Holiday Pop-Up

City of Craft, Portobello-East, Holiday Pop-Up and More Indie Art and Craft Markets This Weekend (And Beyond)

Say no to gift cards this season and instead seek out a unique piece of art or curious craft to place under the Christmas tree or in a Hanukkah gift-bag.

The city has a veritable bounty of craft fairs and art pop-up shops where you can find something special for your number-one (and number-two, and number-three...) boos.

I kicked off the last few weeks left of holiday shopping with a visit to Methinks' holiday pop-up art shop in at Project 165 in Kensington Market.

The multi-use space has tricked themselves out like a cozy Christmas cottage, complete with faux stone walls, cardboard Christmas trees, and even a secret chimney-shaped secret passageway to create a "conceptual art and craft showroom installation," according to organizer Ryan Ringer. (Don't forget to grab a cup of cocoa!)

They were selling a variety of art and crafts, including pencil drawings, plump stuffed ornaments, button earrings, prints, chicken-wire squirrels, eco-friendly teddybears, paintings, and beeswax candles. Feel free to buy me Hugh Langis' drawing of a tall-mast ship with striped-stocking-ed legs braving a stormy sea ($50).

Now, I'm armed with a list of a half-dozen of the most interesting-looking sales this weekend-- and beyond--where I hope to find the final few presents for my favourite people. Here it is:

The Theatre Centre (1087 Queen Street West)
Open until Sunday, December 13
Saturday 12pm-7pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm

My favourite of the craft-shows has a killer line-up this year, including fox-covered ceramic bowls, hand-knit bunnies, lace-emblazoned tees, vintage map wrapping paper, jellyfish necklaces, and elk pillows. Donation of $2 at the door.

St. Stephens-in-the-Fields Church (103 Bellevue Avenue)
Saturday, December 12

An on-site cafĂŠ and eco-friendly gift-wrap station makes this one-day sale even more enticing. Purchase one-of-a-kind jewellry, ceramics, and notebooks, along with paintings and other art.

Burroughes Building (639 Queen Street West)
Open until Sunday, December 13

Sui Generis party-dresses and swine-flu silver necklaces are some of the gifts to grab at the Burroughes Building this weekend at the December edition of the Portobello East Market.

401 Richmond Street West
Open until Sunday, December 13
Saturday: 11am-8pm
Sunday: 11am-5pm

This studio-packed building is hosting its 17th annual sale; it'll have felted Christmas ornaments, baked goods, pottery, handmade hats, bicycle t-shirts, and more.

Ransack the Universe (1207 Bloor Street West)
Open December 12 and 13, and December 19 and 20

Eclectic offerings abound at this west-end shop: pick up stuffed squid pins, origami earrings, clothing, bags with colourful linings, quirky cards, soaps, and even pet stuff.

Art Metropole (788 King Street West)
Open until Thursday, December 24
Wednesday-Saturday, 11am -6pm

Take your nice-list to Art Metropole and pick up multiples, artist books, ephemera, audio and video for your art-loving pals. We like the idea of the Gift Box, which "contain a different selection of four multiples produced by four of the 14 artists" in the show (limited edition of 20 for $100 each).

Project 165 (165 Augusta Avenue)
Open until Thursday, December 31
12pm-8pm daily (closed December 24 and December 25)

Over 50 vendors are packed into this surreal space (see photos above), where work is priced at a very reasonable $20.00 to $200.00. Check out the photos for some of the awesome art available.

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Photos by Adam Moco.

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