Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cheers To July [review, giveaway]

"Cheers To July" is a shop ran by Ashley Olmsted. Inspired by her travels and the people that she has met along the way, Ashley creates beautiful and unique bracelets. From leather wrap bracelets and cuffs to beaded cotton cord bracelets, you will find stylish and quality handmade work. Here are some pieces that can be found in Cheers To July.





Ashley sent in two lovely bracelets for me to tell you about. You also have a chance to enter the giveaway below and win your choice of Two Beaded Gemstone Layered Bracelets as well. This set-listing is very customizable. I was able to choose the semiprecious stones, the cord colors, and whether I wanted gold vermeil or sterling silver beads. For the first bracelet I picked a white cord with 4mm labradorite and sterling silver on either side. The second is black cord with black agate and sterling silver as well. Take a look!
There are so many bead colors to choose from, there is a bracelet for everyone. I love these layered bracelets because they will go with everything. The style is very versatile as well. Simple, elegant, cute, and a little edgy, all in one. The adjustable box knot is fantastic! It stays in place but is easy to adjust when you need to. I haven't had any jewelry with this form of adjusting size before- it is inventive and very functional. I can tell that Ashley puts a lot of care into her craft. These bracelets are lovely as well as sturdy and well-made.


TO ENTER: Make sure that you are a follower of "Samy in Wonderland" through google friend connect (top of left side-bar) and browse "Cheers To July", then leave 1 comment stating :

- I follow your blog, Samy! The username that I used to follow you is: _______.
- One of my favorite items from Cheers To July is _______ because _______. 

- If I am the winner, you can reach me here: _______.

EXTRA ENTRIES: After doing the mandatory entry above, you may complete any or all of these for additional entries. A random number generator picks my winners, so the more times you enter, the more chances you have of winning! For these to count as extras, please leave a separate comment for each additional entry.

I visited Princess Samy Vintage on Etsy and my favorite item is _______ because _______.

I "favorite" Cheers To July on Etsy! My etsy username is: _______.

I "favorite" Princess Samy on Etsy! My etsy username is: _______.

I "like" Princess Samy on Facebook! My facebook username is _______.

I "follow" PSVintage on twitter! My twitter username is @_______.

I shared this giveaway on my facebook wall! I included a link back to this page so that my friends can find it. Here is a link to the wall post: _______. 

I tweeted about this giveaway on twitter. I included a link back to this page as well as "@PSVintage" somewhere in my tweet. Here is a link to the tweet: _______. 
I "Don't Miss a Thing" because I subscribed to Samy in Wonderland and confirmed my subscription! The e-mail address used was: _______. (Subscription box can be found in my left side-bar)

I "Read You" because I subscribe to Samy in Wonderland feed via an RSS reader. My username is: _______.

I left a new and relevant comment on this non-giveaway post on the Samy in Wonderland blog: _______.

ENDS: Nov. 28 @ 11:59 PM

Friday, October 29, 2010

CSN Stores Preview

CSN Stores has over 200 online shops where you can find stylish and functional products, from contemporary coffee tables to wall art and everything in between. Take a look at this gorgeous living room set and darling towels (both offer free shipping!)

Remember my recent review of a fabulous teapot from CSN Stores? I had a great time communicating with a friendly member of their team and getting to know more about what CSN Stores is all about. I will soon be sharing my experience with another item from CSN Stores' extensive Kitchen and Dining selection.

Happy weekend!

Let us give a congratulations to some of our recent giveaway winners:

Cory was the lucky winner of the With a Flourish Urban Blue Dangle Earrings,
and Janinary won the Dorothy Brooch by Yellow Squirrel.

Hooray! Be sure to enter our current giveaways, listed in the left side-bar. 
Be ready for more great shops, products, sellers, and businesses I will be sharing with you soon. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

CSN Stores [BonJour Review]

I am back with my review of a CSN Stores' product that I wrote a preview about earlier on. The BonJour brand "Prosperity Tea Pot with Shut Off Infuser" was swiftly shipped and arrived at my door step, safely packaged.
Because of the infuser, this tea pot is perfect for someone who loves to make loose tea as well as bagged tea. I love the borosilicate glass, not just because of the terrific heat retention but also because you can judge the color of your tea. If you enjoy blooming teas, you can remove the infuser, plop the bloom in, and thanks to the glass clarity- watch it unfold. Speaking of the infuser, one of its great features is the "shut-off" element. After your water is heated in a kettle or stove-pot, you can pop the lid off, pull up the round ball on top of the pot to have your infuser open to water, scoop your tea into the infuser, pour the hot water in, wait until your tea is brewed, and then pump the round ball back down to shut the infuser off. It causes the tea leaves to be pushed down and not have any more contact with the water. This allows you to have more control over the strength and freshness of your tea. The, just take the handle and pour your tea! I really like that the pot has a black, plastic encasing. The handle didn't get hot, and it was easy to pour with. Sometimes glass tea pots are fragile, but I am not worried about this one because the lid is sturdy just like the built in coaster/bottom. The capacity is 5 cups, which is a nice amount for one tea lover, or a family of them. The medium size and simple but stylish look make this pot fit well in various kitchens. Following the directions that came with this teapot, my tea has been coming out wonderful!

A big thank you to CSN Stores and BonJour, for allowing me to test your great product. :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Partybots [interview]

"Partybots" is a cool shop full of eco-friendly apparel, featuring artwork by Karl Addison, the founder. I love the quirky and creative designs, along with the fact that  Partybots' printing process is made up of elements that make the Earth say "thank you!" Soy-based cleansers, platent glue, and screen printing solvents that engage renewable soy are some of the the things that make Partybots unique (apart from the awesome drawings, of course.)
Please tell us a bit about yourself, Karl.
About myself - well, I'm a big nerd.  I have been drawing since I was  
a little.  My brother and I drew all the time as kids, although he is  
much better then I.  It just sort of stuck with me over the years.  I  
got distracted for awhile with Graphic/Commercial Art.  Out of High  
School, I thought that was the only way to be an "artist" in todays  
times.  I was dead wrong.
If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
Oh man - how can you really choose.  Past, present or made-up?  I  
think I would be a made-up animal.  Although, nature has a pretty  
wicked imagination as well.  One of my current projects is a new book  
called "Zoo! - Creatures of Curiosity." It's a collection of 30  
animals that never-were.  Each animal has a story, sort of a  
scientific journal.  I would be the "Cyclops Rhino" from that.  The  
book will be available on Amazon in Dec of 2010.
How did Partybots come into existence?
It was a mixture of things.  Started out on one of my design  
portfolios, as a way to see how Paypal would work.  Also got in to  
screen printing, so I posted up two artworks.  They sold, and I put  
the money back in to make more shirts.  Those sold, and repeated.   
Saved and bought a printing press & equipment - taught myself how to  
print and went to town.  For the first 3.5 years I worked a full time  
job and did this on the side.  One of the best things about it, is I  
started it with about $20 - and kept re-investing the profit to grow  
and expand.  Love how hard work and long hours pays off.
When one navigates into your shop, what can they expect to find?
I hope one finds original drawings hand printed.  None of our artwork  
is photoshop or "designed."  I draw for the purpose of drawing - not  
for the idea of printing shirts and selling them.  Often times, people  
say "that would be great on a shirt."  There are a handful of our  
prints that happened like that.  Lately I have been trying to make  
little mini themes for different seasons.  Thats some fashion world  
idea - which helps the stores we work with, but I like the idea of  
being an artist and "doodler" more then a "fashion Designer."
I understand that you create the awesome images found on your  
apparel. Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere.  I take a lot of photos, see funny things  
all the time.  A friend might say something that makes me laugh and I  
like it.  I just draw mostly what's around me, or things that make me  
smile.  I like having things that border line being weird and strange,  
I like classy aesthetics.  Mixing things up or together is always  
great - like a shark and a jean jacket.  Traveling helps a lot as  
well.  I have more ideas of things I want to draw then time to do so.   
One of my favorite things to do is watching movies or documentaries as  
I'm drawing.  I get a lot of ideas from that as well.
Can you tell us a little about your creative process?
When I taught myself to screen print - that dramatically changed the  
way I draw.  My drawings and illustrations adapted to the process of  
printing.  Trapping color, over exaggerating lines, using cross hatch  
and stippling for value range.  I use to draw with pencil first - then  
go in and ink the drawings.  But now, I just got straight for the ink  
- I like the idea of making mistakes.  Having to figure it out and  
make it work for the drawing.  I start with an idea, then draw the  
outline, then start working in the textures & value range to create  
the composition.  Most of my drawings are one-offs or stand-alone.  I  
always have the idea of drawing more compositions with backgrounds and  
foregrounds - but I think I will reserve those ideas for future books  
I would like to publish.
What is a general day for you like?
Happily, every day has a different structure.  I work 7 days a week,  
that is normal and has been for as long as I can remember.  It's split  
up between working on my online sales, wholesale accounts, book  
keeping, marketing, drawing, art projects, books, and bike riding.  In  
general the first part of my day is all office and business work.   
Then on to creative projects and drawings.  Mostly depends on what's  
in my head when I first wake up.  If there is a great idea for a  
drawing - then I start on that.  I like being flexible and letting my  
mind and imagination dictate what to work on for the day.  Perhaps the  
downside - I get easily distracted at times.
Are you passionate about something outside of Partybots?
Very much so.  I'm in love with riding my bike, and bike community.   
The past couple of years I have been helping with various Alleycats in  
Seattle, and now in Berlin.  I generally do 3 to 4 art exhibitions a  
year.  I love working on bigger installations and concepts.  At night  
I spend a lot of time putting up artwork around the city.  I have so  
many drawings; pasting them up is a great way to not selfishly keep  
them in my sketch books.  I'm vegan, and love cooking crazy meals and  
What is next for you?
I just had my first solo exhibition opening here in Berlin.  The show  
is called "Travels" and showcases people that I have seen from my  
travels in four different continents.  It's at ReTramp Gallery - and  
runs through November 21st, 2010.  I have a new book that will be  
released in December of 2010 called "Zoo! - Creatures Of Curiosity."   
After that will be a Bike coloring book.  Lots of art projects for  
outside.  Always busy.  Starting to work on an exhibition for Tokyo in  
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yeah, if you have passion for something - keep working at it till you  
can do it full time.  Anything is possible, you just have to creative  
to find the right solution.  And, if you like my work check out my