Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pearls for Christmas

So, just around when the Leafs* had just won their game tonight, Wade turns to me and says, "So if I get you that** toothbrush for Christmas, that'll be your jewellery?"

I gave him a very puzzled look.

Wade explains, "Because it'll make your teeth pearly white" and flashes me a big grin.

I laughed.

*Yes, the plural of leaf is leaves, but when referring to the hockey team, the correct reference is the "Leafs".
**I had asked for a specific and expensive electric toothbrush for Christmas, at the recommendation of my dental hygienist, who is also a friend. He initially thought I was nuts to ask for that for Christmas, but when he realized that I don't always want flashy gifts, and sometimes what I think is a fun gift is also a practical gift, he's thinking of actually getting it for me for Christmas. What can I say? I value clean teeth!

Friday, November 28, 2008

I bought my wedding dress on etsy

... Okay, I didn't. But I could have. This week's last etsy post will be on wedding dresses.

This is one of the cheapest wedding dresses I found on etsy (other than a few "only used once" dresses for $10 to $50 ... um ... earth to sellers: most wedding dresses are only used once. That's sort of the purpose of wedding dresses. The fact that they were "only worn once" qualifies them as a "used" or "gently worn" or "previously used" dress. Whatever term you want. But don't tell me that it was "only worn once" as if that's a selling feature.) This dress is from tailormadegowns, a seller in Hong Kong, where clothing and seamstresses are cheap (or so I've heard). There are, in my opinion, two drawbacks to this seller: first, that the seller has only been on etsy since November 24, and second, that the seller has not yet had a sell (largely due to only being a seller for four days). The dress is pretty, if it is quite ornate.

This dress is quite a good price (for a wedding dress) at $575 from Of course, that's waaaay more than I'd ever spend on a normal dress. But a good price for a wedding dress. And isn't the picture stunning? I almost want to ask the name of the photographer!

This dress is normally $650, from In honour of American Black Friday, it's $450 for today only.

These dresses are just 3 of those available from The dress on the left is $4500, the centre dress is $6500, and the dress on the right is $5500. That is, quite honestly, waaaay more than I spent on my dress, but aren't these stunning?!

And finally, this dress is a very cheap $50, available through
I guess I should mention, this dress is only available in sizes for Barbie!

Friday's hint of the day: Look for the date the seller joined etsy available under the seller information. Also look at their rating, which is the feedback from individuals who have purchased from that seller. After you make a purchase through etsy, you have an opportunity to evaluate that seller, which is published in that seller's profile. The longer they've been with etsy and the more positive ratings they receive, the more reliable you know the seller is. If someone has a negative experience, or don't get any item they've ordered, it can be reported to etsy for action.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thursday's etsy find

I used etsy to create a fun return address stamp for myself, and a return address for my friend (and maid-of-honour) Jocelyn as part of a housewarming gift when she and her guy bought their house!

I came across a neat idea from Martha Stewart to turn calligraphy of your bridesmaids' names into a stamp. I modified this idea into address stamps.

I found at least a dozen sellers whose work I loved. So I narrowed it down by location (why ship something from Singapore when it's available on this continent?) I found two sellers whose work I loved and were located a tad bit closer than Singapore.

This seller, Baby Jewels, creates lovely stamps of any design. How cute are these two examples? The save-the-date stamp costs $22. The return address stamp is $18. Back to the save-the-date stamp ... isn't that such a whimsical and fun stamp?!

I also found these fun stamps at terbearco's stamp. Why not get a stamp for every holiday (Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, ... ). These stamps are $12.99 + shipping.

If you copy my idea, you must promise to cite your source (me, unless you got the idea from Martha, too). Or at least send me a little blog love. Your choice!

Thursday's hint of the day: if you know the name of the seller you want, you don't need to go to the etsy website to try to find them. Just type their shop name, followed by '' and you'll go straight to their webpage! So, for Baby Jewels, type in For TerBearCo, just type in Easy breezy! (You do have to know the name of the seller first, obviously)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wednesday on the week of etsy goodness

etsy is home to many artisans who make homemade crafts ... And what is more artistic (and fun) than jewellery? (Editorial note: I'm a little biased. I love jewellery. No offense intended to those who prefer knitting, painting or other arts. I like those two. But I love jewellery. And photography. And satin. And ... Well, I love a lot of things, but jewellery is waaaaay up on the list.)

Let's start with seller JulieJongleuse, a Montreal-based artisan. These necklaces are very different (in a good way), and affordable, costing in the $20-range.

These gorgeous pieces of jewellery, created by kaskaad, are also very economical (i.e. cheap). The ring on the top is $12, and the earrings on the bottom are $25.

Actually, come to think of it, most of my favourite sellers on etsy are reasonably priced.

La Belle Dame creates out of Prince Edward Island. All of her pieces are customizable, and in fact many require customization! Aren't these pieces of jewellery so fun, unique and personal?!

From FireLilyDesigns are some very creative and modern pieces of jewellery artwork. These three pieces are $32, $28 and $44 respectively (left to right):

Seller Bluebird Designs has this gorgeous necklace for $39. Isn't that stone stunning?

I talked a bit yesterday about customization, but yet my hint of the day was relating to ordering. That doesn't make sense ... until you realize that today's post is also all about customization! So ...

Wednesday's hint: don't be afraid to ask etsy sellers if they're willing to customize work (and if so, if there are any additional costs, such as design fees). Many of these fine artisans are willing, able and love to do custom work!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday on etsy week: Invitations and other Paper Elements

Today, I am going to focus on invitation options on etsy. I'm currently looking at ideas for the rehearsal dinner expectations. I think I have figured out that I would like letterpress for the wedding invitation, which is expensive, but so luxurious and stunning! (More on that another time & day.) However, I don't have the money (or rather, the desire to spend that much) on rehearsal dinner invitations, too. So I'm going to focus on budget-friendly potential rehearsal dinner invitations available on etsy.

If you want to look something up, such as "rehearsal dinner invitations", start by looking up exactly what you need. Maybe it's out there! But you should also follow up your first search with a similar search. DO NOT look up "invitations": you'll get a million hits. But look up similarly-themed items: "save the date invitations", "bridal shower invitations". Some of these items could be customized to be a lovely rehearsal dinner invitation. You could even look up keywords such as "quirky invitations" or "elegant invitations", depending on what you want.

Some of these potential rehearsal invitations could easily become an elegant wedding invitation. Hmm ... something else to think about (whaaaat ... more decisions! But my brain is FULL!)

The first card and invitation designer also happens to be Canadian-based. Black Cat Concepts is based out of Aylmer, and sells quirky and fun invitations ($44 for 25 invitations) like this: Black Cat Concepts promises that everything is customizable, so this invitation could easily be modified for a rehearsal dinner! Bonus: this seller does NOT charge extra shipping, so you pay the price you see!

This designer is another Canadian: Card Creator is based in London (Ontario)! The bridal shower invitations (left and right) are $1.40 each; the pool party invitation in the middle is $1.20 each. Every invitation is cutomizable, so I could easily turn any one of these three invitations into a rehearsal dinner invitation. I don't know how I could use a pool party theme for a rehearsal dinner in early June. Maybe I could rent an indoor pool ... I'll have to think about that and get back to you.

Cheer Up Cherup is a designer who creates these quirky invitations. Although these invitations are for bridal showers, she could easily customize something based on these designs for a rehearsal dinner. At $1.75 / invitation, the price isn't too shabby!

Today's final Canadian designer is Diane By Design. This invitation costs just $1.75 each, and is a very cute Save-The-Date. On her etsy shop, Diane says she LOVES custom orders, so I'm sure she could turn this Save-The-Date design into a rehearsal dinner invitation!

Janee's Elite Designs is one of the more expensive options that I'm featuring ($3.75 per invitation), but that doesn't mean these are the most expensive invitation out there. Trust me, prices can go waaaay up. I just can't justify spending $10 per invitation for the rehearsal dinner or a bridal shower. These are lovely, three-dimensional, slightly quirky invitations:

This designer, Nifty Pear, welcomes customizing invitations and paper products. These invitations are $15 for 12 invitations:

In fact that might be a safe assumption for most sellers on etsy: because everything is handmade, most sellers are willing and enthusiastically able to create custom pieces of work!

Case in point: these bridal shower invitations are available at $12 for 12 invitations from Razzle Dazzle Designs. However, the seller welcomes custom designs for any occassion. So in this case, think of the shop as examples of what she can do. If you're looking for the stereotypical bridal shower invitations - this is a great card. But if you want something different (or you look nothing like the bride on this invitation! I don't have that bum!), just ask! From her "shop description", it looks like she wants to do custom work! If you don't want the stereotypical invitations, just ask! I couldn't use this design for a rehearsal dinner (ha, Wade would love that), but I'm sure we could come up with something that we'd both like.
Tuesday's hint: when ordering items from another country, investigate what (if any) the taxes / duties / import fees will be, and factor that into the cost. There's nothing worse than spending $100 on items, to have it arrive with a charge of $45 in duties. The cost of these fees depends on the country of origin (as far as I can tell, the US costs the most) and the method of shipping (anecdotally, I have heard USPS charges the most). If you're ordering from a domestic seller, you may get charged taxes, or you may not, depending on how that seller works. These are all questions to ask that may affect your budget!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Etsy goodness: ring pillows (& some pillow alternatives)

etsy is a site where crafty and creative people can register to sell their homemade goods, and people who are less crafty and creative can come to buy those goods. Sellers may be anywhere; I've seen sellers in: Canada, The States, Great Britain, Singapore and the Czech Republic. etsy is relatively secure, but it is truly seller dependent. I buy from sellers that use paypal, a secure webpage, rather than sellers who prefer cheques (or as Americans spell it, checks).

And without further adieu, some great (and some not-so-great) ring pillows available on etsy!

Seller Creative Bridal has about a thousand ring pillow, ranging from traditional to ... let's use the word "different" to describe some of their pillows. I am showcasing two fairly traditional pillows, the first costs $28 and the second costs $35, followed by a Hallowe'en themed-pillow for $38.

Mrs Sew And Sew has this ring pillow, which kinda reminds me of ring bearer pillows that I would have seen in the '80s. This pillow is $25:

Emici Bridal sells "heirloom bridal accessories". Though I don't know I would call an ostrich-feather inspired pillow ($65) on the left "heirloom" (maybe vintage, but not heirloom). The centre pillow ($25) initially repulsed me, but something about the embroidery definitely reminds me of an heirloom that Great-Grandma made. While I'm not a fun of bubblegum pink, it might be lovely in the right wedding (or in a different colour in my wedding). The pillow on the right ($33) seems more contemporary to me, not heirloom, but I like it. It just doesn't seem as heirloom-y charming as the centre pilow.

For the redneck-inspired John Deere-themed wedding, this pillow (from avysm) is perfect for $23.99!

Are you having a Mardi Gras themed wedding? This pillow would be ... no, it would still be over-the-top. It's available for $27.95 for seller Shabee Stiches:

From 2have2hold, this satiny pillow sells for $65:

Easter Yu has alternative ring pillows ... so alternative, you can choose from stacks of birch ($10), fake bird's nests ($27), or beds of moss ($30)! I'll be honest, I can't decide if I like these or not.

For the pirate wedding (arr, matey!), store your rings in a treasure chest. This ring treasure chest is available from kpdream for $21:

Most wedding bloggers have come across paloma's nest, purveyor of ring pillow alternatives. Here are two samples from the shop (prices from $18-23):

Seller tinarie21, sells fairly traditional ring pillows with a flowery embellishment. The left pillow sells for $38, and the second pillow for $46, the third pillow for $45, and the fourth pillow for $44:

Monday's hint: the closer the seller, the smaller your carbon footprint. The further an item is shipped, the greater the pollution generated by the plane or vehicles that transport your item.