Let’s Shop At Etsy!

So! NaBloPoMo is really spanking me this year (that was for Bibliomama!). I’m so burnt out. November has been brutally busy and I have no creative energy left. Bleh.

Then I thought, hey, other bloggers have been doing Christmas wish lists…how about an Etsy wish list?

Ooooooh. Gooooood.

It’s probably too late to order anything from Etsy from the States, and expect it to be here in time. But if you like to gamble with customs and you’re willing to pay for expidited shipping, consider these goodies that are on my own personal favourites list.

First up, I think these bookmarks by Sharon Montrose would make a really nice stocking stuffer for any avid readers you know (like, say, Mrs. Carl Sagan):

bookmarks

Sweet Life Paper is my newest favourite Etsy shop. She makes customized pads and I bought one this year for each of my kids’ teachers. There are so many beautiful patterns I don’t know how you’ll ever choose, but I think I like this one the best:

pad of paper

My hair is wild and out of control at the moment, so I need a little clip to hold it back from my face. Wouldn’t a clip like this from Oh Faro be so much nicer at a Christmas party than a boring grey snap clip from the Superstore? I think so!

hairclip

For my birthday last week, the kids gave me a new winter coat that is a lovely plum colour. Unfortunately, my old coat was brown, so my beige and orange hat and mitts don’t look so great with the new coat colour. I have fallen madly, uncontrollably in love with this scarf from Toggle UK and we are DESTINED to be together. Plus, scarves are cozy and cuddly and just scream Christmas, don’t they?

Scarf

I’m always on the lookout for new jewelry — my current collection is very small and I’m looking for some more elegant, grown-up pieces these days. Unfortunately, many of my favourite Etsy sellers for jewelry have closed up their shops at the moment — must be because it’s craft fair season. In any case, I’m getting these in my stocking for sure — I won a gift certificate to Lillyella’s shop and used it a few weeks ago on these earrings.

earrings

And while we’re wishing for jewelry, I love the idea of this Mommy Necklace from MncMoon. It’d also make a great grandmother gift, don’t you think?

mommy necklace

Handbags are always a great choice for sisters, sisters-in-law, and nieces. Also, for me. I’m getting very close now to not having to drag around a diaper bag with me, and I have exactly one (1) purse to my name. Again, many of my favourite Etsy sellers for handbags have their shops closed right now, but here’s one from Bag Ladies in PA I actually bought for my older sister last year, and would gladly add to my own closet. (They also have many nice wristlets and pouches. Just saying.)

handbag

Lastly, those who know my Etsy wish list know I am totally obsessed with pincushions, and the best pincushion shop on Etsy is The Daily Pincushion. I have loved them for ages, and I finally bought one this year — for my mom. Sigh.

pincushion

And those are just the Etsy things on my wish list. If only we were millionaires!

Playthings

Okay, even I am getting tired of talking about Etsy now, and I didn’t think that was possible. This is my last shopping venture over there, I promise.

Today I just wanted to highlight a couple of cute shops that sell kids’ stuff. In general I find shopping for kids on Etsy to be very expensive — although everything is beautiful and well made, why pay $50 for a dress on Etsy when I can get one that will be more comfortable and more washable at Old Navy for $12? However, I do have a couple of shops that sell things that I think are worthwhile.

For Gal Smiley’s birthday this year, she got a couple of things from costume shop Her Flying Horses:

Her Flying Horses

There’s lots of costume places on Etsy but most of them are very pricey, and you can buy stuff that your kids will like just as much (and tear and stain just as easily) at Toys R Us. Her Flying Horses’ prices aren’t too bad, though, and I thought the two capes I bought from her (this red one above, and a green superhero cape) were really worth it.

And okay, if you’re a grandparent who is looking to really spoil their granddaughter, then you simply must have one of these beautiful (but a little expensive) tutus from Danbury Lane:

Danbury Lane

Little Miss Sunshine has very problematic hair, so I’m always looking for something to keep her hair out of her eyes. We have some clips from Love2Sparkle:

Love2Sparkle

And I also have some clips from Plum Daisy:

Plum Daisy

Both make pretty, high quality clips that really stay in the Little Miss’ hair. Unfortunately she is a very persistant person, and there’s nothing she likes better than to pull the clip out of her hair and try to eat it. She says the Love2Sparkle ones are particularly tasty.

My kids are really, really into stickers and although I don’t like to spend a lot of money on something that they are going to go through in 30 seconds, some homemade stickers on Etsy are too cute to resist. I especially like BrambleberryLane:

Brambleberry Lane

You can get some fun kids’ jewelry online too — perfect for birthday parties for your eight year old girl. Sweet Surprises has lots of fun little things:

Sweet Surprises

And I think these little doll necklaces from Little Pink Posies are so cute:

Little Pink Posies

You can get the little girl painted in pretty much any combination of hair, eye, skin, and dress colour.

There are a few sellers on Etsy making jumbo mixed crayons. You can make these at home yourself, but they are messy and finicky, and if you need a bunch — say, as stocking stuffers — why not just save the hassle and order some? My personal favourite for shapes and colours is Butterfly Brain:

Butterfly Brain

When we travel, my kids like to colour and do stickers in the car. I’m thinking of getting them these lovely art totes by Bells and Whistles:

Bells and Whistles

If you have a teenager on your list, he’ll probably find the Timid Monsters at TrishCzech‘s shop to be most hilarious:

TrishCzech

It’s not just the tiny little monsters themselves that crack me up. Each monster also comes with a hilarious personality description card. For example: “Jameson enjoys most everything about his life: the fullness, the vividness, the endless night terrors and ensuing bouts of paranoia. Despite the resulting lack of sleep, Jameson is a tough little Monster, only truly being afraid of Pauly Shore movies.”

Lastly, Captain Jelly Belly would never forgive me if I didn’t mention homemade doll maker Girl Called Ric:

Girl Called Ric

I’d buy the Yoda for the Captain but it’s way expensive and also, he and I would just fight over it all the time. If you’re not a Star Wars fan, she also has simply adorable dolls of Harry Potter, Mr T, Superman, and Frida Kahlo.

Whew! I’m all shopped out. Time for a hot chocolate!

A Girl’s Best Friend

Time for another Etsy shopping installment! Today, we’ll be talking jewelry.

There are literally thousands of jewelry sellers on Etsy — it’s their bread and butter. Everyone has their own taste when it comes to jewelry, so it’s kind of hard to buy for someone else. Of course, that totally didn’t stop me from shopping away for most of the women on my gift list.

My 16-year-old niece is getting a bracelet from Cool Jewelry Jr:

Cool Jewelry Jr

Even though this is a “junior” shop, the bracelet I ordered was big enough to fit me. It was pretty hard to wrap it up, let me tell you.

Mrs. Carl Sagan and I both have a few pieces from The Pebble Collection:

The Pebble Collection

The Pebble Collection

I have one of those cluster rings in purple — the kids call it my “grapes” ring — and I wear it all the time. She has regular sales, so if you like her stuff, be sure to sign up for her mailing list so you can get all the discount info.

Since I’m really into rings, I also really like Mu-yin Jewelry:

Mu-yin Jewelry

Very simple, classic stuff with multi-coloured pearls, and it’s not too expensive either. She also has some sort of sale on until December, so if you want to order something and combine it with mine (to save on shipping), just let me know.

Lately I’ve gotten interested in Fiona Chapman:

Fiona Chapman

A lot of sellers on Etsy are doing the same sort of thing, but I find her stuff to be really original and unique. A little more pricey, but worth it for the statement.

I also really love Imogene And Annie:

Imogene and Annie

I’ve almost bought that tree necklace for myself about a hundred times, but then I talk myself out of it. Someday though, it shall be mine! If it’s not yours, first.

Lastly, there are at least 100 sellers on Etsy who make scrabble tiles — scrabble pieces with a decoupage print of some sort on the non-letter side. They’re cheap and you can get one with any kind of picture on it — someone on your list likes fish? hearts? skulls? There’s a scrabble tile for everyone! One seller I like (because they come with a nice chain) is Home Studio:

Home Studio

Or, there’s Bitty Block, which dresses up their tiles a wee bit by adding a bead:

Bitty Block

I’d recommend ordering a bunch in bulk and adding one to every gal’s gift on your list. And be sure to keep one for yourself!

Shop ‘Til You Drop

Yesterday I mentioned that I’m pretty much done my Christmas shopping (yay!), and a few people commented to say that they haven’t even started yet. If you act quickly, you can still order from Etsy — all the joy of a unique gift, without having to face the mall!

So, let’s go shopping. Today we’ll talk paper products and household items. Tomorrow, we’ll do jewelry, and Friday I’ll do some cute shops for kids.

I love, love, love paper in all its forms, and it’s very, very easy to spend a lot of money on paper products on Etsy. My favourite shops, though, are those that offer pretty things at reasonable prices and (so important) reasonable shipping. Here are a few sellers I’ve found that won’t break the bank.

First up, I buy all my gift tags from Auntie Di:

Auntie's Card Shop

I especially love to use tags on birthday gifts for kids. Kids never, ever care about cards. Why spend $3.50 buying them a card, when you can spend 50 cents on a little tag instead? Auntie’s tags are adorable and pretty economical, too.

For greeting cards, Mrs. Carl Sagan turned me on to Kards:

Kards

She has lots of pretty cards, and most importantly, good shipping rates. Also, you didn’t hear this from me, but I hear that regular customers of hers can expect a freebie every now and again.

I also like Monkey Scrapbooks for cards, although she really specializes in blank scrapbooks:

Monkey Scrapbooks

Sir Monkeypants is totally getting a monkey card for his birthday. Don’t tell him, it’s a surprise.

You can also buy fantastic stickers on Etsy, which I recommend as a nice Christmas gift for teachers. My favourites are from Lady Bug Labels:

Lady Bug Labels

Are those cute, or what? I really wanted to get some for my own stocking this year, but I wasn’t sure what I would do with them — I’m sure the kids would get a hold of them and stick all of them at once to a random piece of paper and they’d be gone. So I didn’t do it, but I still might order some for my kids’ teachers.

I also ordered some address labels for my Christmas cards this year from My Sister And Me:

My Sister And Me

You can spend a LOT of money on really beautiful address labels on Etsy if you want. These might not be the most original labels on Etsy but they are by far the most reasonably priced, they arrived quickly, and are very pretty and festive. They have tons of patterns, designs, and fonts to choose from.

Moving on to the household side of things, I am currently obsessed with Joom:

Joom

Joom

If I were to find that little birdy print under the tree for me this Christmas, I would be VERY VERY happy. I’m just saying.

If you’re a bolder decorator than I am, you can also find some fantastic wall decals on Etsy. My favourites are from Michelle Christina:

Janine King Designs

So, so beautiful.

I could go on and on — I didn’t even talk about note cards, calling cards, little notebooks (oh, the notebooks!), decorative banners, or fridge magnets. But that’s it for today…I need to sit down after all that vigorous clicking! My shopping hand needs a coffee!

You See It, You Pack It

Tomorrow we’re going on a short trip down to Southern Ontario to visit Sir Monkeypants’ family, and also to go to the SECRET SURPRISE 40th birthday party for a mystery someone. (Don’t worry, she doesn’t actually read this blog.)

We make this trip about three times a year, so you think I’d have the packing thing down pat by now, wouldn’t you? We usually go for five or six days and this time we are only going for three days, so there’s even fewer things to pack…AND YET. I feel like I’ve been packing for a week now and I still have tons of stuff to do, and it seems I am bringing at least half of the house. This is why I don’t get people who are able to take their kids on vacations to exotic destinations — first of all, the amount of planning and packing involved gives me hives, and the fact that we simply could not take sixteen boxes and fourteen suitcases on an airplane makes me hyperventilate.

I mean, what if we get there and we have NO PRETZELS? WHAT IF???

Better pack the pretzels.

Anyway, while I’m away I have no idea what kind of internet access I’ll have, so to preserve my NaBloPoMo status I’ve pre-written my posts for the next four days on a theme — weddings I have attended and the shoes I have worn to them. The posts turned out great, I hope you enjoy them. I’ll be back posting live on Tuesday.

As for today’s post, something I wanted to do over this month was to feature some of my favourite Etsy shops, in the hopes that it would help with everyone’s Christmas shopping. Since we’re already almost halfway through November I thought I better get down to it. I have several shops I want to feature so I’m going to break my posts up by theme.

Today we’ll talk about handbags, because although I hate to shop for clothes, I LOVE to shop for handbags. It’s funny, because 90% of the time I carry around an enormous diaper bag, and I rarely get to use a handbag ever. I’d still own a hundred of them, though, if I could.

My favourite handbag store on Etsy is Janine King Designs:

Janine King Designs

She makes lovely, classy tote bags and (squeal!) bags for laptops. I fantasize about being a big-time writer someday and carrying my laptop with me everywhere in a pretty Janine King laptop tote.

Someone on my Christmas list is getting a handbag for Christmas from XS Baggage:

XS Baggage

I had one of these bags custom-made for the gift that I ordered and it arrived super fast, and is just gorgeous to boot. It was very, very hard to wrap it up, let me tell you.

I also really love all the bags from The Funky Bag Lady:

So, so pretty. These don’t zipper close — they only have a snap closure — so probably not so good for travel abroad. Excellent, however, for Ladies’ Poker Night — I’d almost want to lose, just so I could pull out my lovely handbag at the end of the evening to settle up.

Lastly, I really like Urban Harmonie:
Urban Harmonie

Urban Harmonie

I’ve had my eye on that pink clutch for a while now, but sadly, I just can’t justify it. If I ever get invited to a ball, though, it’s totally sold.

Happy weekend, happy shopping!