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Holiday Gift Guide: My Favorite Thoughtful Gifts For Your Mom, Sister, Best Friend, and All The Incredible Women on Your List

Written by Alauna Whelan


My favorite gifts to receive (and give!) are those that come from the heart. I love giving presents that have a unique edge, ones that truly make a difference for the person who receives them AND for the artist that creates them.

This gift guide is a collection of beautiful works of art from some of my colleagues and friends from all over the world.

This list will cover all the bases for those hard to buy for people on your list (like your mom!). From the water loving traveler, to the sun worshipper, to the jewelry collector, to the eco-minded, to the sporty, and finally to the person who loves practicing hygge.

1. Prints & Original Art by Tara Leaver

tara leaver art prints

In the midst of a global pandemic, we can't exactly jet off for an ocean side retreat. We can, however, invest in some amazing watery art from Tara Leaver. Her work invokes overwhelming peace and serenity. It provides an opportunity to be transported (without having to board a plane) each time you gaze upon one of her pieces.

tara leaver water inspired art print

Tara is a British artist whose paintings evoke the sensory experiences of immersing in the natural landscape of her home on the coast of Cornwall. A selection of her paintings on raw wood panel and canvas, inspired by her sea swims and coastal exploring, are now available as prints. 

tara leaver art print

Tara offers prints in two sizes with a white border. They will fit in standard frames so you can seamlessly incorporate them into your space. They make a beautiful gift for nature lovers and wild swimmers alike.

Head over to Tara's website to shop her prints. Do yourself a favor and check out her amazing original art, too!

2. Architectural Light Catching Prismas by Sol Proaño

sol proano prisma

As we navigate the longer nights and shorter days, I find myself soaking up any sunshine I can get. Sol Proaño's Prismas instill lightness and joy! Her work is perfect for those eternal summer loving people on your list or anyone who loves gorgeous architecture that catches the light. These would also make amazing mobiles in a baby or child's room. Perfect for that friend that is expecting.

Sol Proaño prisma

Sol is a Chilean-American designer and metalsmith based in Queens, NY. Her work is inspired by the magical landscapes that she experienced traveling through Chile as a teenager, and her mission is to provide a break from the chaos of everyday life. She creates objects for seekers of stillness.

tabletop prisma by Sol Proaño

Her Prisma collection features objects for the home that give a calm and soothing effect. These pieces combine sculptural shapes in metal with crystals that create beautiful rainbows, little glimpses of magic that are both comforting and fun at the same time. 

Shop Sol's Prisma collection in her online store. Be sure to check out the Prisma plant stakes for the plant loving person in your life.

3. Hand Painted Modern Art Earrings by Kyla Katz

black and white enamel painted earrings by kyla katz

I've definitely been eyeing up Kyla's latest creations. Her hand painted jewelry has a mid-century modern vibe to it and I've always been a sucker for the Mad Men era! Her work is clean, organic, and sculptural. These earrings are perfect for the person who loves to wear jewelry that is bold but slightly understated. 

kyla katz hand painted black and white earrings

Kyla is inspired by the rivers, mountains and streams of northern New Mexico. Each piece she creates is a small sculpture intended to be worn in intimate conversation with the body. The lines, angles, and textures of the work embody unconscious elements and bring them into form. She lives and works in the historically artistic town of Taos, New Mexico.   

enamel hand painted black and white earrings by Kyla Katz

Tying in the rustic and wild landscape of New Mexico, her latest work features hand painted details paired with mixed metals. Each piece is hand painted in black and white enamel and then fired at high temperature in a kiln. This result is a little abstract painting that captures the essence of these natural elements.

Find Kyla's entire collection of hand painted earrings, pendants, and rings on her website.

4. Cotton Canvas Bertrand Tote by Laura Farrell

cotton canvas tote with sheep by laura farrell

Finding good quality canvas bags to carry groceries or parcels when running to the post office is a challenge. I've been slowly building up my stash of cotton totes, in place of the typical plastic or polyester ones that fall apart! My friend Laura Farrell recently released this amazing tote that is perfect for under the tree! It would also be great to use in place of traditional wrapping paper.

woman with yellow flowers holding cotton canvas tote with sheep

Laura is a fine art photographer born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, currently living in Livermore, California. Among various childhood interests, getting a camera and taking pictures became a passion at an early age, and photography has been in her life ever since. She is inspired by beauty in all aspects of nature, from flowers to seed pods, landscapes and animals, to butterflies and birds.

bertrand sheep tote by laura farrell

Carry a little bit of French country(side) pastoral abundance with you on outings, shopping trips, or when running other errands. The Bertrand Tote is a 100% cotton canvas, gusseted tote bag featuring best selling fine art photo "Bertrand on Baby's First Birthday" taken in Normandy, France by Laura Farrell.  Bertrand totes make fun and unique gifts!

Laura's Bertrand tote, botanical greeting cards, and fine art prints are now available on her website!

5. Multi-Use Headbands by Janet Taylor

versatile face covering buff from janet taylor art

I think we can all agree that masks have been a bit of a fashion statement in 2020. I love the versatile headbands that Janet Taylor offers. They can be used as a headband or as a non-medical face covering, or a neck warmer. These are perfect for anyone sporty on your list, from runners to yogis. 

neck warmer buff from janet taylor art

Born in Kingston, Ontario, Janet lives and works between Toronto and Gravenhurst.

She earned a BFA in painting from Queen’s University, then took a short, but absorbing thirty-year detour into graphic design and photography. In 2016 Janet returned to fine art and has been building her studio practice since then, making paintings and prints and now putting her designs on products.

versatile grey headband by janet taylor art

Janet's wide headbands are super versatile! Scrunch them or fold them over to use as a headband. Wear them as a scarf, as a non-medical face-covering or as a wind layer while hitting the slopes or tearing down the bike path! They're perfect for keeping your hair under control during yoga or a workout or just adding a pop of pattern or color to your look.

Head over to Janet's website to shop the full selection of versatile headbands! She also offers original paintings and prints.

6. Botanical Candles & Bath Soaks by Alauna Whelan

limited edition winter solstice ritual candle

With many of us staying home more than ever this year, I've found myself leaning on the small things that make being indoors more enjoyable. These include my intention candles and ritual bath soaks. They are perfect for creating ambiance, cultivating mindfulness, and they smell great, too!

limited edition winter solstice bath soak

If you are new to me, my work centers around embodiment and care. As a trauma survivor, many of the modalities that have helped me on my journey are woven into the products I offer. From scent, to empowering affirmations, to crystals my hope is that my products help people to find peace and pause.

winter solstice candle and bath soak

My limited edition Winter Solstice seasonal ritual set is perfect for gifting! Each set comes with a large botanical bath soak and a choice of a small or large candle. Or create your own by selecting an element candle and bath soak.

Find my entire collection of intention candles, botanical bath soaks, and talisman jewelry in the online store.