UC Davis Today: Aggie gifts for the holidays

Photo: Aggie gifts in abundance

Aggie gifts for the holidays

By  Dave Jones

Holiday shoppers know all about Black Friday. And the relatively new phenomenon of Gray Thursday. Here at UC Davis, we get a lot more colorful — with Blue and Gold shopping days.

As in UC Davis shirts and hats, coffee cups and cutting boards, ornaments and blue Santa hats, key chains and license plate frames, and pens and paperweights.

And lots of gifts in other colors, but all tinged in blue and gold, as in silver oak leaf jewelry from the arboretum, bowls made from the wood of campus trees, orange monarch butterflies on magnets from the Bohart Museum of Entomology; multicolored scarves and ties adorned with UC Davis art and poetry; and unique, handcrafted gifts from Craft Center instructors.

And don’t forget the foodstuffs from the world’s No. 1 university in agriculture: olive oil and olives from the Olive Center, sun-dried tomatoes from Russell Ranch, golden honey from the Honey and Pollination Center, and California Harvest Gift Boxes from the women’s rowing club.

Good Life and Campus Grown

UC Davis highlights many of its signature products in the Good Life Collection, including scarves and ties, books, and tomato and olive products (including olive oil body lotion and lip balm).

The collection also includes Campus Grown, where you can find one-of-a-kind products made from salvaged wood — bowls, vases and salad tongs. The wood is from campus trees that required heavy pruning or needed to be felled for safety reasons.

Campus Grown also includes the Arboretum Collection — oak leaf jewelry, launched last year. Designer and metal smith Nancy Shapiro, co-president of Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum, made the mold in the lost-wax technique, using an actual leaf from the arboretum as the basis for her work.

Shapiro arranged for the casting of a limited supply of leaves out of fair-trade silver, then she did the finish work to turn them into pins and pendants. More information, including photos.

The Scarf and Tie Collection includes two new scarves for 2013, one celebrating the C.N. Gorman Museum’s 40th anniversary (the scarf features a painting by the museum’s namesake), and the other called The Computer, from Francis F. Hamabe’s color serigraph in the university’s Fine Arts Collection.

Most products in the Good Life Collection are available from UC Davis Stores, online (see box for different links) and in selected stores. Look for the arboretum jewelry, the Scarf and Tie Collection, and salvaged wood items at the downtown store (Second and F streets).

Craft Center Staff Show and Silent Auction

The Craft Center has launched its 12th annual Staff Show and Silent Auction, where everyone is welcome to shop for jewelry, glasswork, textiles, ceramics, metalwork, woodwork, photography, painting, drawing, screen prints and more.

The center’s staff members made and contributed all the works; sale proceeds go to support the center’s programs.

Written bids are acceptable any time the center is open, through 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. Then, at 5:45, a live auction will commence for any items that have interested, active bidders. All this will occur amid a closing reception, 5 to 7 p.m.

The Craft Center is in the South Silo. Regular hours: 12:30-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 12:30-7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. For more information, contact the Craft Center, (530) 752-1475 or craftcenter@campusrec.ucdavis.edu.

California Harvest Gift Boxes

The women’s rowing club has been selling these for many years to help support the sport club’s operations.

This year’s harvest includes a new product, risotto, to go with the sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, black olives and fresh garlic, and the almonds, milk chocolate, honey, raisins and organic popcorn. The harvest is packed as usual in a wooden box.

The price is the same as last year: $36 for delivery in Davis or to the Sacramento campus. The boxes can be mailed at additional cost ($50 in state, $60 elsewhere in the continental United States).

Only 500 boxes will be sold. A photo and the order form are available online. Or contact rowing coach Carissa Adams, (530) 867-1494 or cradams@ucdavis.edu. The rowing club can accommodate recharges, for departments wishing to buy the boxes for official UC business purposes.

The bluest and the goldest

Nobody carries more of the blue and gold than UC Davis Stores.

“That was my direction to the buyers,” said Carol Swafford, associate director of sales. The transformation began in January, and, as she surveyed the Memorial Union store one day this week, she saw blue and gold as far as her eye could see.

There’s lots of new jewelry (for example, a triple-bangle bracelet set with a UC Davis charm on each); plaid pajamas for adults and children; pins and lanyards; mugs and blankets; and scarves and ties (choose stripes or bicycles). And a greatly expanded children’s section, with onesies and T-shirts, including one that features a cartoon-like drawing of a Unitrans bus over the slogan, “This Is How I Roll”; and sippy cups.

And, for kids of all ages, there are teddy bears dressed as an Aggie cheerleader or wearing a letterman’s jacket.

The pet section is bigger, too. For example, now you can buy collars that say “UC Davis” (these are new) or “UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.”

Swafford said the bluer and golder clothing department reflects the campus’s renewed emphasis on Aggie Pride Fridays — when people are encouraged to wear Aggie gear. You can promote the tradition yourself by wearing a T-shirt that reads, “Aggie Pride: Pass It On.”

Last but not least, check out the new “UC Davis Season’s Greetings” ornament: made of blue glass with a light inside!

Online shopping: UC Davis Stores and Aggie Pride Outlet (athletics).

Bees and bugs

The Honey and Pollination Center has you covered on bee-related gifts, while the gift shop at the Bohart Museum of Entomology goes much farther into the world of insects.

The Bohart collection includes T-shirts, coffee mugs and magnets, insect collecting equipment, posters, children’s books, insect candy — and jewelry, too, depicting butterflies and dragonflies, ladybugs and honeybees as earrings and pendants.  Proceeds help support the museum’s outreach programs.

Honey from the Honey and Pollination Center celebrates UC Davis’ agricultural roots:

“It was 1906, a slower-paced time, and the new University of California Farm had just opened in Davisville,” reads the label on the 12-ounce jars. “Fifty years later it became the College of Agriculture and by 1976 the Bee Biology Lab was buzzing with students and bees. The bees made sweet honey from a blend of nectar gathered from the wildflowers of the valley and coastal foothills.”

Today, the Honey and Pollination Center sells “a natural, light and floral Northern California Wildflower Honey … collected throughout the Sacramento Valley.” Proceeds help support the center’s work, and research at the Harry H. Laidlaw Bee Biology Laboratory.

The center also stocks a collection of notecards, eight in all, each featuring a photo of a pollinator on a flower (with insect and flower identified on the back). Kathy Keatley Garvey, a senior writer in the Department of Entomology and Nematology, captured all the images in UC Davis environs.

You’ll find the Bohart Museum of Entomology and its gift shop in 1124 Academic Surge. Online shopping.

The Honey and Pollination Center sells its honey and notecards (individually or in a set of eight) at UC Davis Stores (Memorial Union and downtown) and online.

Wonder & Delight and other books

The Design Program’s Dolph Gotelli, a professor emeritus known as “Father Christmas,” has a new book out: Wonder & Delight, showcasing his Christmas and toy collections, as installed by him in museums, historic houses and other venues.

Wonder & Delight: A Dolph Gotelli Christmas, 360 pages long with 570 color photos, includes hundreds of Santas and saints cavorting in elaborately embellished interiors, a tree-trimming witch, a family of nicely attired critters, and delicious delectables designed to entice the eye.

Wonder & Delight is available through Amazon.com’s UC Davis store, or by special order from UC Davis Stores.

Other books by campus authors are readily available at UC Davis Stores (Memorial Union). Paul Takushi, who works there, suggested these titles for holiday giving:

  • Your Ideal Cat, by animal behaviorists Benjamin and Carol Hart of the School of Veterinary. Medicine.
  • Song of Siwa: The Marzuk-Iskander Festival (fiction), by Louis Grivetti, a nutritional geographer, professor emeritus in the Department of Nutrition.
  • Down and Up (poetry), by Clarence Major, distinguished professor emeritus of English.
  • Certain Uncollected Poems, by Sandra McPherson, professor emerita of English.
  • The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832, a finalist for a 2013 National Book Award, by history professor Alan Taylor, who won the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize and the Beveridge Award in 1996 for William Cooper’s Town.
  • One-Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses (fiction), by Lucy Corin, associate professor of English
  • And all of Thomas Cahill’s science fiction: Annals of the Omega Project (a trilogy in one book), and the first two volumes of his Ark asteroid trilogy, Asteroid Impact and Diaspora. Cahill is a professor emeritus of physics and atmospheric science.

More about new books (and a DVD set) by UC Davis faculty and an alumna. Online shopping for books: UC Davis Stores or Amazon.com’s UC Davis store

Photo: Get cozy for the holidays with pajamas, warm throws and other items from UC Davis Stores. Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis photo

Dave Jones is the editor of Dateline UC Davis.  Follow Dateline UC Davis on Twitter.

Supplemental content

Sales at UC Davis Stores

  • Wednesday-Thursday, Dec. 4-5 — Holiday Sale at all stores. Spend $75 or more on clothing (after discounts) and receive a free holiday plush toy. Only at the Memorial Union store: raffle prizes and olive oil tasting.
  • Friday, Dec. 6 — Alumni Sale at the downtown store (5-8 p.m.), with music, raffle prizes, free coffee samples and pictures with Gunrock. Show your valid Cal Aggie Alumni Association membership card, or CAAA Parent and Family Association card or Student Alumni Association card, and receive 30 percent off UC Davis-imprinted items. Also: free embroidery of the word “Alumni” on any purchased sweatshirt, or on the back of any purchased hat (may require pickup at a later date). Spend $75 or more on clothing (after discounts) and receive a free "I (Heart) Davis" T-shirt; spend $125 or more on clothing (after discounts) and receive a free "I (Heart) Davis" sweatshirt.

Online: UC Davis Stores sales and events

Tasting and buying

Care to have a taste of campus-produced foodstuffs before you buy? No problem!

  • Olive oil tasting — At the Memorial Union bookstore, during UC Davis Stores’ Holiday Sale, Wednesday-Thursday, Dec. 4-5.
  • Holiday Wine and Campus-Produced-Food Tasting — At the Gunrock Pub, 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4. This is a Wine Flight event ($10, no reservations needed): four seasonal wines (all from wineries with UC Davis connections) paired with small bites of campus-produced food featuring olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes, produce from the Student Farm, and Aggie-raised meat from the Department of Animal Science. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase campus-produced-food gifts for the holidays! The featured wines will be for sale, too. Here they are, with their Aggie connections:
    • 181 Merlot from Delicato Family Vineyards (alumna Sue Hofmann, winemaker)
    • Sauvignon blanc from St. Supéry Vineyards & Winery (alumni Emma Swain, chief executive officer, and Josh Anstey, vineyard manager)
    • Viognier from Bonterra Organic Vineyards (alumnus Bob Blue, lead winemaker)
    • Zinfandel from Terra d’Oro Winery (alumnus Chris Leamy, lead winemaker)

UC Davis Meat Lab

You might not give this to someone else, but perhaps it can be a gift for your holiday dinner table: a standing rib roast from the UC Davis Meat Lab.

“They’re very popular this time of year,” said Caleb Sehnert, manager, who advises people to order in advance or risk not getting one if they sell out — as they usually do. “We need to know how many to prepare.”

Pork loin roast and leg of lamb are other popular options at holiday time, Sehnert said.

You can place preorders during the Meat Lab’s regular sales, open to the public: 1 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The sales are held year-round (except on university holidays); the last sale before Christmas this year is Friday, Dec. 20.

More information, including price list, is available online. The Meat Lab is in Building C at the Harold Cole Facility, directly south of Meyer Hall on La Rue Road.