|Handcrafted Silver Bangle|
Ten Thousand Villages: one of the biggest fair trade organizations in the world, Ten Thousand Villages is another good resource for a variety of treasures from around the globe. This is a favorite source of earrings for one of my best friends.
Etsy.com: a marketplace for handmade and vintage wares from individuals and small businesses. You can find just about anything here, and the price ranges from pennies to much more for custom-made goods or vintage duds. I find Etsy to be much less intimidating than eBay and I love connecting with such creative people. I once bought my boyfriend a light switch cover made out of an old Sesame Street plate with his namesake Bert striking a GQ pose.
Thrift store challenge: my family has always encouraged homemade or practical gifts for Christmas (hmmm, I wonder if mom got me any socks this year - I'm really running low). In the past few years, this has morphed into a year-long challenge to find the most creative thrift store presents. I am now the proud owner of a mushroom salt-and-pepper shaker set and vintage Parisian travel poster thanks to this fine tradition. And several people have individually gifted me with books on "How to Talk to Your Cat." After all, Christmas is the season to make fun of the people you love.