Saturday, February 27, 2010

Featured Seller: Evilneedles

I've known about Evilneedles for a while now. I think I actually learned about her through other sellers' links (which is really how I found a lot of the DIYers I'm love with today).

When I first discovered Patricia, she was known for bad tee reconstructions. She did a lot of off-the-shoulder tops, hoodies, and baseball tees. She stopped doing this to create more of her own designs, not just shirt recons, but still makes some clothing for artists like the Reverend Horton Heat, The Dresden Dolls, and Amanda Palmer. Although she no longer reconstructs band tees (and doesn't take requests for them), she has started selling patterns for her more popular ones.

So, I've seen her style evolve, and boy, do I LOVE where it's been going. She's still creating feminine, yet alternative pieces, but they're not so alternative that you'll get strange looks everywhere you go. They are all everyday wearable, and some of her designs are evening-appropriate as well.

Her designs range from rockabilly and country, to clubbing, or just everyday casual. She also makes tote bags and coin/make-up purses, so she gets as much use out of her scraps as possible. Talk about one talented woman!

Her pieces are available in some local Florida boutiques (where she's based), but she also keeps prices for many of her designs competitive with actual stores. If you're on her mailing list, or you're a repeat customer, sometimes you get special surprises in her newsletter, like random discounts for her shop! She likes to reward people who actually reads through her news, which makes me an even bigger fan than I already am.

Her work is very high-quality, versatile, and I've been pleased with every purchase I've made from her. Although she may not seem as chatty as some other sellers, I think it's due to the high demand of her work, which keeps her busy busy!

Things I'm in love with:
Teal Flounce Dress -- I'm not going to lie, I've had my eye on this baby ever since she first made a midnight blue version. I love that it takes the recent trend of ruffle tiers, but doesn't over do it (i.e. doesn't make you look fat).
Abbie Ruffle Trim Twill Vest -- I was lucky enough to get the last one! And at half price! I love love love this one too, and it really shows her range as an independent designer. Everything about this was high-quality.
Black/Gray Striped Butterfly Back Top -- I've only had one word for this ever since she started selling it: A-MA-ZING. Period.
Camo Cargo Skirt -- I'm not a huge fan of camo, but the design of this skirt makes it so unbelievably feminine that I can't help but like it.

(There'd probably be more on the highlight list, but she's sold most of the stuff in her shop. She said in her newsletter that she's working on her spring/summer collection though! She included some sketches and I can honestly say that I'm happily looking forward to it.)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Non-Duct-Tape DIY Wallets: LB Accessories

Another seller I've bought from is LB Accessories. I have a thing for checkbook wallets, and was curious to see if anyone handmade them (aside from the duct tape ones, or the ones made of cardstock then laminated or something). Lo and behold, my searches paid off!

My eye was immediately caught by a wallet that looked sturdy, would remain closed, and had a nice embroidered design in colors that I love. And then it was caught by another. And another.

Luckily for me, they were all from the same seller. Not only does this talented lady embroider plain fabrics for her wallets, she also uses pretty prints! (See the pink/black one above--that's currently my favorite non-embroidered one. And I'm trying to talk myself out of buying it. Curses!)

She even uses a magnetic clasp to keep the wallets closed, AND the interior is even more impressive than the exterior. There are a fair number of card holders PLUS an ID slot, not to mention a zippered slot for coins and whatnot. Everything's interfaced so it shouldn't flop around (except where it's supposed to).

I actually bought this one as a belated birthday/Christmas present for a friend last year, and so I've yet to see one of these wallets in person, but they look so professional, I had to give it a shot! I just love the vibrant linings she uses, too. I was a huge fan of the one I bought as a gift, and this embroidered teal/purple/gray with navy blue design.

Have I mentioned that she also makes small messenger/cross-body bags? I mean, I wish the (messenger) bags that I make looked this good.

Patty (the gal behind the operation) is a super sweetheart and is another one of those sellers who really cares about customer service and satisfaction. She promptly answers any questions you might have, and does her best to accommodate your needs. (It was easy for me, since all I needed was a lack of invoice.) One of these days, there WILL be an LB wallet in my hands. Mmhm.

(No list of highlights in this one--they're all in the body of the text!)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

DIY Fancy Cupcakes: Two Sugar Babies

I surfed over to Etsy to search through my favorite items/sellers for a non-gamer feature, but was stopped when I saw the front page. Every day, Etsy has a different theme for this, and today? ROBOTS!

If you know me, you know I love all things robots. I'm not sure if this attachment started when I was on my high school's robotics team, or when I first visited the Tech Museum (back when it was new!), or way earlier. Who knows? But robots are awesome. And can also be very cute.

And if you know me, you also know that I have a short attention span, and can get very easily distracted. Which tends to happen when I see anything cute-robot-related. Fortunately for you, I found a new seller to write about, yay!

Two Sugar Babies
, created by Charynn, is a shop full of fondant cupcake toppers, which can also be used for cookies, cakes, or whatever else you want to put an edible decoration on! She creates designs for various events (such as holidays), or just cutesy animals. The melting snowman topper is one of my favorites, since it's something I've never seen before. (And I watch a lot of Food Network and TLC cake shows. Trust me.) Given the amount of work that must go into assembling each topper, at $1 each ($12 for a dozen), it's not bad! And if you make your own cupcake, then you don't have to go out and by a $4 cupcake!

My favorites (besides that robot up there, duh):
T-Rex topper -- This is quite possibly the cutest T-Rex, EVER.
Tiger topper -- Hey, it's the Year of the Tiger! Why not?
Autumn Pumpkin 3D topper -- She doesn't just do 2D! (There's a 2D turkey too.)
Sock Monkey topper -- Who doesn't love sock monkeys? I for one love the one that's in all the car commercials airing during the Olympics.
And last, but definitely not least, the Penguin topper. Squee!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Household Geek: Lost Mitten

Although there are a number of sellers who use perler beads to make 8-bit designs, I've yet to see one who does what Lauren of Lost Mitten does.

While others will make just magnets or coasters, Lauren goes beyond that--she makes sets of themed coasters (complete with a box to keep them in), business card holders, even Nintendo DS cases! Though, those are made of fabric, not perler beads.

I had the good fortune to find her and make a purchase from her a couple years back. I bought two of her perler bead mini notepads (with bright colored pages!), because I was so excited to see Bubble Bobble and Slimes on them. They were pretty darn accurate too. Also, from what I remember when I ordered my stuff, she was a very nice seller to deal with, great communication and everything!

I received an e-mail from her today, as she was letting previous customers know that she was closing shop on Etsy. I was sad to hear this, because I've seen quite a few good ideas from her. She doesn't just work with fabric and perler beads though, she also knits and makes buttons! She (and her designs) will be missed, but she says that she'll still be creating, which is good news.

Some highlights of her perler bead items:
NES Controller Tissue Box Cover -- I've seen cute tissue box covers, but never ones that screamed I'M SO AWESOME! like this one does.
Bubble Bobble Mini Notepad -- Okay, I admit, I still haven't used it. But it's so cute! Bubble Bobble and Kirby were always my faves!
Megaman Coaster Set w/Case -- Megaman was pretty hot too.
Pacman and Ghost Business Card Holder -- It even has the dots!
Mario Question Mark Box Bank -- I actually almost bought this for my apartment-mate of 4 years for her birthday, but got her a Squishable Panda instead.
3D Mario Piranha Plant Warp Pipe Box -- I have no words for this. Only 2 in existence (the other being hers), and can you imagine what it must've been like to have to put each of those layers together, AND THEN gluing them on top of each other?! Woman's crazy cool.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Etsy Find Of The Day: 8-Bit Memory

The fact that I actually have functioning internet now means I spend A LOT more time surfing Etsy for new sellers (usually clothes and jewelry), which also means I get to stumble upon people who DIY other stuff. And this other stuff is often very cool.

So, to kick off this new subset of my crazy blogging mind, I give you 8-Bit Memory.

(I think I may also love Etsy because most of the DIYers on there are as geeky as I am. So... It works out. In my favor. But not necessarily in my wallet's.)

Enough digressing! What does this shop sell, you ask?

Repurposed video game cartridges (yeah, that's right--CARTRIDGES, booyah!) that can now be used as desk clocks, flash drives, or external harddrives. HOW AWESOME IS THAT. This means you can get a GameBoy Advanced cartridge flash drive (big enough you can't lose), or an NES cartridge external (small enough that you won't feel awkward lugging it around).

My brain almost exploded at how much of a good idea this was. And guess what! I don't think anyone else has done it yet.

NES Super Mario/Duck Hunt Desk Clock -- hard to tell the time, but who cares! I sure don't. That's what watches and cell phones are for.
NES Legend Of Zelda 640 GB HD -- this unfortunately sold today, BECAUSE IT'S SO COOL. Oh, and the cartridge is a shiny gold. EVEN COOLER.
SNES Starfox 500 GB HD -- another harddrive, that's even smaller! Huzzah!
GBA Pokemon Sapphire 4 GB Flash Drive -- I don't actually do Pokemon, but c'mon, it's clear blue!

So basically, this shop is full of win. And I may have to get my (first ever real) external from them. Eventually. Yee!