Monday, July 26, 2010

[brief hiatus]

[lack of updates due to GRE studying--back to posting after the first week of August!]

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Featured Seller: Smarmy Clothes

Yaaaaaay I *just* received some FairyTails from Smarmy Clothes, so she gets today's post! I've been an admirer from afar of Lex's work for yearrrrrrrrs now. I don't remember exactly how many, but I can tell you right now that almost every DIY designer I know about today, stemmed from discovering Shrinkle on eBay when I was in high school, and plodding through tons of About Me pages (on dial-up no less!). Plus, you really can't go wrong because she has the word SMARMY in her name. :D

I was hoping the pink "Shooting Star" dress would be my first ever Smarmy purchase, but I couldn't justify a formal dress when I was already nearing the end of college. Of course when I finally said "Screw it," it had sold literally hours before. Boo.

So instead, I kept lurking around her shop, and had my eye on her colorful hair streaks. I love dyeing my hair, but I can't really do it anymore, which is unfortunate because I kind of miss walking into science lectures with fuchsia or purple hair. (No guarantees on NOT dyeing some part of my hair teal next year though...) So these clip-in streaks are genius! Not to mention you don't have to fumble around trying to hide the clip in your hair, because it looks like a normal animal clip.

Bonus! You can mix/match the animals you want, AND you get to choose up to 5 colors for the streaks. I was boring and just wanted two colors, but it turned out super pretty! I got turquoise (pale teal) and blue moon (vibrant blue), and I wound up being her 300th sale so I also got a free pair--purple with black bats this time! I'd post pics of them, but I don't have a camera here... But they're amazing, trust. Plus, they came with easy care instructions, which is good, because I'm pretty sure I would accidentally destroy them otherwise.

Going back to her clothes, she does a TON. Recons, from-scratch, hoodies, casual dresses, formal dresses, skirts, undies, wrist cuffs, I mean I could go on and on (and I did). There's one thing in her shop I've completely fallen for: the Land of the Rising Sun jumper. Alas, I am too small for it.

I also fell in love with the Hello Kitty dress she sold a couple months ago. The fact that she used scraps from the shirt she recon'd for the ruffle detail on the neckline/armholes, and the bow on the skirt ruffle was very creative. That ruffling is pretty legit. I'm also a huge sucker for ruffled trim on skirts, but that's beside the point.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Not on Etsy (Unfortunately): Custom Munny's

I know a bunch of artsy people from my time in college, particularly those who majored in something "lucrative," but also had a passion for the arts. This guy... Well, he majored in what he loves, so, I guess he doesn't fit into that. Unfortunately, he doesn't have an Etsy shop (yet!) but I'm going to work on convincing him. He's hoping to eventually do animation for Dreamworks or Pixar, but in the meantime, he makes AWESOME custom Munny figures!

If you don't know what a Munny is, it's a blank (white) vinyl doll made by KidRobot, with the intention of people designing their own art. The Munny has monkey ears, the Dunny has rabbit ears. I've tried searching for these on Etsy, with minimal success. Though it did result in finding Rosie O'Donnell's shop, because she Sharpies Munny figures, signs them, and sells them (for a lot!) for charity I think.

The other Munny's I found were...not quite as good as the guy I know (I hesitate to call him friend, long story behind that one). Although, there WAS a Steampunk Dunny that was gold and pretty much the coolest one I've seen EVER.

So this dude paints Munny's. I think some of his lines could be cleaner (perhaps with tape) but he manages to get enough detail on there, that, whatever. I'd seen early examples of his work because he made some as gifts for a hip hop competition we were both a part of. I believe the picture at the top is the first one he ever did--it's Kevin(?) of the Jabbawockeez! They won Season 1 of America's Best Dance Crew, hence the white mask and gloves. He also made a Kanye Bear for a good friend of his as a birthday present! Then he started offering his friends an opportunity to order customs! (Exclamation points!) The first one he finished is the Green Power Ranger. He used modeling clay to add dimension to the head.

He's got a backlog right now, but considering it takes him a few days (and lots of hours) to do each one, it's understandable. Plus he has work. So. At any rate, I'm gonna submit an order of my own with him, aaaaaand try to get him onto Etsy. I realllly think his work should be up there, especially since there isn't too big of a custom Munny market on the site to begin with.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cirque Love: Merimask

Confession time! I'm a HUGE sucker for Cirque du Soleil. Like, HUUUUUUGE. As in, when Needless Markup did a special Christmas collab with them a few years back, and sold a bunch of Cirque ornaments, my mom got like, 4 for me. And okay, I examine the costumes/hair/makeup more than I do the action, but I can't help that. It's toooooooo pretty!

So yeah, instead of browsing and stumbling upon another not-so-well-known Etsy seller, I clicked on Merimask's shop through the vampire article (which I originally wasn't going to read because I thought it might be Twilight-related, but it wound up being a lot better, which made me happy).

AND HOLY AMAZEBALLS. She(?) makes masks so incredible that freaking Cirque wanted to sell them?! Not gonna lie, I started freaking out, because my favorite part of browsing the Cirque gift shops is ogling the masks. Okay, and I seriously considered getting a butterfly one once. ANYway. She's another one of those sellers who did one thing in school and then settled into something completely different. Which gives me hope!

Basics: Leather. You can see. You can breathe. Workmanship looks absolutely INCREDIBLE. Colors, texture (OMG THE TEXTURES), all the details are just, ahhhhhhhh. These are easily the first masks I've seen that I've actually gone and thought "hey, these would give Cirque a run for their money." (I feel like the Double Rainbow man, I can't express how I feel in words hahaha)

I am head over heels in love with the Medusa, and Gorgons creep me out, so that's a
testament to how good she made it look. And I cannot for the life of me get over the flipped tails of the Fighting Betta Fish--I kinda want to see them in blue! I also loooove how the Japanese Fox thumbnail made me go "hey that looks Japanese!" and it was. And of course, gotta throw it back to my Asian roots, and mention the Frost Dragon. You can tell she does her research.

(I'm still dying over how gorgeous these things are, so I'm just gonna end this here.)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Glass Artistry (and Sushi!): Amy Kirkman

I don't even know what to say about Amy Kirkman's work except "Wow." That and, "Are you sure you trust me not to break this?" Really, it would be a crying shame to break one of her pieces, they're so pretty.

Quick list of the variety of things she creates! Necklaces, vases, plates, coasters, candleholders... all out of glass!

I find glasswork fascinating, especially since I found out how it works and how the colors get in there. Plus, I got to see the Chihuly exhibit when it was in San Fran, which was just awe-inspiring, particularly because the dude's only got one eye! So not only do I admire Amy Kirkman's designs, but I also start thinking about how she did it (I know, I'm strange... I blame my high school robotics experience haha, it just kind of changed everything).

Also, anyone who has anything pertaining to Hitchhiker's Guide in their shop = automatic win. Her necklaces each come on a black cord with lobster clasp and extension chain, and if you're wondering if her Kanji/Chinese necklaces are true to their definition, no worries--they definitely are! (Hey, Chinese school finally paid off!)

My absolute, absolute fave from her shop though? The black a
nd white sushi plate set. Not only does the line design remind me of actual Japanese restaurants (and their plates), but the colors are Yin and Yang (so cute for couples!), AND she even made little wasabi/soy sauce dishes and chopstick props to complete the set. I don't even like sauce on my sushi but this set is PURE LOVE. If the black/white theme isn't your thing, she does offer to make them in colors you'd rather have!

Second fave is the orange koi plate (the one that made me decide to look further through her shop) and close third would be the heart plate, which I just saw when I went back to her shop for this post (the bubbles!). Price range seems to be pretty reasonable--$15 for necklaces, $30ish for coaster sets, $40ish for plates--considering the handiwork involved.