Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this review. The opinions expressed here are completely my own, honest!
One of the perks of being an interior designer is that I get to attend various “markets.” That’s where we get a sneak-peek at what the upcoming design products and merchandise will be. I try to attend as many of these as I can and blog about the trends that I spot here and there. This year’s California Gift Show promised “One Amazing Show-Two must-see venues” and did *not* disappoint!

If I could come up with a theme for the whole event, it would be “Handcrafted With Love for Your Home.” I can’t remember the last time I saw so many vendors offering goods that were *truly* made by their own two hands! And those who weren’t producing authentically handmade goods, were offering products that *appeared* to be homemade 🙂
The first venue was the LA Mart, which was slightly more restrained, with a “gallery” feel…

And the second venue, the LA Convention Center? Somewhat more “rock concert” …

It was exhausting-but fun! Here are my picks from this year’s show-hope you spot some trends you might want to try out this year in *your* home!

Saucy-Wear Aprons. After seeing these, I was dying to rush home and bake with my kids-and I’m a terrible baker! These are made in downtown LA and can be customized for your business or event (maybe even your family?) Childrens *and* adult sizes available. Shop online at

These BEAUTIFUL letterpressed cards and notebooks by Dandy Lion Press feature the artwork of Maia (a bay-area artist, seen here) and will definitely impress your friends! If, like me, you’ve resolved to send more handwritten and heartfelt correspondence in 2011, you can’t go wrong with these charming, savable cards. You can by them online at Lion Press

And what about the most delicious and amazing pants ever. It’s not Yoga pant…. but almost. In fact, they are called harem pants and they are divine. Easy to put them all at any time. Also search for them as harem pants.

Another great California vendor was Sonoma Lavender. They grow their own lavender and eucalyptus and make sachets and spa products-this was the yummiest smelling booth! You can order their products online at www.sonomalavender.com

I was a bit of a bookworm as a kid, so it’s no surprise that I was utterly charmed by these journals made from reclaimed children’s books by Attic Journals here in California. They even use the first couple of pages of each book on the inside of each journal. I wanted to buy a basketful for the nostalgia factor alone! For info check out www.atticjournals.com
Those of you who regularly read my blog (cue shameless plug!) www.nachomamasblog.com know that I am a HUGE fan of Kathy Cano-Murillo, aka “The Crafty Chica.” You can check out her awesome blog with crafts and tips at www.thecraftychica.blogspot.com Kathy was one of several vendors at the LA Mart whose work had a latino flair (you can buy her art online at www.etsy.com/shop/craftychica) BUT at the Convention Center? She had an awesome “Make and Take” booth where we could try out her line of craft markers, paints, glitter and clip art (available on Amazon)!!

What better way to blow off the tension of being on my feet all day looking at all that eye-candy than to make some of my own? I had so much fun playing with all her wonderful, colorful products and the best part was that I got to take my “Love Shrine” home with me (yes, that’s a taco!)

This year’s California Gift Show really inspired me to do a lot more crafting and entertaining at home in 2011-and I can’t wait to use some of these beautiful handcrafted products while I pursue domestic bliss. Hope you were a little inspired to make some magic at home yourself!
Wishing you love with extra cheese,
Nacho Mama