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!
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.
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!
Star Wars Merchandise Abounds
My very first memory of Star Wars was wandering around Disneyland’s Tomorrowland at night along with my mom, dad, sister and great aunt. I remember how magical it was, and for some reason I remember this over any of our daytime antics in the park. I remember the Electric Light Parade, fiber optic toys, and all the spacey goodness of that night. Perhaps it hinted towards my future love of nightlife and electronic music? Who knows…but my love for anything science fiction still lives on, and the thought of Star Wars is still quite nostalgic to me…along with Star Trek and the old, original WAM POW BAM Batman series. When I was in high school, Star Wars Episode I came out, and I obsessively saw it 7 times with my pals, no matter how much so many of my “cooler” friends said it sucked. I’ve never been much of a movie buff, and I get super antsy and have always had a tough time sitting through movies and most TV shows. Still to this day, there aren’t many things on TV or on the big screen that can capture my attention for very long. Star Wars has always captured my heart, and I’m not the biggest nerd, so no matter what criticism anyone ever has to say for any of the new movies that come out, I’m pretty much always game!
With the next movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens in theaters in December, retailers everywhere are picking up the hype with unique and fun merchandise which currently are flying off the shelves! I had actually forgotten about the new movie coming out (I know, how COULD I??) until I started to notice all of the themed merch flooding my inbox. IGN, as well as many other major news outlets, covered Disney’s live unboxing event on Youtube earlier this month, which revealed an abundance of new, shiny goodies for millions of drooling fans (links are at the footer of this post). I also saw several sales at Touch of Modern and even a really neat Etsy shop for various items, so I figured for a fun Friday post, I’d make a collection of my favorite bits. I LOVE the LED Lamps at Touch of Modern, as they remind me of my Tomorrowland adventures as a child, and perhaps the most exciting of them all here is the BB-8 app-controlled droid by Sphero…a friend of mine got one of her own and I was feeling a little green envy popping up over her Facebook posts! I’m totally coveting the Darth Vader Tattoo Wallet by Loungefly above, and I always love vintage wall art, so the work by Lynx Collection on Etsy is super cool. The X-Wing Starfighter and Millennium Falcon drones look like a lot of fun to play with as well! The cool thing about Star Wars is that it brings out the kids in all of us…and lets the nostalgia flow!
Favorite Finds from Etsy
As I’m sure many of my readers know by now, I am a huge fan of Etsy. I love the big brands…they are fun and exciting and all, but I really have a high respect for the struggling independent artists and love to give them exposure and support as best as I can! I have purchased many items on Etsy and am always super impressed by the obvious quality and love put into them. I’ve favorited so many items and shops on Etsy and continue to do so every day, even though I know there’s no way I’ll ever be able to get to all of them! So I figured for a fun Friday post I’d make a collection of some of the cool items that have been hanging out in my Etsy favorites for awhile. Many are clothing items (mostly from artists who craft with organic cotton, bamboo or hemp), but there are several gift items in there like jewelry, posters and more. I think I might do this on a regular basis with other items I obsessively bookmark, not only with Etsy but in other online shops as well…now that I’ve discovered this neat little slider plugin! You might recognize some items that I’ve blogged about before (like MeDusaBrand) and they were definitely special enough to me that they needed to be mentioned again. So without much more ado, I hope you enjoy my little culmination of twenty (oh there are many more) of my favorite finds from Etsy!
It wasn’t very long ago that I wasn’t much of a fragrance person…I’d only use scents for special occasions. But, as I recently wrote in a post earlier this month, there’s one brand that’s changed my mind…Harvey Prince! I posted on June 15th about their many mini rollers, which are awesome little samplers (or collectibles), of each of their best fragrances. As previously discussed, I’m subscribed to their newsletter, and every so often Harvey Prince sends out offers for these little rollers to get one pretty much free—you just pay shipping! I love their fruity, refreshing scents and best of all, all Harvey Prince fragrances are 100% cruelty free, with no animal ingredients or derivatives. They are also free of toxic chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, sulfates, benzene, GMOs or triclosan. I made up quite a collection but there was one I was still missing…their Signature scent! Harvey Prince was awesome enough to send me one to fill in this vacant spot on my bathroom shelf, and I’ve got to say it turns out to be great competition for my other two favorites, Ageless and Sincerely. Keep on reading to find a special offer I’ve included for my readers, also thanks to Harvey Prince, for a free Signature Mini Roller so you guys can all try out this marvelous brand for yourself (just pay shipping)!
Natural Wood Home Decor
I like any kind of furniture or decor that’s original, classic and innovative. I guess you could say I have a soft spot for modern design. But, as with any toned-down, minimalistic artwork, it’s not easy to stand out! Less is always more in this case and it’s tough to constantly keep up the creative juices with so little to work with. But, this is why it’s impressive, right? Add to that, simplistic designs done with natural elements. I remember as a kid, finding bits of driftwood lining the beach was always a pleasure after spotting several pieces of artwork in local studios done with this abundant medium. Now, I just appreciate infusing nature with my everyday living space. Recently I’ve discovered two artists that really stand out to me in terms of innovation and creativity: Siiren, a “fair trade gift superstore,” and Hilla Shamia, a Tel-Aviv artisan.
Bookworm by Kartell Shelving
I love unique shelving! Surprisingly though, I haven’t really gotten creative with it at home…but for one of these days, I have several mental bookmarks stacked up. Why should the art on your walls be limited to anything within a frame? Why shouldn’t storage look like it’s not…storage? Kartell is one of those ingenious brands who seem to have solved the “storage as art” dilemma. The brand resides in LA and was born and perfected by Israeli artist Ron Arad, who studied at the Jerusalem Art Academy from 1971 until 1973 and then at the Architectural Association in London. The Bookworm bookcase is designed to flex into any shape you desire while staying durable and functional. These shelves are available in three different lengths, in five different colors: Aluminum, Glossy White, Black, Cobalt Blue, and Wine Red.