Not Martha

Holiday Gift Ideas

I’ve assembled a list of stuff that has appeared on Not Martha over the last year or so in the hopes that it might help you with the great gift search for the holidays. If you’d like more informaiton about any given thing I’ve put at link to the [post] where it originally appeared.

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gadets and electronics

Garmin Nuvi

We were given one of these as a gift and we find it so outstandingly useful we don’t know why we didn’t get one for ourselves earlier. This on fits firmly in the “gift that keeps on giving” category. [post]

Canon Rebel XSi

I bought myself the Canon XSi after my point and shoot simply stopped working. I couldn’t be happier with it, and the price is very fair at $635. The model that is on step down (and the one I originally wanted), the Canon XS, is currently a why-didn’t-I-wait-for-it $475. [post]

Canon DSLR accessories

These came highly recommended by commenters (thank you!) and which I have on my own wish list. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens came highly recommended as an inexpensive lens that is good for taking low light pictures in doors. The Crumpler 3 Million Dollar Home bag is recommended as able to hold a lot without looking conspicuously like a camera bag. I’m also eyeing the Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Home bag, which will hold a few extra lenses.

Flip video recorder

We have a tiny Flip video recorder and it’s fabulous. It does on thing, take good web quality video, and it has the simplest of controls. It has a pop-out USB connector right on the side so you can plug it right into your computer or laptop to get the videos off easily. They come out in Quicktime format, perfect for YouTube. A more recent model, the Mino, is even tinier. [post]

Eton Emergency Radio

We have a hand crank emergency radio and I feel prepared for the next time the power goes out in our neighborhood and I have no idea what is going on or, more importantly, where I need to head to find a hot cup of coffee. [post]


Product Body bath goods

I was very lucky to get to try some Prodcut Body products out and think they are outstanding. Everything is natural and made fresh to order, the line was created to be safe to new moms and kids. Any one of these scrubs, lotions or bath goods would be very welcomed under my tree. [post]

Eau de Yosh perfume

Unfortunately alcohol based perfumes make my nose itch so I was very happy to receive a sample set of Yosh perfumes last Christmas. All of her perfumes are oil based and I’ve become a big fan. U4EAHHH! is my favorite and I’ll be buying a full sized bottle knowing I’ll be using all of it. [post]

Babyliss 1/2″ hair straightening iron

I know it seems a bit strange to include this is a possible gift, but I’m so in love with my tiny Babyliss hair straightening iron I just had to include it here. It’s perfect for just straightening my bangs each morning, it heats up quickly and I can get close to my scalp without any trouble. I consider it essential for the smaller jobs. [post]


DB Clay wallets

DB Clay makes very cool wallets out of durable eco-friendly fabrics. I go to inspect the one we gave away on this site and I was very impressed with the quality, and fell in love with the pattern. [post]

Doane Paper notebooks and notepads

Doane Paper combines lines and grids so each page is good for sketches and notes, I find it insanely useful. It’s availble in full sized note pads and 3.5″x5.5″ notebooks, each come in packs of three. [post]


Matte Stephens

I was lucky enough to win a Matte Stephens print at on of The Lab events here in Seattle and I love it. I want one of the monster prints next. [post]


boygirlparty has a whole array of goods with her characters on them. You can buy small prints, original artwork, and notepads that Susie has designed. Also take a look at the boygirlparty goods currently offered by Chronicle Books – notecards, sticky notes and a journal. [post]


Tiny Jar Pies

If you’re feeling ambitious these tiny pies baked in a jar were received as a unique treat, and so cute if you’ll allow me to say so. Also consider the cakes baked in a jar that inspired these pies. [post]

kitchen stuff

KitchenAid food processor

This KitchenAid food processor is one of the models recommended by Cook’s Illustrated magazine and I love having it. Chopping things? Making pie dough in mere seconds? All things I couldn’t do without anymore. And it’s easier to clean that I thought it might be. [post]

Simple Human no-touch soap dispenser

Wanna make somebody’s year? The Simple Human no-touch foam soap dispenser is giving somebody a bit of luxury every time they go to wash thier hands. Not to mention how useful this would be for all those times you have hands covered in butter or flour or raw meat juice of some kind and just need to get your hands clean. I don’t own this, but I really wish I did. [post]

OXO kitchen scale

I bought the OXO kitchen scale because of the little pull-out display. I love it and it makes me feel like an expert baker. Also, the whole thing fits neatly inside a gallon sized zip top platic bag, which allows you to keep it clean when you’re flinging flour around. I flirted seriously with the small-but-mighty Escali Primo digital scale, just look at all those colors. [post]

Breville electric kettle

I use my kettle at least twice a day so I wanted one that would look great sitting on the counter. This Breville one has a simple design, a nice grippy handle, and a pleasant little ding when it’s ready. The large top opening makes it very easy to fill. I’m very pleased with it. [post]

Baker’s Edge brownie pan

I think this Baker’s Edge pan is the neatest thing I’ve seen for a long time. It’s squared off squiggle chamber allows you to cook brownies so that each piece has at least two edges. It’s brilliantly designed. While you can make lasagna in it (it’s easy to cut and put out in portions!) they do have a lasagna sized pan coming out in March. [post]

dutch oven

I love my dutch oven, a four-quart sized one, and am just hoping somebody will buy me a larger one next. The pot cooks better than I expected, and cleans up easier than I expected. It’s true love. Next I’m eyeing the Mario Batali 6 quart pot, it even has a stainless steel handle so you don’t have to worry when you put it in a hot oven. [post]

Riedel O tumblers

We’ve got a set of these Reidel O stemless wine glasses and use them often. They are Ridel quality at a significantly lower price and, we’ve tried this, can make an inexpensive wine taste better. [post]

Vacu Vin rapid ice chillers

These Vacu Vin rapid ice chillers are simply gel packs that you keep in your freezer and when you have a bottle of wine, a beer, some champagne you need to cool down quickly you just slide it over the bottle. It seems cheezy but it works really well. We use ours often enough that I’m considering buying the far better looking Vacu Vin Rapid Ice Cooling Carafe. [post]

cook books

Gluten-Free Girl

I know a startling number of people who have celiac and I recommend the book Gluten-free Girl to all of them. This book is Shauna’s story of how she came to be diagnosed, and there are lots of delicous recipes throughout the book. [post]

Delicious Days

I’ve been reading the Delicious Days site for a long time, and her book is filled with gorgeous photographs of the food and the inspiration for the recipes, it’s fantastic. [post]

stuff for the home

Apartment Therapy Presents

This book of apartment interiors is full of inspiration, and great ideas to steal. [post]

Grobal Baby

The Grobal Baby is a cute little self watering pot that comes in cheerful colors. The box comes with soil and plant food as well. [post]

reusable shopping bags

reusable shopping bags

I’m a huge fan of reusable bags that fold up really small, I carry a handful with me and keep a bundle in my car and I’m never caught needing to use a plastic bag, it’s fantastic. I’ve tried out a few and here a short summary. My favorites are the Envirosax becuase they fold up the smallest, but I have heard some complaints about their quality. My next favorite are the RuMe bags because they are very large and sturdy.

Envirosax: fold up nice and small, don’t drag on ground when held as a tote (I’m 5’2″ and they come close to dragging, so beware), come in patterns and solid colors, able to be hiked over your shoulder using one arm (again, I’m short so this might not be the case for taller people).

RuMe: Fold up to size only slightly larger than Envirosax, very sturdy construction, almost hit ground when I hold them as a tote, patterns and solid colors, able to be hiked over your shoulder using one arm. These come in a smaller size I find perfect for holding knitting projects and books from the library.

Baggu: Made of ripstop nylon it folds into a tidy flat, square pouch that is not attached to the bag. Lots of great solid colors and nice big stripes, but the handle is too short to hike over your shoulder using one arm. There is no danger of it dragging on the ground when I’m holding at a tote though, so if you’re short you might take a close look at this one.

Flip and Tumble: You scrunch it back into it’s attached container, which is a lot of fun and faster than folding up the others. Otherwise I find the handle to be too long, it drags if I hold it as a tote, and the single handle doesn’t distribute weight as well and bites into my shoulder. They have a new Loopt bag which I have not tried out yet but looks like it’s a bit shorter and has two handles.

posts: Envirosax, RuMe, Flip and Tumble, Baggu, Envirosax

for knitters and crafters

Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm CSA

Know a knitter who has everything? I suggest buying her a share in a some actual fleecy animals. Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm is a Yarn CSA and shareholders get to follow along with the animals, it’s really cool. [post]

Felt Flower kit

These needle felting kits by Made By Moxie have everything you need to make a flower pin and include enough wool to make quite a few. The foam included is eco-foam so when you’re done with it you just dissolve it in a bowl of warm water. Also take a look at the Mega Kit of Ultimate Felting Enjoyment. [post]

craft books

Stitched In Time

This is Alicia’s book, I don’t own it yet but I adore her website Posie Gets Cozy and have really loved reading about the process of writing the book. [post]

Bead Simple

A book with clear instructions on how to get started beading, and detailed instructions for a whole bunch of great projects. [post]

Complete Embellishing

A book with projects for adding decoration to clothing and things in your home, with a really great eye. [post]

Plush You!

Full of fantastic creatures for you to make, complete instructions. [post]

The Boss of You

Lauren and Emira have put together a step by step and encouraging book for women who want to start, or already own, their own businesses. Personal experiences, real life interviews and examples throughout. I’ve been reading their advice since they first started their Raised Eyebrow Web Studio. [post]

Craft, Inc.

Clear directions on how to take that thing you make and start a business, lots of real life interviews and encouragement. [post]


Eloise R. Designs

It’s not too late to get a set of adorable Eloise R. Designs Christmas cards, or stock up for the upcoming year. Take a look at some of the collections and you might never be at loss for a card again. [post]

sewing books

Simple Sewing

I love the Lotta Jandotter line of goods and this book is full of simple but stylish projects for you and your home. Also take a look at Lotta Prints, which shows you how to print patterns on fabric and surfaces in your home. [post]

Bend-the-Rules Sewing

A book full of great projects that encourage you to not be so worried about folling strict rules or patterns, I love everything in this book. [post]

Sew U and Sew U Home Stretch

Built By Wendy brings two books to the person who wants to make their own clothes. These are thick books that talk you through the process of making your own patterns to your own measurments. Sew U Home Stretch teaches you how to work with stretchy knit fabrics.

Amy Butler In Stitches and Little Stitches

Amy Butler’s Little Stitches book full of projects for children, very clearn instructions and patterns tucked into a pocket in the inside cover. In Stitches is full of projects for yourself and your home, simple clear instructions and pattern storage in the inside cover. [post and another]

other places to browse

Here are a few of the first places I look when I need inspiration: has offerings for everybody and collects fantastic sets of items.

Chronicle Books always has dozens of books I need rightnowrightnow. They also carry a bunch of fabulous gift items.

Mighty Goods, Might Junior and Mighty Haus are three shopping sites I find essential, and they all have fantastic gift lists up for the holidays.

in defense of gift cards

Each year stories come out about the evils of gift cards and etiquette stories telling us they are tacky. Me? I love getting gift cards. I just cannot find any fault with somebody admitting they have no idea what I might want and therefore giving me a gift that I get to pick out myself. I especially love getting gift cards for a store I don’t have to drive so gift cards for are ideal.

· comments [19] · 11-18-2008 · categories:christmas · shopping · things I think are neat ·

19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 travel turtle // Nov 18, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    i love everything you selected. you’ve made it easy. now all i have to do is send this list to family and see what happens.

  • 2 megan // Nov 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    That is very sweet of you to say, thank you.

  • 3 julie p. // Nov 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    I just received an email suggesting that one might reconsider giving gift cards this season, due to the enormous number of businessses that either are going out of business or are closing a large number of their locations. (The warning was followed by a LONG list of varied stores & their current statuses, i.e. bankruptcies, closings, #s of stores to close.)
    Like you, I love gift cards–to give & receive!–what’s better than giving someone free reign at a store of his/her liking?! Bearing in mind the warning, I’d suggest perhaps giving gift cards that encompass many stores, like mall gift cards, amazon cards, paypal gift cards, etc. That way, there’s no worry that the current econ. times might render the gift useless. Just a thought! :)

  • 4 Stephanie // Nov 18, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    What a wonderful list! I am definitely giving reusable bags this year – I had to good fortune this weekend to meet Katie, the creator of Rume bags, and she is wonderful! I picked up a handful of bags for relatives, then my daughter shooed me away so she could choose one for me. :)

  • 5 Susan Gibbs // Nov 18, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Wow! Not only am I beyond thrilled that our CSA shares made your list, I am totally coveting everything else on the list.
    Great post, Megan.

  • 6 kelli // Nov 18, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    I understand the FDIC is now insuring gift cards?!?!!

  • 7 Debbie // Nov 18, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Great list … thanks so much! FYI I just purchased the Mario Batali 6 qt. at Costco in BC for $69.95 and am now looking forward to trying the no-knead bread

  • 8 Charm // Nov 18, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    i think the best thing about this list is that i already have a few of the items on it so i feel like i’ve got christmas presents already (even though the items are over a year old now).

    i am putting an amazon wishlist together again though so i can get some of those books!

  • 9 Lecia // Nov 18, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Great list, well thought out. Thanks!

  • 10 dawn // Nov 19, 2008 at 6:07 am

    Excellent ideas- thanks megan!

  • 11 laura // Nov 19, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Just wanted to second the KA food processor. I asked for and received one last year and it has been one of the most-used things in my kitchen (pie dough, biscuits/scones, hash browns, chopping nuts, pureeing tomatoes…). My black model looks pretty when it’s cleaned up, but in reality it has a slight flour haze most of the time.

  • 12 KarWar // Nov 19, 2008 at 7:36 am

    this list is blowing my mind! one of everything, please

  • 13 Erin // Nov 19, 2008 at 8:04 am

    Thank you, Megan, for this very thorough list. You know about all the good stuff!

  • 14 phillygirl64 // Nov 19, 2008 at 10:18 am

    great list!

    I also want to speak out in defense of gift cards/certificates…I would rather get a gc for a place I actually shop than a crappy generic gift

  • 15 Seanna Lea // Nov 19, 2008 at 11:45 am

    I really like the Grobal! I have a brown thumb (Umm, because I forget to water the plants), and I love the idea that I could use this for smallish vegetables and herbs, not just pretty flowers!

  • 16 Joanna Schmidt // Nov 20, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    You are so sweet to recommend us again. Guess who is getting more PRODUCT BODY for the holidays??


  • 17 Claire // Nov 21, 2008 at 7:19 am

    I totally bought the Grobal baby for my boss, who forgets to water the plants in her office all the time.

  • 18 Nicola @ Geekware // Dec 2, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Great List!! I just bought 3 things from your suggestions… made my shopping easier :)

  • 19 jenB // Dec 6, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I will also chime in with great list!

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