Etsy Favourites!

Does anybody else just spend hours scrolling through Etsy looking at all the creativeness that is up for grabs?
I love that it’s the marketplace for finding handmade, vintage and just about anything from all around the world!
Today i’m going to do a post on my current favourites!

charcoal

Activated Charcoal Facial Scrub with Apricot Seeds, Natural Scrub by Dirty Diva Soaps.
I love charcoal face products they seem to give a much deeper clean and leave skin glowing, this one from Dirty Diva Soaps looks amazing and I love that they do all natural skin care products.

These prints by Ppinky Dolls Art are adorable, a little bit creepy but adorable!
Ppinky sells prints, woodblocks, and dolls that are just as creepy but I’d love to own one.

Lovy
This little lady is named “Lovy”. Isn’t she unique?

guinea pig bedroom
This little sign of a guinea pig sleeping would be perfect to hang on my girls cage! My girls live in my bedroom so it’s just like a room inside of a room, this would be perfect to hang in there loft just above a little bed!
Suzannes Gallery has a few piggie pieces and a few other pig pieces that are similar!

pastel
These pastel marbled shoes by Golden Ponies are just stunning, I feel like you could get lost in the marbled effect. You’d get many compliments in these shoes! The brogue style always looks unique!

guinea pig lady
Enough said!
Kellis Crafts and More knows where it’s at. She also makes C & C cage liners so she herself is a “Crazy Guinea Pig Lady”.

drinking buddies

For all the horror movie buffs!
This shirt is hilarious, Freddy and Jason together as drinking buddies.
Black Coffee and Tees has a fantastic range of tees that refer to movies so there is something for everyone!

There really is something for everyone on Etsy, it’s a fantastic place to search for gifts or something for yourself. The best part is you can save stores and items to your favourites list and revisit later. Check it out and see what you can find.

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Doggie Mail Day!

Does your dog love bring the mail in? Does he/ she enjoy opening presents?
Sophie loves bringing the mail in and trying to rip it open even if it’s not her mail, she also will sit and watch whenever I open mail in front of her.
One day last week I felt like she deserved some special Doggie Mail so I hoped on the internet and searched out some dog gift boxes and came across PetPacks Australia, a pet gift box that offers boxes for dogs and cats!
You can choose a petscription or a one off gift boxed filled with goodies for your special pet! I chose a one of gift box just as a special treat for Sophie.
Once I chose my gift box I thought i’d just have to wait and see what Sophie recieved, however within a few hours I got an email asking about Sophie, What breed is she? What is she like personality wise? What does she like?
I found this to be a great sentiment from PetPacks as they really got to know Sophie and it meant I could let them know a few things about her and how she can’t eat raw hide or chewy treats due to her never chewing her food! Greedy dog!
Sophie was very eager to open her box of goodies, how excited, this excited…

As I said Sophie loves getting mail!
Really loves getting mail…

This is what Sophie recieved in her PetPacks box
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She was thrilled with her haul of goodies as was I!
Included was was 2 toys, a roped ball and a fluffy bone which no doubt will be pulled apart and ruined by the end of the day but ultimately I expect that from Sophie, Any soft toys are destroyed but my theory is at least she’s having fun and enjoying herself.
Also 2 bags of cookies, a bag of pumpkin liver treats and skin treatment bones… Sophie has tried both already and approves!
3 drinks were included, a hydrating coconut drink, a puppicino and a Paw Blonde Beer drink (I’m thinking Sophie needs a date with our beer drinking neighbour to have a beer together, Paul i’m looking at you!).  The little bottle is a bottle for the puppicino, I guess so it can be taken out and about!
A discount for Buddy’s Bandanas was in there and a biscuit that has a the quote “I love you this much”! I had a squiz on Buddy’s Bandanas and the items are lovely, bandanas, Bow Ties and Snoods, i’ll find something cool for Sophie (and then she can get even more mail!).

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All the goodies!

I was very impressed with this business and how they went above and beyond to customize this pack for Sophie and include items she’ll get use out of!
sophie tous
I paid $50 for this standard box, however you can get a subscription, or a special occassion pack!
I recommend for anyone whom loves their dog (or cat) as much as I love mine, and just want to treat them from time to time.

You can find PetPackAus at http://www.petpacksaus.com.au
Also on instagram- petpacksaus and facebook- petpacksaus

How to slow down in a fast paced world!

For many, many years I have felt like I just cannot catch a breathe, everything felt like it was going fast forward and that I had to somehow try to keep up. I was constantly stressed, anxious and even at times worried I was cutting my life short by worrying and racing around so much!
It’s a horrible feeling but at least 99% of the world no doubt feels this way (my own statistics, the 1% are probably high off drugs).
Here are a few of my tips to slow down and take a break from it all…

Exercise- A big one! When people say they don’t have time to exercise they are bluffing, believe me you do have time. Even if just a stroll around the block, take the time to see, smell and just be in the moment!
Personally I prefer having someone to exercise with and talk too but if thats not your thing, go it alone. You’ll find your mind clears and you feel a surge of energy to get back into the chaos that is life.

Pet an animal- I love my pets, When I feel sick I lay on the floor with my dog and she cosies up to me and I feel looked after and comforted. Weird? maybe, but it makes me feel better. Other times I sit with my guinea pigs and cuddle them, it’s liked a weight has lifted when I don’t have to think about anything except for my fur children.
If you don’t have a pet, borrow one or pet an animal you meet out on a walk!

sophiesleep
My dog, Sophie, is big on cuddles! And napping!

 

Plan- My journey into planning started with bullet journaling, I’d stick to it for a few weeks and in the end give up or just forget a day and feel like i’d failed. Not a fantastic feeling! I’d seen the planner stickers around ebay, etsy and even in Target and Kmart but a trip into Kikki K over the Christmas break I really thought “hmm, i’d love a planner but don’t think i do anything to plan”. April came and I realized I had a few events coming up so I took the plunge and bought a planner! Since then i’ve been planning my weeks and adding all the pretty stickers and inserts to give me more inclination to plan. Looking at a pretty set out keeps me checking in and keeping up with my plans.

planner
This is the planner I currently use from Kikki K!

planner1

planner2
I enjoy changing my style around week to week and find I keep to a routine if it’s written in front of me!

Read- Escape into another world! I’m all for a trip to the library to borrow heaps of books, it’s actually one of my favourite things to do. All those books full of lands far from mine, yes please! I’m currently stuck in “See What I have Done”by Sara Schmidt and I’m loving it. It’s actually the story of Lizzie Borden and her family so not for everyone. I love getting so into a book that I want another page, another chapter…
see what I have done

Clear out the junk- I associate myself as a “hoarder”, not just of “things”but of memories good and bad from the past and thoughts of the future. I never seem to live in the present so not only am I working on clearing real physical junk but also junk that stuck in my mind. This is a big one because i’m waking up feeling much more refreshed and less buried in too deep of this fast world.

Relax- Drink coffee, tea, nap… take time out just for you. As it’s winter here in Australia i’m enjoying an afternoon coffee when i finish work because I get into my exercise routine. It’s the pick me up I need to slow down and regroup my thoughts and change from work mode to ” me”mode.
(I don’t endorse an afternoon caffeine pick me up if its going to alter your sleep patterns, I can drink coffee whenever I please and still sleep through the night!).

I’m no expert but the above has really helped me to slow down and just go with the flow in day to day life, and probably saved me from many a panic attacks!

 

Let’s talk Guinea Pigs!

Did you have a guinea pig as a child?
As those whom know me personally would already know, I have two guinea pigs, Thumper and Harley! I absolutely love my girls and spoil them like they were real human children so I thought i’d do a post on some of my favourite piggie places that I visit!
Most of these places are rescue groups so they are the perfect places to visit to get some more information about guinea pigs or to look for a new adition to your piggie family!

First of all I have to say how much I love The Cavy Cottage!
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The Cavy Cottage is based in Geebung, Brisbane, A lovely little shop and rescue that caters for all things piggies, these guys have been a huge help to us and even teamed us up with Harley, our youngest (and craziest girl).
At the Cavy Cottage you will find a wide range of food, treats, housing needs, bathing needs and anything else your piggie desires. I usually end up leaving with tonnes of treats and a big bag of feed, nothing lasts very long with piggies though so you’ll find yourself here every few weeks!
At the back of the shop is all the piggies up for adoption, feel free to look if you dare, so many cute piggies that pull at the heartstrings, you’ll want to take them all home!
If you’re looking for a friend for a piggie, bring them in and they’ll team them up with a friend! This is how we got Harley, Thumper wasn’t keen on any other pigs except Harley so we are very thankful for this service as we could of ended up with a pig friend for Thumper that she didn’t like.
The Cavy Cottage also offers a boarding service, nail trims and baths!
Find them on facebook, instagram and at http://www.thecavycottage.com.au

Guinea Pigs Australia is also another prominant and well known Guinea Pig place for Australians. Join and Guinea Pig group and Australian’s will always recommend this place!
I purchased my C&C cage from these guys and found it was a very quick and easy way to have all the pieces for a C&C cage in the one place, instead of having to gather from different places. It might be a little bit more expensive but I don’t have the patience to gather coroplast. grids and connectors from all different places.
My girls have a 2×4 C&C cage and a ramp and loft, all of which I got for Guinea Pigs Australia.
I’ve noticed a few very cool “Circus” themed pieces lately that i’ve got my eye on as well…

circus house
A circus tent bed!
cannonball
A cannonball Tunnel, I can imagine Harley having so much fun in this one!

Find Guinea Pigs Australia at guineapigsaustralia.com.au

A recent discovery for me is Pigs ‘n’ Pigloos Guinea Pig Sanctuary! I discovered this rescue when I was checking out what stalls were been held at the Pet’s at the Gabba markets. Pet’s at the Gabba is a pets markets held in Brisbane at the Gabba, so lots of stalls for your pets, however it’s mostly dog stalls so a little variety would make it a bit more interesting. So seeing a piggie stall made me super happy and straight away I got onto the owner.
Kadam is such a lovely lady and greeted me with a big hug when we got to the markets.

pigs and pigloos
Pigs ‘n’ Pigloos Pet’s at the Gabba Market stall!

Pigs ‘n’ Pigloos is a rescue so another great place to find a furbaby that is in need of a forever home. Rescue’s do it tough money wise so another reason why they are a great place to pick up your piggie foods, toys, bedding as you are helping out those piggies and giving the owner the means to keep going!
I picked up some great stuff from Pigs ‘n’ Pigloos, a hidey cube, a tunnel and a corner hammock, such fanstastic quality and my girls have been running around through the tunnel into the cube and sliding through the hammock hidey part! Hilarious to watch!
Already planning my next visit!
Get in contact via facebook.

Lastly another rescue that i’ve never visited but that I just love already!
Sharna’s Cavy Sanctuary is based in Loganholme, Brisbane so it’s a little out of my way, however I will get there one day!
I came across Sharna’s while looking for random guinea pig groups on facebook and it popped up. Another rescue with piggies up for adoption and heaps of lovely goodies to purchase, I really want to visit this one. Now just to nag the partner to take me out to Loganholme.
Sharna’s Cavy Sanctuary holds raffles to fund vet bills and bring a bit of excitement, I mean the chance to win cute things for piggies is always a plus right…
I got my eye on a few of the following goodies

strawberry house
Strawberry house!
oxbow treats
My girls love these, Thumper especially loves the Carrot and Dill variety!

Sharna’s Cavy Sanctuary can be found at http://www.sharnascavysanctuary.com.au and via facebook.

I hope this little round up changes your mind about going to a pet shop and shopping locally and through rescue’s for all your guinea pig needs! I know i’d much prefer to shop via the above places knowing i’m helping piggies in need and supporting my like-minded guinea pig fans!

 

 

Spotlight On… Your Organ Grinder!

This is going to be a new segment on Light, Bright, Darkness where I put the Spotlight on some creative person that I think is fantastic and that people reading this blog should know about!
So today I’m putting the Spotlight On… Simmone Spring, the genius behind Your Organ Grinder!
simmone   organ grinder

Your Organ Grinder was founded in 2006 in Brisbane, focusing mainly on anatomy made from felt, fleece, brass, plastic, fabric and wood.

Fascinated… I caught up with Simmone to ask a couple of questions!

First of all what initially made you want to create?
I’ve been interested in making things for as long as I can remember.  I used to make gifts for friends that were very dodgy and I also made clothing for my Barbies.  Crafting is a great way to pass time.  I think I probably started to make things because my mum did. I learned crochet when I was 8 or 9 because she was doing it and I wanted to know how.

What is the drive behind your creations? Why organs? 
My label is Your Organ Grinder which is all handmade anatomy.  I think my drive behind this work is because I like things that are a bit different and always have.  I had dead bug collections as a kid, decided my favourite movie was The Silence of the Lambs when I first watched it when I was 11 and started watching The X-Files at 12.  Making anatomy combines my love of science, biology and horror.
I make a LOT of stuff though, not just anatomy.  I’m really lucky that I get to work for Hands On Brisbane and learn new crafts all the time. I’ve also recently learned a little bit of taxidermy which I have wanted to do since I was 12!

What materials do you work with? Is there a particular material you love working with? Wool wool wool!  I love wool felt and fleece. 75% of my collection is made from wool felt and fleece and I love these materials.  I’ve also done bits and pieces in plastic, metal, wood and fabric.

How long does each creation take to make?

Ages!  Some things take days as I cannot do the same actions with my hands over and over again so I can only do a little at a time.  Some are much faster.  I work with sheets of felt or dyed fleece and my own patterns.  It’s really important whilst doing close crafting to keep changing your focus so you don’t get tired & damaged eyes, I watch a lot of tv & netflix whilst I craft.  Sometimes I’ll watch the same movie over and over again because I can get into a zone with a certain movie.

What are your customers like? Do you have a certain fan base that always comes back for more?
I have a handful of customers who buy a couple of things once or twice a year.  My customers are people who use the piece of anatomy as a talisman; people who have had illness or transplant or injury to certain organs.  A lot of parents buy things for their graduating doctor children.

What is your all time favourite creation?
I love my brains but I’m also a fan of this Barbie set up.
barbie

brain

If any one person living or dead was to love your work who would you wish that person was?
I’ve read that Courtney Love had bought a lot of stuff from Etsy.  It’d be cool if she had bought something!  I also had The Paul O’Grady Show contact me and I signed a release to have my Liver on the show.  I don’t know if it was ever on it though but I like the idea of a comedian making jokes about what I make.

I’d love it if Stephen King had a brain or heart on his desk as he’s been a constant creative influence on me ever since I started to read his books.

What is the future for Your Organ Grinder?
I’m not quite sure! I definitely want to keep making felt body parts and am trying to get them to be the best they can be.  I’m currently doing a 365 days project you can follow on my blog (yourorgangrinder.com)or instagram @yourorgangrinder where I am making a felt skeleton.  I have no idea how I’m going to do the skull!

Would you offer readers 10% off your store?
Sure!  The coupon code for my etsy store is ORGANGRINDER10

You can check more out on
facebook- Your Order Grinder
Instagram- Your Organ Grinder
Etsy- yourorgangrinder.etsy.com/
yourorgangrinder.com

 

 

Currently… The week that is March 27- April 2!

I cannot believe we are heading into April, April will be a month of dreams coming true (once again!) so of course i’m very excited and at random moments telling everyone to “Gimme a D… Gimme an ARKNESS!”. Yes April brings THE DARKNESS!
But thats for another week!
This week…

Currently reading- Style Diaries by Simone Werle.
So technically I wouldn’t call this a book by any standards, it’s a series of photos of bloggers from all over the world. It’s fascinating to see how some fashionistas mix prints, styles and can create these very cool outfits! I’m hoping it will inspire me to dress a bit more funky and stop wearing these muu muu style dresses i’ve been wearing day in day out lately! But seriously muu muu’s are comfy as!
511un0yjBQL

Currently listening too- Permission to Land by The Darkness!
Just getting a bit of my daily dose of The Darkness while writing this. I cannot believe this album came out so long ago, back in 2003 I would of been 15 and I listened to it to death at that age and now as a 28 year old i’m still listening to it almost on daily rotation! It’s a blast of happiness and come to think of it my favourite album of all time!

per
That right here people is the only album you will ever need!

Currently learning- Persistence and hard work pays off! I’ve spent the past few months really getting into doing weights, weight training and exercising. I hate cardio but love doing weights and squats, so mostly I indulge in that. And guess what I’ve lost cm’s around my waist, hips, thighs and I am feeling ridiculously good. My sciatic nerve pain is just about gone, I can go the whole day without having an energy slump and any headaches I was getting frequently have just about disappeared.

Currently loving- Celebrating Sophie’s 11th Birthday!
Sophie loves Christmas, Birthdays and anything that involves presents, so she was pretty happy with her Birthday haul and in true Sophie fashion had destroyed her toy before 8am!
sophie.jpg

buggared
What a day!

Currently winning- 3 limited edition Fantastic Beasts prints!
I’m not sure where I’m going to hang them yet but wherever I put them they are going to really give it a quirky, cool vibe!

Book Review- The Course of Love by Alain de Botton

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Title: The Course of Love
Author: Alain de Botton
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton
Genre: Fiction

I’ve always been interested in Alain de Botton, his books are always there saying “read me, read me” so I saw this one in the library and decided what a perfect place to start!
I hate love stories, most are corny and so unreal and just such bullshit that I just don’t bother, this was very different and enlightening.

The Course of Love is the story of Rabih and Kirsten’s relationship from the very start with little bits of psychology thrown in for good measure.
The story starts with Rabih meeting a new work client, Kirsten, in the first meeting he is rather infatuated with her beauty, not obvious beauty but a quirky beauty that he finds fascinating.  Upon the second meeting Rabih decides he is going to go with his guy and ask Kirsten out on a date, what’s he got to lose?

The story is broken up into 5 catagories…
Romanticism- which follows Rabih and Kirsten’s meeting, those first feelings of love and the butterflies in the tummy everytime you and that other person touch! Rabih and Kirsten get married and believe in “happy ever after”.

“We believe we are seeking happiness in love, but what we are really after is familiarity. We are looking to re-create, within our adult relationships, the very feelings we knew so well in childhood- and which were rarely limited to just tenderness and care.”

Ever After- Within Ever After we discover relationships aren’t easy at all! Rabih and Kirsten discover those niggling little things that irritate each other. From how they both prefer to sleep in different temperatures to a liking of different glasses from ikea!

“We place such demands on our partners, and become so unreasonable around them, because we have faith that someone who understands obscure parts of us, whose presence solves so many of our woes, must also be able to fix everything about our lives.

Children- Rabih and Kirsten welcome Esther into there lives, a little girl that would change so much. No manual on what to do to look after this tiny baby leaves Rabih wondering if he is doing everything correct. He wants to protect Esther from the world.
A second child, a boy comes 3 years after Esther.
Children change everything, what used to be a life of luxury and spending together now involves these two children that seems to take up so much of lifes pleasures and makes even lifes simplest tasks worth argueing about.

“The difficulties of modern parents can in part be blamed on the way prestige is distributed. Couples are not only besieged by practical demands at every hour, they are also inclined to think of these demands as humiliating, banal and meaningless, and are therefore likely to be averse to offering pity or praise to one another, or themselves, just for enduring them.

Adultery- When Rabih goes away on a business trip he comes across a woman just as intriguing as Kirsten. When asked for a drink he knows how the night will end. In the arms of another woman and feeling guilty for hurting Kirsten when really he was hurt from her not wanting to get intimate with him. The couple have lost themselves to life, work, children and are not meeting each others needs. Also arguing about most things Rabih and Kirsten feel detached from one another.

“No relationship could start without a commitment to wholehearted intimacy. But in order for love to keep going, it also seems impossible to imagine partners not learning to keep a great many of their thoughts to themselves.

Beyong Romanticism- In this last section we see Rabih come to terms with his relationship, it’s never going to be perfect but he is ready for love. He is ready to give love and not have a great need for love in return. Rabih knows Kirsten will never fully understand him nor will he fully ever understand her but there is no where else he would rather be than with his beautiful wife and children. Rabih is ready for love!

“pronouncing a love ‘ perfect’can only be a sign that we have failed to understand them. We can claim to have begun to know someone only when they have substantially disappointed us.”

A read that made me look deeply into my own relationship and the relationships of those around me.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5!