16 April, 2009

Handmade Bliss!

I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it! I've got a lot of deliciousness for you today...invites and feathers and agate, oh my!

1. This beautiful invitation suite comes to us from green quince. The colors are chartreuse and a deep, beautiful burgundy (tres chic!). Everything is flat printed, but you'll find gocco screen printing on the envelopes. The suite shown here is $375 (which includes 100 ea.- invite (5"x7"), an A7 outer envelope complete with return address and a reply card/envelope). All assembly is done by the crafty gal behind green quince. She's completely custom as well, perfect for the choosy Bride. Most of the materials she works with are recycled and she is always on the watch for materials made with 100% Post-Consumer waste. She's located in the Oakland area, check out her Etsy Shop for full details and shop policies. Photo belongs to green quince.

2. This is the Daniella feather fascinator. This is a sweet little creation from Etsy seller, Vie Moderne. Made with ostrich hurl and hen feathers and fastened to a rhinestone button on a recycled leather base. The piece rests securely in your hair with the help of an alligator clip. At $34 (plus shipping), this hairpiece is a steal. This would look great with or without a veil. I also think it would be lovely on the bridesmaids or flower girl. Vie Moderne is located in Pasadena, California. This is her Etsy Shop and needless to say all of her shop policies and procedures can be found there. Photo belongs to Vie Moderne

3. These beautiful Agate Briolette Drink Charms are maybe my favorite item of the day. Tinahdee makes wonderfully beautiful jewelry with an array of materials. These charming little drink charms are made of shined, agate stones and wrapped with copper wire. At $30 (plus shipping, of course) for a set of 4, they might be a bit pricey, but totally worth it. Perfect for bridesmaids' gifts. I also think they'd be nice worked into boutonnieres or bouquets. Go to the Etsy Shop for details! Photo belongs to tinahdee.

4. Next we have the Elizabeth Earrings from Etsy seller, luxe deluxe. Made with genuine Swarovski rhinestones the flower pendants are set into antiqued silver plated filigree. A Swarovski briolette hangs as the focal point on each earring. The Elizabeth earrings are a bargain for only $68.00USD. This is the matching necklace. There are several variations on this particular style and all of them are gorgeous! Check out the double strand Elizabeth Necklace. Beautiful! Get on over to her Etsy Shop! The only thing I will say is prepare to pay a little more in shipping as this shop is located in Edinburgh and all shipping will come from the UK. Photo belongs to luxe deluxe.

5. Next up, we have these charming Charcoal roses from seller Allen Company Inc. Made of silky microfiber fabric and mounted on real vines and branches with silver wire, these roses will run you $150 (plus shipping) for a set of 24. I love these! I think they'd be perfect for any Bride looking to add romantic, vintage accents to a more modern look. Also, a fabric bouquet was just made for preserving......I'm thinking you could fill one of those clear glass lamp bases with them (after removing blooms from stems) or one might put a couple lovely blooms in a chic shadowbox along with other memorabilia from your special day. Ah, beauty. This clever little company is located in eastern Pennsylvania and you can travel to her Etsy Shop for details and policies. P.S.- She takes custom orders! Photo belongs to Allen Company Inc.

6. Finally, something for the guys! These microfiber ties from Detroit based seller Cyberoptix Tie Lab are smart, chic, and a perfect way to add some color to the guys without the all the schmaltz. The Hubbs even likes them! Shown here in the ridiculously Delicious seafoam/rose combo, this set of 4 ties costs just $108. Shockingly inexpensive when you think of what you'd pay for some of the lower quality stuff in the stores. The best part?! They're handmade-which means on top of everything, no one will ever have the exact same thing. Check out other offerings here and here! Oh, and these too.....delish! They are willing to work with you on design and color scheme. Cyberoptix also has several group rates on ties for weddings (love, love LOVE them!). Perfect for the man with style! Go to their shop for details and policies. Photo belongs to Cyberoptix Tie Lab.

Now, for a few "dos and don'ts" that may aid you in your Etsy travels.

Do read the Shop Policies on each seller you visit BEFORE placing any orders. This is important folks, because every seller is different and a "do" in one shop could very well be a big 'ol "don't" in another. Unsure? Ask. Use the convo tool-always. Most sellers will require you use it for consultations on custom work anyway.
establish a working relationship early on. They want to help you, but you've got to meet them half way.
ask all of your questions! Even if you think it might be a stupid one. If you leave something unclear, you may be very sorry later.
be polite at all times, especially when placing a custom order. Be sure to give the seller as much information as you can up front-They are very busy people and are not mind-readers!
be inflexible. If you are told your idea won't work exactly the way you pictured it, it's because it won't. These people are brilliant designers and artisans, not miracle workers. Believe you me, they know what they're talking about.
Don't expect shipping miracles. Plan in advance your timeline. Give your seller the ideal ship date before placing your order. Ask them if it's possible, beause if it isn't you may need to regroup. You've chosen handmade items for a reason. Don't rush your artisan-they can't bend the space-time continum just because you waited too long to order.
Most importantly, do have fun! Esty is a wonderful place and I haven't met a single inhospitable seller. It's a great experience and you can't believe how good buying handmade can feel!

All photos owned and copyrighted by the corresponding Etsy seller. They are great pictures, I know, but don't reproduce and don't copy. It's not nice! If you must use- please give credit where credit is due. You didn't take those pictures and neither did I.

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