Creative Envy


CRATE & BARREL VS. ETSY.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 9:11 pm
Filed under: craft envy, design envy, random | Tags: , , ,

I just received the Crate & Barrel 2009 Gift Guide in the mail yesterday and fell in love with these ornaments.

But here’s the thing. I feel kinda guilty about it. I mean, don’t I lose some considerable street cred if I were to purchase these and people asked where I got them, anticipating that I’d naturally say “Etsy” or that “I made them” instead of sheepishly saying “Crate & Barrel”? Nothing against this big, lovely store (my couch is from there), but when something looks handmade, don’t you want it to come from an individual who made it with love and care and sweat and tears?

I’m torn on this issue. While I truly appreciate how mainstream the craft movement has become (and hence, stores like C&B and CB2 are offering products in this aesthetic), it still bums me out. Because I feel like the big guys can mass produce these items for significantly less and make a killing on them in comparison to someone, say from Etsy, that has labored over their product and it is one of a kind (and, therefore, more expensive). Plus I prefer to support independent, self-employed artists but sometimes I just can’t afford it.

What do you think?

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ELISABETH PEROTIN.
Saturday, September 26, 2009, 1:19 pm
Filed under: art envy | Tags: , , ,

A few weeks ago I received an email from French photographer and illustrator Elisabeth Perotin, introducing herself. I love to hear from new artists, especially when they find me from all the way across the pond. Elisabeth’s work is beautifully dreamy. Her illustrations are lovely and I like how she juxtaposes them with her photography. She has both a blog and an Etsy shop if you’d like to see more of this talented lady’s work. Here are some of my faves.

Le jardin

Le jardin

Le manege

Le manege

La Normandie

La Normandie

Paris

Paris

Thanks, Elisabeth!



BACK TO REALITY, PRODUCTIVITY, AND MISSED CONNECTIONS.
Sunday, April 26, 2009, 8:17 pm
Filed under: design envy, Etsy, projects | Tags: , , , ,

I’ve been back home from Disney since Thursday night; however, I’ve been taking full advantage of my remaining hours before going back to reality tomorrow morning. I’m not looking forward to that alarm going off at 6am. Disney was great mostly due to the fact that my brother had a kick-ass itinerary that we stuck to. My advice: do it. It makes it so much easier and prevents those grating conversations of, “What do you want to do next?” “I don’t care, what do you want to do?”. Ugh.

I’m bummed about returning to work tomorrow only because I’ve been so productive over the past few days with my personal projects. I sanded the chairs down (they already look 10 times better) and I got a great start on my Etsy shop (masthead designed and stocking the store has begun).

Friday gave me a lot of time to catch up on all my favorite blogs and thanks to Roadside, I came across Missed Connections by Sophie Blackall. Another amazing idea that I wish I had thought of; although I do not have the amazing illustration skills that Miss Blackall posesses. Sophie brings missed connections ads to life through her own illustrative interpretation. Here, she describes it better than I can:

Messages in bottles, smoke signals, letters written in the sand; the modern equivalents are the funny, sad, beautiful, hopeful, hopeless, poetic posts on Missed Connections websites. Every day hundreds of strangers reach out to other strangers on the strength of a glance, a smile or a blue hat. Their messages have the lifespan of a butterfly. I’m trying to pin a few of them down.

Here are two great ones:

32809

323091

In case you can’t make out the second one:
Monday, March 23, 2009
-m4w (Harlem)
Remember? Uptown A train. Sunday at around 9pm. I was the black dude reading Bukowski’s Post Office. You were reading the Arts and Leisure section. You passed wind rather loudly and started chuckling. I’d like to see you again. The flatulence wasn’t a turn-off.

Ha! So unbelievably clever. I love it.



GOING INDIE.
Sunday, November 16, 2008, 6:52 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags: , , , ,

I’ve decided that this year for my Christmas shopping I am going indie. I am pledging that all the gifts I purchase for my loved ones will be obtained from independent shops, not chains. I’ll be looking to places like Etsy and local Columbus retailers in addition to making things by hand myself. There’s not really a deep-seeded reason behind this other than wanting to support small, local businesses as well as DIY-ers who are trying to make a living, especially in this crappy economy.

There’s a great website called Buy Handmade where you can sign your name pledging to only purchase handmade items and requesting others to do the same for you over the holidays. I would love to sign this; however, in good conscience, I don’t think I can totally commit to ALL handmade items (I do have men to shop for and I feel that can be a bit more challenging). But I still think it’s a great idea so if you want to make the pledge yourself, you should check it out. Plus you get to put this cute little banner on your site.

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org



CAKIES.
Saturday, November 1, 2008, 11:24 pm
Filed under: craft envy, design envy, projects | Tags: , , ,

Yet another hero to add to my list: Rubyellen over at Cakies. I found this lovely blog via Oh Happy Day this morning and I have been browsing through its archives for hours on and off throughout the day. So yeah, it’s a keeper.

Rubyellen is insanely talented and is basically living my dream life. She is married to (if she doesn’t mind me saying) a very dreamy, hip man, has two adorable girls, is a sewer/crafter extraordinaire, stays at home to take care of her family while at the same time maintaining a successful Etsy storefront. This sounds like complete bliss to me and I seriously do daydream about such a life.

Rubyellen and her lovely family

Rubyellen and her lovely family

Beautiful Mum Wool Felt Crown - from the Cakies Etsy shop

Beautiful Mum Wool Felt Crown (modeled by True) - from the Cakies Etsy shop

Beyond all the cute treats in her Etsy shop, Rubyellen is constantly coming up with original outfits and play things for her two daughters, True and Brave (yes, those are their names and I think they rock).

a walking dress she made for Brave

a walking dress she made for Brave

a jumper she made for True

a jumper she made for True

urbanwear she made for brave

urbanwear she made for Brave

urbanwear she made for true

urbanwear she made for True

The way in which Rubyellen presents her handmade treasures to the blogosphere, both in words and through photography, is endlessly inspiring. Yeah, I know, I’m gushing. But you will too when you see all this busy lady is accomplishing on a daily basis. I don’t know how she pulls it off while wrangling two toddlers.

the family dressed as Wizard of Oz characters for Halloween; you MUST read her story and see the accompanying pictures

the family dressed as Wizard of Oz characters for Halloween; you MUST read her story and see the accompanying pictures

another great story. she made a fabric mushroom to be used as a pincushion and it resulted in more mushrooms for True to play with and a mushroom picking jumper for her to wear

another great story. she made a fabric mushroom to be used as a pincushion and it resulted in more mushrooms for True to play with and a mushroom picking jumper for her to wear

One of my favorite things about Rubyellen is the d├ęcor she has chosen for her daughters’ bedrooms. They are so unique. What I love is that these little girls will be able to grow into them. They aren’t all contrived or overly “kid-ified” if you know what I mean (like a room pulled straight from the Pottery Barn Kids catalog). They are eclectic but still kid-friendly and really allow for her girls to have the perfect playground for whatever is in those little imaginative minds of theirs. She and her husband take great care to make sure most of the items are either from flea markets, antique stores or are DIY projects and sometimes it takes time to find the perfect item. Rubyellen writes:

Though it seems everything will always be a slow process for us because the things we like are not at just any one store. We have to patiently and frequently scavenge through flea markets looking for the absolute perfect pieces, though it may take awhile, we like it this way. Each piece will then have a story and a previous life, it makes it all more special.

True's bedroom (I've already added that poster to my wish list. I love it.)

True's bedroom (I've already added that poster to my wish list. I love it.)

True's bedroom accents

True's bedroom accents

True's bedroom accessories

more of True's bedroom accents

Brave's bedroom

Brave's bedroom

Brave's bedroom accessories

Brave's bedroom accents

Oh yeah, and beyond the darling things she makes for kids, she also dabbles in more adult items like this Free People inspired purse she made out of a vintage tablecloth.

Get the pattern to make your own here (project list? check!). Speaking of which, Rubyellen was September’s featured blogger on the Free People blog. You can read the interview here.

Obviously, there’s so much more I could talk about when it comes to Cakies but I’ll just leave you with one more awesome project. Look at this growth chart!

Here’s a link to the original entry if you’d like to read how she made it. But please be sure to check out her entire blog because there is so much inspiration packed into one place. Thanks, Rubyellen!

Photos courtesy of Cakies and the Free People blog.



BODEN TOP REDEUX.
Sunday, October 19, 2008, 9:27 pm
Filed under: fashion envy, projects | Tags: , , , ,

I was browsing through the most recent Boden catalog today and found this adorable button-adorned top. It’s pretty great, isn’t it?

But is it really worth $74? I don’t think so. Especially when I’m attempting to be on somewhat of a fiscal diet. I want to attempt a similar look on something I already own. I’ll have to check my current inventory, but if I can scavenge up a mixed bag of random buttons, I’ll be in business.

Just doing a quick search on Etsy, I found the following vintage buttons, so there’s a lot out there to pick from. I know I could also get them at the same antique shop where I got this stuff.

In the same vain, I think the following looks from Anthropologie could also be imitated on the cheap with the right adornments:

Passersby Cardigan

Passersby Cardigan

Aelia Shell

Aelia Shell

Keeping-It-Casual Tee

Keeping-It-Casual Tee

Twee Tee

Twee Tee

Yet another idea to add to the project list….