Tag Archives: Etsy

H is for Hanna Hutchinson


Those of you who know my unicorn obsession can just imagine my reaction when author Joanna Meyer posted this picture on Facebook:Unicorn mug

That’s right. Despite how beautiful her books look on the shelf, I immediately fixated on the mug. Joanna kindly steered me to her friend, writer Hanna Hutchinson (aka Hanna C. Howard), who is also an awesome artist, and sells her hand-painted mugs on her Etsy shop, Ophelia’s Gypsy Caravan.

She’s incredibly cute, too. Here she is showing us how she works:

There are no more of the unicorn mug above in her shop, but she does take custom orders, so I guess I could request one. . .

She also has other unicorn designs, as well as some equally lovely other products.

unicorn 1

unicorn 2


Most of the mugs also have a literary quote, though it might not be visible in the photograph.

trees 1




butterfly 1

Dr Who


And there are also a couple of t-shirts. I especially like this one:


To see more items, or to find pricing info, visit Ophelia’s Gypsy Caravan.


Creative Juice #44

Creative Juice #44

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


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.


Guest Post: Lucky Thirteen

Guest Post: Lucky Thirteen

In case you don’t have enough little monsters coming to your house today, here is a guest post from Donna at MyOBT.


fonz Matthew Roby

View original post 189 more words

Lighting Ensconced

Lighting Ensconced

When I was a new bride in 1974, I knew what a sconce was. At the height of the Early American decorating trend, a sconce was a wooden candleholder that hung on the wall, usually in matched pairs on either side of a large landscape print over the sofa. I found these while working on the Garage of Doom yesterday (pardon the dust). You’ll have to imagine them with candles (I don’t have any that fit):


Elle Decor’s September 2016 issue featured an article about the world’s most beautiful sconces. Not one of them looked like those above. So I referred to Etsy, my go-to site for everything artsy. The photos on this page are all from my Etsy search. Most of the sconces pictured are either hand-made or vintage.

Apparently, sconces are not just for candles anymore. They are also any lighting fixture that hangs on the wall. (In fact, when I looked for sconces online on Etsy.com, I also found wall-mounted vases and shelf brackets listed in the sconce category. I find that way too disorienting, so I chose not to show any for the purpose of this article.)

To be sure, there still are candle sconces to be found. (You can click on the smaller pictures below to enlarge them. To find purchasing information, click on the descriptions under the pictures. A couple have been sold since I first collected the pictures, but the links will take you to even more sconces.)

Vintage French White Sconces. Modern Candle Sconces. Turquoise Glass Sconce.

And even in the mid-20th century there were electrical sconces. (Maybe they weren’t called sconces then. I don’t remember.)

Plexiglas Sconces. Filigree Double Sconce. Glass Double SconceDanish Modern Sconces.

Nowadays, sconce makers use Mason jars as light fixtures to make sconces look “rustic.”

Single Jar. Pair pictured with mirror. Hanging Jars.

Or they employ Edison bulbs for the “industrial” look.

Adjustable Hanging Sconce. Wire Cage Sconce. Upward Bulb Sconce.

And these Steampunk-inspired sconces take industrial  to the next level.

Double Steampunk Sconce. Multi-bulb Sconce.

And look at these exquisite modern sconces.

Flower Sconce. Modern White Sconce. Black Sconce. Deathly Hallows Sconce.

My favorites are the Multi-bulb Steampunk, the Flowers, and the Deathly Hallows (okay, I admit it–I’m a Harry Potter fan). What about you? Which ones do you like? Do you own any sconces? Do you remember the “Early American” furniture and accessories? Share in the comments below.

Creative Juice #9

Creative Juice #9

Selected to refresh your soul: