7 winter gifts (Barb’s)

Want/wish list: hot picks with a definite winter cool factor

It’s full-on holiday-shopping, gift-giving season. If Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Janet’s x7 winter wish list haven’t spurred the impulse yet, here are some more things to make those spending fingers itch. ’Tis the season…and yet these are no seasonal finds—each one makes a statement any time of year.

  1. The Artichoke pendant light is a mid-century-modern classic. Many have mimicked its sculptural layered structure (72 copper or stainless-steel leaves!) but the original—created in 1958 by Poul Henningsen, a Danish designer who practised “functionalistic architecture” yet focused largely on lighting—is inimitable. My crush for all things Scandi stays strong…
  2. Ah, jewellery. It’s a go-to for gift giving and yet it’s oh-so-personal. My current covet-worthy piece: Elsa Peretti’s Bone Cuff from Tiffany. Curvaceous and bold, with an organic grace (it’s even ergonomically designed for either the right or left wrist), the Italian designer first created it back in the in-your-face fashion era of the ’70s (hello, 70!). Think primal. And hear me roar.
  3. I travel. A lot. And I’m always on the lookout for great gear. Case in point: Lo & Sons’ Waverley crossbody bag. What intrigues me is that it’s also a “belt bag.” Or, um, fanny pack of sorts. Which is very cool indeed in this version—and clever—for hands-free traipsing. The Waverley also converts into a wristlet/clutch and standard shoulder bag. Four-in-one multi-function is a good thing when it comes to travel. I’ll be sporting this stylish fanny pack at an airport near you soon…
  4. Sometimes you need to take it with you. Like my on-heavy-rotation soundtrack of Christine and the Queens, Beck, The Raconteurs (mixed in with some Thievery Corporation and The Weeknd). Whether at Third Beach (one of my in-the-city and at-home summer highs) or on a holiday cruise with my in-laws, the all-new yet old-school (it kinda looks like a transistor radio) Beoplay A2 Active will carry tunes effortlessly (and with cute canvas straps, too).
  5. I like a guy who works with his hands. And Vancouver designer Steven Pollock’s handmade concrete creations are a thing of beauty—simple, understated beauty. Much like the man himself (whom I wrote about for Western Living magazine), soft-spoken and humble yet brimming with a creative power that he literally pours into his concrete vessels. Each is unique, patterned with its own set of air bubbles that are coaxed out during Pollock’s creative process. Now, which to choose?
  6. There’s something about the warmth and grain of real wood, especially in juxtaposition to the sterile sleekness of all things tech these days. Perhaps seeing my iPhone within the organic embrace of a driftwood, rootwood or birch log charging station by Docksmith will bring some essential balance back into place. Or so my warring sides of luddite and technophile hope.
  7. I’m a sucker for woodsy, earthy scents (yes, I like patchouli). So, this Urban Forest candle by Lite + Cycle, made from 100% essential oils of cedar, fir balsam, fennel and coffee, is like my inner-me fragrance. Find me a forest to get lost in (metaphorically, of course) and I’m a happy camper. But then, with this candle’s gold cap that doubles as a match-striking surface, I get to indulge my inner glam side too. The candle represents “the meditation of nature juxtaposed with metropolitan exhilaration.” Or, in other words, me. Φ
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