Parker Smith Ava Skinny in Abstract Mint Review on Denimology

Parker Smith Ava Skinny in Abstract Mint Review on Denimology - Front View

Parker Smith Ava Skinny in Abstract Mint Review on Denimology

I am a HUGE fan of jeans that are painted, patterned, printed, textured…you get me. Not many things can replace the classic blue jean, but there is something awesome about a jean with several different colors or a unique pattern or print in terms of its unexpected level of versatility. Not many are well rehearsed in how to style them, and I wasn’t either, until about a year or two ago. I’ve developed quite a fondness for them and realized that they actually do have a multitude of possibilities! I think I have more fun styling them then I do with a traditional jean! When I was presented with another chance to review a pair from the perfectly classic brand Parker Smith, I was immediately drawn to a pair that I didn’t expect to find amongst their other jeans which have been favorites of mine on their own for many years. So here we go with this next pair I’d love to share with you…here’s a Parker Smith Ava Skinny in Abstract Mint review!

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Chic Retro Swimwear by Ugly Duckling

Chic Retro Swimwear by Ugly Duckling

Jeez it seems like the older we get the more hectic life is, even though it doesn’t seem like a whole lot is changing. I don’t even have kids yet! Sorry everyone for that strange “Happy Holidays!” post you might have gotten in your inboxes yesterday. WordPress decided a post from 2014 was “publishing soon” and I probably should have trashed it instead of letting it go. Anyhows, crap happens right?

Now to the point of this post…with summer season upon us, and thankfully a huge emergence of the importance of being proud and comfortable in the body shapes we were born with, it’s awesome to see bikinis stepping back from the mainstream stage a bit, giving way for a huge variety of so many super cute one pieces and high waisted designs, much like skinny jeans have given way for the boyfriend and flare jeans to emerge upon the scene once more. It really does seem like there’s this crazy transformation going on in the fashion and style world. People are getting a bit sick of what is considered “normal,” or “attractive,” and are ignoring trends altogether to just be themselves. Fashion brands are taking note and happily catering to this new standard, and I absolutely love it! I haven’t seen many one piece swimwear designs out before…and thanks to many indie designers and hipster shops, the classic look is back. However, one designer in particular has taken it to an absolutely adorable level. Ugly Duckling, by Israel designer Gal Angel, is another one of those Etsy shops that compels me to hit “favorite” even though it doesn’t necessarily cater to my style. I personally still prefer bikinis, but…if I saw a girl sporting one of these I’d give her a million compliments.

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Recycled Scrap Metal Adornments by Calisto Jewelry

Recycled Scrap Metal Adornments by Calisto Jewelry - Celestial Sphere #1

Image: Calisto Jewelry – Celestial Sphere #1

Recycled Scrap Metal Adornments by Calisto Jewelry

Well I sure am a glutton for handmade items on Etsy! How many of these stores have I written about now? I’ve lost count. But I love seeing such original work, and that’s why it’s one of my favorite things to write about! Handmade jewelry is a decently large market, but it’s tough out there to stand out, much like it is in the denim industry. One thing that helps super creative projects stand out a lot to me is handmade goods repurposed out of material that otherwise would have been thrown away. I recently tripped across a pretty neat jewelry line through an article on EarthPorm.com, called Calisto Jewelry. Carolin Breeze, a 23 year old film student, discovered her father’s creative talents after he lost his job and took up a project creating beautiful pieces of jewelry using scrap metal. His first piece was presented to Carolin after he used some of her old jewelry along with some copper wire to create it! Caroline had stated, “My father had never made jewelry before, and there it was, simple yet perfect and annoyingly beautiful.” Since then, the two ventured off and founded Calisto Jewelry, building up an incredible collection of pendents, earrings, broaches and other items with copper wire, silver, brass, gemstones and other crystals. I think I’m in love with the entire line!

Recycled Scrap Metal Adornments by Calisto Jewelry - Fleur-De-Lis Copper Bracelet

Image: Calisto Jewelry – Fleur-De-Lis Copper Bracelet

I love how much these seem to scream “steampunk,” but they have their own touch that’s tough to classify. The Celestial Sphere #1 and Fleur-De-Lis Copper Bracelet above have got to be my favorite, along with the Seed of Life Copper Pendant below. Just gorgeous! I could see wearing one of these to a festival or two…but they are neat enough just to wear anywhere as unique conversational pieces!

Recycled Scrap Metal Adornments by Calisto Jewelry - Biohazard Copper Pendant

Image: Calisto Jewelry – Biohazard Copper Pendant

This Biohazard Copper Pendant above has kind of a post-apocalyptic or spacey awesomeness quality to it, doesn’t it? It almost makes me think a lot of these pieces could fit in Bladerunner or The Fifth Element…not quite apocalyptic but, you get me, I guess?

Recycled Scrap Metal Adornments by Calisto Jewelry - Celestial Sphere #3

Image: Calisto Jewelry – Celestial Sphere #3

Recycled Scrap Metal Adornments by Calisto Jewelry - Root of Life Copper Earring

Image: Calisto Jewelry – Root of Life Copper Earring

“Aurora Sky” is a magnificent phenomenon which makes the sky look as they were flooded with magic.
We want our jewelry to fill your life with beauty and magic, and to make you gaze upon it with joy, as you will on the magnificent Aurora Sky.

Recycled Scrap Metal Adornments by Calisto Jewelry - Eastern Promises Bracelet

Image: Calisto Jewelry – Eastern Promises Bracelet

Recycled Scrap Metal Adornments by Calisto Jewelry - Seed of Life Pendant

Image: Calisto Jewelry – Seed of Life Copper Pendant

Recycled Scrap Metal Adornments by Calisto Jewelry - Fleur-De-Lis Hair Pin

Image: Calisto Jewelry – Fleur-De-Lis Hair Pin

Shop Calisto Jewelry on Etsy here! There are lots of other items available that I did not include here. If you want to read more about this sweet father/daughter creative team, check out my inspiration, the original EarthProm.com article, here! It features a lot of items that aren’t available anymore…I wonder if they’d be happy to do a custom piece? 🙂

Independent Designers for Festival Attire or Alternative Style

Independent Designers for Festival Attire or Alternative Style

I’m actually really excited about this post, because in a way I think it describes me better than anything else I’ve posted so far, and might help explain why I chose the blog name “Decadent Dissonance.” The dictionary definition of “dissonance” is “lack of harmony among musical notes.” Notes are all notes, but some go together well while others might cause “a tension or clash.” In terms of personal style, or anything in life really, I don’t like to limit myself. I have a wide range of things I love, and when it comes to style, it certainly doesn’t stop at contemporary premium fashion. As a DJ, I have a huge appreciation for music (electronic, especially), which of course, naturally brings up the topic of festivals. But along with those festivals, more than just the music, is the experience of everyone coming together as one in a peaceful celebration of life and individual freedoms without the assistance of the mundane and constricting structure of society. I always leave feeling so refreshed, both spiritually and creatively! I’ve enjoyed my occasional EDC, but those ones that really get my heart pumping are transformational festivals. Yes, I’m a bit of a closet hippie. My hippie friends and my fashionable friends both kind of see me as an anomaly…one of my hippy friends calls me an “urban hippy” before, which I kind of like. Either way, one of the things that transformational festivals has helped me really appreciate is independent, handmade, and sustainable apparel found at vendors at these events. Not only are these items of clothing extremely fun to rock while running through the forest while music from all angles bounces through the trees, but they are one-of-a-kind, super creative, and I know I’m supporting an independent artist with every purchase. Most pieces definitely work better at an event, but many could be integrated into your everyday life. Another thing that makes them so special is that most of them are made to order! Here are a few of my favorite artists, some of which I discovered at the events I’ve attended and some I found later online (Etsy of course)! I hope some of them inspire you!

Elven Forest Creations (above)

This has got to be my favorite Etsy shop, I think. Elven Forest Creations features “tribal clothing inspired by elf and fairy fashion as well as by fashion in underground communities of artists and travelers.” The Weave Me Wings Top (which is cool enough to wear anywhere) and the Elven Over-Skirt Shirt (which can be worn as a skirt or a top) above I’ve purchased for the upcoming Lucidity Festival and Lightning In a Bottle and I wish I could buy everything in the store, including the Tassel Lace Up Dance Pants. Owner Ashli Hara is awesome at communicating with her customers and making sure your order is made just right for you. Most of her items are made of either recycled or sustainable fibers, and she does her best to keep prices as fair as possible. She says, “I have always been deeply inspired by what I call the sacred art of self decoration and I love to make clothes to reflect this. I opened this shop with the idea that it could kind of be like a collective. Right now Myself and and my friend Eva sew and send out the orders together.” Ashli resides in San Francisco, and now accepts bitcoins (which I have no idea how to use yet, but hey, cool!).

Luna Designs

Luna Designs is actually one of the first ones I purchased from. This Israeli-based company has some of the most unique looks, and I’ve worn the Sleeveless and Backless Sassy Summer Top in Vine at numerous events and DJ gigs too. The cotton jersey and spandex blend is soft and stretchy and has held up through many washes! I love the hood so much. Luna Designs say they “are inspired by the grace and beauty of magic and nature.” The faces behind the brand, Dea and Nir, both reside in Israel but have had many multicultural experiences around the world which has inspired the beautiful clothing and accessories they create.

Herban Devi

Herban Devi is a brand that I think works very well both inside and out of the festival environment. One of my favorite pieces in my closet is the Nomadic Ballerina Hooded pullover, which is made of organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, lycra, and spandex. It’s so perfectly cozy for a long road trip or a cool breezy spring or fall day. I wore it for a Denimology review too! I’ve been eyeing the The Travelers Tunic for awhile too! Herban Devi is run by Jennifer La Peire in San Francisco, California, and “handmade, eco-friendly apparel” to keep “life comfortable and sexy for women around the world.” Jennifer has been sewing since 2008 and it soon became a way for her to be a stay at home mommy. She states, “another attribute that makes my clothing line unique is that it is all hand cut, sewn and printed/painted by me with some help from my wonderful husband, Luke DuMonthier. I love being able to express myself through my fashion and feel so blessed to have this as a job.” If that doesn’t make you want to shop the department stores a little less and support talented people like her, I don’t know what will.

Maha Devi Design

I haven’t yet shopped Maha Devi but I really like their selection, and they often issue sales and discounts! In fact, if you sign up for their newsletter and create an account, you get an instant $10 off. They also offer free shipping in Canada and the USA on all orders over $100. The shop is owned by Freyja Skye, who made her first dress at age 11, and Jules Marie Emmerson, who studied Jewelry Design and Gemmology at George Brown College in Toronto in 2003. While studying fashion design (with a dream to design eco-clothing) at Blanche MacDonald in 2006/07, she met Freyja, and Maha Devi Design was born. The two began promoting and selling their brand at festivals and dance events via vegetable oil-powered vehicles, and state that “new designs developed inspired by patterns from nature and goddess energy (hence the name: MahaDevi means Great Goddess in Sanskrit, honouring all goddess energy in creation and in us).” Everything is made with organic bamboo or hemp, and some items offer you a choice of one of the two materials. I’m sure I’ll be grabbing something from their shop soon!

Crossfox

I first discovered Crossfox at Lucidity Festival a few years ago. The brand caught my eye because of it’s attractive blend of steampunk and tribal apparel and those freaking awesome leather hip bags! They’re definitely more on the pricey side, but I don’t expect any of these items to be any less than they are since they are all created meticulously by hand and with love. I don’t have anything from Crossfox yet, but I hope to see them soon this year when I hit up a few events. I’d have to say the Basic Pocket Leggings, made of hand dyed eco friendly bamboo fleece and terry jersey, have been on my wishlist for awhile! They’re definitely more on the theatrical side, and I’ve been starting my festival attire collection more on the basic bamboo/hemp pieces that have a bit more flexibility, until I actually have more of a costume or persona I want to take on, if it gets to that point. But right now, I do like to admire what Crossfox has to offer.

Opal Moon Designs

Opal Moon was also a discovery at Lucidity Festival. They’re definitely a bit more on the higher-end too, like Crossfox, and are more on the gypsy/nomadic side of things. I haven’t yet shopped them either, as it’s also such a different style, but I have so much fun looking through their collections every year. Opal Moon can be found at renaissance and transformational festivals alike, and owner Kerrie Kordowski states her mission is to “transform and empower women, while instilling strength, beauty, form, and function.” She is inspired by “Medieval costuming, ancient mythology, & science fiction” and calls her signature style “Tribal Sci Fi.” Her shop was born on Etsy in 2009 and still is going strong at her studio in the Santa Monica Mountains!

The Opal Moon photo above for the The Underbust Holster Vest w/ Pockets & Detachable Hood kind of describes what I’ve wanted to do outfit-wise for these burning-man-esque festivals, but obviously it takes some planning, and money…and how do I balance that with my obsession with jeans and everything else? Again, there’s that dissonance thing…I just want to do it all at once, which leaves some of my interests stagnant for awhile. Le sigh, such is life, right? Either way, it’s fun to acquire a piece every now and then and remember the experience I had in them at each event. Many of them work well as lounge attire as well. In a way, due to the higher quality and price of many of these items, it helps me appreciate being more selective, and buying less frequently, which allows me to better enjoy the items I do get. Fashion should be like that, independent or not. “Less is more”…which is definitely a mantra held consistent at these away-from-the-mundane events which I love so much.

Handmade Jewelry by As The Raven Flies

Handmade Jewelry by As The Raven Flies

Handmade Jewelry by As The Raven Flies

All of the cute crafty jewelry I find on Etsy fascinates me, and kind of ignites a spark I’ve had inside me since I was a crafty little child. Of course, with me juggling everything I possibly can in life, full steam ahead (that’s my nature), it’s hard to sit and have a meditative, creative moment, and sometimes just braiding something as simple as a friendship bracelet reminds me how therapeutic being crafty is. I made so much time for it as a kid, and I’m sure it led to the creativity I put forth as a web developer and graphic designer now. However, it’s those special friends that like to get down and crafty with me every now and then that help me take a break from creativity being a job and just enjoy it as a hobby. My friend TK happens to be one of those friends, and she’s owned this Etsy shop for awhile, As The Raven Flies. We both share the love for gemstones and beads and sewing and it’s always a joy to raid her craft room…it’s like Disneyland for creatives! Every time I’m over there, I end up leaving with some new necklace or bracelet she helped me create that reminds me that kid inside me is still very much alive. She’s taken her talents and love for jewelry making to the next level with this great little online shop, and I love to visit it from time to time to see what new items she’s managed to find time for on her constant cross-country travels for work (and I thought I was busy). TK focuses mostly on earrings, but has several cute necklaces, bracelets and even hair pieces, combining all sorts of elements including metal charms, ribbon, bells, and both real gemstones and glass beads. I’d have to say my favorite beads she uses are her garnets, as you can see in the Targaryen Fire and Blood Bracelet bracelet below! I’m also a big fan of the Lady in Red Earring and Necklace Set.

I keep meaning to start up a collection of bits and pieces of things and random trinkets I’ve collected ever since I was a kid, and stock up on some gemstone beads to start getting crafty, and As The Raven Flies always inspires me to do so. You can shop her store here!

Spread The Love with SuperLoveTees

Spread The Love with SuperLoveTees

There’s no shortage of love-inspired, counter-cultureish themed clothing out there…and most of it just doesn’t stick with me, since there’s so many out there with recycled slogans and so many of them just feel…forced. I don’t always really enjoy walking around feeling like I’m preaching to everyone, and a lot of the “peace and love” stuff out there seems so cliche. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m all for it! It’s obviously a huge trend, but with any trend that gets over-saturated, it’s important to cling to what makes you unique if you intend to break the mold. Check out SuperLoveTees…a company that I feel has done just that. At first I thought it was just another one of these clothing labels trying to enter the market of the warm and fuzzies. But…I stand corrected! The slogans on all SuperLoveTees items stood out to me as original, thought-through, and some are just downright funny (I mean, come on, “Likers gonna like?” Yesss!!). I also love that there is a wide range of apparel available for each print, such as tees, tanks, hoodies, dolman-style long sleeves…the list goes on. Best of all, each piece is hand-silk screened by the founder of SuperLoveTees, Theresa Roth, right here in the USA.

Spread The Love with SuperLoveTees - Trust Love - Dancer Neck Long Sleeve Tee

Trust Love – Dancer Neck Long Sleeve Tee

All goods from SuperLoveTees are sourced from American sweatshop-free companies, “whose guidelines and principles are in line with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) Workplace Code of Conduct and are Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP) certified.” The company also strives to be as eco-friendly as possible, with non toxic inks and recycled screens and shopping bags. Theresa also has an Etsy storefront!

Spread The Love with SuperLoveTees - Travel Light, ...Spread Light. ~ Amethyst Wide Neck Tee

Travel Light, …Spread Light. ~ Amethyst Wide Neck Tee

The positive energy of designing the graphics, and mixing the paints and hand screening each peace carries me along and then comes back to me when I see pics of our customers wearing and loving their tees in social media (when posting your picture wearing your SuperLoveTees, please hashtag #SuperLoveTees so that I can see you too).”

Spread The Love with SuperLoveTees - Namaste, ...Hallelujah, Om - Grey Dancer Neck Sweatshirt

Namaste, …Hallelujah, Om – Grey Dancer Neck Sweatshirt

All of these pieces I featured here are my favorites…it’s hard to choose just one! I’m feeling the love…

Spread The Love with SuperLoveTees - Liker Gonna Like - Grey Racer Tank

Likers Gonna Like – Grey Racer Tank

Spread The Love with SuperLoveTees - Kind Heart, Open Mind, Brave Spirit - Amethyst Hoodie

Kind Heart, Open Mind, Brave Spirit – Amethyst Hoodie

Spread The Love with SuperLoveTees - Good Vibe Tribe - Super-Soft Unisex Hoodie

Good Vibe Tribe – Super-Soft Unisex Hoodie

Spread The Love with SuperLoveTees - Focus On The Good Stuff - Side Slit Pullover Sweatshirt

Focus On The Good Stuff – Side Slit Pullover Sweatshirt

Spread The Love with SuperLoveTees - I Choose Love - Camouflage Side Slit Pullover

I Choose Love – Camouflage Side Slit Pullover

Shop or read more about SuperLoveTees at their website here, or shop their Etsy store here!

Trippy 3D LED Lamps by Zinteh

Trippy 3D LED Lamps by Zinteh - Circles

Zinteh – Circles

Trippy 3D LED Lamps by Zinteh

“If you’re open to innovation, and want to avoid standard thinking, you will definitely like the idea of this 3D effect light.” I think that’s the best way to sum up these stunning designs by Bulgarian brand Zinteh…I couldn’t say it any better. I spotted these on Tough of Modern recently (unfortunately, the sale has ended but I’d bet it will be back) and I had to share them! These are LED strip lights mounted on acrylic, and are energy-efficient, lasting up to 50,000 hours without overheating…but perhaps the most amazing thing about these, is that they aren’t 3D at all, but rather flat! I want to see one of these in person! Zinteh lamps are all hand-crafted, made-to-order, and are available through an Etsy store.

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Embossed PVC Clutches and Bags from MeDusaBrand

Embossed PVC Clutches and Bags from MeDusaBrand

Brilliantly Blue Handbag from MeDusaBrand

Embossed PVC Clutches and Bags from MeDusaBrand

There have always been a plethora of beautiful, ornate, and downright drool-worthy bags and clutches gracing runways and streets alike, but it seems designers have really kicked it up a notch lately in the creative department…or maybe everyone’s just getting more brave as competition becomes more and more stiff. Take Moschino’s bold move with incorporating McDonald’s-themed pieces in their Autumn/Winter 2014 line. I can’t be sure I would have seen that just a few years ago, but then again I wasn’t paying too much attention to the high couture side of things, being more of a contemporary style kind of gal…and I only started blogging this year. But anyway, so many of these coveted styles this year are out of the reach of a lot of people, and many turn to Etsy to support the up-and-coming underdogs. I always run over there every now and then when I feel overly stimulated with the commercial side of things, and I found a real gem this time!

Embossed PVC Clutches and Bags from MeDusaBrand

Yellow vinyl clutch with gold plated spikes and pins

I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled across this cool little shop based in Israel, but it sure has stuck with me. I usually prefer bags made out of leather due to longevity and the beautiful way they age and become more and more unique based on the use you give them over the years. Leather can certainly be embossed and stamped, but in this case, these PVC clutches and bags by Etsy shop MeDusaBrand seem to be more beautifully detailed than most leather embossed items could ever be! And of course, who doesn’t like shiny things?

Embossed PVC Clutches and Bags from MeDusaBrand

PVC and canvas briefcase

It appears that each style seen here (I tried to get a good, wide range of these different clutch and bag designs offered) comes in just about any color, and they are lined with a leather-like synthetic fabric inside. Some come with chains as straps and others are meant to just be carried…and some are even transparent, as a small shoulder or makeup bag!

Embossed PVC Clutches and Bags from MeDusaBrand

Embossed vinyl clutch with chain shoulder strap

MeDusaBrand also makes pretty jewelry, specifically necklaces and earrings, some combining chains and studs like the handbags, or tassels. I gotta say these black items in the Black Summer Collection caught my eye as well. Yummy! I wanted to make this post longer than it is, because there are so many beautiful items…but you’ll have to go look for yourself.

Embossed PVC Clutches and Bags from MeDusaBrand

White bridal clutch bag

The beauty of many Etsy shops is these highly-talented independent artists are more than happy to do custom orders for you, and MeDusaBrand is one of them. I don’t see how I could possibly think of something else I’d rather have after perusing this huge collection but…you never know and it’s cool to have that option, right? It makes the consumer feel closer to the artist, which I really respect, and it’s special to have that unique item made just for you.

Embossed PVC Clutches and Bags from MeDusaBrand

Green PVC clutch w/ embossed print with gold plated spikes & pins

Check out the entire MeDusaBrand Etsy shop right here!

Steampunk Jewelry by Tangled Metal

Do I really need to say much here? I can’t even remember how I ran across this awesome Etsy shop, but I am certainly glad I did. How cool is this? If you’ve seen my blog for the last few months you know how much I love the individual artisans, and I love to support them! I think by now we are fairly familiar with the concept of “steampunk,” right? That is, a sub-genre of science fiction that involves 19th century or wild western steam-powered machinery. This historical fascination seems to kind of have a cult following, translating into clothing, conventions, movies…you name it, and I have no idea if it’s just popped up within the last few years or if it’s been an ongoing trend way before I became aware of it! Either way, I personally adore old fashion advertisements of all the crazy whimsical innovations that were cranked out in rapid succession (often without much thought towards them it seems) in order to fix all of the banes of everyday living. I find it both fascinating and comical and as someone in the print/design industry, I can’t help myself.

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Motivational Typography for Your Walls

I am one of those nerds…I graduated in 2006 from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Graphic Communication department. I never knew there was enough to know about fonts to constitute two whole classes. However, they were fun! I love typography, and I remember it was way too easy to get stuck browsing FontFace.com for hours looking for the perfect font for a project (even if you already knew what you were going to use). Our department also had (and still has) an awesome collection of old letterpress printing machines which we got to use for a project or two, hand-placing each letter one by one. I cannot imagine doing this for an entire newspaper. Oy vey. Typography and letterpress art is a huge market, and I ran across this cool little Etsy store not long ago, The Motivated Type. I wanted to get a little more into the design world apart from fashion on my blog, so here we go.

The Motivated Type is an English company that uses vintage typography and subway signs for inspiration, which I find neat because I have a huge affinity for vintage advertisements. It’s amazing the power just a few words can have on us, and how artsy and eye-catching they can be without any photos or imagery to back them up. I always am attracted to things that otherwise would be seen as boring, spruced up in endless ways to become appealing. Maybe that’s why typography and me stuck like peanut butter and jam.

Words have tremendous power. They can make us think, challenge us and inspire us. Words can make us smile, laugh and push us to our potential. One phrase can make all the difference between walking away and trying again. And one sentence can encourage us with a lesson that we never forget.”

These guys have already gotten a lot of attention from the likes of Glamour, HDTV, PopSugar and more! We all get a little sick of the crap life slings at us from time to time, so why not stick a bit of motivational eye candy around the house to help keep your chin and spirits up? Isn’t it crazy how, when put in simple terms, certain situations or thoughts seem to become much easier to handle? I think we all need these reminders in our lives from time to time, cliché or not clichés…

The Motivated Type also has a collection of artistic pillows. I would have featured a lot more of the typography prints above, because there are a lot more awesome where that came from. So lets take a break from the big names in this huge world and give the little guys some love.