Monday, April 20, 2009

Paper, paper everywhere

The following was written by Melissa Bastian of Bright and Libellule.

If you've seen the things I make for my first shop (Bright.), you've probably figured out that I've got a thing for paper. And a paper and ribbon combo? Even better! It turns out that I'm not the only person here on the Vegan Etsy team that feels this way. Below is a small selection of the wide array of gorgeous objects made of paper (sometimes with ribbon!) fashioned by various members of our team.

Toboggan Hill Studio features a fairly wide array of goods, including beaded jewelery, a super-cute stuffed felt cupcake, and a glass robot pendant that kind of blows my mind. They also offer a variety of "pocket journals", this blue tree design being my favorite. Hey man, I dig trees. Since I'm one of those pedestrians you see pulled over on the sidewalk madly scribbling down heaven-knows-what, this could be a very good i
tem for me to have in my pocket. Also potentially extremely useful for grocery lists, or any other kind of list really. Lists and trees is pretty much where it's at.

Art You Dream About is a relatively new addition to the team, and we're so glad to have her! Her shop is full of fun, colorful unique items full of imagination and whimsy. Among journals, photographs, and pendants, this shop features the most adorable bookmarks - major attraction for a bibliophile like me. And then you have this particular item - combine books and cupcakes, and I'm sold! As the p
roprietor says, "This one makes me hungry and want to die of cuteness overload. Happy scrumptious cupcakes dance alongside a light blue background with white polka dots." Ever conscious of impact, she adds that "This product will come in a cello bag, which is number 5 recyclable. If you would prefer I do not include this bag, please let me know when making your order." Love it!

Panda with Cookie inhabits a world of make-believe and funtimes - a world peopled by the sweetest little snaggle-toothed monsters you ever did see, apparently, not to mention pirate tofu cubes. It's a good shop to stop by if you need a new tote bag or apron, or maybe some paper cranes with googly eyes. In an interesting juxtaposition, though, Panda also features these strikingly beautiful and delicate strings of paper objects. There are f
lowers, pink and yellow, but these orange butterflies just captivate me. So often we see "butterfly" objects made of feathers (cringe), or, worse yet, actual butterfly wings! I particularly love this item because it lets us revel in the beauty of butterflies without causing harm to any creature - the vegan ideal, no?

Through playful and zany illustration, My Zoetrope brings us into a world where foodstuffs, owls, and celestial bodies rule. The Brooklynite's explanation of her shop's name? "ZOETROPE: From the Greek words, zoe, 'life' and trope, 'turn'. It may be taken to mean 'wheel of life' or 'living wheel.' My Zoetrope is an ever-evolving wheel of my life and the silliness, craziness, prettiness, and absurdness of it." She further states that she dislikes mayo
nnaise and squirrels - and I'll be happy to debate the squirrel part with her any day. Of the many objects sold in her shop that you really must see for yourself, a standout is these recipe cards which feature her gang of foodies. No, not those annoying middle aged people that hang out at Dean and Deluca comparing their last two meals of veal and arguing about how to get sand out of morels. But little people that look like food! This gang's got moxy, and with ten separate designs you'll never get bored. Why not use them to write down some of your favorite recipes, give them to mom for mother's day, and watch the next family holiday be transformed into a vegan feast?! (Keep pirate mushroom for yourself though - he's too good to give away.)

This Is It! Creations, a husband and wife team living the dream of running their own business, offers a nice variety of paper items, along with a pretty selection of jewelery with a sort of zen feeling to it. Here's what they had to say about one of their journal lines: "Since we love animals so much, we created an entire line of journals with fun animal drawings on the covers! " Not only that, but they're fashioned from super-eco-friendly lokta pa
per. Each animal design is available on about a dozen different cover colors, and they are also using the same set of designs on notepads, cards, and a few of their other paper goodies. After bird images, elephants are probably my second big aesthetic draw as far as animal images go, so I've been in love with this particular journal since the first time I saw it. Their shop tagline is "ecogifts that inspire", and I have to agree. (Pssst! Team members get a discount!)

Rooted in a strong dedication to helping animals, many Vegan Etsy team members donate a portion of their profits to various animal assistance organizations, and Michelle of Mvegan5 is no exception. (No surprise, really, as she's not only a Vegan Etsy team member but is also the founder of Etsy for Animals.) Each month, 10% of her profits go to a different animal charity - for the month of April it's Siberians
Needing Owners
. Among prints of her original animal-inspired paintings, notecards featuring images of her paintings and photographs, and funky jewelery and accessories fashioned largely from bits of vintage plastic, I found her Sweet Paper Flower Pin. Not only is it delicate and enchanting in an understated way, but it's also a testament to the fact that you really can make anything out of paper!

Love of animals runs deep around here, and that includes the love of man's best friend. Sadly, due to people's laziness or outright neglect, abuse, or abandonment, an astonishing number of dogs who just wanna be loved end up out in the cold. Lucky for them, Nicole of Late July Photography is in the running for the title of Patron Saint of Stray Dogs. Not only does she volunteer in various efforts to keep shelters running and find homes
for stray pups, but she also spends her free time taking stunning photographs of these magnificent mutts to show people just how great they are. This set of postcards features four different canine cuties hamming it up for the camera. And you'll feel great buying them, knowing that 35% of the proceeds will become a donation to Loyal Rescue. What long distance dog loving pal wouldn't love to receive this set, already self-addressed and stamped? There's no better way to say - "Hey! I miss you! Write more often! (And by the bye, how cute are these dogs?!)"

Aguavino is a dedicated birder, but that doesn't stop her from spreading the love throughout the animal kingdom. First of all, you've got to stop into her shop to check out her awesome light switch plates! The one with the snail is absolutely to die for. Then check out the photo cards like this one that features some Llama Love. She takes a professional print of her awesome photograph and actually sews it, with a sewing machine, to a high quality ca
rd. How cool! Part of her "Spread the Love" line, 50% of the proceeds from this item will be donated to an animal sanctuary. Well Mr. Llama, I love you too! Apart from her animal dedication there's some real eco-watching going on at this shop. As the shop proprietor states, "As a staunch environmentalist and anti-consumerist, I have made it a point to display my photography in a sustainable manner. Other than the photos themselves, which are professionally printed, everything is made and displayed with recycled or secondhand materials." Right on, Aguavino!

Alright, at this point you should be sufficiently whipped up into a paper frenzy. What are you waiting for? Get out there and paper it up!


panda with cookie said...

Yay paper! Thanks for showing my paper butterfly garland!

michelle said...

Haha, this was such a GREAT article. Thanks Melissa!

melissa bastian. said...

Glad y'all enjoyed it! I'll be posting every Monday from now on; feel free to suggest fun themes for me to write on! :)

Art You Dream About said...

Melissa, thank you so much for featuring me! I love how you presented what our talented members have to offer. I really adore your writing style

melissa bastian. said...

Thanks! *blushing* What can I say? You guys just inspire me.

Anonymous said...

that's an awesome compilation! Great witting :)