This might be the best gift ever, unless the recipient is extremely clumsy. It’s a whole ecosystem completely enclosed in handblown glass. With sufficient light and a comfortable room temperature, the shrimp, algae and microbes will coexist peacefully in their own little world without any help. Plus, when the life span of 2 to 3 years is up (some have lived up to 10 years), each EcoSphere comes with a replacement, recharge or upgrade policy.


Purchase Information:

Price: $54.95 - 395.00

Support BLTD by buying here.

Available from: Ecosphere on Amazon

Origami Sticky Notes

If you have a plethora of sticky notes around your workspace, just think how nice would it be to make a little origami from them instead of chucking them in the bin. You could take a tiny creative break whenever you complete the task or no longer need the note. I’m sure it would help the day go by a bit easier.

Each pad has instructions for 10 different shapes (pig; penguin; boat; crane; butterfly; squirrel; lily and water bomb)

Originally posted Aug 18, 2009.

Purchase Information:

Price: $3.99
Available from: ThinkGeek

Archie Grand Notebooks

Keep track of your friends and foes with these colorful notebooks, or just pretend like you do and use it for notes and sketches instead (which would be my recommendation).

-matte satin cardstock cover
-160 blank pages of Lessebo Linn paper with sewn signatures.
Designer: Archie Grand, Sweden
Dimensions: 4 1/2 x 6 1/2″

Also available at Archie Grand, €11.95.

Originally published October 8, 2009.

Purchase Information:

Price: $13.00
Available from: Jasper + Black

Slalom Steerable Sled

Remember how this week we’ll be updating our Gifts section? Well, if you’re lucky enough to have some snow, consider this for a gift this year…

When life gives you snow, you go sledding, obviously. Made from 5/8” thick marine-grade molded plywood, this fully steerable sled will hopefully help you and/or your kids fly down the hill safe and sound (and, of course, super fast).

Purchase Information:

Price: $149.00
Available from:

Gift Tag Stamp Kit

Sometimes minimal decoration on presents and packages looks much better than a bunch of fancy bows, case in point is this gift tag stamp from Yellow Owl Workshop. To win recycling points, use newspapers or paper grocery bags for wrapping, and then some string and this stamp to state the giver/recipient. Ta-da. You’re done.

Purchase Information:

Price: $19.00
Available from: Yellow Owl Workshop

Sale: Match Candleholders

Update: These are now on sale from $75.00 to $18.75! Craziness.

This is so smart. These candleholders have a vent for a match, eliminating the burnt finger scenario that often occurs with tealights. As I’ve caught the holiday-gift bug, it’s necessary to mention they’d be a good present option, no matter the event or recipient. Actually, on second thought, that might get you into trouble. Maybe make sure the recipient is somewhat interested in decor/candles, then it’s a safe bet. One set includes 4 Candleholders.


Purchase Information:

Price: $18.75

Support BLTD by buying here.

Available from: DWR

Pencil Holder from Travelteq

Travelteq just added this Pencil Holder to their shop and it sure looks like a nice way to store your pencils, color or otherwise. Handmade from Florentine Vacchetta leather, it certainly has a Patrician flair, especially compared to what you’d find at a student art shop, and I’d be willing to bet it’ll stay intact after years of use. It fits 19 pencils; color pencils from Bruynzeel included.


Purchase Information:

Price: €65.00
Availability: Buy Pencil Holder from Travelteq here

Locus 3-way Mechanical Writing Instrument

‘Mechanical writing instrument’ sounds a bit technical, yet that’s the best way to describe this combined ballpoint, mechanical pencil, and eraser. Switch between the three by pushing the clip- it’s that simple. If you’re wanting to minimize your belongings in your bag or on your desk, this could definitely help you on your way. From Japanese design house Metaphys.

Purchase Information:

Price: $86.00
Available from: A+R Store

Ania Tumblers

How about some traditional Polish motifs for your table this winter? Monika Lubkowska-Jonas (of British design house LSA International) was inspired by the traditional folk craft of paper-cutting, and as you can see, the handmade glasses look like they’d brighten up your libations in no time. Available in a set of 4; choose between several different colors.

Purchase Information:

Price: $37.50
Available from: Lekker Home


Hmm, an AudioBulb. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a light bulb that has a speaker in it. It’s an LED light bulb, of course, so it’ll last for years (as it should be if you’re shelling out a Franklin for it). Music plays wirelessly from your iPod/iPhone/auxiliary input source and installation is simple. Twist in the AudioBulb in a lamp or a light socket and then connect your device to the standalone base. You can have up to 8 bulbs and 2 different zones. Sounds like a pretty good idea, doesn’t it?

Purchase Information:

Price: $299.00
Available from: GiiNii

Source: NOTCOT

Vinyl Puzzle

Somehow a puzzle is the perfect past time during holiday family gatherings. Get this puzzle for the person who loves their vinyl, and watch them exclaim over titles that should (or should not) be in their collection. Or you could just get it as a history lesson for kids that have never seen a record collection… “So, back in the day, they used to have these flat vinyl disks that music was stored on…”

Purchase Information:

Price: $28.00
Available from: Nest

Röshults Log Wood Basket

If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace that works, you might be in need of a wood basket. This one is super simple and made of coated iron, so it’ll be sturdy enough for cords of wood, year after year. Designed by Thomas Bernstrand.


Purchase Information:

Price: $210.00
Available from: Finnish Design Shop

Bottle Opener

This bottle opener by Adam Hogsett has weight and durability on its side. Manually machined from cold formed steel, it’ll withstand far more bottles than you’ll ever consume… just be careful not to drop it on your toes. Might be a great gift perhaps?


Purchase Information:

Price: $48.00
Available from: Adam Hogsett's Etsy Shop

Swedish Snowflake Lantern

This is just about the perfect holiday decoration, mostly because it’s not an in-your-face sort of thing, and it would give off a nice glow. If I had to choose between spending $85 on a nice paper lantern that looked like a snowflake and one free horrible singing Santa, I’d shell out $85 so fast that you’d think (insert idiom here*). There’s also a Star Lantern, shown below.


Purchase Information:

Price: $82.00
Available from: Terrain

iittala Decanter

What’s better than a nice glass of wine? One that’s been opened up and allowed to breathe. Yeah, that’s right, I’m admitting it, I aerate my wine. If you’re not already smirking at my inane talk regarding a subject I know little about, you might be interested to know that this decanter is designed for aerating wine, and pairs nicely with any of iittala’s wine glasses, if you have them.

Purchase Information:

Price: $60.00
Available from: 2modern