Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shopping Handmade: Goodies for baby Rudra

I love shopping, as you can all guess, but not only shopping for myself, I love buying things for others, for b-day presents, or any other celebration, or for no official reason!

One thing I've discovered with Gaurav's lil nephew, Rudra, is that now that I'm older and have the money (and have discovered Etsy) I love buying handmade baby items! Gaurav jokes about how he'll have to drag me off the computer if we have kids in the future or I'll buy the whole baby section on Etsy!

After buying from a few Etsy sellers that offer their fantastic baby stuff, I really got upset about the CPSIA law that was going to be passed this past February, but got delayed for a year. I want to buy handmade baby stuff for my friends, family (and myself, in the future), and I don't want a law that should focus on plastic toys manufactured under dubious conditions by multinationals, hurt those artisans and crafters that work from their home, with a lot of care and dedication. But, I can't do much since I'm not in the US, except support the campaign for the amendment of the law.

When planning my visit to India this past February, I decided that I wanted to take a few things for baby Rudra, since I had been looking around Etsy when I were to buy something for when he was born, and I felt I wanted to get some more things. I started reviewing my favourites and also checking the Gift Guides, and settled for a few different things.

First of all, I contacted Amber from RockerByeBaby for a custom blanket in a similar fabric to the bib & burpcloth set I had got from her previously. We worked in a combined blanket of solid colour and Japanese panda print, with a glorious orange silky fleece layer, that it's the softers and silkiest thing everrrr! Amber is not only a rocking punk mama of two and owner & designer of the most amazing baby gear, from custom crib sets, to blankets, bibs, changing pads, and even travel pillows for the wee ones! but she also runs a blog with amazing weekly giveaways that you need to check!

The blanket is so absolutely soft and silky, that not only baby Rudra is in love with it, but also my sis-in-law is, as soon as she opened it, and felt the texture she was "I want one of these for myself too!". It's become the favourite blankie for taking Rudra out in the cool evenings! You can see it here in the stroller with their Dolly diaper bag, ready to come with us for dinner! And no, the baby was not under the bag or the blanket, he was getting ready for dinner out!

I was looking for some more usual prints for more bib & burp cloths sets, cause even if I love RockerByeBaby's sets, her prints are a pit punk-ish for my sis-in-law's tastes! After doing a few searches, I found a pair of suitable candidates, and decided to go for both!

First of, I found Teachermom's shop via the gift guides, where her Toss and Play Crazy ball was featured. After checking her profile, shop policies and feedback, I decided to get one of her sets. I showed Gaurav the two options I was thinking of, and he chose a fun Alexander Henry print. I was very lucky, cause I got a fantastic 4 piece set on sale, so I got a bib, burp cloth, a travel changing pad and a wipee & diaper bag for only $15! I got a fantastic set for half the price, so it was a total score!

My sis-in-law loved it! But the funny thing is that they ended up using the travel changing pad as a light blanket, for the warmer days!

I found Quiltish also on the Etsy baby gift guide, and fell in love with her cute fabrics, so after my usual reading around (profile, shop policies and feedback) I purchased a bib and burp cloth set with a really cute cars print! Allisa was really nice overall, with a fantastic communication, and her set was very much loved by everyone!

My last purchase was from The Groovy Mommy, and I found her through the Etsy search, looking for baby items, once again, not a very specific search. I saw her whole shop, did my informative reading, and decided to go for something different, her hooded towel & washie set! What makes her set even more special, it's a monogramed set! It was custom made in a pair of days, and it was here in a week. It was a real hit with my sis-in-law, cause it was monogramed with Rudra's nickname: RD. It has been used as a towel and as a blanket, and even as play thing!

If you're thinking of getting any sort of baby items, for family or friends, either for b-days or baby showers... you can choose any of these very talented ladies, or look for any other amazing ladies in Etsy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Crossbones Couture!!

Today's blog entry is dedicated to not only one of my favourite sellers, wonderful crafty lady, mother of two but a very good friend of mine, aside from fellow blogger in our joint blog: Two Girls And A Bar of Soap!

I met Brooke through, no surprise here, DIYScene! She's a mod there, and organizes swaps between the crafters there, and is also part of the DIYScene Etsy Street Team. She's been crafting for a looong time, and owns two Etsy shops: Crossbones Couture, for all your clothing needs, and Crossbones Collateral, for all kind of accesories (scarves, bags, cuffs), she also runs her own blog aside from our joint one!

After getting to know her, and getting to know about how good she is at her craft, from fellow crafters' feedback, I decided to indulge myself with two bags from her Collateral shop, two bags that actually reflect who I am: a cute Hello Kitty Halloween bag, and a Star Wars tote bag! Bags to satisfy the bag snob in me, as well as the geek and the lover of all things cute! Not only I got two amazing bags, but also a filled with goodies package, including PEZ candy and soap!

After getting my two bags and loving them, I was ready for more Crossbones Couture, so when I found out that Brooke was taking custom orders for a pea coat (mainly that she had made one for the gorgeous Destry from Pet Zombie Creations) so I decided to ask her to make me one! My one request was some paw print for the lining and details, and Brooke went on to have a fight or two with it, till she managed to make me an awesome, warm and fuzzy peacoat! This time the package not only arrived full of all sort of goodies, but with one of her most amazing and famous scarves! I unfortunately don't have any pics wearing my peacoat (I'll work on that on the next cold wave!) but I do have a picture of me wearing my very warm and not bulky Crossbones scarf!

I am so completely in love with my scarf, that I had to get one for one of my best friend's b-day, but you can read about it all in another blog entry here.

Brooke also jumped at my request for coffee sleeves, and you can read about it in my entry about Coffee Cozies. Here you can see Gaurav amused about how actually useful they are! (and it not just being one of his crazy girlfriend ideas...).

While preparing my February trip to India, I asked Brooke if she was working in any more of her drawstring long skirts, and through her "supposed" bedrest ( she was 7 months pregnant at this stage) she managed to sew a handful of amazing skirts, with the most amazing decorative stitches and fabric combinations! I refrained myself of buying them all, and went for a black one and a sand colour one. They arrrived more than plenty on time for me to stuff them into my suitcase and wear them all around Goa! (along with a jar of Fluff that I asked Brooke to get for me cause I wanted to try it!). I have to tell you, those skirts are so goddamned comfy! And absolutely perfect for beach wear!

My latest (and in no way last) purchase from Brooke is one of her newest models of handbags, the Rock & Roll bag! I got it just before leaving for India, and she was more than kind enough to wait to send it to me till I was back here from my holidays, so there'd be no issues with the package while I was away. I got the bag just yesterday, and let me tell you, it has a more than appropiate name, cause it seriously ROCKS! It has become one of my very favourites bags of all time, and has come with me today to celebrate St Patrick's Day and to see Watchmen!

If you don't own any Crossbones gear, let me tell you, you are seriously missing out!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Looby Lou Crafts!

Inspiration for a blog entry doesn't always come when you want it or have the time for it, so whenever it comes, you have to work with it, even if it means using the draft feature now and then!

I found Looby Lou Crafts while doing a search on Etsy. What was I looking for? I wasn't really specific, I've always liked oriental styled things of all sorts and this time I just typed Japanese and started looking at all that the Etsy search engine was offering me, and let me tell you, it is indeed a way to find some gems in there, if you have the time and patience to look through a bunch of pages!

I saw one of her Obi belts, loved it, hearted it and went on looking through the pages. Then, later that week I went through my favourites, and decided to look closer at the Obi belt and her shop. I did my regular thing, read the profile, shop policies and feedback, as well as a bunch of the listings themselves. She doesn't only offer Obi belts, but also headbands, bags, purses and hand muffers! All of them in beautiful Japanese/Oriental fabrics.

I was absolutely in love with her shop, and with a particular Obi belt in a green butterflies fabric, so I decided to send her a convo and ask her if she could also make me a matching headband, and if she shipped to Spain (since she's in the UK I thought she would, but better to be sure, too many sellers don't ship here). She was really nice and helpful, and really willing to work with me. She set up a custom listing, and after a pair of days, my Obi belt and matching headband were completed and on their way! When the package got home, not only it was really nicely wrapped (that always makes me feel like I'm getting a present, even if it's from myself to me) but left me speecheless on well made, well stitched and constructed both the Obi belt and the headband were!

I was so absolutely in love with both things that I decided that:

1.- I needed more things made in that same fabric (I got a custom Meow Kiki dress and a Dolly bag)

2.- I needed more of her headbands! They don't fall off you head (not even when I get my hair straightened) and since the fabric placement is different on both sides of the headband, they're fully reversible and look like a different headband.

The Obi belt looks absolutely gorgeous to give another look at my custom Meow Kiki dress, and it would look perfect also to give some colour to a full black dress, or a combination of black shirt and black pants.

I finally got me another three of her headbands, taking advantage of a combined listing of three headbands she was offering in a her shop a few months later. They are thin headbands, though she also offers thick ones, and I had such a hard time choosing just three from all the gorgeous prints she offers in her shop! Finally chose my three, and once again, custom made for me, in a pair of days sent, and another pair of days, and they're here! Gotta love Royal Mail!

Here you can see all of my headbands & the Obi belt together.

And here you can see a pair of the headbands happily sported by me, both in Spain and India!

All photographs courtesy of Gaurav S.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Iron Maiden, Valentine's Day and AngryGirl Gear!

Maybe looking at the title of this entry some of you may wonder "what the...?" at the seemingly random combination. Not so random, and not so bizarre if you know me for the oddity I am, though.

When planning my latest (and sadly over) trip to India this past February, Gaurav and me realized there was a Maiden gig in Bangalore on the 15th, so we thought it'd be a great idea to go to Bangalore for the weekend, spend Valentine's Day there, and have a blast the next day at the Maiden gig, before leaving for a few days in Goa.

I've never been the biggest fan of Valentine's Day, and I've never been one to ask for the traditional roses and chocolates, the bigger the better, or to ask for expensive gifts (I'm not sure why we decided to celebrate that an early Christian pastor was killed for marrying people in secret, if we are to believe the legend...), so I decided that I'd get us both a present in the shape of an AngryGirl Gear Not So Innocent Corset, in a very Valentine's Day colour, hot pink! I can assure you the corset was a great hit for our evening in Bangalore, after our Valentine's dinner at Cinnamon, a really cozy restaurant close by to our hotel (where they must have thought we were some sort of journalists doing a review of the place due to Gaurav's L1, which in turn got us huge helpings of food and extra niceness from the staff).

Since the corset is more naughty than nice, Gaurav decided to get a bit artistic taking pictures, so here you can see the one that we deemed the most PG-13 safe of them all. The corset is her regular Innocence corset, with a fishnet bodice, instead of the regular cotton one.

On the next day Gaurav managed to surprise me with some amazing red roses, and the cutest lil stuffed puppy. I still don't know how he smuggled them both into the room without me noticing!

After being lazy as hell during the morning and most of the afternoon of the 15th we finally decided to head towards the Palace Grounds, where the Maiden gig was to take place. This time it was not just a Maiden concert, but more of a small festival-style gig (small compared to the festivals in the US or Europe, but still a huge thing in India!) that was done in a very good way. For what was probably the first time in India, being sponsored by Romanov Red, there was a bar selling all sorts of booze, a tattoo shop, a bungee jumping area, and the regular stands for selling merchandise.

We missed a lot of bands that played before Maiden, cause we arrived just one hour before they were due, so we only saw Lauren Harris, an Italian band trying to be HIM and butchering Queen of the Damned songs, and Parikrama, an Indian band both me and Gaurav are really getting to like.

After them, Maiden came to stage, and what a gig! People might say they're a bunch of old guys, but I'd like to see many younger singers to try and hold a candle to Bruce "God" Dickinson singing and working the crowd on stage. They played a similar set to the one in Mumbai the year before, but added Phantom of the Opera and Children of the Damned, which were really nice surprises. This has been my third Maiden gig, and it was a total blast! I just can't wait for new album and new tour!!

I had expected the weather to be a bit more cool since it was February, so I took my Angry Panda hoodie with me, but the weather was pretty damned hot in Bangalore, and even more in Goa, so I just dragged the poor thing with me. I only used it once we were back in Delhi, cause even if during the day it was positively warm, in the evenings it got cool enough for me to wear it, to Gaurav's delight, he kept saying "I has a panda" everytime I wore it!

All in all, it was the most amazing Valentine's Day celebration I could have wished for!
All photographs courtesy of Gaurav S.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


After going back to work, and actually having a good shift for once, I decided to spend some time re-checking the pics I have to use for my blog entries, and decided to get onto writing another blog entry while watching some Bones repeats.

I met Lex from SmarmyClothes through DIYScene, as I've met so many amazing others before. Lex not only is a very talented seamstress and designer, and aside from managing her own website and her Etsy shop, she also manages, an amazing website full of all sorts of information, like tutorials and all sorts of helpful resources for crafters! She also organizes contests for crafters with amazing prices! (I am honoured to be part of the jury for those!).

My first purchase from Lex was a pair of Smarmickers, one with owls and one with skulls & crossbones, that I still haven't been brave enough to model, but after those I've been in love with many of her amazing clothing pieces, either reconstructed from shirts or made from scratch, and finally caved in and decided to jump at the chance and bought a short sleeved and a long sleeved tops. Both flawlessly constructed and sewed, both cute and with an edge, and both have become part of my absolute favourite pieces of clothing! I've very happily added Lex to the list of amazing DIY-ers I'll always go back to buying from!

Here you can see my Sneaky Mr Bat top (the bf says it's the right top to wear to see Batman) and my Bleeding Heart Disease top, that Miss Lex knew I'd love, being a nurse as I am (and she is).

I've also been thinking for a while to comission her for an Iron Maiden dress, since she accepts all sort of custom orders for reconstructing tees into tops, dresses or skirts, I just need to find the right Maiden shirt!

Photographs courtesy of Gaurav S.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Warning Label Creations!

Back to the regular schedule of reviewing!

During these holidays I've managed to get loads of pics taken(by my personal photographer and awesome boyfriend), so I'll be catching up on reviews for a lot of awesome sellers I want to introduce to you all! All I need now is time to spare for blogging, and that is gonna be a bit sparse for the rest of week, my schedule at work is a bit busy, and after today I'm not getting another day off till next week, so the entries may not come out as often as I'd like, cause the list of pending entries is getting quite lenghty!

Anyone that knows me, or even simply reads my blogs knows that I'm a huge lover of everything handmade, AND a huge bag-addict! As it is, I'm a huge Dolly Bag fan, and rarely get any other type of bags ever, so if I buy a bag that is not from, then that in itself is telling you it's a special kind of bag!

I met Jamie, the owner, designer and girl behind the scenes of Warning Label Creations through DIYScene (if you are beginning to wonder if all the most awesome sellers ever are over there, yes, indeed they are!) and you know the best thing about finding sellers like this? You get to hear feedback from other crafters about them, and also get to know the seller, which I find very important (that way you get to know how reliable they are as sellers).

After all this background info that I got, I checked her shop, and her bags were amazing! Since I have tons and TONS of bags, I added them to my wish list and decided that I needed to indulge myself one of her bags at some point! And that moment arrived when she listed her submission for the DIYScene Street Team Project for January, Anti-Valentines Themed clutch bag! I saw it and was in love!

It's not only the cutest thing ever, with its skullie appliqué, but also really really well made, and has endured all the packing and unpacking, and the dust and the sand of coming with me to Delhi, Bangalore and Goa! One tough lil clutch I tell you!

If you are absolutely in love with it, as I was, you can get your own clutch (not like this one, sorry, it's OOAK, but she has many awesome ones) in her Etsy shop, and if you want to know about the custom stuff she makes, from hoodies to kilts, check her blog! I'm currently in the wait for a new custom bag from her!

All photographs courtesy of Gaurav S.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Shopping Handmade: Nayade's Birthday!

Finally! Back to the regular schedule of blogging!

Today I gave my very good friend (actually, one of my best friends) Nayade, her birthday presents, all of them bought in Etsy!

I have decided to go for each and all presents, when possible, the handmade way... so Birthday presents for my friends is a first step, and one that I'm enjoying quite a bit!

When trying to decided what to get for my dear Nayade, I started by remembering how much she liked the Cotton and Cloud reversible gloves I got for our common friend Esther's birthday, so I decided that I should get her one pair! I looked on Kyoko's shop and found the cutest and most colourful reversible fingerless gloves ever! I liked them so much that I wanted to keep them for myself! Also, the packaging was so cute, and perfect for gift giving with a box!

Here you can see Nayade, soooo happily showing off her gloves, sporting the two different sides! And she says that all her co-workers are gonna be so envious of her! She's even wishing for some colder weather to show them off for longer!

I was wondering about getting her clothes, cause she loves the clothes I get off Etsy and all my regular sellers, but whereas I know my size and am pretty good at figuring inches measurements and know what will fit me... I had no idea how to do that for her...

Browsing around my favourites, I saw this lovely halter top in Crossbones Couture, the clothing shop from my good friend and co-blogger (Two Girls and A Bar of Soap) Brooke, and fell in love with it! The measurements listed seem a lil big for me, and it was listed as a M-L but didn't seem too big, and since Nayade is roughly one size up than me... I thought it would be perfect for her! When she opened the package and saw the top, she squealed! She didn't properly try it on, but she says she's sure it'll fit her fine!

After getting the top, I went to look at Brooke's other shop: Crossbones Collateral and thought that since I had got her those really nice gloves, I should get her a scarf, and what better scarf than a Brooke scarf! I got one she sent me when I bought my peacoat from her, and I'm absolutely in love with it! It's so soft and warm, but light and not bulky at the same time! I went for one with a combination of greens in the print, what will match one of the sides of the reversible gloves perfectly! And once again, it was a total score, cause Nayade is in love with it!

I couldn't be happier about how well liked these presents were, which shouldn't really surprise me, all handmade items are made with love, and picked with care and love by me, so they're bound to be equally appreciated!

Thank you Brooke and Kyoko for creating those lovely pieces that made my friend so very happy!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Kicking off the dust...

*cleans dust from blog*

*starts coughing*

Hello there!! Long time no see, huh? Yes indeed... I've been out and about on holidays since my last blog, spending some amazing time with my even more amazing boyfriend in India!

I had intended to write some blogs while I was over there, keeping up with the pictures taking and the like, but truth be told, all I did, internet-related, during my holidays was checking Etsy on occasion, dropping by DIYscene a pair of times and checking my mail every two days or so... I just wanted to relax, and spend as much time with my boyfriend as possible; and truth be told, taking pictures is not so much time consuming, editing them... that's another story!

So in this blog entry, I'm just gonna show off a few pics, so you can see what I've been up to these past weeks:

We spent time with baby Rudra!

We went to the beach, and spent some time taking pics around!

Visited Sariska, a tiger preserve, and did see a tiger up close!

More blog entries to come soon (I hope) including some reviews and other quirky happenings on my holidays!

Stay tuned!