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It’s a bittersweet holiday season here in Queens.
Many families affected by Hurricane Sandy are still picking up the pieces, but life goes on. Christmas trees are decorated, menorahs and Kwanzaa kinaras are lit and with hearts full of hope, New Yorkers are getting ready to ring in 2013.
Gift-giving is a surefire way to cheer anyone up, young or old, so how about checking out local talent for one-of-a-kind eco- and budget-friendly artisan products?
Many of the items for sale are found on Etsy.com, an online retailer similar to Amazon that specializes in selling homemade arts and crafts. Here are some holiday selections:
Borough pillows artisan Marissa Corwin has been donating 90 percent of her profits to a Red Hook, Brooklyn, printing business devastated by Sandy. The guy who does silk screen printing for her city-themed pillows and bandanas lost $75,000 worth of equipment and his employees were out of work for several weeks after the factory was flooded. The operation has been using makeshift equipment and business is slow.
So Corwin decided to help out.
Corwin’s hand-sewn, 16-inch square, 100 percent cotton decorative pillows boast a map of Queens surrounded by the Unisphere, Queensboro Bridge, the iconic Silvercup and Pepsi-Cola signs and those beautiful viaducts that run under the No. 7 train in Sunnyside. (etsy.com/shop/handoverfist)
Another Queens artist, Jamaica’s Mayuko Fujino, has been helping out a Jersey City, N.J., radio station, WFMU, damaged by Sandy. She donates all proceeds when she sells her festive animals-with-musical-instruments-themed holiday card creations. More at wfmu.org/marathon.
Since 1999, the self-taught Japanese cutout artist has contributed to the Queens art scene with her unique style of paper cuts mixed with collage. She only uses paper, a cutting knife and magazine pages. (etsy.com/shop/planetplatonic)
Long Island City’s “queens77” would like to sell you the Queensboro Bridge — on a T-shirt — screen printed by hand, like other hip designs. Every print has a story. (etsy.com/shop/queens77)
Kristy from Jackson Heights designs and crafts fun, stylish jewelry for teens and adults. (etsy.com/shop/KnottedRam)
Knit iPad cozy anyone? Beth Shorr, of Astoria, also knits and crochets lovely hats and scarves for the holidays. She’s a talent coordinator at “The Daily Show” by day and a knitter by night. (etsy.com/shop/bshorr)
Sunnyside resident Milly is owner of Cutiepie Co. Inspired by vintage ephemera, the designer and printmaker crafts fine paper goods, stationery, prints and “other sweet things” for the holidays. Her items are lovingly made in small batches with great attention to detail. (etsy.com/shop/cutiepiecompany)
For DIY-ers, Hunter’s Hideaway of Sunnyside has everything you need for personal gift-giving, like DIY card-making kits and “handmade by” rubber stamps. (etsy.com/shop/HuntersHideaway)
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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