I've been meaning to do some etsy shoutouts here for quite a while. I tend to be a pretty tough customer when it comes to products, and I never gush unless it truly, truly deserves it. Here's a few things that I really can't say enough about:
Weeones : Jillian is an amazing polymer clay artist who continuously blows me away with the quality and detail of her work. She primarily makes knitting (or crochet) stitch markers. I'm embarrassed to say how many I've bought or had commissioned from her, and I keep going back to see whats new. I've challenged her with making my dogs, sugar gliders, and ring-tailed lemurs. I have bees, gnomes, cupcakes, dog toys, Christmas, hedgehogs, and monkeys. All of them are tiny and perfect, and they're really the only stitch markers I ever use. It makes my projects feel so special, and its like a treat to use them. Once, one of the ears broke off on my custom Loki stitch marker, and Jillian made another one and included it in my bee stitch marker order as a bonus. She rocks, and rocks hard. Since I'm at work right now, I don't have my entire collection with me, but here's a picture of a few that are in my knit kit I always have with me.
The Rustic Cottage
As a massage therapist and someone who washes their hands a lot, I need a good hand cream. My skin tends to be dry anyway, but everything I do and all the washings take their toll. I love Burts Bees products, but I never found the right combination of *just* the right texture with *just* the right scent. At the new year, I made a decision to try and buy more handmade....everything. Especially lip balms, lotions, etc., you can find some amazing stuff out there for great prices. And you're supporting handmade! After doing a LOT of research on what I was looking for in a hand cream, I decided it needed to have beeswax. I like barrier creams because they tend to give longer lasting moisture without being greasy or disappearing too quickly. I stumbled across the "quilters hand lotion bar" from the Rustic Cottage, and the scent caught my eye. Lavender mint? Sign me up! Plus, her ingredients are all natural, and made in an ADORABLE mold. I'm all about bees. You open the tin, and it appears to be a round bar of soap. Nope, it's a solid lotion bar that you rub between your hands to warm up and melt it a bit. Then you rub your hands together and make sure it gets to rough fingertips, knuckles, etc. I. Love. This. Stuff. The texture is amazing, and the smell is indescribable. It's a lovely natural smelling lavender with a touch of mint, and I never get tired of smelling it. (I do tend to get burned out on smells sometimes) It makes me say "mmmmmm...." every time I use it. That reminds me, I need to order some more.
This clever monkey took recycled car parts (I really don't know which parts), soldered a ring onto it, added a magnet and a picture button (the kind that usually has a pin on the back) and made jewelry. Not just jewelry, INTERCHANGEABLE jewelry. I go crazy for things that are interchangeable and customizable. I even collect charms from Brighton and change them out on a chain to get a different necklace every day. I'm wearing one of polarity's items today, as a matter of fact! Before I'd even received the initial necklace and set of changeable tops, I had ordered her $5 pack of 4 custom choice. Interchangeable jewelry makes me want to do backflips.
Alright, that's about it for now, I need to get back to work! Break's over.
Support handmade everybody!