Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

I've really been enjoying the hand-picked items on the Etsy home page recently, especially today as some of my finds here came directly from shops I spotted in hand-picked. Wanna check out the stores on my radar this week? Here we go, friendsies! :)

I adore the bag designs of this South African designer, Wendren and her shop Wren. Handcrafted by Wendren and with help from her local community, no two bags are alike. Motivated by sustainable principles, Wren is a small business dedicated to the production of conscientious design that is authentic and well made. Lovely! (Psst: She also has a website here and a DaWanda store here.)

Hettle in Connecticut connected me to a bit of my past today. Did you know that when I was like 19-years-old I was trained by a seamstress to construct custom hats, headpieces for brides, and pins/clips for bridesmaids in a millinery shop? Oh yes. And I remember very clearly all the work involved, and all of the rosettes just like the ones shown on Hettles pillows that we had to make in a week by hand. It was such a wonderful job though and I stuck with it for a few summers in a row. After seeing these pillows today I remembered this period in my life and that I really should try to make something with rosettes for my home. I imagine the drapes in my bedroom, my white linen ones, could use some fancy (but simple) embellishment. Perhaps a few rosettes as a simple tie back with velvet pale mocha ribbon? Hmmm. Anyway, I love these pillows - linen and velvet? Oh sign me up!

Piano Bench Designs in New Mexico is just holy smokes cute. Cupcake necklaces? Check. Initial necklaces? Bunny wabbits? Check. Happy clouds? Check, check, check! Love this girl, love her jewelry... Weeeee!

Canadian photographer Jennifer Squires has my attention this week as I've been experimenting more with nature and travel photography and so I find her work a bit of an inspiration to my own. Jennifer currently has a series in which she has photographed pieces of her vacation to Greece and I find them so serene and exactly how I imagine life in Greece to be. Thanks Jennifer for writing in about your work this week!

And last but far from least, I've really been into blankets lately. Lap quilts in particular. I do love those granny-esque crochet ones (you know, the one that a designer was kicked off of Top Design last season for...oooh!), and of course ethnic patterned blankets (esp. if they're vintage)... but lately I'm really craving a good old-fashioned quilt to curl up under on my sofa. I made one and I use it in my New Hampshire home, but it took me like 30 years to make it so I'm not sure if I should attempt another one before the ultra-cold weather sets in or if I should suck it up and shell out some dough on a beautiful handmade quilt on Etsy. I mean, I am supporting small business if I purchase one, right (justifying a purchase is hardly a problem for me)? I picked up a blanket at IKEA in August but it's not warm at all, that's synthetic fibers for ya, and it basically looks pretty and nothing more. Arm candy for my sofa, no substance -- it can't keep me warm at night. I bet the ones from Golden Gate Quilts (aka SFOQuilter) would be a nice replacement for the IKEA one. I appreciate that they're so affordable given the sheer amount of work that goes into piecing all these squares together... having made a full-size one myself, I know the work involved. If someone sells a lap quilt for $150, they are basically earning $5 an hour to sit and make it. I like the patterns and fabric combos that the SFOQuilter uses, lovely! I wish she shipped abroad because I would purchase this quilt in a heartbeat! (Psst: She also sells quilted table runners.)

Hope you've enjoyed my eclectic round up this week! :)

(images linked to their sources above.)