Catch over 40 vendors at this year's annual Holiday Handmade Market, hosted by the Halifax Crafters, this weekend at the North Street Church (5657 North).

"Halifax Crafters is growing and we're going to max out space in the church," says co-founder Kyla Francis. "There will be lunch for sale –delicious handmade sweet and savoury tarts, a local artist drawing $2 portraits and a gift basket raffle with items from various vendors. Also, the Ink Storm Screenprinting Collective has produced a special series of posters that will be available at this show only."

Some of the truly unique gift ideas include: calorie free felted holiday treats, t-shirts for the hard to shop for teenagers, cards, jewellery all handmade by the skilled hands of your neighbours. Journals and zines for the literary buffs, shot glasses and tumblers for the bachelors, plush arts toys, merit badges for folks who deserve a bit of recognition and more.

"The last few years it's been really wonderful to do all my shopping at the Handmade Market and give all gifts that are either homemade by me or other people," she says. "Gift-giving can get so out of control this time of year and it is great to be able to step back from it alland buy presents that are awesome and unique while supporting local crafters. Many participating crafters are using recycled, reused, and all-natural materials as well."

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