everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

Well hello, kitty

I was trying to avoid another Valentine’s Day post, but then I came across this shop in a Valentine’s Day gift collection on etsy and thought it was just kooky enough to share with you. Who knows, but your Valentine may even have four legs – no judgement here, my friend. Or perhaps your furry pal has been invited to a fancy dress party, or has a job interview or an X-Factor audition coming up. Whatever the case may be, I am tipping that this place will be able to help.

Notso Kitty is the shop, stocked with accessories created by Wendy in Boston, USA. Wendy makes a range of festive hats, glasses and headbands. For cats. In case you don’t believe me, here are some photos – the models are Wendy’s cats, Fluffy and Notso Fluffy.

And even if you’re not in the market for cat-wear, it’s always a good idea to start the week with pictures of funny looking animals, right?

Glasses for your furry Valentine.

Glasses for your furry Valentine.

O'Kitty all ready for St Patrick's Day.

O’Kitty all ready for St Patrick’s Day.

Good ol' pumpkin head, ready for Halloween.

Good ol’ pumpkin head, ready for Halloween.

The cat in the (royal) hat.

The cat in the (royal) hat.

And I have nothing more to add. Inspired? You can check out Notso Kitty on etsy here.

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New Year’s Resolution #7 – the one about nail polish

I’m not really a big fan of serious new year’s resolutions. I have a few things that I tried last year that met with mixed success (see more movies, read more books, run more, lose weight, say yes to more things – in a good way – and so on). Then again, I look back on 2012 as a great year for me, as things came up along the way that I turned into on-the-spot resolutions and saw those through. If I was wedded to my 2012 resolutions, I would have felt like a failure because my September injury meant a fast and dramatic end to my running program; I would have forced myself to see movies that I didn’t like to fill the monthly quota I had set; I would have said no to doing things so that I could finish the books on my bedside table. Granted, that growing pile of books is now threatening to topple on my head in the dead of night, so reading more books is something I’m keen to do in 2013 – if only for survival.

My resolutions have tended to form more of a to-do list for the year ahead, which I don’t think is best practice resolution setting, but it seems to work for me (mostly). I try to make some small, everyday kinda commitments or goals and some bigger (or longer term) resolutions too. And like any good to-do list, the more I put on, the better the chance of crossing something off. Surely.

Anyways, a resolution that I’ve decided to try this year is a very shallow and simple, yet specific, one: wear more nail polish. Because I’m worth it. Really though, I never paint my finger nails as I’ve never seen the point of it when they chip so quickly when you’re busy doing stuff, but this year I’m starting in style. With the yellow, pineapple scented (yes, really) Sportsgirl nail polish that I gave my nieces for Christmas. Sure, I keep thinking I’ve got stickers caught on my fingers or someone has attacked me with highlighters, but these colourful nails are everyday sparks if ever I’ve seen them…

NewYearNails

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Fashion buzz

The Ecouterre website is all about ‘eco fashion’ and ‘sustainable style’ – I think it’s always an interesting virtual place to visit as some of the ideas are very clever. Of course, some of the ideas are very wacky, which is ok with me too. Like these Pollinator Frocks designed by British artist Karen Ingham. Apparently the population of bees and other pollinating insects is shrinking, which causes all sorts of problems for the global food system.

So why not create a dress that features “electron-microscopy images of pollen”, treat them with “a nectar-like sugar solution that attracts and nourishes bees”? Sure. Now I know exactly what you’re thinking – what about all those other insects that come out at night? Well, Karen has thought of that too – the day-wear frocks are designed to attract bees and butterflies, while the evening-wear frocks are for “nocturnal critters such as moths”. So it seems that moths aren’t just attracted to nice woolly jumpers, or the wallets of stingy people who keep a tight reign on their spending.

Karen worked with a range of scientists and engineers to develop her so-called “wearable gardens”, which closely mimic the aromas and materials of the flowers that attract insects.

I have visions of people wearing their garden frocks to work and being swarmed by bees as they wait at the bus stop. And on the way home in the evenings, moths gather around the fashionista like flies at a picnic. But then I read that Karen encourages people to hang the frocks on their washing line to attract bees, and I am confused. Are they meant to be worn as moving feasts for our insect friends, or are they so powerful that it’s safest to just hang them on the line and leave it at that?

I guess the choice is yours – but I wish you all the best if you decide to buy one and prance around like Mother Nature. Please let me know how it works out. In the meantime, you can read more about the Pollinator Frocks on the Ecouterre website here.

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Nail it

I’m not really a mani-pedi kinda gal. But sometimes I see people with perfectly groomed nails and I wish I could be so dedicated. And if I were so inclined, there are certainly many ways to bring some personality to the tips of your digits through polish or decals or, you know, metallic caviar beads.

Hail the Nails in the UK sells this bizarre look, which would appear equally at home sprinkled on top of cupcakes (though these ones aren’t edible). There are a few steps to the process – painting the nails, then coating the nails, then sprinkling on the beads. This ‘metallic caviar’ is interesting, but I think I’d prefer 100s and 1000s. Maybe there’s a market for a new look: Fairy Bread Fingers. Maybe…

Or perhaps this poodle decal is more your scene. The Fog Shoppe (and yes, I do always pronounce that “Shop-ee” in my head), feature a few different breeds, so you can wear your favourite. And in case you’re a fickle kinda person whose favourite breed changes regularly, I recommend a nail decal instead of a tattoo.

Then there are these fairly creepy black spider and spider web nails from Inspired Nails. I like to think that somewhere there’s a serious, conservative corporate type prepared to don these for a Board meeting, just to see the reaction. Or the coolest paediatrician in town could impress Spiderman fans with this set.

There’s also a huge collection of Hello Kitty nail decals, if they’re your thing. And lots of moustaches, which is a craze that I still don’t quite get. And chess pieces and sporting team logos and South Park characters and spots and stripes and checks. It’s like a whole other world of fashion out there – and they’re cheap and disposable, so you can change your mind daily.

You can check out Hail the Nails here, The Fog Shoppe here and Inspired Nails here. Or just google ‘nail decals’ and prepare to be amazed. And a little bit scared.

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EverydaySparks Unique Gift Idea #73

A main idea of this blog is to share stuff I see, which you might not. And for me, that often includes wacky gift ideas. I recently stumbled across The Mountain T-Shirt Store via a sale on Fab.com. They sell an interesting range, which they call Big Face Animals. And although you probably think you can imagine what they look like, I’ve included some of my favourites from this intriguing range below. They might just make the perfect unique gift for an animal lover. Or the perfect exposure therapy for an animal fearer. Or just a funny present for someone who appreciates crazy looking shirts. I’ve certainly never seen anything like them before…

Black Lab Face

Bunny Face

Eagle Face

Green Eyes Face

And looking at all those giant faces has freaked me out a bit, so that’s enough for now. You can check out this bizarro range (and lots of other strangely named categories) at The Mountain T-Shirts shop here.

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Bag lady designs

I like bags. And if they’re cute and clever and good for the environment, then so much the better, I say. And I’ve found these very cool canvas shopping totes on etsy, made by Pamela Fugate Designs, and I reckon they fit the bill.

Like this slightly more highbrow version of that famous Sir Mix-a-Lot quote…

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Or this, for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey. Yep, really.

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And for the bakin’ homeboy or homegirl in your life, there’s this bag.

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There’s this classic Mom/Mum bag, which I’m guessing is meant to stop any pesky children asking too many questions. But I wouldn’t recommend bringing it along to your local farmer’s market as it feels in conflict with the relaxed, organic, herbal kinda vibe. Unless of course you are the organic farmer selling your produce. In which case, you might want to sell these bags in answer to questions like, “Why does that organic clove of garlic cost $32?” or “How do you know that heirloom tomatoes are worth 500% more than regular tomatoes?” or that sort of thing.

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There’s also a range of customised wedding totes – I’m not really sure how they work though, to be honest. As a bridesmaid, I’ve never received a show bag of treats from the bride (not complaining, I have been lucky to receive much nicer gifts from the lovely brides I’ve maided for). And I’ve not been to a wedding that gave away a goodie bag instead of a small memento that you could take home in your handbag. But each to their own on their big day!

You can check out the range of bags (and shirts and baby outfits) at Pamela’s etsy shop here.

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Slipper-y slope

It’s winter here in the southern hemisphere and, although the Sydney sunshine can sometimes lull you into a false sense of security, the colder nights definitely call for blankets and candles and Snuggies and slippers. Or just central heating, I guess, if you’re a bit more sensible. Anyways, slippers can often be a bit boring or make you look old before your time. So, I have searched high and low for some slippers that will keep your feet warm and your street cred intact. You’re welcome.

These “Men with Mustache” wool/felt slippers are hand made in Lithuania by the clever Egle at Felting By Eglut. And they don’t just look cool, they are built to last: “the soles of these felted slippers are coated with ecologic natural latex (liquid rubber)”. Which apparently means the Men with Mustaches won’t go slipping and sliding all over your floors. You can check out these Men and other great designs at Egle’s etsy shop here.

Or perhaps you prefer your slippers with a pun. In which case, it’s difficult to go past these Freudian Slippers (get it?!) at Find Me A Gift. And there’s a creepy surprise as you “slip your feet in and wiggle your toes to move the bright red tongue.” Uh huh. You can find them here.

And from the fantastic range at Monster Slippers in the UK (“for the animal in you”), these Brightfeet Slippers are pure genius. Gone are the sore toes from walking into walls when you’re roaming around the house in the middle of the night – these clever slippers feature lights in their soles, activated when your foot is in the slipper and the room is dark. These cool slippers and many more are available here.

If you or a lady friend are into hand made goodness, crochet, or just swept up in the current owl craze, you might prefer like these custom made Owl Mary Janes from Erin in Florida. They’re for sale at her Sweet Cheeks Gift Store on etsy. They’re bright and colourful and those beady eyes will no doubt see well in the dark (though they probably won’t be quite as helpful as the light-up slippers mentioned above). You can check out Erin’s fabulous wares here.

And now I’ve convinced myself that I need to upgrade my stripey slipper boots – though I never realised there were so many options…

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Dress to impress

There are times when a normal dress just won’t cut it. When you want to stand out from the crowd and need an outfit that tells a story. Or, in the case of these frocks, an outfit that yells LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME.

Take this dress, recently featured on Design Taxi. It’s made out of 50,000 gummy bears and apparently takes the strength of three adults to move it. By the looks of her, that model wouldn’t be much help with moving the gown – in fact, she should probably sneak a few rows of bears from around the hem line.

Or perhaps this bread suit from Lux Fashion Style would be just the ticket to make a strong impression in your workplace. As long as your workplace isn’t somewhere with a lot of hungry birds flying around. And please exercise caution if you sit very close to someone who is gluten intolerant. Or on the Atkins diet.

Speaking of carbs, here’s a pretty delicious frock featured on the Delish site – it’s made of spaghetti, set off with a dazzling necklace of meatballs. Perfect for a dinner party or night out on the town.

And not to forget the boys – here’s another outfit featured on Lux Fashion Style. The top looks as though someone threw a compost bin on the poor model, but the waffle pants are fashion gold. Practicality doesn’t matter a jot when you look this good.

You can check out the gummy bear dress on Design Taxi here. And the Lux Fashion Style post is here. And the edible outfits from Delish are here. EverydaySparks takes no responsibility for any accidents or incidents or broken relationships caused by you getting inspired and creating your own culinary couture. I’m planning a three-course outfit: a layered lasagne dress with a little bruschetta jacket, accessorised with some tiramisu shoes. What about you?

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That’s miPhone

With the number of people sporting iPhones these days, it can be tough to know which is yours. If, say, you are in the habit of turning your phone upside down and putting it right next to someone else’s. And the standard black or white colour scheme can feel somewhat limiting to people like you and me, who kinda like to stand out of the crowd, march to the beat of a different drum, or fly in the face of convention. Or maybe it’s not even that deep, maybe it’s just nice to personalise your phone as you would any other accessory that you’ve chosen to fit your style/mood/look. I’m not an iPsych, so I’m not digging any deeper – but here are some of the more intriguing iPhone covers that I have discovered…

For fans of Tiffany & Co, Audrey Hepburn, New York City, presents, or ribbons – this would surely be the cover for you. Although you would probably have to watch out for people who like to steal expensive trinkets. And people who like to untie ribbons. And those girls who have always wanted something from Tiffany & Co – you don’t want your phone to be their something. That would be disappointing for both parties, really.

Or for geeks with a slightly evil sense of humour, who want to giggle every time that a non-geek panics that they’ve splashed water and ruined the geek’s exposed iPhone circuitry. LOL.

The warning in the product blurb makes me think that someone has bought this next cover to recreate their childhood farming memories of ol’ Bessy, and been sadly crushed by reality. Peeps, “this is a photo of a cow hide – not a real hide.” Although I’m sure if it’s real cow hide that you’re after, there’s a phone cover shop somewhere that caters for your taste.

And in case your thing is vases shaped like vintage shoes and stockings, filled with roses and strapped in to old-fashioned roller skates. Here you go, champ.

If you’re a romantic, you might like this cover. But I think it’s worth remembering that this message goes out to everyone who sees your phone. So, you might want to think about that. Not just to your beloved, or family and friends, but to the smelly guy on the bus, the annoying lady at work, and the cranky neighbour. Tho’ it is nice to spread a message of love – like a random act of kindness that you’re throwing out to the world. And, if your phone gets stolen, who knows but the thief may turn it over, see this cover and think about giving it back to its lovely owner. Or at least think about getting a new cover for their hot phone.

And last, but by no means least (unless you’re a vegetarian), here is the “Juicy Steak Design”. Unlike that cowhide cover, there is no warning here saying, this is a photo of a steak – not a real steak. So I do hope there are not people trying to order the cover ‘medium rare’ or ‘well done’. For me, this cover goes with many others into the BUT, WHY? file – though perhaps it makes more sense if you’re a steak lover. In which case, you can snap it up for less than $20!

So many covers to choose from to pick just the right hat for your phone. If none of these have spoken to you, there are plenty more to check out at the Wallsparks shop. Like, brain scan images (uh huh), old school typewriters, flags, donuts, robots, light switches, animals and pretty much anything you can imagine. The etsy shop is here if you’d like to have a look.

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The Cat in the Hat(s)

A while back, I reported on the interesting range of knitted hats for pug dogs, available from an etsy shop (the post is here, if you missed it). The photos made me laugh, mostly because of the expressions on the poor dog model’s little face. I think he felt embarrassed, but soldiered on like a true professional. I now think I have found his feline equivalent – modelling for the etsy shop To Scarborough Fair. Here are some of the highlights…

This Native American inspired costume features a wig made of yarn, traditional headband and a real feather. Attached with a “comfortable elastic cord”, this costume is sure to impress even the coolest cats in the neighbourhood. And perhaps it will encourage a dialogue on the history of the Native American people (and cats) and promote a deeper understanding of their culture. Or perhaps it will just look totally awesome, and that will be enough.

Or you might like this artistic and slightly mysterious looking cat beret. For the sophisti-cat who enjoys a cafe au lait and croissant every now and again, whilst reading sad poetry and staring longingly into the distance. Ooh la la.

If your cat is more of a rule-following, early-rising, bossy-boots control freak, this Marine Captain hat might be just the ticket. Lesser cats (and possibly humans) will fall into line under the command of Cap’n Cat – just look at the expression of the cat in the photo: she means business. Aye aye, kitty.

And for the final image, I couldn’t decide between the Halloween themed witch’s hat or the beautiful spring hat. So here they are – whether your cat needs a scary costume for a party (or to stand up to that neighbourhood bullying dog) or a pretty spring hat to wear to the races or a garden party, this etsy shop will have a cap that fits.

If you now realise your cat is underdressed and needs to step it up a notch in the fashion stakes, or if you just want to look at more funny pictures of cats in hats, then you should definitely check out To Scarborough Fair here.

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