everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

New York books and things 

I love New York. I don’t have the t-shirt or mug or hat with that message plastered on it, but I really do heart New York. So many amazing things to see and do and watch and eat and drink, but today I wanted to tell you about a book shop (book store, if you prefer). It’s called Book Culture, and it’s brilliant. 

But first, here’s Central Park under snow this week…

Anyway, my favourite link in the Book Culture chain is the store on Columbus. If you’re in town, it’s a great place to look around and spent some quality time with books and gifts and trinkets and cool things. Even if you’re the fussiest fuss-pot, or if you’re looking for a gift for said fussiest fuss-pot, I’m pretty sure you’ll find something (or things) here.

I was lucky enough to visit again this week, and wanted to share a couple of examples of their awesomeness with you: a blind date with a book; and a beautiful desk with stationery and encouragement to sit down, relax, and write a letter. 

The “Blind Date with a book” table is full of different novels wrapped in brown paper. On each mysterious package is a note that helps you choose the best match for your date: with a list of three other novels (if you liked them, you’ll like this book too). Like an old-fashioned book match making service / lucky dip. Love it. 


And then there’s this desk, with a note encouraging letter writers to sit, write, and have their letter posted by the good people of Book Culture. With nearly 2,000 letters sent from this very spot, it’s clearly helping to rekindle the art of letter writing. And they have included some political addresses, but you could also write to your granny, kindergarten teacher, or boy next door. (Or anyone else.) Such a great idea.


And now here’s the city lit with a few touches of green on St Patrick’s Day. (The beautiful view is from the fab Top of the Rock experience.) Just because.

‘Til next time, NYC. Love ya.

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Stickmen

I was going through my bookshelves recently and noticed this little book, which I hadn’t looked at for a while. It’s called STICKMEN by Peter Vegas and I can’t remember where I bought it, probably one of those impulse buys at the counter of a book shop (so it must be old – remember book shops?)… Flicking through it still made me smile, so I thought I’d share some of my favourites with you today.

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

And there are plenty more where those came from – I just did a quick search and it seems that Peter Vegas is a Kiwi who works in advertising and has written a few different Stickmen books in his spare time. They’re simple, they’re quirky and I think they’re great. Hooray for Stickmen!

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Special gift ideas for your Valentine

Now that the festive season is out of the way, it’s time to move on to the next exploitable holiday in the calendar – Valentine’s Day. Now let me just state for the record that, even though I don’t have a Valentine (waaa waaa), I still think that the idea of celebrating love and giving thoughtful trinkets is a fabulous thing. But, I fear that many poor saps get trapped by savvy marketers and become convinced that if you love someone, then this is the day you must step up and show them. Preferably on a grand scale and the more public the declaration of love, the better.

I do worry about those romantic fools, hoodwinked into spending too much money on questionable jewellery, giant I WUV U bears, scent-less roses that have magically tripled in price, dinner accompanied by the soothing sounds of the piano accordion. That sort of thing. Never fear though, I have scoured etsy and come up with some great gift ideas for your Valentine – gifts that won’t break the bank, cause offence or mis-spell love. You’re welcome.

Firstly, from Crafted Cookies, a pair of very cute sweet treats for Valentines. Or for police to give to criminals out on parole. Or for teachers to give the naughtiest kid in the class. Or for creepy Valentines-from-a-distance (I think the technical name is ‘peeping toms’) to give the object of their affection. It just works on so many levels.

I love you. So look out.

I love you. So look out.

I actually really like this next one, a cool necklace from A Charmed Impression. But I do have to question their chosen model in the promo pic, given its inclusion in the Valentine’s Day collection…(To be fair, Katie’s necklace does appear to feature an ‘S’ for Suri (I presume it’s not for Scientology, anyways) rather than a ‘T’ for Tom.)

Valentine Schmalentine says Joey from Dawson's Creek.

Valentine Schmalentine says Joey from Dawson’s Creek.

And another idea that I like, but question their photo choice for the Valentine’s Day collection, comes from Jubile Jewel. They are sterling silver initial earrings, which make a lovely romantic gift for your special someone. But could result in some mis-communication or a fight if your beloved happens to be called Fred Ulrich. Or Fanny Underwood.

Not quite the romantic sentiment you were after...

Maybe not quite the romantic sentiment you were after…

Another interesting gift for your sweetheart comes from Plantables & Paper. It’s a love letter kit, which apparently provides you with 50 small cards with a typed intro on each, to get your romantic sonnets flowing. Although this one in the picture does feel more like it’s leading you to put an expiry date on it. If that’s something that you want to convey, maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t quite the time to do it. But when the time is right, if you use this card, it will definitely seem like a smoother delivery of a much nicer message. Of course, I take no responsibility if that presumption turns out to be false and you sustain an injury.

15 February 2013. At least.

15 February 2013. At least.

And I couldn’t resist sharing this personalised ceramic mug from 39 Cups. Perfect for a Valentine who’s a bit of a geek or a word-nerd. And we all know there’s nothing AT ALL wrong with that. It’s a word search, hand-painted onto a mug, with four words circled – your Valentine’s name, plus three words that describe them. Please note that each of the three descriptive words has to be 10 letters or less though, so it’s too bad if your man is really multi-faceted, or your lady is simply extraordinary. 

This mug appears to be for Ashley - a sexy & stylish skater. Uh huh.

This mug appears to be for Ashley – a sexy & stylish skater. Uh huh.

Well, that’s plenty of Valentine’s Day fodder for you right there, so I’ll stop now. But I do reserve the right to publish some more pre-Valentine’s Day posts if I discover other gifts for your consideration. Or if you find any true gems that I can share, please email me!

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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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Wax on, wax off

A candle can make a lovely gift – but some people think they’re a little ho hum. Unless, of course, it’s a Man Candle. Or maybe one of these candles – something tells me you won’t find these in every homewares store in the village…

This ‘Thing’ hand candle is eerily life-like. Yes, yes, you can apparently ‘see every wrinkle and vein’, but even better (or worse, depending on your feelings about burning hands), as the candle burns, red wax oozes from the wrist. Uh huh. How’s that for a conversation stopper at your next dinner party? It’s made by JohnnyBWilde in the UK and you can check it out on etsy here.

And here’s another candle I don’t quite understand – it’s a wedding dress. Presumably, if you’ve had a lovely wedding day, you wouldn’t want to set fire to a pretty white wedding dress (even if it is made of wax)? Perhaps it’s for a runaway bride to light to celebrate her escape. Or for bachelors everywhere to send a subliminal message to their lady of the moment that there will be no trip down the aisle. It was featured in a candle post a while back on urlesque here.

I love this Lego candle best of all. It looks as though it’d be long-lasting, although in fairness I’m not sure about the scale. I love it,as long as the people can be removed before you light the eight wicks on the brick – I don’t fancy seeing those three little people melting down as they can’t handle the heat. That’s not right at all. This was shown on Smashing Lists here.

Last, but not least, is the candle range from Hotwicks. Made in the USA, the range includes delicate scents such as Beer, Campfire, Leather, Sawdust and Whiskey. Oh, and Stripper and Urinal Cake. Uh huh. Somewhat tame in comparison, but still just as baffling, here is the Bacon flavoured candle. You can check out the range here.

This collection of bizarro candles just proves my theory that there really is a market for everything. And with that, I’m off to make my own range of candles – That’s My Boy, a stinky aroma of socks, wet towels & other signature scents, to soothe empty nesters who are missing their sons; Dry July, a treat for anyone giving up alcohol, it releases vapours of vino into the air (after all, the rules don’t say anything about inhaling alcohol); and Kardashian, a sickly sweet candle, with a combination of over the top scents competing for your attention – a minute after lighting this, you’ll be forced to switch off reality tv, blow out the candle and get out into the real world for a breath of fresh air. If you’d like to contribute to the EverydaySparks Candle Collection, please get in touch to share your ideas…

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