9 Days of Giftmas: Ladylike Things

Sick of corporate Christmas? Try shopping local. Hair Balls presents a 12-part series highlighting ideas for holiday gifts made and sold in Texas.

Hair Balls doesn't want to perpetuate staid gender roles or anything, but sometimes you have to shop for someone a little more traditional, you know. Or maybe you have a female friend who's tough as nails but who also takes joy in the old-timey arts of womanhood. Either way, Houston has some great local gift options for the ladies in your life.

Get Crafty

Yarns 2 Ewe, despite having a cheesy name, is one of the older knit shops in Houston. They offer a huge selection of fine fibers and knitting and crochet accessories, including a small selection of yarns and fibers from Texas farms. Yarns 2 Ewe also offers classes suck as knitting 101, sock basics and knitting in the round.

Sew Crafty is the new kid on the block, having celebrated their one-year anniversary with brand new digs on 19th Street near Yale. Billed as Houston's first craft studio and sewing lounge, Sew Crafty offers more than just knitting or crochet lessons. Classes range from beginner's sewing projects to Gocco table-top screen printing to papercrafts. There are even special classes for kids. A gift card or tuition to a class from either shop would make a good Christmas gift for the crafter in your life.

Get Dirty

The Lady Grace Academy is a new venture "dedicated to the instruction and advancement of Feminine Arts." What does that mean in lay-man's terms? Sexy dancing!

Through our current exotic dance classes, women of all ages, backgrounds and sizes can explore a world of feminine movement that will make them feel more powerful, confident and at ease in their bodies. The focus of our classes isn't about performing for a partner. Rather, it's about learning to love the person you see in the mirror, discovering a language of movement that works for your own individual body and reveling in the luscious feeling of seducing yourself through dance.

So The Lady Grace Academy is a sort of burlesque finishing school and the classes, from Burlesque Basics to Exotic Essentials, seem like the perfect thing for any adventurous girl on your gift list. Lady Grace also offers Signature Soirees, 90-minute learn-to-dance parties that would be a perfect diversion from holiday stress.

Get Clean

If you've ever been to any craft market in Houston you've probably run into Lisa Chouinard, owner of Feto Soap, an Austin-based bath and body products business. Chouinard makes bath essentials from all-natural ingredients. The word "feto" comes from the Latin for fetus, and Choinard chose the name because her first products included tiny little figurines incased in bars of glycerine soap. Now she's branch on to hand-poured candles, lotions and lip balms and even some ribald novelty soaps. She's also know for her food-inspired and food-scented soaps. Yummy. Orders can be shipped to Houston already gift-wrapped.

Any of these local options would make a good gift for a woman in your life, from a significant other to your mother. Well, expect for the burlesque classes. Don't buy those for your mother.

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