I'll admit it: I'm not as whimsical as I used to be.
And I used to be plenty whimsical, believe me. I had a messenger bag made out of a welcome mat. I had two pairs of the same pumps in different colors, and often wore one of each. I wore a hat made out of a paper bag. Really, I was one step away from clown college.
These days, I just don't have the energy for that kind of shit. Maybe it's a function of aging, but I find myself much less willing to tie birds to my head or wear giant felt pins that look like breakfast foods. So it's kind of a shame that Etsy came into existence as I was already growing out of that stuff, because it truly is the clearinghouse for whimsical fuckery.
As of this writing, a search of Etsy's handmade category brings up more than 33,000 items tagged "whimsical." That's an assload of whimsy. Parenthetically, there are more than 100 items tagged "whimsicle," but that's more sad than funny.
Whimsy, insofar as jewelry and accessories are concerned, seems to mean one of two things: either the proportions are wrong, or the object is made with unexpected materials. Proportional whimsy could mean a twelve-foot scarf or a cowl that obscures your entire head, or, conversely, it could mean an extremely tiny hat. Whimsical materials could mean a necklace of teddy bear heads or a trench coat made of attic insulation. It is important to note, however, that whimsy is not the same as upcycling, which is basically taking garbage and making something useless out of it.
It might seem like a lot now, but at one point in my life, 1,600 pages of whimsy would have been a tease. I couldn't get enough of that smirking, winking fabulousness. I loved the theatricality of it all: necklaces made from Formica samples, vintage men's pajamas as outerwear, piles of costume jewelry from obsessive thrift store scavenging. I adored my rhinestone-studded cigarette holder, my fingerless gloves, my neon socks, my Mary Janes with kitten faces on them. I basked in the wholly unwarranted confidence that anything looked great if you meant it.
And it's true that attitude does go a long way. But as with any road trip, there are markers in the road that keep you from drifting out of your lane and into oblivion. And I distinctly recall a moment in my mid-twenties when I first heard the sound of driving over them.
I was working as a receptionist in a law firm, and I had become friendly with the office manager. Beth was an older woman with a son in high school, and he had developed an interest in acting. While I wasn't pursuing it at the time, it was common knowledge that my mother and father were in the business, and that I had worked as a child actress for a number of years.
Beth came by my desk one morning and asked what I was doing that weekend. For reasons I still don't understand, I said, "Nothing," then watched in abject horror as she dropped two tickets to her son's high school production of The Crucible on my desk. I started to demur, but she quickly said, "Oh, they're free." And, leaning closer, she whispered, "Industry comps."
I quickly called my friend Debi, who, like me, heard "industry comps" first, "Crucible" second, and "high school" not at all. We arranged to meet at her house several hours before the show, so we'd have enough time to get ready.
It was late October, so this event called for a fall wardrobe. I packed up all my sweaters and leggings-despite the fact that it was in the mid-seventies in the valley-and drove to her house with the air-conditioning on full blast.
Anticipating my arrival, Debi had already laid out her entire wardrobe on the bed and stolen a pack of her mother's Parliaments. We began the arduous task of making it work, and if this had been a John Hughes movie, this is where the montage would have gone.
Debi settled on a green wraparound Danskin dress and an enormous antebellum hat, which is always a good choice for theater-going. I chose a knee-length zebra sweater with purple spandex leggings and bright orange platforms. And as we left the house, lingering in the mirrored foyer of her mother's condo, we felt every bit as fabulous as we were convinced we looked.
The first half of the play was horrible though uneventful. No one even complained about Debi's hat (though I realize now that the people behind us were probably grateful for the distraction). As the lights came up for intermission, Debi and I went outside to smoke and look important.
We were standing in the courtyard, trying to figure out how we could leave early without Beth hearing about it, when I noticed two women staring at us. They weren't even talking, really, just staring. It suddenly occurred to me that they must have heard us pick up our "industry comps" at will-call and were trying to figure out who we were! I was about to share this theory with Debi when one of the ladies suddenly turned to her friend and said, "Oh that's right, it's tomorrow."
It took a second or two before I realized that it was October 30.
Mermaid Hair Clip
I never answer.
and she always wonder if that funny knot hurts.
so she sits,
especially in the evening
when cream and ribbons smells alike.
If I had to wear a Barbie doll and two pounds of broken jewelry on my head, I wouldn't be happy, either. But for God's sake, at least try to smile. This looks like a hostage photo at the Mattel plant.
Birch Bark Purse - very unique, one of a kind (OOAK) special occasion hand bag
"Special occasion"? What kind of special occasion? A lumberjack wedding? I don't know about you, but I don't have the coordination to hold a log and a drink at the same time. How about we just put this in the fireplace and call it Christmas?
RITZY in BLACK - cocktail ring - 2.75 inch CERAMIC
Make a huge statement with this bold ceramic cocktail ring. It has a diameter of 6.5 centimetres and is adorned with feathers and tiny beads which create an elegant cuff over the hand.
Be the envy of all.
It's called a "cocktail ring" because you can balance a twelve-ounce tumbler on it. And it's ceramic, so you're all set when the hot hors d'oeuvres come out.
Whether it be a wedding, a summer stroll, or even (yes!) to work, wherever you choose to wear these babies, you will be noticed.
If you really want to be noticed, try crapping your pants on the bus. It might not be ironic, but it's less embarrassing than wearing yellow spats to (yes!) work.
Brooch with Vintage Buttons
Two vintage celluloid buttons were stacked and adhered with epoxy to create this spiffy brooch. Two layers of black wool felt have been hand sewn to the back along with a silver plated brooch clasp. Pin them on a jacket, coat, hat or purse for a swell look!
Tell her you'd marry her all over again with a prolapsed anus.
Hand burnished with gold leaf then dipped in a bath of clear resin, strung on a gorgeous 18" sterling silver ball strand chain.
Please do not eat this cheerio.
Free first class shipping.
Stays elegant, even in milk!
black satin headband with a sheer burgundy bow, a vintage style gold and white charm and a 6" white dove
So, let's see. There's a black satin headband, and a burgundy bow, and a gold and white charm, and what else?.?.?.?what else?.?.?.?oh yeah, A GIANT FUCKING BIRD GLUED TO YOUR HEAD
Coca Cola Bottlecap Fun Earrings for women
by Justine Justine
whatever you call it, i love it! its eco-friendly and funky!
these bottlecap-earrings are made with love and dedication in Mexico
Tetanus shots not included.
BUTTERFLY BROOCH xxx It is whimsical xxx HANDCRAFTED xxx HANDBEADED
This little brooch wants to go have fun with you.
It also wants to look like a butterfly. But that isn't going to happen, either.
Cold Stone Fox
Ice cream headache headband
This Ice Cream Headache headband is surprisingly light on the head, as the creamy delicacies are purely paper pulp!
Hilarity ensues as people ask "what's that on your head?"
And you say, "It's a headband with a plastic dish full of fake paper ice cream glued to it!"
And they say, "Did you make that?"
And you say, "No, I bought it for twenty dollars."
And that's when everybody starts laughing.
Scum and Get It
Charming Pond Scum Amoeba Pendant
This charming pond scum green amoeba pendant features a beautiful clear contractile vacuole. This amoeba is voracious, as you can see by the six highly developed pseudopods. If you would like to purchase the matching earrings, just Convo me and I'll make a separate listing for two small amoeba, one large one and a dear little paramecium.
"Your pond scum is lovely!"
"Really? Do you think so?"
"I do! Normally I don't go in for unicellular ciliate protozoa, but that's just got Eukaryota written all over it."
"What a relief! I thought it might be clashing with my blepharisma!"
I'd Rather Have a Bottle in Front of Me
Glow in the dark zombie brain cameo
Glow in the dark brain on a brass cameo. Cameo comes on an 18 inch brass colored necklace with lobster claw clasp. Cameo measures 1 inch high and .75 inches wide.
It glows in the dark to remind you how stupid it is.
Beaded Seat Cover
Still Life Panties
These are upcycled panties painted with a still life of flowers in a vase on my kitchen table. they are intended to be displayed clothes pined to a clothing line. ill include some twine and two clothes pins and you do the rest. they are double sided so if you want to change things up simply flip them over!
I bought a pair of these once. Oh, they were pretty, but I don't recommend wearing them to spin class.
Tassel and Studs Chic Shades
These are lots of fun. I added tassels and studs to the frame of this cool shades. The lens measures 2 inches. The glasses have UV protection. Maximum coverage. Never been worn. Or (Give a gift from the heart)
Oh, these are useful. Glasses you can't see through. Now all I need are a pair of lace spats and a sweater with no neck hole.
Lamb Chop Headband
This is a wide band covered in a red/ multi colored dot satin and adorned with a plastic lamb chop, and floral brussel sprout, mushroom, pepper, and garnish leaf.
Finish your headband! There are children in China with no bobby pins!
Sticks and Stones
Tiny tree earring ladder
This sweet little twig ladder is perfect for displaying 3 pair of earrings or any other small dangling items. The twigs are bound with leather and securely mounted on wood.
Perfect for the Eskimo woman with an earring collection, or for drying small strips of rabbit meat.
I've had dogs my whole life. I grew up with German shepherds, Chihuahuas, Dalmatians, and a rotating cast of unplanned litters that my sisters and I would bring home to Mom, leaving her to find permanent homes for them.
As the years went on, my family adopted collies, Great Danes, Irish setters, and Westies. I've fostered Samoyeds and retrievers. And in the last twenty years, I've personally owned three pit bulls, a wire fox terrier, and a Boston.
I've discovered that even with so many different breeds and disparate temperaments, all dogs can be neatly divided into two categories: dogs who will let you put clothes on them, and dogs who will not.
Dogs who allow it do so for one reason only: to make you happy. That's it. Fans of dressing animals often insist that the pet "enjoys it," but this is, in fact, a terrible lie. Dogs do not appreciate having to take a crap in harem pants. They don't have favorite football teams or political leanings. And if left to their own devices, dogs almost never wear vests, unless you're talking about cartoons, in which case they still don't wear pants.
No, this kind of thing is all about you. Your dog doesn't care about being hot. She doesn't need fragrance to feel more feminine and she doesn't want to look like Lil' Kim. It's also unnecessary to dress her in a bridal gown when you breed her. Your dog is not a whore, and she's not a bride. She's a dog, and she'd rather eat her own shit than get her nails painted.
Oh, I suppose you might have an argument when it comes to weather- related garments, but even that's somewhat suspect. If your dog is going to be so cold that he needs a Russian Cossack hat and fur-lined waders, maybe you should bring him in the damn house.
At this point, you might be wondering what gives me the right to speak with such authority on this subject. Who the hell am I, anyway? Well, I'll tell you who I am. I am someone who has looked into the face of pet humiliation and seen my own reflection in its cold, wet nose.
I have a wire fox terrier named Mac. Wires have strange, coarse coats that don't shed. Breeders recommended that you "strip" them, meaning you have to actually pluck out the dead hair with your fingers.
When I first read this in a wire fox terrier book, I was horrified. I couldn't imagine pulling all of her hair out. But the book stressed that this isn't painful for the dog, and, in fact, they can grow to like it. The author related her experience of sitting in front of the TV with her dog on her lap, pulling little tufts of hair out while the dog slept comfortably. So I thought I would give it a try.
It wasn't good. It probably wasn't painful, but Mac was not enjoying it. After every little pull, she would crane her head around and stare at me with wet eyes, imploring me to take up needlepoint.
I thought about doing this to her entire body, between her little toes and around her mouth and eyes, and finally I just said, Fuck it- if shaving is good enough for me, it's good enough for her.
I soon discovered that while shaving is easier, it presents a whole new problem: the dog slowly loses its color. Stripping is the only method that allows them to keep their distinctive brown heads.
I was in denial. I checked her after every shaving, and comforted myself that the color was still there. This may happen to other dogs, but not Mac, I told myself.
Excerpted from Regretsy by April Winchell. Copyright © 2010 by April Winchell. Excerpted by permission of Villard, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.