Last minute gifts for overlooked coworkers, D-list friends and distant cousins are often predictable at best, Goodwill fodder at worst. Pedicure set? Check. Scented candle? Check. Cheese log? Check. Mixed media, handcrafted pagan shrine? Umm...
Members of the New Orleans Craft Mafia are doing their part to vanquish banal gifts. During the Last Stop Shop from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 18 at The Big Top Gallery (1638 Clio St.), harried shoppers (and laid-back party animals) can revel in a festive atmosphere replete with music, snacks and a fully-stocked cash bar while picking up artsy gifts handmade by local artists and crafters. You might even be tempted to pass their handiwork off as your own. Don't. They are the New Orleans Craft Mafia, after all. They have connections. Wouldn't it be a shame to ring in the New Year sleeping with the redfishes?
Here's a sampling of the Craft Mafia's wares:
Who wouldn't be thrilled to find an adorable little memento mori under the Christmas tree? This sugar skull pendant by Green Kangaroo costs a budget-friendly $12.
Soap. It's a classic gift for a lot of reasons: everyone needs it, it smells good, etc. But how many gift soaps leave you smelling like a praline? This locally made soap by Sweet Olive Soap Works, chock-full of cream and Pointe Coupee pecans, might make you want to wash your mouth out. Resist the temptation.
Old Mardi Gras beads are the dusty, unwieldy, attic-space-hogging banes of most New Orleanians' existences, but the masterminds at Unique Products have shed some light on the issue. Literally.