Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cufflink Round-Up

I adore cufflinks.

Ask anyone who knows me well, they will tell you that, while I don't wear a lot of jewelry, I love me some cufflinks. Being a girl, I don't find many off the rack items that are cufflink compatible but I've been known to tailor men's shirts and 'hack' the cuffs on regular button downs to give them cufflinks.

For most people, they own a pair or two and they only drag them out when they're in a wedding party somewhere and it seems like such a pity because, while necklaces, rings and bracelets are "out there" pieces of fashion - big things that people notice - cufflinks are subtle but they can also say so much.

I may not have a few hundred dollars to drop on jewelry at the moment, a girl can always dream, can't she?

It can be about where you've been or where you are going like these map point cufflinks from luv4sams shop. You can tell someone special that they've left their fingerprints on your heart with these custom, fingerprint cufflinks from lukely. They're billed as a gift for Dad's - and I think that's adorable too - but they'd be a sweet gesture from a bride to a groom as well. (Or vice versa if the bride is as odd a duck as me ;)) There are even cufflinks for the logophiles out there (there are more than just me, right?) if you have a favorite word or phrase that you wear like a badge of honor or a quote that carry's you through difficult days, these custom word or phrase cufflinks are a subtle way to do it. Or, if you feel like you're taking a gamble on love, or just want to remind yourself to take chances every day, there's nothing like a a tiny roulette wheel (Both of these are also from luv4sams.} To round things out, I have to say this awful thing - I'm not a huge fan of train/subway token charms, cufflinks, etc... I feel like it's so "done" that it's lost a lot of its appeal, but since I'm a sucker for the sentimental and I've suddenly come to terms with the fact that I will be leaving my beloved Chicago soon, these Chicago Transit Authority cufflinks from NOOBOO will probably make their way into my collection at some point in the future.

For those among us whose inner child, or at least their inner hobbyist, is a little over-developed, there are tons of conversation starting cufflinks on etsy. CosmicFirefly has a diving bell that appeals to the 20,000 leagues fan in me as well as the part of me that wanted to be a marine archaeologist when I grew up, and their Ouiji Board cufflinks are super cute for the indecisive among us. If Ouiji boards aren't your thing, maybe you're into monopoly or d&d. (From nakedtile and qacreate respectively.) I'm also a huge fan of the Marmite jar's from mixedupdolly. Even if games and obscure European foods don't make your day, everyone has to find something to love among Superman (finkstudio), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (The Clay Collection) or Star Trek (also from finkstudio).

If you're the kind of person who can't be quantified, Etsy sellers have your back too. daniellejewelry's abacus's come in several different designs and I'm in love with the military vibe of CosmicFirefly's wings. luv4sam also offers these modern 'bright idea' cufflinks and a fully functional set of compasses. Finally, if you're looking for something bold - so cute for groomsmen, pinktophat's Boys Will Be Boys links can't be beat.

If none of those have you sold on the awesomeness of cufflinks, check out the just plain old pretty ones below:

From NobleStudiosLTD. These antique glass button cufflinks manage to look gloriously modern.

Check out these antique cufflinks from New Zealand brought to you by hansfromsweden's etsy shop.

Wood is wood, so don't ask me why I'm constantly falling in love with wood stud buttons, rings and cufflinks but I am. There is something organic about Holcomb's Woodworking and their Bubinga Wood Cufflinks.

LouyMagroos has tons of fabulous, modern cufflinks - the above are just a few designs.

[funky geometric cufflinks | oval crosshatch cufflinks | apreture cufflinks |

Michelle Chang's custom initial cufflinks are (i think) a much more stylish take on the typewriter key phenomena*.

I adore these. They're funky, they're brightly colored, they're sort of industrial but still nicely finished... *sigh*

Way to go, Poppy Porter

And just when I thought I'd run out of energy to drool over things, I ran across Christine Bossler's etsy shop and fell in love with her alchemical use of metals and stones and ability to find the beauty in rust.

[ There is a whole parenthetical aside happening here as I want to wander down a path of discussing the fact that reclaiming, repurposing and reusing has become so much about "look how I cut apart this t-shirt and made an itchy rug out of plastic bags" and so little about taking something old or unused and making it into something beautiful and how that should be the real goal of reclaiming, repurposing and reusing - not just taking something to a use but elevating it to it's best use. And then, you know, I thought I should stop. ]

*they're cute - but it's so done to death.

Monday, January 4, 2010

On To Do Lists…

I try not to fall into the trap of New Years Resolutions.  They seem like a good idea for the first few days – and I think it has a lot to do with the killer hangover people are usually nursing on New Years Day – but after that, they tend to get lost in the shuffle of living day to day and then you end up regretting your hubris the next New Years Eve and repeating the cycle all over again.  Me, on the other hand, I try to set goals rather than resolutions.  Would I like to be skinnier, sure I would.  Do I think it’s a good idea to be a better person, probably.  Could I swear less, of course.  But these are the sorts of things you should be working on anyway – and they’re the kinds of things that get lost after a couple of days or weeks.  For me, it’s all about the tangible and real – things you can reach out and touch and work for concretely – and things you’ll know you’ve achieved once you’ve gotten there.

Last year I set forth the desire to know how to make perfect macarons – with a slightly raised foot and an uncracked top.  I didn’t make it all the way there.  I’ve gotten the foot smack on and they don’t crack anymore, but they are still more oval than round.  (Something I can chalk up to my life-long animosity toward pastry bags and piping tips.)  All things considered, I’m putting that one in the “win” column, if only because that’s perfect enough for me.  (One of those “big,” “pervasive” and “intangible” things I learned this year, though it wasn’t something I set out to grasp, is the value of letting things go and not getting down over imperfections.  I don’t want to be the next iron chef and I also don’t want to be that person who sucks all the joy out of what they’re doing by fussing over a cookie that flattened – it’s the flavor that I want to be good at, not the look.)

The internet is rife with people doing the same – Wardrobe Refashion and 101 in 1001.  Even at HPFF people are being challenged to read all, or as many, of the Pulitzer winners as possible in 2010.  I haven’t taken up any group causes but that doesn’t mean I won’t still spend a good deal of time searching for a support group of my very own.

For Today:
  • somehow stay awake until the end of the work day
  • remain productive despite my desire to collapse into a pit of exhaustion
  • go to bed early and drink lots of water

For Tomorrow:
  • design something for print.  I made a promise to work on something every day and I’ve been working on everything but this.

For 2010:
  • launch “the business”
  • go to infinitus and have fun despite my misanthropic desire for anonymity.
  • write a proposal for infinitus and try not to be self-sabotaging because of above or because I feel I have nothing of any real value to say to these people.
  • be self-sabotaging for a new and unique reason.
  • move some place a little wonderful
  • edit undone and have the proof copy printed
  • find someone who can give me honest feedback on same and ask for it.

And Beyond:
  • find a way to work from home, be it actual employment or freelance work
  • send more care packages
  • act my age and go out more often!
  • keep writing, if only because it surprises people.
  • continue to recognize that there is always something I don’t know how to do and learn to do it.  (this feeds into my ultimate goal of possessing the title of MOST DIVERSELY EDUCATED PERSON EVER and ensuing WORLD DOMINATION)