everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

A little packing tip

I don’t really like packing. It might have something to do with the mean discrimination required – that’s in, that’s out – or the forward thinking about the possible clothing options required for activities that might occur on the trip. However, when packing my backpack for the Camino, the key focus is pretty simple: keep the weight down to around 6kg (uh huh) and as for the activities that might occur – well, that’s pretty much just A LOT OF WALKING.

That’s a part of the journey that I’m looking forward to, actually – no more standing in front of the wardrobe deciding what to wear, instead it will be a case of which of the two options in my pack is cleanest and away we go. As I packed some things in my bag this morning, I thought I’d share a tip that I read somewhere a while ago – in case you didn’t read it too. It’s a trick with the humble hotel shower cap – fits perfectly around shoes to keep the soles from dirtying everything else in your bag. A ShoeCap, if you like. You’re welcome!

The ShoeCap for my gorgeous granny-style trekking sandals.

The ShoeCap for my gorgeous granny-style trekking sandals.

Speaking of shoes, I am on to my fourth pair of Camino shoes – it has been quite the experience, I tell you. Luckily the good folk at The Athlete’s Foot give you 30 days to trial your new shoes in the outside world (as opposed to the outdoors stores that give you 48 hours to trial your shoes in your own lounge room, which isn’t exactly a trial). So technically, the last two pairs are the same purchase – I really wanted the third pair to work as they looked quite cool, but they did not like my ankles. Let’s hope this trekking version of the pinkies is up to the challenge!

Fingers crossed these will do the trick...

Fingers crossed these will do the trick…

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Hello, Dolly

Sometimes I get lost in the great online marketplace that is etsy. An email link here leads to something else there and before you know it, I’ve found this shop called Josmund from Oregon in the US of A. Josmund’s tag line is ‘miniature madness and funky finds‘ – I’d also add disturbing dollies and possibly crazy crap, but I appreciate that doesn’t necessarily have the same broad marketing appeal. Nonetheless, I wanted to share some of the madness and finds from this little etsy treasure trove with you here. And the arrangement of the pieces in these photos has a definite artistic quality, I reckon.

"Set of 7 Barbie and same size doll heads"...I do not like the way that one in the middle is looking at us...

“Set of 7 Barbie and same size doll heads”…I really do not like the way that one in the middle is looking at us…

"Doll parts"...just look at those jazz hands...

“Doll parts”…just look at those jazz hands…

"8 individual Kelly and Tommy size doll shoes"...I don't know who Kelly and Tommy are, but presume they are one legged dolls...

“8 individual Kelly and Tommy size doll shoes”…I don’t know who Kelly and Tommy are, am only guessing that they are one legged dolls…

Uh huh. You can check out the Josmund shop on etsy here, if you dare.

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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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Just add sprinkles

I am not embarrassed to say that I like sprinkles. I am not sure of the chemical process involved, but somehow, adding brightly coloured bits of sugar to your ice cream, cake, cappucino froth, or even just a piece of bread and butter turns it from ho-hum into an exciting party.

Which is why I was so pleased to find these sprinkle covered heels on etsy. Made by the clever people at MerloDesigns in the USA, these sweet shoes will liven up any outfit. But you probably shouldn’t wear them out on the town in the rain, just to be on the safe side. Although apparently, “the candy is 100% real, but 100% inedible! That’s right, these little guys have been glued and sealed to keep ants, mice, and other curious critters off your toes!” See, pretty and practical! You can check them out here.

Or there’s this fabulous rainbow resin bangle made by Nicola Williams in the UK – available from her etsy shop Made By Daisy here. Handmade to order, this beauty would make a great gift for any lass – although it will probably prove endlessly frustrating to hungry toddlers.

For summertime fun, you might like this 100s and 1000s giant inflatable Havaianas thong. Once you’ve blown it up, it’s 1.65m long and 65cm wide. Apparently it comes with a matching carry case. Surely it’s gotta be worth buying a pair, if only to scare other people at the beach or pool into thinking there are giants around. They are available at the Havaianas website.

Or for a slightly different take on art, here’s a piece by Joel Brochu – a recreation of a photograph of a dog getting washed. A recreation MADE OF SPRINKLES. Yep, for a Fine Arts project at university, Joel used jewellery tweezers to place each of the 221,184 sprinkles to form the image. Incredible. You can read more about this amazing artwork at My Modern Met.

And now, I’m off to make some fairy bread, with extra sprinkles.

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It’s a shoe-in

I like shoes. Not as much as Imelda Marcos and Carrie Bradshaw, to be sure, but I do appreciate a nice pair of kicks. I’m not fancy – they don’t need to cost a bzillion designer dollars or elevate me to dizzy heights. And the quirkier the better, I say. Well, that’s what I used to say, ’til I stumbled across Robert Tabor’s shoes on trendhunter.com. Like this cherry pie shoe with a forked heel.

I dug a little deeper and it turns out that Mr Tabor doesn’t really design shoes – he designs “fantasy shoe creations” or “shoe sculptures”. I think that’s code for shoes-so-crazy-not-even-Lady-Gaga-would-wear-them.

From the sandwich thongs (or jandals or flip flops, if you prefer), to the shoe made with hair (relax, it’s synthetic), to the Chinese dragon, to the aqua fish, these shoes scream Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Well, that or Important Meeting at Work. Or Parent-Teacher Night at School.

Granted, most of these boots aren’t really made for walkin’, more for decorating the hall table, but I do think that hair shoe looks kinda comfortable. And I have a red handbag that I think could work well with the dragon heels (it’s the Dragon’s year in 2012, after all). With a plain black dress or suit, of course.

If you would like to brighten up your shoe collection or just marvel at the many shoes of Robert Tabor, you can view the Trendhunter post here or the designer’s website here.

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Geek Chic

I first saw a version of these amazing Keyboard Slippers on the Inventor Spot site and thought they were pretty cool. Well, cool mightn’t be quite the right word. The original slippers are made by Kito in Thailand and you can get lots of different coloured foot straps: black, yellow, red, orange, brown or dark blue (depending on which of your geek chic outfits you want to match). Launched early last year, the Kito originals cost about $30 and are shipped worldwide from Thailand.

But, as with most good ideas, there is another version of keyboard sandals that are, no surprise, made in China (by a company with a very cool name: A-Yaya). They are priced at under $2 per pair. Which I guess might mean that the Enter key will stick and Ctrl-Alt-Delete won’t actually work. But I’m sure that you can still lose crumbs and eyelashes and cups of coffee between the keys, just like the real thing.

I don’t know your politics on global markets, so whether you want to check out the pricier (but original and brighter coloured) Kito shoes or the Chinese knock-offs, I’m sure that both types will massage your feet as you walk around. Which is more than you can say for your keyboard at work. If you are after the perfect gift for the nerd in your life (especially if that nerd is you), the Kito retailer is here.


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