My So Charmed Life

A Few of My Favorite Things #13


There are always a few people on every gift list that are hard to buy for… whether you don’t know them well enough, or they have everything, or, well, you know what I’m sayin’. So… you get them soap. Right? Now I’m not dissin’ that idea. Personally, I LOVE getting nice soap as a gift b/c it is something I would just never splurge on for myself. And let’s face it, whether it’s luxurious, smells fab, or is just silly, it’s fun to use something beyond the standard wash-up. That being said, did you know that there are gazillions of little soap-making enterprises out there? And the creativity is WILD. As pictured above, you’ll a find wonderfully crafted (and vegan!) tray of sushi soaps…

…or for the naughty one in your life, lumps of coal soap…

…for the Christmas traditionalist, Linzer Tart Cookie soaps…

…sophisticated types? crafty yummy stacks

…gangstas and Second Amendment freaks…a handgun that won’t hurt anyone…

…teenage girl or any cutie pie…cupcake soaps…

little kids or playful adults… SHARK soaps!

I could go on. And on, and on. Soap’s a plenty over on Etsy… an affordable, unique handmade gift or stocking stuffer. If the link above is in the seller’s “sold” list, just go back to their main shop page, they’ve probably listed more. To find your own endless stream of cool soaps, get on Etsy, choose “Handmade” and search for soap.

A Few of My Favorite Things #12


Although it was the mid-80’s before I got to London for the first time, punk was still happening on the streets and the clothing of designer Tomomi Fukuda–Urban Guerrillas– reminds me so much of that trip… The King’s Road, Body Map, World’s End, and the amazing DIY marketplace, Hyper-Hyper, where kids sat in booths with sewing machines… long before anyone knew what DIY meant.

Alas, mohair sweaters and I are not the best of friends these days due to a pervasive itch factor for me among other things, but the t-shirt above, with the shop’s slogan, could be just the thing!

Visit Urban Guerrillas to see the many fabulous candy and licorice colorways of these loose-knit rocking cool sweaters, but also to shop for tights, ties, and tees, all in the spirit of early British punk. Then head over here to read a full interview with Komomi where she discusses designing for Green Day’s American Idiot Tour. Yeah, how cool is that?!

A Few of My Favorite Things #11


So whatcha gonna do with all that great art you’re buying folks for the holidays… present it to them with a roll of masking tape, junior high-school style? NO YOU ARE NOT! I’ve purchased frames from 2 Dogs Woodworking and when I paid their shop a visit again for this post I saw things like the frames pictured above (gothic whimsy?!) and below that make me want to buy more art, just so I can frame it!

I think they call this one The Jetsons, but to me it’s got a cool PeeWee Herman vibe going on. The frames come with glass and hanging stuff, btw. They have loads of great colors and this one could probably be done in any combo you want.

Above is the style I bought, basic, but gorgeous, and perfect for the art I was framing for the BF’s Chanukah present. Not only can you buy standard sized frames from 2Dogs but they will also customize anything you need and are really terrific to work with. I got a single frame with 3 openings, came out beautiful. Maybe I’ll snap a pic of it tomorrow… too danged tired tonite!

A Few of My Favorite Things #10


I am not sure if this is a post about a) one of my favorite artists, Andy Warhol, or b) One of my favorite objects (ever), a commissioned work of art by c) another of my favorite artists, John Larriva. Let’s go with b and c.

A long while ago I asked John Larriva–who seems to no longer be listing his hopgoblins along with his wonderful paintings in his Etsy shop–if he’d create one such toy based on my hero, the aforementioned Andy W. After bugging him to death about it, and then quickly realizing the absolute genius of his creation, I’ve now, 1.5 years later, FINALLY made the little film of this object, see above.

Because it all happens so fast (my FIRST movie, don’t bust my chops! Plus, Mr. Warhol was NOT cooperating and kept losing his eyeglasses and/or leaping off the stage set) I’ve included a still, above, so you can really see what Mr. Larriva’s work is made of. The wig absolutely kills me.

You’ll have to dig back into Larriva’s sold archives to find the other wind-ups he’s sold via Etsy, including the hopping Denis Hopper, pictured above. Which I think I first saw on April Winchell’s Regretsy site. Denis may be in her collection of obj√©cts.

As for what compelled me to commission a hopping Warhol is anyone’s guess. You have to admit, Andy would have lurved it. Oh, and PS: None other than Interview Magazine contacted me recently about publishing some jewelry! Waiting to see if it will happen, but seriously! Just sayin’!

A Few of My Favorite Things #9


I adore the work of Catherine Zacchino, aka Junker Jane, another wonderful Portland artist. Two of her lovely dollies reside in my personal collection of cherished monsters. Pictured above is the charming Monster Dounia, resplendent in her tattered costume.

And here is Monster Dilly, another sweetie. Zacchino’s work is widely published in crafts mags and blogs, and it’s no wonder. Her pieces are not only brilliantly imagined, the execution is flawlessly flawed, perfectly imperfect and distressed just-so. The fabrics, colorways and hairstyles make me swoon. Low brow, new brow, monobrow… whatever, the love and care that goes into each of these handcrafted objects make them well worth the fair prices. Also in the shop are original paintings and prints.

Shop now, the dolls go super fast, and Junker Jane is currently offering both FREE shipping AND 10% off. Go on now, get outta here.

A Few of My Favorite Things #8


Let’s just file this one under: Trippin’ with Tripper. Ok. When I hit the lottery, I’m gonna buy out Tripper Dungan’s Etsy shop, hang some of his amazing art on my walls, and give the rest to all my cool friends. Yeah, that’s right. Pictured above, Sing it Out.

I suppose this work falls under the pop surrealism category, but whatever, I just dig it a LOT. And, are you ready for this? These original paintings–done oustsider-and-sustainable-style on hand-shaped salvaged wood–are 3-FREAKING-D!!!!!; and come with glasses so you can get the whole trippin’ effect. You can also visit Mr. Dungan over at his website, where you’ll find links to other cool artists, a full-on bio and artist’s statement, as well as links to his music (altho that crashed my browser so I haven’t given a listen yet) and his blog. That oughtta keep you cats busy for a spell. Pictured above, Pink Space Cat Head.

A Few of My Favorite Things #7


There is no dress, no piece of jewelry, not even a hat that will transform your look like the right (or even wrong!) wig. From my limited, but outrageously fun personal experience, these accoutrements not only transform your appearance; a wig will completely transform YOU.

And… as long you’re willing to go for such an extreme make-over, why not go all the way? Pictured above is one of Sweet Hayseed’s works of art, the Victoria Valentino Art Wig.

Admittedly, I could rock this ‘do (The Jungle Sun Sprite Wig, also from Sweet Hayseed) just by letting my hair Jew-fro grow out again, etc, etc… but I’m just digging the e-z short style too much. Besides, keeping it short means it will fit better under… that’s right, WIGS! Because you know that in reality, I’m just an old Drag Supastar! For more wigs, and because you know you wanna, try another favorite shop of mine, Fifi Mahoney’s, down in Nola, where they surely know how to do parade-quality hair.

A Few of My Favorite Things #6


I own a piece from i heart fink, and I dearly love it. Pictured above, the Talk Talk Frock, which, if/when I have some extra dough I’ll ask them to make in my size (this one appears to be a 2/4). Frankly, everything in this shop is really cute and supah stylish. Their tagline: Nouveau Flowerchild Chic Garments Handmade by 2 Dames sums it up nicely. You’ll find gorgeous and unique hand-screened prints turned into really charming one-of-a-kind tops and dresses, with clean lines, excellent fit/drape and sweet details like pintucks and such. Read more about this dynamic duo (one lives in Brooklyn, one in Santa Fe) on their Featured Seller interview.

A Few of My Favorite Things #4


I’ve posted links to this shop before, but I just can’t stay away from Junkprints, whose shop tagline is “Clothing, Accessories, Art and General Dopeness.” To that, I’d say, yup. The hand-printed cuffs, pictured above, would look so adorable with a sleeveless top, or peeking out from under a suit jacket, don’t you think? The pair listed is man-sized, at 10.5 inches, so guys, get your riot on.

The genius grrl behind JunkPrints is Chanel Kennebrew. Her bio describes her work as “…smarter than fashion, less pretentious than art, looser than design and good for the soul,” and lists The Democratic Convention and Lady Gaga amongst her clientele. Everyone from The New York Times to ReadyMade mag has given props to this one-woman creative powerhouse of handcraft. Pictured above is the Smile Now Die Later pin, just $7. Perfect stocking stuffer ya’ll.

A Few of My Favorite Things #3


I had the pleasure of seeing Andrew Zangerle’s work in real life at Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn this year and when I got home I found his shop–The Maple Ridge–on Etsy. Pictured above, The Music Couple, hand-sculpted and hand-painted and just 2.5 inches tall. Not only are these little guys so darkly adorable and amazingly crafted, the text descriptions of each couple are fantastical and hilarious little short stories that breathe even more life into Zangerle’s work. You’ll also find his equally charming and subversive original drawings (with great text) for sale. Support artists for the holidays (and every day)!

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