long time no blog.

right, so long time no talkie. i'm just dropping in to say: if you need some last-minute christmas gifts, it's widely accepted that our lovely friends of Scandinavia are better at, well, everything, than anyone.

boys get this adorable bowling set...

...girls recieve the sweet princess and the pea set.

wellies are the best non-stylish, yet stylish footwear for winter. yellow ones remind us of Paddington.

This was going to be my "what to get for picky teenage boys" suggestion, but then i remembered that The Concretes are so thoroughly lovable, regardless of age and gender.

Mom would love this, but so would Gramma, or your best friend, or whomever...

The gift for your best friend, the design maven.

For your sis.

The best gift for anyone with a pulse.


Cuteness on tap!

Mmmmm, cuteness. We all need a little bit more of it in our daily lives. But how do you exhibit class-A cuteness without looking like a fifteen-year-old teeny bopper? Ahah, not such an easy game to play, is it! Well, we're here to help.
(ABOVE) Key Holders from Three Green Apples on Etsy ($14 for a set of two)
Work these in with your blah keys and a basic-yet-snazzy bag for instantly meltable cuteness. Pop.

(ABOVE) Light blue frame pouch from Oktak ($39 each)
Oktak stocks alot of adorable styles of their classic frame pouches, all of which i completely drool over, but if you're looking for something more grown up that will still make all your friends go, "where'd you get that???," this is it. This particular pattern is great because it's so classy.

(ABOVE) Kimono Rings from The Carrot Box ($16 each)
Instantly spice up your right hand.

(ABOVE) Betty Lou Memory Drive from Mimobot (starts at $69.95 for 1GB)
Who says all things computer-related have to be boring? Fight back with extreme cuteness, sure to be all the rage 'round the watercooler. Look smart while saving your work.

(ABOVE) Tokidoki for Fornarina
from the outside, a harmless-yet adorable-shoe. But every time you look down at these babies, you'll imagine how happy the insides make you. YUM!


World of Good Fair Trade Company

If last week's "Save the Animals" post wasn't hard-core enough for you, try this on for size:
www.WorldofGood.com. This amazing website features dozens of international crafters who make gorgeous things with their hands in order to survive in poverty-striken countries. The goods are amazingly beautiful and you'll feel beyond good about helping out. The items are priced fairly (less than their knock-off counterparts at "import" stores) and completely authentically handmade. Just look at the two examples above: A wooden handpainted box from Russia ($19.95) and an adorable elephant ornament, available in three colors ($6.95). These are only a small fraction of the awe-inspiring work you'll find. And how good will you feel knowing that your purchase helped a family get through the day? Way good.


AND then what necklace by Evod

You know what feels good?
(Well, even more than whatever teenagers will tell you feels good?)
Getting something fun and, like, saving the world at the same time.

Evod is totally my hero because if you buy something from their "Etsy for Animals" section, they give the proceeds to Etsy's animal charity of choice. Now, this is not going to prevent me from buying some stuff of their's that isn't in that category, but it sure as hell isn't going to dissuade me any. This necklace goes out to typographers, design students and font-junkies worldwide. It's okay guys, you can embrace your love for all things letter-y. And you can do it in an incredibly classy way (read: not replicating Comic Sans MS on your arm in Sharpie).
So, go on. Embrace your inner geek (you know he loves you, and he needs all the attention he can get) and save the animals while you do it. Or, just buy a bunch of stuff for fun. Hey, with all the compliments you get, you're DEFINATELY saving the world.
From www.evod.etsy.com.


Dolly Day

I'll admit, I was pretty excited when the whole russian doll motif started coming back into style. My parents have always had three or four floating around the house, and they totally fascinate me. The fact that they are now appearing on every surface available and their imagery has been accepted as pop-art only makes me appreciate them more. So, as a special "I'm-So-In-Love-With-This-Trend-I-Can-Hardly-Sit-Still" feature, here are the five best Russian Doll-themed items money can buy.

Nesting Russian Doll Plates from FredFlare.com
I love the color and pattern assortment. One set of four plates (one per color)= $28.00 plus shipping from Thomas Paul and the awesome guys at Fred Flare.

Matryoshka Coin Purse from RunAmok
The sweet maker of these dolls, notecards, and coin purses sent me a prototypical patch of her famous Kokeshi doll, gratuit, back when she was making them on Craftster. It looks like her skill (and generosity) has gotten her far on etsy. One purse= $10 plus shipping from Runamok.etsy.com.

Fambee Poppet Pouch
I went to Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn over the weekend and picked up this exact pouch. It is holding my cell phone as we speak. I AM IN LOVE WITH IT!!!! You have no idea how many compliments I've gotten on it in just a few days. Anyway, i was thrilled to see OneGoodBumblebee.com also carrying it. Pick it up on Fambee's etsy or at One Good Bumblebee. One pouch= $12 plus shipping.

Matryoshka Hair Clips from MattheaMade
I don't usually wear hair clips, but when they're small and friggin' adorable, there's no better time to start. Four clips= $11.00 from the very rockin' Mattheamade.etsy.com.

Nesting Dolls Stamp Set from The Small Object
Okay, one more thing: while I was at Renegade, i also picked up some insanely cute stamps from The Small Object. The greatest thing about them is that I can creat my own crafty goodness with Sarah's mad handiwork. Four stamps= $24.00 plus shipping. (Hurry, limited run of 200.)

Rock on, dolls.


White Epic Storyboard by Button Collective

Now I don't know about you, but I have a bit of an obsession with pins. Or badges, or buttons, whatever you call them. I have this messenger bag that i carry with me basically everywhere that is absolutely covered with them. The only probelm is, when you drag a bag like that all over the country, you lose quite a few pins, and the ones that do survive are generally bashed in beyond recognition. How do i quench my fetish AND keep the pins looking shiny and new? This effing brilliant invention. These people are gods. Etsy has always been a big attraction for me, but with outta-the-box thinkers like Button Collective behind them? Unstoppable.

($70 plus shipping at Etsy)


Crown Necklace from By The Beard of Zeus

let's not waste any time, here.
people like attention.
they also like being important,
and knowing everything,
which they are totally sure that they do.
and do you know who always got their way, and always were paid attention to, and were never, ever questioned in their decision-making?
members of the royal family.
now i am not talking about today's kings and queens and princes and princesses, no way. today's are merely figureheads. i'm talking about those who really held the power and lay down the law any way they chose. they knew how to roll.
pay homage to them with this awesome crown necklace from Bythebeardofzeus.com (ooh, it's so shinyyyyyy). it's the least you can do, we're not asking for grovelling here. yet.
but mark my words:
if your best friend "borrows" this lovely piece of adornment from you...


Ship Mitts from Dainty and Dirty

American teenagers don't agree on alot (see hip hop, george bush, and jones soda), but one thing that they are unanimously agreed on is that pirates rock. I (correctly, i think) blame the shooting popularity of Disney's Pirates of the Carribean series, but the obsession doesn't end at a love of Orlando and Johnny. Pirates have become fresh, cool, and timeless. Think about it-- they were the original rebels. The original punk rockers, if you will. Ask anyone under the age of twenty and they'll nod enthusiastically when you propose leaving behind exams and after-school jobs in exchange for a life on the high seas.
So, being that pirates are so utterly punk rock, it makes perfect sense that the brilliant Dainty and Dirty Co would combine a classic rock n' roll staple (fingerless gloves) with the object of all pirates' affection (a beautiful ship). Perhaps it's the crisp design, the old-world style of the ship rendering, or just my yearning to get back to scallywag roots that draws me to these. Whatever it is, I'd rather be cursed than go on living without these babies.
($25 plus shipping, Daintyanddirty.com)

Emotibud Earbud Set via ShanaLogic.com

Music is a form of expression. This concept is not new to us.
However, sometimes the people you pass on the street can't hear the music you're hearing, however loudly your earbuds are blaring away. So when your friend asks you to join them for some hideously boring outing, they don't realize that you're playing "You Can't Always Get What You Want" at full-blast for a very particular reason. This can infuriate people, especially people like me who synch their playlists with their emotions.
Fortunately, this sad predicament will never occur again. And do you know why that is?
These lovely buddies. Emotibud Earbuds are brilliant. They clip onto your earbuds and instantly up your cool by 300%-- and have an added bonus of telling your fellow humans whether to strike up a convo or step off. Like i said, brilliant.
Snag a pair from ShanaLogic.com (formerly Pixel Girl Shop) immediately, and you'll be "Walkin' On Sunshine."


Bird Barette by Little Something

Birds are cute.
Alfred Hitchcock may not agree with me, but every indie accessorie purveyor would. Birds are everywhere, they are on everything. They are portrayed as perching, intellectual fuzzballs of goodness. Telephone wire-birds seem midwestern, flocks of outlined birds appear exotic, birds shown at eye-level are strictly for city folk. But whoever you are, there is a bird for you.
This is the bird for me. Optimistic, cute, fuzzy and pink. What can i say. Strictly for the birds.

Turntable necklace by SnazzyGirl

Everything old is new again.
Suddenly, teens are ditching the mall to stay home and spin vinyl. If you don't know what the phrase "spin vinyl" means, well, then i guess you're not the one doing it. Vintage stores are the hottest locations in town, tees plastered with bands like The Clash and The Ramones sell out in stores.
Get my point?
Be ahead of everyone with this rad necklace from SnazzyGirl.com. It's shiny and new-- that is, in the most retro way possible. Snatch it up now before everyone forgets about the 60's and goes back to their iPods.


Anime Girls tee from PalmerCash

There is one myth about teen style that i will not try to disprove: teenage girls (or girls of any age, for that matter) are physically drawn to things that are cute. This used to be a very fine line to find, much in the same way that "cool" is today (and that is why you adore helpful people like me called coolhunters... but that's another story), but now is seems to be much more simplified. All you must avoid is being to "cutesy," which basically means all you have to avoid is combining a cute image with pastel coloring. Brights are essential to obtaining a japanese-pop look rather than a Precious Moments look.
ANYWAY, seeing as "cute" is so easy to come by these days, it is very noteworthy when something, such as this adorable tee shirt from palmercash.com exceeds the boundaries of everyday cute and does something actually new and innovative. Japanese anime-style is not new, patterned shirts are not new, but the two concepts combined in duo-color (and BRIGHT, not PASTEL, pink) is just enough to make this shirt stand out. I can also easily picture both the preppy girls and the punk rock girls in my school wearing this, meaning that it has achieved something practically impossible. Hats off, PalmerCash.

for more cute, pop-culture all over prints, i recommend Andy Warhol Famous at Chocosho.
for more Japanese-inspired fun, i recommend Lucky Flower from Cute Salad.


Travel Umbrella by Tray 6

It is no secret that i am obsessed with all things graphic and pattern-y. Umbrellas are not exactly an untapped source in terms of cute design surfaces, but this one is particularly cute without being cheap and cutesy. It's duo-tone style keeps it from seeming to childish but leaves it interesting enough to add spark and fun to any gray day. I don't know what else to say, it's just awesome, and i'm pretty sure everyone i know would agree with me on that one. But maybe it's my inner naive, self-assured teen talking.


Resi Warhol by Royal Elastics

The Andy Warhol craze is a little trendy for my tastes, I'd prefer the banana-toters invest in an art book rather than show their "appreciation" by buying what happens to be hot. But hey, I'm a cool hunter, I guess I don't have that much right to go anti-consumerism on you. So anyway, these shoes are the bomb. I know the bags are everywhere, available from such sites urbanoutfitters.com, fredflare.com, and delias.com, not to mention the stores, so perhaps you need to branch out a bit in order to retain individuality. Admit it, the last placce people expect bananas is your feet. $125 plus shipping. (I know what you all were expecting me to say so here it is: this shit is bananas.)

Citana by Ochobags

Teens today have too much stuff. It's a wonder they don't get radiation poisoning with all the technology they carry around. Blah blah blah. But yes, you have to admit that toting around your PSP, iPod, and Razr isn't always a treat. But it would be if you had a supercool Citana bag from Ochobags.com. With three unique sections, ranging from personal organizer to reading material to textbook-sized, it's really the best multi-tasker around. And get this-- you can buy multiple bags and mix n' match the pouches for a totally unique look. Normally i'm not all for the "collect them all!" mindset, but come on. So cute.

Chuck Klosterman's Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs

Okay, kids. I make no claims to have cool-hunted this one. Apparently, most of the hipster universe has already found out about the amazing work of Chuck Klosterman. No, this goes out to the teen universe, which apparently has no idea who Klosterman is. The teen universe is seriously missing out, though. Klosterman has a writing style which, while i cannot say it is exactly unique, possibly because it resembles the conversations we all have with ourselves every day, is brilliant. He exposes that which we take for granted, that which we ignore, and that which we have not yet recognized its full potential or stupidity. Buy this book, IMMEDIATELY. Once you do, erase everything from your calender... this is a book you would gladly lock yourself in a broom closet in order to read. Forget school, man.


Berrybraid Scarf by NotOnTheHighStreet.com

A common misconception about teenagers is that they have no respect for the styles of yesteryear, the cultures of the past, or old-world craftsmanship. Not so. The truth is that there is a fine line between sporting classical styling and looking like your grand-mere. Fashion is all about re-working the trends of years past, and we get that. That's why any girl in my age group would squeal with joy over this bright Berrybraid Scarf by NotOnTheHighStreet.com. It is 100% wool with handmade (See! Old-world techniques!) tassels and comes in two citrus-y color choices. It costs £81, which i'm not sure exactly what that translates to in USD, but come on. It's so completely adorable and features such timeless Scandinavian patterns, even grand-mere would like it.

Seascape by Yummy Industries

Don't even try to tell me you're not sick of stud belts. I mean, Hot Topic is really trying its hardest to keep you interested, by changing the color of the studs, the shapes, their arrangements, but really they're just prolonging the inevitable. Stud belts are getting to be tired, too run-of-the-mill. They don't even hint at any underground aesthetic anymore, any punk rock sensibility. They only say, "hey, i have a mall near my house." Stop playing around and get something cooler, something like the amazingly rad Seascape belt from Yummy Industries' Woven Drawings series. They'll set you back about $39 plus shipping, but isn't it worth it to stand out again? Take back the belt.

I also recommend this belt if you really want to stir up the scene.