Category Archives: Etsy Love

Besty of Etsy:: Valentine’s Day Edition.

Vintage card from Etsy seller, StarMango.

For some reason Valentine’s Day always looms large in the mind of a child as a COMPLETELY IMPORTANT HOLIDAY. I remember the obsessive ritual of making valentines for classmates and discussing the perfect red outfit to wear on Feb. 14. And later that night I was always over the moon with joy when I was given a wee heart-shaped box with mediocre chocolate in it from my parents every year.

But now as an adult, I am not a person who is likes hearts on my stuff.  I mean, it’s not’s Valentine’s Day the whole year, so why put hearts on everything for one freaking day? But of course, those charmers at Etsy helped melt my icy heart with some grand goodies that aren’t too cloying and I would be delighted to see  all year round! Because sometimes, you gotta try to mix it up. And nobody mixes it up like Etsy. So I present my top Etsy kiddo finds to wear, hang and eat.

Nothing is more awesome than sidewalk chalk to a kid.  Put a piece in their hands and get ready to read a few chapters of your book.   And what kid wouldn’t dig these sweet chalk hearts.  The best part about these is that they won’t break the bank–so you can start saving your pennies for all those jelly bellys you are going to buy next month.  From Etsy seller, Sunshine and Sidewalks.

This darling dressie is for the girlie girl who loves a good ruffle. Which is probably 3/4 of all the girls out there. From Etsy seller, Itzi and Bitzi.

I think Valentine’s Day must be hard on boys.  They have to put up with cloying cards when all the really want is the candy.  Besides, girls are gross, right? The only cool one is Mom.  And that is why this hat exists.  From Etsy seller, StufflSew.

This is a great example of a nice use of heart that isn’t too cloying and can grow with your child or heck–even you!  Such a charming frame that also features a cat. BONUS! From Etsy seller, I Heart Kid Art. Nuff said!

I think this would be an amazing gift to give to a preggie lady you might know. Or actually anybody.  It’s just so very dear and would make any person smile. From Etsy seller, Bopeepbaby.

I know many a Daddy that would be quite delighted to have his little kiddo come down from her room Feb. 24th morn wearing this barrettes. From Etsy seller, Dunlap Love.

Sometimes you just want to go big or go home on VD, so why not do it with this heart-filled house?  This is truly ingenious if you ask me.  You just need a card table.  And voila–instant kid nirvana. From Etsy seller, Miss Pretty Pretty.

Did you know that you can also buy yummy treats on Etsy? Like these adorable cookies? From Etsy seller, Whimsy and Spice. But you gotta order today to get them in time for Monday.

To end on a bang, I would like to revisit these fabulous skivvies that I featured last year around Valentine’s Day.  Still awesome! Thanks Etsy seller, Small Threads, for rocking my world again!

I hope this list makes you smile and get excited about Valentine’s Day, because it is having that affect on me!

Besty of Etsy :: Dancing in the Rain.

Did I mention that the Peach loves kitties.  Like LOVES kitties. LOVES.

I have a feeling a soft toy in the shape of the kitty would be a welcome prezzie from the birthday fairy.

So you can imagine my joy when I came across these cutie patooties from Etsy seller Dancing in the Rain.

I mean, really have you ever seen such adorableness?

Oh, but the Peach can’t have all the fun, right?  Perhaps Mama needs one for her check book.

Or iPhone case?  Yes?

Yup, I think the birthday fairy might be bring one or two from Miss Peach’s upcoming birthday!  What do you think?

Besty of Etsy :: Sleepy Kings.

I’m calling Sleepy King plush toys the Bla Blas of 2011.

From the gloriously cute loving mind of Savannah Carroll comes the devilishly charming stuffed toys that you just want to snuggle.

Look at these tweedy little friends.  Up to no good, except cuddling!

Oh and look at this pink friend. You just want to rub noses with him, don’t you?

I am particular a fan of the Sleepy King foxes. Perhaps it has to do with my recent view of the Fantastic Mr. Fox. (Which by the way is I believe my new favorite film–oh that corduroy loving Wes Anderson–be still my heart!)

Oh, check out this dapper foxie.

Shhhh… This one’s sleeping…

You just want to zebert that pink plaid tummy, don’t you?

And just in time for the Valtentine’s Day–his and her squirrels. I’ll take this over a box of See’s Candy any day!

I think I’m going to buy one of these for the Peach!

Holidazed: Etsy Kids

We have a new sponsor that is actually quite near and dear to my heart- Etsy Kids!!

To me the holidays and Etsy go hand in hand.  And as you might have guessed I spend a lot of time playing in Etsy land and Etsy Kids is a great way for me to find stuff that is most near and dear to my heart–goodies for kids.

The EtsyKids Team is a diverse group of talented and dedicated Etsy shop owners making items for babies, toddlers, and children.  Although we come from different backgrounds and all corners of the world , we are held together by the fact that our members all love to create things for children. In our members’ shops, you will find a wide variety of items ranging from clothing to toys to furniture to art and everything in between, in every style imaginable.

Here are some of my favorites from Etsy Kids that I hope make it onto many a Santa’s shopping list:

Oh, I’m head over heels for this great little stocking stuffer dolly inspired by vintage paper dolls.  From Etsy seller, Periwinkle Jazz.

What kid doesn’t love crayons? And lady bugs? Which means that these lady bug crayons will be the hit of the holidays! From Etsy Kids seller, Gaddy Bug Crayons.

I’ve been a huge fan of felt food for awhile and this sushi set is killing me with its cuteness. From Etsy Kids seller, Northwoods Toys.

Etsy Kids seller, Out of the Box, has some wonderful baby shoes that would make any baby (and Mama) smile!

And I gave you a teaser above, but wow oh wow-isn’t this reversible kimono style hoodie to die for? I’ll take one in my size too, please, Etsy Kids  seller, Merino Me!

I hope you enjoyed this little sampler of goodies from Etsy Kids.  Do stop by and check it out for yourself!

Besty of Etsy: Way Cool Kid is Way Cool!

You gotta love Way Cool Kid! Why? Because the clothing line is just genius. Smart, button cute comfy jumpers that make me smile from ear to ear. And made out of winter friendly machine washable wool that has been upcycled from used clothing. Swoon! You had me at “machine washable”. And the fellow behind it, Thomas is just a peach of a guy to boot! File him under cool daddios, for sure!

It’s not just that the dresses are wonderful. But the stories behind them. For example this wonderful piece:

The MINE dress is a double tribute to honor not only his little girl, Matilday’s favorite word (MINE), but it is also a tribute to one of his favorite textile designers, Tula Pink in the aftermath of a recent bit of textile plagiarism. The two ideas seemed like a match made in some heaven or another, and just perfect for a child’s dress.

I sat down for some online hot chocolate and cider donuts with Thomas to chat about Way Cool Kid! Here’s a bit of our convo:

MK: Tell, me Thomas, what inspired you to do this line?

WAY COOL KID: That is actually a complicated question. I am relatively new to the sewing world. I had been hand sewing stuffed animals for quite a while now — just now and then — but only just started using a sewing machine this summer. My mother came to visit the family and gave me a few lessons on the sewing machine and the next thing I knew I was making dresses for my two-year-old daughter. After the first dress I was absolutely addicted. I made quite a few dresses for Matilda just to figure out what I was doing. After a dozen or so dresses I decided to actually get serious about sewing.

This line had a few inspirations. The first was Matilda of course. As a designer and design professor (until health issues forced me to leave academia) I was perpetually dismayed by the clothing I could find for Matilda. surely designing clothing for kids that was both fun and cool couldn’t be too hard.

Part of it came from reading a blog post by one of my favorite fabric designers about a ridiculous skirt she had found. A couple of days later I had finished my response: The Big Mousie Dress. I think I described it at one point as a blend of Little House on the Prairie and Swiss Modernism. That idea kind of stuck with me.

MK: Anyone who can reference Little House on the Prairie and Swiss Modernism can sit next to me any day of the week! I look forward to your take on Nellie Olson and Sweden. But tell me more, Thomas–particularly about how design plays into your dresses.

WCK: Well, I loved the idea of applying some good old design principles to toddler dresses. I had come to loathe nicely proportioned applique smack dab in the middle the torso. Monotonous colors were the bane of my existence. So, everything just got really big, as close to too big as I could get without getting unwieldy. And then it was time to play with color. And of course there needed to be the dress equivalent page run-off. I am still absolutely in love with the Big Bunny Dress, that granny suiting weave with the Heather Bailey floral print just makes be happy with how wrong it is, and how right it turned out.

But when I first started making these I had very little idea where it was going to take me. I am trying to let Matilda’s interests guide my ideas and let the clothes come from what she is doing and what she is interested in rather than what I think a toddler should be interested in. She is far more sophisticated in her interests and tastes than one would probably expect, as is true for all kids. The goal is to not condescend to kids with these pieces; I think most kids can tell when their stuff is lame.

The best thing ever is when Matilda runs about showing people her dress yelling — she hasn’t yet learned volume modulation — “This is my princess dress. I love it” (She currently calls all of her dresses her princess dress; I don’t think she actually knows what a princess is though.) Stuff should matter, be loved and enjoyed, not just be a disposable thing; I hope that comes across in these pieces.

MK: Matilda sounds like my kinda girl. And I love that she thinks all of her dresses are fit for a princess. Because they are! You mentioned your love of the upcycle–where do you find fabric to recycle?

WCK: At the moment I get most of my upcycling materials either from my closet of from the Salvation Army. I had a long debate with friends about buying clothes to epicycle them, whether there were some sort of ethical tangle there. Eventually I was persuaded that there is actually more stuff than there were people who actually needed that stuff from the Salvation Army, that the main goal of thrift stores was actually to raise funds, not to distribute stuff through those outlets. So, after that debate I started weekly trips to the Salvation Army and got to work upcycling.

After a bit of trial and error I have developed an upcycled dress pattern that I love to work with, and am currently finalizing designs for upcycled pants made from old tee-shirts (the funky the screen-printed design the better) and from felted wool sweaters. Actually I kinda wish I still lived in Des Moines when it comes to upcycling (I was a Design Prof. at Drake University for five years before moving to New York to actually live with my wife and start a family). That was one heck of a thrift store town.

MK: I hear you! The Mid-West is a treasure trove of thift awesomeness. Don’t even get me started on Akron, Ohio. But, let’s talk about Oli, the elephant.. She’s adorable! What was the story with Oli?

WCK: Oli has become an essential part of our family. I made the original Oli for my wife for her birthday just over eight years ago. Oli was the first stuffed animal I ever made. He’s about twelve inches tall and we love him. The next year I actually made a silly little flash game for my wife’s birthday featuring Oli.

Ever since then Oli has shown up in one form or another in our house: one year it was a Xmas card, another in all of our vacation photos. Well, when I started making big animal dresses it was an absolute certainty that Oli was going to make an appearance. There is already a new Oli stuffed animal/pillow in the works for Matilda’s Xmas.

MK: Well, I’m so glad she ended up on a dress and I have a feeling Oli will be a welcome addition to someone’s wardrobe very soon.

Thanks so much Thomas for chatting with me about Way Cool Kid and I hope everyone has a chance to check out the awesomeness that is Thomas’s Etsy shop, Way Cool Kid!