Instagram Inspiration

Some things I’m loving right now…

Stunning invitations by Anne Robin and hand lettering by Jenny Highsmith of Maiedae that really make me want to learn calligraphy…



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3D Pet Portrait

I stumbled upon a roundup of awesome custom portrait artists on Design*Sponge the other day and just had to share what I found. You know how obsessed I am with Baxter, and after perusing a few of the shops on Etsy, I noticed that one of the artists, sian, does custom 3D pet portraits! Check this one out…looks just like Baxter! I want one!

3D pet portrait by sian on etsy

The Design*Sponge list of artists is a great roundup. I’m sure you can find more in many different styles from cartoonish to whimsical, line drawings to watercolors. I had a custom family watercolor portrait made (see it here) by Heartshug on etsy. Her shop was called something different before and it might have something to do with getting some negative reviews. I didn’t see any when I ordered and I will say that I was very pleased with the end result but the communication was frustrating and the finished piece didn’t arrive until months later (luckily I wasn’t in a hurry). And, it came in handy for our big “we’re having a baby!” announcement, so it all worked out in the end, right?  Right.

Sweet Find: Amber Alexander on Etsy

Etsy is a magical, magical world. I’ve been trying to figure out what to put on the walls in our 2nd bedroom/office/Mumbles’ closet/guest room.  I wanted something whimsical and fun and I’d been eyeing watercolors and illustrations for quite some time.  Then, I somehow stumbled upon Amber Alexander’s lovely Etsy shop.  And that’s the magic of Etsy. I want just about everything she makes — beautiful florals, feathers, and furry friends. I simply adore her work.

I ended up purchasing three prints from her shop so that I could put them in these wood frames I found at Target (I love that you can see the grain and knots in the wood).  Meet my three new mates Byron, Duncan and Looker the Alligator.  Mumbles likes Duncan enough to want to take him to work but I’m not quite sure if I can give him up.

Art prints by Amber Alexander on Etsy

Art prints by Amber Alexander on Etsy

Also, Amber was sweet enough to send a few cards in my package which was such a fun surprise.  I was delighted to gift them to some friends later on and even more excited to show them the cute little stories Amber has created for each of the characters on the back of the card. For example, I said “Happy Birthday” with this fabulous card for my wine-loving friend.  The caption read: “I don’t know what could have been ‘hard’ about her day. She’s a cat! not enough catnip? lost her toy? bad fur day?”  I just thought it was darling.  So did my friend.

Super sweet stuff.

What are your favorite Etsy shops?  

P.S. I thought Byron, Duncan and Looker all needed to be a foursome (you know, in case they wanted to play golf or something) so I happily scooped up this darling fox by Eastwitching.  Now I’ve got a happy bunch of furry, sophisticated friends!

Gift Idea: Watercolor Set

Lately I’ve been finding myself staring at beautiful watercolor paintings on Pinterest (see here) so I decided to ask one of my favorite bloggers, Creature Comforts, on Twitter what sort of kit she’d recommend for a newbie watercolor artist.  Her answer?  The cheapy kits at craft stores! Ha!

Not sure whether that should’ve been a relief or intimidating, on a recent trip to Walmart, I picked up a Crayola kids version, which I think is very clever, because what’s the use of spending a lot of money (the artsy watercolor kit was about $20 in comparison, so still, not that bad) if you’re not even sure you’re going to like it?  Exactly.  So, $1.88 later plus about $5 for a watercolor pad and another few dollars for a nice pack of brushes in various sizes (which I’m sure to use again for other crafts), I had all I needed to try my not-so-skilled hand at watercolor painting.  I made it a little easier on myself by looking at photos of paintings I liked to see how I might need to add brushstrokes or use color to blend shapes but all in all, knowing I’m not a painter, I was happy to just have an afternoon of creating and trying something new.

my first foray into watercolors
— an easy, striped card

If you’re looking for a clever gift idea or stocking stuffer, a cute little watercolor kit would be a fun, thoughtful gift for kids and crafters on your gift list.  And, you can even get a kit for yourself to make beautiful gift tags and cards to personalize gifts this year!

Here are two inexpensive gift sets for the would-be artist on your list:

1. via Target  |  2. via Consumer Crafts

1. Travel Easy Watercolor Set from Target $12.99

2. Creative Dimensions Art Set 79pc. $14.97