Visual

Holiday Helpers

Yep, it’s the season

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

On the last Sunday of October, Whatcom County experienced record-setting warmth that wasn’t exactly commensurate with the season. By the following Sunday, snow was on the ground and it was dark by 5pm—making it much easier to comprehend that Christmas is just around the corner. Following are a few ways to stay on top of the season by seeking out creative, locally sourced gifts for your nearest and dearest.

At the annual Lummi Island Artists’ Holiday Studio Tour taking place from 10am-5pm Sat.-Sun., Nov. 11-12, those visiting the stretch of land accessible only by driving to Gooseberry Point and taking a short ferry ride on the sturdy Whatcom Chief will soon discover the journey was worth it. At more than a dozen locales around the island, it will be possible to peruse everything from paintings to drawings, prints, notecards, jewelry, photography, sculpture, glass, woodwork, pottery, metalwork, quilts, clothing and more. While you visit with the artists who make the scenic locale their home, feel free to ask why they live there, and what inspires them when it comes to their art. That way, you’ll have a story to tell the recipients of your gift-giving—something you can’t glean from a high-tech present purchased at the mall. Cost: The self-guided tour is free; round-trip ferry prices are $13 for a car and driver, $7 for additional passengers. More info: http://www.lummi-island.com

Days later, the 36th annual “Home for the Holidays” will open at a new locale. Traditionally held at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal a couple of weekends before Thanksgiving, this year the Thurs.-Sat., Nov. 16-18 event will open up shop at the Ferndale Events Center on Barrett Road. In addition to finding unique holiday-themed gifts and decor, those attending the festive event will also discover hand-crafted bath and body products, offerings for kids, clothing, jewelry, vintage wares, pottery, glassware, original watercolor and ink illustrations, specialty food, woodwork and much more. If you don’t leave with a least a little seasonal cheer under your belt, you’ll be in the minority. More info: http://www.homefortheholidaysbellingham.com

We’ve said it before, and we’ll proclaim once again that Allied Arts’ annual Holiday Festival of the Arts is one of the best ways around to ensure that most items purchased there and placed under your tree will be of the one-of-a-kind variety. When the five-week-long indoor arts festival featuring approximately 100 artisans from around the region opens Fri., Nov. 17 at 4145 Meridian Street, it’ll go strong daily through Christmas Eve (except on Thanksgiving day, naturally). In addition to the plethora of assorted artworks and fare for foodies, the cheer-filled event will also feature live music, weekend art workshops for kids, and a chance for artists and craftspeople to connect with members of the public. But the gifts don’t stop there; a portion of the proceeds raised during the festive fete will help support the visual arts in the region through Allied Arts’ education programs, community outreach, arts events, exhibits and artist resources. So while they’re helping you knock items off your list, you’re helping them keep culture in Whatcom County alive. Cost: Entry is free. More info: http://www.alliedarts.org

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