Etsy Schmetsy: Whiskers

Moustaches (and to a lesser extent beards) have become a crafty-indie motif that’s become nearly as popular as chandeliers, unicorns or deer. As the only Experts editor capable of sprouting whiskers (beyond capable: full disclosure, I’ve been clean shaven under ten times ever) I have been tasked with trying to get to the bottom of the trend.
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Row 1: Keep warm and look fashionably mountain man-y at once with this bearded beanie by taraduff. There’s lots of moustache pins to be found on Etsy but I really like the classy colors of these vinyl Fancy Moustache Pins by yummypocket best; I couldn’t explore the moustache trend without including a bearded madame: I like all sorts of things about this Geek Scrub vegan soap by scodioli but especially its mashup of contemporary geekery and the old-fashioned chicken-decapitating-with-teeth kind.

Row 2: I drink espresso every morning from a set of stacking espresso cups like these by UptownAvenue –though without the awesome moustache varietals on them. If you’ve grown a moustache on a dare, shaved a beard leaving just a moustache, or you’re a girl who’s gone out partying wearing a false moustache, perhaps you deserve a moustache merit badge like this one from  imadeyouabeard? The monocle cat-erpillar by cordialkitten had me at “monocle” then went ahead and went for five legs, so good.

Row 3: I really like the campy-masculinity of this coffee-and-pipe-tobacco-scented moustache wax by mansfacestuff, the flowing sweetness of this gocco print, “Two” by laurageorge,  and the terrific and original fabric print on the the birds and the beards dress by meandoli

Conclusions: I think it sprung from a combination of a sort of cheeky take on manliness (chucknorrisfacts, those Old Spice commercials) and an offshoot of several other niche motifs (pirates, victoriana, yetis). Devendra Banhart and Daniel Day-Lewis might also shoulder some responsibility?

As a moustache-wearer I am not the target audience for the hundreds of moustaches-on-sticks or -on-chains (or merit badges or dresses) out there: most of these products are aimed at women. Erin from imadeyouabeard notes that in Portland, that mecca of indiecraftiness, there are two kinds of people, “hipsters with beards, and lumberjacks with beards. I was born without the ability to grow a beard, and now I make beards to help people like me blend in with their bearded compatriots.” Bravo Erin. Ladies, help me figure this out, is this what it’s about?


We’ve just wrapped up our last holiday sale of the year, whew! It was the RISD Alumni sale, which has somewhat of a different crowd (and vendors) than our usual craft fair. A snippet of dialogue overheard in the morning: “What’s RISD?” / “It’s the Rhode Island School of Design, the best art school in the country” / “Oh… Like, the street!” Non-SF readers please note that Rhode Island is a street in the Potrero Hill neighborhood. SF readers, please note that it also is a state. Oh and that’s where the best art school in the country is, y’all.

Here’s some of our fellow alumni who were there with stellar work.


hk designs | Hiroko Kurihara
I got Sam one of her scarves a few years back: for every one of her items purchased she donates a polarfleece blanket to the homeless, which is a fantastically inspiring programs. Also, the felted wool scarves/blankets etc are superb and beautiful.

Pie Bird Press | Hannah Berman
We’re not in the habit of talking up other cardmakers but Hannah’s cards are really pretty special. You may have seen her work at Paper Source, on etsy (where you didn’t believe it could really be letterpress) or in magazines. Most letterpress work shies away from this sort of ink coverage, but she has giant swaths of bold color down.


Hillary Bird
While we’re on other cardmakers… we’re proud to welcome Ms. Bird, whose indie-quirky sensibilities and hybrid of analog and digital techniques makes charmingly cute cards and prints.

Sarah Richardson Jewelry
Sarah’s had a ton of really beautiful jewelry, but her pod series in sterling silver is gorgeous (look for Sam to be sportin’ one soon), and she was super friendly with advice for us on making a living from our art.


Lian Ng for PubliQue
His lasercut PopMats are so elegant and clever it’s hard to imagine throwing the fête that would be their match; this year there were votive holders as well that fold into a really interesting shape.

Mediums to Masses | Sarah Hirneisen
Sarah makes screenprinted glass jewelry, dishes and coasters under the name Mediums to Masses. But she’s definitely a consummate artist: not content to just have a successful product line, she’s produced a lot of thoughtful installation and gallery pieces too.


Eieio | Jean Orlebeck
We saw Eieio papers first like 8 years ago at Flax. They are some of the most elegant modern giftwraps (and endpapers) around, and the original design from way back then remains fresh and charming.

Aaron Silverstein
I think the photo-guided laser-cut ornaments and votive holders he was selling (and selling out of) at the show were slightly different than these, which he designed for Roost, but no less beautiful. Poking around his website for images of them, I found a range of remarkable work that I would love to see (and own); a fantastically talented industrial designer with elegant lines and a special attunement to nature’s forms.


James Cogbill
James had tshirts of this painting based on Midwestern fields for sale that I totally was coveting. His thoughtful abstractions wouldn’t seem out of place on my favorite blog but does it float

Daniel Oakley | Oliblock
Oliblock: Like Lego Technics met Frank Gehry, magnetic and interlocking and awesome.

Indie Mart is this Sunday!

indie mart

If you are in San Francisco this Sunday, stop by Thee Parkside for Indie Mart and say “hi” to Owen and me. It should be a really good time.

Here are all the details:
The Indie-Mart Street Fair
Sunday, November 8th, 12-6pm
Thee Parkside- 17th st & all down Wisconsin
ALL AGES- 21 to booze it up
$2 suggested donation

The Indie Mart is back for our last throw down outside before we move indoors for the winter. We’re bringing you the best in local designers, makers, the most vintage we’ve ever had, local rad stores, zines, rock tees, bakers, and about everything else you can think of. We’ve hand selected 100 of the best bay area vendors just for this event.  Is if that’s not enough…peep our DIY booth from Workshop, featuring demos every hour from 1pm on. Sewing stations where you we’ll customize your rock tees for $5- (choose one of 3 ways- the Tawny Kitean, the Benetar or the Lita Ford..yes, really). We’ve got ping pong going from 1-5pm on the street. Photobooth. Killer BBQ. Drink specials like whoah. and of course, Cheap beers.


Made by Julene


Julene Harrison makes beautiful, intricate cut paper designs. If you contact her, she will even create a custom paper cut for you. Check out more of her work on her blog Made By Julene.


View more of Julene’s beautiful work after the jump.

Continue reading Made by Julene

What we’re buying…

We thought it might be nice on occasion to let you in on a few of the our recent etsy purchases that haven’t yet been featured in our weekly Etsy Schmetsy round ups. We wouldn’t want anyone having the misconception that only sell on and post about etsy — we are also frequent etsy shoppers. This week’s purchases are all made by Samantha and Jessica (tiniestj); it appears that Owen and Kirsten have been exhibiting a bit more budgetary control.



lampswhoopie pies

Read on for credits and comments.

Continue reading What we’re buying…

Etsy Schmetsy: Into the woods






Row 1: Green felt Bambi from Enna Design Shop; “Owl on book” print from e.soule

Row 2: Rabbit Puppet Shadow tee from Flytrap Studios; Wearable Mini Feltidermy from girl savage

Row 3: “Animal Crime” Custom Large Messenger Bag from skirt; Sterling Silver Buckhorns necklace from Skylark Studio

Row 4: Super cute amigurumi pattern from Owlishly; “Happy Ending” embroidered art from Mary’s Granddaughter

Row 5: Sterling Silver Squirrel pendant from 15 Clove Jewelry; Adorable raccoon boot protectors from Peek-a-Boot

Handmade Nation


Last night we went to the SF Film Society’s screening of Handmade Nation by Faythe Levine — a documentary about the rise of the DIY/craft movement. I definitely recommend checking it out if it screens near you.

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