1. At the Frye: As part of the museum's Moment Magnitude exhibit, Object owner Charlie Schuck took over the gift shop and made it a mecca of Seattle (and non-Seattle) design, esoteric wonder, and earthy/unearthly home and lifestyle objects. Expect the quiet, minimal mood of Schuck's singular shop; it's a place where discovery is inevitable and falling in love is as easy as a crossword puzzle. The store is up through January 20 during the Frye's normal hours, and the goods are available online as well.
2. At the Henry: Favorite Art Projects is an attempt to blow open the doors of art galleries and gift shops in one fell shopping-season swoop. Expect sometimes useful and always conceptual items in ceramic, paper, wood, and more. Shopping from the couch? Find small-run items by bold face names like Curtis Steiner online. Otherwise visit in person Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12 to 4 and Thursday and Fri from 12 to 8.
(This would be a good place for me to remind you how much I like shopping at museum gift stores in general.)
3. As if a "creative agency" weren't already esoteric and potentially confusing, Creature opened the Window Shop, tagline, "one of a kind gifts to confuse your loved ones." That says it all, doesn't it? No, actually, it doesn't. The cutting board/cleaver pictured here might; too bad it's already sold. Actually this one bears some explaning: the folks behind the creative ventures at Creature made their storefront-style office space into a shop for the season to help raise money for Hamomi Children’s Centre, with whom they share their windowed world. You can shop this one online, too.
4. And now for something a little more straightforward but no less fun. This shop comes with a ferry ride—assuming you don't already live in the sweet and stylish hamlet known as Manette (or really anywhere near Bremerton). The Weekender started as a temporary thing, a sort of mother/daughter trial run by Barneys creative director Jodi Davis and her mom, Nancy Balanger... but it worked so well, they're keeping it. This weekend, Friday, December 7 from 5 to 8 and Saturday, December 8 from 11 to 6, would be an especially good time to visit as the Weekender Holiday Collective celebrates Bremerton Winterfest and the First Friday Art Walk. Expect a mix that includes handmade pottery from the Central Valley, prints by Jennifer Ament (above), Gregory Reyes-Herbold cards and wreaths, deluxe junk from the pair who owned the beloved but departed Deluxe Junk in Fremont, something called Sweet Al's Savory Nuts, and some impossibly cute felt animals. Better yet, don't expect the latter; Davis says they sell out in a hot minute whenever she gets them in. Can't make it this weekend? The shop's regular hours are Thursday through Sunday 12 to 6. Enjoy the ride!