Handmade Holidays: Etsy Edition

You want to give beautiful, one-of-a-kind handmade gifts. Of course you do. But maybe you’re insanely busy this season, or just not feeling crafty. Etsy to the rescue! I’ll be posting some more handmade ideas soon, but today I’m introducing you to some of my favorite Etsy shops. It’s an odd little mix, and you won’t find something for everyone here. But you might find something perfect for someone—maybe even yourself.

Eleneetha Aromatics is my preferred purveyor of handmade soap, and possibly my favorite shop on Etsy. I love Anastasia’s scents because they are deep, earthy—sometimes even a little dirty—and thoroughly grownup.  I generally have at least one bar of her Old Whore soap on hand. I like to let it cure on my bedside table before I use it. My bedroom smells like a seraglio—or, I guess, what I imagine a seraglio might smell like. But that’s what Anastasia’s scents are like: They inspire. Just read a few of her product descriptions and you’ll see what I mean.

Moon Stamp at This Is Just to SayHand-carved rubber stamps are my new little obsession. I like making them myself, but I also like to see what other folks are up to. Tyr at This Is Just to Say has a wonderfully eclectic mix of imagery, and the quality of her work is excellent. I’ve purchased the moon set which is—obviously—fantastic. I also bought Huginn and Muninn, which is mounted on a piece of tree branch and really satisfying to use. It is, alas, a little late to be ordering Christmas presents from Sweden, but Tyr also does kickass custom stamps—portraits, pet portraits, Lego guy of your choice—that you can purchase now, give as a gift, and let the recipient send Tyr the details—kind of like a gift certificate. (I checked with Tyr, and this is totally cool with her.)

Mink Handspun at Swoon FibersSwoon Fibers offers the kind of luxury that’s hard to buy for oneself—even for me, and I’m pretty good at buying luxuries for myself—so it’s an ideal place to choose a gift for the yarn-crafter on your list. This is the only place I’ve ever seen mink yarn. I bought a few skeins to make a scarf and it’s delicious. (Like I said, buying luxuries for myself is one of my special talents.) The baby camel is also divine, and the skein of yak-bamboo I have in my stash is one of the softest, springiest yarns I’ve ever handled. And if you’re thinking “Minks! Baby camels! Jessica, how could you?” I can assure you that these supersoft fibers are brushed from living animals—just like collecting angora. UPDATE: Mink and camel yarns are 10% off until December 25!

PufflunaA couple of years ago, I went looking for moonstones, and I found Puffluna. I’ve probably made more purchases from Julie than I have from any other seller on Etsy. I just love her mix of vintage findings and semi-precious stones. Her pieces are charming—even a little whimsical—without being fussy or too-cute. I would link to my favorite necklace currently at Puffluna, but I think I might just buy it for myself...


Bath and Beauty Edition

Food Edition

December 12, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Family Portrait

Studio Portrait

January 21, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Some Topics about which I Know Almost Nothing, in Descending Order of Knowingness



Chinese Astrology

American Idol

The work of Julia Kristeva


Heidi Montag


Hungarian cooking

The work of Nicholas Sparks

Rhode Island

Rock Band 2

The Electoral College

The Boer War

The Indian state of Kerala

Game Theory

Brody Jenner

December 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Hey! I’m an award-winning fiction-writer.

Editors' AwardMy short short story, “She Is Not Going to Call Him” won the Editors’ Award in the latest writing contest—the topic was “Men”—sponsored by TheNovelette.com. You can find my entry, the Readers’ Choice winner, and the other finalists here.

Thanks to those discerning editors, and thanks to everyone who voted.

September 18, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Happy Valentine’s Day

So, on the syllabus for this literary theory class I’m taking, the professor included “Literary Valentines?” among our activities for tonight’s class. I considered this a challenge, so I created a reader-response Valentine to pass out to my colleagues in the Seminar in Critical Problems (doesn’t that just scream “graduate school”?). I am sure that it is going to induce eye-rolling in my fellow students, and it will no doubt be seen as a tangible manifestation of my unwillingness (inability?) to shut the fuck up—ever.* On the other hand, there may be, I don’t know, 17 people in the world who will find this amusing, and I post it here in the hopes that at least 1 or 2 of them visit this blog. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Reader-Response Valentine

* Hey, Mawrters: Remember how we used to make fun of McBrides? Remember how they would dominate classes and ask questions towards the end of the hour that were absolutely, positively going to force us all to stay late? Well, as you may or may not know, I was a McBride myself when I finally finished my degree, and I totally remain one in spirit.

February 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Happy Birthday, Sarah Hand

In the Photo Booth with Sarah

February 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Short Story: “The Girl with the Iron Foot”

The Girl with the Iron FootMy first piece of published fiction has just appeared in the January/February issue of New Moon, a magazine edited by girls, for girls. It’s a story called “The Girl with the Iron Foot.” If you’re interested in reading it, I encourage you to purchase a copy of this worthy publication. If, however, you just can’t wait, you can download a pdf version of the entire issue right now. My story starts on page thirty-six.


February 4, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

My Contribution to the Urban Dictionary

Every time he contemplated all the cryptic little icons on his cell phone’s screen, Walter was so overcome by Featureschmerz that he couldn’t even place a call.

September 28, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thrift Scores for Week Ending September 8

Toy Accordion: $4

Vintage Halloween Candles (Witch, Owl): 25¢

November twenty-six, nineteen hundred sixty-three by Wendell Berry, designed and illustrated by Ben Shahn: 25¢

Bolt of Vintage Fabric (Aqua Chiffon with Chenille Dots): $6

Barkcloth Apron: $1

Vintage Soup Bowls: $2

September 10, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack