everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

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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Worth Noting

Anrol Designs are a Melbourne-based outfit that appreciate the quirky. They have licensed the work of the clever folk at Dear Blank Please Blank and come up with some notebooks that made me smile, so I thought I’d share them with you. I’d put these in the funk-tional gift category: surely everybody can use another notebook in their collection. I have quite a large collection of notebooks myself – I still have grand plans of filling them with story ideas, business ideas, website ideas, shopping lists, gift lists, lists of my enemies…those kinds of things. And I’m a sucker for cool stationery. I was also a star procrastinator when studying – I could spend hours sharpening all of my pencils and testing all of my pens, then re-arranging my desk drawers by colour and spring cleaning my wardrobe, before I’d finally settle down to start writing an essay. As if all that re-organisation could somehow help me to write more convincingly about something I still didn’t quite understand. Kinda like Kevin Costner’s Field of Dreams. And no, I’ve never seen that movie, but I do hope that analogy makes sense. So it is with the notebook – once you have one that looks great, the amazing ideas will surely flow. Anyways, here are some of my favourites from the collection:

(Ok, this one is a card & not a notebook.)

(Alright, another card.)

(Yes, this one is a canvas. Promise there are some notebooks for sale too.)

You can check out the range of notebooks, canvasses, t-shirts, tea towels and cards at the Anrol Designs etsy shop here and the Dear Blank Please Blank website is also worth checking out – you can even submit your own message to the world. Or to your neighbour, or whoever it is that is bugging you. One of my favourites is: Dear Nickelback, That’s enough. Sincerely, the world. That website is here.

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Anthropomorphise!

Think Geek promises to sell “stuff for smart masses”. But not all of their stuff is especially geeky or designed for techos – today’s find made me giggle and I think it has a huge potential for adding a spark to the everyday items that we have around our homes and workplaces. Customers who have bought the kit have even sent in their own photos (which are then added to the product page) to show how they’ve used the stickers to add a bit of personality to things that would otherwise look pretty boring. See what you think…

In case you’re not familiar with the term ‘anthropomorphise’ (I wasn’t either), I’ll let the good people at Think Geek explain it far better than I can: We do it every day, though mostly without thinking about it – we get angry at the stapler that mangled our presentation, or the phone when it can’t get a signal. We say we “love this coffee mug,” and sometimes we even imagine a face on the clock on the wall. It’s called anthropomorphizing, and it’s where we imbue human characteristics to inanimate objects.

So they’ve taken this one step further and sell “Inanimate Character Stickers” – over 100 stickers of “eyes and mouths in various shapes, sizes and expressions, waiting for you to give life to the lifeless.” This idea is right up my street – I love it! From fruit to office products to shoes, people have submitted photos of what they’ve managed to achieve with just some kooky looking eyes and a toothy grin.

And the possibilities are endless. If others keep borrowing your stapler and forgetting to give it back, a scary face might be just what you need. Or if you want to encourage people to eat the orange cream biscuits that no one else wants, maybe stick on a nice little friendly face and watch them win people over. I’m thinking that doctors could take medical implements to a whole other level with a well chosen pair of eyes and a smile – except the only thing worse than a needle coming at you is surely a needle with a maniacal face coming at you…

I think these stickers could change our lives. Or, at least, they could help make us smile as we go about our business every day. And that’s a step in the right direction. If you’d like to check them out, they are available from Think Geek here.

 

 

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Write on

When I saw this at one of my favourite online spots, Candy Stripe Cloud, I had to share it. Just in case you’re looking for a present for someone who loves animals. Or who loves pens. Or who is just a weirdo. It doesn’t have a creative name – Brown Bear Pen – but don’t be fooled by that. This bear is really something. It looks like a precious ornament and will jazz up any desk or coffee table. But Brown Bear holds a secret deep inside. Deep, deep inside, actually. What could it be? Some insight into the meaning of life? Winning lottery numbers? A foolproof plan for world peace?

Steady on, he’s only a $17 plastic bear. The secret deep inside is a pen. Yes, the product name was kind of a giveaway. But these pictures still don’t tell me how it all fits together…

Aha. I see now. Brown Bear Pen – use it if you dare.

(And if you like Brown Bear Pen, you’ll love Candy Stripe Cloud)

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