Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Lucky Dip - Katie Allen

Where to go? Katie Allen

What to buy? Jumbo Lucky Dip Bag

What does it cost? $11 plus shipping

What's it all about? Each paper bag may contain *greetings card *screenprint *postcard *badge *sticker *zine ... designed by me. [...] The value of each jumbo goodie bag is at least $16, so you're getting a great saving. The JUMBO goodie bag is A5 in size and will come in a protective envelope and a handwritten gift tag! :)

Sometimes one needs to be a little daring and try out new things. Things such as grab bags filled with papery goodness. The listing already gives a pretty good idea of what you will receive and I was not disappointed with the variety I found in my lucky dip bag. Believe it or not, this is my first encounter with zines. Ever. To be perfectly honest, these wouldn't be anything I'd actually purchase by itself, but as part of the mix, with the added bonus of finding out what zines are actually about, they are totally ok. Definitely a fun surprise for me!

Personal Favorite? "You are my Sunshine" Greeting Card

How do you like the content of my lucky dip? Are you familiar to zines or a newbie just like me? Please share.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Look ... January is looming!

With my brief winter break coming to an end you'll probably be quite curious about what the new year will bring, not just on my blog, but in general. Obviously I cannot help you out with looking into your own personal future (you might want to resort to those psychics on TV if you're adventurous enough and don't mind shelling out some cash for this), but I can already grant you a glimpse into what the next weeks and months will have in store for you here at The Picture Garden.

Let's start with my not-so-new pet project, appropriately named Project 365. Back in 2010, long before this blog came to be, I had a similar (ad)venture on my Facebook page where I posted a photo a day. Of course it's not just going to be any old photos that will now be posted here on a daily basis, but I will spruce 'em up a bit too - think Pixlr and you get the general idea.

And seeing how I just love a good surprise there are also plenty of The Lucky Dip reviews planned. Their format has received a slight overhaul, and dare I even say it, I will now upload a better quality of photos too instead of the snap-a-snappily-snapshot and upload it without running it through a bit of editing beforehand. I'm not trying to go all artsy with those, but better lighting should do for starters, ha.

Other than that I also want to present several Austrian Etsy shops on my blog though these spotlights probably won't be happening before February.

Then, of course, there are the crafty blog posts which I only had a select few in 2013 and which, for the time being, I've decided to put on the back burner. They might reappear eventually, so not all crafty hope is lost yet.

Last but not least, the beauty box reviews had to go as they don't really fit the general blog theme anyway.

Almost forgot, obviously there will also be lots of giveaways ahead as well! And seeing how you all seem to approve of the no-strings-attached-approach of the Easy Entry in the Rafflecopter, I will stick to that too.

'nuff said (or rather typed). See you all again tomorrow!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Break

I'll be taking a little winter blogging break until the end of December. See you all again next year which will be filled with some fresh new ideas and features that I'm already secretly working on!

P.S.: Don't forget to enter the current giveaway to win your choice of two fantastic grab bags filled with handmade goodies!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Etsy Venture - Moving to new pastures!

After some serious contemplation of where my Etsy shop is headed (or rather being stuck) I decided to put it on vacation for the time being, hopefully to return with fresh ideas and probably with a whole new angle too. Of course, this will still include me and my trusty camera. So far nothing is set in stone, plus you won't have to miss out on pretty pictures either as you may still purchase anything from greeting cards to posters by yours truly on RedBubble.

Additionally I opened up shop on Cafepress this week though I am currently still in baby steps mode and have only uploaded a select few of my photos on a small (but hopefully appealing) range of products. Please feel free to let me know what you think about this idea of mine! Also if there are certain kind of products you'd like to see in the shop, go ahead and leave a comment below.

Find me on RedBubble

Find me on CafePress

Make Custom Gifts at CafePress

The Lucky Dip - December Giveaway (Open WW)

You all know how much I love grab bags and I figured you'd probably like them too. To make things even more exciting I packed two grab bags for you, each includes a badge, a bracelet, a necklace, a ring, a hair accessory, a key ring, and a necklace (all these items have been presented in one of my Lucky Dip reviews on the blog).

Please note that this giveaway is not sponsored by any of the Etsy shops who contributed to the grab bags - it's just my way of spreading (and sharing) the handmade love!

Side Note: If you do not leave your country and choice of prize (grab bag No.1 or No.2) in the form I will delete your entry!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Lucky Dip - Crystal Gayle Photography

Where to go? Crystal Gayle Photography

What to buy? Grab Bag Surprise Package - Photography Home Decor

What does it cost? $23 plus shipping

What's it all about? Each package shipped to you will be a value of $60-$80!!! No telling what's in the package. Each package will contain products by Crystal Gayle Photography that's seen in my shop!

Content? Admittedly I had secretly been hoping for a pillow cover thrown into the mix, but the foodie-licious prints I received do make up for this. It's almost as if Gayle knew how much I love my fruits and veggies!

Cocktail Print / Strawberry Print / Yellow Pepper Print / Raspberry Bookmark

Most favorite item? That would have to be the yummy strawberry, very closely followed by the raspberries!

Least favorite item? I will have to say the cocktail isn't really down my alley, though it'll make for a great gift!

Value? While you definitely save money, sets with three kitchen prints currently sell for $34 so we're nowhere near the value mentioned in the listing!

Verdict? If you like the pretty photography in the shop this might be just the surprise you're looking for!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Lucky Dip - Three Bird Nest

Where to go? Three Bird Nest

What to buy? Grab Bag Surprise Bag - Accessories and Jewelry

What does it cost? $10 plus shipping

What's it all about? A grab bag is a surprise item listed in category shown in the item title. It is a BLIND, surprise bag order, Meaning you will not know the color or exact style of the item you are ordering. It's FUN, exciting and a way to get several of our items at a complete STEAL!!

Content? As you will notice I couldn't resist and purchased two grab bags, all shown in one photo. Admittedly this grab bag was particularly fun to unpack. The lion's part consists of hair accessories, but I honestly don't mind that. Overall it's a great and colorful variety!

White Turban with Flower / Hair Pins in Brown / Hair Pins in Teal / Urban Tie Dye Headband / Bohemian Headband in Green / Sequined Headband in Pink / Fingerless Gloves with Bow / Cell Phone Cover in Pink / Necklace with Cross / Necklace with Bird

Most favorite item? The tie dye headband won me over immediately, though admittedly the hair pins are extra cute too (and they are totally my fav colors)!

Least favorite item? I'm still marveling over the white turban-thingy that looks like a swimming cap. Honestly, who would wear such a thing!?

Value? Amazing bargain there, especially seeing how you can also buy some of the items regularly at much higher prices.

Verdict? When you just can't decide what to buy, go for the grab bag is my motto. I was rewarded with lots of keepers and a few things for gifting purposes too!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Snap Happy - A photo a day ...

... keeps boredom away! That being said, I am currently contemplating doing this again in 2014. Again? Why, yes. I already posted daily photos on my Facebook page back in 2010. The fetching title of this venture was "My Life in Pictures". Back then I got snap happy with my trusty Kodak Easyshare and admittedly there wasn't much artistic merit to most of the photos I showed off, but it was definitely challenging and fun. So, I said to myself, "Self, why don't you do this again next year?" Nothing is set in stone (yet), but I think this would be something I'd love to do again, but instead of posting on Facebook I'd obviously present my daily snapshots on my blog.

Here's a taste of some of my 2010 pic's ...

How about yourself? Have you ever participated in a similar challenge? Or is this something you might want to try for the first time? Please share.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Etsy Venture - It's an Etsy world out there!

What is the next best thing after doing a little window (or rather computer screen) shopping on Etsy? Browsing through some lovely Etsy-an blogs, of course. Here's a run-down of many a Etsy teams/group with links to their blogs/websites and Facebook pages. Please feel free to add any that I did not list in the comment section!

EtsyAU  -  FB
EtsyCA  -  FB
EtsyDE  -  FB
EtsyFR  -  FB
EtsyNL  -  FB
EtsyUK  -  FB
Etsy Dallas Team  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy French Handmade  -  FB
Etsy Greek Street Team  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy Ireland  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy Italia Team  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy Little Rock  -  FB
Etsy Maine Team  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy Malaysia Local Team  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy New York  -  Blog  - FB
Etsy Nola  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy RAIN  -  Blog  -  FB
Finland Handcrafters Team  -  Blog  -  FB
HandmadeMN  -  Blog  -  FB
PolEtsy  -  Blog  -  FB
RNEST Rochester NY Etsy Street Team  -  Blog  -  FB
Toronto Etsy Team  -  FB

EtsyBABY  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy Beadweavers  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy Cottage Style  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy Dark Side Team  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy Digital Designers Team  -  FB
Etsy Jewelry  -  FB
EtsyKids Team  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy Metal  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy Spot  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy Vintage Team  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy Weddings  -  FB
Etsy Wedding Team  -  Blog  -  FB
Team Eco Etsy  -  Blog  -  FB


Etsy Stalkers  -  Blog  -  FB
Etsy Handmade  -  FB
Everything Etsy  -  Blog  -  FB

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Lucky Dip - Bookish

Where to go? Bookish

What to buy? Grab Bag Random Selection of Oops Stickers

What does it cost? $5 plus shipping

What's it all about? This listing is for 10 oops stickers - they will be randomly chosen and all will be unique. The flaws are all minor, and include NO typos, just slight marks that are not visible from a few feet away. In some cases, the sticker may be fine, and the back of it may have marks.

Content? Unpacking my sticker-filled envelope was literary *pun intended* super fun. I received lots of personal favorites, plus a couple quotes that were new to me, but which are delightfully quirky. As to the OOPS I must say, faults are ever so minor and in most cases I didn't find anything wrong at all.

Various Literary Quotes Stickers

Most favorite item? Oh please don't make me choose ... Shakespeare, Bukowski, Thoreau, love 'em all! And the Firefly ones get an honorary mention!

Least favorite item? That's the Never-Nudes one, because it's so plain weird (I suppose I'd have to know Arrested Development to get it)!

Value? If that's not a bargain, I wouldn't know what is!

Verdict? This has been a highly rewarding spur of the moment purchase my inner bookworm made. Love bookish quotes? This is the grab bag for you!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Lucky Dip - Hannah Stevens

Where to go? Hannah Stevens

What to buy? Lucky Dip Seconds Illustrated Tote Bag

What does it cost? £2,50 plus shipping

What's it all about? This listing is for a random choice of seconds tote bags. Each bag has a slight fault, this may be a printing error, colour or even just an old style! The bags are still fantastic and usable and on some you can hardly see the fault!!

Content? My order consisted of four totes (trust me to never buy just one) and I was more than happy with the designs I received. In fact, I couldn't have picked them better myself. As to being seconds I honestly couldn't find anything wrong with the bags other than the flower seems to be printed at a wrong angle, but honestly, would you have guessed that?

Teal Jugs Tote Bag / Tea Cup Tote Bag

Vintage Flower Tote Bag / Geek Tote Bag

Most favorite item? As much as I adore the one with the tea cup, I think my personal highlight is the one with the jugs which is so unusual (and teal, yay)!

Least favorite item? Now that's a tough one, but if I had to do some finger pointing it'd be the one with the flower which is maybe a tad too old-fashioned for me!

Value? Let's see, you pay roughly a third of the normal price for some (in my opinion) perfectly fine tote bags - can you say bargain?

Verdict? I am more than pleased with the bags I received and if you're the kind of gal who's always toting a tote around *teehee* you seriously shouldn't pass these lovelies by!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Snap Happy - Getting my (photo)read on!

What's the first thing that comes to mind when I mention the words "mountain range"? In my case you will probably assume I'm talking about me and my camera somewhere in the Austrian alps snapping away, but I'm like the gorillas, Eastern Lowland gorillas to be exact, as I live in the rather flat parts in the east of Austria. Of course I'm a little less hairy. But let's not digress. The mountain ranges I'm referring to are made of books. I am quite the bookaholic and strangely enough I don't really own any books on photography. Shocker, I know. Alas I did a little research to see which books should have a place on my to-buy list. And here goes ...

A World History of Photography (Naomi Rosenblum)

A History of Women Photographers (Naomi Rosenblum)

On Photography (Susan Sontag)

The Mind's Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers (Henri Cartier-Bresson)

Annie Leibovitz at Work (Annie Leibovitz)

Patrick Demarchelier (Patrick Demarchelier)

Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs (Ansel Adams)

National Geographic: The Photographs (Leah Bendavid Val)

Do you know any of these books? Any recommendations of your own? Comment away!