This holiday season I made two rules for myself: keep it simple and shop local. It's been an...what's that buzzword the news uses? Oh yes, it's been an unprecedented couple of years for absolutely everyone, and personally, my 2021 was some of the most bananas s**t of my life. As the holidays were approaching, I was thinking I had to keep things simple or I'd likely snap, and it's working beautifully for me so far. Especially since I found three incredible female artists who have the same sense of humor I do. These Montana chicks helped me get my shopping done early!

Krusty Stuff temporary business card
Krusty Stuff temporary business card

Krusty Stuff

My eye was immediately drawn to the Krusty Stuff booth at Missoula's 2021 Holiday Made Fair as it featured bad words and all my favorite colors, black and black. I popped on over to make some purchases which included a face mask that says SUCK LESS and to ask for a card for future shopping. Kristy Overman of Whitefish handed me her card explaining she was out of fancy ones. I looked at the card and thought in my head "did we just become best friends?" She has fun, punk stuff featuring my favorite kind of bird and the word "rad", shop online here.

Thread Parade

Oh boy howdy, a woman after my own heart. Thread Parade features beautiful framed cross stitch pieces with naughty sayings, or sometimes, just one fun word, like "balls" in pretty cursive. Some of my favorite pieces include a heart-framed "F*** Y'all," a flowery framed "Eat A Bag Of D***s," and a rose-framed "Blow Me." Keep in mind, these are really the mildest phrases I could share with you here, she's got some awesome doozies on her hand towels, find her Instagram here.

Mad Maker

We all have that one cute, fun friend with dreadlocked hair and a weed shirt. Imagine if that friend was super creative and made really cool stuff, that is Mad Maker. Ellie Caplis of Missoula offers stickers, patches, jewelry, unique baby clothing, and, my fave, flannels, hoodies, and jean jackets with rad stuff on the back. As you can see in the photo of the flannel I bought for myself when I was supposed to be Christmas shopping for others. Ellie doesn't have an online shop, keep an eye out for her at craft fairs.

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At some point this season you'll be hosting or attending a holiday party, and you're likely having an ugly sweater party at work. Here are a few ideas to keep things fresh and fun!

26 Intriguing Montana Books That Make Great Gifts

Here are some great Montana books to consider as gifts for the holidays, or any time of year for birthdays and special occasions. There's something for the person who loves to read fiction, for the historian, and those who just love nature and views of the most gorgeous state in the nation.

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