I want to share a little bit of love for some things and people I would not have known about had it not been for Etsy or certain social media tools, particularly Twitter and Instagram. So, without further ado, things that have made me smile over the past several months.
Bookplate stamps by Asspocket Productions (on Etsy). Last summer, I realized that some of the books I loan out never seem to make their way back to me, which is fine (I do it too occasionally). I think one reason is that often the borrower might not recall the rightful owner of the book. To solve that problem, I thought I’d get some bookplates. Since I have a lot of books, and cannot seem to stop buying them, I didn’t want a sticker version of bookplates because it seemed less than cost effective, not to mention a bit wasteful resource wise. Better option? Rubber stamp bookplates. I love the one I chose. Trees have always been very symbolic to me for myriad reasons (my graphic designer/friend even used one as part of my business logo), and so I settled on this one:
Then, a few weeks ago, M and I were talking that she needed one too because she’s started loaning out books to her friends (she likes spreading the word about Ivy + Bean and Mercy Watson). She chose this one:
I’ve also ordered a return address stamp for my husband and I to use for holiday cards. It’s hard to find return address stamps that can accommodate families where the woman keeps her maiden name (like I have), but Asspocket Productions has many styles to choose from and different options that I had not considered—like just using our first names with our address. If you do order anything from her, I recommend getting the mounted version of the stamp since it’s much easier to hold and center.
Dapper Fox Bag by Scatterbrain Tees (on Etsy). I just love this bag. My Mac laptop fits into it very easily and there’s still room for more books/notepads, gloves, water bottle, etc. I have a stuffy brown leather briefcase bag that I use for things like going to court or meeting with certain types of clients, but many of my clients are farmers or more casual kind of folks who can be put off by stuffiness. I wanted something a little more down to earth and fun. This guy makes the day for me.
Speaking of bags, I just bought this canvas tote. I owe Instagram for leading me to bookhou, the makers of this bag. I’m not a bag person (I very often just carry a wallet and cellphone). Yet, I have to carry things around from time to time, so I do need to use a bag occasionally. I wanted something that was deep enough for a book, wallet, cellphone, reading glasses, maybe a water bottle and a lip balm; that’s all I ever really carry. I wanted at least one pocket inside (to keep my cell phone separate). I wanted a tote style bag in case my destination included a shop where I might buy a book; I hate buying things and then having to carry them separately. I am not one for famous/label conscious bags. I certainly don’t mind spending money to invest in a good quality bag, but I prefer minimally processed, natural materials that are handcrafted. I also like knowing that I have something that not everyone else has. I have been using the tote for about a month now and I love it.
Coffee cozies by danaswove (on Etsy). I try to remember my own mug when I buy coffee on the go, but sometimes I forget. To feel less guilt about the paper involved, I wanted to at least have my own “java jacket”. I bought myself the elephant print, and my husband the Star Wars print for Christmas (I don’t see that fabric there now, sadly). It folds flat in my bag, and is less bulky than some of the knit ones you see, which makes it easier to fit in my car’s cup holders. I’ve also purchased a crossbody bag from danaswove that I mostly use in summer because of the color/lightweight fabric. It looks like the fabric options change pretty regularly so check there often.
We Can Do Hard Things doorway sign by barn owl primitives (on Etsy). (Disclaimer: Before I ordered this sign, I did not know that it is a phrase often used, if not coined, by Glennon Melton at Momastery. Apparently I live under a rock. In fact, I only discovered her site because I ordered this sign; the product description talks about her and that’s how I stumbled upon her inspirational writing. So really, I got two things out of this purchase.) I ordered this sign in September 2013, right as M was about to head off to Kindergarten. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that the year before that was very challenging for her and us, the least of which was some separation anxiety and other issues she was dealing with in preschool; it was bad enough to seek professional help. I wasn’t sure how the transition to Kindergarten was going to go, and so on the hard days we had leading up to that big day, I often reminded her, in various ways, that we can do things that are hard, even if we don’t like it while we’re doing them. We become stronger and braver that way. I wanted to hang a sign in our kitchen that reminded us of this mantra each day as we left to go about our daily business. Long and short of it is that I found this sign on Etsy, and we all vocally remind each other of its message when we need a bit of bravery:
OK, now some quickies:
My three favorite Instagram accounts right now are childhoodunplugged (they have a website too, which I recommend visiting to see the photos in full color res: www.childhoodunplugged.com), subject_light, and folkmagazine (www.folklifestyle.com). I like these sites because not only are the photos taken/curated just gorgeous, but they inspire me to become a better photographer too.
@ForgottenBkmrks on Twitter (website: www.forgottenbookmarks.com). I adore used/rare bookshops and so this feed is particularly interesting to me. In fact, I purchased the book Forgotten Bookmarks after following the feed for a few weeks. It’s a lovely little book for anyone who loves rare/antique books and bookshops (and the sometimes mysterious stories that often come with the book), and would make a great gift too. PLUS! If you follow on Twitter, you will see that there are regular giveaways of old/antique books . . . and I recently won!! Here are the books that were sent to me (a picture of the books to be given away is always posted):
Are you a science nerd that likes humor too? Follow @SciencePorn. Good stuff there.
Find yourself continually in awe of what the sky, and clouds in particular, can do? Check out @CloudAppSoc.
Occasionally, I will tweet something for the creative nonfiction hashtag, #cnftweet, that is affiliated with @cnfonline, the Twitter account for Creative Nonfiction magazine (www.creativenonfiction.org). With #cnftweet, you basically tell a true story in a single tweet. It’s harder than you think, but for me it’s a good prompt as I strive to be more pithy in some of my writing. Well, wouldn’t you know, they selected one of my tweets to be featured in their Spring 2014 issue focusing on Sustainability, and my prize was a copy of the issue! It’s small, but I’m officially published!
Do you love someone on Etsy, Twitter and/or Instagram? Please let me know!
Copyright (c) 2014 Kristen M. Ploetz