Wednesday Item Feature: Charming Aqua

I got into the habit of dismissing bracelets as a violinist, since the jingling and jangling would annoy me while practicing or playing. But that never stopped me from browsing or shopping for them.

Gwen from Alameda — owner of Gwen Harlow Design on Etsy — has some really charming pieces of jewelry in her shop. With teal and coral being some of spring/summer color trends this year, I couldn’t not notice her teal-turquoise-aqua charm bracelet.

As Gwen states, “Be the envy of all your friends with this lovely bracelet, a cavalcade of vintage Czech glass beads in turquoise and aqua blues, mint green and white beads, accented with sweet silver heart, crown, and muerto charms on an antiqued silver chain.

Check out Gwen’s listing on Etsy now: Teal Turquoise Aqua Charm Bracelet!

Tune in next week for the Wednesday Item Feature!

Love + donuts,

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Wednesday Item Feature: Thank You!

I featured Katy twice before using some of her specialized items for display. But since no holidays are coming up, I wanted to show off some of her work that you can use in your daily life!

To quickly recap again, Katy (owner of K is for Calligraphy on Etsy) shares her talent of ink to paper with you, ranging from greeting cards to invitations to tags and more.

You can’t escape typography in your day to day life. It’s a beautiful thing to see carefully crafted lettering. To know someone spent a little extra time writing out what could have taken seconds to type out on a keyboard gives a special feeling in a gift. That’s why I think these Thank You stickers are wonderful. If someone had smacked my hand when I snoozed a task on my to-do list (namely, writing up a Wednesday Item Feature for last week!), I would’ve handed them a pretty little Thank You sticker from Katy (and more, of course).

I think these are great simple pieces with lots of meaning to have on hand!

Check out Katy’s listing on Etsy now: Thank You Stickers, package of 20!

Tune in next week for the Wednesday Item Feature!

Love + donuts,

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Wednesday Item Feature: Whimsy Dolls

I remember my mom used to find lots of doll patterns when I was growing up and just make lots of pillow dolls for me. I loved having lots of soft, stuffed toys in bed with me — made going to sleep so much more fun and comfy!

Eileen, owner of Whimsybean on Etsy, has been a textile and graphic designer for children’s apparel for many years. She shares her talent with the internet and crafts original and unique dolls from her creative mind. Her retro/vintage style dolls make me nostalgic and miss the childhood toys I don’t currently have with me now, stuffed away somewhere in the house I grew up in.

Bette, a brunette with hair made out of 100% wool felt, wears a green retro floral print that complements her ivory cotton skin and rose tinted cheeks and lips. Measuring just about 14.5″ tall by 11.5″ wide (at arm span), she is a great friend to keep or gift to a daughter, niece, little friend, or even your mother or grandmother. Anyone would appreciate her company!

Lovingly stuffed, her olive green eyes let you know that she’ll be a loyal, trustworthy little friend to have.

Check out Whimsybean’s listing on Etsy now: Handmade Cloth Doll by Whimsybean in Green Retro Floral – Bette!

Tune in next week for the Wednesday Item Feature!

Love + donuts,

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Wednesday Item Feature: My brains are melting!

I normally have an item featured Wednesday morning, but I was out and about today at the Giants vs. Dodgers game (San Francisco love!).

Now that it’s the end of the day, I can pretty much relate to the feeling of this item. It’s been a long day, my brains are leaking out, and I’m tired. After seeing a ton of orange and blue under bright yellow sunshine today, seeing a starkly black and white item is kind of a relief!

Vinit and Vicente, owners of The Whiteout on Etsy, have purely black & white (predominantly white and black details) items listed in their shop with a couple items that have a touch of color.

I loved the simplicity of the colors, but the use of the black ink/paint dripping down asymmetrically from the top is intriguing. A cute little character with such a dark personality seeping through.

Check out The Whiteout’s listing on Etsy now: Pot Teddy!

Note: next week, there will be no Wednesday Item Feature — go out and have a happy July 4th next Wednesday!

Love + donuts,

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Wednesday Item Feature: A coffee date with balloon boy

I have a thing for mugs — just putting it out there. I used to be obsessed with collecting spoons when I was a little girl, but now the obsession with kitchen things has turned to mugs. Maybe it’s because I love tea and coffee so much and mugs are really great pen and pencil holders.

Chanda from Oakland — owner of Ezme Designs on Etsy — has a little studio where she makes functional ceramics and paints them by hand, too! All the work in her shop is really lovely, but it was this cute little mug caught my attention.

Meet Charlie. He floats next to a little blue dot on a small cup that is great for tea, sake, dipping sauces, yogurt, little scoops of gelato, juice or for a catchall dish for jewelry, keys or coins. Both microwave and dishwasher safe, this little cup is a great item to have that you can use in multiple ways!

Charlie will keep you company while you sip your tea, chug your coffee in the morning, or will keep your keys safe during the night to make sure you don’t lose them by morning!

Check out Chanda’s listing on Etsy now: Cup Small Balloon Boy in Blue!

Tune in next week for the Wednesday Item Feature!

Love + donuts,

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Artist Feature — Mayene de Leon

This month’s artist feature is one that’ll have you running down to the donut shop to stock up on some yummy goodies. Mayene de Leon of Mayene Design crafts junk-food and breakfast food inspired pillows, plushies, and more. Take a look at her Etsy shop for great gift ideas! Father’s Day anyone?

Brown “B is for Bacon”

1. Your name: Mayene de Leon

2. Your shop name? MADE (Mayene Design)

3. What do you make? I make felt and fleece plush items, mainly
characterized donuts, and “ABC” cotton pillows with my original
designs. I create kawaii-style designs and have them printed on fabric
and create products out of my designs. I have also offered design
prints and stationery sets based on my designs, as well, but my main
items are the donuts and ABC pillows.

Cool as a Cucumber

4. Why do you do what you do? Is it your passion? Have you created your products for a long time? It’s fun and I enjoy taking time away from my computer to craft things by hand. After being in front of a computer for 8+ hours a day, sewing and creating cute items is very relaxing! Don’t get me wrong, I love my day job and I love designing, but I’ve also started to realize that donating to local, small, or national charities gives a natural high that is amazing, so I’ve started creating product lines so that proceeds from some of my shop sales get donated to certain charities on a monthly or periodic basis. I started making plush items at the very end of 2010, so I haven’t been doing this for long, and I just hopped on the donation boat during 2011.

5. What inspires you? Good design. Design is everywhere; I love
browsing typefaces, textile patterns, and color palettes most of all,
so I spend a good chunk of time on the internet looking through,, and for inspiration. I also love children’s design and educational resources, as well as Japanese (kawaii) style design. Sometimes, all it takes is having a good day for inspiration to flood in; if my day went well, I could very well be at my sewing machine at 9pm having a good time making things!

6. What are some of your favorite pieces in your shop? I like making my giant donuts over my keychain-sized donuts, just because they seem much more happier!

Giant Bacon Donut

7. How have you acquired your skills? Books/classes/college/self-taught? I studied design in college, but when it comes to fabric and sewing, these have been self-taught skills from watching my mom sew growing-up to looking for tutorials online. If I see something I really like and want to learn how to do it, I’ll find a book or tutorial and try it myself.

8. Do you make a living off of your art/craft? Not currently. I
still see this side of my life as a hobby and I’m starting to market
most of my products to support other non-profit organizations or

9. What is your favorite part of your crafting enterprise? Do you love selling at craft fairs? Or maybe you prefer online networking? I do love selling at craft fairs, though I’ve only done a few small local ones (haven’t made the leap to try a huge event yet); it gives me a chance to talk to other local artists, see their work (get lured to buy them!) and also meet other people (customers). It’s always a pleasure seeing someone smile over my work, and a combination of donut, poop, and bacon products always strikes up interesting conversations. I like online networking as well, since I do work in the design and tech industry, I like giving and receiving advice online. I type much faster than I talk, so sometimes I prefer my online presence, especially since I can reach out to people in other states and countries even!

10. What are some new techniques and/or skills you would like to acquire in the near future? I’m definitely working on improving my sewing skills. With at my fingertips on top of my design background, I want to be able to offer more products than plush donuts and pillows. I’ve started working on creating my own bag patterns with my own fabric designs, so I hope to be able to offer more “useful” items along with my “fun” items. The design industry is always growing and progressing, so I’m constantly learning!

11. Give us a shout out to your favorite artists with Etsy shops! We’d love to check them out for ourselves! I am in LOVE with Shay Aaron’s miniatures (; he is pretty much the reason I joined Etsy (as a shopper, initially) so I could order some of his goodies. They are beautiful, well done, and really amazing! I also love food. I also love Isette ( for lightweight jewelry, especially her ampersand collection (for my geeky design needs). I am an earring fiend, so these are some of my favorite shops to browse for my earring needs.

12. Lastly, tell us anything extra you would like included in the blog post. It can be a coupon code for a discount in your shop, a funny  anecdote, anything! This year, I made a resolution to pledge to 52× (created by an awesome designer, Jessica Hische); so $10 from my shop/business proceeds get donated to a different charity every week that Jessica posts a new charity (for 52 weeks!). I’m currently on Week 16; I usually tweet after donating so you can find different charities if you follow me on Twitter (

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday Item Feature: Coffee Lovebirds

Back in January, I featured one of Erin’s mixed media paintings — a beautifully vivid image of two birds together forever.

Revisiting her shop and finishing up my second cup of coffee, I spotted her Coffee Lovebirds piece of work.

“This piece was created on a repurposed coffee bag stretched as the canvas. 
The lovebirds are drawn with ink on vellum, allowing the texture of the burlap to show through.”

Measuring 20″ by 10″, this more muted work is still a great piece to hang in the house. Love repurpose items? Love birds? Love coffee? Why not get this, then!

Check out Erin’s listing on Etsy now: Coffee Lovebirds!

Tune in next week for the Wednesday Item Feature!

Love + donuts,

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