Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Guide to T-shirt Shopping

Another themed post, today's is another influenced by my own passion - t shirts, I love em! Of course I love them so much that one post will not suffice, so today's is specifically for novelty tshirts, and where to get the best service. I will do another post on beautiful cheap chic shirts I bought locally just to inspire you for Christmas (yes it may be time to start tucking some cheap but fantastic treats away for those you love) you can get fantastic fashion thrills for under $10, $20, and $30 though of course the cheaper the find, the bigger the thrill for the buyer.

The hot pink number above cost me $20 at the Burswood Dome for Hopman Cup 2009, it is a Walter Says branded tshirt designed by Rose Dowland. I love it because of the intricate flourishes and the cheeky quote 'stuff being princess, I want to be queen!'. It is comfortable, well sized, has not shrunk, the colour has remained bright, has easy care instructions, and is a good cut, some tshirts are just like wearing a sack!

This tshirt is the first item I ever bought online, purchased very early this year, from myteespot.com It is of Kramer from Seinfeld dressed as his alias Dr Van Nostrand (inside joke). My Tee Spot have a massive range of merchandise for tv shows, cartoons, political, music, celebrity.... really easy to search for what you want, you can suggest things they do not carry (suggest a shirt), but the prices are US dollars. I totally trust this company, their shipping is very fast, their communication over orders and progress of orders is fantastic, I am just sorry the tshirt is wrinkled in this pic it hasn't been out of the drawer for winter. Oh one last thing, it is pre shrunk, has no seams, yes so comfy no side seams! and the care instructions are good.

This tshirt was also purchased from My Tee Spot (see above) this one is of Christopher Walken and says "I got a fever" its a Saturday Night Live in joke. I love to wear this to the doctor surgery, but that is my sense of humour. Again I highly recommend this company.

And for those who don't like to shop online, I got this Tweety Bird shirt at Kmart this year, under $20, love the metallic silver slogan "little bit sassy". This has been really comfortable, is a great fit, the fabric is nice and soft, and the design has withstood being folded without flaking so far (love it when a shirt can hack that!).
My online favourite though has got to be cafepress.com and for Australians, add an au to the end of the address and you will find you can browse in Australian dollars for peace of mind and knowing exactly how much you are spending (I like that peace of mind). Cafe Press have a lot of television merchandise, I have gotten Gilmore Girls merchandise from there earlier this year (remember my Reading Is Sexy tshirt, and baseball jacket 'Major League Gilmore Fan') and am now awaiting my jolly roger restyle for knitting needles saying 'Knit of Go Home'. I am also awaiting a peacock shirt, really I have played around for hours searching different themes and key words and I have to say they have got the best range of shirt designs, and you can custom order your own design. The service is quick and reliable, very thorough communication over your order's progress, and I trust them.
In recent weeks on facebook I have been tempted by fb ads for Threadless Tshirts and also Boy Girl Party, and have had a look, they have great shirts, but I have no purchasing experience with either of them. Boy Girl Party also have wonderful journals, tote bags, and cards with their beautiful designs featured.
Today I checked out www.pistolclothing.com.au and really loved the woman's aqua eye shirt, $50. It was my first visit to their store but it won't be my last!
www.peacearts.com have a great range of peace themed tshirts, as well as other peace art (posters, postcards, etc) though I have no experience buying from them yet.
www.zazzle.com was my last stop for the day, and I am in LOVE! Their shirts start at $12.95 and there is no minimum order. I have ordered the Vintage Aviator Tee Shirt, the starting price for the shirt was over $30, and it came on a distressed shirt, I hate the frayed distressed shirts with exposed seams, so I elected to change the type of shirt it came on, mine is a tank top, looks really great and now cost only $25 and I got to choose a different base colour. I can't wait for it to arrive, the shipping was very cheap, the information provided over sizing is very good, I got a discount via email because I recommended the shop to two of my email friends, and I enjoyed using the site.
So tshirt devotees, get shopping, and also, leave a comment telling me of your fave online tshirt business so I can torture myself/indulge myself some more!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Win My Handmade Creations... for free!

I am so pleased to announce that my work is being profiled this week on Aussie Handmade Giveaway Blog, and you can win both the butterfly earrings pictured above, and the boxed card set, below.

All you need to do is go to www.aussiehandmadegiveaway.com and use the live link to my etsy store and return to the giveaway site to leave a comment confirming your favourite creation in my store.
You can also receive additional entries if you tweet, blog, or facebook to promote the contest, see Aussie Handmade Giveaway Blog for the details.
Don't forget that there is a new profile and contest on this site each week, keep in mind you could win a lovely treat for yourself or a Christmas present for someone special in your life.
Good luck everyone, I can't wait to see who wins!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Symbolic Gifts

Following on from my post about thoughtful giving, I thought I'd revive a popular series of posts from my days on bigblog. Symbolic gifts are a great and often budget friendly way of sharing meaningful giving. As with most gifts it is the presentation that can make or break a gift, so if you want to give something as humble as a single blossom, pop it into a beautiful gift box. Don't forget to share the meaning of the gift so that it can be fully appreciated by the recipient.

Hydrangeas according to folklore, planted by the back door promote happy and obedient children.

Almond Blossom symbolises hope. I would give a single blossom in beautiful gift box, or cut branches of blossom and place in a large vase.

Shamrock is good for representing Ireland and the Irish. I would look for charms, or fabric prints if I could not get a shamrock leaf.

Bay Leaves symbolise love that surpasses death, love beyond the grave, so a good gift for the grieving.

Dianthus the flowers denote affection.

Ivy is linked to marriage and fidelity, if you can't give leaves or the plant itself, I would look for stationery with an ivy motif, or an engraved bangle or ring.

Pink Carnation is for love between friends.

The colour purple is the colour of spirituality, but is also good for gifts that are meant to indulge the recipient, as it is the colour of luxury, so ideal for a satin robe, pillow, or rug.

Blue is a soothing, serene colour that represents trust.

Green is for creation and healing, and is sometimes used to represent wisdom.

Orange and red are energy colours and red is a fortunate colour in Chinese culture.

Opals represent completion, are symbolic of Australia, and are the birth stone for October.

the Mandala or 'endless knot' represents harmony, find it in association with other buddhist items.

Irises and Lilies because of Greek mythology, represent resurrection, and power over death, also transformation.

Jade in oriental culture is referred to as the 'stone of heaven'.

I hope you enjoyed these I have plenty more posts on symbolic gifts to come, each featuring colours, blossoms, animals, stones, and other symbols that may appeal as gift ideas.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Giving, Its the Thought That Counts

(Close up of a Token of Appreciation, see previous post, it is round, this is just a close up of the centre details)
I bet you can't number the times you have heard 'its the thought that counts', and you know its true, but it can have a hollow ring when it comes accompanied by a meaningless gift. What I am saying is, 'its the thought that counts' is usually an excuse for a lousy gift, where little or no thought has been given at all.
For instance, you might feel disappointed to be given a pair of socks at Christmas, but for me, I love cute colourful socks, and have a draw full, but there is always room for more, and I would be happy to receive another set..... for me the gift would be full of thought, for you perhaps not.
A gift that is full of thought is the most wonderful gift, a gift can show you truly know and love a person and all their quirks and the little things that bring them joy, without costing you a fortune.
If you don't have money to buy lavish gifts, buy or make gifts that are bursting with love and thoughtfulness.
I'd like to give you some examples from gifts I have either given or received just to get your inspiration rolling.
First one that I gave. A friend had to sell her holiday house because she fell on hard times. We had shared some great times there, as she had with other friends and family. I collected nine used matchboxes and glued them into a boxed set of draws, three on the bottom, three on top, and three again on top, covered the outside with lovely paper and then filled each individual draw with something collected on holiday at the house. Some pure white beach sand in one, some tiny but perfect shells in another, a dried and pressed beach primrose in another, a small downy feather found on the porch after the birds had nested there..... you get the idea. It may be a small gift, but one that can easily be kept in her home, and treasured as much as the memories it would help preserve.
Now one that I received. My friend made a little ribbon bound story book for my birthday, the cover had "17th October a Starry is Born" and purple star on it. Inside, each page had an illustration and the story was actually collected status quotes from different sites I use, eg my space, facebook... and the book then created an overall reflection of my personality and adventures. For instance "Starry fell into the freesias and now smells like fruit tingles", "Starry is back from the dentist with a clean, shiny smile", "Starry is dancing with herself", "Starry is full of chocolate", "Starry said 'boo' to a duck", "Starry spilt 1000 seed beads", the story ends with my favourite one "Starry is alive with happiness".
Anyway my point is we should stop using 'its the thought that counts' as an excuse to buy thoughtless gifts when with a little imagination we can give the most meaningful and usually economic gifts that stand out in the recipients memory all their life. Or at least make them feel loved and appreciated in that moment.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tokens of Appreciation Update

Just an update on Tokens of Appreciation Make the World Go Round..... tokens are now in Australia, New Zealand, England, Russia, The United States, Germany, Malaysia, Indonesia, and possibly more that I do not know about yet!

I received another new token this week from my cousin, thank you very much Doris!

For readers who are not aware of what I am talking about, I launched a mission earlier this year to spread love and appreciation, through handcrafted tokens they are round, with a diameter of 10cm, decorated on one side, and on the reverse are marked Tokens of Appreciation Make The World Go Round, they can then be written on to give the recipient a personal message of appreciation.

I would like as many people as possible to express appreciation but also to experience the joy of being appreciated.

I launched the mission by sending personal tokens to my friends and loved ones with a set of either 10 or 20 premade tokens for them to distribute to their special ones.

You are welcome to make your own tokens if you keep to the size of 10cm circles and mark them on the back with the name of the mission.

I wish you every joy that this mission has brought me, xxxx Starry