Anniversary Gifts By the Book

I love lists! They make things easier, and sometimes I am supremely tickled at the contrast between a simple visual format and the complicated meaning its text contains. Traditional and modern anniversary lists are a strange artifact– on one hand we see what was treasured a very long time ago (or what jewelers wanted us to buy) side by side with our desires in the modern day. Long ago, it was unlikely a couple would reach their 25th anniversary (mortality rates, you know) so the gift was spectacular. In Germany, a wreath of silver would be given to the wife, in a “Wow, you are still alive!” kind of gesture. With growing lifespans, prizes for staying alive don’t pack the same symbolic punch as they used to. Thus, modern gift lists provide utilitarian options.

Sure, you can get anything for any anniversary, but for people who  don’t feel confident in their ability to figure it out, the list is wonderful. For me and my spouse, it creates a game where we have a keyword, but have to figure out how that makes sense in the context of our lives. For example, the first 6 years of our marriage:

  • 1st      Origami earrings and a framed map (paper)
  • 2nd     Silly t-shirts (cotton)
  • 3rd      Miniature Klein bottle
  • 4th      Rotary cutter (appliances/linen)
  • 5th      Lemon tree and wooden moon phases puzzle (wood)
  • 6th      Meteorite and metallic bird planter (iron)

The thing is, I like this game and he likes it. So anniversary gifts are not stressful, and they usually make us laugh.

After the 15th anniversary (crystal and watches– boring!) there’s empty space until the 20th (china, platinum). So I’ve decided to come up with some new ideas to help us out.  Am I joking? Am I serious? What’s your list?

Traditional Gifts

  • 16th    Oil Painting
  • 17th    Handmade Journal and Pen Set
  • 18th    Wool Socks
  • 19th    Black Sabbath Back Catalogue

Modern Gifts


Christmas in July sale!



Hey y’all! 20% off everything at Jumbo Jibbles AND Sky & Light until the 21st. The discount is already taken, so don’t worry about coupon codes. This is a great time to pick up some of my “luxury” items, such as a 10-piece unicorn horn set, giant kiwi pillow or personalized star map pendant!

As a member of the San Francisco Etsy team, I would like to direct you to our #SFETSY hashtag, which you can search on Etsy, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram to find more awesome shops that are discounting their creations for early holiday shoppers. I wanted to do a post on the great early gifts I’ve bought from handmade sellers, but my family reads my blog. My sister is two years older than me and STILL asks, “What’d you get me?” as if I’d forget and let it slip. 🙂


Look for the keywords Christmas In July, ChristmasinJuly or CIJ to find participating stores. And it’s not just Etsy– this is pretty nationwide.

Update! Two options for Mother’s Day Star Pendant

I just got these beautiful 1.5 inch (4cm) glass monocles in the mail from a lovely supplier on Etsy.  You can now buy the Sky on My Birth pendant painted on this dainty monocle.  The lines etched are faint when the paint is applied.  Order by Wednesday, May 9th to get it in time for Mother’s Day!  There are still a few locket pendants left, also.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Your Game of Thrones Gift Guide – Best of Etsy

If you REALLY want to find the dorky stuff, do a search for “ASOIAF” (A Song of Ice and Fire).  For those of you who are just watching the show, that is the name of the as-yet-to-be-finished series by George R R Martin.  Game of Thrones is just the first.  I’d say it is icing on the cake, but this cake is all frosting.  The second season series premiere is on Sunday, and I’m going to impose if I have to, because I don’t have a TV or HBO.  I want to watch this show as it’s crowning out of HBO’s on-air birth canal.  Sorry about that.

My favorite stuff isn’t emblazoned with the show or series’s name, or the faces of the characters*.  That’s why I loved the Westerosi coins I posted about earlier this week. Let’s take a look at some items that further flesh out Martin’s universe or make real things already described in the book:

Dragon-scale bracelet

from JDesigns129 on Etsy













Melisandre’s Necklace (The Red Lady of R’hollor)

from sthenno on Etsy

An entire Cersei Lannister costume (I’m beyond impressed)

from Valchiria on Etsy

Very nice!  House words plaques, and not just the well-known ones:

from RFabiano on Etsy

An embroidered map of Westeros, which I can imagine would exist since paper is hard to make.

from Savage Sewing on Etsy

Davos Seaworth Finger Bones (that’s a bit more off the beaten path…)

from Westeros on Etsy

And in an sillier mood… Joffrey Baratheon’s head as a cat toy

from Microbe on Etsy

And finally, THIS is some dedication: Daenerys’s dragon eggs

From Underground Aquarium on Etsy

I guess there is a ban on “weapons” on Etsy, because I saw not a single dragonglass knife or replica of Arya’s sword Needle.  Don’t worry, you can get the latter one at Valyrian Steel dot com!

When I first discovered Etsy, I was intrigued by the ways people would tack on tags of popular books and movies to get people to see their stuff.  Sometimes there would be a very tenuous link between their item and the tag (for hilarious example) but it is a lot more interesting than commercially produced merchandise.  I’d like to mention ex-Etsy member Foxwise** who makes simple stamped bracelets with “Valar Morghulis” on them.

So, get thee to a TV screen on Sunday night!  If you haven’t seen the first season or read the book, you might wanna just wanna catch up on Season One.

*When I was little, I thought the tackiest and most absurd thing in the world were Halloween costumes that had the face of the character you were dressed up as, on them.  Gem does not wear a dress with her face on the side.  That is wack.

**She’s got a sad but common story of getting ripped off on Etsy, so she moved her shop to its own site.

Merry Christmizzle

Photo by Laura Brown

My sister’s boyfriend, who works for a liquor distributor, brought home a stack of Snoop Dogg for Landy Cognac posters. Waste not want not! The jokes about “California Santa Claus” have not stopped. My sister definitely wins for best wrapping this year [insert pun here].

Though it has nothing to do with crafts, everyone likes a good animal video, so here is my mother’s poor little Cairn terrier struggling to keep her dignity after outfitted with some kind of dog-Juicy Couture outfit. We weren’t sure if her inability to walk was from the dog boots or the embarrassment.

Lovely Package Tease!

Yesterday I sent off a “lovely package” to a friend I haven’t met yet, Janice of Bellwether Thoughts.  Here are some teaser shots, since she hasn’t gotten it yet!

We’re in the San Jose airport waiting to fly “home”.  I kept going into my work room before we left scanning wildly for anything I might desperately need. I didn’t bring ANY craft supplies, and I feel like I might go through withdrawals.


Thanks to everyone who gave me any kind of birthday wish or pleasantness today, even if you did not know it was my birthday.  Husbro was sick this morning, so I just got my gift when he got home.  A miter box and saw!

There are some woodscraps in our storage area downstairs, AND THEY ARE GONNA GET CUT.  Also, in the realm of wonderful things, I received not one, but TWO sweaters identical to the one I’m wearing in the above picture.  This was not an accident.  I’m turning into Where’s Waldo.

Coming soon!  A new felt flower tutorial I found (and how I do it differently), a treasury of bear/bird slash fic* and a whole lotta Hanukkah gifts**.

*Just kidding– it’s an Etsy treasury I made.

**Am I just forcing my Jewish friends to do xmas with me?  Is it a Hanukkah gift if it comes from a goy?