Saturday, February 21, 2009

Catching Up With Christmas

Oh, I'm so far behind....this is my first of many product reviews that I will be posting here. These are items that I received as gifts this past holiday season:

My Vegan Etsy Team coordinated a Secret Santa for any members that wanted to participate. This was a really fun activity for me, and a great distraction from the usual hustle and bustle of the holidays (craft fairs, birthday parties, family get-togethers, etc.) We were all (secretly) given the name and address of a fellow teammate to whom we were to send a handmade gift (our own creation, or something purchased from another crafter).

My Secret Santa was Bashley of Bashley's Uncommon Threads. I was so thrilled when I opened my package, which contained a handmade, decoupaged box featuring a collage of BIRDS(!) and accented with beautiful bird pins (see photos below). The second part of the gift included a donation in my name to a chicken sanctuary! -- The Chocowinity Chicken Sanctuary in North Carolina. It is one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received, and this was from someone who only knows me through our online connection with Vegan Etsy! It was especially impressive considering handmade boxes are not even the craft that she sells on her Etsy site, which is kitchen aprons! Please check out her site and show her some love...

Here are pictures of the box-- from every angle:

The recipient of my Secret Santa gift was another Lynn!--Sparklynn, who makes really beautiful handcrafted jewelry and hair pins. I was worried that it would be a challenge deciding on an appropriate gift for someone that I do not know in person. But after reading in her profile that she has a few pet snails, it was an easy decision. I gave her one of my box sets of Snail Mail Greetings-- a handmade, recycled box with a selection of my handmade photo greeting cards (including, of course, one of my Snail photo cards!) She was very happy with my gift, and I received this message from her:
"I just received my present today and I LOVE it! I was just looking for a snail picture to frame and it just appeared in the mail - how cool is that?! I love the cards and the snail is going into my office at work. Thank you so much! I adore my present. Your pictures are so beautiful!"

Hymns for a Dark Horse
Another gift I received was from my friends, Rob & Eleni of Beloved Binge (band) and Binge Cafe (blog). It's an album by the Bowerbirds. Eleni thought that I would really like their music style, and she was right! And it's not just because of their name or the many bird references throughout their songs. I'm still trying to figure out who the lead singer reminds me of. Names that come to mind are David Byrne, Clem Snide, and Thom Yorke, but I think there might be someone else who would be a better reference point. Anyway, they definitely have a unique music style which combines acoustic folksy melodies with hints of world music sounds, and interesting lyrics. They mix in a lot of different instruments including guitar, piano, violin, accordion, drum, banjo, and upright bass. All equaling up to a highly pleasurable listening experience! Check out the Bowerbirds!

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