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Handmade

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Quiz: What Does Your Favorite Ornament Say About You?

November 21, 2011

With Thanksgiving this week, it’s just about time to deck the halls and get jolly! That tree isn’t going to trim itself, but before you start stringing popcorn chains and throwing tinsel all over the place, take a moment to look through our ornament lineup for 2011. Pick the one that speaks to you, and read on to find out what that choice says about your personality. It might just help you plan a seasonal look as uncommon as you!

Have you got your favorite ornament in mind? Okay, read on to see what your ornament (listed clockwise from top) says about your personality:

Egg Ornament-
You appreciate the beauty in everyday objects; you always see the sunny side.

Penguin Knit Ornaments-
You like traditional décor with an uncommon twist. You aren’t afraid to take something iconic and make it your own!

Funky Fish Tagua Ornament-
You know that unusual can be beautiful! You love to express yourself and know there’s nothing fishy about being unique.

Felt Cat Finger Puppets/Ornaments-
You’re always looking for double-duty décor. When these cuddly kitties aren’t hanging from your tree, they’re fun finger puppets.

Porcelain Nail Ornament-
You like to keep things simple. Now that you’ve hammered out your own personal style, you stick to modern designs, sleek shapes, and bright whites.

Sheep Ornaments-
You’re not afraid to show your softer side—whether you’re decorating for a crowd of guests, or sprucing up a space to enjoy independently!

Candy Cane Scarf-
You think the holiday season is sweet, but you’d rather show off your style by decorating yourself instead of a tree.

Not seeing the your perfect ornament in the graphic above? Check out more uncommon ornaments and find something sure to fit your holiday decor style!

The Uncommon Life

The Biggest Supporter of the Arts

November 17, 2011

There was a time when Santa’s elves had to work hard in the months before the holidays, stuffing dollies, carving rocking horses from wood, and assembling shiny new bicycles. It seems as though letters to Santa have changed a bit, and now those elves are placing orders to Apple for iPads and checking parental advisory warnings to see whether the latest video games are suitable for youngsters.

Does any one out there still care about artisan made goods?

Letter to Santa & Letter to Santa (Back), magma666

Although those pointy-eared little fellas don’t get to use their artisan skills as much as they’d like these days, we know UncommonGoods shoppers do still appreciate high-quality, handmade pieces. With this in mind, our highly scientific data analysis team decided to find the Biggest Supporter of the Arts and give that city their due recognition.

We took a gander the sales of a few of our most artfully-made items including:
Stephen Kitras’ hand-blown Glass Globes
Traci Medeiros-Bagan’s Crocheted Headphones
Al Stephens’ Hand-forged Cheese Slicer

Lo and behold, Atlanta wins our title for Biggest Supporter of the Arts! But we’re proud to say Brooklyn’s not far behind.

Here’s the full breakdown of how our art-loving cities stood out against the rest of the country:

Atlanta, GA Atlanta is known as the cultural hub of the south. This peachy city hosts nearly 50 arts and culture festivals each year, evidence that Atlantans don’t just love handmade goods, they also like to party.

Brooklyn, NY For years, Brooklyn has been in the shadow of Manhattan’s art scene, with no Village, fewer well-known galleries, and cheaper food and rent (making it harder for artists to starve). Now, Brooklyn’s art culture is booming. The Brooklyn Museum rivals the MET, The Brooklyn Flea attracts hipsters, crafters, and all kinds of creatives, and neighboorhoods like DUMBO and Williamsburg are known for their studios and galleries.

New York, NY Brooklyn’s art-lovers came out a just a hair ahead in our analysis of art sales versus overall sales, but NYC holds steady in the top five. New Yorkers have long appreciated art, earning the city the reputation as the art capital of the world (we suspect that Parisians are still a little ticked over losing the title).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, plassen

Austin, TX Austin may not be home to a world-famous museum, but they do boast the Austin Museum of Art. Austin art fans can also visit Austin Art Garage, a gallery founded to highlight emerging artists while bringing affordable art to the people. We love the idea, but as far as we can tell from the photos on their website, the Austin Art Garage is not really a garage at all, so you’ll need to go elsewhere if you also need an oil change.

Chicago, IL The Art Institute of Chicago is in Chicago (which is good, because it would probably have to change it’s name). The world-renowned museum’s adjoined school, aptly named the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is often considered one of the best art schools in the United States. Sure, tuition is expensive, but fortunately artists make a ton of money right out of college, so new graduates won’t have to worry about student loan debt.

Art Institute Lion Wearing Bears Helmet , egvvnd

Actually, that last bit of information may not be entirely accurate. Do your part to help those art and design grads pay the bills by giving the gift of handmade goods this holiday season!

The Uncommon Life

Family Photo Finish

November 7, 2011

On Friday, we asked our blog readers and Facebook fans to share their favorite family photos with us for a chance to win our new Family Traditions Journal.

We received a variety of photos, from funny, to traditional, to touching, and everything in between. We could only pick three families to win copies of this hand-bound book, but we thank everyone who entered for sharing a bit of their family history with us!

Our first winner, Christine, sent us this fun photo of herself with her little ninjas and the family kingpin. “My boys and I do Taekwondo, and I think sometimes my husband feels left out,” she told us. “So this year I planned our ‘Ninja’ picture so hubby could be included – he’s our Bosley!”

We love the photo, but we’re not so sure the boys will appreciate the Charlie’s Angels reference as they get older!

Continue Reading…

The Uncommon Life

A Little Buzzed

October 26, 2011

Retired Wine Barrel Lazy Susan designer Lisa Johnson shared this funny photo with us!

She says the little green hummingbird was just enjoying the sugar left on a wine barrel that was waiting to be cleaned and repurposed into one of her clever designs. We wonder if the little fellow would like a fine cheese to go with that robust red? Perhaps he’d like to see the cocktail menu next!

Do you love wine as much as this happy hummingbird? Check out more retired wine barrel goods.