5 Gift Ideas for Baseball Season

Baseball season has officially begun, and Northwest Gifts has you covered with the perfect gift for a baseball fan. Here are 5 great gift ideas for baseball season:

Baseball Card SignBaseball Card Sign

Every baseball card collector knows this fear, even if it’s never actually happened to you: “I used to be a millionaire, until my mom threw out my baseball cards.” Great gift idea for the baseball card collector.

Personalized Baseball Pub Plaque10th Inning Baseball Pub Sign

Made in the USA from furniture grade wood, personalized with the name of your choice, and featuring a baseball diamond design with a 3-dimensional relief of a ball and glove, with classic sports lettering, this Man Cave plaque is the perfect personalized gift idea for a baseball fan.

Personalized Baseball Wall Decor SignBaseball Fan Cave Sign Personalized

Fan Cave sign for your MLB fan’s cave. Personalized, green and yellow colors with collegiate lettering, this nifty sign reads, “YOUR NAME’s FAN CAVE – Authorized Personnel Only – Cold Drinks – Good Snacks – Great Friends – Game On! – WELCOME”

Baseball Collectible Display CaseBaseball Collector Display Case

For the baseball fan with a collection of prized baseballs, home run balls, or autographed balls, our unique home-plate shaped baseball display, which holds 12 baseballs in its foam-core interior, framed in solid oak wood in your choice of Honey Oak, Dark Walnut, or Cherry finish stain.

Baseball Baby Shower Gift IdeaBaseball Baby Blanket

Got a baseball-themed baby shower coming up? Know a little one with a baseball-loving dad? Give them a great baseball-themed snuggle time with this minky plush Baseball Baby Blanket, shaped and designed like a baseball complete with red stitching.

Recycled Toys Made From Their Own Box

These fun and simple toy vehicles are packaged using the body of the fire truck, tractor, car, or locomotive, with the external pieces inside. Simply pull the wheels and other accessories out of the tube, attach to the box along with a few stickers, and viola! A toy perfect for those wonderful kids who always seem to enjoy the box more than the toy itself.

Recycled Toys | Tube Toys

Created by London designer Oscar Diaz, and using only 100% recycled materials, the only element discarded after assembly is the paper slip around the outside of the tube.

All the parts needed to build each vehicle are contained on a standard cardboard tube, which doubles as the packaging. The tubes have slots and holes to place the wheel axes and other components. A single stripe of paper displaying all the information necessaries for the shop (brand, product name/description and barcode) is the only bit that will be discarded after purchase.

-Oscar Diaz, Designer

What a fun and eco-friendly gift idea!

A Wine Gift That’s Not Wine

Maybe you’re looking for a gift for a wine enthusiast, but you can’t afford a bottle of Chateau Margaux and don’t want to bother with cheap stuff, or maybe you feel like you’ve been in a rut and want to try something new… so how about some Personalized Wine Decor? At Northwest Gifts, we carry a selection funny, stylish, and personalized wine plaques which make for a classy gift.

Custom Wine Plaques

Wine Decor Gift Ideas | Many to choose from | Starting at $19.95

These plaques are popular for sending to a relative or friend around Christmas, or will make a great housewarming gift for a friend or a spouse. Made in the USA from quality furniture-grade wood, silkscreened by hand and made to order, these wine plaques will be sure to please the wine enthusiast.

An Anytime Gift: Give Your Support to Your Enterprising Friends

Facebook “like” and “share this” buttons are now ubiquitous to the internet experience. Everybody wants their stuff to be read, viewed, enjoyed, and, ultimately, purchased.*

 *This site is Exhibit A. Buy our stuff here. Gift Ideas for Father's Day, Mother's Day, Christmas, and more!

Promote your friendsThe upshot of these “share” buttons and their respective social networking sites is that it helps to (at least partially) level the playing field for small businesses with small budgets. Social networking hotspots like Twitter and Facebook, along with free blogging services like WordPress and Blogger, allow free marketing for the upstart company or home business. And it’s working: Almost everybody, it seems, makes something to sell on Etsy or has a side job selling healthy chocolate or is in a band or works at a company with an online presence.

And a small business with a Facebook page with 258 likes has a much different trust factor than a small business with a Facebook page with 11 likes (all of whom have the same last name).  If you’re looking for a photographer, for instance, the more likes the more, uh, like-ly you’ll be to go with their services.

So give your support to your friend’s or cousin’s or coworker’s home business by commenting their post or sharing their Twitter updates or liking their page or linking to their blog. 

Here’s a few shout outs to keep the ball rolling (cuz’ it’s been rolling long before this post):

Jeremy Oliveria (musician: folk/rock), listen on MySpace, like on Facebook

Cloudy Day Photography (family and portrait photography), like on Facebook

Downtown Grounds (fun & delicious local coffee shop in Medford, OR), Facebook, Twitter

541 Live (music, restaurants, and events in Southern Oregon), Facebook

Oregon Cookies (huge homemade cookies shipped anywhere), Facebook

The Parson Red Heads (folk/rock/throwback band in Portland, OR), Facebook

Urns Northwest (online retailer of cremation urns, same family-run business as Northwest Gifts), Facebook

So click on a few of those, like ’em or share or StumbleUpon or what have you, and then help promote your friends’ ventures by gifting your clicks!

Turn Your Garage into A Front Porch

If you’re among those who bemoan the loss of the front porch as a way of living in community, here’s a “front porch hack” offered bySteve McCoy at the Reformissionary blog, for turning your garage into what the front porch once was.

1. Clean It Out. Toss stuff in the trash. You don’t need some of that stuff. Give stuff away. Find another place for it. Tidy up whatever you need to leave in there. Make as much space as possible. If you think you can’t, you’re wrong.

2. Fill It Up.  If you don’t have one in there already, put in a fridge (even if only a college-sized one). Put yummy stuff in that fridge. Drinks, snacks, more drinks. Can’t afford that, at least put cold stuff in a cooler. Then get a dart board, a bags set, iPod speakers/radio, chairs, basketball hoop, frisbee, or whatever you and others find fun. Keep the door wide open. Let the sound & fun bleed out into the neighborhood. Take the grill from the back porch and put it in the driveway.

3. Invite & Be Inviting. Start right after work. Wave at folks in as they drive home from work. Ask them over. Wave them over. Yell as they get out of their car, “Come on over!” Give them an special invite, if that’s helpful. Offer them something to drink and ask about their day. Play a game. Stuff will happen naturally as neighbors feel welcome and stop by regularly.

It’s a great idea for fostering community. Of course, I can’t pass up the opportunity to let you know that we have dart boards and other garage decor signs at Northwest Gifts.

Custom Dartboard | Pub Sign Dartboard | Man Cave Ideas

Bonsai Pots Make A Great Gift

…especially when they are unique, handcrafted, and custom made. These bonsai pots are hand-thrown on the potter’s wheel and feature routered designs made by a tattoo gun. Finished with a fine glaze, the flowing yet tranquil aura of these lush bonsai planters will provide the perfect compliment to your gift of a bonsai plant.

End Grain Cutting Boards: The Perfect Gift for the Aspiring Chef

If you know someone who loves to cook, a unique and wonderful gift idea for a chef is a high-quality chopping block.
The majority of wood cutting boards you can buy today are edge or face grain design, meaning you are looking at the wood grain along its length (direction of growth). With end grain boards, you are looking into the end of the grain, as if you are looking down into the top of a tree stump.

Cutting Boards End Grain

End Grain Cutting Boards

Both designs are just as functional and food safe, but end grain boards are far more durable and friendlier to your knife. The old-fashioned butcher blocks were always end grain design for a reason: to keep the knives much sharper. Instead of crushing against the wood fibers, the blade goes between them much like cutting into the end of a firm brush.
 
In a face grain board, think of wood fiber much like hair, as you cut across you break the fiber and those fibers start to pop up from the board surface. With proper care, a face grain board will last many years, but an end grain board will last a life time. That’s why these cutting boards make the perfect high-quality gift for a chef.

Man Cave Signs & Man Cave Plaques

The perfect gift for the manly, sports-loving, armchair football coach. A great gift for Father’s Day.

If you’re looking for a gift for your husband the year after getting him NFL Sunday Ticket or that favorite-football-team-themed recliner, this is the Father’s Day gift idea or birthday gift idea for you. At Northwest Gifts, we offer several personalized varieties of plaques and signs for the Man Cave:

Man Cave Plaque - Personalized
These are just a sampling of our selection of man cave wall decor. Click through to see much larger pictures and product info; and if you think one of these will make a great gift for your manly man, personalize it!

How to Find a Gift For the History Buff

History buffs are known for liking obscure things, knowing obscure things, joking about obscure things in obscure ways, and generally being obscure. So how do you find an obscure gift for a history lover that they won’t roll their eyes at? Almost inevitably anything you find is either not odd or interesting enough, or a little too odd. So what can you do?

Weird history t-shirts are always a good option. Shirts featuring an illustrated timeline of the industrial revolution, say, or this Viking-themed Really Old Navy knock-off tee make for fun history gifts.  Coffee mugs (what history nerd doesn’t like coffee or tea?) can also be a treasure – St. Augustine for the church history buff, Geronimo for the specialist in American History, or the classic “I ♥ History” mug.

But let’s say you want to give your bookish history buff buddy a book. The problem, of course, is that they’ve read everything you might come across at Barnes & Noble. So here is my idea:

  1. Go to TodayInHistory.com.
  2. Input the day before (or two days before, or the day after, etc.) your birthday buff’s birthday. For instance, I put in May 16th, the day before my wife‘s birthday.
  3. Browse the “Events” category. For May 16th, two events sounded like they had interesting possibilities: In 1763, Samuel Johnson and future biographer Thomas Boswell met for the first time, and in 1770 Marie Antionette married future king Louis XVI of France. Since my wife is, obviously, a women, I’m leaning towards the event involving Marie Antionette.
  4. Go to Amazon’s book page.
  5. Type the subject of your fun history fact into the search bar. I.e., “Marie Antionette”.
  6. Choose the highest rated book, or the one that sounds the most interesting. Here’s what I would pick for my interesting and fashionable wife:
  7. Then give it to your friend/spouse/family member/etc on the day of your fun history fact, celebrating the little-observed and obscure holiday “Marie Antionette’s Anniversary Day”. Of course you could choose an event that happened on your history buff’s birthday, but I’m betting that, as with all my nerdy friends, they already know the main events that happened on their birthday. So stick with a day or two off. This is especially handy for late presents!

So there you have it. A quirky way to celebrate someone’s unbirthday by celebrating another “holiday” in honor of your friend’s actual birthday. Confusing, weird, and obscure? Definitely. But, as you should know by know, we geeks like it that way. 

Oh, in case the book and tshirt and coffee mug ideas don’t work out, here’s my obligatory link to a gift on my site for a golf history buff- a framed art piece depicting the Original Thirteen Rules of Golf, as drafted by the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith in 1744 for the first recorded golf tournament. Get 7% off this beautiful plaque by entering this coupon code: golfhistorybuff

(Coupon expires 10/18/2010 and does not include shipping charges)