Soooo, yeah. I know I said this gift list would be comprised of "affordable" gifts, but maybe I should add "aspirational" gifts as well, because I found the coolest vase/art piece and I just MUST share. It is just a little pricier than, say, a family on one income (cough) might spend for a vase, however, if you look at it as an ART piece, consider it an INVESTMENT (and art, is like, SO much safer to invest in than, say, your Roth this year. ART is forever. Hello? Are you listening Ben? Honey, I'm talking to YOU).
This Candle Wax Vase ($350) is a hand-blown glass vase from Design Within Reach, created by artist Andi Kovel and her partner Justin Parker, one of the top glassblowers in the country. With this glass vase, they have basically created the most beautiful canvas for you -- you simply burn different colors of candles in the vase, allowing the wax to drip and collect, filling the vase like those sand jars you probably made as a kid.
What I like best about this piece is the idea of making it into a beautiful record of time. If I owned this vase, I would tie different colors to a specific experience or memory. For example, I might burn orange candles for every one of Kate's birthdays. And red candles for all our anniversaries. And white candles for romantic evenings together, and purple candles for evenings spent entertaining. And once the jar is totally filled, you can look at it and see those special experiences that you had during the time it took to fill the vase and feel like you have a one-of-a-kind piece of art that reflects the life of your family.
So I'd probably fill it and keep it, as a record of our lives. However, the really cool part is that if you fill it and want to start again, you can actually SEND BACK the filled vase to the artists and they will provide you with a new one to begin again. I LOVE it!