Sick of corporate Christmas? Try shopping local. Hair Balls presents a 12-part series highlighting ideas for holiday gifts made and sold in Texas.
Museum subscriptions are one thing, but what if you know someone who'd rather make art than just look at it? Get yourself a handmade basket and head over to Texas Art Supply to fill it with a plethora of goodies for making pretty things, from paper, paints, pens and pencils. Texas Art Supply carries pretty much everything you can think of, and has been serving artists in Houston for 51 years. Their website even has a section with gift ideas of various prices. However, expect those hipsters at the Montrose store to exert the minimal amount of effort required to help you find what you're looking for.
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Once again, online shopping yields some cool nuggets. On the low-end is this awesome coptic-stitched sketchbook, about the size of a Moleskine, inspired by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. On the high end are these nice pen and pencil sets made of Texas-native woods. Incarnation Stationary, based in Missouri City, makes nice recycled pads for either writing or sketching,
Something Hair Balls would like is paid tution for an art class at, for example, the Glassell School. The The Junior School is the only museum facility in the country dedicated to art classes for children. Classes there start at $130 for non-museum members. Adult enrollment at the school is a bit more expensive but counts towards college credit. There are also classes for teachers at around $330.
The Houston Center for Photography offers a variety of photo classes, everything from the basics to digital editing, for reasonable prices, with discounts for members.
Finally, writers workshops at Inprint start in January, and include everything from journaling to poetry classes. Some classes are offered in the daytime. Inprint, by the way, also has a great creative writing education program, for free, for teachers.