Saturday, April 17, 2010

Shop til you DROP.

Hi y'all. I thought I'd break my blog silence by talking about a few things I might buy. One thing I have to buy (and look forward to buying) is a gift for Henry's EIGHTH birthday. I remember 8 so clearly: it was the year I got glasses, broke my arm, learned long division, disliked my teacher, started German, cut off my long hair / got a sweet bowl cut, and wore ribbon barrettes that I made myself. Henry wants a satin bomber jacket, which I would also have enjoyed at that age, the better to play "bike gang" with. This game basically just involved describing our imaginary outfits in detail, and then riding bikes around the derelict tennis courts at the bottom of the hill. Once on one of these outings, my friend Holly pooped her pants and it was a manageable enough incident that she just chucked the turd over the fence. Could I be making that up? The memory is so clear to me, but it seems more like something my brother would have done. He was notorious for being too fixated on playing outside to pause for necessities like bathroom breaks. One time he peed and/or pooped his pants and came walking home with his shorts hanging off the end of a plastic baseball bat over his shoulder, like a preschool hobo.

Anyway, Henry may be getting a little Nintendo thingy from us. This is probably going to require buying one for Jude too. Which we're happy to do, as I so remember the potential emotional pitfalls of having a sibling close in age who liked the same stuff and who might feel dejected about someone else's birthday present. You know how that goes.

Aside from that, I have been shopping for bags on Etsy because I can never find anything I like in the thrifts and I want something high quality and straightforward and would rather give my money to someone toiling in a Pittsburgh studio than, you know, a department store. But oh sweet jebus, have you done a bag search on Etsy? People are so bad at tagging their stuff, and there are so many urrrgly bags. Also many that I suspect are not at all handmade (or at least, not handmade by the seller), and are merely "customized." Sigh. Here are some contenders (clicking on the pics will take you to the listings):

Pros: Minneapolis seller, rad colors, vegan.
Cons: Too damn big.
Pro: She will custom size!

Also good, by the same seller:

Pros: Colors, dude.
Cons: The strap is too thin for a bag that big. I mean as soon as I put a full water bottle in there, it would be slicing into my shoulder.

Pros: Pittsburgh seller, classic design, yellow on the inside, multifunctional.
Cons: Possibly boring.

Pros: I love the design of the bag--I mean how it's put together. There might be better examples in her shop, but I couldn't decide.
Cons: Looks a bit like an Urban Man-bag, has to come all the way from Portugal.

Pros: A great basic, it's called "Croissant," excellent shape.
Cons: Something in me obviously likes a brown canvas bag and yet fears that I will be bored by it. And it's another airmail jobby, from UK this time.

I also like this one of hers:

Honestly, all of her bags are pretty great.

As you can see, I am having a hard time balancing a need for versatility with a need for something interesting. But let me tell you, when you start looking at patterned and multicolored bags on Etsy, it becomes an absolute minefield of cutesy bullcrap and coordinating dots and florals. I sincerely apologize if these are things you hold dear; they are just so not me.

So then for a palate cleanser I look at rings. I'm obsessing over rutilated quartz right now. And green things.

Naturally, this one is sold. It was also a custom order and way out of my price range. But I love everything this seller does. I am wearing one of her rings right now, in fact.

This one I can actually afford.

It is only a matter of time before I nab something from this shop. Like for example this green onyx ring.

I've also been following this seller for awhile. I love the rough, raw gemstones she uses. I mean check out this lapis lazuli:

I'll save the rough diamonds for another post. I'm basically just procrastinating on work stuff I was going to get done this weekend, anyway.


  1. I vote Bag #2, even if it does have a strap that will Cut You Up. Sacrifice for fashion.

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  3. Just botched my comment. Let me try that again.

    I adore bags one and two for you. But the possibly boring one from Pittsburgh is actually my favorite, because I tend to go for classic/possibly boring stuff. Looks like some of the bags from that shop come in red, which I heart.

    I just favorited a couple of these shops, because yes, I HAVE tried searching for bags on etsy, and I'm really glad to hear I'm not the only one who had a hard time with it. There are a large number of ugly patchwork tote bags on that website.

  4. These are all super cool and I also love the jewelry. Could you get more than one bag? These really are investment pieces!

  5. Those bags! Fabbo! But the first one is my fave.

  6. I recently went bag shopping on etsy, too! The first bag on your list is from a seller I nearly bought from. I really like her stuff. I wound up getting a gray pinstripe laptop bag from this seller: I haven't had it too terribly long yet, but I do love it.

  7. Christy, I really liked that shop too. The stuff was just a little too woolly/tweedy/autumnal for a year-round purse/bag thing, I thought.

    Maybe I should do a roundup of these shops in another post for future ref. Hmmmmm.

  8. A practical question - will you use the bag whilst commuting on your bicycle? If so, WIDE straps win, also

  9. Well, the bag needs to be multifunction, but will mostly be a daily carry-all. I need more space than just wallet/cell/keys/lip balm because I like to carry a lot of crap around. And I want a cross-body style to leave my hands free--nothing makes me crazier than having to use one hand for a bag, or having to hike my shoulder up to keep a bag from slipping off it. So whatever I end up with will be something that I could potentially use on the bike, though I'm much more likely to drop my bag in the basket than to wear it while riding.

  10. I like the first one best and then the croissant. That blue/yellow is just too cool, and I love the sturdiness of it. Maybe she can custom build one for you.

  11. It would be another airmail situation, and probably more of a custom order, but have you seen the upcycled bags that Franca's fiance makes? Pretty awesome!

  12. michelle v.4/20/10, 1:02 PM

    Thanks so much for this! You are a great etsy curator. As much as I love the site, its navigability definitely leaves much to be desired.

  13. I laughed out loud at the Preschool Hobo story. Every detail of it from Holly to Hobb is peferct. I always forget that Henry's birthday is near the girls'. I've been shopping for them too. Now it's about fashion and phones. Mina, all of the sudden. is a Joan Jett fan (of course she is!) -- and no I didn't let her see The Runaways, though I did, and loved it. I showed Mina pictures, however, and forget it. I got her a Joan Jett tshirt as a bday present. Tonight I'm gonna show her Bow Wow Wow videos and I may be shaving the sides of her head like Annabella before we head to Disneyland this weekend. I love that my kid, at 11, still wants to go to Disneyland for her bday, while rocking a Joan J. tshirt.

    If the croissant was a bold color, it would be the perfect bag. Or had different color panels. Hey, I've been rocking a Queen Bee bags for years, which I've never had a same bag for years before, but the fact that it's not cloth and the strap is perfect for biking around and I love the colors . . . forget it. I have a "truckette", but check out the "trucker" for a bigger bag. Each style usually comes in different colors too. Also, their prices have gone up a lot since I last bought, but it's super quality:

  14. Madness, I'm totally torn on the Croissant and the first one. Someday I could have both, but I'm drawn to the soft edges of the Croissant. Maybe I can get her to make it in a more exciting color. Even the "nettle" of her other bag would work for me.

    Have you seen the W.W.J.J.D. t-shirts? That's "What would Joan Jett do?" I've wanted one for years.

    Oh man, and did you see that one of the Queen Bee bags is called Loops? Sniff.

  15. man, i am in love with that last ring.

    i did the whole shopping on etsy for a nice bag because i wanted to support handmade and all - and ended up with one of those that i'm pretty sure is not handmade at all. i loved the way it looked though, but after three months of everyday use it's already falling apart. i should've put up a fuss and returned it when i first got it.

    i really like the shop, beesnetta, though and this bag might suit your purpose...

    the inner floral fabric is fun and reminds me of a maxi or jumpsuit i could probably see you wearing.

  16. Oh, beesnetta is def a shop I faved! She belongs in the gallery of Bag Shops People Should Look At. I really like the whole aesthetic. Esp the particular bag you link. But it's more than I want to spend at this point. And maybe too big? It's weird, I am a big bag person but there is a point where it's just too much bag and things will get lost in the bottom.

    Yeah, there's a Dutch seller who has all these messenger-style bags with awesome vintage fabric flaps on the front, but I am certain she doesn't make the bags--just customizes them. Not so interesting to me.

  17. This girl I kinda know here has a fashion/design blog, and I just saw she's giving away a bag from the "possibly boring" designer. Which I know was not your favorite, but I thought it was worth passing on:

  18. Lauren! Thanks for the hot tip!