Etsy is, for the artist, the ultimate stage in which to launch, display and sell your creative wares all over the world. It is also a meeting place and forum to share ideas, collaborate on projects and meet similar minded individuals.
For the consumer, Etsy is online shopping at its most addictive. Everything on the site is handmade or vintage, making your endless (and at times fruitless) search for the perfect original gift one click away! Best of all, your search is made easy by the advanced categorisation of products -- need a red cushion for the couch? Type in 'red cushion' and over 1000 results come up in about three seconds flat! In fact, I am yet to find a category that does not exist on Etsy.
Etsy pricing is listed in $US so you are at the mercy of the exchange rate, but most items are very reasonably priced even once you have done the conversion.
I can (and do) spend hours trawling through this site. After I found out I was pregnant and was having a little girl, I went a little Etsy mad. At first I tried to source things locally, but found it difficult to find anything for the nursery that was original and not in every chain of baby stores. Amongst my favorite purchases for Fern's room include:
This print (though it's hanging in my living room now):
This gorgeous dream catcher, which hangs on the outside of Fern's nursery door:
and this adorable mobile, which hangs above Fern's change table:
.... of course, now Fern is here I have a new wishlist of items. I am dying to buy a tutu like this one to wear on her first birthday:
Plus this adorable headband:
and these cute little slippers:
Hope that tax return's a good one...