Local Buys: Winter 2023

Cozy crochet blankets, handmade ornaments and lusty lumberjacks are just some of the unique items made by our local artisans this gift giving season.

November 27, 2023 | | Made in the Hills

Slice of Life

Amaranth-based painter Haley Marfleet captures the beauty of the natural world in rich, vibrant colours. She is currently a member of the Headwaters Arts group. Haley also sells smaller items via Marfleet Design. Don’t miss her work at the Artful Giving Artisan Gift & Fine Art Sale at Alton Mill Arts Centre through until January 7. Her wood-slice magnets and ornaments are adorned with winter-themed motifs. “People are drawn to the natural and rustic style with the added hand-painted imagery,” says Haley. (Ornaments $20 each, Marfleet Design and Artful Giving)

Handmade wood rounds Christmas decorations

Pattern Recognition

Surface pattern artist Fabienne Good of Grand Valley injects more than a little fun into functional items, such as potholders, lavender sachets and eye pillows (with local lavender), and beeswax wraps. “I design all my prints using my illustrations inspired by nature and rural Canada.” Find her work at the Museum of Dufferin’s Holiday Treasures Arts & Crafts Sale, November 29 to December 10. New this year is the “lumberjack/young Santa” motif, a recent drawing. Art cards and baby booties are other precious offerings. (Potholders, $25 each, Fabienne Good and Holiday Treasures)


By day, Megan Mare works as a program co-ordinator at Shelburne’s Streams Community Hub, which offers art programs to youth in the community. By night, Megan hosts crochet and fine art classes at the centre. Cozy Knits N Knots by Megan is her labour of love, with a hand-crocheted range that includes chunky knit blankets, pillows, scrunchies, scarves, stuffed animals, and seasonal decor such as snowmen and reindeer, fashioned from Jumbo 7 chenille yarn and using no crochet hooks or needles, just her hands. ($5 to $240, Cozy Knits N Knots by Megan and Holiday Treasures)

Sublime Stoneware

Longtime local potter Al Pace has been creating his earthy and wilderness-inspired functional stoneware since the 1970s and there’s always something new to find in his expansive Hockley Valley studio, The Farmhouse Pottery. On your wish list to spruce up a holiday table? Plates and platters adorned with soft blue swirls – the result of multiple layers of a cobalt glaze on high-fired stoneware. The rich browns of another series are courtesy of an iron-saturated tenmoku glaze. (Platter $350, vase $95, The Farmhouse Pottery)

The Smallest Sculptures

You can find Hawkly’s Gillian Johnson in the hills of Mulmur, where she creates jewelry primarily using the lost wax casting process, as well as other classic metal smithing and beading techniques. “I hand-carve tiny sculptures in wax and then cast them in either silver or bronze to create wearable art,” she says. Earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces are at once timeless and very “now.” (Ebb ring, $155, Hawkly and Holiday Treasures)

Spirited Away

You know Orangeville’s Johanna Bernhardt from her writing in this magazine – now, meet her new creative outlet, Moon Spirit Organics. Johanna makes small batch, organic skincare products, including serums, body butters, bath salts and bath bombs. Many are made with carrier oils (jojoba and almond) infused for six weeks with organic roses, lavender and calendula. Lest the kiddos feel forgotten, there’s also Cotton Candy Fairy Fizz, complete with beet powder colour, to froth up bath time. (Bath bomb, $6.50, bath salts, $6, Moon Spirit Organics)


About the Author More by Janice Quirt

Janice Quirt is a freelance writer who lives in Orangeville.

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