everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

Well, hello kitty

It’s winter time in Australia now, and for Melbourne, that means some colder temperatures than I’ve been used to as a Sydney-sider. Which I don’t actually mind at all – it’s a great excuse to wear lots of layers with faux fur trimmings and to watch tv under a crocheted nanna blanket. And maybe even wear a beanie, although I’m still not sure beanies really make anyone look that great.

Well, I did think that, until I rediscovered the etsy store ToScarboroughFair. Now, I’m not a crazy cat lady, but I don’t judge you if you are. And why shouldn’t cats be able to style up their looks like humans – maybe without the faux fur trimmings, as that would be a bit creepy, but with a beanie or little hat, especially as the weather gets cold. Here are some of my favourites. You’re welcome.

catberet

Bonjour. [image from ToScarboroughFair]

catcap

A round of golf, you say? [image from ToScarboroughFair]

catbeanie

Chillin’. [image from ToScarboroughFair]

catrasta

Rasta cat. [image from ToScarboroughFair]

cattophat

Seriously? [image from ToScarboroughFair]

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Accessorising with Animals

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I love finding quirky gift ideas to help you with presents for those tricky-to-buy-for people in your life. And when I saw this series of items, I just had to share. Whether someone really loves animals, or isn’t allowed to have real pets in their apartment, or is a stressed-out big-wig Exec VP GM CFO OMG, or just needs a funky carrying device, I present to you some of the highlights from Ben Tsang’s etsy shop: BENWINEWIN. (And I have to say that any shop that has wine and win in its name has already got me.)

"Brown Cat Bag" includes cat-like straps.  [image from BENWINEWIN]

Well, hello kitty! “Brown Cat Bag” includes cat-like straps, apparently.
[image from BENWINEWIN]

I feel like this Panda Purse would help to save money. The guilt trip from those sad eyes will keep the zipper closed tight. [image from BENWINEWIN]

I feel like this Panda Purse would help to save money. The guilt trip from those sad eyes: do you really need those expensive shoes? Will you really wear that hat again? Are the sequins really a wardrobe staple? Got bamboo?
[image from BENWINEWIN]

This owl cushion is basically the soft furnishing equivalent of a menacing whisper: YOU'RE ALWAYS BEING WATCHED.

This owl cushion is basically a menacing whisper: YOU’RE ALWAYS BEING WATCHED.
[image from BENWINEWIN]

The Pomeranian. Happiest dog-bag in the world. [image from BENWINEWIN]

The Pomeranian. Happiest dog-bag in the world.
[image from BENWINEWIN]

And my personal favourite…

Because everyone needs a giant raccoon by their side. [image from BENWINEWIN]

Because everyone needs a giant raccoon by their side.
[image from BENWINEWIN]

I hope you like these as much as I did – and please feel free to share this post with any friends who might also like what BENWINEWIN does. And if you needed another reason to visit the shop, Ben Tsang also takes custom orders…so you can carry your little Pixie or Spot or Roger (the raccoon, obviously) everywhere you go. You’re welcome!

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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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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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Happy Shark Week!

I like to think that I’m a woman of the world and I know what’s going on…which is why I can’t believe that until yesterday I hadn’t heard of Shark Week. You probably already know all about it, but just in case you’re like me and have missed this festival in previous years, here’s a brief update. Shark Week started back in 1988 – it’s a creation of the Discovery Channel and is essentially a week-long series of TV shows about sharks. Apparently, it was developed to help the average person have a greater respect for sharks. And it’s now broadcast in over 72 countries. Uh huh.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Shark Week and the peeps at the Discovery Channel marketing machine have gone all out. In addition to the usual souvenir DVDs, books and t-shirts, you can also buy a heap of other wacky gear to show that you’re a friend of the sharks. Like this hat, for example.

Foam Fin Hat from the Shark Week Store

Or these cupcakes, custom-made in a Georgetown bakery. The toppers show a logo or a shark or A LONE HAND STICKING UP FROM THE OCEAN OF ICING. Not sure that image is helping the sharks’ cause, to be honest.

DC Cupcakes from the Shark Week Store

And then there’s this hoodie t-shirt (for adults and for kids) – if you hold your arms like you’re giving yourself a hug, you can scare the life out of people around you. Nothing says Happy Shark Week like a giant set of chompers headed your way.

Shark Week Hoodie from the Shark Week Store

Finally, here’s the ultimate Shark Week accessory for your canine companion – a Hammerhead Shark Pet Costume. It doesn’t seem quite right to me, but hey, anything goes in Shark Week!

Pet Costume from the Shark Week Store

So, I wish you and yours a very happy Shark Week. If you’d like to learn more about this Week, you can check out the Discovery Channel website here or head straight to the Shark Week Store to stock up on goodies here. A word of warning – when I checked, the website went straight to an auto-play video with a very scary voice over very scary music, “Deep beneath, a pre-dat-or is lurking…” Eeeeek – Happy Shark Week!

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Pet Confessions

Do you sometimes wonder what your little dog and cat friends are thinking? Well, Christopher Rozzi can tell you. Mr Rozzi is an artist, a writer, and comedian living in NYC. And his tiny confessions range combines comedy with art. He asks dogs, cats and even monsters and robots the big questions and paints their answers…

Confession of a French Bulldog
[Christopher Rozzi]

Confession of a Cat
[Christopher Rozzi]

Confession of a Wolfman
[Christopher Rozzi]

Confession of a German Shepherd
[Christopher Rozzi]

Confession of a Labrador
[Christopher Rozzi]

And even…

Confession of Darth Vader
[Christopher Rozzi]

These are just a sample of the very funny tiny confessions range, which you can check out on etsy.

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A Tale of Two Kitties

Helena is the talent behind Tokyo Inspired – selling ‘lovingly handcrafted’ cases for your iphone, camera or pencils. They are very cute and more than a little bit quirky. And they remind me of Zippy from Rainbow. I discovered Tokyo Inspired on etsy and although I can’t claim to be down with the mysteries of the animal kingdom, I am really not sure about the photos that Helena has used to sell her wares…

Take this lovely image of a cute snoozing kitty. The cat looks so happy snuggled up against her soul mate there on the rug. Except – it’s not her soul mate, IT’S A PENCIL CASE. And it has a fairly maniacal-looking zippered smile on its face. And eyes that never sleep. But then, I think there’s probably no harm as long as the (real) cat is happy, right?

Then there’s this pic of a grey cat laughing with his arm tucked around his equally delighted companion. Oh, he’s so chuffed that his partner mirrors his wide smile when he tells his favourite joke about that time with the saucer of milk. They are so happy and in sync and meant to be together. Except – hang on, that’s not a smile, that’s AN OPENING TO STUFF PENCILS OR A SMART PHONE THROUGH. And I start to feel like this is getting a bit out of hand.

And these two grey cousins, caught in a never-ending battle to see who can ‘freeze’ the longest. It’s just not right.

I love your work, Tokyo Inspired – the cases are very cute and I can think of lots of people (myself included) who would like them. But I’m just not sure that it’s fair to the real cats to keep up this charade. Because one day, maybe a zipper will break, or a sequinned eye will drop off, or an ear will unthread, and there will be heartache in the litterbox.

You can check out these very cool cases (and cats) at the Tokyo Inspired shop here.

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Snappy dressin’ cats (and dogs)

I do like a portrait of an animal in clothes. There’s something about a cleverly matched animal head with a human’s outfit that makes me giggle every time. So, I was delighted to find Heather Mattoon Art on etsy – any shop whose promise is simply, “CATS AND DOGS IN CLOTHES” is alright by me. Here are some of my favourites…

This is George. Apparently, George is quiet, loves science, especially quantum theory, and feels that doctors should be more forthcoming with health advice despite the influence of the pharmaceutical companies.

And Cooper. Cooper is a deep thinker, his thoughts are profound. He walks alone from coffee shop to coffee shop carrying his journal.

Or Henry. Henry is not yet a teenager but likes to hang around the older crowd to feel a little bit cooler. He is wearing his favorite onesie pajamas.

But if dogs are more your thing… Stewart, oh Stewart, such a good natured boy. He enjoys very much organizing community meetings to raise awareness of societal issues. He provides all of the snacks as well.

Then there’s Theo. Theo lives in North Carolina in a newly remodeled home. He confuses people with his ironic sense of humor…he is what some people call a hipster.

And Sven. Sven spends his days looking after his grandmother. She lets him take her scooter to the shops. He is saving up for a motorcycle but right now he enjoys the Vespa.

Love your work, Heather Mattoon. If you’d like to check out more of Heather’s fabulous prints and originals, they are here.

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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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Puppy love

When you live in an apartment, it’s not always possible to have a dog or cat. A real, live dog or cat, at least. But that leaves plenty of options for fake furry friends – they’re low maintenance, cuddly and look cool on your lounge or bed (without leaving any hair behind). If you’re in the market for a new pretend pet, then consider Cuore (it’s Italian for ‘heart’) your online pet shop. Made by Mika in California, these cute dogs with a quirky back story could be your new best friends…

Here’s Boris, the English Bulldog. Apparently, Boris lives in Tacoma, Washington. His favorite activity is eating – especially molasses doggie treats, and he loves to chase plastic balls with his buddy, Oliver the Cat!

And then there’s Lola, the Boston Terrier. According to the website, Lola is deaf, loves to eat apples and likes to head-butt guests. You’ve been warned.

I know he’s not a dog, but Grayson the Fox needs to be part of this post too. A nomad who travels the world, Grayson loves to munch on pretzels and peanut butter, and dance to soul music. He has an amazing sixth sense for good people, and loves to study astrology and universal law.

Billie Jean the Chihuahua is a performing dog from Indiana. Billie Jean travels the world in her one-dog show, performing everything from the moonwalk to singing Michael Jackson covers. On her down time, she loves to watch Curb Your Enthusiasm, and relax with doggie yoga.

And then there’s my favourite – Barbeque the Dachshund. Barbeque lives in Chicago and is a stand-up comedi-dog. Apparently, his favorite foods are corn dogs, and he loves to play Uno with his other dog buddies.

For these and lots more cute felt pets, you can check out the Cuore shop on etsy here.

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