This month we’ve done lots of Literary Paraphernalia posts featuring Shakespeare-related goods. This Friday we’re continuing that trend with a pretty cool collection of awesome things from Etsy.Com – from bags to tea to, well, there’s a hamster in there too. I’m not really sure what to classify that hamster as, except really damn adorable.
Did I use bling right? I’m pretty sure I did. Today we’re continuing our Shakespeare-themed Literature Paraphernalia posts with some cool Shakespeare jewelry. If you love The Bard of Avon, you’ll love these shiny trinkets as well.
I hear it’s pretty cold out there. Though most of our contributors are based on the West Coast, we do feel a pang of empathy for all of you readers dealing with this:
Cousin sent me this view of her house in Moncton, New Brunswick. pic.twitter.com/ACaaa8wFke
— Laura B. (@ABBestphotos) February 18, 2015
Seriously, what is this blasphemy?
The good news is that with weather like that, there’s plenty of time to get some reading done. And shopping, of the online variety. Below are some bookish socks and sweaters to help keep you warm.
I’m a fairly nontraditional person, so when it comes to romance, I go for nontraditional things too. Generally, I’m not one to celebrate Valentine’s day with a night out at an expensive restaurant, but I do still like to give gifts.
There are the traditional gifts, like roses and chocolate and teddy bears, but what fun are those? No, it’s way more fun to be offbeat for Valentine’s day than it is to be traditional.
That being said, guys and gals, here’s some cool offbeat Etsy.Com gear for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day.
(Don’t forget the ink)
For all you grammar gods and goddesses, we have more grammar gear for you to take a look at from Etsy.Com. Why so much grammar? Why not! We love grammar, we study grammar, and we use grammar every day. We might as well celebrate grammar as well.
Are you into grammar? Like, really, really into grammar? Does the misuse of they’re, their, there, your, you’re, it, it’s, who, whom, etc. really, really bother you? Are you an avid defender of the Oxford comma? Well, we have some awesome gear for you this week.
I’ve been told by more than one person that I’m not easy to shop for. I’m not a capitalist. I’m not a huge consumer. I won’t wait in line today on Black Friday. I won’t push and shove to get a gaming console or a huge discount on a pallet of makeup. I don’t wear makeup. I don’t care about fashion. I could give a shit about the latest pop culture trend. But I am a bookworm and a writer.
And so are other writers within this blog. Melanie, co-creator of The Poetics Project, started Literature Paraphernalia section of our blog. In this section are a lot of great lists of bookish items for the bookworm and/or writer in your life. If you’re looking for some great gift-giving ideas, these post are a really good place to start. Even picky people like me find things to fall in love with.
This bag, from JumpingJackalope on Etsy.com, is a bag I actually own. Melanie featured it in one of our blogs and I bought it for myself for school. It’s been a good book bag and has held up at school, but I did travel with it and it got a little beat up on the plane ride. I love the bag so much, though, that I’d be glad to own another and JumpkingJackalope is constantly updating her shop and adding more awesome bags.
Kaylee Sauvey and I were both writing tutors at Fullerton College, although we first met in a poetry class. She, I, and Melanie (co-founder of this blog) all worked in the same place, were all English majors at the same school, and all had similar interests. We loved writing and we loved books.
Melanie’s love for writing and books has taken her to Portland to pursue her MA in publishing. My passions have driven me to pursue my Ph.D. so I can teach and research English around the world (hopefully). Kaylee’s passions have driven her towards law school, which may seem a bit removed from her English-major and writing-tutor roots, but fear not. Legal matters are heavily rooted in writing, and Kaylee still keeps her passions for books and reading alive with her really cool Etsy shop.
Kaylee’s favorite book growing up was The Hobbit. She has this to say about the book itself:
In the spring of 1999, during a family trip to the library (which, in itself, was a special kind of treat for me), my dad checked out a book and later that evening, he began reading aloud, “In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.” The next pages would reveal exactly what a hobbit was, but I wanted to know more and more as each page turned. That was my introduction to J.R.R. Tolkien; the foodless dessert at the family dinner table after a feast of cabbage rolls. I even remember what we ate that evening because every detail of that moment piqued my interest and launched me into a into my own adventure from which a part of me would never completely return; I went to Middle Earth that day and now, fifteen years later, a UCLA English graduate, I can attribute my passion for literature to that fateful day when an elaborately-imagined, adventurous world bloomed before my eyes.
Over the next few years, I anticipated the Peter Jackson films. My Irish twin sister and I would sit together, books in hand, and talk about what we hoped the characters would look like before they were cast. We were Tolkien hipsters and that is the one thing for which I will continue to be firmly hipster. I didn’t like Lord of the Rings or Tolkien because everybody else did, but I liked it before my age group did. I recall standing outside of a movie theater, disappointed at a missing detail in the Fellowship of the Ring film, when an eighteen-year-old friend of mine challenged eleven-year-old me about that particular detail, insisting that I was wrong and that the film got it right. We went home and checked our books. I was right. He apologized the next day. I say this to illustrate how much of an impact Middle Earth had on me. I studied it. It became more of a reality to me than my own life. I’m sure this is the description of obsession, but aren’t the greatest minds obsessed with and passionate about something that they consider special and beautiful? What is Tolkien’s world if not those two words?
J.R.R. Tolkien rewrote my future, in a sense. He directed me down the path of studying literature. He showed me that you can be passionately obsessed with fiction. But ultimately he showed me that we are capable of more than we realize; within his stories, the smallest characters have the most impact. It’s a ripple effect. You, as a single thread in the tapestry of the world, have the power make a difference; your color can be seen and admired by those who look at it and in turn, others will be inspired and attempt to be strong and stand tall. Tolkien showed me that the journey of life is often unexpected and full of death-defying obstacles, but through perseverance and belief in yourself, you can make it through Mirkwood, you can slay a dragon, you can survive being the main course in a troll feast, and yes, you can simply walk into Mordor.
Kaylee’s love for Tolkien can be found in her Etsy shop, where she has many cool Hobbit and Lord of the Ring themed items. Her clothing is hand painted and her notebooks are hand assembled. If you’re so inclined, you can find other pop culture and literature-based goodies in her shop.
Here’s a complete list of what she offers in the way of Tolkien goods.
William Faulkner, for those who haven’t studied American Literature, was a Nobel Prize-winning American author from Mississippi. He’s popular for such books as As I Lay Dying, A Fable, The Reivers, and The Sound and the Fury.
James Franco, actor and English Ph.D. candidate at Yale (which soon means he’ll be Dr. James Franco), is trying his hand at directing. He, like many other American Literature fans, enjoys William Faulkner’s work. He’s even directed a version of As I Lay Dying, which currently has a forty-one percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
And now he’s planning on directing The Sound and the Fury, a novel often considered one of the top in the American literary canon. This is a sneak peak at the movie:
From that clip, I’m not too enthused about the movie. Hopefully it’s better received and reviewed than As I Lay Dying was.
While we’re all huge fans of literature and the idea of great canon from around the world being brought into mainstream culture, it’s not looking like James Franco will be the one to bridge that gap.
But, if you’re a fan of Faulkner, we don’t want to leave you empty handed. Below is a list of great Etsy items for the Faulkner fan that doesn’t care that The Sound and the Fury or As I Lay Dying aren’t great movies—because you already have the books.
Want to look literary this summer? You could always walk around with a book or two, or you could wear some awesome Shakespeare inspired shirts. If you’re interested in owning any of these shirts, click on the image and you’ll be taken to the Etsy.Com page where the shirts are for sale.
Our first shirt features a quote from Twelfth Night. Orsino is crushing hard on Olivia, and Olivia doesn’t return his sentiment so, of course, as any love struck person would do, Orsino listens to music while plotting a new way of winning Olivia’s favor. For more, read the play. To look cool, wear the shirt.
Beat the heat in this cropped shirt featuring none other than The Bard’s face. Wearing a dude’s face on your shirt is cool, right? I think so, at least.
Heck yes I do. I mean we do. I mean, you should wear this shirt because it’s cool. There’s just something about a man with a mastery of words that looks awesome on a t-shirt.
This slouchy-shirt is long sleeved, but will keep you cool nonetheless. Want to hear a funny story? I did this scene from Henry V in class, and I was playing Kate and my scene partner was playing Henry. We originally agreed to NOT do the kiss, and to capture the surprise that Kate would have when Henry kissed her without her permission, my scene partner did the same, in class, during our final. At least we got the A.