I cracked up. I hope you did too! I love getting my little curated newsletters from Etsy…especially around major holidays. Two years ago (I skipped last year) I featured a Valentine’s Day gift guide from Revolve, but this year I’m enjoying all of the creative and personal Valentine’s Day gift ideas from Etsy! In fact, I should probably feature these more often! Significant others can be notoriously difficult to shop for, especially around Valentine’s Day when everyone’s expecting chocolate, fancy dinners and gemstones. Well, maybe not everyone, but it can be tough to find the perfect non-cliche, personalized gifts every time a holiday centered around love, family or friendship rolls around when our lives are as busy as they are. Rushing out to a fancy dinner also means dealing with packed restaurants, difficult-to-come-by reservations and slower service, and chocolate or jewelry often just seems so thoughtless or forced. Some people opt for DIY gifts, but why not go for something unique and thoughtful crafted by someone who specializes in such a thing, when our creative juices, time and energy are fried by our daily grinds…especially when there are adorably convenient options for personal customization?
It’s still been so hard to get over the festival vibes after the Oregon Eclipse Gathering! There were over a hundred vendors and I got rather excited to collect business cards and peruse their goods to share with all of you. Denim will always be at my core but I really have such a passion and a huge appreciation for independent designers, especially those who use sustainable materials in their creations. I still have to go through all of the cards I collected and figure out the best way to share them all here, but I’ll start with one that helped us out considerably during the cold nights at the event!
Amazing Hemp Body Care at The Body Shop
This is the time of the year, at least where I am here in California, when temperatures rise and humidity drops significantly…and the struggle with dry skin is on. I also suffer from a little bit of eczema (ok, actually sometimes a lot), and my entire life I’ve relied on prescription creams to combat it. Even with the dry skin alone, I’ve gone through bottles and bottles of lotions (and yes, even coconut oil) that all promised to cure this common malady once and for all, but to no avail, despite their high numbers of positive reviews. It’s been such a huge frustration for most of my life, and sometimes gets even more annoying when it’s time for a product review or outfit post photo shoot for either Denimology or my blog here, and my hands look dry and flaky and long story short, less than photo ready!
Tapestries for your Walls at Society6
I guess you could call my sprouting love of tapestries a result of my lifelong obsession with music and attendance to transformational festivals starting just a few years ago, but I gotta say, they certainly add an ambiance to a room that a traditional poster or framed piece does. I don’t really know what it is about them, but they add a certain type of softness and zen to any room or living space! I usually gravitate towards sacred geometry or abstract pieces, as they tend to allow the mind to creatively roam and interpret them in different ways depending on your current thought processes or mood, which sometimes results in seeing them in a different way each time. But, there’s also nothing like a beautiful landscape that triggers those deep-set, innate senses of wanderlust! Another cool thing about tapestries is that they can be used for a multitude of purposes: put them on the wall in a standard sense, tack and drape them on the ceiling for some extra dimension to the room, use them as a bedsheet over your comforter, hang them from trees to create a comfortable campsite or backyard reading area, or take them on a picnic!
Modern Takes on Denim and Indigo at Fab
I think it’s funny every time I go to write a post like this and realize I’m starting to feel a strong sense of Deja Vu…but that’s only because I have my favorite talking points and somehow there are more and more subject matter that fits within them popping up more often as the days and years go on! Once again, I’m highlighting how awesomely versatile the denim fabric is beyond jeans, and it’s pretty cool to see what artists and brands come up with. In all these posts I’m always calling back to previous ones that fit the content, so to keep it short, I wrote about other awesome unique uses of denim here, here (this one’s crafty), here, and here!
The Prayer Song World Choir Project
So this is kind of a different blog post…but my original intention of my blog was to showcase a myriad of things that I feel benefit the world, and everyone in it! If you haven’t noticed yet, my passions lie in several different avenues…some that mesh together and some that don’t seem to hold any common ground. But one thing is for sure, fashion and music form a special bond as art forms that are universal and have the power to make great change.
When I first started DJing in 2008, one of my greatest inspirations was producer J. Scott G. of Deepsky, an influential electronic group that rocked dance floors and dreams in the late 90s and early-to-mid 2000s. I consider myself to be a bit of a networking queen, which began when all I wanted to do was tell musicians that changed my life, face to face, how much I appreciated them, as I know being a music artist in this world is not an easy one. As my networks grew, that sprouted into a genuine love of playing the matchmaker of similar minds, introducing people and helping others continue their networks to advance their dreams! Recently, and thanks to Facebook (see, some good comes out of that cluster of a social media platform), I was able to get in touch with J. Scott G. and had a chance to meet him and his fiancé Naomi for drinks and dinner in Ventura, CA. It was then that I learned of his next venture in life. No longer a regular of the nightlife scene, his passions now lie in creating music for change. Prayer Song is the duo’s new life, which is a collaborative music project put together by people like you—thousands of voices from around the world are being collected to create a wholesome world choir to represent the need for world peace, the end of suffering, and overcoming our own obstacles and boundaries. Launched on January 22nd, 2016, the project is gaining traction and even earned a non-profit status thanks to HOPE!
Blanket the Homeless with Sackcloth & Ashes
I was extremely tempted to post another collection of pre-Christmas holiday sales, but I figured I would do something else. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sale during the holidays! But, I find it funny that as I get older, Christmas becomes more exciting when I have something I am excited to give. So, I thought instead of a sale post, I would share this company I just found, which has a mission of giving year-round. Sackcloth & Ashes, which was inspired by founder Bob Dalton when his mother found herself living on the streets in 2013. After realizing that many end up this way despite their best efforts in life, Bob decided he wanted to do his part, and called homeless shelters around his area asking what they they needed the most. Blankets was the answer, and Sackcloth & Ashes was born. For every high-quality blanket purchased, the company will donate one to a local homeless shelter near you. Since their inception, they have given over 4,500 blankets, and was helped with the generous promotions of InStyle Magazine.
The Hemp Blue Moisturizing Candle
First off, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I took the entire week off, as mentioned in my last post about a week ago, which was much needed. I love creating posts for my readers but everyone has to take a break from time to time! For those who don’t know, I also write editorials and manage brands at Denimology.com along with my 9-5, so as you can imagine I’m often pretty darn ready for a good break! It’s all good though, and today I’m excited to show you a little something special which goes back to back with a post I made a few weeks ago about Hemp Blue, a Kickstarter brand working to change the denim and apparel industry by spreading awareness of the amazing sustainable qualities of hemp through a line of women’s and men’s denim made from this valuable yet insanely underrated resource. You can read all about it on my post here! Along with this proposed denim line comes a line of hemp candles, which are made to not only make your house smell diiiviiiineeee, but also double as a lotion once it’s melted! These candles come with a pledge of $15 or more, but Hemp Blue was generous enough to send one over to me for a review!
When we first opened this cool little package, the scent made my hubby and I drop everything and light it immediately (which, I later thought maybe I shouldn’t have because I never snapped an pre-lit photo of it, but oh well). I am kind of a hippie at heart, so I naturally love the scent of hemp and essential oils, but this isn’t your typical hemp scent and you certainly don’t have to have any sort of hippie running through your veins to enjoy it. It’s made of 100% natural coconut and hemp oil, and you definitely smell the coconut over anything else, but it has a delicious, slightly floral scent to it, which is actually so unique that it’s tough to really describe! It left the house smelling oh so sweet for hours. In fact, we lit it one night, and after extinguishing it before bed, noticed we still smelled it the next morning and upon returning to work later that day, almost as if it had been lit all day! This has become sort of a ritual, every night…
We all know how great coconut is for the skin, and this has such a creamy, non-waxy texture once you scoop some of it out with the included spoon and rub it over any dry areas. It is so luxurious and I felt myself just constantly smelling my hands obsessively afterwards! As delightful as it is over the skin, I’m always afraid to do this too much, as I don’t want to use up this yummy candle too quickly!
I’m not the biggest candle fan…not that I dislike them, but I just usually feel sort of indifferent and don’t actively go out and buy them. I did win a box of Paddywax candles through Lucky Breaks last year, a year’s supply to be exact…and I still haven’t really touched more than maybe two of them! I even have a rose-scented one from Bed Bath & Beyond that I once loved, but never really use. My hubby is more on top of it than I am, but this Hemp Blue candle is my absolute favorite. I love the way it makes the house smell, and I have a ton of issues with dry skin and eczema this time of the year so the fact that it doubles as a lotion is a huge plus! I feel it’s really helped. I also have very sensitive skin, so I can’t handle a lot of scented items, but this was very gentle. I’m all about the cause for hemp and sustainability too, so this candle is a win. I’m cheering Hemp Blue on, not just so I can try out and review their denim sometime, but also because of this super innovative way of thinking, in more ways than one.
Support the Hemp Blue Kickstarter campaign here, but hurry, it ends this Saturday! They are SO CLOSE to their goal, too!
You can also read more about the cause and the people behind Hemp Blue at their website here.
Changing The World with Angela Roi Handbags
I am just so stoked to see how many fashion brands have emerged over the last few years with a sole mission to give back…I’m not sure if I’m only noticing them because I’m actively keeping my eyes out for such subjects to blog about, but I’ve also had a passion for a long time about the idea and I certainly do not remember seeing so many before! When I first started my blog, I obviously aimed for a base subject of denim, and wasn’t sure really how I’d focus my other interests, and it’s been fun to see everything fall into place with seeing so many ethical brands popping out of the woodwork and fueling my desire to help get the word out. Angela Roi is the most recent one I’ve discovered, which was during the never-ending hunt for the next perfect, no-frills, quality, classic handbag (no matter how many you might or might not already own). Angela Roi was created by two brilliant minds, Angela and Roi. Both met while at a cocktail party in Boston when they were college students, and quickly discovered their common ground with fashion and philanthropic dreams. Angela was born in South Korea and raised in Canada, and left her Political Science college path in 2012 to pursue her passion of creating affordable, quality handbags. She is the main founder of Angela Roi, and came up with the “Donate by Color” concept. Roi, the co-founder, was born and raised in South Korea and studied entrepreneurship at Boston University. He is inspired by his father’s mantra of “The most important thing in life is health.”
Angela Roi bags come in a variety of brilliant colors, each color standing for a certain charity and cause. The brand states, “We believe that businesses can use their resources to positively impact the greater community. So, we’ve decided to donate a portion of each handbag sale to certain non-profit organizations that support prevalent health issues. We’ve specifically linked different causes to our various handbag colors, because we feel that color adds life and beauty to the world around us. For example, colon cancer awareness is traditionally linked with the color blue — when customers purchase a blue handbag, we’ll donate five percent to the Colon Cancer Alliance.” All bags are also vegan, made with super durable fabric and PVC, and topped with 14k gold hardware. Each bag ranges between $60 and $150, and shipping and returns are free! How could you possibly go wrong here?
Michael Cina Art Pieces on Fab
Fab was such an addiction a few years ago…and still kind of is. I’d have to say it’s probably the best place online for gifts, apart from the popular event-based sale site Touch of Modern or maybe even Spencers. Fab though has its own personality, combining a wide range of pieces together in one place to fit any purpose or mood by a multitude of ridiculously creative artists, whether they are painters, interior decorators, jewelers, clothiers, you name it. I’ve become quite a fan lately of sites that combine artwork with pieces you can use everyday, like clothing, bedspreads, pillows, cellphone cases, etc., such as The Coterie and Society6. Fab also offers several pieces like this, and the latest I’ve been drawn to is a collection of bed, bath and personal accessories featuring the amazing abstract art of Michael Cina. I love abstract art because they fit so well with a mood, or whatever a viewer might be feeling while looking at it, and a lot of it can be up to interpretation. Michael’s background is influenced by minimal and visual narratives, using graphics to communicate mood or emotion. I love the colors in these pieces, as if he was illustrating a song while creating them…Fab even states that his work is often done in “response to an emotion or sound” and is rooted in the music and design industries. I thought so before I even read about it. Check out some of these amazing items below!