turner Hall Ballroom morphs into a discounted holiday shopping extravaganza when Milwaukee’s Heavy Rotation clothing company hosts the second annual Urban Garage Sale Dec. 12 (10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.). Find terrific markdowns on merchandise from shops such as Design Within Reach, Flaire, Hot pop, Lela, freckle face, Mr. Shoe, Sprout, Chartreuse, Boutique Vieux et Nouveau, (shoo), Dragonfly, Luscious and Fred. There will also be live music, DJs and even free beer for the first 200 shoppers. Admission $3. For more info, visit urbangaragesale.com.
What do you get a fashionista hoping to help change the world? How about a purse from the new Anchor collection by local designer Linda Marcus available at Gigi’s of Mequon? American made, inspired by people and places, these leather bags feature intricate textural ruching outside with the surprise of a vintage scarf lining inside. Sort of Audrey Hepburn meets Joan Jet. Committed to giving back, Marcus designs primarily to donate a portion of her sales to women involved in textile-based businesses through KIVA, an organization that grants micro-business loans in Third World countries. 1552 W. Mequon Rd., 262-241-1123, gigiofmequon.com.
Delight the cooks in your life by turning them on to wood plank cooking. This healthy, Native American technique suitable for grills or ovens allows food to remain moist and tasty without the addition of fat, oil or other flavorings. Whether cooking salmon, chicken breasts or eggplant slices, some of the best planks available are Superior Planks by EcoWood. Handcrafted from locally harvested woods on Wisconsin’s Madeline Island, they’re available in Smoky Red Oak, Classic Northern Cedar or Sweet Sugar Maple. Suggested recipes are online at superiorplanks.com.
Got a fastidious fellow to buy for? You’re in luck because Allen Edmondstakes the fuss out of ordering custom-made shoes. The unique service caters to men whose feet are difficult to fit as well as those who want to pursue individual tastes with regard to the style, color or type of sole of their footwear. Needless to say, treats this personal cost a bit more, but hey, he’s worth it, right? 18900 W. Bluemound Rd., Brookfield, 262-785-6666, 11043 N. Port Washington Rd., Mequon, 262-241-4266, allenedmonds.com.
In the market for a one-of-a-kind present? Find jewelry, ceramics, art glass, photography, sculpture, fiber, leather, wood and mixed media craft pieces created by more than 50 Wisconsin Designer Crafts Council artists at The Morning Glory Gallery. New pieces arrive weekly to meet holiday demands. Open noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and during all shows and symphony, ballet, opera and stage performances held at Uihlien Hall. 929 N. Water St., 414-765-7227, marcuscenter.org.
Gift baskets make for easy gift giving, especially when filled with additive- and preservative-free beauty products from Olivü. Created by hand by Caitlin Brotz with natural oils, minerals and fragrances, choose from freshly made lotions, lip balms, body scrubs, soaps, bath fizzies, shower gels and more. They are perfect for natural skin care and beauty regimes no matter your age. 511 N. 8th St., Sheboygan, 920-783-0809, olivu426.com.
If you haven’t seen the Man at Work collection at MSOE’s Grohmann Museum, well what are you waiting for? After exploring the impressive collection of more than 700 European and American paintings and sculptures that depict jobs and labor through the ages, make sure to stop at the gift shop. It’s where you’ll find All About Town Milwaukee, the fun board game designed by MIAD Students for the Milwaukee County Historical Society. Also, should any permanent painting in the collection tickle your fancy, you can have a ready-to-frame print made in minutes.1000 N. Broadway, 414-277-2300, msoe.edu.
For a lot of dogs, with a cold winter coming this way, having a custom-made coat isn’t so much a luxury as a necessity. Thank goodness for Waukesha’s Dogcoats.com, which for the last 15 years, has perfected the art of creating all-weather coats to properly fit and meet the specific needs of any breed of dog.
Any canine on your Christmas list will be delighted to receive a completely edible Christmas card from Milwaukee based chewedforthoughts.com. Fashioned from flat peanut butter-flavored dog biscuits, you can order the cards printed with a variety of clever birthday, holiday and special occasion greetings.
For fun, quirky and often-practical gifts, American Science Surplus can’t be beat, especially during sales on already low-priced merchandise. On Dec. 10, it’s 20 percent off all musical instruments and speakers, on Dec. 12, save 15 percent on all photography gear, on Dec. 14, all maps, globes and geographic charts are 15 percent off, and on Dec. 16, shoppers will save 15 percent off piñata kits. 6901 W. Oklahoma Ave., 414-541-7777, sciplus.com.
Perfect for putting under the tree of a chocoholic are boxes of delicious, locally made, signature truffles from Indulgence Chocolatiers available at Beans & Barley. Or shop online for decadent holiday truffles in eggnog, gingerbread, candy cane, pecan pie and pumpkin spice flavors. P.S. Sign up for its online newsletter for special savings. 1901 E. North Ave., 414-278-7878, beansandbarley.com, indulgencechocolatiers.com.
For those who like it hot and locally made, Man’s Best Friend signature hot sauces, which are created from scratch with fresh chili peppers blended with ginger, kiwi, sweet cherries, peaches, pineapple, curry and thyme, are seriously flavorful. Heat varies from mild to hot, hot, hot. mbfsauces.com.
Got a wine enthusiast on your list? Thief Wine has you covered with a variety of themed and custom gift packs. Packed in authentic wooden wine crates, arrangements can include openers, aerators, stoppers, wine chillers, label removers, cellar tags, glasses and, of course, great wines. 400 N. Water, 414-277-7707, thiefwine.com.
Gals worried about what their guys might pick out better sign up quick for Faye’s terrific e-mail blasts. Receive a coupon good through Dec. 24 for $50 off any purchase of $100 or more. They’ll also help out by keeping your secret wish list on file, so he can surprise you with something oh so perfect. 1505 W. Mequon Rd., 262-241-8386 & 18900 W. Bluemound Rd., 262-432-0070, fayes123.com.
No matter who you’re shopping for, the stellar sales staff at George Watts & Son is always ready and able to step up with lots of ways to give the gift of fine taste this holiday season for fewer than $50. Needless to say, should you be feeling even more generous, they’ve also got you covered. 761 N. Jefferson St., 414-290-5700, georgewatts.com.
Dec. 9-10 (5-8 p.m.) at Good Harvest Market: Owners Jody and Joe Nolan invite the public to stop in for dinner and celebrate the store’s first-year anniversary. Sample new sandwiches, grab ‘n go entrees, and microbrews. 346 N. Broadway, 414-727-3560, goodharvestmarket.com.
Dec. 10 (5-9 p.m.) at Miss Groove: Happy Holly Days Party means special sales, appetizers, drinks and a chance to take a naughty or nice photo with a shirtless Santa and his sexy elves. 1330 E. Brady St., 414-298-9185, missgroove.com.
Dec. 11-12 on Brady Street: Holly Days brings together area stores, restaurants and bars offering seasonal savings, a chance to win two roundtrip tickets on Air Tran, strolling carolers, more than 150 Santas on bikes and the annual Festivus celebration of Seinfeld fame. bradyst.com.
Dec. 12-13 at Rummage-A-Rama! The Christmas Edition: Donate two non-perishable food items for the Hunger Task Force and save $2 off the $4 admission fee. Wisconsin Products Pavilion, 640 S. 84th St., 414-899-0893, rummage-a-rama.com.
Through Dec. 13 at Fred and Luscious Boutique: Save $25 on all dresses and $15 on all tops. 524 N. Water St., 414-273-3733 & 4407 N. Oakland Ave., 414-967-7760, fredboutique.com. 522 N. Water, 414-755-8139 & 4407 N. Oakland Ave., 414-755-8139, shopluscious.com.
Through Dec. 13 at Tadpole Kids: Save 25 percent on PJs, slippers and robes perfect for a cozy Christmas Eve. Drop off a toy to donate and get a $10 coupon good for future purchases. 708 Genesee St., Delafield, 262-646-5556, tadpolekids.com.
Now through Dec. 24 at Brookfield Square Mall: Shoppers can pick up a certificate good for a free, personalized, one-of-a-kind gift bag at customer service. Also go to shopbrookfieldsquaremall.com to print out the mall’s free holiday coupon book.
Through Dec. 31 at Gigi’s Rack: A holiday super sale cuts an additional 30 percent off fabulous, already drastically reduced ready-to-wear and cocktail fashions. 1552 W. Mequon Rd., Mequon, 262-241-7315, gigiofmequon.com.
While they last at Vieux et Nouveau Boutique: Save 30 to 50 percent on all sorts of fashionable, comfy and trendy leather shoes, including Fidji’s. 1217 E. Brady St., 414-287-9049, boutiquemilwaukee.com.