Known for her irresistibly cute paintings and prints, artist Amy Rice is also active in community causes. So, she wants locally made objects that share her objectives: strong neighborhoods, healthy environment and happy animals.

1. Custom pet portrait by Jennifer Davis

"I would love a portrait of my new puppy, Pumpkin," says Rice. For that pet lover on your shopping list, Rice suggests one of these custom pet portraits by the prominent local artist Davis. A percentage of proceeds benefit All Dog Rescue of Minnesota. (available from • $100)

2. Membership to Soo Visual Arts Center

Here's how to nudge family and friends into supporting a cool local arts organization: "If you buy at the Awesome Friend level you can choose from prints by local artists Joe Sinness or Sean Tubridy," says Rice. ( • $250)

3. Wood From the Hood

It's like the statement cutting board, since it's popping up everywhere -- in specialty shops and designer kitchens all over town. "They're made from locally reclaimed wood," enthuses Rice. (available at Bibelot shops, 4 Twin Cities locations • $24-$40)

4. Earth Grown Crayons

"I still love crayons!" says Rice. "These locally made soy wax-based crayons would be a fun gift for kids of any age." ( • $10)

5. Karin Jacobson Designs

Rice doesn't dig blood diamonds. With so many engagements this time of year, she's partial to these commitment rings made from ethically sourced materials like recycled gold and diamonds, palladium and lab-grown stones. (, $1,445-$2,622)

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