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Creativity

Design

Comments of the Week: Holiday Card Design Challenge!

November 25, 2011

We’ve been getting into the holiday spirit, and our Holiday Card Design Challenge is helping to make the season bright! We selected our favorite screen printed and letterpress designs and now our semi-finalists are up for voting. There’s still time to leave your feedback and cast your votes for your favorite messages of holiday cheer, but first, check out what our community is saying about these festive greeting cards!

Semi-finalist Laurie Okamura’s Porcupine and Reindeer cards, for example, are getting some great feedback.

While Lisa and Mary Margaret love the designs, they see these cards working better for another holiday.

Clara, however, thinks they’re perfect for a special couple on Christmas.

Rebecca also expresses love for the designs in our voting app this week, but isn’t a fan of the estimated prices.

After seeing this comment on her Fa La La La La & Pa Rum Pum Pum cards, artist Katie Daniels stepped in to say a few words about her process.

Many voters, such as Elinore, agree that handmade cards are worth spending a little extra.

Barbara expressed a similar sentiment for for Blackbird Letterpress’ Yuletide Yeti.

We totally agree, and can’t wait to find out which design wins! Would you send these little pieces of art to your loved ones this year? Visit our community voting app before Monday, November 28 at Midnight to help us pick which designs will go on to the final round. The top five cards with the most votes will be presented to our judges for the opportunity to win $500 and a vendor contract with UncommonGoods.

Happy voting!

The Uncommon Life

An Uncommon Thanksgiving Recipe Round-up

November 22, 2011

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year or attending a potluck, consider taking inspiration for uncommon foods from a few of our favorite blogs. Who knows, you might end up creating a new tradition by cooking up one of the following dishes!

Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s unique city-to-country transformation and trademark style have landed her a book deal, Food Network show, and even a movie (to be released next year). Give your guests a taste of pioneer goodness with this unique pumpkin soup, and save yourself from dirty dish duty too!
 (Image courtesy of The Pioneer Woman)

For another stuffed squash dish (and potential main substitute for any vegetarians at the table), Honest Cooking presents a Winter Squash With Stuffing and Goat Cheese that’s just as flavorful as any typical turkey.
 (Image courtesy of Honest Cooking)

Finally, if you’re seeking an alternative to pumpkin or plain apple pie, Jenna of Eat, Live, Run suggests a Chocolate Angel Nut Pie that’s unique and uncommon, but still evokes all the flavors of fall.
(Image courtesy of Eat, Live, Run)

Whether you’re sticking to the classics or making something new, we wish you all an equally Happy Thanksgiving from UncommonGoods!

Design

Comments of the Week

November 18, 2011

It’s hard to believe it’s already November and the holiday shopping season is underway! We’re proud to offer a plethora of giftable goods, but we know that sometimes shoppers want to take a break from browsing. Our community voting app is a great place to take a load off and tell us just what you think! The goods shown aren’t available for purchase yet, but with your help, they could be in the future!

Our favorite comments this week were posted about an eco-friendly, handmade jewelry design, a gorgeous custom pendant, and a fresh, fun umbrella.

We’ll get our roundup rolling with Darcy’s comment on Monica Farbiarz’s latest design, Batik Drop Earrings.

We’re glad to hear that Darcy not only likes the look of these tagua nut earrings, but also supports fair trade artisans!

Another lovely handmade jewelry design is also getting some attention this week, Amy Ambroult’s Personalized Silhouette Necklace. To make these unique necklaces, Amy takes customer photos and shrinks them to fit the pendant, she then creates a sterling silver silhouette for an uncommon take on the traditional cameo. Although Barbara likes the idea, she isn’t quite sold.

Although Barbara isn’t completely convinced, Louisa and Hilary are both ready to buy.

That’s the kind of enthusiasm we love to see! Our next commenter was less enthusiastic. In fact, we detect a hint of sarcasm in her feedback for the Goggles Umbrella.

Thanks for the feedback, Laura. Just in case our sarcasm meter is off–we sincerely hope that you only lose that important sign on days when it’s raining.

Speaking of sincerity, Deborah seems sincerely amused by this creative design, and was still able to slip in a joke.

We’re glad this silly (but functional) product gave you a good laugh, Deborah! Thanks for your feedback, and thanks to everyone who used our community voting app this week! We look forward to seeing what you have to say about our next batch of items up for voting!

The Uncommon Life

Birmingham Knocks NYC Out for Most Design-Savvy City

November 14, 2011

When it comes to cities that have their eye on modern design, you’d expect New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago to be top of the list, right? Not so!

We were taking a look at the sales data for some of our most popular design-friendly gifts:  the Face Mug, Unzipped Glass Zipper Bag, Buddha Bowls, Elevate Utensils, and Urbano Eco Trash Can.

The trends that emerged are not what you’d expect.

Birmingham, AL – Leading the pack of stylish cities is Alabama’s cultural capital.  Home to Vulcan (the world’s largest cast iron statue) and a brand new 19-acre Railroad Park, it’s no wonder this epicenter of cool urban planning has design-minded gift-givers as well.

Vulcan Park, Greg Willis

Royal Oak, MI – A suburb of Detroit, Royal Oak may be unfamiliar to most. But, as any dedicated 1990s TV-watcher will tell you, Royal Oak was the setting for the much-loved Home Improvement series starring Tim Allen. Perhaps great home improving lives on not only in the show’s Disney Channel reruns, but in Royal Oak’s residents as well.

Pleasanton, CA – This Bay Area city’s name is an accurate indication of its residents’ eye for good design. We bet their lovely interiors and home decorating skills factored into Pleasanton’s ranking as one of the best places to live.

Green Bay, WI – Green Bay’s strategic location on Lake Michigan made it a historically important center of railroad transportation and trade. Nearly 400 years of gift giving and exchange sounds like enough experience to land the #4 spot on our list of America’s most design-savvy cities.

Museum of Glass, Casey Yee

Tacoma, WA – Tacoma has the highest density of art and history museums in the state of Washington, including a Museum of Glass that our Unzipped Glass Zipper Bag would feel right at home in. Whether UncommonGoods shoppers in Tacoma find inspiration for their homes from museum visits or not, we applaud their great taste.

You may be wondering where cities such as New York and Los Angeles are on our list.  The City of Angels ranked 45th, and the Big Apple came in 94th.  If these numbers don’t sound right to any of you Angelenos and New Yorkers, what are you waiting for?  Get shopping!

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Alphapets

October 11, 2011

I’ve always thought that origami was pretty neat. I’ve seen people fold paper into those prophetic fortune telling contraptions, make beautiful swans out of napkins, construct geometric fish in just a few creases, and create those highly fashionable newspaper hats. However, to be perfectly honest, aside from the occasional paper airplane, I had never made an origami figure of my own.

Of course, when I was offered the opportunity to test the Alphapets Origami Book, I had to give it a try.


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