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.


Tara Fortin said...

Thanks for taking the time to do this!I think it benefits everyone to point out how diverse tastes on Etsy can be. :-D Thanks for including my pin set in this great little list.

Morrigan said...

I really like this one,already saw a necklace that I think my hubby will love!

Pink Quartz Minerals said...

Fantastic! Thank you for including my makeup set in this unusual and divine collection! Now if only someone would use YOUR collections for the front page...

eclipse said...

The Official Etsy Valentines gift guides are up now:

I will check them out to see if there's anything cool or dark in there. I did suggest many of the above items to be included but we shall see if that worked!

eclipse said...

Ok Jus finihsed looking through Etsy's guides.

Mine is better! LOL
these red vintage dresses and the lingerie set were from my other Valentines treasury- the more clothing oriented treasury. I am glad there is some vintage being represented! It often gets neglected in the gift guides.
Nanopod's necklace is in the Men's gift guide
Rubygirl's black mended heart made it into the "funny" gift guide (I don't know what's funny about it, I think it's sexy, but hey a promo is a promo)

So it does look like Michelle clicked the links I suggested and picked a few of my choices. That's encouraging!

The "Just Jewels" guide does not seem to be Valentine focused- it's mostly the same simple metalwork and frilly pastel floral themes that were in the old jewelry lovers gift guide and the "nostalgic whimsy" guide. None of the jewelry from my treasury made it into the Jewelry guide. :(

I also noticed the same exact items in several of the new Valentines gift guides. :( Was there really not enough items on all of Etsy to fill these without repeats?

Beth said...

These are great--I'm sorry I missed the treasury!

Beat Black said...

you did such a killer job on your picks! thanks for including my brain necklace and for reminding me to set up my analytics, hehe

3 REXES said...

One word WOW!!!!

You Rock!


Surly Amy said...

Fantastic choices! I am so flattered to included with such talent! Thanks!

nanotopia said...

This is an amazing Gift Guide! I am totally going to get me some of that Black #1!
Thank you so much for including me, and for the compliments... xox

nanotopia said...

This is an amazing Gift Guide! I am totally going to get me some of that Black #1!
Thank you so much for including me, and for the compliments... xox

Katie said...

Hi Eclipse. I found this link on the Etsy forums. Great choices!

Paw and Claw Designs said...

Damn, You're better at this than I am. ;)

excellent collection! i LOVE it

shannon said...

I love the heart wall art.

eclipse said...

4 items sold!
Paraphernalia anatomica heart- sold and relisted
Pandora's Boudoir bath set- sold and relisted
Twilight makeup kit by pinkquartzminerals- sold and relisted
Black Lava heart earrings- sold out

I have updated the links to point to the newly relisted items