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Felt isn’t just for arts-and-crafts class any more By Amber Taylor

Still feeling the chill? Stave off the rest of winter’s cold with these handmade felt items from Etsy. Wool felt is amazingly warm and lends itself to the creation of three-dimensional fashion.

These felted wool headbands add a boho vibe to your winter wear. Amanita Mushroom and Pink Flower headbands, Phoebe’s Fiber, $22 each.

Cristina Pires’s black swan scarf (right) evokes modern art and nature. Cygnus Atratus Apparatus, $111.

Other Etsy artists essentially sculpt accessories with felted fiber. Red felt collar, RVSD, $32; and white chain necklace, Felt Fieltro Filc, $69.

The figure-flattering drape of Sandmaiden’s felted tops will surprise you. Dolman top, $125.

Felting thinly knit fabric allows for a translucent, ethereal wrap with warmth. Manon Knits, Black Marble cobweb lace scarf, $68; and Fiery Lava wrap, $65.

The structured waves of this scarf by Felted Pleasure demonstrate the opposite extreme. Wavy scarf in lavender, $64.

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Posted at 07:00 AM/ET, 02/14/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Use the Year of the Rabbit as inspiration to shop for these handmade and vintage pieces By Amber Taylor

Usher in the Year of the Rabbit with these whimsical pieces from Etsy.

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Posted at 08:27 AM/ET, 02/07/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
For a touch of class, add a dashing topper to your outfit By Amber Taylor

Embrace a touch of old-fashioned flair with these retro-themed hats from Etsy.

Yellowfield 7 offers a broad selection of handmade felt hats that will turn you into a glam goddess.

This prim gray topper perches so prettily. $350.

For a dramatic touch, this fedora with a felt crane accent will draw all eyes. $275.

This face-framing wine hat comes with a vintage pin. $350.

This cloche from Hey Sailor is set off by a bold feather. $198.

A more-subtle version of these styles is available from Tramp Millinery. Navy-and-plum cloche, $136.

You’ll be bewitched by the vintage scarab buckle on this 1920s-style hat from Bonnie’s Knitting. $85.

Snug fabric in structured pleats makes the stone cloche by Liza Rietz a winner. $42.

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Posted at 09:04 AM/ET, 01/31/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Heat up cold Washington nights with these hot originals By Amber Taylor

You’ll fall head over heels for this dramatic garter belt by Hopeless. $132; matching Cheryl bralette, $125.

Vees invites you to wind its Para silk wrap every which way but loose. $225.

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Posted at 09:45 AM/ET, 01/24/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Get glammed up and find romantic gifts for February 14 By Amber Taylor

Pick up a Valentine’s Day gift or a fashionable touch for a special evening out from sellers on Etsy.

Get glammed up for a Valentine’s night out with earrings from Lara Lewis’s Estate Collection. Amethyst-and-peridot-rhinestone drops, $37, and vintage-glass opal firefly earrings, $11.

The vivid red lacquer beads on Avonci’s Chinese knot necklace nod to the holiday. $59.

Dress up in Old Hollywood style with this dress inspired by Marilyn Monroe in Niagara. P1xie, $95.

Vintage burgundy lace makes this top by Quark romantic and its careful tailoring makes it flatter. Scientism sleeveless top, $43.

If you like the idea of Cartier’s Love Bracelet but want something with a little more edge, pick up a Cuff Me bracelet from Piggy. $18.

Throwing a Valentine’s Day bash? Dress up your apartment with this wooden garland, pictured above. Ecofriendly heart garland, Oh My Ampersand, $70.

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Posted at 10:04 AM/ET, 01/18/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Where to find sweet underthings on the Web’s best handmade resource By Amber Taylor

Gildapearl's pretty satin underpieces.

For Washington women yearning to find unique pieces on a budget,—which sells handmade and vintage items ranging from T-shirts and hair accessories to bespoke suits and ball gowns—is a great option if you know where to look. Every week, Amber Taylor finds Etsy’s best, whether you’re dressing for an A-list event or brightening up a trusty dress.

Lingerie certainly isn’t easy to shop for. Department-store brands run plain and conservative, everyone buys from Victoria’s Secret, and the prices at specialty boutiques are often nothing short of absurd.

Looking for a unique—and affordable—alternative? Etsy’s got everything from cozy pajamas to honeymoon ensembles.

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Posted at 12:32 PM/ET, 01/14/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Don’t disappear into anonymity in winter when you can stay cozy with these unique cold-weather clothes By Amber Taylor

Brave the cold Washington days and nights in handmade, ultra-warm accessories from Etsy.

Local Etsy seller Smoking Haute offers her U Street Cowl in a variety of colors. Each hand-knit piece is made from alpaca, which is warmer and lighter than wool. $95.

Feel a connection to the land with these finely knitted gloves from Slim Chicken, which are made from her personal alpaca herd. $17.99.

Pop this P.G. Wodehouse-inspired cloche from Everything OK on your head and charge out into the wind and snow. Honoria Glossop hat, $40.

Laura Irwin puts a spin on the plain headband. Earmuffs, begone! Snail Twist Headband, $60.

For a unique luxury fiber touch, bundle up in this vivid fuchsia Dream Scarf (pictured above), made of pure yak down. $130.

Take a tip from those at higher latitudes and get your hands in a pair of thrummed mittens. The fluffy insides pamper your chilly fingers. Cutie Patooties, $43.

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Posted at 09:42 AM/ET, 01/10/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Compact bags for a new year of nightlife By Amber Taylor

It’s always nice to start the new year with a new bag. Once you get one of these cute clutches from Etsy, you won’t want to let go.

Opera clutches from Fiazco are available in exuberant silk prints or exotic leather. Melanie clutch, $80; Nevaeh stingray clutch, $300.

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Posted at 10:21 AM/ET, 01/03/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Glam up to welcome in 2011 with these unique ideas By Amber Taylor

Etsy is full of designers who can add a handmade touch of glam to your New Year’s wardrobe.

One Garnet Girl’s Rock Fetish ring series features huge, sparkling precious stones; $82-$980.

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Posted at 12:53 PM/ET, 12/27/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()
Customizable messages make these personalized pieces great gift ideas By Amber Taylor

This crystal-and-silver map pendant is a great way to commemorate a favorite vacation, a honeymoon, or a hometown. You can choose the location. Designs by Taylor 2 U, $45.

Along similar lines, the Pretty Peacock will hand-stamp the latitude and longitude of your favorite place on a sterling pendant. $70. 

Studio AMF will create a ring with your name or initials or the word of your choice in Braille. $49.

Monogram yourself with jewelry using typewriter keys from QA Create. Cuff links, $44.99, pendant and necklace, $29.99.

Hide your love away in plain sight with this personalized Morse-code necklace. C. Johannesen Jewelry, $17.

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Posted at 01:53 PM/ET, 12/20/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()