My friend Liezl and I have been pen pals for a number of years. Liezl always sends me wonderful letters and lots of gifts perfectly suited to my tastes, but I'm usually pretty terrible with how slowly I respond. For example, she sent me the most thoughtful box of goodies this past Christmas, including issues of Zelda Magazine, an amazing purse made out of a Little Golden Book version of Disney's Alice in Wonderland, and packets of my very favorite strawberry Koala's March cookies. I wanted to send her the perfect collection of gifts to make up for always taking forever to write (so long, in fact, that I finally just sent everything last week - see, I told you!), but my town is pretty limited in its selection of nifty things, so I decided to search Etsy, and boy did I find some treasures! I'd never used Etsy for gift purchasing before, and I have to say it was a great experience; so much better than settling for "okay" gifts. Liezl received the package already, so I can share what I found here, and perhaps introduce a few fabulous Etsy shops to you.
Liezl loves Little Red Riding Hood, and I have been admiring Retro And Ruby's shop for quite a while, so I bought this adorable little paper doll booklet. Artist Marina Collings Whiting has the coolest illustration style, and she makes all sorts of paper doll booklets, from Marie Antoinette to a rockabilly girl, and lots more. She also sells original paintings and super cute stationary. I definitely want to buy something for myself from her shop, the hard part is figuring out what to choose!
I knew I wanted to give Liezl something non-paper as well, and when I saw this Red Riding Hood zipper pouch by Madame Cupcake, I thought it was perfect! There are coin purses, wallets, and even Kindle sleeves in this shop, in a huge variety of fun fabric prints. There is a whole lot of cuteness over there!
I think Nan Lawson is a pretty well-known artist on Etsy; I believe I've spied her booth at Renegade Craft Fair in the past as well. She specializes in whimsical illustrations, often of popular movie and television characters. There really is something for everyone in her shop. Liezl is a big fan of Pushing Daisies (me too!) so I picked the sweetest portrait of Ned the pie maker. There are definitely plenty of Nan's prints that Jose and I could see hanging up in our house someday. I might need the Ron Swanson print for Jose at some point.
A few months ago, I was contacted by Paulina to do a custom pet portrait. She wanted a painting of her two adorable kitties, Leia and Muis, to hang in her son's nursery. I loved the photos and background information she provided for the portrait. Muis (Dutch for mouse), the dark grey older cat, is a British shorthair main coon mix. Leia, the younger light grey cat is a definite princess, according to Paulina, and loves to steal any kind of food. Muis is protective of Leia and likes to groom her. They love to cuddle, which makes them a particularly sweet pair!
It's always a huge bummer when I almost finish a painting and then some sort of accident happens that causes a tiny flaw, so I have to start all over. See that little splotch on Leia's forehead and the water spot on one of the letters? That's the first version of the painting. Oops! Does that ever happen to anyone else?
You can order your very own custom pet portrait right here.
We finally got a new computer last week, as my poor eleven year old Dell was just about to die. We love our new computer! It's so nice to be able to not have to restart every twenty minutes just to edit a single photo at a time. The only problem is, our old version of Photoshop won't work on the new computer, so I've been editing everything on a very old laptop until we can purchase a new version of Photoshop. So it's taken me awhile to put posts together, including one about our Las Vegas trip, where we met up with Kat Williams and journeyed to the desert to do a couple photo shoot with Lisa Devlin. They're both blogging the photos tomorrow, so keep an eye out if you're interested! I'll be sharing the links and some more photos (and a video!) after they post. In the meantime, here's a bit of what I've been up to.
Flipping through Zooey Magazine at the bookstore, I spied this article on Enjoy, and had to get a copy of course! There's also a feature on Elsie of A Beautiful Mess in the issue.
My super-duper-crazy-amazing partner in crime turned 28 today! Getting to spend pretty much every day with Jose is definitely the best part of my life. I am so proud of him every single day, and I am beyond excited that after so many years of hard work and dedication, this year he finally achieved his dream of becoming a teacher. This year, everything is finally starting to pay off for him, and he deserves every bit of happiness he gets. I'm looking forward to whatever adventures we get ourselves into! To celebrate his day here on the blog, I snapped a few pictures of some of his favorite things.
He's a huge lifelong Star Wars fan, and collects Pez dispensers.
He has a least thirty lighters, and loves Marilyn.
He's the biggest fan of The Boss; hopefully we'll get to see him in concert someday.
The Elvis sunglasses! Some of Jose's students call him Elvis (or Wolverine).
He's a total history buff, particularly when it comes to the Kennedys.
Watch out, that guy looks like trouble! Happy Birthday, you little stinker!