Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Stuff I Like

I spent a quite a bit of time trolling the internet over the weekend and I thought I should share some of the goodies I found so that you can join me on the cutting edge of...the...cutting edge.

I often get asked how I find some of the interesting things that I find and I have to admit that it's completely by accident.  If I'm killing time, looking for nothing in particular, I use either StumbleUpon or Alltop.  You tell them what you're interested in and they tell you where to find the good stuff based on your interests.  You have to register at both sites but they are free and the registration is so that you can customize your web surfing experience for maximum personalized yield with minimum oh-my-god-get-me-away-from-this-site-NOW trauma.

I find myself visiting fewer and fewer websites these days.  Blogs are where it's at.  I'll admit that I don't actually "read" a lot of them, I just look at the pretty pictures.  A lot of blogs will have a blog roll or a list of links that they like.  If I find a blog that I like, I figure I might like what they like so I visit some of their links...then some of their links...then some of their links, etc.  Same thing with Flickr.  I'll look at the profile on some of my Flickr contacts and visit their website or blog or Facebook page.
JustGano (Just Get A New One) is an interesting concept.  It's a jewelry site where you pay a monthly membership fee and build up a wish list of their jewelry that you want.  Every month they send you 1, 3 or 6 pieces from your list, depending on your membership level.  Shipping is included and the lowest membership level is $7.95/month.  That's not bad at all and some of the jewelry is pretty decent.  Taylor will probably get more use out of this than I will but I couldn't help trying it out.  The picture is of the first item on my wish list, which is on its way.  Even if I don't like it, $7.95 is still a heck of a deal just for the jewelry parts I can scavenge from it.

Thinking about Christmas right now makes me sweat but occasionally I run across things to bookmark for later.  I'm always interested in really different Christmas trees and decorations.  Not that I ever actually do them, I'm just interested in them.  I love this butterfly tree I found on ShelterPop.  This could make a really cheesy old white Christmas tree look elegant.

I saw another Christmas idea at The Long Thread.  These are a little more folk art looking than I usually go for, but I still like them.  I wish I had known about these 19 years ago.  My cat, Hymie (God rest his soul) was not at all happy about Taylor's arrival into the world.  For two years prior to that, he was was king of the castle and got all of our attention.  That changed after Taylor was born, and Hymie decided to get his revenge in the most heinous ways.  If we would leave shoes lying around, he'd pee in them.  If we left a pile of clothes anywhere on the floor, he'd pee on them.  If we left stuffed animals or any kind of plush toy where he could get to it, he'd pee on it.  If I left my purse open where he could reach it, he'd pee in it.  This was frustrating, but on the upside it forced me to keep the house picked up all the time.  I thought I had solved the problem by eliminating his targets until I was cleaning out some stuff in Jayson's closet and was hit with that very distinctive cat pee smell.  Since we lived in North Texas and we had winter for about 10 minutes every year, we often pushed our off season winter clothes to the back of the closet.  Jayson had a bunch of really nice sweaters that he kept folded up in a plastic laundry basket on the floor of his closet.  I discovered that Hymie had been using the basket as his own personal litter box for quite some time.  He saturated about a dozen sweaters, several were wool, one had leather strips on it (it was from the 80s) and I cried over a cashmere one that I bought for Jayson while we were dating.  The dry cleaner did what they could but whatever toxic acid is in cat pee had broken down the fibers in most of the sweaters so they were ruined forever.  Had I known about this little project, I could have some lovely little Christmas trees.  I can't remember exactly what we did to Hymie to discipline him but it must have been bad because he never did anything like that again until he got old and incontinent but you can't very well blame him for that.  He lived 21 years.  I miss him.

Okay, enough about cat pee.  At Craftstylish I ran across these topiaries made from little paper drink umbrellas.  How cute is that??!  Cheap, easy and adorable, especially for the summer.  I just love using things for a purpose other than which they were intended.  That sounds grammatically off but I think you get the point.

Handmade Charlotte is one of my favorite sites and I found this funky swing necklace on there.  These are handmade in Germany from either wool felt or beechwood and the prices start at $1,000.00.  I can think of a lot more fun ways to waste $1,000.00 but having a huge necklace hanging from the ceiling is sort of eye catching.
How About Orange is another favorite and they had some pictures of paint chip projects by Matthew Sporzynski.  You can see more of his stuff at Real Simple.  His sculptures are so realistic you have to look twice to see that they're made from paper.

Another paper item that I'm crazy about right now is Japanese washi tape.  It's a paper masking tape that comes in lots of decorative colors and patterns.  I can just think of all kinds of cool stuff to do with this tape, I wish I had a boatload of it.  Visit HappyTape and just try to resist.

I'm honestly not sure how I ended up there, but I spent a good deal of time at CBGB & OMFUG's website.  CB's was a punk/alternative rock club in New York City from the 70s until just a few years ago.  Although I'd heard of the club, like I've heard of Studio 54, I didn't know much about it other than it was a punk rock mecca.  If you have delicate little sensibilities, you might steer clear of this one.  But if you want a dose of in-your-face punk culture click on the link and take the virtual tour, but bring hand sanitizer.  The entire interior of the club, and I'm talking every single available surface, is covered in graffiti.  This is not the pretty, artistic kind of graffiti you might see on city walls.  This is the stuff you'd see on the bathroom wall of an old Phillips 66 gas station on I-35 just outside of Laredo...on acid.  The whole club is gross...but fascinating.  I think I got hepatitis just by taking the virtual tour but I couldn't look away.  It's sort of a shame that it doesn't exist anymore, it's the kind of place I would like to have visited some day.  In a hazmat suit.


Mayn said...

I'm trying to figure out how you have time to look at these sites...You work and you sleep so that takes up a good chunk of your day. Are you surfing the web in your sleep? Your surfing the web while driving, aren't you?! I haven't had a free moment to pluck my eyebrows or shave my legs, much less look at all these sites! I guess I really have poor time management skills.

Shannon said...

You forget...I'm practically an empty nester. Even though she's still living in the nest, she doesn't require a lot of mothering nowadays. Plus, the graphic design part of my job involves a lot of web browsing for images and I run across stuff that way. And it's my job to update the church's Facebook page and website so basically I get paid to play on the internet all day. It's really a sweet deal and I'm riding it for all its worth before someone notices and puts an end to my fun.