Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's time for.. Advent Calendars

I have a fond place in my heart for Advent Calendars, mostly because as a child I had a *thing* for thins you could *open* If you don't know, an Advent Calendar is a calendar that counts down the 25 days until Christmas (Yes, this will be a Christmas-centric post, but I promise I'll try to do something up for those of us who don't celebrate that particular holday). Each day, you "open" the little door and usually inside you will find a "treat" of some sort. This can vary a lot. There are chocolate Advent Calendars, there are calendars that just have a little saying or something inside. Today I'm going to highlight a few handmade ones from Etsy (of course!).

Drawered Advent Calendar
from DapperDoo

This type is one of my favorites; it's pretty permanent, but it has plenty of space so that each year someone fills each drawer with a little treat, and then each day it gets opened. Now it's obviously not much fun if you're doing this alone, but if you've got kids this is a great way to really ramp up the excitement for Christmas.

Muffin Tin Advent Calendar
from keepsakesbykristi

Another one you can fill with cute things- and this one is kind of ingenious. It's a muffin tin with magnetic numbers over it. If you are crafty, this one would also be pretty easy to create. I see this kind of thing and think "Wow, that would have been great to make for 4-H"

Nativity Calendar
from grammajssewcottage

I gotta say- I am *not* religious at all but even I think this one is adorable. As the days count down, you fill up the nativity scene with the stick on pieces, until finally on Christmas day it is complete. It's obviously pretty well made and all around just adorable.

Scrapbook-Style Advent Calendar
from MomsPeace

Wow. Just WOW. It's gorgeous- and as MomsPeace suggests, you can fill each tin with an "activity" which to me is just begging to work on the Christmas scrapbook pages. If you're into scrapbooking this seems perfect- you could put charms, paper punches, etc. inside and by time Christmas rolled around you'd be all set to just put the pictures on the wonderful pages you created- whether as a couple or as a family. I love it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Holiday Feature

Just a quick post to let you know what's in store between now and the big day, I mean CHRISTMAS.

I'm hoping to try to get in a post at least every other day with a mini gift guide- What to give a knitter, what to give a friend, boyfriend, mother in law.. etc. Remember, Etsy has even more ways to search around for this kind of stuff, but I'm hoping I can highlight just a few really cool things I find on my way. I'm going to *attempt* to not just pick things that appeal to my aesthetic, but you know how that goes.

That said, if anyone reading has shops they particularly like or items they'd like me to consider featuring, feel free to let me know! Remember, I like to post up eyecandy so make sure any things you suggest have nicely put together photos and are clear enough for me to see.

Guilty as Charged + A Featured Seller!

I haven't really posted any "review" type posts of things I have bought from Etsy lately, for one simple reason: I haven't bought anything from Etsy lately. The last thing I purchased was in the spring, I believe, and was a sMOOchy Skin Bar from GudonyaToo. Yes, I'm addicted, etc etc. But for various reasons I've curbed my consumption quite a bit. HOWEVER, it's HOLIDAY SEASON, and that means it is time for me to loosen the purse-strings a little bit and get in the spirit. For now, though, I'm going to show you a few things I got from sleepingelf, or as she is known in the Asian Ball Jointed Doll community, Tinybear.

Here are some photos from her shop (Mine aren't all safe for work, so I'll be linking to them at the end of the post.):

Bracken Fullset (sold)

BonBon Fullset (Sold)

Mohair Blythe Wig

Wow, right? She's an artist from the UK who makes absolutely GORGEOUS wigs from pelts (They are definitely the "big hair" look but so realistic past that), and has designed a line of gorgeous tiny dolls (Most are under 10" tall) that are produced in resin by a wonderful company. They come in several skin tones and yes, they're pricey, but if you are an ABJD collector you're used to that. And they're little pieces of heaven. Here are some of the ones I have..

Auxin's new Dress
Mina, wearing "Bratz" clothing. This was my first.

The Tinies
The only picture I have of all three of them clothed; The short ones are from sleepingelf.

Coco and Bon Bon, the "Fat Fairies" Warning: This picture has realistically blushed naked dollies. Don't click if this will cause a problem for you.

Anyway, I know these aren't everyone's thing, but I can say for certain: sleepingelf is a great store to purchase from (either on Etsy or off) and Carrie has absolutely amazing customer service and is probably one of the sweetest (and most talented) women on this planet. So if you have *any* desire to get one of her little beauties or one of her gorgeous wigs (which I've found to be hands-down the *best* fur wigs you can find due to her amazingly high-quality materials), or even one of the different miniatures she crafts from time to time (she got her start with teddy bears), then definitely do. Run, don't walk. Amazing.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Treats

Here in the US, Thanksgiving will be upon us in the next couple days and I know that I, for one, have got turkey on the mind. This is the holiday to eat good food, get sleepy, and probably watch a parade or football game. Me? I'm thinking of getting pizza on Wednesday and then we're going a bit avant garde on the Thanksgiving Dinner front- we're letting our local grocery store "cater" it for us. Takes off the stress of getting up early to prepare a bird! But enough about me, let's see what we've got for you this time around...

Pumpkin Spice Cake Truffles
by lollidreams

I have to admit, I'm not usually one who would consider buying anything edible from Etsy, and it's not even that I'm worried about cleanliness (I'm less cautious than I should be on that front, probably). I'm just a little weirded out still buying FOOD online. However, these gorgeous little truffles are something that looks good enough to send me over the edge. I'm a sucker for food that is pretty, and these certainly are.

Merino/Cashmere Sock Yarn
by Valutree

It's sock yarn, and it's autumnal. Merino and Cashmere? You'd be walking on air. That simple.

Country Pumpkin Pie Soap
by BubblesUpByBethieB

Pumpkin Pie is a mainstay of Thanksgiving Dinner- even if you don't care for it, you'll still find it at the table. I prefer apple but I love the smell of pumpkin pie- this soap looks divine.

Turkey Bot
by boldsandbots

Okay, so when people think of Thanksgiving-related stuff, you probably think of the previous things I mentioned- food, food-scented bath and body items, and fall-colored fibers. What you don't think of is an adorable little polymer clay robot turkey who is sure to steal your heart. He's only 1" tall, but that makes it all the more amazing that he's so adorable and detailed. I think I would want to make a necklace out of him!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bath Bomb Mania

I'm finally living in a house with a bathtub, and though I generally prefer to take showers I am relishing the fact that I can take a bubble bath if I want, or use *gasp* Bath Bombs. Bath Bombs: So named because when you drop them in the tub they EXPLODE into a froth of scent and fizz. As such I've been trolling Etsy for things to add to my shopping/Christmas list. Here are a few of my favorites.

Peppermint Frost Bath Bomb
by hogwash

If you know anything about me, it's that I adore peppermint. These are pretty simple- peppermint bath bombs, promising lots of minty scent. I can't vouch for whether they live up to it or not- but they sure look yummy.

Bath Cupcake
by CandiedBeauty

These pretty bath cupcakes aren't just nice to look at- they're also vegetarian and cruelty free, which is a big plus for any animal lovers out there. CandiedBeauty also has some great gift sets, like this gorgeous little number. Looks good enough to eat- but it's for your bath!

PS: If you are into cupcakes but none of the ones that CandiedBeauty has strike your fancy, just search for cupcakes- there are oodles of different types.

Set of 6 Fizzy Bath Melts
by mmmmhandmadesoap

If you're anything like me, you might find it tiresome not only to pick out a single scent to order, but also wading through all the separate listings; This set is great because you get to pick different scents, and get it all in one listing (which I think is a big plus!). And the presentation can't be beat- this would be a great gift, too.

Cookies n Cream Bath Fizzy
by Layla

Doesn't this sound amazing? Of course I always run into the same problem whenever I have things that smell like food- I end up hungry! This is especially true for anything chocolate, but this might just be worth the craving.

If none of this struck your fancy, don't worry. There are literally hundreds of different things you can get on Etsy that fall into the "bath bomb" category, and many are far more reasonably priced than, say, the ever-popular LUSH. And some of them look good enough to eat!

Monday, November 09, 2009

What's this? A POST

That's right, I'm back. Ish. I'm not making promises, but I am going to leave you with a nice photo feature post because I think we could all use a little eye candy. The economy's going down the tubes but DIY is alive and well and Etsy is just getting bigger. No theme, let's just see some things I've been oggling.

Fingerprint Ring
from chrisparry

Okay seriously, what more can I say about this baby? It's gorgeous, it's romantic (Could you imagine having that as a wedding band?) and it's a great idea. Yum!

Steampunk Necklace
from asecondtime

Steampunk seems to be gaining some momentum lately in the alternative circles, and this necklace is just gorgeous. I think it's probably not strictly steampunk, but it's got sparkle and it incorporates steampunk elements so I'm counting it as a win. Gorge!

SNES Cartridge External Hard Drive
from 8BitMemory

What? That's enough to give anyone a geek-gasm. I love this trend of putting data storage in a cool shell- I have a Sims 3 USB drive that I adore and I think stuff like this is fab.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Now that I'm Back in school..

I've got more time to spend procrastinating (I run out of things to do online because I spend so much time there).

So, do you want to know what time it is? It is REVIEW time! As you may know, one of my favorite Etsy stores, Gudonya closed some time ago. Deb had emailed me right after I made an order to let me know, and let's just say I was devastated. I thought "Oh god, where am I going to get my lip smoothies?"

THANKFULLY, though, Deb didn't leave me all alone like I thought she would. She trained up the new owners and they started Gudonya Too. Now, I really have to say I wasn't sure if the new kid would be as good as the original. I mean, there had to be some doubts, right? We'll all admit it- even training from the master won't always mean that you're as good.

Well, let's just say I ran out of Lip Smoothies and knew I had to find out. I put in an order. And..

Thankfully Gudonya Too is just as good as the original, and even better- they are adding all sorts of new products that have never appeared before. Like Shampoo. There's also lots more non-floap soaps (Don't get me wrong- I love me some floap, but I'm also a fan of soap that doesn't seem to go QUITE so quick- floap goes quick!) and lots of other fun stuff. One of my current favorites is the Oats n Ice bar. You know I love the peppermint, right? TINGLE!

So if you loved the original Gudonya, or are just looking for some really good bath and body suppliers.. head over to Gudonya Too. They've got the same great customer service and the same awesome products.

Now, onto some administrative stuff. This is going to be the first and last time I will say anything about this because I don't like to be pushy, but you may have noticed a small PayPal donation button over on the left-hand side of the blog. As you may or may not know, I'm in grad school now and this means that I'm broke double broke, so if you've got a few extra dollars you can spare to keep me living, please donate. If you don't, I won't hate you, but if you do I'd really appreciate any help I can get.

I hate asking for handouts, but as a person who often donates to others in need, I figure I have to be able to suck up my pride and take what help I can get. So like I said, I won't say anything more- but the donate button will stay there. If you've got something you can give, please do. Also, keep in mind that it IS paypal so anything under $2 probably won't be worth the time once the fees are taken out. Alternatively, if you would like to get something for your money, head over to my shop- I can do custom knitting and crocheting.

And if you can't do any of this, just remember that I am happy you're a reader. Thanks :)

Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Eve Goodness

Well, in just one week I will be leaving my life in Montana to go back "Home" to New York. Hopefully I will never have to come back to Montana again. But we'll see.

In honor of New Years' Eve.. I give you the following.

Rainbow Love Bracelet from phranne

Maine Coone Print from OnlyPencil

Love at the Disco Pendant from Sojourn Curiosities

Custom Pencil Urchin from Jen Maestre

There's not much to say about these fun little things, but enjoy. I got 1 Christmas present from Etsy- a lovely pendant from Sojourn Curiosities from my fiance. Lovely stuff.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Uh oh.. new wedding ring candidate?

As you might remember, last year for Christmas I got my fiance and I these rings from Kathryn Riechert. I adore them, but Jeremy's not happy about the fact that the engraving is so public. I might've found a solution..

Edge-Engraved Stackable Rings by Delia's Studio

Now, even if I don't get these.. they're definitely worth checking out. They're really sweet!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Back for the Holidays

Phew! I know I've been really bad about updating, but now that I'm going back to CORNELL this spring I'll probably have tons more time to procrastinate and post on here. But.. Christmas is coming up. Before I show off some of the awesome things I've found, let me direct you over to the Etsy Gift Guides. Tons of great stuff to troll through. But we know what you really wanna see.. my favorites for the season! (and if you're looking to find some of your own favorites, seriously- hang out in the chat rooms- there's always good stuff being thrown around in there)

Viking Circle Pendant from Shy Violet

Okay, okay.. I know I shouldn't be putting so much knitting stuff on here but honestly, it's pretty, isn't it? And a steal at $30! You better snatch it before I do ;-)

Pearly Tree Necklace from Beads in the Belfry

Ok, this one has been sold. But she can make you a custom one. The only reason I haven't taken advantage myself is that the possibilities are absolutely endless. Would I want it just like this one, or do I want it in green and gold and bronze shades, or maybe deep red shades, or even rainbow?! Or do I want delicate silvery crystals.. who knows!

Eyeball Pincushions from Schmaltzy Crafts

She only has some custom eyeballs listed at the time of posting, but verybigjen makes these adorably loveable pincushions that are also, well, just a tad creepy. I love them. If eyeballs aren't your thing, check out the rest of her shop.

Now if you've been paying attention at Etsy, you may know that my all time favorite shop, Gudonya, has retired! Noooooo!!!

But never fear- GudonyaToo is in training with Deb herself and everything's still there. I love the new look- everything's very vibrantly colored, and though I can't vouch yet for the quality of their product I'm positive that Deb will make sure they're just as good as she was. Check it out!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Long time No See

Knitting Messenger Bag

Long time no see, people! I've found something perfect for knitters. I'll be honest with you- I dislike all the 'designer' knitting bags that have come out. They aren't really all that much different from regular bags (with a couple exceptions) and they tend to be very overpriced, in my humble opinion. But I'm not a fan of designer labels. I don't think the name matters.

That's why this bag. It's got everything a knitter needs all built in, and it isn't overpriced (not everyone will want to drop $45 for a bag but, hey, some people are willing to drop $1000, so I think getting a handmade, quality product outweighs the price). On top of this it's a very practical messenger bag design, with a roomy inside. What more could a knitter want?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A quick Gush

Another order from Cover to Cover. How can you not love it?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Featured Item: Vintage-Look Necklace

There's a new seller I've noticed, and her necklace and other wonderful jewelry just amazes me. I don't know where she finds her great findings but the stuff she makes is just soo lovely. And the jewels.. so pretty and colorful.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Featured Item: Fade From Rainbow Sock Yarn

I know, I know, you're sick of rainbows. But Seriously, probably THE BEST rainbow yarn is right here at etsy, and the best part is that you can also get a custom made yarn from the seller! So even if you don't like rainbows, this person does great work. The fades are incredible, and I simply love it. My rainbow yarn came today and the wool is nice, not particularly special but when is it ever? The colors are what make this yarn, and I highly recommend it. The seller is awesome! I'll be sure to update you guys with sock pics once I make them.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Dry Winter Skin Solutions

I am having this problem, and I know a lot of YOU are having this problem too. Unless you're lucky enough to live in the southern hemisphere, or a hot, humid place, a lot of you are probably suffering from dry winter skin- be it severe like my fiance's mothers, or moderately annoying like mine, or even just a little dry. I've spent the last week trying to figure out what to do about my own winter dry skin and have also been drooling over the great selection of handmade bath and body items on Etsy, thinking about what will finally free me from my winter dry skin problem. Here's a step by step "Guide" to better skin using products straight from Etsy!

First, you gotta get rid of the dead skin, plain and simple. I've been really digging the look of this sugar scrub by Althea Saps because it boasts the claim that it doesn't separate like other oily scrubs. The bonus of scrubs like this is that they usually include an oil, which is really one of the most essential things you need to get your skin feeling good again- your body's natural layer of "sebum," the stuff that keeps your skin lubed- gets depleted seriously in dry weather, so you want to try to replenish that! If you're more of a do-it-yourself type, you can even make your own sugar scrub, but of course I always advocate buying it from Etsy.

The next step, the first to actually getting the moisture back in your skin, as I read in an online article, is to try to get the oils back into your skin. What better way to do this than by using these butter beans from the Vintage Body Spa. I received a sample of these in the super-posh Little Black Box and I haven't been able to use them since I only have a shower, but after dissolving one in a sinkful of water to experiment, they are wonderful. Best way to use them? Let yourself soak in the water for about 10 minutes, THEN drop in the butter beans. This'll "plump" your skin with water and allow the oils to absorb better.

What next? Well, you wanna moisturize. The biggest thing I've seen in all my research and struggles to find ways to make my skin better is to stay away from anything commercially produced that contains any kind of alcohol- this will dry you out in the long run. The other thing i've noticed is that natural plant fats like shea butter and cocoa butter are KING at not only keeping your skin moist, but they also supposedly speed healing and help with 'problems' like stretch marks and other skin blemishes. Thats where this great whipped shea butter comes in. SudsMuffin has a great line, but this is probably the one that attracts me most. It comes in three scents and is nothing but pure, natural, GOOD shea butter. The peppermint/tea tree combo would be excellent for sore, cracked, winter feet.

What about locking in all that moisture? Well, shea butter will do a good job but I like to have something that I can take with me on the go, something that provides a pretty good coating to keep my skin protected. These vegan lotion bars are the perfect answer. I have loved lotion bars for nearly a year now, and I have found a lot of good ones on Etsy. These look especially promising.

You know what the WORST thing for me is in the winter? Its having to wash my hands. My hands get SERIOUSLY dried out, even with all the moisturizing I do, such that I have to literally slather myself with the shea butter EVERY TIME I wash my hands. Well, THIS SOAP is just what you need, especially if you wash your hands a lot. Its loaded with cocoa butter and jojoba oil, and despite the name it doesn't have any actual "Silk" in it, so its vegan, for those of you who prefer to be without the animal products. I hear it also makes GREAT shaving soap.