Monthly Archives: February 2013

Bohemian Bangles Galore – Motley Mode Mondays

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Hippie Bracelet/Bohemian Gypsy Style [Pink & Mint] by One Of A Kind Jewelry Designs, Etsy

I spend a lot of time on Etsy just window shopping, browsing, basically foraging really. I discover new things I never knew I wanted or, *sigh*, needed and had to have. It’s a rather addicting thing really, looking at all these amazing hand-made or vintage items, seeing others creativity and brilliance, and knowing that no matter how much the world is changing, there are some things that remain blissfully unchanged. People still have an attraction to things that are one-of-a-kind [OOAK], items that are made by hands with love and intention, treasures that are truly irreplaceable. As I look at these amazing items, I am always drawn to something that seems to speak to me in a way that is very unique. I know what I like, I just couldn’t really tell you exactly what that means until I see it.

Friendship Bracelet Bib Statement Necklace or Choker, Vintage Rhinestones and Swarovski in Hot Pink, Blue, Purple – Prom Necklace OOAK

Ibiza Chic Hippie Cuff Bracelet – Friendship Bracelet Cuff With Studs and Swarovski, Hand-stamped “Peace Love Joy” – OOAK

Swarovski Flower Earrings in Coral, Orange, and Khaki, Antique Silver and Gold OOAK

This entire blog is a testimony to that fact, everything I blog, every item I share, is something special and has something wonderful about it, be it a story, an artistry, a craft, or a soul.  Often I can pick one or two items special items out of an Etsy Storefront, the various individual shops set up directly by the creators or curators, but every now and then, I find myself adding a heap of little ‘love it’ hearts to an entire shop because I am simply in love with everything I see. Every heart means that it is a favorite item, something I want to keep an eye on, look at again and again, something that I may very well eventually buy, bank account willing. But when you find an entire shop full of those amazing things that you love so very much, the best thing you can do is to share the love, and let people know about it. So that is exactly what I am doing. 

Bridal Hair Comb Lavender Moonstones, Vintage Rhinestones – Shabby Chic Wedding OOAK

Romantic Chandelier Earring with Vintage Pear Drops OOAK

Peacock Wedding Bracelet, Shabby Chic Vintage Style Cuff – Bridesmaid Gift OOAK

Karin van Rijn, from the Netherlands, is one such creator and shop owner.  Her self described ‘young and edgy Dutch jewelry brand’ is very special indeed. These amazing handmade pieces of pure genius are like looking through your grandmother’s old jewelry collection, and then mixing and matching the best bits to make totally new and unique bits of wonderful. Rhinestones, acrylic flourishes, paste jewels, metals, leather, woven threads, glass beads, and semi-precious stones abound in astounding combinations of shine, bling, and colourful clashes of fancy. If you are into minimalist and architectural jewelry, I am afraid this is not your day. But if you are into bohemian flair, bangles of brilliance, and wedding jewelry and accessories that are as one-of-a-kind at the Bride herself, then you have just hit the mother-load of awesome.

Bridal Sash Brooch, Vintage Flowers and Sparkling Rhinestones [MADE TO ORDER] OOAK

Bridal Headband – Rhinestone Wedding Hair Piece, Art Deco Style OOAK

Bridesmaid Set of Three [or More] – Shabby Chic Wrist Corsages, Bridesmaid Gifts

One Of A Kind Jewelry Design is exactly what it sets out to be, and van Rijn’s talent for mixing and matching elements and textures is masterful. Never have I seen such a skilled hand at pulling together beads and baubles into harmonious and unique creations that are somehow still very personal and have a note of heirloom quality about them. These are the items you will pass on from one member of your family to the next. This is the gift you give to the one-of-a-kind woman in your life that speaks more than words. A friend would consider herself very lucky indeed to be in possession of one of van Rijn’s creations, or re-creations as the case may be.

Bohemian Hippie Bracelet, Wide Crystal Swarovski Friendship Bracelet Cuff OOAK

Bib Statement Necklace, Hand-painted Neon Pink Ombre Vintage Rhinestone Necklace OOAK

Wedding Cuff Bracelet in Vintage Collage Style, Statement Cuff OOAK

If any of these items tickle your fancy, then you had better get ready to be tickled to death, there is so much more to see at van Rijn’s Etsy Shop. Currently, there is a 50% off sale on some of her collection, so if you are looking for the perfect gift for yourself or someone you love, don’t hesitate to snap up some pretties.  Prices for these items range from 11.50 Euros, about $16.00 US/CDN Dollars, up to
398.00 Euros [$550.00 US/CDN Dollars] for the most intricate and large pieces. Really there is something for every budget and every taste, from smaller items like earring or rings, to bangles and bunches of bohemian bracelets, necklaces, headbands, and other amazing bridal accessories. One Of A Kind Jewelry Design also has some amazing sets for bridesmaids, where you can get three of the same look for one great price, so that all of your bridesmaids can match and still be the only ones in the world with that particular design.

Vintage Collage Bird, Romantic Soft Leather Cuff OOAK

Vintage Flowers Necklace – Blue Wedding, Shabby Chic OOAK

Native American/Aztec/Navajo Inspired Friendship Bracelet Cuff OOAK

Stop in to check out all the amazing looks at Karin’s Store, and check back often, as new things are added almost every week. With a stock of almost 200 items listed for sale, there is just so much to look at and I have no doubt, something will reach out at grab you in that special one-of-a-kind way.

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What Women Want In Bed – Motley Mode Mondays

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Linen Pajama Pants With Cotton Eyelet Lace Trim by Sandmaiden Sleepwear, Etsy.

If one were to watch the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, it might seem perfectly natural for women to want to parade about in skimpy and barely there lingerie. Who wouldn’t want to look like those goddesses, with expertly applied make-up, complete with opalescent glitter and a set of wings. They really do resemble angels, good and naughty ones, but angels not of this earth.  Most fashion editorials that feature lingerie or sleepwear also seem to suggest that there is nothing that makes a woman feel more sexy and powerful than a killer pair of stilettos and some thigh-high stocking, a thong, and a demi-shelf bra with overflowing cups.  Models, with fiercely sexy bedroom eyes, looking somewhat far away, somehow almost like feral felines can be seen pawing across a satin sheeted bed, a chaise lounge, or a fur rug in front of a roaring fire.

Nighty Set “Mirena” by Queen B. Lingerie, Etsy.

Dottie Babydoll 1950s 1960s – Cotton Nightie Sleepwear Lounger by The Domestic Dame, Etsy.

I can totally understand it, I was there once upon a time. In my early twenties (a long time ago in the early 90s), I was the girl who dressed that sexy for my man. I wore french seamed stockings, garters, matching lingerie sets, fluttery silk bikini bloomers, the odd teddy, and even a well loved cat-suit. I was a curvy girl, and I liked the sexual charge I got from showing off those curves to an appreciative man.  I spent a lot of money on all that satin, lace, and silk, and it was fun to surprise my fella with a new outfit on me on special occasions, or just for fun.  But even at the time, I was very well aware that all that corsetry, underwire, and elastic – especially those tricky thigh high stockings and garters – were for fun, and hardly practical.

Lingerie Set Babydoll & Boxer – Organic Cotton and Soy by Luva Huva, Etsy.

Pyjama Cami Top and Quarter Pants Set in Lady Blu Print by MaybeBlu, Etsy.

Looking back, I should have saved my money, I wore those sexy looks very few times for the relative expense of them, and they really don’t do for everyday wear.  I know I could never have actually relaxed in any of that stuff, it was not sleepwear, nor was it shape-wear, and it was appropriate for a very short time in my life.  No woman looks at a skimpy push-up bra, a thong, garters, and thigh-highs and thinks to herself “now this is one comfortable outfit, I shall sleep like a dream in this puppy!”

Pyjama “Anemone” by YUTA Shop, Etsy.

Bermondsey Lace and Cotton Sleeveless Peephole Nightie by Penny Face, Etsy.

So that brings me to my favorite Valentine’s Day related topic. The things men buy for women, and what they think the message they are sending is.  Normally I would never presume to address a post assuming that all couples are heterosexual, but if two women are buying for each other, they have a different idea of what each other wants, so for the sake of argument here, just go with me on this. If a man was to buy his lady a look such as those seen in a lingerie add or on the VS runway, he may think he is saying to her “you are as sexy as all of those girls and I want to see you looking like my very own goddess.” A very sweet thought indeed, and perhaps the most innocent of motivations for such a purchase, *wink wink, nudge nudge*. But men, be warned, when you buy a woman lingerie without her input you are likely to buy the wrong size or style, and you may make her feel like she is just not sexy enough as she is. Don’t kid yourself, it will go through her mind no matter how much you assure her she is perfect ‘just as she is’.

Pajama Lounge Pants With Drawstring Waist BAMBOO Sleepwear Range by Sandmaiden Sleepwear, Etsy.

Grecian Goddess Bridal Nightgown Wedding Lingerie, White Nylon Angelic Honeymoon Gown – Romantic Sleepwear by Serafina Dreams, Etsy.

Pro Tip: Even the most confident of women likes to decide for herself how she displays her own body.

Amber Chic Maternity Hospital Gown/Dress – Amy Butler Fabric – Custom & Ready To Ship by CHIC MAMA BOUTIQUE, Etsy.

Elise Robe Silk Lingerie by Angela Friedman, Etsy.

Now, imagine that you give her a gift card to her favorite lingerie shop, and let her choose what she wants and needs. Do you think her purchases would be different from yours? You betcha, for sure! She may purchase a new selection of panties, a few new supportive bras to keep the ‘girls’ happy, and maybe even a new nightgown or robe.  What is the difference, you ask? Comfort! Say it with me now boys, a woman loves to be comfortable. I am not talking about her wearing your old T-shirts and a pair of sweat pants here, I am talking about something she can feel sexy in, that flatters her figure, but lets her express herself while being comfortable enough to cuddle, take care of the kids, get the morning paper off the lawn, and still feel like she can be your vixen in bed.  Yes, what women really want in bed is to be comfortable. That can encompass a wide range of styles, some very sexy indeed, other more modest, but all meant to fall softly over the body and let that most feminine, delicate, and smooth skin breathe.

Pyjama Gift Set Including Sleep Mask – “Hello Sailor” in Blue & White Stripe [Made To Order] by dollydripp, Etsy.

Asphalt Grey Sleep Set Pajamas With Wide Sleeves and Pants by Comfortissimo, Etsy.

So what can you buy your special lady, and this goes for both the fellas and the same-sex partners, to make her feel perfectly sexy and comfortable all at once, and be reasonably sure you have the perfect fit… lounge wear and/or sexy pajamas of course. If you want to make her feel fabulous, get her something she can wear on any given Sunday, watch the game with you, and still get in and out of in a flash for sexy times.

Sleepwear Jumpsuit by Poplin Homewear, Etsy.

Lingerie Nightgown – Cream Organic Cotton Sleepwear by Luva Huva, Etsy.

Searching out great comfortable PJs and lounge wear on Etsy is easy as pie, and you can get some really unique and lovely looks, with custom hand made touches of brilliance. You can pick your favorite colours, or hers, or go with a classic white linen nightgown with a little bit of sheer and a whole lot of sexy.  The point I am trying to make is that the head-to-toe matchy matchy lingerie set is so passe, unless you are planning your wedding night look, a “third date” seduction, or a Playboy Bunny Centerfold shoot.  It may be fun when you are twenty to play sex-goddess, but when you get past that little right of passage, you know that sexy is all about what is on the inside and what you can inspire in your partner by virtue of your confidence, your sense of humor, and your knowing just what ‘look’ will have them hauling you over their shoulder and rushing you into the bedroom on a Thursday night.

Skeleton Long John Onesie by DadyBones, Etsy

Nightshirt in Lady Blu Print by MaybeBlu, Etsy.

Mondays here at the Fab are all about fashion, the trends, the finds, the accessories, but it is also about being honest about what is really something that can be as simple and easy as a great set of pajamas that makes you feel wonderful, whether you are in a relationship or not. Ask any woman, the best part of her day is when she can finally take off that torture device known as a brassiere, the one with the elastic and wires that has been cutting into her tender flesh since she put it on that morning.

Sophy Romper Jumper Playsuit One Piece Loungerie [Made To Order] by Under The Root, Etsy.

Silk Pyjama Pants With Lace Trim and Elastic Drawstring, NOELLE Sleepwear Range by Sandmaiden Sleepwear, Etsy.

Please check out all of these fabulous looks I stumbled upon on the fabulous and ever changing Etsy, and think about the Valentine’s Day gifts you are planning for your sweetie, your kids, your pets, and your loved ones. Buy them something they would never expect, something practical and lovely at the same time, and believe me, you will be well appreciated for your efforts. Any of these featured items (with links and credits under every picture) would be perfect, and if it is too late for Valentine’s Day, there is always an anniversary, birthday, or holiday coming up that would suit just as nicely as an excuse to spoil your lover.

Nightgown – Valentine Red Supima Cotton Short Gown by Simple Pleasures Sleepwear, Etsy.

Low Rise Wide Leg Cotton Pajama Pant With Cropped Three Quarter Length Sleeve Cotton Knit Pajama Top by Serafina Dreams, Etsy.

No woman (or man for that matter) needs another heart-shaped box of chocolates, wilting bunch of over-priced roses or (*gag*) carnations, or g-d forbid a silly little teddy bear with a heart in it’s hands.  If they sell it at the local convenience store, it is not going to cut it. Instead plan a night of great takeaway food, get a few softly glowing unscented candles, a fabulous bottle of wine (with a real cork in it), and some comfortable clothing to start the night in. Believe me, by the end of the night, you will have forgotten all about that silly lingerie and just be thankful that you took my advice.

Flora Robe in Blue Ombre – Size Medium by Sabine + Sailor, Etsy.

Lingerie – Sarah Flirtatious Ruffled Top & Palazzo  by Simple Pleasures Sleepwear, Etsy.

You may disagree with me, so feel free to comment – I mean obviously someone out there is still buying that binding, lacey, ruffled, frou frou lingerie, it can be a lot of fun and very sexy indeed, there is lots of that to be found on Etsy as well, some from the same vendors I have highlighted here.  But I imagine that more women would admit to secretly desiring a slightly sexy yet comfortable piece of lounge wear, or a soft and light nightie, than a pair of cellulite pinching stay up thigh high stocking and stilettos… in fact, I would bet my blog on it. Have a fabulous Valentine’s Day everyone!

French Kiss Kiss – Sweetness Sundays

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French Macarons Are A Sweet Trend, 4/6/2010. Photo Credit: Tony Bock/Toronto Star

In recent years, there is one sweet patisserie treat that is not only as beautiful to look at as it is to savor, and is also endlessly suitable to personalization. It synonymous with the luxurious life and real culinary credentials, simultaneously attaining an almost iconic image as well as a modern gustatory revolution. The French Macaron is just such a creation, with a deep rooted history, and a modern enthusiastic following at the same time. As early as 2010, they started popping up in my Toronto area bakeshops as something you could pick up on any given shop day. 

LOVE Ceramic Macaron Sachet – Fragrance Object by Hideminy, Etsy.

Valentine Jewelry Macaron Necklace by Miniature Patisserie, Etsy.

This is no easy feat, particularly for what is, when you come right down to it, a sandwich biscuit.  I somehow can’t imagine an Oreo cookie starting such a revolution on the European Continent as the Macaron has in the United States and Canada both, as of late.

Dreamy Macarons Facial Scrubs [2 Pack] by Mrs. Browns Bath Bakery, Etsy.

French Macaron Hand Soap [2 Pack] by JAKEALA, Etsy.

There is just something so fragile and special about a Macaron that cannot be mass produced. It is this fragility, the candy like colours, and the endless combinations that make up the lure of the Macaron. Movies like Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, starring Kirsten Dunst have given a new spotlight to the over-the-top decadence and girly prettiness of this petite confection.

Blueberry Macarons [Box of 12, Custom Orders Welcome] by Madeline Bake Shop, Etsy.

Parisian Macaron Stand for French Macarons/Cupcakes/Wedding Cake – Peach Cake Stand 16″ by The Roche Studio, Etsy

 
If you look at a well made French Macaron, not to be confused with what North Americans call a Macaroon [a moist coconut based drop cookie], you will see the subtle beauty of the treat.  Put together from two smoothly topped baked round wafers, with a crumbled edge called the foot, these pieces share many of the characteristics of a meringue.  Powdered sugar, egg whites, and ground almonds make up the basic recipe, but endless flavor concentrates and colorings make them absolutely breathtaking to see.

French Macarons – Set Of Three [Felted Merino Wool] by woollyduck, Etsy.

DIY Felt French Macarons [Felt & Instructions For 18 Felt Cookies] by sweet emma jean, Etsy.

 
The exterior wafers of the Macaron have a natural opalescent shimmer over the surface, almost evoking images of fairy wings, and they are soft and moist and melt in the mouth in the most delicate of ways.  I rather predict that the cup-cake craze, while not over, will give way to the pleasures of the Macaron very soon. Similar to cupcakes, the filling, or ‘icing’ between the two wafers can take many forms.  It can be a delicious butter-cream, jam or preserves, or ganache filling.

French Macarons – Pastel Pink 10×10 Size [Home Decor] by Filamento TGS, Etsy.

French Macarons/Macaroons Fine Art Photograph 8×10 Size [Home Decor] by Keri Bevan Photography, Etsy.

While traditional flavors are vanilla, chocolate, and raspberry combinations, cutting edge pastry chefs are busy inventing brilliant alternative flavors from the familiarity of lemons to the sublime Matcha green tea flavorings. Whether flavoring the wafers or the filling, they are served in a sandwich mode, with two rounded smooth ‘caps’ with the foot facing the filling, and a thin but ample layer of filling piped or spread in between. 

Macaroon Cakes Upcycled Tea Towel Cushion/Pillow Cover by Emma Mount, Etsy.

French Macarons – Hemp And Organic Cotton Cushion 12×12 by Sarah Smile Design, Etsy.

The popularity of the French Macaron in North America is blossoming, and confectionery shops have windows full of towers of these jewel like biscuits and special long narrow boxes with ribbons, ready for Valentine’s day sales.  French Macaron are a much sexier and cleaner on the fingers ‘eat’ than an icing covered giant cupcake, with just 88 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 11 grams of carbohydrate for each delicate and sweet sandwich.  The average small specialty cupcake has 178 calories, 5.3 grams of fat, and a whopping 32.5 grams of carbohydrate in all that over-sweet sticky goodness.

Raspberry And Pistachio Ganache Macaron – Silver Plated Ring [Polymer Clay] by Pink Island, Etsy.

French Macaron Necklace With Eiffel Tower Charm by Plushable, Etsy.

 Macarons have reached epic popularity in France, being offered on the menu at McDonald’s restaurants in that country.  This new status of the french treat is making waves in the fashion world, as well as art, sculpture, and crafting.  Pastel colours are all over the runways, and the garments seem to look as delicious and light as the cookie itself.  There are heaps of photographs of French Macarons, in wild and enticing colours, as well as ‘fake’ props for your home, soaps, toys, and accessories.

Set of 2 Funny Macarons In A Pretty Box – Tea Party OOAK Art Doll Sculpt by Sandra ArteagaA, Etsy.

Sweet Treats Dessert Hand Embroidery Pattern [PDF] by Wild Olive, Etsy.

So much of what we eat, and crave, has to do with what it looks like.  Seeing the sheer volume of jewelry, trinkets, dollhouse sized treats, and non-edibles inspired by the lovely French Macaron, you can see that people have fallen in love with this iconic ‘cookie’, and though they may be a bit complicated for the baking novice to master, they are actually not impossible to make right at home. It takes a bit of practice with the piping bag to get the exterior meringues to shape up perfectly and match in size, but then you have the fun of eating all your ‘mistakes’, which may be the best part.

French Macaron Trinket Box – Mint Green/Pistachio Polymer Clay [Limoges Style] by The Mermaid Articles, Etsy.

Macaron Mercerie Sewing Accessories PDF Pattern [Pin Cushion, Needle Case, Scissors Fob] by Quilting Gems, Etsy.

So grab a great recipe for a French Macaron from a cookbook or the internet, flavor it any way you like, be it pomegranate and orange, or espresso and match tea, and whip up a batch of sweet French Kisses for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day. Now if I can just sort out a vegan version of this amazing treat. That would be truly fabulous my darlings!

Vanilla Macaron Perfume AMUSE Perfume Oil [Spray or Roll On] by Theme Fragrance, Etsy.

French Macaron Water Transfer Nail Sticker Set by Js Utopia, Etsy.

Humane Anatomy 101 – Strange Stuff Saturdays

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Lungs Brooch by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

As a nurse, I always have an eye out for alternatives to standard methods of teaching about the anatomy and human body, especially when it comes to teaching kids. Visual aids, interactive digital applications, and medical illustrations have come so far in showing us the structures we seek to know more about, we need no longer go through the act of dissection to understand them. Unless you are planning to become a medical practitioner or coroner, an embalmer or funeral director, you need not see an actual cadaver either.  So when I spotted these fabulous and fun items from Your Organ Grinder on Etsy, I was smitten. I know dozens of doctors and nurses that would love to have a pin like one of these attached to their boring white lab coat, not only cute and funny, but also a visual aid they can use to describe things to their patients. WIN – WIN!

Rainbow Hand Screen Printed Brooch by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

  

Plant Cell Embroidery Hoop by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

I remember my Grade 11 Science Lab well, not so much for the students or the teacher, though I do remember him, he was a real hardcore nerd.  I remember the room itself. There were dying plants on the window sill, there were boxes full of slides showing the various stages of mitosis and cell structures, and then there were the jars and cases containing preserved specimens. Slices of a cancerous lung, and various strange creatures, from insects to sea creatures. Oh yes, and then there were the fetal pigs that we had to dissect in pairs. I was luckily absent due to illness, in hospital actually, at the time of that section, and didn’t have to participate beyond the final day, when all the class had their piggies out on trays, the smell of formaldehyde was overwhelming, and we had to label a paper diagram with all the organs and major structures.  I aced it, proving to me at once that you need not dissect a poor helpless fish, frog, or piglet to learn about anatomy.

Kidneys In A Jar by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

 

Pelvis Brass Necklace by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

 

I went on, as many of you know, to become a registered nurse. I not only studied human biology in my Community College Diploma course, but also at the University level as I got my Baccalaureate Degree.  I went further and studied Neonatal Anatomy, specifically, as well as work on my Master’s Degree and learn Anatomy and Physiology on par with any medical student.  I never had to harm so much as a flea, and never saw a cadaver. I studied in books, I had hands on experiences in the Operating Room and with post-operative patient care, including wound care.

Animal Cell Brooch Biology by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

Placenta Jar Anatomical Curio Specimen by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

After having my own series of surgeries, starting at the age of 16, I also understood from a patients perspective and through long discussion with my Health Care Team, what was going to be done, how the body heals, and what tissues would be involved in the trauma of surgery.  I am always thankful for the great care I received, but I strongly object to the use and abuse of animals to learn about anatomy. I am now a vegan, and find an even more compelling rationale for this belief  rooted in compassion.  This is where compassion, cute, and fun geekery all meet up.

Breast Brooch by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

Pancreas Brooch by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

  
Your Organ Grinder is the amazing creator of all of these fabulous and smart “soft curiosities”, and I was a fan from the day I first spotted the shop on Etsy.  Self described as;

“Handmade Specimens in Jars, Brooches and Displays. Anatomical Curios, Medical Marvels, Taxidermy in Felt. Felted Brains and other Organs and Parasites.”

the items are handmade in felt and hail from Australia. This shop offers pure fun, and makes for a great gift for the medically inclined people in your life, be they physicians or nurses, science teachers, med students, or even a friend recovering from surgery.

Appendix Brooch by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

Heart Specimen Jar by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

I find this use of felt to be absolutely genius, frankly.  It takes “guts” to wear a Colon as a brooch on your jacket, pun intended. The newer brass editions to the line are fabulous too, giving a brilliant framework for skeletal projections. While many items are ready made, some are made to order, and Your Organ Grinder is willing to work with you to fulfill custom organ orders too. There are also plenty of tongue in cheek zombie organs, perfect to add to your own collection of oddities and finds, without harming a single zombie in the process.

Zombie Brain Specimen Jar, Green Brain by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

Tooth Cross Section Brooch by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

 
Brooches and Jewelry, Hair Accessories, Pillows, and Jar Specimens are just a few of the fabulous items on offer. Make sure you take a look into Your Organ Grinder on Etsy, and see if you can’t find the perfect specimen to add to your wardrobe or curio cabinet today, and show everyone that you have a heart, a spleen, an ovary or a prostate, or even a brain for that matter.

Eyeball Hairclip Green Iris by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

Gall Bladder Brooch by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

Cleaning Up With Kindness – Found On A Friday

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SewEco Reusable Snack Bags on Etsy

As a newly born “vegan”, I am looking for ways to reduce my carbon footprint, reduce my use of chemicals and natural resources, and still maintain that fabulous air of geek chic that I have cultivated for myself. Sometimes, there are challenges in the way of finding that perfect new time-saving and Eco-friendly object of desire for your home, but luckily, that is not always the case. Here are a few fabulous finds that you can easily put to work in your home and they will make you feel all green and fuzzy all over.

SNACKABY Eco Friendly Dishwasher Safe Reusable Sandwich Bags on Etsy.

The first area where you can make a quick and easy change is swapping out all those plastic sandwich and snack baggies you use in your own, or your children’s lunch kits.  Yes they are convenient, but they cost a fortune and end up in the trash.  There are heaps of options that you can make yourself, or take advantage of the many fabrications and expert touches that can be found on Etsy. Many of these bags can be cleaned in the dishwasher, and certainly in the washing machine, and have well “Serged” edge details that will stand the test of time. Unlike bulky plastic containers that are forever losing their lids, and take up room in a lunch bag or backpack, these collapse flat, and are perfect for smaller snacks like dry cereal or raisins, without offering a challenge to little hands.

Inspired Stitchery Unpaper Towels, Selection Of Colors on Etsy.

Paper Towel is another product many of us are forever buying, and once used, tossing out. Unlike a kitchen cloth, which may harbor bacteria after a single use, a paper towel offers the ease of a clean wipe for window cleaning, and can be used in a variety of ways. So how do you replace something so indispensable? You buy or make yourself some reusable toweling that does the same job but can be washed endlessly, maintaining it’s lint free surface, and absorbency.

Sew Happy Designs by Abby Custom Reusable Cloth Paper Towel Roll With Snaps on Etsy.

Personally, I wash all my lettuce and leafy veggies like kale as soon as I come home from market. I then place the leaves on toweling, and roll it up before placing it in the fridge crisper compartment or a storage bin. This is a huge waste of paper towels, but it makes perfect sense for a re-usable thin toweling that can be used week after week.

Kootsac Reusable Bulk Food and Produce Bags on Etsy.

We have all been a party to the movement to replace plastic and even paper grocery bags with cloth or canvas reusable bags, and many of us have embraced this change. But take it a step further and you can replace a few other shopping bags on your trip.  For instance, if you buy bulk foods, particularly dry goods, nuts, or candy, you are likely forever looking for that roll of plastic bags and twisty ties near the bins. How about using your  very own cute baggies that you can easily stash into those reusable grocery totes.  You can use them over and over, and they won’t add any weight to your scales or garbage to your bins at home.

The High Fiber Reusable Produce Bags on Etsy.

Similarly, you can get yourself some reusable vegetable bags that can go from market, right into the fridge when you are in a hurry. Made of linen or mesh, you can pop these directly into the fridge and not worry about things going mushy in an air-tight plastic bag, and they look really cute too.  Easy wash and stash for your next shopping trip, they are the perfect thing for veggie lovers.

Clean Sypria Wool Dryer Balls by Tara Fletcher-Gibbs on Etsy.

Want to replace your fabric softener and have some fun at the same time? Pick up a handful, a half dozen, or more of these fabulous all natural wool dryer balls. They average about the size of a tennis ball, and can be found in colored or natural tones.  They are safe for handling around the kids, and can be scented with natural oils to impart a yummy scent to your laundry loads.

Moss Creek Wool Works Wool Dryer Balls on Etsy.

They actually do more than just soften your clothes, they draw in moisture to speed your drying process, therefore reducing the amount of energy you use per load. Reducing static naturally, they contain no harsh chemicals, and are safe for your household pets to play with should one roll away. They are especially perfect for drying cloth diapers, and can even do double duty for play when teaching your toddler about colors.

Sew Much Style Reusable Eco Friendly Bowl Covers on Etsy.

My final kitchen miracle worker is one that is equally stylish and very smart, whether you are baking bread or storing leftovers.  Bowl covers have been around for a long time, they usually resembled mini-shower caps, but were still plastic which become greasy and aged poorly over time. When looking for a plastic wrap replacement, or even to foil the aluminum foil trap, using fabric covers is the perfect option. They breath a bit to let out excess gasses and prevent spoilage, but still keep things crisp and fresh.

chez-sucre-chez Bowl & Container Covers Set [Various Sizes & Colors Available] on Etsy.

These are just a few of the great Eco friendly and washable kitchen essentials, and a laundry essential that will save you time, money, and most importantly your conscious when it comes to reducing your environmental impact. They may seem like small things, and maybe they are, but they are just a small part of a bigger trend.  All of these items are produced by hand, made by crafty artisans that believe in their products and are more then happy to work with you to meet your needs. Many will create custom orders just for you, and you can often find very local products made in your own area to reduce your shipping costs too. There is no reason why your kitchen can’t be the center of your new Eco conscious self, just as it it the center of your home.  Fabulously kind and chic items like the ones featured above are not only great for your personal use, but make brilliant gifts for friends and family too. I love finding a reason to blog on Fridays!