Category Archives: One Of A Kind

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.

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.

Bohemian Bangles Galore – Motley Mode Mondays

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Hippie Bracelet/Bohemian Gypsy Style [Pink & Mint] by One Of A Kind Jewelry Designs, Etsy

I spend a lot of time on Etsy just window shopping, browsing, basically foraging really. I discover new things I never knew I wanted or, *sigh*, needed and had to have. It’s a rather addicting thing really, looking at all these amazing hand-made or vintage items, seeing others creativity and brilliance, and knowing that no matter how much the world is changing, there are some things that remain blissfully unchanged. People still have an attraction to things that are one-of-a-kind [OOAK], items that are made by hands with love and intention, treasures that are truly irreplaceable. As I look at these amazing items, I am always drawn to something that seems to speak to me in a way that is very unique. I know what I like, I just couldn’t really tell you exactly what that means until I see it.

Friendship Bracelet Bib Statement Necklace or Choker, Vintage Rhinestones and Swarovski in Hot Pink, Blue, Purple – Prom Necklace OOAK

Ibiza Chic Hippie Cuff Bracelet – Friendship Bracelet Cuff With Studs and Swarovski, Hand-stamped “Peace Love Joy” – OOAK

Swarovski Flower Earrings in Coral, Orange, and Khaki, Antique Silver and Gold OOAK

This entire blog is a testimony to that fact, everything I blog, every item I share, is something special and has something wonderful about it, be it a story, an artistry, a craft, or a soul.  Often I can pick one or two items special items out of an Etsy Storefront, the various individual shops set up directly by the creators or curators, but every now and then, I find myself adding a heap of little ‘love it’ hearts to an entire shop because I am simply in love with everything I see. Every heart means that it is a favorite item, something I want to keep an eye on, look at again and again, something that I may very well eventually buy, bank account willing. But when you find an entire shop full of those amazing things that you love so very much, the best thing you can do is to share the love, and let people know about it. So that is exactly what I am doing. 

Bridal Hair Comb Lavender Moonstones, Vintage Rhinestones – Shabby Chic Wedding OOAK

Romantic Chandelier Earring with Vintage Pear Drops OOAK

Peacock Wedding Bracelet, Shabby Chic Vintage Style Cuff – Bridesmaid Gift OOAK

Karin van Rijn, from the Netherlands, is one such creator and shop owner.  Her self described ‘young and edgy Dutch jewelry brand’ is very special indeed. These amazing handmade pieces of pure genius are like looking through your grandmother’s old jewelry collection, and then mixing and matching the best bits to make totally new and unique bits of wonderful. Rhinestones, acrylic flourishes, paste jewels, metals, leather, woven threads, glass beads, and semi-precious stones abound in astounding combinations of shine, bling, and colourful clashes of fancy. If you are into minimalist and architectural jewelry, I am afraid this is not your day. But if you are into bohemian flair, bangles of brilliance, and wedding jewelry and accessories that are as one-of-a-kind at the Bride herself, then you have just hit the mother-load of awesome.

Bridal Sash Brooch, Vintage Flowers and Sparkling Rhinestones [MADE TO ORDER] OOAK

Bridal Headband – Rhinestone Wedding Hair Piece, Art Deco Style OOAK

Bridesmaid Set of Three [or More] – Shabby Chic Wrist Corsages, Bridesmaid Gifts

One Of A Kind Jewelry Design is exactly what it sets out to be, and van Rijn’s talent for mixing and matching elements and textures is masterful. Never have I seen such a skilled hand at pulling together beads and baubles into harmonious and unique creations that are somehow still very personal and have a note of heirloom quality about them. These are the items you will pass on from one member of your family to the next. This is the gift you give to the one-of-a-kind woman in your life that speaks more than words. A friend would consider herself very lucky indeed to be in possession of one of van Rijn’s creations, or re-creations as the case may be.

Bohemian Hippie Bracelet, Wide Crystal Swarovski Friendship Bracelet Cuff OOAK

Bib Statement Necklace, Hand-painted Neon Pink Ombre Vintage Rhinestone Necklace OOAK

Wedding Cuff Bracelet in Vintage Collage Style, Statement Cuff OOAK

If any of these items tickle your fancy, then you had better get ready to be tickled to death, there is so much more to see at van Rijn’s Etsy Shop. Currently, there is a 50% off sale on some of her collection, so if you are looking for the perfect gift for yourself or someone you love, don’t hesitate to snap up some pretties.  Prices for these items range from 11.50 Euros, about $16.00 US/CDN Dollars, up to
398.00 Euros [$550.00 US/CDN Dollars] for the most intricate and large pieces. Really there is something for every budget and every taste, from smaller items like earring or rings, to bangles and bunches of bohemian bracelets, necklaces, headbands, and other amazing bridal accessories. One Of A Kind Jewelry Design also has some amazing sets for bridesmaids, where you can get three of the same look for one great price, so that all of your bridesmaids can match and still be the only ones in the world with that particular design.

Vintage Collage Bird, Romantic Soft Leather Cuff OOAK

Vintage Flowers Necklace – Blue Wedding, Shabby Chic OOAK

Native American/Aztec/Navajo Inspired Friendship Bracelet Cuff OOAK

Stop in to check out all the amazing looks at Karin’s Store, and check back often, as new things are added almost every week. With a stock of almost 200 items listed for sale, there is just so much to look at and I have no doubt, something will reach out at grab you in that special one-of-a-kind way.

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.    

Imagination Factory – Found On A Friday

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Double Rainbow – Miniature Ceramic Rainbow Factory Duo by PearsonMaron on Etsy.

 Thank goodness it’s Friday, and thank goodness I am feeling more like myself so that I can share today’s Fab find with you all. It’s been a while since I have blogged, about 2 weeks actually. Being sick is never part of ones plans or on the schedule, it happens, often out of the blue, and it forces us to pay attention to our bodies and get better. Sometimes when we are feverish and in that half sleep state, we get wonderful inspirations for work we want to do, unfortunately, we are often too ill to remember to write those ideas down or follow through. Just as well, I suspect some of those feverish great ideas are actually not so great.

Chartreuse Sea Lion with a Toy Top – Ceramic Figurine by PearsonMaron on Etsy.
Rolling Blue Cat Fish – Miniature Ceramic Sculpture on Wheels by PearsonMaron on Etsy.

Today I want to show you some absolutely wonderful and whimsical sculpture work that seems born of that fevered dream state. Not to say that it is exceptionally odd or strange, just that it is quite magical. The “Handmade Curiosities” of PearsonMaron on Etsy are wonderful little bits of inspiration and ingenuity, all wrapped up in a bundle of kitsch.  Colors pop against pure white ceramic backdrops, small creatures come to life with spinning wheels and a healthy dose of whimsy.

A Nuclear Love Story – Miniature Nuclear Cooling Towers With Hearts – Geeky Wedding Cake Toppers – White Ceramic Sculpture by PearsonMaron on Etsy.
Bigfoot Diorama – Limited Edition Ceramic Mini Sculpture by PearsonMaron on Etsy.

Married couple Adam and Quincy together produce a marvelous menagerie of urban legends, sweet and poignant statements, and playful creatures from a blend of ceramics and other mixed media. While they work collaboratively on many items, some are the work on one or the other alone.  The Etsy Shop of PearsonMaron is chock full of an amazing array of items, from Prints and Paintings, Buttons, Magnets, Sculptures and Figurines, Dioramas, and even some Housewares. What that adds up to is a whole lot of wonderful.

Green One Eyed Octopus on Wheels – Mini Sculpture by PearsonMaron on Etsy.
Black Birds On A Wire – Miniature Ceramic Telephone Pole Sculpture by PearsonMaron on Etsy.

Adam and Quincy, who reside in Southern California, have a good thing going on in their Etsy Shop, and it is definitely worth a click on over to check it out. Prices range from just a few dollars for their Pin Back Buttons, to a whole lot more for one of the amazingly detailed sculptural pieces such as the one below. Most of the items featured on this page range from $20.00 to $95.00 USD, so there is a wide range of prices for any budget, whether you are a collector yourself, or looking for a unique gift for a special someone.  Thank goodness I found PearsonMaron on a Friday, and thank goodness I am back in the blogging groove once again.
 

The Astronaut – Space Exploration – Sculpture by PearsonMaron on Etsy.

Small Art Big Love – Found On A Friday

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“Jake The Tortoise” Hand Sewn Brooch, Felt Badge, Tortoise Pin by Jess Quinn.

 Sometimes in my travels I stumble upon something that is so many wonderful things in one shop that I can’t decide upon which day of the week to feature it. That is why I am thankful for Fridays, where anything goes here on the Fab.  When I cam across the Etsy Shop of Jess Quinn, I knew the only place to do her amazing stash justice was to place it in a Friday feature.  Simply called Small Art, Jess’s shop is full of the most fabulous items, from paper goods, cloth dolls, clay creations, felt accessories, original oil paintings, and so much more. If this is Quinn’s idea of ‘small’, I can’t imagine what she considers to be ‘large’. With almost 150 items in her Etsy Shop, I would say there is nothing small about the work of Jess Quinn at all.

The Woodsman – Art Doll, Soft Sculpture by Jess Quinn.
Alphabet Fairy – Wood Art Doll – Beatrice by Jess Quinn.
“Higgety Pop” Vintage Altered Art Doll by Jess Quinn.

What is really special about Jess’s Shop is the way she presents her fabulous items.  The photos are precious and engaging, and they make you want to look closer.  She will create a whole tableau of items around her dolls, brooches, and other items, often using dollhouse furniture or toys that not only add a sense of playful whimsy, but also indicate the scale of items for sale. 

Easter Bunny Hair Band/Fascinator – Pink Felt Bunny Rabbit by Jess Quinn.
Spring Bib Necklace, Fabric Pink Clown – Blue Pom Poms – Embroidered Textile by Jess Quinn.
Little Indian Head Dress, Dressing Up, Head Band – Native American by Jess Quinn.

The little [ and big ] pops of colour against a white background are perfectly styled. Her accessories are often worn by adorable kiddies with naturally silly smiles or honest pouts, and her paper goods and artwork are presented in the perfect lighting to make them appear as magical as you know that they are.

“Isabelle” Girl In A Yellow Dress – Illustrated Greeting Card by Jess Quinn.
“Girl With Apples” Illustrated Greeting Card, Printed Drawing, Black & White by Jess Quinn.
“Knitting Queen” Illustrated Greetings Card, Printed Drawing by Jess Quinn.

Items in Jess Quinn‘s shop range in price from less than $2.00 USD to just over $200.00 USD. That means there is something  for every budget and every taste.  Shipping from Bristol, England in the UK, shipping cost are excessively reasonable. The cards are frame-able art, the dolls enchanting, the brooches would make brilliant gifts, and the accessories are instant one-of-a-kind treasures.

“Bitsy Boo” Fabric Art Doll, Red Felt, Little Girl, Linen Cloth Doll by Jess Quinn.
“Miko & Molly” Hanging Fabric Decoration, Printed Cotton Sweethearts, Vintage Silk by Jess Quinn.
Cloth Art Doll, Soft Sculpture, Textile, Square Clown Blue by Jess Quinn.

Jess takes great care when describing her items, often including little anecdotes about their inspirations, the materials used, and the dimension of the items.  All essential information when you are buying handmade goods online. I have to commend her on her presentation style, her shop feels intimate and you get the distinct impression that you are getting a peek ‘behind the curtain’.

“Miss Bird” Clay Brooch, Circus Pin – Hand Painted Small Sculpture by Jess Quinn.
Clown Art Doll, Clay – Textile, Felt Fabric, Hand Painted by Jess Quinn.
Clay Brooch, Wearable Art, Hand Painted Pin – Green, Lettuce by Jess Quinn.

Jess has divided her shop into specific categories of items, so I decided to present a few of examples of her work that reside under each category heading so you can get a good idea of the range of whimsical items she offers.  As always, I showcase items that tend to appeal to my taste, but there is so much more to be discovered in Jess’s Small Art shop. Jess herself calls her items Unique Artworks and Original Gifts, I would stress the unique, I haven’t seen anything quite so fantastically outside of the box in my recent travels.

“Clown Miko” Felt Brooch, Pillow Pin Portrait, Wearable Art by Jess Quinn.
“Bunnyhoot” Small Art Doll, Purple Felt Brooch, Plush Forest Creature by Jess Quinn.
“Matilda Mouse” Felt Brooch – White Mouse Bow Tie Pin, Printed Drawing by Jess Quinn.

You really must take a closer look at the work of this Art School graduate and mother of three, who says she comes from a family of ‘makers’. I rather like that statement, I can identify with it completely. For more information on her captivating work, you can also swing by her Blog and check out what Jess is currently up to. You might also like to know that Jess is offering a “Free Shipping” code until March 11th, 2012 and that currently she is having a small Spring Clean Sale on selected items in her shop, as if you needed more reason to head over and check it out. It may be Small Art, but I have big love for it. [In particular, that “Jake The Tortoise” Brooch at the top of the post, how incredibly sweet it is!]

Small Oil Painting on Canvas, “Sisters” by Jess Quinn.
“Infanta Margarita in Moonlight”, Small Oil Painting on Canvas by Jess Quinn.
“Mary” Small Oil Painting on Canvas by Jess Quinn.

Links:
Small Art – Etsy Shop
Jess Quinn’s Etsy Profile
Jess Quinn’s Blog

“Tom & Nancy” Wooden Art Dolls, Hand Painted by Jess Quinn.
“Lulu” Wooden Brooch, Wearable Art – Hand Painted Pin by Jess Quinn.
“Eric” Wooden Badge, Hand Painted Pin – Wearable Art by Jess Quinn.

Note: All Designs and Images are the Intellectual Property and Copyright of Jessica Quinn and QUINN. No infringement is intended. Please contact Jess Quinn directly with inquiries about her work. Follow the links provided under each image in this post  for further information about the items featured in the post, including price, payment options, availability, and shipping information. 

Pop Quiz: Spot The Tiny Treasures – Teeny Tiny Tuesdays

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 As part of my daily routine, particularly since starting up this blog, I browse through the newly listed items on Etsy to see what new treasures catch my eye and may end up in a future blog post.  Normally, I respond to the images I see immediately, and am pretty sure what I am looking at. But today, I got ‘taken’ so to speak. I thought I was looking at a shabby chic cottage style desk, but when I actually read further into the listing, I realized I was in fact looking at a miniature. I admit it, I was totally fooled, this miniature desk looked so perfect and so real, it was hard to believe it could fit in the palm of my hand. Since today is ‘Teeny Tiny‘ day on the Fab, I thought it would be the perfect day to spring a little pop-quiz on all my fellow tiny fans.

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Throughout this post, you will find 12 images of great Shabby Chic Furniture. The kicker — wait for it — only some of them are doll house miniatures, others are full size people home decor.  You get to give it your best shot, get out a post-it note or piece of scrap paper, and make your guesses. The images are all numbered, 1-12, so scribble down which are “SO TINY” and which items are “NO TINY“.  Then head to the end of the post for full item credits and links to these fabulous Etsy shops, and the list of answers. Challenge your friends, see if they can spot the itty bitty treasures that are so great, they look just as ‘real’ as their full sized counterparts. Ready, steady, GO!

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Here are the fabulous details about all of these items, the truly tiny for your doll house and the truly Shabby Chic for your home. If you want to see how you did on the quiz, the answer code is tucked just below this list.  If you want to share your scores, feel free to do so in the comments, I would love to know if anyone else got ‘taken’ by something tiny today. Happy Tuesday!

  1. Distressed Wood Shelves – Shabby Chic by Paula, Pollygots on Etsy
  2. Dollhouse Shabby Chic Painted Wooden SIDE TABLE Miniature Furniture 12th Scale by Ladies Mile Miniatures on Etsy.
  3. Chicken Wire Kitchen Cabinet – Rustic Miniature by House of Artistique on Etsy.
  4. White Washed Cabinet by Dienke Cazemier, Bell Jar Mini on Etsy.
  5. One Inch Scale Narrow Chest of Drawers by Storybook Miniatures on Etsy.
  6. Shabby Chic 32 Inch Bench – Furniture by Dale, Dales Wood and More on Etsy.
  7. Dollhouse Miniature Coffee Table – Shabby Chic by Denise, Deesware Miniatures on Etsy.
  8. Cabinet 1:12 Scale Shabby Chic Style by Marta, MartaPellise on Etsy.
  9. Lazy Couch, To Go With The Lazy Chair by Dienke Cazemier, Bell Jar Mini on Etsy.
  10. Doll Dining Table and 4 Chairs Set in 1/6 Scale, Shabby Chic (Blythe, Barbie, Bratz, Momoko) by buildingIDEA on Etsy.
  11. Wood Wall Vase Shelf Key Hook Shabby Chic Distressed Wood by Michael Hutton, Twigs2Whirligigs on Etsy.
  12. Shabby Chic White Wood Wall Shelf With Peg Hooks by ShabbyNChic on Etsy.

Tuesday, February 21/2012 – Pop Quiz: Answer Key, Foraging For Fab.

Behind The Mask – Motley Mode Mondays

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Victoriana Mask in Gold Leather by Tom and Jill Banwell, Tom Banwell Designs on Etsy.

 Are you ready for the party? Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday, otherwise known as Mardi Gras, and revelers are ready to celebrate. Worldwide, Carnival celebrations typically begin at any point after the religious observance known as Epiphany and carry on up until the Ash Wednesday, but most people really see it as a time to to celebrate. From wearing masks and costumes, dancing, and parades, it is celebrated differently around the world, but no matter how outrageous the party gets, it is the last chance to go big or go home, so to speak, before Shrove Tuesday, which isassociated with the religious requirement for confession before Lent begins. After a night of partying Mardi Gras style, I imagine some have more to confess than others, if you know what I mean.

Mardi Gras Special — Swirly, Victoriana, and Muse by Tom and Jill Banwell, Tom Banwell Designs on Etsy.
Turquoise and Silver Feather Masquerade Carnival Mardi Gras Fancy Dress Mask by Hilarys Bazaar on Etsy.
Elegant Peacock Teal & Green Masquerade Mask with Feathers by Vanessa Rockey Del Bono, AloraLocks on Etsy.
Purple, Green, and Gold Feather Mardi Gras Mask by Jessica, The Crafty Chemist on Etsy.
Mardi Gras Masks Special — Totem, Electro, Decaflor Leather by Tom and Jill Banwell, Tom Banwell Designs on Etsy.

Since Monday is about fashion, style, and accessories here on the Fab, I am glad to take advantage of the Mardi Gras fever as an excuse to showcase some absolutely fabulous masks.  Each and every one of these masks I have hand selected to feature in this post, all found on Etsy, was chosen because they are so visually striking, they would make a great wall sculpture even if you don’t plan on wearing them. When you think about it, there are precious few opportunities to wear masks once we become adults. I was going to say “grown up”, but does anyone really ever grow up? You may get the chance at Halloween, maybe there is a New Year’s Eve party that calls for masks, but rarely do we find engraved invitations to masked balls in our in-box.

Flame Leather Mask by Rebecca Dixon, Up From The Ashes on Etsy.
Mardi Gras Mask Forest Nymph by Aph Custom Leather on Etsy.
Big Cat Jaquar Venetian Mardi Gras Carnival Masquerade Leather Mask Sculpture by Wendy Martin Art, Lyon’s Menagerie on Etsy.
Lady of the Glade Venetian Mardi Gras Carnival Masquerade Leather Mask Sculpture by Wendy Martin Art, Lyon’s Menagerie on Etsy.
MADE TO ORDER – Leather Greenman Mask, Wearable Art, Display, Labyrinth Mardi Gras Renfest Wiccan by Parkers and Quinn on Etsy.

Wearing a mask can be a liberating thing, if it is made well, it almost becomes a part of you, and while your eyes are visible, it may take people a few looks to sort out who is really behind the mask, if they can at all.  But it is rather romantic to partially conceal your identity, to dress up and play at being someone, or something else. Venetian style masks are extremely popular, particularly during Mardi Gras, and have historically been used on many other occasions in the past, usually as a device for hiding the wearer’s identity and social status.

Butterfly Venetian Masks – Customizable by Stephanie, Bridal Bijou & Bebe Bijou on Etsy.
Peacock Feather Venetian Mask by Stephanie, Bridal Bijou & Bebe Bijou on Etsy.
Turquoise, White and Gold Venetian Feather Mask by Jessica, The Crafty Chemist on Etsy.
Old Orleans Dame Mask for Mardi Gras/Costume/Masquerade/Halloween/Prom by Elisha Miller, Effigy Masks on Etsy.
Pink Butterfly and Flower Venetian Mask by Stephanie, Bridal Bijou & Bebe Bijou on Etsy.

A mask allows it’s wearer to act more freely in a circumstance where he or she wants the opportunity to interact with others outside the bounds of identity and everyday convention. Even today a mask is useful for a variety of purposes, some of them illicit, others just personal, such as romantic encounters.  It is delightfully fun to enjoy the perceived anonymity that a mask can provide. No wonder they are so popular at Mardi Gras, where any number of mildly scandalous event might occur.

Mardi Gras Harlequin by Nikki Stone, Dreaming Utopia Designs on Etsy.
Handmade Masquerade Mask Carnival Mardi Gras Halloween Costume 9Mardi Gras Madness) by Levy Wallace, Turntable 2 Treasure on Etsy.
Mardi Gras Fleur Mask by Nikki Stone, Dreaming Utopia Designs on Etsy.
Peacock Mask – Paper Mache – Masquerade – Absolutely Beautiful – Hand Painted by Pirates Quarters on Etsy.
Rhinestone Mask – Venetian Style – “Temptress” by Nora, Bejeweled Masquerade on Etsy.

I have never been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras celebrations, but many of my family members have gone, and of course traveled home again with stories of the sheer number of people jammed into the streets of the French Quarter, the noise, the celebrations, the beads, and the strong coffee and beignets the following morning.  My mother has a particular talent for getting beads, bringing home huge shopping bags full of the baubles that have become favorite dress-up staples for her grandchildren.

Papillon – Rhinestone Masquerade Mask by Nora, Bejeweled Masquerade on Etsy.
Pearl Shard Mirror Gaga Mask by maskup.net, on Etsy.
Spiral Masquerade – OOAK Purple and White Leather Mask by Jyn Donham, The Mummers Cat on Etsy.
Venice Pink Lace Butterfly Glitter Mask by maskup.net, on Etsy
Antennae Feather Mask by Regina T, Aveanart Feathered Masks on Etsy.

The three colours designated for New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations, Purple, Gold, and Green, besides looking deliciously decadent actually have been said to have significant meaning.  Purple is said to signify justice, gold stands for power, and green means faith.  Whether you subscribe to that notion or not, these are the colors most often seen during the Mardi Gras season, and particularly in the last five days leading up to Ash Wednesday.

Purple and Green Harlequin Mardi Gras Masquerade Mask by Alia Yasen, Society Carnivale on Etsy.
Mardi Gras Masquerade Mask by Misty W., The Masked Zone on Etsy.
Jester Leather Mask by Mr. Hyde’s Custom Leather, New Orleans on Etsy.
Gold and Blue Masquerade Mask by Misty W., The Masked Zone on Etsy.
Momus Leather Mask by Mr. Hyde’s Custom Leather, New Orleans on Etsy.

While these colours are often seen in masks worn on the day, there is no limit to the design or coloration of masks for Mardi Gras or any other occasion.  While I may not be celebrating Mardi Gras, in the traditional sense, I would likely choose a mask that features more traditional Venetian elements, or perhaps a Harlequin style.  And if you are like me and have never been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras season, or have young children and can’t travel easily, there is no reason not to start your very own family tradition of having a mini-masked ball in your home. Invite your friends and family, decorate the house in the traditional colours of green, purple, and gold, and make your own King Cake. Make a list of fun party games and hand out some throws [traditionally beaded necklaces].  What a fun memory you will be creating, and a great photo opportunity too.

Gold and Black Lace Masquerade Mask by Alia Yasen, Society Carnivale on Etsy.
Mayqueen Masquerade Mask, Handmade by Karen, Grin, Grimace & Squeak! on Etsy,
Venetian Feather Carnival Mask in Gold with Purple Ostrich Feathers, Mauve by Lady In The Tower on Etsy.
Lace Adult Mask Design For Mardi Gras New Years by Lanette, Lanette’s Designs on Etsy.
Gold Fairy Mask by Elaine, A Sight to Behold Masks on Etsy.

Today’s selection of masks are all available on Etsy, and while they may not make it to you in time for this year’s celebrations, it may be wise to pick up a mask to have on hand when the next opportunity to wear one may arise. A wild bachelorette party would be one occasion where a mask might come in handy, or a bachelor party for that matter. There is no reason at all that you cannot have a masked party in your own house, be it a birthday celebration, a grown-up Halloween party, or your next New Year’s bash. Masks make a wonderful conversation starter, and the range of style, from traditional to outrageous, can be a very personal expression of your own character.

Cardinal Leather Mask, Child Size – Made to Order by Chelsea and Marlo, Sundries and Plunder on Etsy.
Rabbit Brown Patchwork Mask by Looking Glass Leather Works on Etsy.
Fox Leather Mask, Child Size – Made To Order by Chelsea and Marlo, Sundries and Plunder on Etsy.
Snowy Owl Leather Mask by Annie Libertini, Libertini Leather Accessories on Etsy.
Gold, Brown and Teal Leather Dragonfly Mask by Looking Glass Leather Works on Etsy.

So grab yourself a strong cup of coffee and a slab of King Cake and settle in to search for the mask of your dreams. King Cake, by the way, is a coffee cake, oblong and braided, and iced with a simple icing then covered with purple, green and gold sugar. Each cake contains a hidden bean or small plastic baby. Different traditions hold for the one that finds that little trinket in their slice of cake. Martha Stewart has a particularly easy recipe for King Cake that you can make at home, and you can decided what significance you want to add to the finding of the hidden prize.

Gradient Purple and Silver Mask by Elaine, A Sight to Behold Masks on Etsy.
Intricate Alphonse Mucha Inpired Leather Mask by S.E.T Design on Etsy.
Waves Mask, Masquerade Mask, Luxury Venetian Mask by Coco Martin, Cocone on Etsy.
Dragon Days – Leather Dragon Mask by S.E.T Design on Etsy.
Black and Silver Metallic Masquerade Mask by Jessica, The Crafty Chemist on Etsy.

Your mask may be among the selection showcased here today, or you might want to head over to Etsy to have a closer look at the amazing mask creations of the artists that combine the skills of a sculptor with that of a milliner, combining elements of paper, leather, metals, feathers, and beads to produce the most magical and pleasing results.  You never know when your next occasion to wear a mask might come along, and you might as well be prepared. Have a marvelous Mardi Gras everyone.

Green Macrame Mask, Masquerade Mask, Elegant Mask by Coco Martin, Cocone on Etsy.
Columbina Venetian Masquerade Eye Mask by Venetian Artiquity, Venice Italy on Etsy.
Mardi Gras, Burlesque Mask, VAMPIRE Masqurade, Headband, Victorian Hair Accessories, Gold Shimmer Princess Queen – DANCE by Theresa Joy, deLoop on Etsy.
Eyes Wide Shut Bauta Masquerade Venetian Mask by Venetian Artiquity, Venice Italy on Etsy.
Mardi Gras, Mask, Pink Feather, Vampire Queen Ball Mask, Princess, Hair Accessories, Pink & Black Shimmer – PRETTY ONE by Theresa Joy, deLoop on Etsy.

Note: All Images and Creations in this post are Copyright and the Intellectual Property of the Individual Artists and their Respective Etsy Shops. No Infringement is Intended. Please follow the Link under the image in question for further information including price, shipping costs, and availability. Some items are Ready-To-Ship while others are Made To Order.

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.