Posts tagged ‘Etsy’


{Etsy Spotlight: Vinender}

Every now and then I see a piece of art that makes me pee my pants a little. Just a little, not enough to be embarrassing. Ahem…Every now and then, I find a piece of art that I can’t live without. Usually, I live without it anyway or try to find some way to make something like it myself, but recently I came across some pieces that are so amazing I can’t hardly stand it. Thankfully, my step-brother-in-law (*whew*), Kevin, makes them, so–Guess what, Kev?–these are all I ever want for every birthday, Christmas, anniversary, Halloween, graduation, or Winter Solstice Ceremony.

Photo by Sassyfras Studios

Kevin and his wife, my step-sister Michelle, live in South Carolina with their beautiful daughter, Numora Mae (isn’t she precious?!). Kevin collects salvageable wood from all over the Carolinas and arranges it into amazing mixed-media art.

The result is striking. From far away, you see a modern silhouette and some seriously amazing color composition. Get closer, and you can see vivid details: little pieces of American history just begging to tell their stories.

My current favorites are his owls, but his stuff is like one of those great albums where every song is your favorite at some point or another.

If you want to see more of Kevin’s work, be sure to check out his store on Etsy. Also, as a little surprise for {My Latest Excuse} readers, enter the promo code “DEANNAHOOKSYOUUP” and get 15% off your purchase! If you live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, you can see some of his work in-the-flesh at Carlyn & Co. There are also some pieces on display at Daly Designs in Greenville, South Carolina.

Photo by Deb Baynum Stinehart

I certainly hope you enjoy his work as much as I do. I’m already clearing off my walls to make space!

UPDATE: I just learned that Kevin is available for custom pieces. If you would like to commission something, just shoot him an email here.

Unless otherwise specified, all images were used courtesy of Kevin Stinehart.


Etsy Interview: {Kaleda}

One of the hardest things in the world to find (even on Etsy) is a beautiful, modern wreath. Nate and I have been on the hunt for almost two years–stopping only to sleep–for a wreath that matches our decorating aesthetic: modern shapes with lots of nature-inspired texture and form. Over the weekend, I gathered a few tidbits from around the apartment that sum us up pretty well (and, yes, they are displayed on a meticulously-ironed white sheet…only the best for you, dear readers!):

Alas, our poor front and patio doors have remained cold and barren despite our tireless searching. But there is hope for our doors yet, thanks to {Kaleda}on Etsy! The shop is run by Vaida, a Lithuanian florist-at-heart who uses nature to inform her designs.

Via Etsy, I was able to get in touch with the delightful Vaida–Thank you, internet!–and ask her a few questions. First thing’s first: Why wreaths? She explains that wreaths have a sort of “magical significance” and are thought to protect the house they adorn from evil. Neat, right? I’ll take one for every door and window!

Not surprisingly, natural forms play an integral role in her creative process: “Wild nature landscapes, flowers, trees–they’re my inspiration source. I like to watch seasons changing, and I try to show every season’s beauty in my work.” 

I love that Vaida’s work is natural, yet abstract: perfectly marrying the modern with the organic. The key is that she allows nature to set the mood and tone of the work, and then she “conveys that mood with symbols, colors, and factures.” (In case you’re like me and don’t know what “factures” are, here’s the answer: the process(es) used to make or construct something.) Translation: She lets nature inform everything from her design to her wreath-construction process. (Who knew reading blogs could make you smarter?)

Looking at all of the widely varying shapes and concepts she uses for {Kaleda} wreaths made me wonder how she keeps it up and stays creative: “Interest in different art mediums helps to improve creative skills, and it’s not a problem for me, because I’m very interested in different mediums. Of course, there are still some unlucky days, when you can’t do anything at all. These are good times for little break: I go to walk in a park or forest (because I really like trees), or listen to some good music, or just look through my favorite florist books.” 

Vaida also took the time to share a couple of photos of the natural forms that inspire her. What do you think?

Hard not to be inspired, right? And there’s even more to kick-start your creativity at the {Kaleda Etsy Shop}! In the very near future, my front and patio doors will be singing Vaida’s praises and inspiring me on a daily basis! Which wreath are your doors calling out for?

All product images courtesy of {Kaleda}


{blog lovin’} + Interviews!

I’ve been getting hits from a site called “blog lovin'” lately, so I decided to check it out…Guess what I found? What the what?! A beautifully designed blog reader?! I didn’t know they made those! It also has iPhone and Android apps available. I’m in love, and I know you will be too! I just finished transferring all of my Google Reader blogs over to blog lovin’ and I can’t wait to get started!bloglovin

Apart from good site design, blog lovin’ beats Google Reader by letting bloggers “claim” their blog and manage their own blog lovin’ home page! Fabulous! Be sure to let me know in the comments when you’ve signed up and subscribed to my blog. I’ll be sure to subscribe to yours in return! Just click the “bloglovin” image in this article or in the sidebar to check it out!

Also, this coming week I’ll be sharing several posts I’m really excited about. First, if you haven’t already visited her incredible shop, I’ll be introducing you to Vaida of {Kaleda} on Etsy. She’s from Lithuania and makes beautiful wreaths and nature-inspired decor that make my little heart go pitter-patter, and she’s going to tell us a bit about her creative process. I can’t wait for you to meet her! Then I’ll be showing you an awesome new store that just opened in downtown KC called Black Bamboo. *swoon* Stay tuned!


Dear Spring, Heel. Sit. Stay.

I’ve been getting ansty for Spring lately. Last year Nate and I filled our porch to the brim with vegetables, herbs and flowers and I can’t wait to do it again this year! Yesterday, as we were walking into Wal-Mart, I realized that all I wanted to do when I got home was change into workout gear, and charge outside for a run to the park with my hubby. We did that almost every day last Spring and Summer. We would arrive back home sweaty and deliciously exhausted, grab a glass of water, and head out to the porch to talk, cool off, and watch the hubbub of the city. (Did I mention that we were going to Wal-Mart to get hairties? Yes, my hair is finally long enough to stay in a weird little ponytail! Hallelujah!) Anyhow, I thought I would share a couple of pictures of our garden last year with you all:

  First we had to build the planter boxes. This couldn’t have been done without Nate’s dad to help us draw up the plans, my dad to help up choose materials, and our besties from Waldo Bungie to help us with the manual labor!

Nate’s box was filled with veggies and herbs, but mine was filled with marigolds and purslane to add a bit of color!

The purslane eventually overtook the marigolds (lesson learned…), but they were ridiculously beautiful and vibrant! They will definitely be a staple in all my future gardens!

Later in the summer, we started seeing these breath-taking bi-color purslane blooms beginning to appear. Isn’t it fantastic?

Nate’s veggie and herb box was a huge success too. Here is the proud papa with just one of our basil harvests!

Here is our main harvest of lemon balm. The leaves smell like lemon Pez! The idea was to use the leaves to make tea, but we tried it once and weren’t huge fans. We’re not going to plant this little guy again, but it was fun to try!

Here we have a trio of yellow bell peppers. They were delightful, but miniature. We think we planted too many and they weren’t able to reach their full potential, but we loved them just the same!

We grew Roma tomatoes and chives as well, so we were able to make some delicious pesto and bruschetta! Yum!

We learned some very important gardening lessons last year, so I’m excited to get this growing season started and have such a beautiful garden that we earn the respect of Mother Nature and make friends with woodland animals like Johnny Appleseed. In the meantime, I’ll just have to carry a little bit of Spring with me via this incredible, handmade succulent jewelry from WoodlandBelle on Etsy:


Thursday Inspiration: Washi Tape

Washi tape (and baker’s twine) allowed me to add a personal touch to all my holiday gifts. Here are a few of the finished products:

I had a blast giving a Christmassy zip to our everyday decorations too!

But! This isn’t a Christmas post, and I’m excited to show you some of my springy favorites from PrettyTape on Etsy:

There are so many others that I love, but these were my favorite picks for spring! Take and look and let me know what your favorites are!

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