8 unique gifts found only in Cordova

A few ideas to shop local this holiday season and give something special to those on your nice list

KNOT CRAZY Custom Rope Baskets from April Beedle’s Knot Crazy are an attractive, unique and practical gift for that hard-to-shop-for person on your holiday gift list, for shopping locally or in travel mode. Photo Courtesy Knot Crazy/For The Cordova Times
KNOT CRAZY
Custom Rope Baskets from April Beedle’s Knot Crazy are an attractive, unique and practical gift for that hard-to-shop-for person on your holiday gift list, for shopping locally or in travel mode.
Photo Courtesy Knot Crazy/For The Cordova Times

1. Custom Rope Baskets by Knot Crazy

April Beedle’s Custom Rope Baskets are an attractive, unique and practical gift for that hard-to-shop-for person on your holiday gift list!  An Alaska fisherman’s wife and mother to another Alaska fisherman, Beedle swears on her website that she’s, “Knot Crazy! As a longtime Alaskan, my world revolves around the ocean and its resources and treasures.”

In the fishing community of Cordova, line and netting are used to catch a wide variety of sea life. Beedle recycles all types of fishing rope and line to create her assortment of original, hand-crafted and hand-knotted baskets, key fobs, family name signs, coasters, door hangers and more.

Much of her artwork is lovely to look and functional, too!

Prices start at $1 and up to $120, depending on the complexity of the gift.

“I love knotting and making these unique nautical creations. I have over a dozen different items and thoroughly enjoy making each one,” Beedle said.

Beedle isn’t taking custom orders until mid-March of next year, but says she’s been quite knotty lately, in preparation for the annual holiday bazaar, Dec. 2-3, at Mt. Eccles Elementary School.

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Online store: knotcrazy.net

XO-AK Custom order a Nautical Chart Minky Fleece Blanket for the seafaring type on your “Nice” list from Cordova artist Vivian Kennedy’s Etsy shop, XO-AK. Photo Courtesy XO-AK/For The Cordova Times
XO-AK
Custom order a Nautical Chart Minky Fleece Blanket for the seafaring type on your “Nice” list from Cordova artist Vivian Kennedy’s Etsy shop, XO-AK.
Photo Courtesy XO-AK/For The Cordova Times

2.  Nautical Chart Minky Fleece Blankets by XO-AK

Custom order a Nautical Chart Minky Fleece Blanket for the seafaring type on your “Nice” list from Cordova artist Vivian Kennedy’s Etsy shop, XO-AK.

Choose any full size nautical chart and have it printed on a plush, minky fleece blanked in a variety of sizes. Choose from a stateroom size, 60”x80”, or bunk, 50”x60”.

Wife, mom, small business owner, crack shot at the shooting range and Cordova Times employee, Vivian (Lian) Kennedy grew up in Prince William Sound seining up pink salmon by the boatloads for 15 years. She hung up her raingear in 2011 to become a stay-at-home mom and focus on her artistic talents.

Many of her creations are fishing inspired, she said.

“XO-AK means love for the subsistence lifestyle, commercial fishing, the freedom to run wild, the great outdoors and all the amazing opportunities and experiences that have shaped me into the person I am today,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy’s XO-AK line also includes chart bed pillow cases, fur pillows and blankets, authentic chart belt buckles, pallet coasters, rabbit fur taggies, jewelry, hats, youth and adult custom made topographical neck pillows and original watercolor paintings.

Keep an eye out for the XO-AK table at the Christmas Bazaar Dec. 2-3.

$15 and up. Deadline for custom orders to be received before Christmas is Dec. 10.

Online Store: xoak.etsy.com

Email: [email protected]

BLAISONE If you’re looking for a unique Cordovan-made gift unlike anything else your favorite person might receive for the holidays, look no further than Todd Blaisdell’s handblown glass ornaments and art pieces, from BlaisOne. Photo Courtesy BlaisOne/For The Cordova Times
BLAISONE
If you’re looking for a unique Cordovan-made gift unlike anything else your favorite person might receive for the holidays, look no further than Todd Blaisdell’s handblown glass ornaments and art pieces, from BlaisOne.
Photo Courtesy BlaisOne/For The Cordova Times

3. Handblown Glass Ornaments by BlaiseOne

For a unique Cordovan-made gift for your favorite person for the holidays, check out Todd Blaisdell’s handblown glass ornaments and art pieces.

Ornaments are available in a variety of colors and Blaisdell offers custom lettering. Globes are, on average, about three inches across, at $50 each and delivered within Cordova for no additional cost. Shipping outside of Cordova is available at an additional cost.

Blaisdell has been blowing glass here since 2008, but began practicing this art form 16 years ago.

“I’ve always enjoyed the ability to create art that has meaning to people. This has been a great way to create gifts that people continue to love year after year. Being the only glassblower in town, it’s great to share this with Cordova,” Blaisdell said.

Handblown glass pendants and marbles are available too. Blaisdell is also a photographer of the night skies and paints with lights. Each work of art is created in-camera, without the use of outside editing sources. The BlaisOne photography line will be available online in the future.

For now, you can email Blaisdell for custom orders or visit him at the Christmas Bazaar Dec. 2-3. The last date for local custom orders is Dec. 20 for delivery prior to Christmas, but you can order Blaisdell’s custom handblown glass art any time via the website.

Website: BlaisOne.com

Email: [email protected]

CORDOVA HISTORICAL MUSEUM & GIFTS What could be more delightful than finding a beautifully wrapped book by one of Cordova’s very own authors under the Christmas tree? There are books available for all ages and you might even have to buy one for yourself! Mimi Briggs, assistant museum director, would love to help you pick out a book or several, at the gift shop, where purchases are beautifully wrapped. Photo Courtesy Cordova Historical Society/For The Cordova Times
CORDOVA HISTORICAL MUSEUM & GIFTS
What could be more delightful than finding a beautifully wrapped book by one of Cordova’s very own authors under the Christmas tree? There are books available for all ages and you might even have to buy one for yourself! Mimi Briggs, assistant museum director, would love to help you pick out a book or several, at the gift shop, where purchases are beautifully wrapped.
Photo Courtesy Cordova Historical Society/For The Cordova Times

4. Books by Cordovan Authors at the Cordova Historical Museum Gift Shop

Our community has a plethora of local writers! What could be more delightful than finding a beautifully wrapped book by one of Cordova’s very own authors under the Christmas tree?

There are books available for all ages and you might even buy one for yourself!

Here’s Santa’s list of local favorites: Images of America: Cordova, by Cathy R. Sherman; Cordova, First 75 Years, by Rose C. Arvidson; Great Things by Gerald, by Gerald Masolini; The Creatures at the Absolute Bottom of the Sea, by Rosemary McGuire; Time and Tide, by Dick Shellhorn; Fire and Ice, by Dewey Whetsell; Murder on the Last Frontier and Borrowing Death, by Cathy Pegau; Blueberry Deer, by Pam VanDenBroek Hefley; Recipes & Remembrances – Cordova’s Best Kept Secrets, by Cordova Senior Citizens; and The Lost Art of Alaska Fishing, by Capt. Anna Young.

The Cordova Historical Museum Gift Shop, on the main level of the Cordova Center, also carries other unique Alaskan gifts in all shapes, colors and sizes. You’ll also enjoy visiting with their wonderful staff, and the art shows on display in the Copper River Gallery next door.

The gift shop also will provide shipping services.

For information, or to order, call the Cordova Historical Museum & Gift Shop at 907-424-6665. Hours are Tuesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturdays 12 p.m.- 5 p.m.

“We will be open on Fridays until 8 p.m. for Moonlight Madness beginning Dec. 2, and until 6 p.m. on Dec. 24, Christmas Eve,” said Marina Briggs, assistant director.

CHELSEA TRACY PHOTOGRAPHY Chelsea Tracy’s photographs are distinctive fine art shots that depict Cordova through her eyes and imagination.  Her photos are a tasteful choice for the person on your list with a passion for Alaska’s land and waterscapes.  Photo courtesy Chelsea Tracy Photography/For The Cordova Times
CHELSEA TRACY PHOTOGRAPHY
Chelsea Tracy’s photographs are distinctive fine art shots that depict Cordova through her eyes and imagination. Her photos are a tasteful choice for the person on your list with a passion for Alaska’s land and waterscapes.
Photo courtesy Chelsea Tracy Photography/For The Cordova Times

5. Fine Art Photography by Chelsea Tracy Photography

Chelsea Tracy’s photographs are distinctive fine art shots that depict Cordova through her eyes and imagination, and make great gifts for a person with a passion for Alaska’s land and waterscapes.

Tracy thinks nothing of staying up all night with a tripod and long lens, waiting patiently for that once-in-a-lifetime shot of the Northern Lights.

“Cordova has so much innate character and variety that, no matter where I look, I constantly see works of art in all forms. I can’t pick out one specific subject I like the best, rather, I love to intertwine multiple subjects to create a deeper storyline,” Tracy said.

Gift options include metal wall art prints, a limited number of framed prints and unframed prints, magnets, cards, family/portrait sessions, and calendars. Prices vary.

The deadline for Christmas orders is
Dec 10.

Website: chelseatracyphotography.com

Email: [email protected]

PETE’S TREATS For the discerning chocoholic in your life, consider picking up a box (or 10), of Pete Hoepfner’s Hand-rolled Chocolate Truffles from Pete’s Treats. Pete estimates that he’s made 90,000 hand-rolled truffles since he became a chocolatier 2001. Photo Courtesy Pete’s Treats/For The Cordova Times
PETE’S TREATS
For the discerning chocoholic in your life, consider picking up a box (or 10), of Pete Hoepfner’s Hand-rolled Chocolate Truffles from Pete’s Treats. Pete estimates that he’s made 90,000 hand-rolled truffles since he became a chocolatier 2001.
Photo Courtesy Pete’s Treats/For The Cordova Times

6.  Chocolate Truffles by Pete’s Treats

For the discerning chocoholic in your life, consider picking up a box (or 10 boxes), of Pete Hoepfner’s Hand-Rolled Chocolate Truffles, from Pete’s Treats. He buys his chocolate from around the world and handpicks all the berries used in his truffles from the Cordova area. Hoepfner says he picks between 60-80 gallons of eight types of berries to use for his handmade truffles, including salmonberries, blueberries, nagoonberries, black currants, high and lowbush cranberries, raspberries and rosehips. The berries are then steam-juiced and concentrated.

“I’ve always enjoyed picking berries wherever I’ve lived. In Cordova and on the delta, we are very fortunate to have a large variety of berries. These berries showcase another side of Cordova,” Hoepfner said.

“I started incorporating berries into the truffles, with the idea of pushing enough individual berry flavor into each truffle to make the berry type recognizable.,” he said.

Pete’s Treats come in 17 truffle flavors, including champagne, coffee, pecan-caramel, Kahlua, mint, all the above-mentioned berry flavors, milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate and specialty flavors for the holidays.

Do you need an extra-special truffle delivery made by Christmas? Just ask Pete!

Hoepfner ships all over Alaska and worldwide via the U.S. Post Service priority mail, so the earlier, the better.

Locally, he will deliver all the way up to Christmas Eve.

The large box of full-sized Pete’s Treats (12 truffles) is $37.50; the medium box (6 truffles) is $18.75. Mini Pete’s Treats come four to a box ($5) or 24 to a box ($26).

Hoepfner will also make up a custom box of Pete’s Treats in any size and quantity.

Call or text orders via: 907 429-3141 (cell)

Email: [email protected]

GLORIA’S CREATIONS If you’re looking for authentic Alaska Native crafts, look no further than artist Gloria Cunningham, of Gloria’s Creations. Her signature product this year are the Boot Trim Cuffs, which are made from Alaskan furs and meant to top XTRATUFF rubber boots, the Cordovan fisherperson’s staple.  Photo Courtesy Gloria’s Creations/For The Cordova Times
GLORIA’S CREATIONS
If you’re looking for authentic Alaska Native crafts, look no further than artist Gloria Cunningham, of Gloria’s Creations. Her signature product this year are the Boot Trim Cuffs, which are made from Alaskan furs and meant to top XTRATUFF rubber boots, the Cordovan fisherperson’s staple.
Photo Courtesy Gloria’s Creations/For The Cordova Times

7.  Boot Trim Cuffs by Gloria’s Creations

If you’re looking for authentic Alaska Native crafts for someone special, visit artist Gloria Cunningham’s shop, Gloria’s Creations.

Her signature product this year is Boot Trim Cuffs, made with Alaskan furs and meant to top XTRATUFF rubber boots, the Cordovan fisherperson’s staple.

Boot Trim Cuffs add a touch of Alaskan-classiness to these simple, brown boots, making them nearly fit for a suit and tie. (This is Alaska, folks – it CAN happen!)

Gloria’s Creations’ gifts are custom made in Cordova with furs hunted and trapped by her sons, Robert and Jerry Cunningham.

Gloria’s Creations also has fur clothing made from sea otters, beavers, river otters, seals and other furbearing animals, trapper hats, crown style hat, gloves trimmed with fur, mittens, scarves from sea otter pelts, boot trim cuffs, pillows, slippers, teddy bears and more.

Cunningham was 12 years old when her mom taught her how to sew and Cunningham’s aunty  taught her how to bead, “at a very young age.

“My very first trapper hat was made from beaver that was trapped, tanned and sewed when I was about 15,” Cunningham said. “I enjoy keeping my hands busy and I enjoy keeping up on my Alaska Native crafts.”

The deadline for Christmas orders is Dec. 20. For more information or to place a Christmas order, give Gloria’s Creations a call.

Phone: 907-424-5604

YANG WREN ART Yang Wren Art’s creator Cadi Moffitt sees her world with imaginative eyes and her artwork is a rendition of what she sees, be it like her colorful work, “Wild Ride,” pictured here, or any of her other uniquely-Cordova pieces. Photo Courtesy Yang Wren Art/For The Cordova Times
YANG WREN ART
Yang Wren Art’s creator Cadi Moffitt sees her world with imaginative eyes and her artwork is a rendition of what she sees, be it like her colorful work, “Wild Ride,” pictured here, or any of her other uniquely-Cordova pieces.
Photo Courtesy Yang Wren Art/For The Cordova Times

8 . Yang Wren Art by Cadi Moffitt

Yang Wren Art’s creator Cadi Moffitt sees her world with imaginative eyes and her artwork is a rendition of what she sees, from “Wild Ride” to her other uniquely Cordova pieces.

“Wild Ride” was originally a colored pencil drawing for a college application, Moffitt said.

“The prompt was draw a bicycle and I wanted that bicycle to reflect the environment I was raised in. I enjoyed the colored pencil draft so much that I decided to do a digital rendition,” she said.

People liked it so much that they asked Moffitt to offer it for purchase in prints and notecards. “I’m inspired by the unique things that make up Cordova: the beautiful wildlife, the northern lights, the berries, the salmon. A year in Alaska is a wild ride and as Cordovans, we look forward to the unique aspects of each season. We are surrounded by beauty even in the worst weather, and I want to show that through my art,” Moffitt said.

Her business, Yang Wren Art, is operated with a heap of support by her mom, Marleen Moffitt, and has a full selection of digital art. You can choose from framed and matted prints and notecards. Special orders can be made for art on metal and canvas.

Yang Wren Art will be at the Christmas Bazaar Dec. 2-3.

Deadlines for special orders is Dec. 1.

Online store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/YangWrenArt

Email: [email protected]

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