It seems like forever ago that the sun had visited Seattle, but the Magpie was out looking for shiny things in the unique and lovely neighborhood of Ballard on one of those rare wintery days, with the spirit of the holidays and a hot latte to warm her heart. 

Nestled in the northern part of Seattle, Ballard is probably best-known for the Hiram M. Chittendon Locks, more commonly and simply called the Ballard Locks, where boats can move between Lake Washington and Puget Sound through engineering magic I'm not prepared to go into on this post. It's a charming neighborhood with a history spanning the late 1800s, which makes it an ideal place to wander for a spell, exploring the cobblestone streets, absorbing its ambience, and visiting the unique shops and restaurants.

I visited some favorite places, off the main thoroughfare of Market Street and was happy to see they did not disappoint in their holiday decor and goodies. Velouria is an absolute treasure of a shop, specializing in jewelry, accessories and clothing, featuring the talented work of local artists. Everything feels like a new discovery, and it's easy to get lost in their adorable, cozy shop. It's nearly impossible to walk out of there without something sparkly -- I managed to pick up a little treasure for a friend's holiday gift. I also made sure to visit Lucca on Ballard Avenue, an amazing shop that sells delightful stationery, books, and baubles for both home and garden. In the spring and summer, it's a treat to walk into the jewelbox garden they have at the back of their shop. Their store reminds me a bit of a Victorian cabinet of curiosities, full of fanciful whimsy and unique treasures under glass.

There was a definite holiday spirit in the neighborhood, but even when it's not Christmas, Ballard is always a treat to visit, as it's a vibrant community that is clearly well-loved by its dwellers. Walking through its streets, visiting its book shops, record stores and perusing through clothing boutiques -- it's a truly picture-perfect neighborhood of thoughtful, quirky style, and an inspired reminder to always live joyfully within the details.

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  1. Oh Lucca... Love that shop! I always find the greatest gift (for others and myself) there. I need to get over to Ballard this week. Whata perfect part of town to get in the Holiday spirit.

    Have you been to 20 Twenty and Souvenir? My two favorite Ballard shops right now.

  2. Lucca is my absolute favorite shop of all time. I was heartbroken to hear that they're closing up their statuary shop! I hope that the gift shop gets a lot of business this Christmas so they're able to keep afloat. (I intend to do my part by dropping my paycheck there tomorrow...)

  3. Oh, I do hope Lucca makes it through! It's too perfect a store to close down. I need to return to Ballard and explore more shops after the holiday rush. I'll have to check those other stores out -- I honestly could be happily lost in that neighborhood forever.

  4. I do love going to Ballard. So many great restaurants and stores!

  5. I adore Lucca! They better get a hell of a lot of business these holidays!


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