Category Archives: Cute

Shadow Play – Found On A Friday

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Le Grand Carnival, Shadow Box Diorama Frame by LaBoom, Etsy.

Paper is such a wonderful thing, it can become so many different things in as many different hands. When we are children, we are given paper and crayons or finger-paint, and let loose to make a mess. When we learn to look at books, we can see magical images on the same flat plane of paper. When we begin to read and write, we form letters and numbers with pencils and pens and begin to express ourselves in a non-verbal way that other people can understand. But by far, my favorite use of paper is to alter it from it’s usual one-dimensional form, and to create something entirely different.

3D Pedestal Display – A Day In The Island – by LaBoom, Etsy.

By layering, gluing, scrunching, folding, cutting, painting, and any other number of manipulations, we can turn paper into magic. We see the world in dimensions, though we may not be as aware of it as we are when we sit in a movie theater looking at that flat screen with those goofy 3D glasses on. There is perspective all around us, some things are closer, some things are farther away. When light moves over the land, be it natural or artificial, different things are highlighted. We see shadows, we see new items illuminated that we didn’t notice before, and everything can change in the span of a few hours. Think about your favorite place to be, it looks different based on how much light there is, and where you are in that space.

Handmade 3D Display – Ludella On Stage – by LaBoom, Etsy.

Shadow boxes and dioramas are becoming a lost art, and that is a true shame. Children create their art on a tablet or computer screen, and it never achieves the same quality of a hand made work. If you never play with sizes and shapes of cut out paper arranged closer or farther from your eyes, and with different light sources, you will never fully understand the magic of perspective. No matter what technology comes along, there is nothing that can beat a plain old arts and crafts kit full of scraps of paper, trims and findings, glue, paint, and colour.

3D Shadow Box Frame – The Journey of a Teapot –, With a Light by LaBoom, Etsy.

Today I stumbled upon the most magical of things, a wonderful Shadow Box Diorama created by the very talented hands of Tatiana Kontouli. Tatiana’s Etsy Shop, called LaBoom, contains a bounty of wonderful examples of 3D sculpture, shadow boxes, dioramas, lighted boxes and other magical hand crafted paper creations. Tatiana’s creations vary in price quite a bit, from $12.00 US for smaller shadow boxes, to $55.00 US for her most intricate creations. This makes them affordable for almost anyone to add to a collection of curiosities, or as a perfect gift for that person that is impossible to buy for.

Handmade 3D Frame Display – Miss Nagg’s Kindness Spirit – by LaBoom, Etsy.

Comprised of vintage ephemera, paper cutouts, fabric trims, wire, glitter, cardboard, and illusion, Tatiana’s work is fascinating to look at, and really makes you want to take a closer look inside the box.  From grand multi-figure displays, to simple seeming light boxes, each piece is so very special. You can see the careful combination of elements, the thoughtful placement of text and hidden creatures, and the small touches of magic that make these more than just crafty little items, it makes them something very special indeed.

Handmade Shadow Box Frame – Peachy Wonderland – by LaBoom, Etsy.

A close look at the individual listings I have selected to show you, or any of the dozens of others in the LaBoom shop, will show you different angles and close-up views that will enchant you utterly. Tatiana Kontouli’s “whimsical wonderland” ships all the way from beautiful Antiparos, Cyclades in Greece, one of the most magical and mythical places on the planet. It all just makes the story come together for me, Greece is the seat of a great deal of the historical evolution of sculpture and art.

Light Box Diorama Display – Watch Out Girls – , Light Off by LaBoom, Etsy.
Light Box Diorama Display – Watch Out Girls – , Illuminated by LaBoom, Etsy.

I urge you to take a closer look at LaBoom, and hope you see something so special you simply must bring it’s whimsy and magic into your home. If nothing else, it will have you heading into your old scrap box of bits and bobs, grabbing an old cigar box or cardboard frame, and planning to spend a little time with a glue-stick and some newsprint in the near future. Dioramas should not be on the endangered list of folk arts, too many things have already gone that direction.

3D Shadow Box Frame – Party Dog –  by LaBoom, Etsy.

So hit up the local craft shop or dig into your old stash of findings and create your own shadow box, and include the children in your life in the process, they will be enchanted by the magic that can be found in paper. Don’t let them think of paper as relegated to school work and books alone, as much as I love books – they need to learn to see possibility in all materials, and not just take them for granted. In the time before television, computers, and video games,it is too easy to forget about real creativity.

Shadow Light Box 3D Frame Diorama – Hippolyte – by LaBoom, Etsy.

Where will our future sculptors, crafters, designers and architects be without knowing the magic that can be found in 3D? I am so glad I found Tatiana Kontouli‘s Etsy Shop, LaBoom on a Friday, and now you can be too. Have a great weekend everyone, do something creative with paper and rediscover the magic.

3D Shadow Box Frame – Fox In The Woods – by LaBoom, Etsy.

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Tuck Away Those Treasured Teeth – Teeny Tiny Tuesdays

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Custom Wee Fleecey Tooth Fairy Pillow with Name Embroidery by Hannalah Designs on Etsy.

The summer my nephew was 5, he started to get the ‘wiggles’. No, not those annoyingly happy men that sing a song about pretty much everything, but rather the toothy kind. His middle bottom teeth started to get lose, and with them, all the excitement of the impending visit of the fabled ‘Tooth Fairy’, and all her magical money and gifts. I am not sure when the trend to leave big cash and even gifts in exchange for a child’s milk teeth began, all I remember is that I was thrilled to get a whole twenty-five cents!

The Tooth Monster [Not Too Scary Tooth Collector, SO GREAT!] by Judi B Designs on Etsy.
Tooth Fairy Pillow, Cottage – Children’s Toy, Open the Door, Keepsake, Mint Floral by Apple White Handmade on Etsy.

In any case, as those little teeth got more and more wobbly, his anticipation of the blessed event of their loss became all consuming. Enter after school ‘Timbits’ Soccer League, a spanking cool yellow and black jersey with the lucky number 13 on the back, and a gaggle of hyper five year-olds that would trail after the small soccer balls like a herd. There was no strategy, no keeping score, the boys would orbit the general movement of the ball – some closely, others in wide looping circles. Basically, it was hysterical.

Girl’s Tooth Fairy Pillow, Felt Bird Door Pillow by Baby What Knots on Etsy.
Tooth Fairy Pillow For Girls with Custom Hand Embroidery [So Lovely!] by Dolce Dreams on Etsy.

At one such ‘game’, and I use that term rather loosely – pun intended, my nephew was off circling the herd like a wee buzzard, when all the sudden he collided with one of his best friends [I am still not certain if they were on the same, or opposing teams]. He seemed to recover well, as kids do, and just kept going, until suddenly he stopped, stuck his filthy [I am certain] finger into his mouth, and suddenly burst out in tears.  He ran over to us on the sidelines, sobbing so terribly, we at first had no clue what had happened. Soon things became very clear.

READY TO SHIP — Sale — Sweet Elephant Tooth Fairy Pillow (Blue – Turquoise – Teal) by Sweet Treat by Claraiuribe on Etsy.
Personalized Tooth Fairy Pillow, Lost Tooth by a. e. wilder on Etsy.

I was there with my brother-in-law, filling in for my sister, my little guys ‘Mama’, and ready to tend to snack duty. When my nephew came over, we had to calm him down to get him to speak clearly and explain the problem. It was quickly revealed, much to my nephew’s horror, that he had somehow swallowed his first loose tooth. It was gone, likely never to be seen again, at least I wasn’t going looking for it, if you know what I mean.

Plush Cat Tooth Fairy Pillow – Irma by NERDSICLES on Etsy.
Monogrammed Felt Tooth Fairy Pillow by Little Birdie & Me on Etsy.

My brother-in-law was frantic. He isn’t really great at calming his son, particularly in the face of new uncharted mini-disasters. He tried to tell him it would be okay, and not to worry, but my nephew wasn’t buying it. He was distraught, certain that the tooth fairy would never ‘pay up’ without the treasured tooth, and how would he explain that he had swallowed it? It was definitely a dilemma, but I know my nephew well, I am very close to him, and I know the way his mind works. He needed reassurance, and he needed an explanation that would seem rational.

TOOTH PILLOW Bird Parade – Name Personalization, Perfect Keepsake Pillow by Gifts Define on Etsy.
Tooth Fairy Pillow – Denim & Dots by shawnz on Etsy.

Enter ‘Super Auntie’, I just need the cape. I took his quivering little hand, noting that his coach was looking for his lost player, and I pulled him to stand right in front of me. I was calm, I was smiling, and the answer came to me like magic.  “Honey”, I said reassuringly,”there is nothing to get upset about. People swallow their teeth all the time. Don’t you know that swallowing a tooth is the fastest way to get it to the Tooth Fairy? When you swallow it, it is like a direct deposit!” He got a slightly confused look on his face, so I continued. My brother-in-law hanging on my every word, nodding his agreement. “When you swallow a tooth, it goes right to the Tooth Fairy, it’s magic after all! She just suddenly feels a tug in her pocket, and when she looks inside, your tooth is right there with her, and she knows who it came from, too!”

Personalized Medium Patchwork Owl Pillow Plush Stuffed Toy [with Pocket] – Great Gift, Lilac and Gray by Angie Baby Gifts on Etsy.
Pink Tooth Fairy Pillow for Girl, Pink Chenille with Shabby Chic Yellow Pocket by The Paisley Moon on Etsy.

He looked at me, too smart not to be skeptical, but he seemed to accept my ‘brilliant’ [though I say it myself] explanation. His only concern, “how will she know to bring me my presents.” Yes, he said presents, as in plural, I don’t know who he was talking to, but I opted to let that be his parent’s problem.

Tooth Fairy Red Monster Pocket Pillow by Mitzibell on Etsy.
Girls Tooth Fairy Pillow Tooth Fairy Gift in Woodland Forest Owl Print by The Tooth Fairy Pillow Shop on Etsy.

“She already has your tooth, so she doesn’t need to make a trip to come get it first, she will know to bring you a special treat, you just have to leave her a note to be sure”, I said with authority. And so it was, a scribbled 5 year-old’s note  left under his pillow, no drama, no fuss, and sure enough his parents came through, in spades. Seriously, he actually got cash AND a new game for his Nintendo Wii. What is that all about? I am beginning to think I was low balled when I was his age.

Puppy Tooth Fairy Pillow in Graphite Gray and Light Blue, For A Boy by meme & saysay on Etsy.
Green and White Paisley Tooth Fairy Pillow with Embroidered Saying by A Roo Cha Cha Designs on Etsy.

In the mean time, a suitable tooth fairy pillow was found and placed by his bedside for future reference. However, at this point, he was more than happy to just swallow the teeth, and repeated the ‘Soccer Game Bump’ swallow with the next tooth too.

Denim Jeans Pocket Tooth Fairy Pillow with Hand Stitched  Tooth and Handle [AWESOME CUTE!] by Country By Design on Etsy.
Kitty Tooth Fairy Pillow by The Sterling Cat on Etsy.

Kids are hysterical, people without kids have no idea. I don’t have any of my own, and still I find that they are endlessly entertaining, they all have their pet issues and silly quirks, and they have really unique little minds that have entirely unique ways of processing information. And information comes flying at them at an astounding rate in those early years, far faster than most adults realize and certainly faster than most could accommodate once they hit their early twenties and beyond.

Tooth Fairy Pillow – In Remix Fabric by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Blue Pink Yellow Daisies by Little Birds Boutique on Etsy.
Log Cabin Pillow, Tooth Fairy Pillow, Balsam Scented – Boy’s Bedroom Decor by Cecil & Clyde on Etsy.

The point of this favorite true tale of mine is that those precious little Teeny Tiny teeth are as rare as pearls, and if by chance you end up with a wee one that does not swallow them all before the Tooth Fairy can arrive, the very best thing you can do is get them a special little pillow or door ornament that has a small pocket where that tooth can be placed in anticipation of the magical visitor in the night.  Now adults will know that most active and healthy kids sleep like logs, they won’t even hear you, must less recognize you sticking your hand under their pillow to *ahem* be certain that the tooth is in position for the night. But for those of you who have light sleepers on your hands, a pillow that hangs from a door knob or hook on the wall is the ticket. The Tooth Fairy can’t possibly miss it, and it is easy for her [or him] to get to as well.

Girl Fairy with Dark Brown Hair – Hand Painted Tooth Fairy Pillow [Personalized Free, MANY VARIATIONS!] by Gracie Mae Designs on Etsy.
Tooth Fairy Pillow Girl’s and Boy’s, Handmade – Custom Made To Order by Coco Mia on Etsy.

Etsy to the rescue once again, with heaps of precious and unique, often personalized pillows especially for the collection and trade of Teeny Tiny teeth.  I remember my mother making one for me back in the 1970s, it was pink gingham, it had eyelet lace around the edges, and the tiny pocket had my initial hand-embroidered upon it. I actually still have it, come to think of it, it stayed inside my bedside table drawer for more than a decade, and when I moved out, I just couldn’t bear to part with it. It held the magic and the memories of being a little girl, of believing in fairies, and of a mother who wanted to make the whole process special, even if it was just a shiny quarter left in the pocket come morning. That was enough for a packet of POP ROCKS, or a Lik-M-Aid, just what ever kid needs to bath those new adult teeth coming in, sugar!

Tooth Fairy Pillow – Star Wars Yoda Pillow with Pocket by Tooth Fairy Works on Etsy.
Tooth Fairy Pillow, Sweet Cupcake and Heart with Pocket, Hand Stitched by Neskatoo on Etsy.

Make memories with your toddler or preschooler that will last them a lifetime, whether they keep the pillow itself, or just a picture of it stuffed with that first prized tooth. The days of believing in magic, be it the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, or Elijah on Passover – those days are gone before you know it, so be prepared by grabbing up the perfect Tooth Fairy pillow before you need it. And remember, swallowing a tooth is ‘Direct Deposit’ and a wonderful feat in itself. Just make sure they know this special circumstance applies only to baby teeth, and no other animal, mineral, vegetable, or plastic do-dad that they can fit in their mouths.

Boy Tooth Fairy Pillow – Red Dump Truck by Creative Mind Boutique on Etsy.
Tooth Fairy Pillows, Your Choice of Colour by Rikapanda Crafts on Etsy.

There are pillows for every bedroom decor, personal taste, and price point – from the $6 to $25 USD range for the most part, but some as dear as $50 USD or more for special touches like personalization. These images all contain links to the Etsy store in the caption, so click on whatever strikes your fancy, and explore these amazing Etsy Stores and many more with equally fabulous Teeny Tiny tooth treasures

Personalized Tooth Fairy Cupcake Pillow [MADE TO ORDER] by KIDDCHELEEN on Etsy.
One CUSTOM Rockin’ Tooth Fairy Pillow [Choose Fabric For Back] Girl Punk Tattoo Guitar by RockerByeBaby on Etsy.

Humane Anatomy 101 – Strange Stuff Saturdays

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Lungs Brooch by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

As a nurse, I always have an eye out for alternatives to standard methods of teaching about the anatomy and human body, especially when it comes to teaching kids. Visual aids, interactive digital applications, and medical illustrations have come so far in showing us the structures we seek to know more about, we need no longer go through the act of dissection to understand them. Unless you are planning to become a medical practitioner or coroner, an embalmer or funeral director, you need not see an actual cadaver either.  So when I spotted these fabulous and fun items from Your Organ Grinder on Etsy, I was smitten. I know dozens of doctors and nurses that would love to have a pin like one of these attached to their boring white lab coat, not only cute and funny, but also a visual aid they can use to describe things to their patients. WIN – WIN!

Rainbow Hand Screen Printed Brooch by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

  

Plant Cell Embroidery Hoop by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

I remember my Grade 11 Science Lab well, not so much for the students or the teacher, though I do remember him, he was a real hardcore nerd.  I remember the room itself. There were dying plants on the window sill, there were boxes full of slides showing the various stages of mitosis and cell structures, and then there were the jars and cases containing preserved specimens. Slices of a cancerous lung, and various strange creatures, from insects to sea creatures. Oh yes, and then there were the fetal pigs that we had to dissect in pairs. I was luckily absent due to illness, in hospital actually, at the time of that section, and didn’t have to participate beyond the final day, when all the class had their piggies out on trays, the smell of formaldehyde was overwhelming, and we had to label a paper diagram with all the organs and major structures.  I aced it, proving to me at once that you need not dissect a poor helpless fish, frog, or piglet to learn about anatomy.

Kidneys In A Jar by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

 

Pelvis Brass Necklace by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

 

I went on, as many of you know, to become a registered nurse. I not only studied human biology in my Community College Diploma course, but also at the University level as I got my Baccalaureate Degree.  I went further and studied Neonatal Anatomy, specifically, as well as work on my Master’s Degree and learn Anatomy and Physiology on par with any medical student.  I never had to harm so much as a flea, and never saw a cadaver. I studied in books, I had hands on experiences in the Operating Room and with post-operative patient care, including wound care.

Animal Cell Brooch Biology by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

Placenta Jar Anatomical Curio Specimen by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

After having my own series of surgeries, starting at the age of 16, I also understood from a patients perspective and through long discussion with my Health Care Team, what was going to be done, how the body heals, and what tissues would be involved in the trauma of surgery.  I am always thankful for the great care I received, but I strongly object to the use and abuse of animals to learn about anatomy. I am now a vegan, and find an even more compelling rationale for this belief  rooted in compassion.  This is where compassion, cute, and fun geekery all meet up.

Breast Brooch by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

Pancreas Brooch by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

  
Your Organ Grinder is the amazing creator of all of these fabulous and smart “soft curiosities”, and I was a fan from the day I first spotted the shop on Etsy.  Self described as;

“Handmade Specimens in Jars, Brooches and Displays. Anatomical Curios, Medical Marvels, Taxidermy in Felt. Felted Brains and other Organs and Parasites.”

the items are handmade in felt and hail from Australia. This shop offers pure fun, and makes for a great gift for the medically inclined people in your life, be they physicians or nurses, science teachers, med students, or even a friend recovering from surgery.

Appendix Brooch by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

Heart Specimen Jar by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

I find this use of felt to be absolutely genius, frankly.  It takes “guts” to wear a Colon as a brooch on your jacket, pun intended. The newer brass editions to the line are fabulous too, giving a brilliant framework for skeletal projections. While many items are ready made, some are made to order, and Your Organ Grinder is willing to work with you to fulfill custom organ orders too. There are also plenty of tongue in cheek zombie organs, perfect to add to your own collection of oddities and finds, without harming a single zombie in the process.

Zombie Brain Specimen Jar, Green Brain by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

Tooth Cross Section Brooch by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

 
Brooches and Jewelry, Hair Accessories, Pillows, and Jar Specimens are just a few of the fabulous items on offer. Make sure you take a look into Your Organ Grinder on Etsy, and see if you can’t find the perfect specimen to add to your wardrobe or curio cabinet today, and show everyone that you have a heart, a spleen, an ovary or a prostate, or even a brain for that matter.

Eyeball Hairclip Green Iris by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

Gall Bladder Brooch by Your Organ Grinder on Etsy.

Marvelous Mounts – Strange Stuff Saturdays

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Rhinka The Rhino – Amigurumi Rhino – Faux Taxidermy Crochet Wall Decor by Sanda, Pepika Amigurumi Patterns on Etsy. [Pattern Only]

When I was a child, my parents purchased an old but formerly grand small hotel in cottage country. After one season in that strange structure with a giant kitchen and tiny winding staircases, creaking floorboards and peeling white paint, my father had that sad hazardous fire trap of a building torn down and worked with an architect to build a modern winterized cottage in it’s place.

Faux Taxidermy Rabbit by Sabine Alpers, FAUX FAUNA on Etsy.
Custom Mounted Animal, Hand Sculpted OOAK by Ashleigh Burbidge, The Burbs on Etsy.
Yellow Pig – Mounted by Taylor Hart, Nothing But A Pigeon on Etsy.

One thing I remember distinctly from one of the drawing rooms in the place was the two mounted Stag Heads on the wall. They had been there for decades likely, with sad looking glossy glass eyes and majestic raised heads.  I am not now nor have ever been a fan of taxidermy. I don’t know anyone who actually owns a gun, much less hunts, and I care far more for the ecosystem and all it’s creatures to ever dare approve of hunting for sport alone. But there is something very rustic and traditional about having these sorts of items in a cabin or cottage setting.

Orange & Robins Egg Blue Dear Head Wall Mount by Hannah Reed, Banana Tree Studios on Etsy.
The Hooper – Blue Raspberry Resin Shark Head – Chic & Trendy by White Faux Taxidermy on Etsy.  
Captain Moose-Stachio – Faux Taxidermy Eye Patch and Mustached Deer/Moose Trophy by Bree Y., Anatomically Incorrect Creatures on Etsy. [Made To Order]

Our family, though no longer cottagers, still has one of those mounted stags, long ago named ‘Charlie”. It resides in my sister’s family Ski Lodge, with a place of honor. It reminds us to respect the animals, wild and otherwise around us, and makes us aware that the number of those majestic animals is in serious decline.

Custom Mounted Deer Head – Animal Friendly Taxidermy by Stephanie Garcia, Pockets with Posies on Etsy.
Custom Mounted Animal, Hand Sculpted OOAK by Ashleigh Burbidge, The Burbs on Etsy.
The Calhoun – White w/Silver Glitter Horns Resin Rhino Head – Chic & Trendy by White Faux Taxidermy on Etsy.

However you feel on the subject, you cannot deny that sometimes a little reminder of the traditions of the past, the whimsical side of our natural environment is often something we are missing.  We mostly live in the city and rarely see wild animals, unless you consider the odd squirrel or chipmunk, even a raccoon raiding your garbage bin ‘wild’.  Today’s strange stuff post takes a fun look at a much more magical ‘faux’ taxidermy that while strange to some, definitely has it’s share of charm.  Check out these wonderful offerings and consider if there is a place in your home for a little faux friend on the wall.

Wilbur Head Mount OOAK by Ghoulie Girls, Shop Ghoulie Girls on Etsy.
Needle Felted Cow Head, Style Faux Taxidermy by Sabine Alpers, FAUX FAUNA on Etsy.
Foxy (Orange & White) by Taylor Hart, Nothing But A Pigeon on Etsy.    

No Strings Attached – Strange Stuff Saturdays

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Hand Puppet – Jack (Rabbit) by Nicole Ponce, Ponster on Etsy.

I have a very long and somewhat bizarre history with hand puppets. I find them to be a very interesting form of art, but there is something almost creepy about them, and sometimes I find them a little bit off putting, I am not sure why.  It really depends on the individual puppets, and who is making them speak. Perhaps that is why they make the perfect subject of today’s Strange Stuff Saturdays post. 

EMMETT Hand Puppet by Megan, Furry Guys on Etsy.
Henry the Hand Puppet Made of 100% Recycled Wool by Margaret Nathon, The Creative Frog on Etsy.

Hand Puppet – Dog – Pink by iasio on Etsy.

In my earliest recollections, I know that I watched Mr. Rogers Neighborhood on television, perhaps it was the mid-seventies. I was just a little girl, and children’s television was a new genre.  I remember when Mr. Rogers would transition into the land of make-believe by following that little trolley car, there were the creepiest looking puppets in this “make believe” land. Even as a child I knew it wasn’t really a dream state, it was just that dude Mr. Rogers in another part of the studio, talking to a bunch of creepy puppets.  I was particularly weirded out by King Friday. I have no idea why, but I knew his voice was the same as Mr. Rogers.

Forget-Me-Not, A Bunny Handpuppet by clothmoth on Etsy.
Gorgeous Hand Felted Puppet ‘Donkey 1’ by Gladys Paulus on Etsy.
Troll Hand Puppet of 3 Billy Goats Gruff by Mary-Ellen O’Neil, at Meoneil on Etsy.

At the same time, Sesame Street was taking off in popularity. I found those puppets, a version of hand puppet, to be really adorable, and I was always trying to figure out how they were controlled. I understood that they were puppets, but I often got lost in the magic, since the voices seemed so original and the characters were all very well defined. They didn’t bother me at all, and to this day I love Muppets in all forms.

Fairy Godmother Puppet by Jessica MacLean, Geeky and Cheeky on Etsy.
Roofus Dog Hand Puppet or Ventriloquist Puppet Custom Order by Bob Wolanin, Bob’s Imagination on Etsy.

Handmade Large Green Octopus Hand Puppet by Mike Artelle, Artelle Puppets on Etsy.

My mother was always very crafty, and we did several projects that involved making puppets.  We used wooden spoons to make a very simple puppet with a face on the spoon end, wrapped up in a tea towel. I remember her buying “DAS“, which was one of the first commercial clay products for home use. It would air dry to a solid but light finish, and then you could paint it. My mother had us all make “Clown Heads” out of DAS, with small plastic eyes and mouths you could stick right into the clay before it dried. We then painted them, and she actually sewed up a bunch of tiny clown costumes for the puppets. It was a bit creepy, but still a fun activity. You can apparently still buy DAS. Who knew.

Klotild, The Witch – Handpuppet by Agnes Abraham, AgneShop on Etsy.
Hedgehog Glove Puppet by Ruta Staseviciute, rstaseviciute on Etsy.
Figgy The Upcycled Bird Puppet by Amy Hofacker, Funamals on Etsy.

For one of my siblings birthday parties, my mother decided that my twin sister and I should provide the entertainment, in the form of a puppet show. I don’t remember what the story was, perhaps it was “The Frog Prince”, but my father built a huge puppet theater for us to stand behind and work our magic, I can’t imagine it being a very successful show for an audience of children no older than 5 years. 

Subhadra Puppet by Leslie Howard, Govinda’s Peace Farm on Etsy.
Bird Eco-Puppet Made With Upcycled and Post Consumer Waste, Handmade Felt by Natasha Henderson, HendersonArt on Etsy.
Yellow Monster Hand Puppet or Ventriloquist Puppet (BigOOdle 49cm) by PuppetOOdle on Etsy.

So here we are, I have a mixed bag of childhood memories involving hand puppets. Some good, some weird, and some just strange.  So I decided to take a look about Etsy to see if anyone had some great hand puppets, made by hand, that I could share with you and thus redeem myself from ‘puppet ambiguity’ in decades past.  I was surprised at just how much I loved looking at these charming and odd puppets, they just look like a whole lot of fun. I could see them being used to make up some silly and fun stories with children and family members, or perhaps used in a classroom setting.  I could also see a drama department at a local high-school going crazy for some of these puppets, I can only imagine how insane that puppet show would be. Some of these sweeties would just be fun to use for play.

Hand Puppet Large Aqua Blue Monster with Moving Mouth by Sarah, OnHandByHand on Etsy.
Bitsy The Rug Monster Hand Puppet – Promises Not To Bite by Anne M. Thorson, THE PUPPET REGIME on Etsy.
Sarah the Foamie Puppet by Sharona Reouveni, Raisinlike on Etsy.

However you see yourself using hand puppets, if in fact you can see it, I just had to show you some of these amazing Etsy finds.  If for no other reason than to make you smile, you need to check out these amazing puppet makers. This is just the smallest collection of puppets, there are many more to be discovered at these and other Etsy shops, so take a wander over with the links provided under the images and take a little look-see at what other marvelously strange and wonderful puppets you can literally get your hands on, and in, as the case may be. Call me a puppet convert, I just can’t help but love this crazy band of characters.

Pukeko Hand Puppet by Sara L Johnston, NZ Creatively Crafted on Etsy.
Hand Puppet Awesome Cute and OOAK Green Creature From The Blackberry Bush with A Sweet Little Violet Cloak by Holle La Luna, Priestess Design on Etsy.
Deborah The Trophy Wife – A Sock Zombie Puppet with Pink Hair and Aqua Eyes by Erin Glaser, Underroos on Etsy.

NOTE: All images and products in the post are the intellectual property and copyright of the individual artists and Etsy stores indicated. No infringement is intended. Please follow the link under each image for more information on each puppet, including price, availability, and shipping rates.

Getting Under Your Skin – Wacky & Wonderful Wednesdays

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Pocky iPhone 4, iPhone 4s Skin by Killer Duck Decals on Etsy.

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with our phones. We love being able to get information or contact others when we need to, yet at the same time, we hate having to carry these expensive little gadgets around and always be accessible to others.  There was a time before cell phones, yes kids, it’s true.

Don’t Spread The Dead iPhone 4, iPhone 4s Skin by Killer Duck Decals on Etsy.
Deluxe Knit Pattern iPhone 4 AT&T Version Decal Skin by Killer Duck Decals on Etsy.

We once used these things called “pay phones” when we needed to get in touch on the go. We would actually sit in our cars and listen to the radio as we drove, or better yet, have a conversation with the people riding along with us.

iPhone Skin 4 Design 010-013 by Pigologist on Etsy.
iPhone Skin 4 Designs 001-005 by Pigologist on Etsy.
iPhone Case Designs 008-018 by Pigologist on Etsy.

Movie theaters didn’t have to remind us to turn our ring tones off, and no one’s wedding was interrupted by the ring of a phone.How did we survive without our phones? Quite nicely thank-you. On more then one occasion I have wished we could go back in time and never have invented the darn things, on others, I am glad to have them. So as I said, it’s a love hate thing.

Music Tapes – iPhone Decals Sticker Mac Decal/Macbook.Macbook Pro/Macbook Air/iPad/iPad2/iPhone 4 by IAngel Sticker on Etsy.
Beautiful Tree – iPhone4 Decal iPhone Skin Sticker iPhone4 Vinyl Decals Stickers Macbook Decals Apple Decal for iPhone4 by IAngel Sticker on Etsy.
Game Boy – iPhone3 Decals iPhone Sticker Mac Decal/Macbook/ Vinyl Apple Decal for Macbook Pro/Macbook Air/iPad/iPad2/iPhone4 by IAngel Sticker on Etsy.

Whether you love or hate your smartphone, e-reader, or tablet, they are in-fact an extension of your person.  If you are a generic person, you can throw your gadget into your purse or pocket and go. If you long to personalize and decorate your things and claim them as your own, there are a number of wonderful options for you, and many of them can be found on-line, go figure.

iPhone 4 Skin: biPolar by Marlene Freimanis at kellokult on Etsy.
iPad 2 Skin – Acoustic Guitar by Nidhi Chanani at kellokult on Etsy.
iPhone 4 Skin Etch on Wood at kellokult on Etsy.

Skins are the easiest way to add a lot of personality without a lot of bulk, and they have the added attraction of being semi-permanent and removable, leaving no damage to the case.  You can find simple colored skins, or kitschy retro designs, some are artsy and quirky, and more still can be completely personalized.  Today’s Wacky & Wonderful post is all about getting your skins and making your phone your own.


Amazon Kindle Fire Skin Cover – Doctor Who Tardis Police Box GLOSSY MATTE LEATHER Option by Skunk Wraps on Etsy.
Apple iPhone 4 4S Decal Skin Cover – Vintage Paisley by Skunk Wraps on Etsy.
Apple iPhone 3G/3GS Decal Skin – Poppies by Skunk Wraps on Etsy.

 Just because it is “the enemy” to some, and to others a treasured extension of their being, doesn’t mean it can’t be made more appealing. If you have to tote it about, you might as well like it.  You are less likely to confuse your phone with a friends if you have a unique skin on it, and it won’t get lost in a pile of gadgets on your desk if it is covered with one of these lovely skins.

One Phone Skin / iPod Touch – Hold On A Little More by Rupydetequila on Etsy.
One Phone Skin/iPod Touch – I Just Want You To Find Me by Rupydetequila on Etsy.
iPjone Case/ iPhone (3GS, 3G) – Doll Little Dog Carrousel and Cute Butterfly Panda Toy by Rupydetequila on Etsy.

Most of these skins are for the iPhone, but I have found skins for my Blackberry, Kindle, a variety of laptops, e-readers, tablets, and android phones. It is just a matter of running a search for your specific model and device and you will find a bounty of gorgeous skins to choose from.

Rolleiflex Vintage Camera Apple iPhone 4/4S Gel Skin Cover by Stickitskins on Etsy.
Bob Ross Happy Tree Inspired Apple iPhone 4/4S Gel Skin Cover by Stickitskins on Etsy.
Samsung Phone Skin Cover – R2D2 by Stickitskins on Etsy.

I personally like the artsy styles, it’s nice to make something so high-tech look pretty at the same time.  I can definitely see the appeal of the geekery skins, there are oodles of Star Wars, Nintendo, Zombie Apocalypse, and other skins that are just hysterical. Some of these skins are just so smart, using textures or images that transform them into something else entirely. Whatever your personal taste, know that you can find just what you are looking for, or even have custom skins made featuring your initials or images of your loved ones.

PERSONALIZED Cell Phone Skin with Matching Wallpaper Design by MizzMonogram on Etsy.
CUSTOM PHOTO Personalized Cell Phone Skin with Matching Wallpaper Design  by MizzMonogram on Etsy.
Personalized Cell Phone with Matching WALLPAPER Design by MizzMonogram on Etsy.

Some of these items are available for many models and a variety of gadgets, others are specialized for one type of gadget only, so please follow the links provided to check on the details and contact the seller(s) directly with any questions you might have.Have a Wacky & Wonderful day!

iOTA – Mr Bentley Learns To Read – Chihuahua Dog iPhone Skin (Original, 3GS, 3G, 4S, 4) by iOTA Illustration on Etsy,
iOTA – The Monkey Drummer – illustrated iPhone Skin (Original, 3GS, 3G, 4S, 4) by iOTA Illustration on Etsy,
The Flamenco Cat iPhone Case/ iPhone – (3GS, 3G, 4S, 4) – iOTA by iOTA Illustration on Etsy,

Note: All images and content presented in this post is the intellectual property and copyright or the individual creators referenced and their Etsy shop. No infringement is intended.

Owl iPhone 4 Skin for Back & Front by LilyPang on Etsy.
Wild Poppies and Birds iPhone 4 Skin for Back & Front by LilyPang on Etsy.
In The Flower Mountain Girl Deer Laptop Decal by LilyPang on Etsy.

In The Fairy Garden – Teeny Tiny Tuesdays

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Elfin Garden Set Custom Order by Pandora Jane on Etsy.

 My Mother’s garden is infested with fairies, it’s true. Not only do they live in her garden, they magically know exactly what the children who visit are up to. The fairies have been known to leave tiny “notes” under a series of rocks on a small wooden ledge in the back of the garden where they live. Each child has their own rock of course and if my nieces and nephew leave a note under those rocks, the fairies actually reply.  Reading of these notes is a secret and special activity, and the only one who reads the children’s notes are the magical wee folk that reside in this backyard garden.

Fairy Door – Round Elf Style by Casualee on Etsy.
Made To Order Custom Fairy Doors by Muddy Muse Pottery on Etsy.
Oak Path [Goes With A Fairy Door] by Casualee on Etsy.
Gnome Home by Shanas Woodland Whimsy on Etsy.

The children, ranging in age from 6 to 14 are absolutely certain of this fact. They all know that the fairies are there and that they seem to know details about their lives that only those who possess magical qualities would know, such as when a tooth is lost, or a report card is received.  In the summer sunshine, you can see the flashing lights  that flicker across the trees and fences indicating that the fairies are about.  When the children arrive for a visit with their grandmother, they often insist that they have to go “check on the fairies” before any conversations can be had, they have their priorities straight, obviously.  Even my eldest niece, now just into her teens, has not forgotten the magic that is ‘real’ and alive in our lives.  She once asked me, “are they really real fairies”? I answered her, “what does your heart tell you?”  We both agreed that even if other people don’t believe, there is no harm in us believing in fairies, magic only lives in the hearts of true believers, as does faith in anything.

Fairy Tale Toad House by Clay Soul on Etsy.
3 Mushroom Garden Stakes – Ceramic Fairy Purple Amanita Muscari Fly Toadstools by Enchanted Mushroom Land on Etsy.
Garden Fairy Door Curlycue with Acorn Porch Light by Enchanted Pumpkin Art on Etsy.
Little Nook City Fairy Door by Sunny Side Up Studio on Etsy.

 So how do you know if you have an enchanted fairy garden on your patio, in your planters, in your backyard or garden? Simple, you need to put out the welcome mat and let them know they are welcome to stay.  It is as easy as placing a note in the right place, or providing the Fae with a wee portal, a doorway through which they can magically enter our world for even a few moments. Creating a fairy space is just that easy, a few tiny items, whether made by your own hands or purchased from the amazing artisans who specialize in fairy accouterments, and the whimsical fun can begin.

Hobgoblin Portal by Faekeepers Fairy Doors on Etsy.
Miniature Gnome/Faerie/Fairy/Elf/Hobbit Rustic Garden Arbor Archway by Nothin’ But Wood on Etsy.
Wooden Fairy Door, Daisy Magic Gnome Door or Portal, Maroon, 10 inch Tall Wood Door by Lovinglee Crafted on Etsy.
Miniature Garden Fence Pair – Goes With A Fairy Door by Casualee on Etsy.

 Today’s Teeny Tiny post is dedicated to the magical thinking of childhood, and how you can bring just a little bit of whimsy and magic into your life with tiny Eco-friendly touches that turn out to be a great way to get children interested in nature, in protecting all the tiny creatures in their backyard, and someday, understanding that our world is worth the effort to save.  Create your own fairy environment in your neighborhood, and use it as a launching pad to have a discussion with your children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, about what is going on with the plants and animals around us.

Green Man Faerie Door by Faekeepers Fairy Doors on Etsy.
Miniature Garden Stove Pipe – Goes With A Fairy Door by Casualee on Etsy.
Miniature Garden Small Rock Bridge – Goes With A Fairy Door by Casualee on Etsy.
Mushroom Garden Stake by Hollyrocks on Etsy.

 There are many wonderful creators on Etsy, the home of the most lovely and accessible hand-made and vintage items for your home or garden, and some of them have a magical connection to fairies.  They have an exclusive license to build and share the portals, landscaping items, and decorations for a perfect [and perfectly easy] fairy garden.  Some of these items are meant for garden fairies, others are for the city dwelling wee folk, because let’s remember, fairies can live anywhere.

Miniature Garden Fairy Door, 7″ Tall Sunshine Door Garden Kit  [Window, Door, Bench] by Casualee on Etsy.
Tree Stump Pond Miniature Hand Made Dollhouse Garden Decor – For Fairy Gardens by Enchanted Mushroom Land on Etsy.
Pre-Order Very Cute Small Fairy Door – 3.25″x2.25″ – Die Stone Cast by Nirkin on Etsy.
Miniature Sign Wood Burned Dragonfly Rides Mixed Media Art Original by Walk Softly 13 on Etsy.

 Many communities are creating bylaws banning the use of pesticides and herbicides, added chemicals that not only get into our water system, but can harm the natural order of the Eco-system. What does this mean? It means you will have a wilder garden to contend with, perhaps a few more dandelions or wild flowers, and you will have a lot more wee pollinators buzzing about. Our environment doesn’t need the chemicals, and neither do the children who love to roll in the grass and pick tiny budding flowers. So embrace a little less order in your garden and use it to your advantage. Weeds and moss at the base of a tree make the perfect place to tuck a small fairy portal, it will be naturally camouflaged.  Fairies are more partial to wild spaces, or so I have heard.

Leaf Green Round Wooden Fairy Door with Blue Morpho Butterfly (4 1/2 Inches) by Entrance2Enchantment on Etsy.
Gnome Doors, Fairy Doors, Faerie/Elf – 9 Inch by Nothin’ But Wood on Etsy.
Fairy Door – Hobbit Purple by Enchanted Pumpkin Art on Etsy.
Fairies Live Here – Little Sign Marker Stake for Garden, Plant Pot, or Terrarium – Custom Made To Order by Sunshine Ceramics on Etsy.

 Why do the fairies in my Mother’s garden leave notes for the children? I think it is because they know my mother, a former teacher, appreciates that the children have to read the notes and respond to them by writing back.  It is a lovely little tradition she has started with them all, and it is a secret activity that makes the kids enjoy the visits to her backyard even more than you might expect. I have seen how thrilled they were to find these secret letters, and how upset they were when none was found for lack of their writing back in a timely fashion. My mother has to be quite stealth sometimes in being certain these letters are ‘in place’, sometimes the printer in her office begins magically producing multiple small notes on a single 8 1/2 x 11 page of paper, all in the most charming pastel coloured ink, just ready to whisk away and into place under the specific rocks on the ledge.

Toad Abode and Patio Stone Miniature Folk Art by Walk Softly 13 on Etsy.
Miniature Garden, Fairy Door 7″ Tall Kit [Includes Door, Window, Foot Bridge] by Casualee on Etsy.
Gnome Home Kit [Door, Window, Mailbox Stake, Welcome Mat] by The Gnome Shack on Etsy.
Fairy Garden Fence – Rusty Fence – Miniature White Picket Wooden Fence 2″ x 18″ Long by Teresa’s Plants & More Store on Etsy.

 This is a small sampling of some of my favorite fairy garden must-haves, and the links to the shops where you can buy these itty bitty magic-infused items.  Start planning for your spring garden now, and you will be all set once the nice weather arrives here in the Northern Hemisphere.  If you don’t have a garden, or live in an apartment or condo, as I do, think about a planter or a terrarium. There are many items on Etsy, not shown here, that are far more detailed and fragile, and not meant for outside use.  If your child has severe seasonal allergies, or is hyper-sensitive to sunlight, then consider creating a plant free fairy environment. Even the tooth fairy needs a small doorway into our world. Some of these doors can go in a child’s room or hallway, and there are many decals available as well that can give you the look of fairy inhabitants without the 3D profile. Make room for some Teeny Tiny guests and have a little fun with your green space.

Fairy Travelers Caravan Custom Order by Pandora Jane on Etsy.
Gnome/Fairy/Faerie Door, 12 Inch Rounded With Lion Knocker by Nothin’ But Wood on Etsy.
Miniature Garden Fence by Seeded Eucalyptus on Etsy.

Non Pro-Tip 

A Fairy Light Catcher

In my Mother’s backyard, the most magical feature of her “fairy garden” is created by the most unbelievably simple process. In my first pass on Etsy, I didn’t come across any of these Fairy Light Catchers, but I can tell you how to make them in a snap. And give you a link to a supplier than can provide the raw materials you will need.

Items Required: Small mirror pieces (Clear or Colored), any shape, approximately the size of a quarter or smaller and one or more reflective glass beads or clear/plastic bead from your stash. Fishing line or other clear string, if you prefer to use a natural thin rope that is weather proof, you can still achieve a similar effect.  A paper clip or ornament hanging hook. Hot glue gun or strong permanent weather-proof adhesive.

How To: Take two pieces of mirror (or a reflective glass bead) and place the two pieces so that the non-reflective sides are together. Create 5-8 pairs of mirrored pieces. Take a long piece of fishing line, approximately 2 meters (2 yards) in length. Place a bead (any sort) on the string and fold the entire string in half. Knot the string, or tie it, so the bead is secure.  Open one set of mirrors and add glue to both back (dull) sides of the mirror. place the string over one of the mirrors, just a few inches (8cm) from the bead, then place the paired mirror over the string so both reflective sides are facing out.  Continue this pattern, adding mirror pairs up the length of the fishing line string.  Finish the strand by placing the ornament hook or paper clip at the top end of the string, tie it firmly in place.

 You now have a strand of reflective garden fairies or Fairy Light Catchers. Hang from a planter hook, branch, or other object in the garden so that the strand can move gently in the breeze and catch sunlight. Light reflected from the mirrors will appear to “dance” over your garden, fence, and trees, and plants. It gives the appearance of small  moving “fairies” over the surfaces in your garden.  You can experiment with length of strands, beaded accents, and size and number of mirrors to achieve the effects you desire.  These Fairy Light Catchers hard to detect from a distance, as they blend in with the leaves and trees around them, and that is why they appear to be so magical.

If you are big on the Upcycling, and we all should be, try using broken shards of old DVDs or CDs, or any other reflective do-dads instead of mirrors. You can also create really long strands, several feet in length, that you can drape over a long tree branch or fence post or wall. It really depends on what you have to work with in your area. Enjoy!

Hot Couture for Kids – Motley Mode Mondays

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Madras, Chevron and Stripe Peasant Dress, with Japanese Import Echino Print Skirt, Sizes 12m – 8 by Kiki Fluhr, The Measure on Etsy. $45.00 USD.
 I love to see children dressed in clothes that are special and unique, stylish, yet still very much appropriate for their age. I don’t think that children need to look like small versions of adults at formal events, they still need to look like kids. I am a fan of colour on kids, I love when clothes have a clattering mix of prints and textiles. I appreciate small details that make children’s clothing beautiful, and I admire the skill and creative talent of designers who specialize in kids “Couture”. 
Girls Dress. Black and White Dress with White Polka Dots in Cotton Lycra Jersey Knit (Girls Sizes 6-10) by Teeny Bunny on Etsy. $78.00 USD.
Boy’s Suspender Outfit – Black Pin Stripe Outfit – Bow Tie, Cuffed Pants, and Suspenders by Rebecca Wilding, Apple & Ivy on Etsy. $46.00 USD.
Spring Tweed Cowl Neck Dress by My Sweet Emma on Etsy. $35.00 USD.

I know there is an official definition of Couture, set forth by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris no less.  It goes something like this;
  

Couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute Couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques.

Girls Dress – Round Shaped Pattern Stripe Print – Sizes 2-3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10 years by Sarit Lalae Nukile, Nukile on Etsy. $45.00 USD.
Perfect Pink And Brown Paris Party Dress by Kimberly Critel, Simplicity Couture on Etsy. $34.00 USD.
Personalized Navy Blue Tie T-Shirt – Pick Print, Name, Age, Initials, Phrase – 12m – 8 by Rosie, We Choose Joy on Etsy. $25.50 USD.
Girls Dress Children Clothing Pink Cream & Brown – 12-18, 18-24, 2T/3T, 4T/5T + by Donna Ware, Zoe Girl Designs on Etsy. $38.00 USD.

To me, Couture means that a garment is an exclusive design of the creator in question, it involves hand-made elements, and it may well be one-of-a-kind [OOAK]. It is usually ordered to suit the size requirement of the customer, and it is made to order.

Spring Dress Coat – Available Sizes 6 Months to 4T (Girls Sizes 5-14 Available) by Brookie’s Closet on Etsy. $65.00 USD.
New Limited Chic Cocktail Swing Coat – Charcoal Black [12/18, 2/3T, 4/5T] Ready To Ship Jacket by Heidi And Finn Studio on Etsy. $45.00 USD.
Hobbit Hoodie. Warm Elf Style Hoodie, Handmade, Cosy Hobbit Outfit for Boys by Agnese Vajevska, Hobbit Friendly on Etsy. $54.00 USD.
Girls PiXiE COATS (Deposit Only). “Over The Rainbow” Custom Made Sizes T2 – 8. Upcycled Sweater Couture by Sweet And Blue on Etsy. $29.00 USD.

Today’s fashion centered Monday post is a sample of some of the most lovely, quirky, and fabulous children’s fashions to be found on Etsy. This is as usual, just a minute sampling of the fashion available on Etsy, but these are the items that caught my eye, and my heart. These are garments I would love to see my three nieces, aged 7, 9, and 14  or young nephew, age 6, wearing.  The items for younger children are simply favorites that I had to share because you may have younger children in your lives that you love to dress.

The Juliette Dress by Corinna Couture. Sizes 6 mos to 6 yrs. [7-8 for Additional Fee] by Corinna Hyde, Corinna Couture on Etsy. $58.00 USD.
Neck Tie for Boys – Infant/Toddler/Child – Four for 46.00 – Choose Your Patterns & Colors by Ashley Hollis and Mary Tiede, Two Sisters Originals on Etsy. $46.00 USD.
No FUSS Black Satin Slip Dresses with IVORY Tulle Overlay, Comes With Couture Bow Kit in Black by Fairy Wonderful on Etsy. $79.95 USD.

Pink and Black Twirly Girl Party Dress – Sizes 7, 8, 10, and 12 by Best Little Dress/Mapletree 2000 on Etsy. $48.00.

Maybe you are shopping for an upcoming occasion or holiday, such as Easter or Passover, or perhaps you have a family photograph planned and want to dress the kids in something special that will be a memory forever.  If there is a Wedding in the future, select one of these amazing designs over what the fashion industry assumes little girls and guys want to wear.  Whatever your needs, you can find something appropriate from among the many Etsy fashion designers, but the act of ‘window shopping’ on a blog may just help you make the leap out of the “same-old same-old” children’s wear staples, and push you into a place where you can see children’s clothing as something more than merely functional. 

The Avery Wrap Top and Pant SET – Corinna Couture Spring 2012 by Corinna Hyde, Corinna Couture on Etsy. $65.00 USD.
NEW Children’s Boys Toddler Snap Shirt – L/S Blue by Feanna Otta, Kait Emerson Designs on Etsy. $38.00 USD.
Rose Bloomer Set with White Lace – Size 4 by Linda Carman, Linda Marie Stitchery on Etsy. $49.95 USD.

Innocent Crush Lace Ruffled Dress [Matching Bloomers Sold Separately, $39.00] by My Sweet Emma on Etsy. $70.00 USD.

When I look at these clothes, my youngest sister comes to mind. Her nine year old daughter is always impeccably dressed and dare I say “styled”. Right now she is learning classical ballet from a very strict Russian ballet teacher and happily focused on her skiing each weekend which is her passion (she races, downhill). My youngest sister, a fashionable gal herself,  always pays attention to what her daughter is wearing, and she has always taken care to select clothing that is really unique and lovely. I know that my niece would look amazing in any of these looks, and so would most children.

Flower Girl Tea Party Dress – Custom by Amanda Pillow, Amanda Rose Bridal on Etsy. $100.00 USD.
Moody Vintage Floral And Red Stripe Peasant Dress, with Ann Maria Horner Print Skirt, Sizes 12m – 8 by Kiki Fluhr, The Measure on Etsy. $48.00 USD.

Oh Nautical Baby One Shoulder Dress [Sizes 12m – 7] by Christina, Little Wellies on Etsy. $39.95 on Etsy
TuTu Dress in Black Polka Dot, Pink Tulle Skirt for Baby, Toddler, or Girl by Lover Dovers Clothing on Etsy. $44.00 USD.

I choose to include the prices of these items, along with the usual title and shop link, because I want you to see the amazing quality of clothing you can get for your money.  It certainly is far more reasonably priced than any kiddy boutique I have ever been in, and the plus here is that many of these sellers will do the alterations you require based on your child’s specific measurement.  You can actually ask questions about the fabric, the fit, the sizing, and the options with these clothes.  There is no rushing to the mall or the dressing room, you can take a child’s measurement when they are in the best mood for it, and then get them the perfect outfit when you are in the best mood for it. So forget Haute Couture, and go for these Hot Couture looks for the kids in your life.

Blue and Brown Ribbon Trimmed Designer Tu Tu Set  by Angela, Npictures Boutique on Etsy. $125.00 USD.
Boys Vintage Inspired Outfit from The Vintage Carnival Collection by Vintage Child Modern by Brianne, Fleur and Dot on Etsy. $185.00 USD.
Girl’s Party Dress and Bloomers [Ready To Deliver] by Candy Austin, My Cotton Candy Designs on Etsy. $80.00 USD.

Custom Girls Peasant Dress – Tunic. Violet Chevron [Ruffle Pant Available Separately] by The Fresh Stitch, Corinne Citrolo on Etsy. $32.00 USD.

Please Note: Not All Shops Offer Items In All Sizes. Please Follow The Links Provided To Determine Sizing Availability. Many Items Are Best Seen From All Sides, These Images Are Available In Most Etsy Shops, So Follow The Item Link for Closer Inspection.  Turnaround Time Varies, Please Read Listings Carefully And Inquire With The Specific Vendors Involved. Images and Designs Featured In This Post Are The Intellectual Property and Copyright of The Designer/Etsy Shop in Question. No Infringement Is Intended.

Retro Girls Party Dress. Denyse Schmidt Prints. Available 3m to 4T by Sweet Pea and Co. on Etsy. $44.00 USD on Etsy.
Boys Outfit – Rock N Roll Guitar Set (Shirt and Pant Set) by Sarah Brown, A House In The Woods on Etsy. $28.00 USD.
Girls Luxurious Dress and Bloomer/Pant Set – Very Limited 12m-3T by JuJuBee Baby on Etsy. $38.00 USD.

Bobby Pin Menagerie – Teeny Tiny Tuesdays

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Lady Bug Bobby Pins by Hannah Hughes, Make Cake on Etsy.

It’s Tuesday once again, and today’s Itty Bitty lovely thing has been rather easy to pin down. No matter how long or how short your hair is, you can always tuck a little bobby pin in somewhere. Holding back a little strand gone astray, tucked into a sweet chignon, or decorating a braid or pony tail. A little bit retro, a lot a bit cute, these bobby pins are back in style with a tweet, a growl, and a meow. Not just for kids anymore, a sweet little bobby pin is a way you can add a little whimsy to a conservative look. They are little hints at your personality, your sense of fun, and add that little pop of color that will have people around you doing a double take. Wear any of these bobby pins and you will make people smile, I can guarantee it. While you can find these style of hair pins with any number of items decorating them, from bows and roses to jewels and buttons, I decided to present a selection of little beasties today. Have a look, see what catches your eye, and maybe pick-up a very expressive and inexpensive [most range from $5-10 USD/CAD] accessory for yourself or someone you love.

The Birds And The Bees

Yellow Honey Bee Bobby Pins by Kristine, Bee Intrigued on Etsy.

Butterfly Bobby Pin: Green Blue Spots, Natural History Elegance by Heidi, Alpine Gypsy on Etsy.
Worm Caterpillar Polymer Clay Charm Bobby Pin by Natalie Cravens, Are You Stuffed? on Etsy.
Butterfly Bobby Pins – Silver and Gold Contrast by Colleen, Amourx on Etsy.

Bobby Pin – Fabric Animal – Pink and White Bird by Morgan Rae, Metal Adornments on Etsy.

Vintage Green Barrettes by Paper Mache, Plastic Diamonds on Etsy.

Ivory Birdies in Nest Bobby Pin Pair by Emily Lafrate, Tea and Laundry on Etsy.

Blue and Cream Bird Hair Slides by The Lost Property Box on Etsy.

Owl Cookie Bobby Pins by Katarzyna Zdrojewska, Little World of Zjakazumi on Etsy.

Hot Pink Owls – Bobby Pins by Anne, Cute Jewellery & Accessories By Anne on Etsy.

We’re Going To The Zoo!

Monkey (Style 1) Bobby Pin Set by Amber Silcott, One of Everything on Etsy.

Koala Hair Clip by Baby Loves Pink on Etsy.

Monkey Bobby Pins – Pink Kitsch Cute Glitter Hair Accessories Kids by Bella Star, Bella Star Glam on Etsy.

Alligator Hair Clips – Bobbie Pins by Bonnie, CREATE HAPPINESS on Etsy.

Penguin Button Hairpins by Crafty Comforts on Etsy.

CATS CAN’T CHANGE THEIR SPOTS Cheetah Hair Bobby Pins – – Gift Packaged by Very Vintage on Etsy.

Maroon Elephant Hair Bobbies by Gen Taylor, The World Famous’s Crafty Place on Etsy.
Giraffe Bobby Pins by Keamana, Keamana Design on Etsy.

 Our Best Pets

Playful Kittens Hair Pins: Kawaii Style Cute Kittens, Glittery Pink, Turquoise, & Orange Sherbert by Amanda S.W., RaleighWood Treasures on Etsy.

Chihuahua Shelter Dogs Bobby Pins Set with Donation Free Shipping by Twilight Shades on Etsy.

Cat Bobby Pins by Cheri, Mama’s Little Babies on Etsy.

Pink Scottie Dog Hair Pin by Zebracakes on Etsy.

Itty Bitty Kitty Hairpins by Missy Kulik, Sugar Cookie on Etsy.

Poodle Bobby Pins, French Inspired, Navy Blue Dahlia Flower, Black Heart – Set of Three by Mary Elliot, Miss Mary Elliot on Etsy.

On The Farm

Sheep/Lamb Bobby Pin Set by Amber Silcott, One of Everything on Etsy.

Chickenpants Hair Clips – Set of Two by Claire Chambers, Absolutely Small on Etsy.

Cute Pig Wood Button Hair Pin – Silver Bobby Pin by Desita, Circle Colour on Etsy.
Sheep Shell Hair Bobby Pin by bathroman, You Made My Day on Etsy.

Mouse Hair Pins Paper Clay, OOAK by Brooke Griffin, The Naked Bird on Etsy.

Under The Sea

Origami Koi Bobby Pins by Is It Secret, Is It Safe on Etsy.

Octopus Bobby Pins by Keamana, Keamana Design on Etsy.

Friendly Fish Bobby Pins/ Hair Pins Set of 6 OOAK by Miss Chuga’s Gifts on Etsy.

Hair Pins Bloody Sharks or HAIR Jaws by Kristilyn, Zombie Romance on Etsy.

The Fabulous “Other”

Stegosaurus Dinosaurs Bobby Pin Set by Amber Silcott, One of Everything on Etsy.

Bobby Pins For Kids, Cute Clips – Mini Chenille Birds/Bats by Megha Silvano, Cassyz Cutiez on Etsy.

Yellow Robot Bear Bobby Pins Cute Chic Fun Fashion Kawaii Kitsch Hair Wear by Andreanna, Glamasaurus on Etsy.

Two Fabric Covered Button Bobby Pins – Rabbit and Panda by Heyday Handmade on Etsy.

BAMBI BONES – Skelanimal Charm Hair Pins by Stacy Scissors, Running With Scissors on Etsy.

Bunny Puff Bobby PINS… FREE shipping US by HModine on Etsy.

Cupcake Bear Attack Bobby Pin by Katie MacMillan, Unplanned Joy on Etsy.

What are you still doing on this post? It’s over. Go shop… go! [A little nod to Ferris Beuller’s Day Off there, Hazzah!]

Shaking Things Up – Strange Stuff Saturdays

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They are quite a pair, those salt and pepper shakers we all have in our kitchens or dining rooms. Sometimes salt and pepper shakers are beautiful crystal antiques, perhaps they are very kitsch, others are mostly utilitarian, and sometimes it is a large grinder that requires a little elbow grease to get the perfect seasoning. In my place, I just use the sea salt in the spice bottle from the market, and my pepper comes in a little bottle with a grinder on top, also supermarket bought. How terribly boring and wasteful, really. Ugly labels, they are not really refillable, and even if I recycle the bottles, it isn’t an ideal situation. So I need to get myself a cute set of Salt & Pepper Shakers. I decided it was a good time to see what I could find on Etsy, so many great vintage picks and handmade or upcycled options. So I ran a search, and of course, came up with oodles of listings. Let me say, before I begin this post, that it is all about the images, I wanted to show you the ones that really stood out, for a variety of reason. Now remember, this is “Strange Stuff Saturday”, so what is strange in today’s post is my immediate reaction to the salt and pepper sets. I am going to show you a pile of great ways to spice up your kitchen, and give you my exact first reaction in a caption below the image. All the individual item Listing Details and Etsy shop links will appear at the bottom of this post, and while my comments might seem odd, or negative, they are in fact the very reason these shakers are fabulous. I don’t want boring, I want funny, ironic, creepy, or just plain strange. Let’s Shake Things Up!

  1. First Rule Of Zombie Land – The Double Tap. [They look like crawling Zombies to me, with bullet holes in their heads!]

  2. Because Everyone Wants To Think About Dirty Laundry While Eating.

  3. There. Are. No. Words.

  4. “I Bagel Your Pardon!”

  5. “Pass The Toe Jam?” [These are a Canadian souvenir set, I am so proud of my country!]

  6. Good Morning. You Are Not Dead Yet.

  7. A Freudian Rorschach Test. What Do You See?

  8. Nothing Classes Up A Kitchen Like A Piddling Puppy

  9. Please Pass The Ass

  10. From The “Bunnies On Acid” Collection

  11. [They are Vintage Nuts, do I actually have to make a smart-ass comment on this one?]

  12. The Eyes, They Follow You No Matter Where You Go. Creepy!

  13. The Fru-eats Of The Day-vil. [“The Fruits of the Devil”, So I Married An Axe Murderer – Mike Myers quote from my very obscure sense of humor.]

  14. If The Salt Looks Like Dandruff… What Does The Pepper Look Like?

  15. Urns. Pepper Flakes. How Wonderfully Macabre!

  16. I Now Understand Why Some People Are Afraid Of Clowns.

  17. This Is What My Eyes Look Like After A Night Of Heavy Partying.

  18. Little Critters in Carbon Freeze, Just Like Han Solo [Star Wars.]

  19. Bam Chicka Wow Wow – Makin’ Bacon!

Pardon my rather odd and extremely obscure sense of humor, but those were my exact thoughts on seeing these strange and wonderful shaker sets. It strikes me that these are almost all, if not entirely, vintage items. It makes you wonder, why is it we get such a kick from these bizarre kitschy items? Were they intended to be funny or is it just a matter of the esthetic at the time. I haven’t seen nearly as many modern salt and pepper shakers that made me laugh as much as this random selection did. I could have gone on and on, there are so many more treasures to be found over on Etsy. Have a great weekend everyone, and next time you look at your own S&P shakers, think of Foraging For Fab!
Image Credits:

  1. Vintage Pushup Salt and Pepper Shakers by Out Of The Pink Sky on Etsy.
  2. Vintage Westinghouse Washer and Dry Salt and Pepper Shakers by Random Voyeur Vintage on Etsy.
  3. Vintage Salt and Pepper Shakers Retro Holt Howard Grant Pixie PixieWare Elf by Magpie Antiques on Etsy.
  4. Holt Howard Lefton Bagel Donut Salt and Pepper Shakers Two Peppers holt howard strange crazy anthropomorphic by Retro Chalet on Etsy.
  5. vintage salt and pepper shakers – feet – Canada souvenir set by Forrestina Vintage on Etsy.
  6. Pair of Tombstone Salt And Pepper Shakers by Dusty Attic on Etsy
  7. Anthromorphic Mushrooms Salt and Pepper Shakers 1970s by Melony’s Whimsy Daisy on Etsy.
  8. Vintage Dog and Fire Hydrant Salt and Pepper Shakers by Lady Ivy Vintage on Etsy
  9. Texaco Souvenir donkey Salt and Pepper Shakers by Chelles Treasure on Etsy.
  10. Weird and Wild – 1950s Vintage Rabbit Salt and Pepper Shakers – by Goodlookin’ Vintage on Etsy.
  11. Vintage Pair of Nuts – Salt and Pepper Shakers – Nuts by Strange Vagaries on Etsy
  12. Vintage 70’s squirrel salt and pepper shakers with wiggly eyes by Belle Epochalypse on Etsy.
  13. Vintage Garlic Head Anthropomorphic Salt and Pepper Shakers by Two Little Owls on Etsy.
  14. Set of Vintage Salt and Pepper Shakers Monk Plastic Hong Kong Japan by Ye Olde Antique Shoppe on Etsy,
  15. Vintage Salt Pepper Shakers 22k Gold Warranted China Porcelain Shaker Set by Carlea Pink on Etsy.
  16. Vintage Salt and Pepper Shakers, Clown Teapots by The Dish Dash Kitchen Company on Etsy.
  17. Vintage Salt & Pepper Shaker Set Plastic Rooster by Magnolia Vintage on Etsy.
  18. Vintage Salt and Pepper Shakers, Circus, Japan by Lulu’s Five and Dime on Etsy.
  19. Vintage Black and White Pigs Salt and Pepper Shakers by Salt and Pepper Mania on Etsy.