Artfully Edmonds: Pick up those last-minute artsy gifts close to home

By Ellen Chappelle

Although Christmas is two days away, there are probably a few of you who still have a gift or two left to secure. It is for you, dear last-minute shopper, that we compile this list of quick and easy artsy gifts you’ll find right here in Edmonds!

A few of the Gallery North artists have created 2012 calendars featuring vibrant photos of their work adorning each month. Underwater photographer Mary Bess Johnson goes where few photographers tread… water. She suits up in diving gear and — armed with her camera and special lighting — slips below the surface of exotic seas in far-flung locations to capture creatures from another world. All that dedication opens a spectacular window on these underwater vistas for us land-locked types. What a gift!

Kathleen Johnson couldn’t stop with just one calendar, so she created three! One calendar contains a series of her unique paintings of whimsical owls and hauntingly beautiful trees. You can feel her love for these feathered creatures, painted after she spent months watching a nest of baby owls grow up via webcam! Another calendar features her signature frisky crows and the third spotlights her colorful paintings of hummingbirds.

Kim Caldwell’s calendar features pieces inspired by her travels. A recent trip to Ireland inspired Caldwell with the green gem’s unique quality of light. “I was awed by the pearlescent glow of the Irish landscape,” she said. “There is so much moisture in the air and it creates this amazing iridescence to everything around you. I just had to paint it.”

If it’s stocking stuffers you seek, you need go no further than Main Street in downtown Edmonds. Manya Vee Selects has always carried a wide variety of gifts, but they’ve been expanding their selection lately, especially in the under $25 category – some are even under $10! From lotions and potions to blown glass wine stoppers and decorative switch plates, you’ll discover a cornucopia of handcrafted gifts that you won’t find anywhere else.

Tickets to concerts and plays make great stocking stuffers, and Edmonds is blessed with many great places to attend a performance. And if you’re pressed for time, you can even purchase tickets at most of these venues online. Here’s a quick list of our local on-stage treasures:

Edmonds Center for the Arts
Cascade Symphony Orchestra
Sno-King Community Chorale
Olympic Ballet Theatre
The Driftwood Players
Phoenix Theatre

Liz Patterson at Fircrest.

An update to our last column: Last week, we shared the story of Seaview Weavers Guild and their donation of handcrafted wall hangings to Fircrest Residential Habilitation Center. Guild member Mary Peterson reported that the banners were delivered this week to grateful residents and staff. Here’s a photo of Liz Patterson, former speech language pathologist at Fircrest, and her daughter Amy, a Fircrest resident, enjoying one of the new banners.

With a background in theatre and journalism, Ellen Chappelle is perfectly poised to covers the local arts scene for My Edmonds News. She also keeps busy writing and editing for artists and small businesses, publishing an informational site for dog owners and creating handcrafted jewelry. Please keep her posted about all things artistic in Edmonds by emailing her at

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