Friday fluff: Window shopping

Sorry to post the fluff so late in the day, folks! Okay, so you’re not goofing off at work anymore, but maybe you’ll be poking around online this weekend too.

I’ve had the shopping itch lately — partly it’s the warming weather, partly it’s procrastinating from studying — and cannot stop browsing Etsy. It’s endlessly diverting! But much like these here internets as a whole, there’s so much of it that I can’t help but wish I had a friend with a list of the awesomest shops.

So that’s our fluff question today: what’s your favorite online (non-clothing) shop? (It doesn’t have to be on Etsy–but it can be!) Where do you poke around when you daydream about winning the lottery, or when you feel like getting yourself an early birthday present? If you’ve got a shop yourself, let us know in the comments.

80 thoughts on “Friday fluff: Window shopping

  1. I’m afraid that I’m a ridiculously tactile shopper – I have to be able to handle an object and inspect it close up before I will buy it. Its all part of the experience for me – of seeing all these wonderful things around me, taking them in from every angle, seeing they way they shine in the light, the roughness or the smoothness, the coolness in my hands…

    So all i buy on the internet mostly is books, music and DVDs. and bras because i have to. anything precious has to be bought in person.

    On another note, Buffpuff is made of squee and yay! we dined and giggled, talked about clothes, fat, cats, men with great noses and ILLUSTRATION. <3

  2. Hey, I’m still goofing around at work – until 11 anyway. I’ve had the shopping bug too, but financial crunch – ouch. Still trying to save our house.

    If I won the lottery I think I’d clear out Hammacher Schlemmer and Linens N Things (oh, but that one’s not online I guess.) I also love alibris, because I can find old books that are out of print that I read as a kid in the dark ages of the 70s. Even some of those Scholastic books.

  3. I want to win the lottery so I can spend a buttload of cash at cooking.com. What can I say? I love to cook, and I love getting a good bargain on top-notch cooking equipment.

    Piratemod.com has some great t shirts I’d love to get, including a vampire skull and crossed stakes.

    Goodiegoodieshoes.com has some gorgeous slippers, purses and robes that I long to own for myself. Mmmm…luxurious and whimsical is a great combination.

    I want some kickass garb for every era, so I naturally need something from verymerryseamstress.com. Just imagine having a reproduction of a gown out of a Holbein portrait. No? Just me, then, but dammit I want.

    And since I never feel quite dressed without a chapeau, I want to dump a lot of bucks over at hatagories.com. The wedding hats section is full of delicious millinary confections I want to own.

    I love to shop.

  4. Boring and predictable, but true- I’d have to toss my vote in for Amazon. Although I agree with the first commenter that Northern Sun really kicks ass, too.

  5. It’s not a shop exactly itself, but I have an enormous weakness for pretty pattern design, so just about everything linked to on print and pattern has me drooling.

    Lately I’ve also been trying to think up semi-legit excuses to order from http://www.moo.com/
    and daydreaming about what sort of custom designs or photos I could use

    I also search half.com for cheap books and things a lot, and then get very sad when I realize I never have time to read for pleasure.

  6. Well, maybe it’s a little crass to call it “shopping” exactly, but I love to look at the adoption pages of my local no-kill animal shelters. That’s how I found my current dog. Fell in completely love with his photo late on a Friday night and then my husband and I were loading him (Lester the world’s softest blue merle great dane mix!) into the back of the car on Saturday morning. Now I check back and look for possible companions ….

    Also oldcookbooks.com, for some mysterious nostalgic reason.

  7. my comment got put in moderation, probably because of the links, so here it is with just one link…

    It’s not a shop exactly itself, but I have an enormous weakness for pretty pattern design, so just about everything linked to on print and pattern has me drooling.

    Lately I’ve also been trying to think up semi-legit excuses to order from moo.com, and daydreaming about what sort of custom designs or photos I could use

    I also search half.com for cheap books and things a lot, and then get sad when I realize I never have time to read for pleasure.

  8. I must admit, browsing Etsy is one of my person favorite things to do as well, they’ve just got so many amazing products, and I get lost on there for hours at a time. It’s kind of pathetic, really.

    But, I’ll have to go with the general consensus of Amazon.com. I pretty much only shop books on there, but it’s just so much easier than getting out to the bookstore sometimes. Plus, Super Saver Shipping makes me the happiest big girl in the world.

  9. this one is a big hit in our househould:
    http://www.compusa.com/

    mmmm…. nerd things….

    (my husband actually prefers to go into the store, to fully inpsect everything haha. Best Buy is a big hit for that as well)

    Doesn’t anyone else here enjoy a nice external harddrive and some fancy cables?

  10. AnnieMcPhee, you must be more of a night owl than I am!

    Amazon. Sorry. They just…understand me.

    This cracked my shit up.

  11. I’m a former L.Aist. now living in New Zealand so….when day-dreaming online, I look through here for my most perfect piece of lifestyle land to live off on….*sigh* Someday. Soon.

  12. http://www.volksusa.com

    I love their dolls, the Super Dollfies especially. If I had infinite time and infinite resources I’d want every one of them. As it is I already have way too many of them.

    http://www.chocosphere.com/

    It’s chocolate. What can I say? I can daydream about chocolate all day and all night.

    Any other daydreaming is spent on various sites about kitchen remodeling thinking about what kind of countertops I’m going to get as soon as the countertop project rises to the top of the priority list (which it keeps getting bumped from by things like doors falling apart, sigh).

  13. Another vote for Amazon. They have the rare Lime CD’s for sale. And hopefully next month, I can purchase some.

    I also like to browse iTunes. Thanks to them, I’ve been able to purchase some kick-ass dance music that mainstream record stores and other retailers don’t carry. It’s hard to shop for CD’s when you don’t listen to popular music. Not everyone likes Miley Cyrus, Mariah Carey, or the umpteenth CD of High School Musical.

  14. Suzanne, I spend more time looking at petfinder.com then just about anything else. We have one rescued dog, and my husband says I torture myself by looking at all the other one’s I want to add to our family.
    I drool over these quilts, and would buy them all if I had the money: http://www.collectivethreads.com/ all the proceeds go to a women’s shelter, as if I needed more reason to want them.
    And my favourite etsy store is Black Mountain Furniture- http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10868117
    I love everything they make.

  15. Amazon. Everything I get from the Internet comes from Amazon. It’s like a big, big mall.

    If I had money to burn, I’d burn it on Alibris.com too, for the yummy book rarities. Yum yum.

    Speaking of yumminess, those links you posted are awesome, twistie. Specially cooking.com. Those prices are to die for, and they have an offer for the Kitchen Aid mixer, which I have a crush on.

  16. I have to agree with Amazon, although I look at it mostly for music and books.
    Two others I love for jewlery &/or home furnishings…

    http://www.capricornslair.com/

    http://www.magicalomaha.com/

    although I do so love the Life is Good stuff

    I do have a question though…I’m trying to find one of the long skinny pans with lifters built in for either baking or poaching fish….anybody have any ideas where I can one?

    I also want to get some of the stuff available on here…I showed my husband the ‘baby doughnut’ shirts and (LMAO) he wants one for himself. Which will really make you laugh because he’s about 6’2″ and weighs barely 130lbs!! I, on the other hand am 5’5″ and weigh 240lbs at last check. We look like the Spratts! lol

  17. I hate to own up to being a fan of The Man, but I’m another amazon junkie. Browsing amazon.com is not as good as going to the bookstore (which is also something of an addiction for me), but I still find myself browsing through the site, reading reviews and discovering new, wonderful books for hours on end. The one thing I really miss about life before grad school (other than sleep) is having lots of time to read fiction.

  18. threadless.com would instantly receive somewhere around $1000 of my money, should I win the lottery. I would be like “I want THIS shirt and THIS shirt and Oh! Cute godzilla! Clever political joke! I love these shirts!”

    Also, I have small collection of bookmarks featuring various forms of professional video equipment *drools over camcorders* which would also be receiving a lot of my business in pretty short order.

    Oh, and Apple.com. MACS. IPODS. SHINY SOFTWARE. FINAL CUT PRO TO MY AID.

    *dies from want*

  19. Since I rarely end up actually buying things, I tend to do a lot of daydreaming. I mostly wander among furniture and housewares design sites, though I can almost just as often be found contemplating geeky gadgets at OtherWorld Computing. A sampling of some of my favorites:
    MoMA
    Design Sponge
    InFlightStudio (things made out of and about airplanes!)(mmmm…..airplanes….)
    The Arts and Crafts Home

    And now I’m off to explore some of the intriguing links posted above!

  20. I do a lot of daydream-shopping at Sotheby’s. Art! Antiques! Fabulous jewels! Musical instruments! Illuminated manuscripts!

    Also at Outre Gallery – pop art galore.

    And I love Ruby Lane – auction/sale site for antiques and vintage stuff, along with newer handmade bibs and bobs.

    Ydnic, I love Arts and Crafts Home too! One day I’ll own my own house and it will inevitably have a Pugin room, a Burgess room, a Mackintosh room, a Morris room, etc.

  21. I love etsy…but I also love a lot of the jewelry on naughtysecretaryclub.com. I love her refabbed vintage stuff, so cute!

  22. I love perfume and spend disturbing amounts of time on perfume websites such as Make Up Alley or Basenotes drooling over scent descriptions, or swapping samples and bottles with fellow perfume addicts.

    One of my favourite e-tailers is Black Phoenix Alchemy Laboratory (http://www.blackphoenixalchemylab.com/) which has an immense range of perfume oils ranging from scents invoking the Lovecraftian Elder Gods through Alice in Wonderland and Shakespeare inspired ‘fumes to perfumes based on places both real and imagined. It’s an almost overwhelming catalogue of scents so I also spend time on bpal.org which has reviews of the oils.

    In the spirit of perfume, I also love perusing The Perfumed Court (theperfumedcourt.com/) where one can buy decanted samples of pretty much every perfume you’ve ever heard of and hundreds more you never knew about but want to try on reading the scent descriptions.

    So yeah, my internet free time is divided up between perfume and fat acceptance and I sped far too much on teh smelliez.

  23. Another Amazon junkie here – mostly the art books. I’m annoyed that they ummed and aahed so much over the delivery times last Christmas, but I use them because they’re the one online bookstore where I can get books I’ve otherwise only seen in the US without paying huge US shipping charges.

    I have a few others I like to browse but haven’t (yet) actually bought anything from:

    http://www.devoutdolls.com/
    Sara Lanzillotta’s handmade dollies…weird and rather wonderful, I think. (You can just tell I was one of those kids who didn’t get on with Barbie.)

    http://www.buyolympia.com/q/
    Some nice quirky stuff – Nikki McClure’s papercuts rock.

    Also, my husband the photo geek got me onto these –
    http://www.junkstorecameras.com/
    (click on ‘Gala Collection’ to see their fabulous altered cameras, which are the weirdest and coolest things ever.)

  24. I could spend hours reading those damn scent descriptions!

    It’s so hard to choose! I was surprised to find that “Cthuhlu” is the perfect hot weather scent for me!

  25. Oh, man — if I had a ton of money I’d get some of the REALLY AWESOME special editions from Subterranean Press — sf, fantasy, horror, and they have leatherbound editions with awesome covers and whatnot.

    I have exactly two of the books that aren’t the super-cheap editions, and I will cherish them eternally.

  26. I was surprised to find that “Cthuhlu” is the perfect hot weather scent for me!

    I just went and read the description after I read your comment. Hooray, a new scent for me to try!

    I really love BPAL’s citrus-y scents, particularly Schrodinger’s Cat (sugared lime, tangerine, grapefruit, and some other stuff that I can’t identify) and Depraved (patchouli and apricot, which sounds bizarre but is actually quite fabulous). I also love some of their “food” scents (especially Absinthe and Eat Me, the latter of which is from the Alice in Wonderland-inspired collection).

    Wow, I got majorly OFF-TOPIC. Apologies. :)

  27. Have you seen http://www.saveayrn.com ? It’s this adorable woman named Ayrn who sells screen-printed and hand crocheted items to help pay her medical bills incurred from a congenital heart condition. Several fun videos illustrate her life and times. There’s lots of cool stuff here, especially her extra-special vagina t-shirts. Personally, I really want a ghetto blaster shirt.

  28. While I love amazon too, and will have to check out the perfumy sites (I’m just, in my forties, starting with perfume. I like florals *blush*); my obsession at the moment is roses, specifically old garden roses. I’m spending insane amounts of time at helpmefind.com where you can search for any rose, peony, or clematis and from there find out who has it for sale. If I won the lottery, vintagegardens.com would get a big order, as would ashdownroses.com. And I’m probably going to order this beauty: http://helpmefind.com/rose/pl.php?n=2398 from the helpful folks at heirloomroses.com on Monday when they open. And, its not a nursery site but I love the pictures at theoldrosarian.com .

    I also would spend too much at forestfarm.com on other plants besides roses. And at amleo.com. Tool lust…

    On the plus side, dreaming of roses is very nice, and the story plot doesn’t keep me up at night.

  29. i look at cars and daydream about someday owning one. My obsessions of late are Toyota Yaris and Prius and VW Bug and Rabbits

    I also obsess about good luggage and camping gear so I look at Lands End and LL Bean a lot

    Then I daydream about how to furnish the apartment I don’t have and look at Ikea, World Market, and Pottery Barn Teen because pb teen is doesn’t have as much of a stick up it’s butt as regular pb. Also Crate and Barrel for flatware and dishes.

    Then I go to Craigslist or archstoneapartments.com to look at apartments I’ll never afford. Most of my dreams relate to getting out of college and acquiring things

  30. I just went and read the description after I read your comment. Hooray, a new scent for me to try!

    Check out Mad Tea Party! It actually smells – to my nose at least – like milky tea and flowers.

    On-topic? Never heard of it!

  31. Oh, Piffle, I love heirloomroses.com I ordered some mini-roses from their subsidiary and bloom madly.

  32. Mmm, BPAL…coincidentally, I’m currently trying to decide on a set of six imp’s ears!

  33. Oh good! It’s always nice to hear something good about an e-tailer. I have one mini-rose Sweet Sunblaze, but I got it at a sad-plant sale last year and it hasn’t had a chance to bloom for me yet. Looks good though, leafing out nicely. :)

  34. killedbyllamas, buying perfume will stimulate the economy! It’s your duty!

    heads off to BPA home page

  35. I have no idea how to add hyperlinks on this site, so I’ll just type in the sites.

    Bravissimo.com: lots of pretty bras that actually fit me, and tops/swimsuits designed for large-breasted women. I’ve loved almost everything I’ve bought there, and would buy more if I didn’t think the husband would take away my Visa card. Then again, he does encourage the purchase and wearing of sexy lingerie…

    Everyday Minerals (www.everydayminerals.com): Mineral makeup, and you can order free sample kits (just pay the $4 shipping) as many times as you need until you find the right shade and formula. The prices are good too, a full-size foundation for $12 (the sample lasted me for two weeks, so the full-size will last months) and 10 eyeshadows and an applicator brush kit for $18. This is the only foundation I’ve tried that doesn’t cause my cheeks to flake up in an angry flare of eczema. All liquid or cream foundations cause the flare-ups, and I’m allergic to the bismuth oxychloride in a lot of mineral makeups. This brand doesn’t use that ingredient.

    I also kind of want to buy everything on the Giant Microbes site (www.giantmicrobes.com). I have the leukocyte (focus of my research), and I bought the beer and bread yeast for my husband, the homebrewer.

  36. i-geek, we have HIV and Mange from giantmicrobes.com and gave one to everyone in our family this Christmas (definitely our sense of humour). Giardia and clymydia are particularly cute.

  37. OT maybe, but just a warning, in addition to what i-geek said: Bravissimo do have tons of fabulous bras – but they don’t go above a 40 back. (Actually, as I’ve discovered as a 40DD, they have precious little in a 40 compared to what they have in a 38. I’m afraid I do still walk into their stores and have to wonder what will fit me…well, actually, I don’t any more because so little does.)

    Judge for yourself what their attitude is to potential customers in ‘plus sizes’:
    http://www.bravissimo.com/marketing/plus-size-bras.aspx

  38. My mom got me ebola for Christmas. It’s great.

    Two sentences that have never before been uttered in sequence.

  39. We’re just dysfunctional that way in my family, Sweetmachine. :-)

    That is pretty cringeworthy from Bravissimo, Emerald. I do appreciate the substance of the message – that big cup sizes and big band sizes don’t always go together and that you can’t compensate for big cup sizes by increasing the band size the way a lot of stores try to get you to – but I wish they had rephrased it.

  40. i-geek, is the Everyday Minerals makeup fairly easy/no-fuss to use? I have never been much of a makeup person (mostly because I’ve had acne trouble since I was a teenager and was afraid of making it worse), so I’m kind of a novice when it comes to makeup, but the sample kit on that is awfully tempting… Any advice?

  41. usually i frown upon things that tout themselves as “luxury” only because i prefer having ONE well-made thing rather than five plastic craps that will break, but i’ve always drooled over Anna Sova “Luxury Organics.” Everyone should go there now b/c they ar FINALLY having a big-ass sale that made me able to afford a duvet (not $300 like normal, but $60!).
    See what they have left- it’s going fast!
    http://www.annasova.com/catalog/ascollections2.asp

    Umm, sleeping on organic sheets!

  42. Gotta put my vote in for Amazon. I’ve been shopping with them for the past 10 years. Love getting free shipping and it is now my “go to” place for items I can’t find in stores.

  43. @ sweetmachine: Yeah, I’m not too skillful with makeup myself, and I haven’t had too many problems with this. Once you get the color and formulation right, it pretty much disappears into your skin unless you really cake too much on. You do need a big, fluffy brush like a kabuki or powder brush to put it on correctly, and a dish that you shake the powder into (start with a small amount until you get a sense of what you need), then swirl your brush around until it’s evenly coated before applying. You can usually find good brushes at Target or similar for $5-$10, or you can do what I did and use an old blush brush to try it out. Once you’ve got the hang of it, it only takes a couple of minutes. I don’t generally fuss with blush and eyeshadow every day. I do the Sunlight concealer under my eyes (with a small eyeshadow brush), maybe a little of the Mint on red spots (with the big brush), then the foundation and that’s it.

    Oh, and try the shades out in natural light if at all possible. Take this from someone who learned this the hard way.

  44. Emerald: “OT maybe, but just a warning, in addition to what i-geek said: Bravissimo do have tons of fabulous bras – but they don’t go above a 40 back. (Actually, as I’ve discovered as a 40DD, they have precious little in a 40 compared to what they have in a 38. I’m afraid I do still walk into their stores and have to wonder what will fit me…well, actually, I don’t any more because so little does.)”

    Yeah, that is a big pain and you’re right, Bravissimo could have worded that a lot better. I really wish there was more overlap in the market and the bra manufacturers and sellers would realize that there are indeed women out there with small ribcages+bigger breasts, or large ribcages+smaller breasts, or larger ribcages at all (I know I’ve heard women say that finding a band size over the mid-40s is near impossible). I wear a 30 back with an E or F cup, which isn’t made by US manufacturers, so after about 15 years of wearing what I could fit into and not flop too much (and wearing permanent dents into my shoulders) I was thrilled beyond belief to have bras that fit. Here in the US, small bands only come in A or B cups, and big cups almost always only come in a 36 or higher band. Even Intimacy, the closest thing in the US to Bravissimo, stops at a 32 band on the small end (according to their website, at least). I would love to be a true 34 or 36C- shopping would be both easier and less expensive.

    Figleaves.com is another good site that has a wider range of sizes. They’re great in the US because shipping is reasonable and return/exchange shipping is free.

  45. Whenever I have spare moment or three, I go to overstock.com and look at watches. I have a serious “thing” for watches and can spend hours looking at them and dreaming about the next one I’m going to buy. I also look on ebay for Swatches, which i always wanted when I was younger, never got one and am now making up for it by buying too many.

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