No ties or perfume listed here – My #ShopSmall list!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Just a short blog to give you some ideas on where to #ShopSmall this week.  Check out these suggestions that support the endeavors of family/ women owned businesses and projects.  All unique and worth a “click through” to see if something catches your eye this holiday season. A special shout – out to Shara Lawrence – Weiss of MommyPerks who welcomes those with a family friendly product or service to post on her MommyPerks Facebook wall here .  She does this annually and is just one great example of women supporting women in the small biz world! (Check out what many women have posted)

As usual my gift recommendations often have a secondary purpose- such as giving back to an organization or helping a national or international cause.  In other words – I like my hard earned $ to be given to businesses with heart and pizazz.

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BOOKS!   What better gift to give a child than a BOOK! Two new faves made my list.

The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship by Annie Fox

Hungry Feelings, Not Hungry Tummy by Ava Parnass

 

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SAFETY!

I know that giving a gift or pepper spray or other self defense items may seem to zap  the holiday spirit… but, when all the holiday decorations are placed back in to their respective boxes it will be the safety items I purchased from small biz owner  Linda Benecke  that will help keep my loved ones safe.  I want to give her a heartfelt thank you  for introducing me to DAMSELS in DEFENSE.  Personal safety protection products, especially for women  who are the most vulnerable such as those who live alone, are seniors citizens, or are on college campuses. Interestingly, many of their products can cross over to other purposes such as keeping people with Autism or Alzheimers safe and indoors rather than wandering- this company has it all! Learn more, see the catalog and connect with Linda here.

 

HELP SANTA BRINGS GIFTS TO NEEDY CHILDREN

When Santa arrives at the San Pedro YWCA soon he will be bringing a “sled” full of stuffed BEARS. Sponsor a bear via Tracy Farman and her pals at Jockey Person 2 Person. This campaign is what the true meaning of the holidays is all about! Learn more here including how you can donate a bear to be distributed in your locale.

http://tracyfarman.com/helping-others/
http://tracyfarman.com/helping-others/

 

LASTLY- Louise’s List of Unique and Fabulous – “out of the box” ideas!

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Give a night out for a cause by supporting the

Feminists What Were they Thinking Documentary 

Lyn D Jewelry

by Lynette Vandaveer

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Steampunk by Beverly Holman 

Vintage items repurposed to a contemporary art form! 

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Pocketbooks with Hobo Chic Style by Geri Dahl of  Funky Pretty Designs

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https://www.etsy.com/shop/DesignDahl
https://www.etsy.com/shop/DesignDahl

 

RUFF, RUFF 

Can’t adopt an animal or no more room for another fur baby? Consider SPONSORING a dog or cat that is in foster care or in a shelter. I stumbled upon the ANGEL DOGS FOUNDATION – DEAF DOGS RANCH.  I love the dog photos on this website. Check them out!

 

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COMING SOON a Review of one of my new favorite products by FitLogic – the perfectly fitted pants every time!

(Want a sneak peek? Click here)

Vintage + Contemporary = Steampunk!

DSC_0325  If you had asked me four months ago to describe Steampunk I would have answered with a blank stare. I had NO idea that this was an art form let alone one that is quite unique, intriguing and most of all taking the design world by storm!

In essence, Steampunk is the melding of vintage objects with a contemporary flair.  How can I best explain Steampunk – well think of taking your grandmother’s glass trinkets and placing it with your father’s baseball. Glue them together and add a bunch more interesting novelty pieces. Hard to visualize this as art? I had a difficult time wrapping my head around this, too. To get some clarity I did some homework and found myself  spending a bit of time with someone who could answer a whole bunch of questions about Steampunk – Beverly Holman, a longtime resident of Hermosa Beach, CA.

First lesson I learned – 80 is the new 50! Despite being a senior citizen she is no way near retiring, as she has jumped in with both feet and wizardry hands to create the most funky of designs!  Imagine placing an eyeball and a license plate on to an old camera. Strange grouping you may think? Well look below and see how this odd matching of objects becomes a work of art!

I had an opportunity to interview Beverly  and found out that after many years in behind a desk she longed for her first love – art! Without much ado, once retiring she decided turn back time and go back to her artistic roots. She decided to start by seeking out various retro and antique items that could be repurposed.  (Her house is stacked with bins that hold the most fascinating collection of objects!).  Once she has mapped out a general idea she assembles items that she believes will carry out a chosen theme – then she sits down and starts to create! Hours and days later  a new Steampunk design is born!

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Here is where I get sad – I see these wonderful creations and then reflect back to the many times I threw out little objects thinking they were were worthless. Who would want that odd monopoly piece or glass figurine from a five and dime store?  Beverly does!

And in case you are wondering Steampunk is a legitimate art form.  Some find a more goth following with their talents while others lean to the more Victorian and vintage aspects of Steampunk.  There are magazines such as Just Steampunk! that dedicates many pages to artists (Beverly will be in their upcoming issue.)

So if you are sporting an AARP card and wondering what to do in the next chapter of your life – consider your more creative side! Nothing keeps a brain and body fresher than setting goals and using your innate talents!  And, if you are interested in learning more about Steampunk or wish to have a great conversation with a fascinating woman please check out Beverly’s website!  I am glad I did!

Below are some photos I took of just a few of the dozens of creations that Beverly has made. Many of her designs are available on ETSY and in California shops – a list is on her website with links.

Enjoy and note – I truly love Steampunk and was fascinated by the art form. This is NOT a sponsored post.

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