Thursday, 4 April 2013

B(est of) ETSY: Volume 1

I know Etsy gets a bad rap for being a jungle of junk with very few I'm determined to share some of the gems I've found!

So without further recent picks for the BETSY (the very best of Etsy!)--scroll down for boards for Fashion, Art, Green Beauty, and Interiors!

B(est of) ETSY: Fashion

It's become a running joke amongst my friends that if I ever show up with a new piece of jewelry, it's probably from Etsy. It's funny because it's true. But Etsy is also a goldmine for bags and other goodies too!

Leather messenger bag, $74: This Creative Leather messenger bag would, quite simply, make anything you wear look cooler, and it will only get better with age. GIMME!

Suoran Macbook felt wool and leather laptop case, $54.90: Sometimes simple is the best. I love the unfussy nature of this Green Your Life laptop case, with its leather details and hidden closures.

Bifold iPhone wristlet, $40: Although ladies get a bad rap for having atrociously large bags filled up Mary Poppins-style, I can't be the only girl who actually prefers the minimalist approach. On any given day I can usually be found with my wallet, keys, and iPhone, and that's it. So I started looking for a wristlet that would accomodate just those things! This seller has a variety of styles (I'm working with the seller on some modifications of this one), all designed to hold a few credit cards, a zipper for cash or coins, and your iphone.  And if you end up needing to bring a larger bag, like when I bring my work bag with my laptop, you can just remove the wrist strap and throw it in your purse.

2 Brass initials charm necklace, $24: I think this simple necklace from c. m. lee would make a lovely gift for your best friend (your initial and hers), to the bride at her wedding (his and hers initials), or for a mother (kid's initials).  Simple but elegant!

Silver Spoon Ring, $16: I've had my eye on this ring for months, because not only is it simple and elegant (the way I prefer my jewelry), but it matches a spoon bracelet my mother got for me yeeeeeears ago at a craft fair which I still wear.

Snake Hoop Earrings, $146: Michelle Chang is the artists behind this shop, and all of the pieces in her shop are similarly delicate with a twist. For example, when worn these earrings look just like a twist on a basic gold hoop, but closer inspection reveals the red eyes of a snake, adding a bit of a sinister twist to these elegant pieces. I love them!

Allison Bag, $44: I actually have this same bag from Tippy Thai, although mine is black with dark purple accents and a zipper top. Shipping is shockingly fast, considering it comes from Thailand, and the shop owner is wonderful to work with to customize your bag for free. I used my bag all throughout graduate school, and other than the long handle breaking when I had 3 textbooks and a laptop in it (completely my fault, not at ALL a reflection of the work quality), my bag still looks good as new. The quality of these bags is amazing, and there are so many well-priced designs! I bring mine everywhere now, from the work to airport and back. I highly recommend this shop.

Gold Shark Tooth Necklace, $130: Although this E Rose Jewelry necklace is more expensive than many of the products I have shown, I thing it is such a gorgeous statement piece. The double-necklace and gilded tooth are simultaneously bad-ass and delicate, like when you wear a floaty floral dress with a leather biker jacket...but in necklace form.

Gold Reticulate Earrings, $50: These amazing Nervous System earrings are designed after the intricate veins in plant leaves. This shop sells many beautiful pieces that harken back to mother nature and science, so you know I love them!

Copper Mountain Leather Tote Bag, $98: Although I just said above that I'm not typically a big-bag girl....I lied. I would do bad, bad things to own this beautiful purse, and the rest of the Coriumi store is just as simplistically beautiful. If only Santa came in April, not December!

B(est of) ETSY: Art

Etsy lets you discover some great works of arts, including that of many well-known and loved artists like Michelle Armas and Stephanie French, but also the shops of smaller, lesser-known artists that are just as great. I love spending time just wandering through the virtual studios of these talented people.

Clockwise from top left:
Inner Turmoil by Kerri Blackman Fine Art, $50: This is an original work, 14x17", for FIFTY DOLLARS. It doesn't get better than that, folks. This is why Etsy is such a great resource for those of us on a budget--we can still collect meaningful, beautiful original art without having to eat ramen for weeks. I really love 99% of this artist's work and plan to invest in an original of my own very soon!

Tsunami Sails by Sarah Intemann, $20: I adore the unusual color palette in this 8.5 x 11" print, and the other works for sail in this shop are just as stunning and interesting. It was hard narrowing down my selection to just one piece!

Cumulus Oil Paiting by Lucky Hemlock, $425: This 20x20" work is so beautiful I seriously had to put away my credit card before I did something silly. The artist creates these pieces entirely from the mind's eye, which is something I could never in a million years do. Peruse the rest of the shop for more goodies--for sale too are some really beautiful butterfly paintings, for much less money if this is out of your price range.

Bubble Bath by Stephanie Corfee, $995: Although this is much more expensive than what I could afford, I think this original work by Stephanie Corfee is gorrrrrrgeous and it makes me want to have either a baby or a lady boudoir to put it in (who are we kidding, I live with 3 boys, at this stage in my life I want a lady boudoir more than a baby! ;) The rest of the shop is filled with similarly happy, beautiful works, so I suggest you take a peek!

B(est of) ETSY: Green Beauty

I have found Etsy to be a treasure trove of natural beauty and skincare products--my current concealer, blush, and face scrub all hail from the site. Make sure that you ask a seller for a complete ingredient list if one isn't provided though! Below are a few products I have my eye on.

1. Cleansing Nectar, $30: This facial cleanser from Fig + Yarrow takes some of my favorite ingredients to keep my acne-prone skin under control, like apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, willow bark, and clary sage, and adds in natural soothers and antibacterial ingredients like lavender and manuka honey, all packaged in a lovely glass bottle with attractive packaging. The company claims that this product has a pH of 4.5, making it ideal to protect your skin's natural acid mantle.
(Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis (aloe) leaf water*, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower water*, Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) leaf water*, Malus domesticus (apple cider vinegar, raw)*, botanical extracts of: Salix Nigra (willow) bark, Calendula officinalis (marigold)*, Ginkgo biloba*, Camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf*, Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root*; manuka honey (raw, active 16+)*, Sodium chloride (dead sea salt), essential oils of: Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary), Lavandula angustifolia (lavender), Anthemis nobilis (chamomile), Cistus ladanifer (rockrose), Salvia sclarea (clary sage), Aniba rosaeodora (rosewood). *organic

2. Organic Blonde Dry Shampoo Powder, $16: This contains the same ingredients as my favorite natural dry shampoo, Lulu's, but Naked Eye Beauty's is about half the cost. They also have a version for brunettes!
(Ingredients: Organic Corn Starch, Kaolin Clay, Baking Soda, Organic Brown Rice Powder, Organic Horsetail Powder, Organic Lavender Essential Oil, Organic Sage Essential Oil)

3. Detox Mask with Maracuja oil, activated charcoal, and manuka honey, $20: This mask from Ablution33 caught my eye not only because it looks like oil, but because it contains 3 ingredients, all of which I'm very interested in trying. Manuka honey is supposed to be raw honey on steroids, activated charcoal was in a soap I loved (pictured), and maracuja oil is supposed to be just as great as argan oil. I'm tempted to give this one a whirl!
(Ingredients: Organic Manuka Honey, Maracuja Oil, Activated Bamboo Charcoal and Vit. E Oil)

4. All-Natural Soap, $6: Amanda's Naturals is a shop I have personal experience with, as I bought some products for a friend and the seller very nicely asked if I would like some samples for myself. I tried a couple different soaps shown here, and my favorite was the activated charcoal one. This listing doesn't clearly list all of the ingredients (something that I look for whenever I shop for skincare online, as I think it says something about the integrity of the company), but from my experience with Amanda I'm sure it would be easy to find out with a simple Etsy message to her. 
(Listed Ingredients for the charcoal soap: 100% Pure Activated Charcoal, 100% Pure Manuka Honey, coconut oil*, glycerin) *be careful with coconut oil, some faces (like mine!) don't tolerate it well, although surprisingly I didn't have a problem with this

5. Organic Superfood Serum, $62: At first this Natural Logic serum seemed expensive, until I read the ingredient list, which includes highly beneficial oils such as pomegranate seed oil, acai berry seed oil, and black current seed oil, plus expensive essential oils like rose otto. Sounds like food for your face! (Grape Seed oil*, Black Current Seed Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil*, Blueberry Seed Oil, Pomegranate Seed Oil*, Cranberry Seed Oil, Acai Berry Seed Oil*, Vitamin E, Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil, Pure Essential Oils of Geranium Bourbon, Rose Otto, Lemon*, Pink Grapefruit, Palma Rosa, Sweet Orange, Jasmine & Lemongrass*, Rosemary Oil Extract. *Certified Organic or Wild Crafted Ingredients VEGAN). 

6. Spirulina Sea Facial, $15: Spirulina is a product I haven't researched much other than to know that many green bloggers buzz about it. What really caught my eye on this Praerie facial powder was the 'sea buckthorn' on the label. Seeing as I've been loving my oil, I'm curious to see how spirulina combined with sea buckthorn would work on my skin. I also like my masks to come in powder form as I can combine them with whatever liquid I prefer and they don't go bad quickly. One thing I don't like about this is they don't seem to have all the ingredients listed (something that I look for when deciding which skincare products to purchase online), but I'm sure a simple message to the seller would clear that up.
("Beneficial Ingredients": Spirulina Algae, French Green Clay, Rose Geranium Essential Oil, Spearmint)

B(est of) ETSY: Interiors

I find Etsy to be a fantastic resource for the little things that really make a house a a hippo jewelry box, clearly. I have a whole series dedicated to "Etsy Your House" so you know I love it! Actually, although I didn't mean to when I was selecting the products, I think this whole board would make a beautiful inspiration board for a lovely, boho bedroom. I want to live there!

Zoo Line Hippo, $90: This Gallivanting Girls jewelry holder cracks me up. One, it is a freaking hippo. And two, its mouth opens to store small items like rings or earrings! So, so great.

Faceted Engagement Ring box, $45: I think this is such a beautiful box from Oh Dier Living--I love that pop of color, and you should click on the other images so you can really get an appreciation for how the top is an incomplete pyramid shape.

Acoustic iPhone dock, $39.50: This Schuttenworks iPhone dock is genius--it amplifies sound with only the wood and allows you to plug in your phone at the same time. Perfect for those of us who only play music in the bedroom over iPhones!

Indigo Collection Hampers, $90: I think that calling these PapatoToro 'hampers' is a little overzealous, as they are only 16" tall and 13" in diameter (I'd fill that with dirty clothes in one day), but I can see these being beautiful to corral throw blankets in the living room or kids (or pets'!) toys.

18x18" Indigo Hmong Textile cover, $40: This lovely pillow cover out of the shop From Past to Present would bring such a great bohemian touch to any living room, and although the pattern is busy I think you could get away with using it as a neutral base and bringing in other fun patterned pillows.

Hyphae Lamp, $400: This lamp is actually from the same shop as the golden leaf earrings above (Nervous System), and seems a bit high-priced, but I couldn't resist including it because the shadows it casts are so gorgeous!! I can see this in a really simple, neutral guest room, or it would be fun in a baby's room!

Turkish towel, $28: The Anatolian sells a great variety of colors and different patterns of stripes on their peshtemals. These little buggers are supposedly much lighter but much more absorbant than your typical towel, and they are sure as hell much prettier! I want to get a couple hand towels when we redo our bathroom.

Vintage Uzbek Suzani, $275: Yep, you read that right. This beaut costs only $275, and I almost didn't post it because I want it for myself so badly (you're welcome, readers). This would be gorrrrgeous draped over a wingback chair, or else I would mount it on a wall framed between two pieces of acrylic so its true beauty can shine through without risk of damage!

What do you think of my picks? What are your tips for wading through the Etsy junk to get to the gems?

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