I'd like to pause from my snacking to drop in an advertisement for a real-life friend and Brooklyn artist Melanie, who has created a series of handmade animal "Shrinky Dink" style plastic charms.
These are not in stores (yet) and I personally think they'd make a great gift (holiday or otherwise) or present for yourself. They can be purchased for the discounted price of $20 each (but "the more you buy, the cheaper they get," says Ms. M.) and are customizable. She'll be happy to ship, so you don't need to live in NYC to get one.
Mel wrote me:
Each charm comes with a choice of leather thong, pin, nail (for hanging the mini art), ornament hook or zipper pull clasp, a paper stating authenticity and a little info about the animal. Each piece is signed and dated. I will do commissions if you want a certain animal (we can even discuss pets).
I've already chosen mine. It is an animal I would not eat. Guesses? Oh, and email mjelacic at gmail if you're interested in purchasing her work. Tell her Jennette sent you.