Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spruce Up Your Desk

Are you a cube monkey? Do you hate sitting in the same, boring, drab cubicle as everyone else in the office?

Me too.

Here are some things that may help you stand out from the others - gift these to yourself or surprise a coworker!

3zart (etsy and artfire) has a lot of fun mousepads to choose from - I personally like this one a lot:

Although this one is quite catchy as well:

Now, I *do* have a receptacle for all of my writing implements... but its nothing fancy. Well, if you want to call a standard black holder from Staples "fancy", go right ahead. I certainly don't so I think my pens and pencils would be more fun to use if they were held in one of these:

Medium - Leather Bin from gildem

Crock from lockmanpotter

Rustic Pen/Pencil HOLDER...from reclaimed barnwood from ParadiseHillDesigns

I think I definitely need some fun things to hang my boring papers on the wall with...

Maybe some cute magnets...

porcelain blues - Japanese chiyogami glass geisha gem magnets from gamiworks

Or some thumbtacks...

black and white stems large fabric thumbtacks - qty. 6 from farrago

Or possibly some clothespins

Set of 6 - Trendy Decoupaged Clothespin Clips - Polka Dot Blue from QueenvannaCreations

And what would your workspace be without pictures of loved ones to help you get through the day?

Put their adorable faces in frames like these!

Plush Chubbies Felt Picture Frame Bird Love from 4TheSparrowsNest

Lovebirds Mosaic Frame from MashedPotatoMosaics

If you've got any other great office-sprucing-up finds, leave a comment! :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Perfect Pairs: Soap and Soap Dishes

This is the first article in the new "Perfect Pairs" series. These will be articles that match up awesome handmade items by different sellers, items I think would go beautifully together.

Today I am focusing on soap and soap dishes. Handmade soap is so beautiful, it deserves a special container. These soaps are almost too pretty to use, but they are great for your skin so go ahead and use them!

This first pair, I imagine in a very sophisticated bathroom with travertine marble tiles. Don't these two just look like they were made for eachother?

Sandalwood Cold Process Soap by MartinsvilleEmporium

Fused Art Glass Trinket Dish Caramel Swirl by Outoftheflames

Here is a pair for the dessert lover. The scents and colors will remind you of rich decadent treats.

Coconut Cream Pie Soap with Shea Butter by soapdeli

Toasty Fused Glass Sushi Dish by GetGlassy

This next pair would look fabulous in a Manhattan penthouse bathroom with sparkling black granite floors and modern art on the walls. DRAMA!

Tropical Black Hawaiian Sea Salt by savor

Moulin Rouge Fused Glass Plate by Littlehandstudios

This pair is for the natural, organic themed bathroom. Celebrating the colors of nature and rustic textures of handmade.

Honey Oatmeal Handmade Soap With Organic Oatmeal by aBreathofFrenchair

Sushi tray -- celadon by oldcatdied

Now here is a fun set, for a bathroom with a tropical or ocean theme. I picked a few soaps for this because it's a big soap dish and these would look cute in a grouping.

Sea Urchin Soap - Rich Goats Milk Soap by happygoatsoap

DONT BE KOI - Little Zen FISH Soap by dugshop

Rainbow Fish Soaps by arizonasoapworks

Ocean Floor by Glassprimitif

Here is another fish theme, but this one is in a more humorous vein. I think the fish bones would be hilarious in a fish shaped dish!

Fish Bones - Scrubbie Shea Butter and Glycerin Soap by SoapLane

Sea Foam Blue Fish Soap Dish by SimplyDaisy

These soaps and dish would be right at home in a feminine, spa-like bathroom, very relaxing and serene.

Raspberry Parfait by pinkparchmentsoaps

Rose White Sparta Artisan Olive Oil Soap by spartasoap
(Isn't this gorgeous? I just love soaps with that ripply wavy top, it looks like whipped cream or cake frosting, so rich and creamy!)

Soap Dishes by burrobranch2

So that is "Her" bathroom, what about the men? I haven't forgotten them!
Joe Sixpack would love these beer soaps set in a recycled beer bottle soapdish.


Oatmeal Stout Bar by GoatsDesigns

Recycled Moosehead Beer Bottle Soap Dish by BigSky

Here is a set that kills me with cuteness. Bright candy colors and whimsical shapes will make you or your guests smile when you wash your hands.

Clean Cotton Tail Bunny Soaps by LoveLeeSoaps

whimsical flower dish by maryjudy

This last pair was inspired by Etsy itself. Owls are the unofficial mascot of Etsy and here is an owl set in Etsy Orange. These are so cute it might inspire hipsters to wash!

Chocolate Owl Soap with Orange Crochet Scarf by EternalSunshine

Forest Owl Soap Dish Tray Orange by fruitflypie

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How It's Done.

Those of you who follow Etsy's blog may have noticed that there was a bit of a "foot-in-mouth" moment this week.

The "Plump & Proud Feature" Showcased items, that well, were far from plump, and not all together very proud.

So, I took matters into my own hands, and with the suggestions of a few pals, created the Treasury shown below.

I present to you a selection of perfectly pretty plus-sized fashion, and plus size inspired art.

From Upper Left to Lower Right
Click a Title to be taken to that items listing page, please.

Handmade Porcelain Pendant Bead- Venus of Willendorf

Retro Polka DRESS XXL-3X

Goddess Gown Plus Size To 4X Ritual Wedding Croning Holiday Or Just To Be Gorgeous

Rose Nude

Custom Sized - fabulous grey patterned and cherry red satin apron style skirt

Ohana tailors plus size cocktail party dress

Kiwi. Avocado. Lime.

Super Size BBW Plus Size Halter Top Corset Back BATIK

Big Mama Pendant

Blush Blossom Slip Dress

MISS ALPHABET sage/rose gardenparty mini party dress 2X-3X

seafoam n' chantilly lace dress/ handmade plus size couture / vintage retro style / size 20 / 22 / 24

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Alternative Valentines Gift Guide

Last week I made a treasury on Etsy for an "alternative" Valentines gift guide.
"Valentines on the dark side", it is expired now but I can still share the selections in blog form.
This is a style which gets ignored by Etsy except at Halloween, but dark hearts need love too!
They still celebrate Valentines Day, but the usual cute, frilly, cuddly and Hallmark type gifts hold no interest. Now, there are many subcultures and varying tastes even within the alternative umbrella. Steampunk, Classic Punk, Gothic, CyberGoth, Noir, Rockabilly, Burlesque, Tribal, Vampire, Kinky, the list is endless and even within each group, each lady has her own tastes. There is no way to represent every taste here so I am just going to give a sampling of what I like.

Jewelry is a classic gift for Valentines Day, and Etsy is overflowing with amazing jewelry. I really like the different takes on the heart theme expressed by these artisans.

Dark Thoughts Necklace by beatblack I love this- it's a brain and it's a heart! Because love should use both organs. The shop also has this necklace in pink.

Queen Of Hearts - PUNK Heart Earrings by 3RexesJewelry. I love this shop- they hand sculpt and cast their metal jewelry, and they have lots of great heart-themed items to choose from with a rock & roll edge. I love the "studded" look of these earrings.

red stitched heart by LORiOLA. This glass artist has a great selection of handmade lampwork glass heart pendants in many colors. This one with the stitching reminds me of someone who had their heart wounded by life, and then healed by love.

Black Mended Heart Necklace by rubygirl. This hand-enameled pendant has a great silver lacing down the middle which reminds me of a corset.(sexy!) The black & silver color scheme also has a tough, kinky flavor to it. (it comes in red & silver as well)
Rubygirl also has some fabulous bat earrings, which aren't especially Valentine-y but I just love them so they get a plug. Ooh, they are on sale too. :o

black heart and crystal earrings by artisticprostitution. SOLD OUT
Are you getting the idea that I like black, red, and silver? These hearts are made of basalt lava which I think has a really interesting texture next to the red Swarovski crystals.

Anatomica Red Heart Necklace by paraphernalia. This shop's best-selling piece is their black & white anatomical heart necklace, but this bright red version caught my eye. When you wear a lot of black clothing, I think it looks good to have a pop of color in your accessories.

Heart of Hearts by nanopod. Once I had a love, and it was a gas...soon turned out, had a heart of glass.
Here is another anatomical heart, this time in glass. I have one of these necklaces, it's beautiful and quite a conversation piece whenever I wear it. This shop has some utterly amazing works of art jewelry so be sure to check out the whole shop.

Anatomical heart items are very popular on Etsy. I think they appeal to geeky romantics, because you can still wear a heart without being all sappy and sentimental. Some of the anatomical heart items like T-shirts make great gifts for men, too.

Red Demon Skull Heart Necklace by devilandmouse. Devilandmouse has some of the cutest heart pendants! I am the proud owner of a bright pink one similar to this. I get compliments on it all the time.
Skull+batwings+heart+glitter= awesomeness!

Freedom Heart in Black by surly. This shop has a large selection of ceramic heart pendants in all colors. I like this winged heart style and the faux-suede cord. It's a good choice for people with metal allergies.

Heart and Skull Necklace by voodookingdesigns. Ooooh I just adore this necklace! I love the whole shop, really, but there is something about the combination of hearts and skulls, love and death, I just cannot get enough of it. The craftsmanship is just gorgeous, the pieces are all designed, carved and lost-wax cast in sterling silver by the artist. Definitely check out the whole shop- there are some smaller, less expensive heart items too. (but this is the one I want. Seekrit admirers- u buy for mee? kthxbai!)

Vixen Necklace by RockLove. Solid cast sterling silver makes this a classic and versatile gift- something that will go with every outfit, be it black, dark grey, charcoal, blood red, ink, deep purple, ebony...oh maybe that's just my closet. Hehe.

But Jewelry isn't the only gift for Valentines day. Another popular gift is perfume or bath and beauty products. Instead of the typical bath & body works gift basket from the mall, try some of these great handmade products.

Black No1 Perfume Oil by wiggleperfume This perfume sounds divinely decadent: blackberry, narcissus, violet, patchouli, and clove.

Pandora's Boudoir Gothic Bath and Body Cameo Gift Box by VelvetMoonBatheryVA. This is a gorgeously packaged set, the box is decorated with black feathers, ribbon, tulle and a handsculpted clay skull. Inside the box are an assortment of handmade lotion, soaps, perfume, and candle. Be sure to read all the fragrance choices! I just love the names this seller gives her perfume blends. Black Shadows, Bordello, Dark Angel, Raven Moon, and so many more.

Twilight Makeup Kit by pinkquartzminerals . OK, I know what you're saying: Twilight isn't goth! Twilight is for tween wannabes! I have so far specifically avoided any of the MANY Etsy items jumping on the Twilight bandwagon, most especially all the ones using copyrighted images from the book or movie without permission. But this makeup set is just so darn cool, and there are no Twilight images in the packaging. So what's in a name? Wouldn't a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Wouldn't a great shimmery black metallic eyeshadow by any other name be as kickass?
I actually have this Black Steel eyeshadow from this shop, I bought it separately, not as part of this set. It's great quality makeup, vegan, and very reasonably priced (this set also includes foundation, lip gloss, and a kabuki brush).

It wouldn't be Valentines day without some sexy lingerie! You know, that gift for your lady that's really a gift for yourself?

Black and Red Skull Garter Belt by PurrfectPineapples. Go on, click it. There's a picture of a model wearing it. ;)

And now for some SERIOUS lingerie. I am talking spring steel boning, tight-lacing, custom made, SMOKIN hot corsets. (yeah, I said boning.)

Red satin and venise lace victorian corset by LestatCouture

BLOOD RED ULTRA SHINY WET LOOK PVC Corset by divadivine777. Oh Divadivine, you had me at blood red!

Still need some other gift ideas? (Probably need a cold shower after that last Corset!)
Got a big budget?

Filigree Metal Heart Wall Art by ahna.

Got a small budget but still want to give something unique and fun?

Be My Vampire pin set by blacklilypie. She also has some really cute (darkly cute!) cards for Valentines or any occasion.

For more items on the dark or alternative side, try searching Etsy for the Team Tags
etsydarkteam or diyscene.