Well, this is exciting! The first thing I'd like to do is thank the lovely Kate for "Suggesting" I write this review, it's been nothing but a pleasure to research the 70+ shops that entered this competition. My eyes may be bleeding, but they're tears of seeping, bloody joy. Yes, it was genuinely humbling to look over some of these shops; usually when I come across people more talented than me I sulk and try to avoid making eye-contact with them, though in this case I have to write a blog celebrating their superiority so... thanks again for this Kate.
However, let's get started. Initially I drew up a shortlist of 25 shops which, fundamentally, really is far too long for a shortlist. So I was able to whittle this down again to 9; Jenn's Zen almost made it through sheer descriptive power alone "Mouth Watering and Delicious Fuscia Pink Chalcedony Earrings" - Well played, I was almost interested in earrings for a short time (Kate thinks they're lovely too) There were also several promising Burlesque entries; basically I want more women to look like this and this (not safe for work) - it's shameless but I have noticed 80s fashions making a comeback and I'd do anything to stop that happening.
I think my sub-conscious desire to be able to draw anything beyond stick men is why I choose this from Sunny Lee Studios. The featured pieces seem so vibrant - I always think watercolours are one of the more organic and exciting painting styles (also, there's a freakin' Pterosaur painting, which is always terrific for a young man to see!) The same goes for Firebelly Art even though none of them look like anything specifically (it's abstract you see) I could imagine looking at them from time to time and enjoying the colours if there's nothing on T.V. Oh and Andralynn for the sheer whimsy of it, I just love whimsy.
Also, have you ever wished a greeting card could double as a Basil plant? I know I have. Well wish no more friends, I really think this kind of juxtaposition is indicative of a mind that sees the world not as it is, but as it should be. And, from the ecologically prescient to the pragmatic, I think this stuff might be the only thing to prevent me actually slipping into a waking coma at my current job so thanks for that Peachy Keen, I need that job to pay the gas/electricity bill.
Well, I think I've gone on far too long... onto the main event. It's a hearty congratulations to Penny Farthing!
The style of Steam-Punk Victorian Gothic has, until now, been a criminally under represented fashion chic. However, this ring...
Also, I defy anyone to tell me they wouldn't look dapper wearing these cufflinks to any given formal event...
So, as I've been researching and writing this for almost 5 hours now I'm going to wrap it up. A heartfelt thanks for everyone who entered; I think Kate is going to do a treasury featuring some of the shortlisted artists; there's too many to feature you all and for that I apologise (you're all just too talented, feel free to give yourselves a round of applause, all of you) I'll try and write another one at somepoint - so thank you again, you're beautiful people.
This is Dan, signing out.
P.S - Fr33na, Coquette Bath and Buddhakitty Glass you almost made it for this, this and this.
P.S.S - This is directed at Custom knit treasures I don't know if you're reading this but Kate mentioned your concern about a sales drop off; I've looked into it and as you sell scarves in Florida I'm guessing the sales dip is related to the weather...
This Google search of Florida reveals that scarves are pretty seasonal there, I hope you don't think I'm being presumptuous but I suggest Sunhats for the warmer months. Apologies is that sounded flippant I do genuinely hope it picks up for you.