Monday, November 14, 2011

A Little Retail Therapy - Sharon Ashwood

Halloween has barely cooled its pumpkins but, when I was tearing around the streets of the downtown on my lunch hour, I noticed Christmas decorations. I was about to go into a huff about it being far, far too early for such things and then realized we’re pushing into the middle of November. Christmas Eve is six weeks away! For once, it’s not the retailers who are ahead of themselves; I’m just out of touch with the calendar.

I easily succumb to glitter. I like shiny. I like snow (in small doses) and turn to sentimental goo at the sound of carols.  In other words, I’m a merchandiser’s dream around this time of year. The catch is that when I go shopping, I turn out to carry home as many parcels for me as for everyone else because this is the time of year all the really cool stuff comes into the stores.

I’ll throw in a disclaimer here:  I actually buy a lot of presents at craft fairs because the money goes straight to the artisans and I can find really unique items that aren’t otherwise advertised. Here, though, I’m posting about things you can get through the web, because what’s the point if you can’t share the fun?

So here we go:  Sharon’s shopping picks, 2011
If you know any folks who do work at home, this might be a hit. I know I want one! This is a heavy vinyl mat that will take an office chair rolling back and forth – and yet it looks like a Persian carpet. This is definitely on my Christmas list because my place is small, so my office is in my living room. I need to get a chair mat to protect the carpet, but most are so ugly that I’ve been stalling. This would go a long way to a compromise between practical and pretty.

Speaking of pretty ... one of my very favourite craftspeople is Melissa Caron, who does amazing silver work. I love the organic feel of her designs. Click on the ring to visit her Etsy store and I guarantee that you’ll spend a lot of money, at least in your imagination!  I came across her booth at a local craft fair last year and one of her rings followed me home.

Speaking of Etsy, drop by the Steamworkshop to check out these decorative USB drives. They are both practical (they work for real—I have one from this seller) and fun—and could probably survive an airship crash. Just about everyone uses jump drives, so it might be the ticket for a hard-to-buy-for. I like having a bunch of different USB drives to keep my novels-in-progress separate.  The more unique-looking, the better for telling them apart.

Please keep in mind that while I’ve had good experiences with the Etsy retailers listed, it’s always buyer beware out there in the land of on-line shopping. This is not a paid advertisement nor is it a guarantee. However, I’ve had good service and a lot of pleasure out my purchases.
So, what nifty items are out there that you know about?  Care to share?


Just to get us in the right winter mood, I’ll offer a copy of Frostbound: the Dark Forgotten to a commenter!  And, just because I’ve been asked about this by so many people—the entire series is now available as ebooks.

Every dog might have his day, but the hellhound guards the night . . .
As a snowstorm locks down the city, more than the roads are getting iced. Someone's beheaded the wrong girl, and vampire-on-the-lam Talia Rostova thinks it was meant to be her. Now she's the prime suspect in her own botched murder—and the prisoner of her smoking-hot neighbor.
Lore is a hellhound, bred to serve and protect, so he's not freeing Talia until he's sure that she's the prey and not the hunter. You'd think a beautiful woman in his bedroom would be a good thing, but trouble-prone Talia has run afoul of someone more sinister than your average lunatic killer. An ancient Undead is wreaking vengeance on the city—and on her—and Lore will have to go far beyond a stake to put him back in his grave . . .


marybelle said...

A USB Drive is a brilliant idea for a hard-to-buy-gifts-for-person. I see a lot of USB Sticks in my future shopping. I'm loving the Steampunk.

ev said...

I buy a lot of things off the daily click sites, esp the Animal, Veteran and Breast Cancer ones.

I'll have to check out the Steampunk stuff on Etsy. I love both of them.

Lil said...

That USB drive is so neat. I have a weakness for a high end fine crafts store here called The Real Mother Goose. The various pieces are so beautiful and many have quite a bit of whimsy.

The link is: