Etsy Holiday Gift Guide 2016

o-all-i-want-for-christmas-facebookI  have never followed a Gift Guide before – neither read , nor got inspired by. I haven’t even created one, maybe because I didn’t have a blog. However, I am proud to say that my family and friends usually look forward to my gift for them. I am easily the uncrowned Queen of Gift Giving in my circle !  And what makes me one – I look for something that can make a connect with the recipient.

So here goes – completely followed by my gut instinct – some of the gifts that I feel would be worth considering for your near and dear ones. These are products that I personally endorse because I have bought / used / made them. I almost always look for artist made , one of a kind and unique gifts. Being an artist myself, I am aware of the immense value, love and warmth a handmade item can bring – it can be a forever keepsake for some. Also I must say that I have not been paid by any of the makers or artists to mention their names that are in no order of priority. In fact, I hope that they would be pleasantly surprised to find out this blog post.

  1. Indian Journals : This is my brand of handmade , one of a kind , unique and very Indian notebooks that only you would have.

With 100’s of designs and 4 sizes in both blank and ruled pages, these gifts are safe and very appropriate for literally all age groups and genders. There are also classic Indian motif covers in various color combinations such as the Good luck Elephant, Paisley ,OM and many others.

The versatility of these books are great. They make handy gifts for both close and distant people on your list. Excellent as last minute gifts too !

2. Basketful of Grace – This has been a personal favorite. I gifted this to one of the closest members in my family for their wedding and the couple was very touched.

Basked full of Grace customized wall art

They offer personalized gifts perfect for many occasions including engagement gifts, bridal showers, weddings, anniversaries, baby showers and more.


This can be such a wonderful source for buying precious art and collectible keepsakes that you would like to keep or gift.

Jamie, the shop owner is so easy to work with. Her communication is clear and she is very quick to respond.

I wanted to change the date on the wall art that I bought from her and she was so creative in sending me an option that worked really well for us.


iss_fullxfull-5285470_gbewqornOne of the prime reasons I chose her because not only was her art so unique and so very customisable – I also liked the cleanliness and simplicity of how peices of maps could evoke so much love and meaning. Secondly what I also really liked is that she was offering different framing options. Not very many Etsy sellers do that. And this comes in very handy when you want a complete gift – ready to be hung !

Also I must say that the packaging is perfect and the product arrives in an impeccable condition.

I am a very satisfied customer and I am sure you would be too.

Coming to the Bath and Body section – this is one area that makes me go weak in the knees. Over the past decade I must have tried over 50 Etsy sellers who sell handmade soaps and natural Bath and Body products, however there are only these handful that I now find myself going back to :

3. AB Soap Studio – A wonderful story of A and B who live in a beautiful Island in Ireland and share the passion of creating additive free soaps that are completely natural and very pampering to the skin.

Luxury Lemon Soap by AB Soap Studio

It is this Luxury Lemon soap that attracted me to their shop first. I have always been a fan of citrus-y smells because of the squeaky clean feeling that lingers around them. However they are also associated with making your skin dry. So in the hunt of a soap that moisturized and left that feel good clean feeling landed me to their shop page and the rest they say is a loyal customer !


In their policy on additives , they proudly say that – their soaps and shampoo bars contain only natural butters, oils, clays and botanicals, carefully chosen for their beneficial qualities. They do not use parabens, SLS (sodium laureth sulphate), PEG (polyethylene glycol), DEA (diethanolamine), siloxane (silicone), or any of the other surfactants, preservatives or artificial perfumes found in many commercial cosmetics.

il_570xn-916412348_o413They have recently added gift sets which I feel is a great addition to their shop as well as a brilliant way to try and obviously gift.

In my opinion, their soaps are very nourishing. They are not an overdose of perfumes and you cannot feel even and ounce of artificiality in them. I have a very sensitive skin and my skin has always approved of all its flavors. So always a thumbs up 🙂

4. Empathetic Elephant – In days where goats milk is a rarity – they sell goat milk soap. Now you know why I make a beeline to buy this soap almost always !

Goatmilk soap by Empathetic Elephant

Experts and naturalists promote goatmilk soap for youthful skin. Here is a lovely article that encourages the use of goatmilk soap.

Lia , the owner of the soap is creative even with this simple looking soap – she offers them in various scents as well as color options apart from the basic white fragrance free version. She also uses Phthalate free essential oils in her products. She specializes in floral arrangements/decor, candles, soaps and other specialty gifts.

Although I have never gone beyond the mesmerizing soaps in her shop – she does have something really wonderful soap moulds I must say. I am already brimming with so many gifting ideas with them. I mean who could think of Unicorn Poop and Zombie Hand for soaps ! So creative 🙂

Also her packaging is lovely. Even if you open it – it feels as though you have gifted this to yourself. It feels like a mini celebration. I would totally recommend trying them out.

Moving on from soaps, we have :

5. Eco Fabric Store – This is my store where I sell beautiful Indian Fabrics that are soft to the touch. Our Earth Friendly fabrics are made from Organic Cotton, Bamboo Yarns, Soya Bean Protein, Banana Yarn and the likes.

IMG_2394 copy.jpg
Organic Cotton Fabric Dyed with herbal vegetable dyes from Eco Fabric Store


Dyed with Plant Extract Vegetable Dyes or certified dyes, we offer wonderful prints and evergreen designs. Our fabrics are also available in solid dyed colors.

All the fabrics are manufactured by Authentic and Certified mills based in India.
537335_594929020562211_1329546962_nHerbal dyeing is basically the expertise of dyeing/printing with flowers, roots, fruits such as turmeric, onion, myraballams, madder, kesu flowers, dhavadi flowers and natural indigo.

This not only prevents water pollution due to replacement of petrochemical dyes with vegetable dyes/natural dyes, but also imparts medicinal value to cloth as many herbs used for dyeing have high medicinal value.

This mimics and age old process from Ancient India which was historically done by hand and on a small scale.

Wholesale orders and Custom Prints are welcome. Certification is also available for custom and wholesale orders.

6. Fibers to Fabric – As the name suggests, this particular store I own has some unique supplies, vintage haberdashery as well as some really cool fabric printed on very high quality Indian Cotton

Elephant Print from Fibers to Fabric

All the fabrics are soft to touch and are of great quality. Boutique store and wholesale options are always open. There are always bolt ends and fat quarter price deals that make shopping all the more fun and thrifty !

The price advantage of trims and buttons is worth mentioning. Also not to forget some really wonderful DIY quick stitch kits. They make wonderful gifts as well as lovely holiday projects. Some of  them can even be used as wall arts or handmade presents.

7. SJ Engraving – One of the best sellers on Etsy and my favorite husband wife team of all times.

Couples Nest from SJ Engraving

I bought a keepsake from them for my own wedding and later to gift a very close friend. The nest and the names on the egg looking stones are so symbolic and so precious.

il_570xn-173641260For some special occasions, custom engraving is your best choice to convey your sentiment and thoughtfulness and SJ Engravings exactly cater to that.

I particularly love their garden stones. It gives the old era feel and also lends stability to the house. The best part is
that these stones are completely natural and majority of their items are cil_570xn-195593069ustomizable.


They can even engrave your logo or personalized message on stones. I really have to try the logo part, but right now its time for me to add a stone to my nest – that of my daughter’s name 🙂

As a repeat customer – I can guarantee the quality and the impeccable craftsmanship on the stones. Not a chip here and there – pure natural stone engraved for you to keep forever.

Hope you enjoyed some of the items that I truly testify and can vouch for. Happy Shopping and Happy Gifting 🙂




Overwhelmed !

There’s just so much going on the world right now. A little mental breather was something that I was desperately seeking. Most of this post may just be a ramble, but it’s necessary to come out of my system. Guess I’m starting to really understand the benefits of having a blog , finally !

It all began on the evening of 8th November 2016 , when the Indian Prime Minister – Mr. Narendra Modi made a pretty bold move by scrapping the Higher Value Denomination currencies of INR 500 and INR 1000. The biggest reasons were of course to fight corruption and have a better control at handling black money (unaccounted money).


This entire country was stupefied (both positive, neutral and negative) For most honest, working class and genuine tax payers, this was one of the biggest promise he delivered. For those who haven’t been able to sleep – this strategic move was for them ! Myself along with almost 80% of Indians applauded this decision and the way he executed it. In the age of digital technology and information leaking out with the speed of thunder bolt lightening, this was one of the best kept secrets. It was truly the biggest jaw-dropping surprise for the whole Indian nation.

Banned Indian Currencies of Rs.1000 and Rs.500
Specimen Pictures of New currency of INR 2000 and INR 500

There is surely a lot of inconvenience because the process of submitting the old currency to the banks to get new / exchanged currency is going to be long and painstaking for some, but this is nothing as compared to what we as citizens would eventually gain. Big news and takes time to digest it.Here are excerpts of our PM’s speech . Proud.

Within hours of digesting with the above news, the pull of USA Election results and countdown was too hard to resist. And before anyone knew it, the biggest and probably the most viewed election result in the history of United States of America : Donald Trump was elected the President of USA.

Donald Trump President Elect USA – source

Whew ! Who would have thought that but him. From the very beginning he was only met with resistance – from his very decision to run for presidency, to his radical views and fall out within his very party to the final brawl. Unreal and unimaginable. To be honest, I never thought he would be elected, and I think majority of the world didn’t , and bam ! there he is – in your face – the 45th President Elect of USA. I don’t know how this is going to affect my life or the life of trillions, living in this world, but I AM SURE there has been a huge impact. Only time will tell what would unfold out of this eventuality. We must accept this result and dare I say anything more !

For once , even my daughters constant need of attention was falling short in front of this high suspense drama’s and after effects. In desperate attempts to shake my mind and eyes off my phone – as if my swiping fingers were unconsciously causing information overload to my brain – continuously running and switching from poll results, peoples sentiments, Indian frenzy, tweets, forwarded messages,what all of this means for both our nations and blah blah blah …  I found a pile of read and unread newspapers near another pile of my daughters books and toys and un-sorted mess. There I spotted Dr. Seuss’s Grinch  . Grinch has been one of my beloved character’s since childhood. During my overseas visits as a child, I used to see this book on airports and I was intrigued by that crooked smile and always wanted to know or read about him. Actually I didn’t even know he was called the “Grinch” until I fulfilled my incomplete wishes of reading those books by buying them for my toddler ! Besides the book was Karan Johar on the front page of the Newspaper add-on supplement.

Grinch and Karan Johar have a similar smile ! 

The uncanny resemblance was the quickest ticket for a little dose of self entertainment. Way back in 2008 and again 2012, I saw some some interviews of Karan Johar on television. He was telling Anupama Chopra – the lady who was interviewing him on the latter occasion – as to how he has a fixed smile that can never change ! As though he has practiced every muscle ! And that’s when my childhood memory of the Grinch flashed across my mind. Lo and behold – right in my drawing room, amidst all the chaos came the two characters glaring back – together -in the same frame – to lend a little laugh and relieve me from the tightest gripping reality thriller that occurred in our lives in the last couple of days !