Fun Friday Finds: Gifts for Teens

By Sharon Parker
Arty Didact

Always one of the biggest challenges on everybody's gift list, aren't they? Teenagers, after all, have developed their own personal style (or conformed to the style of whatever tribe they've adopted).

You could resort to gift cards, of course. But do you really know what stores they like to shop at?

Alternative gift cards that don't equal an imposition would include iTunes (also applicable to myriad apps), or, even cooler than that, an Etsy gift card so they can shop unique and quirky handmade items online in the middle of the night when they should be studying. (Yeah! How cool is that?)

Gift cards or cash can be made a little more gifty by pairing them with a small journal or notebook, purse or pouch -- and you can find excellent and unique handmade versions of all those things on Etsy.

Try using HandmadeMN and, for example, "pouch," in the Etsy search bar and you'll come up with an excellent range of choices.

Or pair that local moniker with "notebook" for another batch of fine results.

And there's this hand-picked selection of truly excellent handmade teen-friendly items for your comfy window-shopping pleasure, courtesy yours truly.

Happy online shopping to all.

[click on the image to visit the treasury on Etsy, and link to each of the items from there]

New In My Closet: The sequel

I can't believe my luck lately!
Seriously, I couldn't even imagine that I would be so lucky.
Most of the things you will see in today's post are the gifts of a second giveaway I won.
This was definitely my month!
Recently I was the winner of a giveaway hosted by Carla from The Sweetest Over The Moon.
The prizes were 2 bags for 2 winners and I got a beautiful satchel in silver.
In my surprise Carla sent me the gift with some extra things.
I have to admit that she was more than generous to me.
One of my latest purchases has just arrived.
A lovely Asos dress in burgundy that I spotted on sales.
Also check out my first interview for Womens Personal Finance blog.
You can read more here.
So what do you think???

Fashionably yours,

Carla's note to me

Young Adult Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This tri-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive TWENTY-FIVE signed books, one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM--but there is also a red team for a chance to win a whole different set of twenty-five signed books!

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage.

Scavenger Hunt Puzzle

Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by August 5, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Scavenger Hunt Post

Today, I am hosting Jennifer Armentrout on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Jennifer Armentrout

USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russel Loki. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.

Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author's book here

Buy the book from here!


"No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well… There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger… and they know it."

Exclusive Content - Chapter One of Apollyon

Time's up on the Scavenger Hunt. Thanks for coming, but I have to take the content down now. :(

Enter the Contest

And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Cynthia Hand, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 34. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

Continue the Hunt

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! Click here!

Enter The Extra Hallowed Giveaway

In honor of this special event, I'm going to give away 2 extra signed copies of Hallowed. Just follow the directions in the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Outfit Post:My Bohemia Satchel

It's been some time since my last outfit post but I didn't have anyone to help me these last days.
Everyone was too busy so I had to be patient but I really hope things will change this time.
Anyway, it was time for me to show you my new satchel.
It's an original Bohemia satchel which I won in a giveaway a few months ago, hosted by Ivania from Ivania Diamond Blog and it's probably the most expensive bag in my collection.
I fell in love with this blue colour from the moment I picked it.
I love wearing blue with shades of brown so I decided to match my bag with my favorite camel boots and coat.
The perfect colours for a casual but fashionable look.
What do you think???

Fashionably yours,

coat: tally weijl
jeans: levi's
top: stradivarious
satchel: bohemia
boots: alpe
ring: oxette
sunglasses: asos
earrings: handmade by Carla from The sweetest one over the moon blog

HandmadeMN Giveaway~Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope you've had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday! We are busy finishing our leftovers and pumpkin pie but will be back next week. Please be sure to check out our giveaway from Silver Butterfly Jewelry that started last Sunday.

     ~See you next week!

GIVEAWAY by Firmoo!!!

Weekend is here and what's better than a giveaway to treat you my little fashionistas?
This giveaway is not just like any other.
This is an EPIC GIVEAWAY!!!
I am very happy to announce that today I am giving away 25 vouchers from Firmoo that value $20 each.
Yes 25 vouchers for 25 WINNERS!
 Pretty cool right?
So let's get to the point girls.
What you have to do:

1. Follow Fashion For Life on GFC and Bloglovin and like my Facebook page here
2. Leave a comment below this post, writing which glasses you would like to have, GFC name, Facebook name and your email address
3. Like Firmoo on Facebook here

I will choose 25 persons by random to get them.
This giveaway is international and will end on December 15th, at midnight.

Fashionably yours,

Black or White?

After I finish this blog post, I am going to fix myself a cup of coffee, get out my hooks, and make a little mouse (Neville the Nibbler) for one of my nephews for Christmas.   You can see him up in the left hand corner of the collage above; his pattern is under "Crochet an Outdoor Setting."  

Patterns for all of the dolls and toys pictured here are freely available on this blog.    Along the top are a mouse and turtle, a Free Spirit doll, a Crochet Bleuette, and a Basic Amigurumi Doll.  Next row is a Beagle from " Links to my Animal Patterns," and a Knit Waldorf Style Doll.  Next row is a Prairie Flower Cloth Doll and a Pocket Spirit with a simple bed made from a picture frame and wood turnings.  Along the bottom row is a Free Spirit, Mini Free Spirit, and Labrador puppy (around the Christmas tree), two Teacup Spirits, a Prairie Flower cloth doll, and a littler of Kitties.

You can find all the patterns by scrolling down the left sidebar, looking for the header, or a picture of the type of doll or toy you want to make.  Links to all of the patterns are listed there.

We can all make this Friday a White Friday, and give the gift of handmade love.  It just takes a little time, and a little yarn.

However your day, have a good one!

UPDATE: Saturday 11/24/2012

Meet Neville, Ernie, and Trevor :-)

 My White Friday Mice!

Fun Friday Finds for a Leisurely Black Friday at Home

By Sharon Parker
Arty Didact

 When the big box retailers were opening their doors at 8 p.m. last night, we were opening the sherry. (*Ahem* — or stirring the cocoa.)

When the bargain hunters were lacing up their sneakers for the mad dash to the latest-hot-thing aisle, we were stepping into our slippers.

And this morning? Well, let's just say this post was up before I was.

Why rush out and get sucked into the big boxes, when such good things come in small handmade packages? And you can shop local online? In your pajamas? Who could have predicted that the Internet age and the revival of handcrafts would dovetail so conveniently?

And here's the little secret (we could call it "this one weird trick") that seems to elude the already-weary masses standing in those long lines: Your budget doesn't care whether you buy mass-produced items that are 70 percent off an artificially high "regular" price, or unique and lovingly handmade items marked at their true value.

As you can see below, you can find terrific handmade gifts in a variety of prices.

So why not shop handmade online today, and stroll on down to your local independent shop for a friendly little Small Business Saturday outing tomorrow?

Life is good outside the big box.

Who wants another cup of coffee?

(Just click on the image to go to the treasury on Etsy.)

New In My Closet

After I received my giveaway prizes, I added more new things in my collection.
The last few months I have been shopping on the internet much more than usual.
In fact it has been a very long time that I have gone shopping outside and I am starting to miss it, but the truth is that online Ι can find a larger range of products and most of the times in much better prices.
My new purchases are essential items.
Since I am a great accessories lover, most of them are jewelry in courtesy of Ana Jeffrey.
I also purchased a black sheer blouse from Oasap.
See through seems to be a huge trend lately, so I couldn't resist to that.
The last but not least new entries are my boyfriend's gift to me (no reason, he does that very often), a pair of Sephora products, a creamy body wash and a moisturizing body lotion Vanilla scented.
What was your latest purchase???

Fashionably yours,

Ankle Boots

The end of November is near and still it's not as cold as it should be.
This means that we can't walk around wearing out winter clothes yet.
And in times like this, I constantly think about two items that should have been in my closet.
Today I will only talk about one of them.
This season ankle boots are on my must have list, but not just any kind.
I am having a huge crush on the round toe, low heeled ankle boots that have been quite popular for some time now.
They are the perfect choice for this weather and for stylish casual outfits.
I seriously need a pair of these beauties!!!
Do you like this type of ankle boots???

Fashionably yours,


all photos via and

womenspersonalfinance net black friday infographic v2 Womens Black Friday Infographic

HandmadeMN Giveaway ~ Silver Butterfly Jewelry

by Monique Parent, Glass Garden Designs
Congratulations to our latest giveaway winner! Thanks to all who entered and we wish you good luck with this week's giveaway!

This week's giveaway is from Catherine of Silver Butterfly Jewelry. She is giving away this great Tiger Iron Necklace.
This awesome Tiger Iron Necklace features a fine silver round focal component, hammered by Catherine herself! The tiger iron is a very pretty stone and very versatile. Tiger iron is a natural gemstone, and contains Red Jasper, Hematite and Tiger Eye. The necklace is 17 inches long and has a 2.5 inch sterling silver extender and sterling silver lobster clasp, so it can be worn between 17 inces and 19.5 inches in length.

Open to US and International.

Contest ends Saturday, December 1st, at 12:00 noon Central. One winner will be chosen by

How to Enter:
Visit Silver Butterfly Jewelry, pick your favorite item and leave a comment on this post about it. (Scroll to bottom of post and click on Comments)

         Please make sure you include your email address
               so we have a way to contact the winner!

For Bonus Entries:
Please leave each in a separate comment, as each comment is an entry (To qualify for extra entries you must do step one above).

1. Visit other HandmadeMN team members shops (listed in the sidebar here) and leave a comment(s) here with your favorite pieces.

2. Blog about this giveaway with a visible link back to this posting and comment here with a link to your post.

3. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment(s) with a link to your tweet(s).

4. Follow this blog (you want to do this anyway to learn about upcoming giveaways!). Leave a comment here letting us know you are a follower. If you are already a follower, leave a comment anyway, as each comment is an entry.

5. Follow HandmadeMN on twitter. Comment back here with your Twitter link. Existing followers just leave your Twitter link here.

6. Become a 
Facebook Fan of HandmadeMN. Comment back here with your Facebook name. Existing fans just leave your Facebook name here.

Contest ends Saturday, December 1st, at 12:00 noon Central. One winner will be chosen by

Good luck!

HandmadeMN members are not eligible to win.

Chic &

Winter is not most people's favorite time of the year.
But all of us have at least one thing that we love about this season.
From Christmas time to skiing and new year's day to hot chocolates and warm beds, opinions seem to vary.
Of course there is always winter fashion which we-fashionistas- love!
Personally, I can't wait for winter to come so I can wear my beloved, warm, oversized sweaters.
It's just my thing, like people who like the rain because they imagine themselves watching it from their windows while drinking a hot chocolate in front of their fireplaces.
Well, something like that.
Sweaters are the best pieces for a casual style.
With just a pair of jeans or leggings you can create a unique, stylish outfit effortlessly.
And I know just the right place where you can find wholesale apparel in any colour, design and style you can imagine.
Visit and discover wonderful sweaters and any clothing pieces you might be looking for in amazingly low prices.
Check out my personal choices below for super chic looks but also cheap purchases!
You can find them all on their website in many other colours.
Which one is your favorite???

P.s Check out their wholesaledress collection!

Fashionably yours,