Tag Archives: Etsy

Yarn Bowls


When I crochet, I generally have a plastic grocery bag full of yarn balls on the floor between my feet and I pull the yarn up from the bag.

A couple of years ago at an art fair, I saw a ceramic bowl with a swirly cut on the side and I just knew it was for yarn. I was tempted to buy it, but it felt like a splurge. A few months later I saw one in a yarn store. I still haven’t broken down and bought one, though I’m getting closer to taking the plunge.

So what’s a yarn bowl and how do you use it?

There are lots of yarn bowl manufacturers, and you can shop for them at your local yarn shop. (Yes! Let’s support those small businesses!) For the purpose of this article, I browsed on Etsy. Here are some I fell in love with (and a couple I didn’t).

Lots of yarn bowls are ceramic (you can click on the bowl’s description for a purchasing link–I do NOT make any money from these and make no claims about  them):

Some beautiful wooden yarn bowls:

Animal themed yarn bowls:

Llama YB

Llama (or is it alpaca?)

And mythical beasts:

I usually love unicorns, but . . .

Unicorn YB

Unicorn? I’ll skip this one.

And one final disgusting one:

I love all but the last two. My favorites are all the wooden ones and the octopus.

Now it’s your turn: Which one do you like best? Have you knitted or crocheted with a yarn bowl? How do you like them? Share in the comments below.

The Art of the Pencil Case

The Art of the Pencil Case

The other day I looked at some old emails from Etsy and here’s what caught my eye:

PC Leather 2

Isn’t that a gorgeous leather pencil case? Who wouldn’t love receiving it as a gift?

So I did a search for pencil cases on Etsy and found many unique ones, unlike the cases I saw in local stores during back-to-school sales. Here are some that caught my eye, many of them handmade (click the highlighted words below each picture to see the product information):

PC Llamas

Animals, like these llamas and otters, are a popular theme.

PC Corgi


PC Sloth


PC Flamingo


PC Shark

And sea life, especially sharks. Sharks, style 1.

PC Shark 2

Sharks, style 2.

PC Fish

I think this is a carp.PC Unicorn

And, of course, if there are any unicorns, I will find them. Unicorn, whole.

PC Unicorn2

Unicorn, from eyelashes up.

PC Mermaid

Also from the mythical realm, mermaid.

And a final animal. Is that–

PC Taxidermy

Yes, it is–made from a dead (taxidermy) rat.

PC Taxidermy2

With an attached pencil sharpener, strategically located. You’re welcome.

Okay, let’s erase that image with a little bling:

PC Sequins


PC Science

For the science nerds.

PC Fruit


PC Tribal

Lovely tribal look.

PC Roll

Wow! I could put all my colored pencils in this roll-up instead of an old mayonnaise jar.

PC Marble


PC Hogwarts

Hogwarts houses. (If you don’t know what that means, read the Harry Potter series already, you muggle.)

PC Bones

Glow-in-the-dark human bones.

PC Liberty

Lovely classic Liberty of London fabric.

PC Rose


PC Monet

Monet waterlilies. This comes in different sizes.

PC Wood


PC Laser cut

Laser-cut lidded cases.

Okay, your turn. Share in the comments below: which are your favorites? I’m partial to the llamas, sloths, carp, Hogwarts, and science ones.

I ordered the Hogwarts one. Couldn’t resist.



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.