Thursday, May 15, 2008

You're just a doll; Enchanted, that is.

Dolls--cute, cuddly, precious, pretty, dainty, snuggly, furry, hard as stone--there seems to be a doll out there for everyone. Just like soul mates, these dolls are looking for their human counterpart; like talismans dolls can describe the finer nuances of our inner desires and make visual some ideal we've held inside. Here are a few we've been fawning over.

These dolls by Marina Bychkova of The Enchanted Doll are absolutely sublime and slightly insane in their beauty. With fully articulated ball joints, idealized, yet realistic bodies in porcelain (not 'neutered' or sexless), incredible costumes of beads and gemstones, and painted in lustrous fleshtones, the dolls look like real, perfect people. Unbelievably, Marina Bychkova is a young, beautiful girl, much like her dolls--younger than such talent indicates (though she has been making dolls since age 6). We can only imagine what she will create as she continues her exploration of both fabric, jewelry making and her preferred medium of porcelain.

Mihret is a limited edition nude with silk/mohair hair.

Mihret Enchanted Doll by Marina Bychkova

Edie is a limited edition nude with a silk/mohair pixie.

Edie doll Marina Bychkova The Enchanted Doll

Snow White, shown below with the Necrophiliac Prince. We love her beaded costume, and the slight bruising around her neck (kinda creepy, but somehow appropriate).

Snow White Enchanted Doll by Marina Bychkova

Below, Echo, a limited edition costumed doll. The fabric of her costume is a high quality dye sublimation print on 100% polyester fabric made from the photograph of an original, bead embroidered costume.

Echo - The Emperor’s Youngest Daughter Marina Bychkova

Her dolls inevitably spring out of story telling, and lend themselves perfectly to fantasy. Steeped in myth and folklore, the dolls explore themes familiar through childhood tales, often exposing the irresistible 'dark' or erotic undercurrents, which only adds to the utterly fascinating and hypnotic aura of her work. Dolls are available nude, in an elaborate costume (or the limited edition printed fabric), and can be customized. Jewelry is available for purchase. Check out Enchanted Doll and prepare to be floored.

Wear a celebrity: My aunt Debbie

We were getting ready the other day and thought to ourselves: wouldn't it be nice to wear an iconic couple on our ears? Or perhaps a celebrity pin on our shoulder? And wouldn't it be nice to find a place where we could find Dorothy's slippers, or perhaps Mr Roger's smiling mug, or Pee Wee Herman and his great big bicycle? Just when we thought the longing had grown too acute to carry on, our wish was granted when we found My Aunt Debbie.

If you've ever felt like your love of classy kitsch and silver screen legends needed an outlet, or perhaps to celebrate your love of pop culture and quirky accessories, My Aunt Debbie's shop has something just for you. Pins, earrings, and necklaces celebrate our favorite friends, and make these highly collectible, and slightly addictive. Here are just a few things we found and fell in love with:

Everyone's favorite madcap divas, Ethel and Lucy, perfect for reminding you to cherish your best friend, and to always exploit every opportunity for more fun than you can shake a stick at.

Lucy and Ethel Earrings I love Lucy Lucielle Ball by My Aunt Debbie

Sonny and Cher--because they NEVER should have broken up!

Sonny and Cher Earrings I Got You Babe

Elvis and 'Cilla. Cause they were so pretty together.

Elvis and Priscilla Earrings by My aunt Debbie

Toast! Yummy, deliciously golden toast. It lasts forever! It sparkles with bling! It's completely unexpected!

Vintage Sunbeam Toaster Pin by My Aunt Debbie

The world's most fashionable cat, Toodles, in one of her many dresses.

Toodles Always Wanted to Actually See a UFO by My Aunt Debbie

Check out My Aunt Debbie's shop for more cute wearable collectible memorabilia like these. You're sure to stand out and strike up a conversation with someone interesting! The proceeds of the next sale go to charity--it could be you!

Acid neon: Wolfie and the Sneak

If you can imagine falling in love with someone's profile on Etsy after already being enamored of their art, then you've experienced what we call "Wolfie and the Sneak" syndrome. We absolutely adore their vivid neon accents in their art, so fresh and unexpected.

This limited edition print, called "Sugar water and a happy hummingbird", provides such a mega dose of intense pink balanced with cool and effortless black and white. A perfect way for beating the neutral blahs.

Sugar water and a happy hummingbird by wolfie and the sneak

"Say hello to Spring" is an original work on card stock. We love the minimalist design that shows the juicy colors so well.

Say hello to spring by Wolfie and the Sneak

Another original, "Magic is everywhere", has beautiful leafy colors in blue and green with accents of the pink they use so well. Somehow this drawing gives us a feeling of happiness just by looking at it. This would make a wonderful gift for a friend, whether they need a pick me up or not.

Magic is everywhere by Wolfie and the Sneak

Check out Wolfie and the Sneak for photographic art, vintage housewares, and other handmade surprises to give and treat yourself to.

Orange you pretty?

Clementine, tangerine, burnt sienna, pumpkin, salmon, tawny--there are so many marvelous shades of orange to carry you throughout the seasons in pure fashion thrall. (We were totally reaching with that burnt sienna thing--any of you raised on Crayola--did Prang have it?--know what we're talking about. That was the crayon no one fought over. We digress.)

We scoured Etsy for some surprising finds in shades of orange to electrify your Summer duds. Here's what we got.

Tiny Orange Oyster by Lunasa Designs is a standard solitaire with some not so standard features. This spiny orange oyster shell is set in a round bezel, and the band has been hammered and blackened for a tough, organic look. The orange pops against the metal, and though it's a dainty little ring, it has a big personality. We love all of the jewelry at Lunasa Designs--her jewelry is earthy, well conceived, rife with unexpected elements (oyster shell, stabbed coral,drilled holes) , and occasionally regal, even. What's not to love?

Tiny Orange Oyster Ring by Lunasa Designs

This orange clutch by Cady Briar brings an elegance to orange we don't often see. Accented with an ever regal deep purple lining, this bag is glamorous enough for nighttime and fun enough for day. The subtle white and pink details make this an orange with great matching potential. Big enough for the essentials, this bag style, called the Betty, comes with a removable gold chain. Her other available style, the Cady, is slightly larger and equally gorgeous, and our favorite is the Purple Satin; sleek and unfussy, the fabrics do all the talking.

Orange and Purple Clutch by Cady Briar

Orange. Lego. Jewelry. Awesome. Gr0glmann's Retro Classy Cufflinks may have started as gifts for friends and family, but the original use for pop iconography (Darth Vader, Monopoly pieces, various Lego parts, dominoes and scrabble pieces, to name a few) led to many inquiries and a business was born. These Orange cufflinks make a funky accent to your favorite button up, and would be a cool splash of color to boot. We love when men get a little more snaz options, since we ladies get a ludicrous variety. Finally formal is fun. And did we mention that cufflinks are sexy?

Orange LEGO Brick Silver Cufflinks by Gr0glmann’s Retro Classy Cufflinks

These Poppy Hair Clips by Tickle Bean are a fantastic take on the traditional flower hair ornament! Pure metal prettiness in lustrous orange, they marry the industrial with the feminine. Her use of color is breathtaking--check out Viola, Lotus Flower and Rose Hair Clips for example--and we especially love her explorations in orange. Apricot Necklace is another beauty to drool over. We're so glad this homemaker and mother turned to jewelry as a creative and cash earning outlet!

Poppy Hair Clips by Tickle Bean

From the regal, gemlike tones to the fun and funky, orange is a bracing color, perfect for Spring and Summer.

New Shoots: the power of green

Spring, kelly, granny smith apple, grass, emerald and peridot--there are many shades of green that are breathtakingly beautiful, inspiring, and invigorating. We read somewhere that green is considered a rejuvenating color to look at, that the eye never tires of beholding it. We don't know if that's true, but we like the sound of it. Here are our choices in a variety of green shades for your viewing pleasure.

The following 2 items are green in both senses of the word--color, and environmentally friendly! Score!

Available at Kahiko, this scarf is a bold geometric breath of springtime. Worn on the head, around the waist, tied on a bag, as a halter top, a scarf, this scarf is large enough to be versatile, dramatic enough to make a statement, and pretty enough to be used over and over again. We like that the green is infused with white--it adds to its flair. Kahiko's shop has gems of vintage apparel which are sure to infuse your summer wardrobe with drama and one of a kind aloha spirit. For her handmade clothing, check out The Machine Stops--we love everything!

vintage echo scarf in green and white by Kahiko

This dress, available at Revival House, is a fun green shift dress with an awesome neck tie accent. The sleeves are accented with brass beads, and the pattern is an detailed plaid with black and white stripes. Since it's vintage, it's highly unlikely you'll see anyone else wearing the same dress. It pairs well with many different accessories for a look that's all you, from low top Converse to militant knee high boots.

Vintage 1960s Green Plaid Mini Mod Shift Dress w/ Neck Tie XS S by Revival House

This bracelet is a gender neutral cuff in fantastic green leather by Rad Cow. Cuffs are so many things--tough, retro (Elvis had a cuff watch in the 60s), rocker (hello--Elvis), and simply stylish. We've never seen a cuff in green, as the standard color seems to be black, but we like it! Snap accents both practical and good looking. Other items available at Rad Cow include belts, wallets and more cool cuffs.

Wrap Around Snap Leather Cuff Bracelet by Rad Cow

This pendant by Verre Encore is a pear shaped, tear drop like delight in delicious apple green enamel. So simple, and effortlessly stunning, it adds a decadent dash of color, and a wonderful, original and organic feel. Worn alone, it can be paired with almost anything and look chic. Verre Encore succeeds amazingly where color is concerned, and each piece is one of a kind, in lush colors with provocative shapes and patterns that are worthy conversation starters and style signatures. Don't be surprised if VE's your next addiction!

Virtuously Green — Handmade Enamel Necklace by Verre Encore

And finally, a green only you and your special sweetie will see, may we present A well kept lawn, by Dear Diary. A funny pair of undies for brightening up your day right from the beginning. Be forewarned that you will probably giggle every time you use the public restroom, so don't wear them anywhere uppity unless you're full of moxie. These are a great gift for the friend that takes personal hygiene extremely seriously, or those that are just into novelty knickers. Check out DD's other fun undies for guys and gals--you won't be sorry!

A Well Kept Lawn by Dear Diary

The power of color: white

Ah, water lily white. Evocative of starchy summer linens, new cotton, spring picnics and ethereal floatiness, white is a powerful statement color. In it's various shades white can be relaxing, elegant and mellow, or crisply exciting and invigorating. We've picked some items in wonderful white available now on Etsy.

This crocheted necklace by Dainty Crochet by Aly is a pretty combination of moonstone, glass, and cotton thread in winning winter white. This necklace would add an unexpected element to an outfit; a bit of romance and whimsy. Paired with black, red, or navy, this necklace is sure to POP. Worn dressed up or down, it's a sure crowd pleaser. Check out her shop for this and other amazing statement necklaces (such as The Wounded Poppy in red and blue and Wild Lace in khaki).


White and edgy, these leather motorcycle gloves are surprising and feminine; with pink piping and floral buttons, they are seductively sweet but not saccharine. Available at Les Frivolites, (your one stop shop for scene stealing accessories) these gloves are a startling choice when paired with a slinky dress ala Posh Beckham, or are an edgy ass kicking dose of attitude with jeans and boots. However you wear them, they are sure to get you noticed.

Leather Buttons Gloves/Mitts White by Les Frivolites

Sweetly pert and pretty, White Violets by Tiger Lilly Shop effortlessly warm up an outfit with uber-femininity while injecting wildflower white to cool you down. These are great if you're going monochrome white, or for subtle touches of white, such as a scarf on your purse, these earrings and a bracelet. We love the details on the petals and that they're hypoallergenic.

White Violets by Tiger lilly shop

Sugar is sweet and so is short, but this dress by Charlie Clothing is a roundhouse kick to the dome of pure va va voom. Paired with leggings or skin tight pencil jeans, the dress is suggestive and tough-girl chic. Worn with ballerinas or stilettos, the dress emphasizes your summer tan, should you skip the pants, and minimizes the tummy area if you happen to, y'know, actually eat something. Win win!

White Lindsay Dress  by Charlie Clothing

Infuse some white into your wardrobe--it never, ever, goes out of style and is totally seasonless. There's sure to be a shade you can carry off. Your style will thank you for it.

Hate Mail is the new pink

Ok. We admit it. Sometimes we don't like to be so nice. This secret Santa thing creates a craving for balance. And sometimes people just piss us off, despite the fact that we're always looking for the good in everyone we meet. If you, like us, have ever found it tempting to just tell others what you really feel, Carol Lee has designed just the greeting card for you!

Carol Lee's line, Junk Mail, makes it possible to express the finer emotions we have with a hefty slathering of dry humor. Snarky, bitchy, tongue-in-cheek, hysterical and fun, there's a card for every occasion.

May we present, "You're an Idiot"--which is one we're dying to buy even though we don't have anyone in mind. There's something so friendly and Easter pure about the appearance of this card which really drives the meaning home. The recipient will likely be torn between varying emotions: wanting to laugh, feeling a little hurt, and begrudgingly admitting the sender is right while taking comfort in an attractive image.

You’re an Idiot, HateMail by Carol Lee Designs

Next, the very popular "You park like an Idiot". Yes, it would seem like we're on an Idiot kick here, but dangit EVERY TIME we leave the house to go shopping (which is pretty often, truth be told), there's some parktard doing the following: taking up two spots with their Mazda Miata; parking their car 10 feet from the curb; blocking our driveway with their big honkin truck; or a double parked fool in the thoroughfare at rush hour. It's enough to make us want to tear out our hair. Instead, we think we should get these. In dramatic black and white with fancy flourishes, it's both elegantly beautiful and oh so bitchy. We love it to pieces.

You park like an idiot, HateMail by Carol Lee Designs

This one warmed our hearts. A touching tribute to the jackasses that just wanna say "hi" because they can't leave well enough alone. "Tell your mom I said 'hi'" is for those people that message you on social networking sites, or send a greeting through a mutual friend or acquaintance, proffering unsolicited hellos as if you care. We believe this phenomenon will be ever more prevalent as our social lives get more and more crowded with the ghosts of our past, thanks to Facebooks, Friendsters, and Myspaces. Just don't send this one to someone with a dead mom, ok?

HateMail — Tell Your Mom I Said Hi, HateMail by Carol Lee Designs

Here's the card we believe is perfect for us, so if you want to get us a present, this is a stellar choice. Your favorite Sangfroid diva will place this on her desk to remind her that the feelings of others are just pesky trivialities in the grand scheme of glamourdom.

Ice Queen, HateMail by Carol Lee Designs

And lest you think Carol Lee's line is all about making someone sorry they annoyed you, there's Junk Mail line, which features warm, friendly, and even exceedingly sweet but never sappy or saccharine greeting cards. We really love their stunning, graphic designs, and the occasional blinged out touches are beautifully executed.

You Make my Heart sing, JunkMail by Carol Lee Designs

If after visiting Carol Lee's shop you simultaneously want to laugh, ask her out for coffee, and buy everything in sight, we can totally relate! Give, display, tuck away for a rainy day--it's all there waiting for you!

Handmade Finds