The nose for it

Photogrpah of a Pinocchio pencil in a pencil pot

A final post before 2010.

This Pinocchio pencil came to me as part of a birthday present in early December. He came with a paper bird that I had previously seen and panted after. It was lovely to be given things so me. Both items are on the shelf now. But with his red topper and slightly unhappy face Pinocchio somehow gives out an appropriate Christmas message.

The rise of the individual and small-ish online craft shops (like the one that offered up my pencil) is really interesting to me. There are big online marketplaces like Folksy and the bigger Etsy – with a sometimes questionable definition of ‘craft’. But I really prefer the small curated crafty websites. You get a real sense of someone making things and choosing things they would like to buy themselves. These websites are often glorified personal blogs. Giving you information on the person, postings about new items in the ‘shop’, photographs of the owners homes and their friends, pets, socks…

My Google Reader currently follows 54 different blogs. Although I am fickle and many come and go. But they are ideal snippets for me – a picture, a bit of text, something to coo over momentarily, or something to tempt my credit card out into the open.

A lot of the blogs I follow come from individuals that make and or sell stuff. They might have a small shop in Belgium, a tastefully cluttered desk in a cold Nordic-type outpost or a clunky private press in a small, smoky US city. It seems to me to be a particularly female thing – the selling of small items, lovingly chosen, presented and packaged. Money is not necessarily the motivating factor. The numbers of items involved is not going to make anyone really rich, really quick.

It is more about stepping outside the usual, the mainstream. About spending your day or part of your day with, just, well, nice things.

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