merry christmas!

i am enjoying my holiday with family and friends, the people who mean the most to me.  i will  be back with more new blog posts after new year's day... perhaps i will share my new year's resolutions :)  

i wish you all a very merry christmas and a happy new year.



handmade holiday . . . gifts over $100

here are my picks for the last installment of my handmade holiday gift guide... for those without a tight budget, some fabulous finds in the over $100 category.  for those of us who don't have that much cash to spend... we can still dream, right?  


clockwise from top left:

1.  this gorgeous handwoven scarf is made from hand dyed cashmere and silk.  pure luxury!  $170, from adventures of jr  

2.  i just love this swatch cuff... a unique and one of a kind piece, made from flexible pvc that has been totally carved by hand.  $165, from wear no evil

3.  this fabulous leather bag would be the perfect gift for someone who loves designer purses but wants to support the handmade movement!  $265, from valhalla brooklyn

4.  for someone very special... this amazing original work of art by rania hassan features two painted canvases connected by knitted fibers.  you really have to check out this piece and read more about it.  $340, from shoofly

5.  for the fashionable girl who still likes to be comfortable, a couture fleece jacket with hand-sewn roses around the neckline.  casual but elegant at the same time.  currently sold out, but you can check out other similarly fabulous items from rose la biche

1.  my favorite!  a one of a kind, hand painted porcelain plate... i wouldn't cover up the lovely design with food, but i would love to hang this on a wall in my dining room or studio!  $140, by krisatomic

2.  this fun, retro chair in cherry red upholstery is sure to put a smile on your face.  perfect for someone who likes a vintage look in their home (like me!).  $225, from spruce home

3.  for the photographer on your list, check out grant hamilton's amazing large scale polaroids.  tons of great abstract prints available.  $150, from sxseventy

4.  this lamp is so cool!  it is hand poured in ceramic, then cut through with a pattern of little circles.  very jonathan adler.  $640, from jill rosenwald

5.  art is always a special gift... this original collage is from one of my favorite etsy artists.  $130, from brandi strickland

this completes my handmade holiday gift series.  i had so much fun putting the gift guides together, and i hope they have helped you find something for everyone on your list... or maybe for yourself :)  happy holidays!



handmade holiday . . . gifts under $75

okay, so some of these picks are exactly $75... but most are under, and they are all absolutely gorgeous!

clockwise from top left:

1.  this wrap is frilly and romantic, but a little dark at the same time.  my favorite musician and style icon, imogen heap, owns one just like this!  $69, from bonzie

2.  these capri pants look soooo comfy, but they are still stylish enough to wear out... and they are made to order in italy! with their stretchy, soft material, they would also make a great gift for an expecting mother!  $75, from larime loom

3.  with its neutral color and subtle pattern, this gorgeous swirl bowl would make a great gift for almost anyone.  $70, from kim westad

4.  guys, this stunning necklace made from gold pearls and red garnet would make a very special gift for your special someone.  $62, from elleabelle

5.  for the purse addict on your list... this sumptuous italian leather wristlet with pretty poppy embellishment.  $62, from tm studio designs

1.  these gorgeous flower earrings make a unique gift because of the interesting interplay of materials... they are made from leather and pearls.  $55, from eninaj

2.  this quirky, unexpected skirt would suit someone whimsical and fun-loving.  perfect attire for frolicking through fields of wildflowers :)  $70, from wear it

3.  this 3 color silkscreen print is beautiful, nostalgic, and evocative.  in the $75 range you can afford prints that are more complex and a little larger in size... this one measures 12" x 18".  and once again you have enough cash left to buy a frame!  $50, from sgstucky

4.  this adorable little fox stuffie comes in his own little box, perfect for gift giving sure to put a smile on the face of the recipient.  $55, from abigail brown

5.  my favorite... this original drawing from one of my favorite new etsy artists.  aren't the colors gorgeous?  $75, from what kt does

next time: the sky's the limit... luxury handmade gifts for $100 or more!



handmade holiday . . . gifts under $50

as promised, here are my picks for handmade gifts under $50.

clockwise from top left:

1.  this gorgeous resin-covered print by one of my favorite artists and bloggers would make the perfect gift for any art collector.  $45, from jess gonacha

2.  for the fashonista on your list, a sweet purple tank with two layers of vintage lace trim.  $39, from zorya

3.  i can't get enought of these darling 'purple rain' earrings... perfect for any nature lover... or prince fan!  $42, from celula

4.  for the host or hostess... a lovely set of two tapas platters with an embossed lace motif.  available in a wide variety of colors to suit every style.  $39, from atelier bb

5.  a unqiue and elegant necklace with glass beads and a single silk rose, perfect for a mom or sister.  $49, from liebling designs

1.  my fave... pick up one of these gorgeous surreal photographs from erin tyner's half awake series and have plenty of cash left in your budget to buy a frame!  $28, from erin tyner photography

2.  this pendant is simple but stunning, and the rich plum color is so hot right now.  $38, from verre encore

3.  i am obsessed with silhouettes, and this wall hanging is a fresh, whimsical take on a classic art form.  perfect for the vintage collector or girly girl.  $50, from untamed menagerie

4.  for the man in your life, a great basic t-shirt in organic cotton.  available in a variety of colors to suit any guy.  $36, from brookthere

5.  for that hard to buy for friend or relative... try one of these pretty silkscreened linen throw pillows.  $34, from maramiki

up next: you guessed it... great gifts for $75 and under!



handmade holiday . . . gifts under $25

last holiday season i took the handmade pledge, and this year i plan to continue to buy handmade as often as possible.  as someone with my own small business, i feel that it is really important to support other independent artists and crafters out there.  plus, handmade gifts often have a unique personal touch that is lacking in store bought items.  buying handmade rocks!  

so, without further ado... for those of you looking for the perfect gift on a tight budget... here are my favorite holiday gift picks for under $25.

clockwise from top left:

1.  if you can't afford the real thing, try looking for prints of original artwork.  this fun and unique 8x10 print of a mixed media painting is only  $20, from nancytobin

2.  this girly wrist cuff in shades of mocha and rose has a vintage-inspired look.  so lovely!  $24, from deciduous soul

3.  another gorgeous print... this one features abstract blooms silkscreened in a muted, neutral palette.  $16, from leah duncan

4.  this little faux bois pot would make a perfect planter or pencil cup.  a steal at $15, from ollyw82

5.  for the sweet tooth on your list, a batch of handmade espresso caramels sprinkled with fleur de sel for that sweet-salty combination.  several other yummy flavors are also available.  $7.50, from la bella caramella

1.  gorgeous mossy green teardrop earrings made from porcelain.  a classic, elegant pair of earrings that will look great with everything.  $18, from sofia masri

2.  your giftee will never use another ziplock bag again!  instead, they will pack their lunch in style with this set of 4 reusable fabric snack bags.  $20, from plum creek mercantile

3.  these mini sugar scrubs are adorable, the scents sound divine (my pick is cinnamon snowflakes) - and at this price, you can sample them all!  $4, from savor

4.  my favorite pick of the bunch, a set of blue flocked damask notecards made from recycled vintage wallpaper.  pretty and earth friendly!  $10, from paper hill

5.  set of 3 randomly chosen buttons, each featuring a different abstract design - made from recycled security envelopes.  these would make a great stocking stuffer!  $6, from sweetie pie

hope you liked my under $25 picks... stay tuned for the next round, handmade gifts under $50!



i'm back!

after way too long of a break from blogging, a fantastic getaway in playa del carmen, a crazy move, and a battle with a nasty cold... i'm finally  back!

moving into the new apartment actually went better than expected.  it is on the second floor above retail space, and the stairway is reeeeally narrow.  fortunately we had a lot of helpers and not a lot of bulky furniture so we pulled it off!  thanks so much to everyone who helped.  we've been slowly chipping away at the mountains of boxes and bins and making the apartment into a functional living space.  everything is starting to come together now... more updates and pictures to come :)

after all that stress, the trip to mexico really was just what my hubby and i needed.  the weather was perfect the entire time (think 85 and sunny with just the slightest breeze), the water was calm and not too cold, the food was delicious, and everyone was as nice as can be.  i would go back in a heartbeat... lucky i had christmas and family and friends to come back to, otherwise i might have stayed there forever!

i've been feeling pretty under the weather since getting back from mexico, but i'm recovering now, so you'll be hearing a lot more from me :)  this week i'll be sharing some of my handmade holiday gift picks for every budget, and maybe some more vacation photos... stay tuned!



modish marketplace

this month, i am offering a fabulous discount for shoppers through  modish marketplace... use the code for my shop found in the paper goods section of the website, and you will receive 10% off your order plus one free hand printed card!  

be sure to check out the rest of the marketplace too... there are tons of amazing discounts and freebies from a whole slew of talented artists and craftspeople.  what a perfect place to start your holiday shopping!



giving thanks...

printable gift tags and placecards by little brown pen

happy thanksgiving everyone!  

these next couple weeks are going to be pretty crazy for me... my husband and i are moving into a new apartment on sunday, then we are going on vacation to playa del carmen, mexico on thursday!  with all the stress of the holiday season and moving, it really is the perfect time for a little break :)

so, i won't be blogging or updating the shop for a little while... until then, i leave you with a list of things i'm thankful for this year.

- my amazing husband, who supports me no matter what i do!
- spending time with my awesome family and friends... moving closer to home was one of the best decisions i've made in a long time.
- warm weather in mexico!
- the huge community of artists, crafters, bloggers, and small business owners like myself... all just a click away!  you provide me the inspiration and courage to keep doing what i do.
- hot tea and fresh baked cookies :)
- a new apartment to fill with all my treasures...
- a new president who fills me with hope for the future.

what are you thankful for this year?



free desktop wallpapers by ryan mcginness

so i might be a little (or a lot) behind the curve, but i just discovered the amazing artwork of ryan mcginness.  he makes these phenomenal sculptures, paintings, installations, and even garments... all with his bold, graphic, iconic style.  they are insanely good... if you haven't seen his work yet, you must check out his website immediately.

my personal favorite part of the website is the downloads section, which features seven fantastic desktop wallpapers that you can download for free.  so those of us who can't afford to spend thousands on an original piece can turn their desktop into a digital art gallery.  my imac is currently sporting number one, "four cats my way," and it has never looked so fabulous.



etsy finds . . . lace pottery bowls

how gorgeous are these lace pottery bowls by maggie weldon?  the best part is, they are available in a bunch of different sizes and patterns to fit every budget!  check out the selection in her etsy shop.



what i'm watching . . . my first crush by julia pott

i've been a fan of julia pott's artwork for a long time, but i just recently discovered her animated short films.  this one, called "my first crush" was her final film at kingston university, and it is simply adorable.  watch and enjoy.



holiday cards and gift tags are here!

'tis the season... and i've got some great new cards and gift tags to help you spread holiday cheer this year!

whether your taste is modern or classic, whimsical or elegant, i've got the perfect cards and tags for you in my shop!  head on over and check out my new designs... and as a special offer just for my blog readers, take 5% off your purchase of any holiday cards or gift tags by entering the code 315HOLIDAY at checkout.


in search of the perfect fingerless gloves

well, it's that time of year... temperatures are dropping and heating bills are going up! my hands are always cold, so i am searching for the perfect pair of fingerless gloves to keep me cozy while keeping my fingers free to type, draw, drink tea, and go about my day.

clockwise from left:

1. pretty and romantic merino wool lace trimmed grey gauntlets from whiletheyplay, $25
2. dusty mauve fingerless gloves... a bargain from gap, $19.50
3. unique screen printed green "oui warmers" with brown lace trim from floatingoldiceberg, $22

4. gorgeous made to order merino wool fingerless gloves in ivory with strap detail from whiletheyplay, $40
5. glam and rocker gloves with fun button detail from modcloth, $15.99
6. on-trend military inspired fingerless gloves in hunter green from urban outfitters, $20



stuff i want . . . illume candles from anthropologie

illume's candles for anthropologie come in the lovliest printed tins and jars, in scents that sound absolutely divine.

clockwise from top left:

1. elena tin in snow on cedar, $18
2. boulangerie cupcake jar in pumpkin ginger spice pound cake, $16
3. boulangerie cupcake jar in vanilla & fig, $16
4. boulangerie cupcake jar in sweet vanilla & cinnamon, $16
5. silhouette tin in cranberry kir, $16
6.  glacial jar in amber glow, $32



flickr favorites . . . anna maria horner

not only is anna maria horner an incredible textile designer (one of my favorite bags is a hobo made from her drawing room fabric by debos on etsy), author, and painter... she also takes absolutely stunning photographs of her everyday life.

a visit to her flickr page transports you to a whimsical world where everything is colorful and cheerful and bright.  i wish my everyday life was this beautiful!



etsy finds . . . what kt does

i just discovered this brand new etsy shop today called what kt does... "kt" is katy smail, an illustrator and photographer from the uk.

right now she only has a handful of originals for sale in her etsy shop, but her announcement says that prints are available for those on a tighter budget and links to her personal site, which has much more of her beautiful work.

i just love her tragic heroines... such evocative images, fantastic use of color, and a unique style.  wouldn't you love to have one of these girls hanging on your wall?  i know i would... i'll be keeping an eye on her shop for when she adds more!



what i'm listening to . . . jeff beck & imogen heap

just discovered this fantastic performance of "blanket" on youtube... check it out if you like good music :)



in search of the perfect tea cup

i drink a lot of tea, so i want my cup to be pretty and functional.  i found some on etsy that i think just might fit the bill.

clockwise from top left:

1. the most adorable set of three aqua and pink vintage melmac tea cups from vintagegoodies
2. witty and charming tea bag and tea spoon cup and saucer in simple black and white from baileydoesntbark
3. gorgeous set of four tall vintage cups and saucers with a pretty medallion design from bluebellbazaar

4. sturdy mug with blue pinstripes and a fun sewing machine design from circaceramics
5. generously sized handmade mug in the prettiest shade of aqua from karinlorenc
6. this amazing one of a kind hand painted cup and saucer from krisatomic sadly sold a couple months ago... but it is still one of my favorites!




i got in... yay!  here is my portfolio:

if anyone reading this is on trunkt and has any advice on how to get the most out of the site, leave me a note in the comments :)


etsy find . . . quercus silver

i am totally obsessing over quercus silver's resin and silver jewelry.  the bright, saturated colors and simple shapes are so, so beautiful and her product photos are insanely gorgeous.  here are a few of my favorite pieces from her etsy shop.

isn't this ring just amazing?  it has this glow from within, and all the little flecks of color inside the resin make it look like amber.  warm orange avatar ring, $55.

these little earrings are such a lovely shade of aqua... they will look like little rain drops dangling from your ears.  teal resin and silver earrings, $50.

something for the man in your life... round orange resin and silver cufflinks, $78.

and check out her gorgeous packaging... who wouldn't want to receive this little gem in the mail?



trend alert . . . knit bangles

i have been seeing knit bangles everywhere this season, from my favorite blogs to etsy shops to the cover of vogue knitting.  and the other day, i saw them at old navy... sets of 3 on sale for only $7!  i try to buy handmade as often as i can to stay away from the big box stores, but this is a deal i just can't resist.  they have a bunch of cute color combinations... get 'em while they're hot!

UPDATE: they are now only $5.50!


flickr favorites . . . warm & cozy

even as the weather turns cold, these photographs make me feel warm and cozy...

clockwise from top left:



new website launch!

after keeping it a secret for months, i am very pleased to announce that my new online shop is up and running!!!  please visit 
to shop for an assortment of modern paper goods with a vintage-inspired twist, all handmade by me!

the photos you see here are a preview of what you will find on my new website... hand printed notecards and journals, petite notecards, sketchbooks, and gift tags galore.  i have been working really hard over the past few months coming up with new designs and products and i am so excited to finally reveal them to the public!

as a thank you to all my blog readers, i am offering 15% off your first purchase between now and december 1st.  all you have to do is enter the code 315LAUNCH at checkout and the discount will be automatically applied to your order.

i hope you enjoy my new website... thank you so much for visiting and happy shopping! :)



flickr favorites . . . brittaj

i recently discovered this amazing artist, brittaj, on flickr... some of my favorite pieces of hers incorporate little bits of cut paper, like these:

britta also shares some pages from her sketchbook, which is divine.  i wish my sketches looked half as pretty as these:

check out the rest of brittaj's inspiring photostream here.



stuff i want . . . purple paper goods on etsy

row 1:
purple house blank book from mine creations
purple lily illustration from blue plate studio
scrapbooking scroll from niklindesigns1225

row 2:
foot kettles print from heidi burton
letterpress stickers from bemi designs
tired mini print from askey

row 3:
lace collage from dose of creativity
scribe print from wonting
letterpress thistle cards from red oak press

row 4:
lovely jewellery print from janice j
peacock print from pinup brenda
purple magnolias gocco printed moleskine from shoofly



my latest obsession . . . lladro niagara chandelier

can't you just imagine sitting down to dinner every evening under this ethereal flock of porcelain butterflies? heavenly.

now, does anyone have $15,000 i can borrow to buy one of my own? :)



inspiration . . . textiles by karen nicol

karen nicol does absolutely amazing things with embroidery and mixed media textiles.  here are some of my favorite images of her work... see more inspirational images on her website.