Fair Ivy Duet: March 2014

This is the post where we get to focus on those fabulous handmade finds and explore some of the artistry of American crafters. This month features Fair Ivy’s Duet subscription, which features a jewelry plus a handmade item.

So let’s jump right into the box.
Jewelry Box UnOpened

As usual, Fair Ivy has gorgeous packaging.

Jewlery BoxEarrings

Package #1 (Jewelry) –23k Gold leaf Inlay Sterling Silver Round concave dome post earrings
from Virginia Wynne Jewelry
(Retail: $27.00)
Description: “The studs are hand cut out of sheet metal, shaped and then a thin layer of 23K gold used inside the dome with a technique called Keum-Boo”
Verdict:
Love!
I like to wear studs to work and these are lovely and unique. I think the concave shape gives them a bit of an edge. These are quite versatile and I think they’ll be a nice counterpoint against feminine spring florals. This also came with a coupon code. Just use the code SURPRISE10 for 10% off Virgina Wynne’s Etsy shop.

An unassuming envelope arrives…

Envelope
And now we have Package #2:
Other Wrapped Towel

Package #2 –Screen Printed Tea Towel from Wit & Whistle
(Retail: $20.00)
Description: “Wit &Whistle offers witty greeting cards and whistle worthy paper and home goods” all designed by Amanda Wright.
Verdict: Love!
I’m planning a giant spring cleaning overhaul of my home including my kitchen so I’m thrilled to get new home items to spruce it up. The Wit & Whistle shop is full of cute offerings and I am particularly enthralled with this Escargot Stamp.


OVERALL
Verdict:
Love!

Estimated Retail: $47.00. I paid $43 including the shipping so I got more than my value and I loved the items in this box. I will definitely use both items andthe Wit & Whistle shop is a great discovery for my online shopping fix.

Last month I expressed that I felt I kept receiving jewelry from Fair Ivy that was a bit too similar and was wishing for a box that only included just the handmade item. The genies at Fair Ivy must have heard my wish so they created the Mystery subscription featuring just one handmade item per month. I’ve signed up for that subscription going forward and I’m uber excited to see what shows up on my doorstep.

Do you enjoy handmade items? Are you a frequent Etsy shopper?  

THE BACKSTORY

Fair Ivy is a subscription box of beautifully wrapped, handmade items made by individual artisans.  
There are now three exciting subscription options:
A jewelry only subscription at $25.00 a month (plus shipping) for 1 jewelry item per month. (This option will ship in the US & Canada).
Or
The Mystery at $20.00 a month (plus shipping) for 1 handmade mystery gift every month
Or
The Duet subscription at $35.00 a month (plus shipping) of 2 handmade items (1 item will be jewelry). (This option only ships in the US).
Because the items ship directly from the artisans, if you choose a duet subscription you will receive the packages individually throughout the month.
DISCOUNT CODE: FAIRIVYFRIEND for $5 off the first month of any subscription.

Fair Ivy Duet: February 2014

Now it’s that time of the month where we get to check out those fabulous Etsy finds and explore the creativity of some American artisans.  With Fair Ivy’s new Duet subscription, I get two cool packages a month – one with jewelry and the other with a mysterious surprise.   You know how I love mysterious surprises, so enough chatter and let’s see what’s inside!
Package #1

Jewelry PackageJewelry Box Close
As usual, one of Fair Ivy’s specialties is wonderful packaging.

Full ChainNecklace Closeup
Package #1 (Jewelry) –Sterling Silver Hammered Disc Necklace from Grey Goose Gifts
(Retail: $28.00)
Grey Goose Gifts from Ohio make beautiful handmade jewelry.  They are chock full of charming layering pieces with classic delicate designs.  This piece is just a simple short silver chain with a hammered silver circle.  I think it would work best layered beneath other longer chains.

Verdict:
On the Fence
Oh, how I really hate giving that verdict because this is a lovely little piece and I do like the style of it.  My issue is not with the piece itself, but this piece in the context of my Fair Ivy subscription.   As a Fair Ivy subscriber I have already received many necklaces that I feel are too similar to this one.  The only jewelry pieces I’ve received since joining have been  earrings and necklaces (3 sets of earrings; 5 necklaces).  Every necklace has been on a short silver chain and two others (besides this one) featured small circle pendants.  It is the same silhouette each month and while I really like the look I don’t feel as though I need so many similar jewelry pieces in my collection.  I’d really love to get some other types of jewelry (bring on the bracelets, rings, brooches, and watches) or at least some necklaces with a different style and shape.  Last month’s chain featured pearls and I found that to be a nice variation.

Package #2…a box mysteriously labeled “Fragile”…

Fragile BoxPackage #2

This little box is too damn cute for words.
White Peach Packaging

Pottery
Package #2 –Tillandsia planter from White Peach Pottery
(Retail: $18.00)
Artist Marianne Tolosa of White Peach Pottery creates hand-crafted pottery at her studio in Virgina. Housed inside that enigmatic Fragile box was an adorable Tillandsia planter. I’m guessing my version was made specifically for Fair Ivy since I can’t find it in the White Peach store (although there are lots of other styles).

Verdict: Love!
I love this cute little pot and its cute little magic plant that doesn’t need dirt.  It has been a cold barren winter folks, and seeing this cheerful guy show up was perfectly timed.  White Peach has some gorgeous (and reasonably priced) things in her store and I could envision a bunch of these little planters in those pastel colors being an amazing Easter table centerpiece.  This is the kind of item that makes me love this subscription.  It’s unique, supports independent artists and isn’t something I’d find anywhere else (or think to pick up for myself.)


OVERALL
Verdict:
Mixed

Estimated Retail: $46.00
With shipping, I paid $43 including the shipping so I got more value that what I paid. Judging this box solely on its own merit it is a wonderful box.  The problem comes from the fact that I feel like as though I keep receiving the same necklace every other month.  I do adore the planter and it’s exactly the kind of thing I want from this type of subscription.

I’m going to see what pops up in next month’s box, and if the jewelry is still too similar I may take a brief hiatus from this box to build up some room for more silver necklaces.

Fair Ivy offers a jewelry only subscription in addition to the Duet.   I’d love it if they offered one for just the other handmade items.  I’d be happy to pay $20 a month just a handmade surprise each month.

What is your jewelry collection like?
Are you eclectic or do you stick to the same type of design?

THE BACKSTORY

Fair Ivy is a subscription box of beautifully wrapped, handmade items made by individual artisans.

There are two subscription options:

A jewelry only subscription at $25.00 a month (plus shipping) for 1 jewelry item per month.  (This option will ship in the US & Canada).

Or

The Duet subscription at $35.00 a month (plus shipping) of 2 handmade items (1 item will be jewelry).  (This option only ships in the US).

Because the items ship directly from the artisans, if you choose an original subscription you will receive the packages individually throughout the month.

DISCOUNT CODE:  FAIRIVYFRIEND for $5 off the first month of any subscription.

Fair Ivy Duet: January 2014

Fair Ivy’s been kicking off the new year with a lot of fun changes.  As I mentioned in my last Fair Ivy post, they’ve changed their subscription options and this will be my first one featuring their new “Duet” subscription.  They’ve also revamped their website to feature more info on their featured artists.   For more info on subscription options, pricing and a coupon code, jump down below.  Now let’s jump into the packages!

Caramel Box

Caramels
Package #1 – Cajeta Goat’s Milk Caramels from Bliss Farms Dry Goods
(Retail: $2.00 each = Package of 8 for $16.00)

Verdict: Miss/Hit for a different month
Last year Fair Ivy included a wonderful goat’s milk caramel sauce by these same folks at Bliss Farms Dry Goods  and I loved it.  I’m sure these are delicious, but January is sandwiched between December’s Christmas excess and February’s Valentine’s decadence, so getting candy felt very ill-timed.  I think food items like jarred preserves, interesting seasonings/spices or specialty trail mix/dried fruit would have been more appropriate.  I’m sure these are still wonderful but I’ll just wait a little while before I enjoy them.

 

Jewelry Package Jewelry Box

Package #2 (Jewelry) – Sterling Silver & Freshwater Pearl Necklace from
Just A Charm
(Retail: $25.00)

My second Fair Ivy package has a funny story attached.  As usual I received a gorgeously packaged box.  It was from Just A Charm who’d sent me lovely things before.  I excitedly opened the box and inside was….nothing?  Cue confused Lisa searching the packaging and the floor making sure I didn’t miss something.  But it seems somewhere along the way someone had painstakingly wrapped an empty box which got sent to me.  I emailed Fair Ivy and they responded immediately with an apology and a brand new package.   All subscriptions get the occasional bump in the road, but they don’t all have such wonderful customer service.  Just A Charm also more than made up with it by sending me an additional gift. I really couldn’t have asked for it to be handled in a nicer way.
Pearl NecklaceCloseup Pearl

Verdict: Love!
Just A Charm describes themselves as making “contemporary jewelry with clean and simple geometrics…The style is modern, versatile, minimalist and understated.”   I adore the unique way the pearls have been included on this chain.  I don’t have a single piece like it and I think it’s going to be so lovely for spring.  It is feminine and dainty and exactly the type of jewelry I’ve come to expect from Fair Ivy.  I can’t wait to wear it.

Bonus BoxFreebie Necklace
FREEBIE
This is the just charming necklace that Just A Charm added because of the mishap with my package.  It’s really lovely and I think it will make a wonderful layering piece.  It was such a nice surprise in the box and I appreciate that they went that extra mile because of the earlier mistake.


OVERALL

Estimated Retail: $43.00.  I paid $43 including the shipping so I got exactly the retail value but without paying the shipping costs I might have if I just purchased through their Etsy stores.  The necklaces were beautiful and I even though I wasn’t crazy about getting candy this month, they still won’t go to waste. I’m excited to see what new things will come in February (Valentine’s Day theme perhaps?) and I’m hoping we’ll see some exciting new artists!

What did you think of this box?
Would you be all about the caramels or is the pearl necklace more your speed?


THE BACKSTORY

Fair Ivy is a subscription box of beautifully wrapped, handmade items made by individual artisans.

There are two subscription options:

A jewelry only subscription at $25.00 a month (plus shipping) for 1 jewelry item per month.  (This option will ship in the US & Canada).

Or

The Duet subscription at $35.00 a month (plus shipping) of 2 handmade items (1 item will be jewelry).  (This option only ships in the US).

Because the items ship directly from the artisans, if you choose an original subscription you will receive the packages individually throughout the month.

DISCOUNT CODE:  FAIRIVYFRIEND for $5 off the first month of any subscription.