Smith Journal Gift Guide 2016

Wednesday December 14, 2016 Written by Smith

We won't tell you how many days there are until Christmas. That would be cruel. But we will gently remind you that it is quite soon. And that if you are looking for things to buy for the people in your life, that you could do worse than snare some of these goodies.

stars bmc

Best Made Co.'s  Map of the Constellations

You don’t have to be Neil deGrasse Tyson to appreciate this informative-yet-nice-to-look-at constellation map. You just need eyes, a healthy appreciation for the splendour of the cosmos, and a wall to hang it on.

» Get some

1 matches

Brass Match Kit

You might balk at the $98 price tag (god knows we did), but this solid brass match kit from Fort Standard sure is nice on the eyes. And when your dearly beloved is stranded in the bush, soaked to the bone by monsoonal rains, they’ll be grateful you forked out for the waterproof model, too.

» Get some

2 building

Little Building Co Aussie Models

What is this? A cottage for ants? Nah, it’s a tiny model of a classic Aussie workers’ cottage. It was designed by the Brisbane-based Little Building Co, whose kits allow people to recreate classic Australian architecture. The range includes terraces, cabins, a mammoth Queenslander, and even the Opera House.

» Get some

3 cal

Stendig Giant Wall Calendar

This giant wall calendar (it’s over one-square metre) was designed in 1966, at which point it was promptly entered into the Design collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Aussie stationery store NoteMaker recently got their hands on some reprints (updated for 2017), which means your friends or family can once again stay organised in style.

» Get some

4 kettle

The Kelly Kettle

The lightweight Scout Storm Kettle will ensure a hot brew is always close to hand, even in wet and windy weather. It works without gas or petrol; instead it uses combustible materials such as twigs, paper or dry grass. Perfect for caffeine-addled outdoorspeople. 

 » Get some
5 guit

Wooden Guitar Hooks

This elegantly designed wooden guitar hook isn’t just the perfect gift for the muso in your life; it’s also the perfect gift for the muso in your life’s partner, who is no doubt sick of their six-string cluttering up the place.

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Laika Brooch

Know someone who loves science, history and dogs in more or less equal measure? If they also happen to like decorative brooches, then this one of Laika, the first dog in space, will probably make them very happy.

» Get some

7 bust

Anatomy Set

Why not get your loved ones this hand-painted, scientifically accurate anatomy set. Not only is it biologically informative (it comes with 11 dissectible pieces you can put together like a puzzle), it’s also a piece of art. Just like the human body, in a way.

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15 beer

Brewart Beer Brewing Machine

Brewing your own beer is fun. Pouring 20 litres of beer-scented water down the sink because you messed up the recipe, less so. Thankfully, Brewart is here to help. Their BeerDroid machine lets you monitor and control the brewing process from your phone, so you can ensure a pub-quality drink every time. Cheers.

» Get some

8 subs

Smith Journal Subscription

We may be biased, but we think almost everyone would appreciate an entire year’s worth of Smith. For one (very reasonable) payment, your friend, parent, partner or most literate pet will receive a new magazine in their letterbox four times a year. The gift that keeps on giving. 

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9 board

De Ja Vu Boardshorts

Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere might not have much going for it in the snow and eggnog departments. But it more than makes up for it with warm sand and inviting waters. What better way to enjoy the summer than with a new pair of boardshorts. These ones from Central Coast brand the Critical Slide Society will do nicely. 

» Get some

10 blanket

Seljak Blankets 

When Karina and Sam Seljak came across Australia’s oldest weaving mill, they were stoked: it was just what they needed to make their line of (nearly) waste-free blankets. Using 70% recycled merino wool and 30% polyester/recycled alpaca and mohair cotton, their wares are both soft to the touch and nice to Mother Earth.  

» Get some

11 grunt

Mary Roach’s Grunt

Bad news: Jon Ronson doesn’t have any new books out this summer. Good news: Mary Roach does. She’s the very talented author behind a series of one-syllabled titles such as Gulp and Stiff. Her latest, Grunt, looks at the “curious science of humans at war”. Unputdownable, as they say.

» Get some

12 dino

Menorasaurus Rex

You don’t need to be Jewish to appreciate how good this gold-coated, dinosaur-shaped menorah is. Hand-crafted from repurposed toys and sturdy brass candle cups, it’s the perfect gift for oddball Jews and gentiles alike. They’re made to order, so best act quickly. 

» Get some

13 flask

Stanley Vacuum Flask

Just who was this Stanley fellow? No idea, but he must have been a bit of a legend. The range of flasks named after him first hit the market in 1913, and over 100 years later they’re still the best-looking thing to drink a hot cup of coffee or soup from.

» Get some

14 socks

Tree-Planting Socks

Receiving a new pair of socks for Christmas is admittedly pretty boring. But you know what's more boring? Having to buy your own socks. That's why we always appreciate a humble foot-warmer under the tree; it's the gift of not having to shop. We'd be doubly happy to receive these ones from Aussie fair trade brand Conscious Step. Not only are they made from organic cotton, but money made from each pair goes towards planting trees in Kenya. Nice.

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DIY Bioengineering Kit

Back in our day, if you wanted to mess around with the building blocks of life you had to get a degree in bioengineering. Nowadays, playing God is as easy as buying one of these kits from Amino Labs. It lets you program bacteria DNA to create all sorts of weird shit.

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16 apron

Carpenter’s Daughter Aprons

Put down the novelty apron: not only are they uniformly unfunny, they’re also made with the kinds of flammable materials you don’t want near a BBQ. Carpenter’s Daughter don’t make novelty aprons; they make serious, 100 per cent cotton heavyweight canvas aprons. Something to wear proudly. 

» Get some

17 bag

Bon Vivant Rucksacks

Moby-Dick fans in need of a new, extremely durable bag could do worse than wake up to this on Christmas Day. Created by Brisbane’s Bon Vivant, the Call Me Ishmael rucksack is made from waterproof canvas, with a “sneaky under-lid pocket for those extra-special letters home”.

» Get some