Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dottiebox review, August 2014

Name: Dottiebox
Details: Get a box full of products made by indie crafters.
Price: Choose from two options: a monthly box for $26, or a monthly "mini box" for $16.

My August Dottiebox arrived in the mail a few days ago. I set it on the couch while I went into another room. When I returned, one of my cats, Milo, was frantically trying to claw his way inside the package. Hmmm, I thought, I wonder if there's food in there.

Only one way to find out...Let's take a look!

According to the information card, "this month's box smells and tastes so yummy." Looks like Milo was correct. That cat can smell food from a mile away.

1. "Sweet Georgia Peaches" candle from Uncommon Scents (retail value: $12). I love candles, and this one smelled exactly like a peach. It's cute, and I'll definitely get some use out of it.

Here's a view from the top:

Cute, cute, cute!

2. Gourmet spice blend from Gustus Vitae (retail value: $7.99). I'm not much into cooking, but my husband is, so I'll be eager to see what he whips up with these spices.

3. Hot raspberry chili jam from Maya's Jams (retail value: $4). What an interesting flavor combo...I'm a fan of raspberry, but I hate anything spicy, so I'll be curious to see how this works out. I do wish that the jar was's four ounces, so basically a sample size, enough for a few pieces of toast.

4. Soap sample from Music City Suds. I haven't tried out this soap yet, but I love the product names listed on the Nashville-based company's website...A Bar Named Sue, Loretta Lips, Lady Anti-Smellum...very clever!


Definitely a lot of good-smelling (and, hopefully, good-tasting) stuff in this shipment. I'll admit that this wasn't my favorite Dottiebox...I don't mind receiving food items in artisan boxes, but I sign up for "indie" subscriptions primarily because I love getting handmade jewelry, paper goods, and the like, so I wasn't overly excited about the food products. (That's strictly my own opinion, though, and I realize that other people won't necessarily agree.) I also wasn't the biggest fan of this Dottiebox because, even though I paid $26 for it, I received only $23.99 worth of products. Hopefully, this was just a fluke, and that next month's Dottiebox will be back to offering amazing artisan products at an amazing value. Dottiebox is still one of my favorites, so I'm looking ahead to September!

To subscribe to Dottiebox, head here: Dottiebox subscription link

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Indie Gift Box review, August 2014

Name: Indie Gift Box
Details: Surprises you with a themed collection of unique gifts from independent artists and small businesses.
Price: $25

I hate to say it, but this was the shipment that made me cancel my subscription to Indie Gift Box.

I was thrilled with the first couple of packages that I received from the company. However, I've been less than happy with a few of my more recent shipments. It's gotten to the point where I'm crossing my mental fingers when I receive a box in the mail each month, hoping that I'll find at least one or two things that I'm not completely "meh" about.

Anyway, let's take a look at what I received in August's Indie Gift Box.

This month's theme was "Indian Summer," which I'm taking to mean that everything inside the box had an element of Native American culture or design attached to it.

1. Fair trade bracelets by A Global Friendship (retail value: $25). I'm actually okay with these bracelets. They were handwoven in Indonesia, and their purchase supports A Global Friendship, which is a non-profit organization that helps woman and attempts to alleviate poverty throughout the world. They're cute, and I'll wear them.

2. Gift card from Bunglo (retail value: $12+). Indie Gift Box considers this gift card to have a retail value starting at $12. However, this isn't really a gift card. It's a coupon code good for 40 percent off any purchase at the website Bunglo. I don't consider a coupon code to be an "item." If I'd received a product from Bunglo, and gotten a coupon code on top of that, cool, I'd be a happy camper. As it stands, I'd need to spend $16 in order to get the $12 value that Indie Gift Box said I'm receiving. The items on Bunglo are very cute, and I might end up ordering something inexpensive from the site, but I still feel a little irritated by the whole thing.

 3. Feather ear cuff by Finch Finery (retail value: $22). Maybe, at 35, I'm just too old for Indie Gift Box. This cuff, which slips over the top of one's ear, is well made, but there's no way I'd ever, ever wear it. Ever. Finch Finery has rave reviews on Etsy, and I don't doubt that, for people who are into bold fashion statements, this cuff would be amazing. However, I feel that, by including such obvious "love it or hate it" items in its shipments, Indie Gift Box is doing a disservice to its customers. Maybe it's just me, I don't know. In any event, to conclude, I won't be wearing this and I have no idea what to do with it.

4. Nail art cuticle tattoos by Rad Nails (retail value: $6). These are alright. Nothing exciting, but nothing horrible, either.


My heart sank after I finished opening this Indie Gift Box, which made me realize that, like I mentioned before, I need to cancel my subscription. For $25 plus shipping I received, in theory, $65 worth of products, but all I really wanted was my $25 back. Maybe the next few months will get better, but I'm not going to risk my hard-earned money on it again.

If you're interested in checking out Indie Gift Box, head here: Indie Gift Box subscription link

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Paper Parcel review, August 2014

Name: The Paper Parcel
Details: A subscription service that delivers paper ephemera to your home every month.
Price: $10

The Paper Parcel is a subscription service run by Saturday Morning Vintage that offers monthly deliveries of at least 50 random paper items, both vintage and new. The subscription is extremely popular and sells out fast. I was lucky enough to nab an August shipment before it flew the coop. Because I love random items and vintage things, I couldn't wait to see what I'd receive.

My package arrived the first week of August.

After I opened the mailing envelope, a bemused face greeted me.

I LOVED the colorful package that awaited me inside the second envelope. Look at all this stuff!

The theme of this month's shipment was "Back to School."

A lunch ticket, a library card...

A milk token, flash cards...

A piece of handwriting practice paper, a remnant from a library card catalog...

For ten dollars, I got a lot of stuff!


The Paper Parcel is such a fun subscription! It's a great resource for scrapbookers or mixed-media artists. I don't happen to be either, and I don't have children, so I'm not sure what I'll do with a few of these "Back to School" items, but I'm sure I'll figure it out. I appreciated the thoughtful curation that The Paper Parcel put into its shipment, and I'd consider buying next month's delivery...if it wasn't already sold out! (I told you, this subscription goes fast. The company offers subscriptions only in non-renewing, one-month increments, so if you miss your chance one month, you'll have to keep your eyes peeled until the next month's subscription window opens.)

Still, if you're interested in The Paper Parcel, keep checking the following link to see when October's shipment will be listed for sale:  The Paper Parcel subscription link

Kreation Krate review, August 2014

Name: Kreation Krate
Details: A monthly subscription box for beginning to intermediate crafters. Each box contains all the materials necessary to complete a craft project for yourself and a "kind craft" for someone else.
Price: $26

Kreation Krate is one of the first subscription boxes to arrive on my doorstep every month. Sometimes I receive the shipment a few days before the month even begins! That was the case with my August Kreation Krate, which arrived a few days before the end of July. Can't beat that service!

Let's take a peek.

This was on the box's inside cover. Pretty sure that it's a hint about the project's theme!

Paints, brushes, rocks, easels...

It's a miniature canvas paint set. I love this! It'll be a fun project to complete and display.

The "kind craft" involves painting river rocks to give away to friends, family, and other loved ones. Another cute idea!


Every month, I look forward to receiving Kreation Krate because I know that, without exception, I'll be getting a high-quality craft project that has been thoughtfully conceived of and put together. The boxes are packed full of supplies, and the instructions are well-written and well-illustrated so that anyone, from a novice crafter to an expert, can get in on the fun.

To try out Kreation Krate for yourself, head here: Kreation Krate subscription link

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Whimseybox review, July 2014

Name: Whimseybox
Details: Receive a new craft to complete every month.
Price: $15 (Sign up using the above referral link to get $5 off your first box.)

This month's (or, I guess I should say last month's) Whimseybox was a little late on arrival. I'm not sure what the holdup was, but Whimseybox sent an email apologizing for the delay, and the package arrived on my doorstep a few days into August.

Two seconds after I removed this ribbon, my cat was batting it around on the floor.

What could all this stuff be?

It's a faux agate jewelry kit! The box contains all the materials I'll need to make pseudo agates from polymer clay. I've never used polymer clay as a crafting material, so this should be interesting. Still, I love the look of the necklace and earrings whose photos appear in the instruction booklet. I'm all about that striated purple pattern, and I hope my versions of these pieces turn out just as well.


To sign up for Whimseybox, use my referral link and save five dollars off your first shipment: Whimseybox subscription link

Pink Cupcakes and Paper Lover's Club review, August 2014

Name: Pink Cupcakes and Paper Lover's Club
Details: Receive monthly surprise items from the Pink Cupcakes and Paper Etsy shop.
Price: Starts at $20 for a month-long subscription
Discount: Use the code SUBPRE to save $5 on any order.

Pink Cupcakes and Paper was kind enough to send me a complimentary shipment from its Paper Lover's Club, in which subscribers receive monthly packages of stationery items from the company's Etsy shop. The package arrived at my doorstep late last week. Because it shipped directly from the manufacturer and bore a return address that I didn't recognize, I wasn't sure what the box contained. I opened it, assuming that I would find some boring household item that I'd purchased on Amazon. Instead, I saw glimpses of bright color and knew that, whatever I'd received, I was in for a treat.

The first thing that caught my eye was this:

I love it! The name "Tonya" is unique enough that I rarely find it on any of the pre-made, personalized tchotchkes that you see in gift shops and grocery stores. (When I was a kid, this fact was an endless source of frustration to me.) Consequently, I still get excited when I see my name on something, so I was thrilled to receive this notebook. I hoped that I'd find a few additional personalized items in my Paper Lover's Club shipment.

Here's the rest of what I received. Looks cute! Let's examine everything up close and personal.

More personalization! And this time stickers! I love the motif, and can't wait to use these.

 I also received a set of 10 "drink up" coasters. Super cute!

Last but not least, I found a set of 10 "Hello beautiful" blank note cards in my shipment. For some reason, I received only five envelopes to accompany them, but these are still adorable, and will be great pick-me-ups to send out to friends.


I loved everything that I received in the August shipment of the Pink Cupcakes and Paper Lover's Club! The personalization really did it for me. It's always fun to receive something that was created specifically for oneself, even if that thing is as simple as a notebook or a set of stickers.

If you're interested in signing up for the service, you have two options: a month-long subscription for $20 (link), and a three-month subscription for $54 (link). Be sure to use the coupon code at the beginning of this post to save five dollars on your order!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

For the Love of Letterpress review, July 2014

Name: For the Love of Letterpress
Details: Get letterpress-printed goodies delivered once a month to your mailbox, from the Etsy shop Ladybug Press.
Price: Starts at $37.50 for a three-month subscription
Discount: Use the code Prescription10 to save 10 percent off any order of $30 or more until August 31, 2014.

Ladybug Press offers an amazing variety of letterpress-printed stationery and paper products, including coasters, recipe cards, and greeting cards. Its For the Love of Letterpress service gathers up the best of Ladybug's offerings and sends them out in monthly shipments to subscribers. Ladybug Press was kind enough to send me a complimentary package of letterpress goodies, which I'll review in this post. Here we go!

First up is this adorable fox card, which retails for $4.50. I love nature and animals, so I'm a big fan of this little guy!

I love this bicycle card, too. I'm all about vintage style, and green is my favorite color. (It's like Ladybug Press somehow knew that!) This card retails for $3.50.

Last, but certainly not least, is this Happy Birthday card, which retails for $3.95. I always have to make last-minute trips to the grocery store card aisle when birthdays approach, so I will definitely be using this card.


I loved all the cards that I received in my Love of Letterpress shipment. Each is very high quality, and has a whimsical look that I know will please its recipient. Ladybug Press offers three versions of its Love of Letterpress subscription: three months for $37.50 (link), six months for $72 (link), and twelve months for $142.50 (link). Be sure to check out the service and use the coupon code Prescription10 to save 10 percent off any order of $30 or more!