Creativity is taking something as pedestrian as a coffee cup sleeve and turning it into a vibrant piece of art. The minds of these three artists remind me how much I love people.
Shopping blog featuring products made by people not factories.
Most weekday mornings, seconds after my clock-radio switches itself on, I begin an internal debate about whether or not to get out of bed. The angel on my shoulder gently reminds me that I have venti-sized responsibilities; lunches that need to be made, bills that need to be paid and the emails waiting on my office computer that aren’t likely to answer themselves. At the same time, the devil on my shoulder presents an almost-convincing argument for staying in bed (and can usually keep me tucked snugly under the duvet for at least another 15 minutes.) I would like to say that it’s virtue that eventually rouses me, but I have to confess – it’s coffee. Just knowing that there is a fresh pot of fair-trade, organic coffee waiting for me in the kitchen gives me the little nudge I need to get into the shower and start my day. You can call a it a habit or an addiction, but I prefer to think of it as a life-long love affair with the stuff.
South African textile & graphic artist Wendren celebrates her own love of coffee in this entry on her blog. After reading her post, it came as no surprise to me to see the influence that coffee has had on the handmade goods available in her shop, The Wren. The bag pictured below, is just one of a number of beautiful accessories that Wendren creates from used coffee sacks.
Father’s Day is a tough holiday to buy a gift for, at least it is for me. And not for any reason, except that dear old dad is a no-frills kind of guy. You might call him old-fashioned (but please not to his face). A recent retiree he likes golf, reading, the Yankees, the Jets, gardening, and drinking coffee. There’s only so many sports shirts, golf balls, coffee mugs, coffee beans, books, and gardening supplies you can give him.
These unique coasters, from Medium Control, are a twist on the been-there-done-that coffee mug.
There’s a whole new generation of Dads out there. They’re a little hipper (sorry dad!), and younger (really sorry!), and it seems ever so slowly more people (both buyers and sellers) are being more creative when it comes to gifts for Dad.
If Dad likes to bike to work or around town running errands, he’ll love this bike bag from Laplander Bags.
Thinking outside the box this year, I’ve searched on Best of Handmade, to see what a search of Father’s Day gifts brought up. Truthfully, there’s a lot of the same old, same old, but then I started digging a little deeper, and found quite a few unique gems. (Tip: When searching for Father’s Day Gifts, don’t type in ‘Father’s Day Gift’ but try typing in a favorite book or hobby, to get a wider range of gifts.)
Remember, Dad had a whole life before you came around. Maybe a gift that appeals to his pre-you life will make him smile.
Was Dad a wanna-be rocker? Get him these throwback cufflinks from Cufflinks Rock.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the more traditional gifts either. Dad’s #1 aprons, mugs, hats, and shirts have been around for a long time and will be around for as long as Dads are.
A t-shirt, like this one from Zoeys Attic praising Dad never seems to go out of style.
Happy Father’s Day!
The time has come for me to restock a few beauty supply items, face moisturizer and body cream. Which means I get to try out something new.
I liked Dress Green’s body creams so much, that I decided to try a new fragrance, White Tea and Ginger. White tea, made from immature tea leaves, is reputed to have a high quantity of anti-oxidants, and the ability to boost the immune system.
Ginger is one of those spa ingredients that I think of as food. But I think of it also as warm, tingly and fresh smelling. And that seems to work well in my mind with the idea that it is healthful. Though in this case I believe the ginger and white tea are more about fragrance than an active contributor to skin rejuvenation. And that’s okay with me. I think it smells fantastic. And the cream is fluffy and smooth.
I was therefore not surprised when it was hijacked by my five year old, and appeared on the floor and several pieces of furniture. She appeared with blobs of it on her skin announcing, don’t I smell good Mommy and thanking me so much for sharing. Her father did not agree and asked what is that odor. He couldn’t quite put together white tea and ginger being a fragrance in body cream and not being part of the meal. I’m a bit sorry for men who do have daughters and don’t have sisters. They have no idea how many bath and spa smells are going to be involved in their lives.
Also of interest is Dress Green’s face moisturizer and nourishing butter. It’s made with and smells like cocoa butter. And it is fragrance free – it just smells like the cocoa butter because that is one of the main ingredients. Cocoa butter smells like coffee. So if you don’t like coffee, this is not the cream for you. I love coffee. But I only put this moisturizer on in the morning. I think coffee is a morning smell.
Smell aside, the face moisturizer and nourishing butter is very, very rich and for dry to normal skin only. I would probably go so far as to say dry skin only, which is what I have in the Winter months. It’s a semi-solid and melts on the fingertips. Like the olive oil and beeswax cream that I previously reviewed (and use in the evening) this cream took a bit of practice to put on in order to avoid an overabundance. It looks greasy for just a moment, then absorbs into the skin.
One word of caution, don’t put it too close to anything warm. It will melt and look quite uninviting. But that doesn’t seem to affect its performance.
I also received a free lip lush with my order, which was a nice surprise. Unfortunately, it contains avocado oil, to which I am wildly allergic. So I immediately gave it away – first asking about any avocado allergies. I hear it’s great.
It is said that the stimulating effects of coffee were discovered by a 9th century goat-herder who observed his goats becoming livelier and more energetic after consuming the fruit of a certain bush. As the story goes, the shepherd gathered up some of the coffee “cherries”, brewed himself a drink and, as any coffee lover can well-imagine, became hooked.
Whether that’s a true tale or a tall-tale, historical records show that by the 15th century coffee consumption was wide-spread throughout Africa and the Middle East. It wasn’t until the mid-1600s, though, that coffee merchants began importing the beans on a large-scale basis to the Netherlands, home of Europe’s first coffeehouses. Today, coffee is enjoyed world-wide and has become a part of our cultural landscape. Cafes and coffee-shops are everywhere and “going for coffee” remains an affordable daily indulgence; even with today’s economic belt-tightening. For some of us, it is the one vice that we have allowed ourselves to hang on to.