Welcome back to another installation of The Anchor & Bird Gift Guides! If you celebrated Thanksgiving last week, I hope you had an enjoyable holiday; if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope your weekend was lovely! We spent the long weekend visiting family in Tennessee, enjoying slightly warmer weather than we have here in New Hampshire, and eating more cheese than even I knew I could (and I *love* cheese, so that bar is pretty high).
All of our hours spent in the airport this past weekend – and the many, many weekends of traveling that I did this year – inspired me to create this gift guide. Whether you’re looking for the perfect piece for someone who recently moved away, or adding to your own collection to commemorate your favorite travels, these items make great gifts for the holiday season and beyond.
Skyline Canvas Wall Art
The skyline series began in July of 2020 when I was messing around with a newly-downloaded design program and decided to see if I could dust off the old graphic design skills from back in the days of MySpace and online journal layouts. I created a line art graphic of the Buffalo, New York skyline, and the collection only grew from there. There are now 22 cities available – from Boston to Seattle and so many more – and hey, if your favorite city isn’t here, give me a shout because I’d always love to create new pieces!
Each skyline is done in a “reverse canvas” style where the frame is on the front of the piece. The wood frames are hand-stained in your choice of either red-brown or gray-brown, which allows the natural textures of the wood to show through for a little bit of a rustic feel. The skyline line art is pressed onto the canvas with heat transfer vinyl, and then reattached to the frame from the back side. Each piece is completed with a kraft cardstock backing and a sawtooth hanger for easy hanging. Check out all the available cities here (and drop me a line if you have an idea for a new one)!
State[s] String Art
These little state string arts were one of the very first string art pieces I created, way before this shop was even thought of. We had recently moved from Connecticut to California, and I found myself wanting a way to commemorate all the places we’d lived so far. Armed with a craft store coupon and a dream, I created four of these pieces in an afternoon and the rest is history. They were the first listing on my Etsy shop, and are still among the pieces I love making the most. Each wood sign measures 5.5 inches wide by 5 inches tall, complete with a burlap twine for easy hanging, and features string art of your state of choice in whatever color you choose. These small string art signs make a great gift for a frequent traveler, or a perfect addition to your own new home.
If you’re searching for the perfect gift for a loved one who has recently moved away, for a long-distance partner or friend, or to share a little bit of your heart with far away family, this Two-State String Art makes a great gift idea. At 10 inches x 10 inches, this square sign is a bit bigger than the single state signs above, but still the perfect size for a gallery wall or even a work cubicle. Each of these signs features string art of two states of your choosing with a heart over an approximate location in each state. The hearts within the states are then connected by a single piece of thread, which also features two hearts in the top and bottom corners. The photo shown here connecting California and Hawaii was a gift from a daughter in CA to her mom in HI during 2020 when COVID prevented them from being together for the holidays – which I thought was just the sweetest gift idea. I’ve also created these for long-distance relationships between New York and Texas; a California family missing their favorite beach vacation spot in Puerto Rico; and a housewarming gift from a friend in Washington to a friend in Nevada – among many other special places and connections. With a wide variety of colors, you’re sure to find the perfect combination for your unique gift.
Maybe you have family in a few different places, or you’re looking to commemorate three special times in your life. These three state string art signs are a great way to brighten up the holidays with some fun colors and some sentimental moments. Similar to the two state sign, the three state string art sign features three states with a heart over your favorite city, all connected via thread. To personalize the string art even further, the three state string art with dates version adds a date underneath each state. The added date signs are a great gift for newlyweds – the location of their first date, where they got engaged, and their wedding, perhaps – or to commemorate favorite vacations or times that you’ve moved. Whether you choose to add dates or not, these 20 inch wide by 5 inch tall signs are a lovely personalized piece of artwork that your giftee will treasure for years to come.
Check out all of the state-themed string art pieces in my shop, including a few not pictured in this guide, here.
Outdoorsy(-ish) Art & Apparel
As a self-professed outdoorsy-ish person, I love a good “nature walk” or lounging by a warm fire while my friends enjoy being outside in the cold. I’m happiest at a mountain lake…but probably only from April to October because I also like to be able to feel my toes, ya know? Whether you’re looking for a gift for someone who is outdoorsy in the sense of climbing mountains for fun or more of the “drinking my morning coffee on the porch” type of outdoorsy, there are plenty of ideas to be found in both shops. (And PS: if your “outdoorsy” vibes are more cute animals and plants – you might like the Nature & Animals Gift Guide here.)
Regardless of their desire to free solo a rock face or just take the train to the top, this The Mountains Are Calling and I Must Go string art is a great gift for the mountain lover in your life. This 10 inch x 10 inch wood sign features string art of a snow-capped mountain with multiple peaks on the top half, and the quote “the mountains are calling and I must go” on the bottom half. The text balances bold caps with a brush-style script lettering, and comes in two colors of your choice to really personalize this piece. This string art sign lets you bring a little bit of the outdoors in – no cold weather gear required.
Maybe it’s not the mountain that calls to you, but some cool and crisp lake waters instead. Available in 15 different colors, a t-shirt proclaiming The Lake is Calling and I Must Go is the perfect gift for your favorite lake person. This soft and extra-cozy unisex t-shirt features a circular graphic with a sun, mountains, pine trees, and a fisher admiring their recent catch in a boat among the waves, with the words “the lake is calling and I must go” around the outer edge of the design. The Etsy shop currently has adult sizes S-2XL, but other sizes are always available – just send me a message!
Whether it’s the lakes or the mountains that call you – you’ve got to get there somehow, right? And the best way to do that is always to take the scenic route. Pack up this Take the Scenic Route Canvas Tote Bag with all your favorite travel gear and get going on your next adventure. Available in black, white, or natural (khaki/jute/light tan colored – shown in the photo to the right) tote bags with a wide variety of colors for the design, this tote is a perfect gift for your nature minded friends. Each tote features the words “take the scenic route” in a vintage inspired font arcing around a design with mountains, pine trees, and a waterfall. These tote bags measure approximately 14.5 inches wide and 15 inches tall – not including the measurements of the webbed handles – with a wide-opening at the top tapering to the bottom seam. The sturdy canvas material of this bag makes it great for short weekend trips or even for carrying home a farmer’s market haul. No matter where your journey leads, this bag is a great reminder to appreciate the beauty around you.
If your year was anything like mine, you did a LOT more traveling this year than you have in the past couple of years thanks to COVID. Or maybe you just got out and explored your own neighborhood. Whether your adventure was a few steps or a few thousand miles, commemorate your travels this year with this I Went Outside in 2022 ornament. Ornaments are available in three different glitter colors – silver, gold, or white – and ten different ribbon color options. Each ornament features an outdoor scene with a yellow sun, green mountains, and blue water, with the words “I Went Outside in 2022” in black. These lightweight ornaments make a great stocking stuffer or Secret Santa-type gift, or a cheeky little addition to your own Christmas tree.
No matter what kind of adventures you’re commemorating, these fun and unique gifts make checking your adventure buddy off your holiday shopping list easy. Plus, everything in both shops is 20% off through November 30th, which makes gift giving even more enjoyable! Check out more travel themed gifts and other place-themed artwork in the decor shop, or find all the travel apparel here. Happy trails!