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Last minute Christmas shopping events: BBJ Pop-Up Gift Shop and Frost Bite

by Drew Rowsome

Don't worry if you are beginning to panic as my Christmas shopping is nowhere near complete. Fortunately two events are about to happen that will allow one to finish up one's gift purchasing with unique, unusual and thoughtful presents for everyone on one's list.

First up, on Thursday, December 10, is the BBJ Pop-Up Gift Shop. The talented artisan/designers Trixie and Beaver have been slaving away at the One of a Kind Show but wanted to bring their vast array of fabulous gifts to the edge of the Village. "For one evening only, we will take over Eleven salon with glittery, pop-culture-inspired gifts and a few larger art pieces," says Trixie. "Special edition ashtrays, our unique prayer candles, small clocks, serving trays, Xmas d├ęcor and more. Prices range from $10 to $100 for gift pieces, $250 for multimedia art pieces."

If you don't already own some BBJ pieces, you covet them. So will anyone lucky enough to be on your list. In the highly unlikely event that you can't find exactly what you want at the pop-up, "There's still time for custom and special orders," says Trixie. "Find out their fave albums or pick photos for a perfectly personalized present. Shop local, shop queer, and come share some holiday cheer!" Ideas, visuals and even online shopping if you miss the party on the 10th, are at bbj.ca.

On Sunday, December 13 even more artists, crafters and creative geniuses gather for Frost Bite: The Bazaar of the Bizarre Holiday Edition. The tagline is "Unusual arts, crafts and wearable goods," the promise is, "A marketplace for all things, different, interesting, weird, strange, one of a kind, macabre, whimsical and handmade in Canada." Frost Bite is also shopping with a show. DJ Lazurus is one of the many DJs spinning throughout, and there is entertainment from dancers, "freaks" and a photobooth featuring the Grinch.

Frost Bite's vendor list is huge and hugely eclectic. Brazen Razor (shaving products and soaps), A Monkey Named Jeff (sock monkeys), Peculiar Potions (health and beauty products), Bitchcraft Designs and Sick on Sin (clothing), Eden Bachelder (jewelry and masks), Mental Floss Sideshow (potions)  and Krampus Army (books about the even-better-than-Christmas holiday), are just the tip of the artistic iceberg.

"I have never done Frost Bite before, but I am so excited to be a part of such an eclectic event," says Luci Kaye who will be selling her Wednesday Addams would endorse, From the Attic Dark Dolls (darkdolls.ca). "I have previously sold my dolls both by word of mouth and from my own gift shop near Windsor. Unfortunately, my shop closed in September so I decided to take my dolls on the road." The dolls range in price from $20 to $100 depending on the size and the amount of work Kaye has put into creating them. "Each doll is hand painted by me, thus they are all one of a kind."

Creative whirlwind Jojo Dacres will be showcasing her Rebel Geisha Waist Cincher belts. "In the summer, I began participating in open markets and pop-up shops as a vendor," says Dacres. "A jewelry designer informed me that there was an alternative marketplace called Bazaar of the Bizarre and she thought that my belts would have success there. The bazaar is all about ‘out-of-the-box,’ the unusual, unique and the macabre. I'm very much looking forward to it."

The belts are designed to unleash one's inner goddess, samurai and warrior: perfect for daughters, nieces, drag queens and grandmothers. "They are inspired by the Geisha Obi belt, vintage ideals and a love of costuming," says Dacres. "Rebels range between $60 to $75 for ready-to-wear and custom designs range a bit higher depending on intricacy. Rebel Geisha Belts are a bold and stylish accessory for bold and expressive women." Dacres knows her bold and expressive women, she also designs and sells a line of "Gogo and Cabaret Undies." houseofjojoartistry.com

And if, inexplicably, one is unable to find the perfect gift, there is always what is apparently the new fail safe. The ad below is the most touching Christmas ad to be seen this season.

BBJ Pop-Up Gift Shop is on Thurs, Dec 10 at Eleven, 11 Irwin Ave from 7-10pm. bbj.ca

Frost Bite is on Sun, Dec 13 at Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement, 6 Noble St. plastikwrap.com

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