Tag Archives: Etsy



If you want to experience the Christmas spirit, just browse through the Christmas ornaments on Etsy. It will remind you of holidays past, and of your loved ones near and far. Some of these would make excellent gifts, for yourself or the others on your list.

Just so you know, I like to share pretty things I find online. Long ago I made the decision not to monetize my blog. I do not have “affiliates.” Nobody pays me to advertise their stuff on my blog. I just like to acknowledge people who create beauty. I also make no guarantees. That said, click on the highlighted descriptions to link to purchasing information.

Laser-cut wood

Die-cut wooden snowflakes.
Finnish Star
Woven paper stars.
Turned wood
Of course, you knew I’d find unicorns.
This crocheted-bead necklace came up in my search for ornaments. Much too precious to put on the tree, but I had to share it. (Santa, take note–this is on my list, and I’ve been very good.)
Jeweled butterfly.
Crocheted bulbs
Crocheted Christmas lights.
Beard ornaments
Okay, these are just silly, but if you need a gag gift for your bearded colleague…
City maps
A map showing any city special to you.
For your gymnast.
For your favorite Aussie, for someone who’s been to Australia, or who just likes kangaroos.
For your favorite ballerina when she lands the quintessential Christmas role. Or for anyone who loves the Nutcracker.
To commemorate your favorite cat or dog; many breeds available.
Your house
Your home, custom-made.

Tea Time

Tea Time

Today we’re exploring Etsy for tea towels.  What’s a tea towel? you ask. Tea towel is a fancy name for dish towel. A true tea towel is fancier than an average dish towel. I’ll bet you didn’t even know they’re an art form, but they are.

I hate terrycloth dish towels. I’ve never found one that adequately dries, no matter how hard I rub. I prefer woven 100% cotton towels. And any color except white. White towels permanently stain after 15 minutes of use.

Back in the 1980s, you could buy a calendar that was printed on a dish towel. It usually had a picture at the top, maybe food related, or animals, or a landscape, and a pretty border all around. You hung it in your kitchen on a dowel, and when the year was over, you used it to dry dishes. I haven’t seen a calendar towel in ages.

The most obvious theme for a tea towel is something good to eat. (Click on the towel’s tag for more information. Click on small images to enlarge and reveal the tag.)

Stock pot. Fruits. Watermelon.

Animals are favorite towel designs.

Flamingos, et al. Bats. Sheep. Sea dog. Birds.

The giraffe family can be customized for your own family:


Florals are always nice:

Wildflowers. Flower power. Cherry blossoms. Embroidered.

Vibrant colors are good for the heart.

Pinks. Seafoam.

Souvenir towels from special places.

I spent a year and a half at Duquesne University, so the bridges of Pittsburgh towel has special meaning for me. But maybe you have family in Washington State.

Isn’t this dragon striking?


I honestly love all of these towels, but I especially love the watermelons, the cherry blossoms, the pinks, and the dragon. My favorite tea towels that I already own are vibrant plaids.


Party Perfect

Party Perfect

I love Etsy. If it weren’t for Etsy, I’d never know what products I can’t live without. Do you know they have a whole category for printable photo booth props?

Apparently, when people have parties, photos and selfies must be taken for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and social media I don’t even know about, and guests must have props.

So, Etsy provides props for every party. It comes in the form of an instantly downloaded PDF file, costing from $2.99 to $9.95 depending on the assortment. You use your own computer to print them out on card stock, cut them out, and attach a thin dowel. Then you’re ready to party. How creative!



The props can also be used as decoration or party favors. I can also see teachers having a lot of fun with their students using these.

I can’t believe how many different themes are available, and how many companies make them.

Here are a few. Click on the captions for purchasing information.


Ninetieth Birthday


Sesame Street





Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras





Mad Hatter Tea Party

Mad Hatter Tea Party



Mickey and friends

Mickey and friends

Super Mario Brothers

Super Mario Brothers




Twenty-first Birthday
















What do you think? Which are your favorites?

We live in Arizona, so I can see getting the Mexican set for Cinco de Mayo. I also love the Mad Hatter, the Pirate, and Oktoberfest.

Creative Juice #44

Creative Juice #44

Ten articles full of beauty to inspire you to make beautiful things:


Let There Be Light

Let There Be Light

When I was in college, mood lighting consisted of a candle stuck in the mouth of a wine bottle. (Preferably a chianti bottle, the kind with straw tied around it, and covered in the the drips of many different colored melted candles. Check Pinterest if you can’t picture it, but you have to have a Pinterest account to be able to see this link.)

By the time I got married, one of the classiest gifts you could possibly give someone was a silver candelabra like this one:Silver

Whole aisles in supermarkets and department stores were devoted to tapered candle displays, featuring every imaginable length and color. Today, nary a taper is to be found, except in specialty stores. Today’s candles are pillars, votives, and tea lights.

I visited one of my favorite art sites, Etsy, to see what sort of candelabras are available, and most of them are described as vintage. (For purchasing information about the examples pictured, click on the links below the photographs. Click on small images to enlarge them.)

Left: Antique; Right: Art Nouveau

I love these two Mid-Century Modern ones. Left: Articulated; Right: 1960s

Left: Black filigree; Right: Black Dansk

Left: Wall branch; Right: Driftwood

Left: Wavy brass; Right: Brass trio

Left: Cherub twins; Right: Cherub double holder

Left: Chrome; Right: Glass


This one reminds me of Capodimonte ceramic flowers, so popular in the 70s and 80s.

Left: Weightlifter frog; Right: Tulips

Himalaya salt

My first impression was that these look like glazed donuts, but they’re actually made of Himalaya salt.

Left: Mercury glass; Right: Steel


Beautiful Mexican tree of life.


Scary Rococo candelabra. Seeing this flashed me back to a super-baroque double vase my mother had. I haven’t thought about it in decades.

Left: Ornate; Right: Twisty

Left: White with onyx; Left: Wooden


Light in the forest. Look at the lovely shadow pictures it throws.

What about you–do you have any pretty (or ugly, or unusual) candleholders at home? Which is your favorite? Share with us in the comments below.


Rising Tide Sculpture

Rising Tide Sculpture

Richard Vest, the son of a commercial fisherman, grew up in San Francisco. Though he’s not  interested in hauling fish from the sea in nets, he captures fish and wildlife in another way.

Even as a child, he loved to draw, and won prizes for his art. He attended San Francisco State University, where he earned degrees in Fine Art and Design/Technology and acquired his secondary teaching credential. He taught art and woodworking in the San Ramon, California, school district before devoting himself to his art full-time.


Richard Vest

Using his own photography of creatures as a reference, Vest first captures his subjects as a sketch. Then he selects his wood, and using various grinders and carving tools, crafts his remarkably detailed sculptures. Most are meant to hang on the wall, but he carves free-standing pieces as well.

All of Vest’s pieces are one-of-a-kind. He also produces artworks on commission, but due to differences in woodgrain and slight variations in execution, no two sculptures are ever exactly alike.




I first met Vest at the Tempe Festival of the Arts, where I was dazzled by an enormous bear, like this one, but larger. Vest is a popular participant at a number of shows every year.

For more information about the sculptures shown here, click the link below each photo. You can also visit his website and his Etsy shop.




Clown trigger fish


Buffalo mirror




Sea bass


Blue Heron




Lighthouse mirror

Left octopus; right octopus



Of course, I had to include the unicorn. But, obviously, Vest was not working from a photograph, because then he’d know real unicorns look more like goats than horses. (Sorry, Richard–I’m a medieval purist. I like my unicorns like the ones in the tapestries in The Cloisters.)

Note: all the photographs in this article are the property of Richard Vest. Used with permission. All photographs are copyrighted, and no part of any photo/carving may be reproduced by any means including photographically, mechanically, or digitally and is subject to all U.S. copyright laws.

Fairy Doors?

Fairy Doors?

While looking through some old emails from Etsy.com, I saw a link for fairy doors. I didn’t even know they were a thing, but apparently they are. Researching them online, I discovered there’s even a website devoted to them. They were first found in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but then started popping up all over. Apparently, while you are doing home renovations, you might discover one (or more) in your home. And if you don’t have any, you can buy them. And you can install them inside your home, or out in your garden (or even on a pumpkin). Under each door is a link to the purchasing info.











Some of the doors open, some don’t; some can only be opened by fairies. Some are wood, some are resin. They range in price from $9.45 on up. (And if you just want the illusion of a fairy door, you can buy a decal instead.)


Garden kit.















Tree of life.




Angel wings.


Front porch.





If you fairy door is mounted above a wide moulding, your fairy might need a ladder.


And, of course, fairy door enthusiasts need matching jewelry.

Pendant. (Yes, the pendant doors open.) Bracelet.

So, were you aware of the fairy door phenomenon? Do you have one at your house? Share in the comments below.

Creative Juice #25

Creative Juice #25

Fourteen more articles to start your Friday creative streak:

  • Melanie McNeil shares the quilts she made in 2016.
  • I think you may be obsessive compulsive if you do this, but I love the results. I may have to try this idea…
  • Nostalgia time. My husband had one of these in his classroom to help his students improve their listening skills.
  • Are you jealous when you see all the creative things other people are doing?
  • Combining loves of ballet and reading.
  • The illustrations of Hanna McCaffery.
  • I think a dragon is the perfect subject for a quilt.
  • A grandfather posts a drawing a day for his grandchildren on his Instagram account.
  • Um, some of these one-of-a-kind Etsy finds are examples of creativity gone awry.
  • Scrap paper sculpture.
  • Joel Kioko, a young ballet dancer from Kenya.
  • The embroidery of Humayrah Bint Altaf
  • Norm 2.0 is known for his Thursday Doors photography posts, but here he combines doors and street art.
  • How do you do free-motion quilting at a retreat? Like this.

Worth Their Salt

Worth Their Salt

While I was working on Shaker DesignI began thinking about other kinds of shakers, and vintage salt and pepper shakers in particular. They’re such sought-after collectibles, and many are quite inexpensive. Time for another Etsy binge.

Since salt and pepper shakers generally come in pairs, one common theme is couples (click on the descriptive links below the images for purchasing information):



Bride and groom. Amish. Santa and Mrs.

Here are some elegant shakers:




Delft windmills.

And some from the animal kingdom:

Orangutans. Birds. Chickens. Scotties. Deer. Geese.

And some final couples, some of them rather creepy. (You can click on the smaller images to enlarge them.)

Captain and fisherman. Friars. Humpty.

Mermaids. Cutie pies. Native American and drum. Elves.

Looking at Mr. and Mrs. Santa and the chickens took me back to my childhood during the 50s and 60s. The old fisherman reminded me of the 70s, and the geese reminded me of an 80s decorating trend.

My favorites, though, are the kissing couple and the Scotties.

What about you? Which are your favorites? Do you collect shakers? Share in the comments below.

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead

When we first moved to the Southwest, I got freaked out by the colorful skulls that appeared everywhere starting in September. I thought it must be some sort of Mexican version of Halloween. I now know it’s much deeper than that.

Day of the Dead has its roots in the Aztec culture. After the Spanish conquest, the remembrance of loved ones who had passed on became associated with the Roman Catholic celebration of All Souls Day, November 2.

The colorful skulls, or calaveras, (the ones pictured above are from the PeyotePeople shop on Etsy) are not meant to be spooky, but joyful, as the celebrations are full of family stories and jokes and poignant memories of the courage and unique personalities of their ancestors. In Mexico, families visit cemeteries to pay their respects, eat, drink, and dance to the music of mariachi bands.


Photo by Steve Bridger

In the United States, the Hispanic community is more likely to conduct remembrances in their homes, near an altar bearing photographs of the deceased. Offerings of food are placed on the altar, to nourish the spirits, whom they believe return to their loved ones for a single day to be close by and protect them from evil. The altars are decorated with marigolds, with cut-paper banners (papel picado), with brightly colored skeletal figures, and with sugar skulls, a confection made in the calavera shape. People and especially children may also have their faces painted with colorful designs. (Click on the images below to enlarge and to see credits.)

Would you like to see more calaveras? Click here.