Bits and Pieces: Zookies Kids, WoodcuttingFool, Sprigs Wrist Wallet

Ho! Ho! Ho! And all related sound effects. Thanksgiving is officially over, no matter how much or how little turkey you inhaled. Now we’re on to the Great Gift Giving Season, henceforth to be known as GGGS. It doesn’t matter what winter holiday you celebrate, somehow or other gifts are expected to be part of it. MidLifeBloggers would be remiss if we didn’t make some appropriate gift-giving suggestions.

  1. How do you feel about kids and creativity? Think the mindless, endless parade of ToysRUs and Disney dampen the creative spirit of the children you know? That’s exactly what my friend, Lora Jakobsen, thought several in 1999 when she created Zookies Kids. “Zookies,” says Lora, “is dedicated to creating products that encourage kids to explore their imagination, discover the arts, and find new forms of self-expression.

Zookies has a bricks and mortar shop in Toluca Lake, CA and is also a presence in Beverly Hills (see their website for the addresses), but that’s not much help to you unfortunates who do not live in Los Angeles. (See how quickly I became obnoxiously chauvinistic about living in LA? But then I’ve had some 20+ years practice.)
Lora is a lot nicer than I am and to help all you non-Angelenos, she has just opened a Zookies Kids retail website. Because she’s so nice, she is also offering all MidLifeBloggers free shipping with their purchases. All you have to do is use the code “happy” when you check out.  Go look at the site and tell me that kid in your life wouldn’t love to get something from Zookies Kids.

2. If the person you’re gifting (is that even a word?) is not a child…if said he or she giftee is an adult person with yen for art and a love of pop culture, then you need to go visit the WoodCuttingFool. Loren is the fool, self-described as “a passionate, curious Woodcutter/Writer living in Hollywood with a love for movies, music and old Los Angeles.” His blog is where he feature his woodcuts, always accompanied by a page or so of background, often the sort of in-the-know backstory that you only learn from a lifetime lived in Los Angeles, which is at heart a Company Town. Loren’s latest post features Al Pacino, and tells story of Francis Ford Coppola’s push to have Pacino cast as Michael Corleone in The Godfather. Coppola and producer Robert Evans, who referred to Pacino as “that little dwarf” argued back and forth but, as we now know, Pacino made the role his own. This is Loren’s version of Pacino–

The much fuller version of the casting story accompanies the woodcut on his blog, You’ll have to visit WoodCuttingFool to see Loren’s other pieces–as well as to order one of them, or or a custom woodcut portrait.
3. Finally–if you must venture out into the crowds, this next item may lighten your load. It’s the Banjees Wrist Wallet. Sprigs, the company that makes them, calls them the “extra pocket you wish you had.” They come in two sizes: the regular holds cash, cards, and keys while the Big Banjees has a fold-over pocket for your smart phone. I got mine this Fall at Creative Alliance ’12 and we all abandoned our bags, purses and wallets to carry the bare necessities in our Banjees Wrist Wallet. They’re made of durable stretch fabric in a variety of prints and solids and the zippers are guaranteed YKK. Now tell me that that wouldn’t make all those forays into the world of Christmas commerce much easier if you didn’t have to wrestle with a traditional purse and the like. Sprigs also makes other cool things to wear, like EarBags and yoga wear.
So go forth and shop till you drop–or your cursor finger cramps up–and tell them MidLifeBloggers sent you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kathleenlwalker Kathy Hicks Walker

    I totally need one of those Banjees. That would make my life so much easier when I go running – I’d have a place for my keys & my iPod since I have yet to break down and buy an arm band holder for it. Those are WAY cuter!

    • MidLifeBloggers

      Go for it, Kathy!

Previous post:

Next post: