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Close to the Heart

A Holiday Celebration of Local Artisans

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This season, Bend Nest has a present for you!

We've been searching near and far for the finest holiday gifts on offer this season. And, not surprisingly, we found them right here in our backyard. For unique, handmade items, made by Central Oregon artists and creators, look no further than these pages. We've curated our holiday favorites which should just about cover everyone on your list!

NATALIE STEPHENSON
  • Natalie Stephenson

EARTH GROWN KIDDOUGHS

Made in Bend

In 2012, local mom Cali Talbot set out to make a better, softer, more natural playdough. Tired of crumbly, gritty modeling compounds with worrisome ingredients that stained and hardened too quickly, she created a high-quality alternative sensory dough infused with amazing scents and custom glitters. Rave reviews spread like wildfire through local mom's groups, nanny agencies and play cafes, and soon Earth Grown KidDoughs was born.

NATALIE STEPHENSON
  • Natalie Stephenson

Sensory dough kits can be ordered a la carte or as a monthly subscription package. Just in time for the holidays, custom kits available include "Decorate a Tree Snow Globe," "Make a Snowman," "Decorate an Ornament" and "Holiday Baking" in tantalizing scents such as Glistening Pine, Vanilla Buttercream, Peppermint Stick, Chocolate Fudge and Sugar Cookie. Each kit also includes themed play pieces to get into the holiday spirit!

earthgrownkiddoughs.com

ELLIX DESIGNS

Made in Bend

Offering a "little piece of art for your head," Ellix Designs hats are hand layered and sewn in the home studio of local Bend artist Lizzi Katz. Katz starts by doodling with scissors and a sewing machine to create her unique patches and "fabric drawings," offering an interesting textured look. Colorful and alluring, Ellix Designs hats are the perfect all-season apparel in the mountains of Central Oregon for any outdoor or urban adventure with sizes for both adults and children.

NATALIE STEPHENSON
  • Natalie Stephenson

Popular styles include gorgeous original photos by Amy Castano included on the Mt. Hood Graffiti Flat Bill Trucker Hat. Other custom hats include wool felt on mesh back, such as the River Canyon, Purple Flower and Chevron Heart trucker hats. The Rainbow Mountain toddler hat for kiddos ages 1-3 is especially delightful for the little ones!

ellixdesigns.com

MEGAN MARIE MYERS ART

Made in Bend

Megan Marie Myers is a painter and illustrator in Bend whose work is deeply inspired by the outdoors and our beautiful Oregon wildlife and landscapes. Her vision is to cultivate a connection between all people and nature through art. Megan reproduces her paintings locally into a variety of fun keepsakes that make unique holiday gifts for adventurous spirits!

NATALIE STEPHENSON
  • Natalie Stephenson

Just in time for the season, her playful prints can be found on cozy winter apparel, such as the Kids Dual Layer Neck Tubes, as well as kid-friendly board games and puzzles, such as Puppy Trek and her 513-piece Art Puzzle (made in the USA). Featuring 12 unique designs, her Wall Art Calendar has become a Central Oregon holiday tradition, now in its sixth year, while her camping log journal offers a fun activity for kids to work on around the campfire.

meganmariemyers.com

BRANCH + BARREL

Made in Bend

Branch + Barrel is a small, artist-run jewelry company. Their hand-made designs utilize sustainably sourced wood and/or reclaimed oak barrel staves accented with hand-forged precious metals. As the name suggests, their nature-inspired jewelry demonstrates the incredible potential and surprising harmony that these seemingly opposing materials of wood and metal can create when combined.

NATALIE STEPHENSON
  • Natalie Stephenson

For eco-conscious shoppers looking to give back with their holiday purchases, it's good to know that Branch+Barrel is passionate about protecting and restoring forests worldwide. One tree is planted for every Branch + Barrel item sold. Style and sustainability, what could be better?

branchandbarreldesigns.com

THE SPINSTERZ

Made in Bend

In business now for 17 years, the Spinsterz is a top-quality producer of beautiful, custom-made hula hoops from a durable polyethylene tubing that is a heavier weight than traditional plastic store-bought hoops, which makes it easier for beginners to learn and to keep the hoop going on their waists.

NATALIE STEPHENSON
  • Natalie Stephenson

Coming in various sizes for everyone on the holiday shopping list, these hoops aren't just for children. As a curator of the best flow arts and juggling props from artisans all over the world, the Spinsterz also offers weighted hoops specifically designed for fitness activities and physical exercise. Stunning flow toys such as LED juggling, fire poi and fiber optic whips also make exciting gifts for friends and family! thespinsterz.com

HOLM MADE TOFFEE COMPANY

Made in Bend

It just doesn't get any better when it comes to the local sweet stuff. The artisans at Holm Made Toffee continue to create and concoct out-of-the-box confections that contain no gluten, soy, corn syrup or preservatives. "It's Happiness. Plain & Simple!" (Be forewarned, these delectable combinations may cause humans to consume the whole package in one sitting).

NATALIE STEPHENSON
  • Natalie Stephenson

Available flavors include traditional fan favorites like Original Hazelnut Toffee, best sellers like the aromatic Cardamom & Vanilla Hazelnut Toffee and unique flavors, such as Marionberry Hazelnut Toffee. For dessert lovers looking for that extra special addition to holiday baked goods or ice cream, the Lil' Bits Dessert Toppers made of roasted and diced hazelnuts with flecks of dark chocolate and toffee pieces in flavors like Candy Cane Bits and Gingerbread Bites are sure to delight!

homemadetoffee.com

MESSY MAGIC

Made in Bend

With friends and family gathering again for in-person holiday parties and get-togethers, who doesn't want to look and smell their best? Now is the perfect time to ditch the questionable chemicals and try out some new natural hair care products to cleanse, nourish and bring out that inner glow. Messy Magic offers a 3-in-1 shampoo and conditioner alternative made of powdered herbs (nothing else!) inspired by Ayurveda that stores and travels well. Products are organic, all natural, vegan, non-GMO and cruelty free, making them the perfect accompaniment to the holiday list.

NATALIE STEPHENSON
  • Natalie Stephenson

A good place to start is the sample pack. Tend toward dry hair? Try the Chamomile + Rose! Oily hair? Try Yarrow + Basil! The Marshmallow Root Hair Mask can bring some life and shine back to your locks. Even Fido can get in on the fun with their herbal Dog Wash!

messymagicherbals.com

GRATEFUL BEND

Made in Sunriver

Living a charmed life outside Sunriver, Oregon, owners Mike and Christina Hemperly expertly tie dye household items and clothing using snow, ice and liquid methods. From peasant blouses and youth hoodies, to organic cotton baby onesies and toddler shirts, to leggings, socks and even underwear briefs, bright colors abound in these beautiful, custom-made pieces.

NATALIE STEPHENSON
  • Natalie Stephenson

Available in local markets during the summer months and always available on Etsy, Grateful Bend products make the perfect holiday gift for that someone special!

GratefulBend.etsy.com

About The Authors

Angela Switzer

One of the original members of the Source team, Angela remembers the days of ringing fax machines and crying babies when the newspaper operated out of her home. She loves all things outdoors, especially mountain biking with hubby, trail running and cooking gourmet meals, while camping in her beloved Eurovan. Her...

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