Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Beautiful Madness: The Subscription Box For Book Lovers

Subscription boxes (ala Loot Crate) are quite The Thing in geeky circles lately, and I've had a couple of the more popular ones contact me about pitching them here on Epbot. Nothing's really grabbed me as something you guys would love, though, until a preview box for Beautiful Madness Book Case showed up in my P.O. Box last month.

Let me start by saying I'm not getting anything (beyond the actual preview box) for this review, nor am I getting any kind of commission for future sales. I just honestly think this is super cool.

So what do you get?

First, a hand-picked book by Julia, the creator of Beautiful Madness. She's a former bookstore manager who adores the written word, and who guarantees a good read every month.

Along with the book you get some snacks, a make-able drink like tea or hot cocoa, and - the coolest part to me - "2 or 3 items that complement the theme of the box."

So here's what came in my "Prologue" preview box:

- Serafina and the Black Cloak, a fantasy adventure about a girl who lives on the Biltmore Estate
- 3 different flavors of hot chocolate
- A pack of sea salt caramels

- This gorgeous copper necklace titled "Serafina"

Handmade by Mary Jae Designs just for this box - see how it matches the book's cover art?

- This 8X10 art print by Aimee Stewart:

"Treasure Hunt"

Plus a pretty Serafina pin, sticker, bookmark, and a brochure and postcard from Biltmore Estate.

 Here's the content list included with the box, showing the cost breakdown:

I absolutely love the idea of theming a subscription box to a book, and matching it with snacks, art, and wearables? GENIUS. I'll be very curious to see Julia's picks for the boxes going forward.

Speaking of which, the first official Beautiful Madness boxes ship on the 25th of this month, and the theme is "That Boy Is Poe, Son." (As in, Edgar Allen?) (OOOooooOOOoh.) One month will cost you $46.50, which I'll admit gave me a bit of sticker shock, but that includes shipping & handling - and just the postage on my box was nearly $10. Plus there are discounts if you sign up for a 3 month subscription or more, which helps bring the monthly cost down.

Head over to Beautiful Madness Book Case to learn more, and if you decide to subscribe, be sure to use the coupon code Julia e-mailed me: "SIMPLYMAD" will get $4 off for her first 200 subscribers.

And finally, I'm curious: how many of you get monthly subscription boxes? Which ones, and how do you like them? I've never taken the leap, myself, but I'd love to know what the good ones are!


Aaaand now it's time to announce last month's art winners!

The winner of the Peppermint & Pop set of ACEOs is Amanda Helms
The winner of the Amalthea set is HilyBee
And my wild card winner is Lim!

Congrats, you three, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses!

Oh, and Renee of The Crown of Beauty, you won that Prince necklace last week, so please e-mail me, too!  (Facebook is really eating my posts lately, so if you guys are missing my updates, be sure to turn on the "see first" over there, or you can skip FB altogether and subscribe to Epbot via e-mail.)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April Art Roundup: Twu Wuv, Bookish Mario, and Squee-Worthy Sad Robots

Time again for my favorite geeky art finds of the month!

Starting with the Princess Bride piece, "True Love" by Janna Bock:
Although I'll admit to being a little disappointed she didn't call it, "Twu Wuv." :D

 Bock only has a few pieces listed for sale, but I'm also digging her "French Hair:"
Both prints are $15 in Bock's Etsy shop.

I fell hard for the colors in Jenna Brown's new "Lollipop:"

And over at Brown's brand-spankin' new store, she also has this lovely:


Check out Brown's shop for more!

A super sweet Link & Zelda set by Fort Awesome Studios:

I like how s/he painted the originals on vintage book pages!

There are also some great Mario sets available:

Check out the Fort Awesome Studios Etsy shop for more!

Jessica Robinson of The Sticker Alley has done something quite clever with her art: she's turned her characters into magnetic bookmarks!