1.) Cincinnati Neighborhood Ornaments
One of my favorite places to shop for unique gifts is at Crafty Supermarket, which is where I stumbled upon these adorable ceramic ornaments themed after neighborhoods in Greater Cincinnati. Created by Sarah Horn Ceramics, these decorations paid homage to numerous towns across the tri-state, including Bellevue, Covington, Clifton, Northside, OTR, as well as Sarah's home in Dayton, Kentucky.
2.) German Verbiage Tote Bags
Cincinnati's German heritage shined bright at Christkindlmarkt on Fountain Square with canvas tote bags created in partnership with Cincideutsch and Saint Ursula’s Academy Design Program. Each item features a word in German that does not directly translate into English. On one side, a graphic of the word is printed in the style of a German artist. On the other, the definition is displayed on the corner of the bag, along with the artist's name.
3.) Cincinnati Subway DVD + Tee Shirt
Share the secret of the Queen City underground this season with a copy of the PBS documentary about America's largest unfinished subway system, located beneath the streets of Central Parkway. A story of innovation, greed, and corruption, this hour-long program includes vivid footage of the tunnels, as well as a collection of original construction photographs from the 1920s.
Be sure to grab the companion tee shirt too, which reads "The Cincinnati Subway: Taking you nowhere since 1928." Both items can be found at Cincy Haus in the Gateway Quarter, or www.thecincinnatisubway.com/store
4.) Over The Rhine Coasters
Fresh off the presses from Once Blind Studios, this set of Over The Rhine coasters is so suave you'll be tempted to take them out to use at your favorite drinking establishment. Available at Park + Vine, the coasters are just one of many items featured in OBS's Heritage Collection.
5.) Sadistic Mistress Sauces
Not just a hot sauce, not just a salsa; these Kentucky hand-crafted bottles of fury are perfect for the Spicy Level 10 lovers on your list. With every pepper homegrown in the Bluegrass State, the quality ingredients are all-natural, vegan, gluten-free, and peanut-free. Discovered at The City Flea, Sadistic Mistress Sauces can be used for cooking, snacking with tortilla chips, or garnishing a 3-way.
6.) Wrath by Howard McEwen
One of my most recent late night page turners, Wrath tells the story of William Goebel, a politician from Covington, Kentucky, who was the only Governor ever to be assassinated in office. Based on a true story that takes place in post Civil War Kentucky, I was fascinated with hearing familiar street names, landmarks, and politicians of the era.
Available on Amazon.com both in hardcopy and for Kindle, Wrath will have you cheering for Goebel throughout his ruthless yet passionate rise to power.
7.) Print of Music Hall 1878
Designed by local pop artist, Andrew VanSickle, this limited edition print of Music Hall recaptures the pageantry taking place on the night Music Hall first opened in 1878. With proceeds benefiting the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, this will brighten both your home and support the arts in the Queen City. With only 100 prints in existence, promenade on over to The Bravo Shop and get one for your collection.
8.) A Dork & His Christmas Cheer
Jeff, author of A Dork & His Pork, surprised me over the holiday weekend with a box of homemade sweets: sugar cookies, mixed nut brittle, and truffle fudge. Now, this is not your ordinary tin of holiday baked goods. Every last detail of these treats were made from scratch by Jeff in his kitchen and I could taste the love in each bite. His culinary skills could make even a fruit cake seem delicious.
9.) The Singing Cupcake
While we're on the topic of sweets, I'm head-over-heels for this singing felt cupcake my roommate received from our friend Maureen. It's adorable. It's a magnet. It belts out "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" when pressed. What's not to love?
10.) Rookwood Tile Trivets
Dine with Cincinnati's finest landmarks at your holiday table with these trivets featuring Carew Tower, Fountain Square, Union Terminal, Music Hall and more. Crafted by Rookwood Tile and set inside a wooden frame, each hot plate can be customized in your favorite color. Find one for your kitchen at Urban Eden on 13th and Main Street.
11.) Wooden iPhone Cases
Looking for a new case for your iDevice? Warm up with a sleek teakwood case from JackBacks, based in Northside. Each is handcrafted from real wood - not a sticker or "looks like wood" aesthetic. You can also have custom designs etched into it. The options are endless: photographs, your favorite quote, a name, a cartoon... if you can dream it, it can be JackBacked!
12.) The Scoodie
With the first blast of arctic air that arrived just after Thanksgiving, I began seeking out knitted headwear for trekking around the urban outdoors. Introducing: The Scoodie. This knitted hood paired with your favorite peacoat creates a warm, stylish addition to your winter wardrobe. I spotted this at Crafty Supermarket and regret not snatching it up. Anyone want to knit me one?
13.) Domestica Ornament
Another darling gift that my roommate received was this ornament of a Domestica Magazine. Published locally, Domestica is Cincinnati's newest monthly magazine about area boutiques, non-profits, and eateries. Written like a letter from a close friend and filled with catalogue-style pictures, the articles create photographic memoirs about the Queen City. For only $40, twelve issues of Domestica can be a staple on your coffee table for 2013.
14.) Wallet w/ Fortune Holder
Tired of leaving your fortune cookie notes at the restaurant or floating in the bottom of your purse? This line of wallets designed by Alison Rose features a display pouch for your fortunes, as well as many other handy features sought out in a money handler: zipper change pouch, dollar compartment, and plenty of slots for credit cards. Combined with a wide selection of two-toned prints, these wallets come in styles for both gals and guys.
15.) Aerial Map of Cincinnati in 1900
Hand-tinted and etched by Alternate Histories, this map of the city features all the historic icons of Cincinnati in 1900: steamboats, churches, railroads, seven rolling hills, and Clancy the Ohio River octopus.
16.) Gingerbread Waffles
Taste of Belgium's seasonal waffles have been a hit with my friends from out-of-state, especially the gingerbread variety they cooked up for winter. These delightful baked goods made their way to Switzerland, Toronto, and Boston for the holidays, as well as a pack that stayed close to home which I enjoyed for breakfast on Christmas morning.
17.) Cincinnati / OTR Dishtowels
If you've walked with me through MiCA 12/v, then you've heard me gush about the Cincinnati and Over The Rhine dishtowels from VisuaLingual. Printed with lettering found from the 19th century, these swanky towels come in a variety of colors including my favorites: teal and neon yellow.
18.) Cincinnati Symphony Scarf
One of my first purchases of the holiday season was an elegant, cozy soft scarf from Music Hall. It immediately caught my eye as a present for my friend Nell, who is a music teacher. Offered at The Bravo Shop in a variety of colors, this gift will warm the hearts and necks of your favorite musician.
19.) Silverware Ornaments
Forks aren't just for the dinner table anymore! BB Studio showed off their handcrafted silverware ornaments at The City Flea, an extension of their jewelry line that includes necklaces, bracelets, and earrings made from utensils. Each of these distorted forks clasped a shimmering glass ball, a perfect compliment to any festive Evergreen.
20.) Wooden Ohio Coasters
Finally, my favorite Crafty Supermarket splurge allowed me to lay my Ohio pride right out on the table. This set of four wooden coasters from Wholly Craft! are designed from five types of wood and create a stylish accent in the home of any urbanista.