Faeries and Elves

Sorry about the long silence. I know I’ve had several things in mind I’ve wanted to post about, but there never has been enough right moments for this. But today I stumbled upon some awesome photography on Etsy, and I kind of forgot about everything else and wanted to share that with someone:

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The picture is from the shoes listing in this shop: MarienWool.Etsy.com
Photography is made by (and I think also the rights owned by); Terje Talts
And the fabulous clothing by: Svetlana Voronskaja

-Maarja

The post with cute cats on postcards

I attempted to sketch a cat birthday card the other day. I had a cute idea behind it – can you guess what it was? What the cat is trying to do on the picture?

B-daycassObviously it’s trying to make a cute letter B with it’s paws! Right? At least that’s what I thought. But the first two people I showed the drawing to didn’t find it obvious at all. The basic response I got was the polite “What a cute cat” or “Nice drawing”. And I could sense a question hanging in the air – “Is there a point to this random cat on this card?”.

So, I was kind of successful in attempting to be cute with that cat paw letter B, but unfortunately it was just me cutely failing to convey my intended meaning …
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But enough about me and my failures! One of my sister’s most adorable and awesome cat cards got some awesome feedback today:

“Pretty expensive with shipping, but the art is fantastic and sincerely charming. The recipient of this card really loves it.”

I keep prodding her to make a post about her cat art and most of all – about the five furry, cuddly purr-balls of inspiration she has around the house. It would be an excellent chance to make a contribution into the global pool of cute and beautiful cat photographs and drawings!

As for the comment about our cards being expensive – well that’s the back side of selling things on line. Shipping expenses can’t be avoided. Another reason is that our cards are still very much hand-made and sold on a very small scale. At some point in the future, it may happen that we get into actually having some of them professionally printed, but at this moment we rely on our little brave desktop ink-jet printers, cut and measure paper by hand feel proud and happy over every single individual card we make. And you can be certain that with each purchase you’ll be directly supporting the artist and getting something really unique in return.

-Maarja

Valentine’s day cards

Yes, I know – it’s over a month away! But it’s like with Christmas preparations – you have to start early.

To be quite honest with you – I have never particularly celebrated it or expected any special on that day. It’s one of those silly commercial holidays, you know, and people should make showing love, affection and appreciation a pleasurable daily habit not once a year show off… The only Valentine’s cards I’ve ever sent and received were from friends at school, as we mostly interpreted it around here during that time as friends’ day, there was special valentine’s postal service at school and everything and I sent and got a card from all of my friends.

But then again, holidays like that are a perfect opportunity for many people to make lovely surprises or great gifts outside the regular Christmas/Birthday routine. There can never be enough reasons to pamper the people you love, right?

Either way, what I do firmly believe in is that all this planning and celebrating should never be a source of aggravating stress (I mean the kind that wears you down and weighs like a stone, and makes you feel like you are just acting a part and poorly at that). The best kind of gift anyone can give is their time and attention. And if that holiday is important for you, be sure to communicate that to your partner. And make clear (to yourself above all) that time spent together and mutual attention is ALL you expect and absolutely at the top of any potential gift or surprise list. Life is not a movie, it’s way better than that.

Oh .. and if you still feel like you should surprise your loved one with a thematic post-card, or add a card to your bouquet of flowers and/or expensive presents, why not take an educational approach and do some linguistic exploration? Or go for cute and amusing? Or simply say how you feel …

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I’ve been also busy building up a greater variety of acorn necklaces. And I got most of our acorn/chestnut earring stock listed, with gift-boxes and all. I plan to properly introduce them on this blog as well, but if you want to sneak a peek (you totally should), here’s a link to our natural jewelry section:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/IsePaperAndCraft?section_id=15610513&page=2

-maarja

Keeping it real – holidays at home :)

I thought quite a bit whether I should post this. I mean, I really want to show you our Christmas ornaments on a tree. And what I especially want to show off are the ornaments from last year – as good as fresh! But there is this thing of it being the darkest time of the year. I mean, one should not post such real looking pictures of things they want to sell, should they? But then again – I’m not an international corporation. And this is not a tree from some catalogue, it’s our home Christmas tree which had a broken branch and was dropping needles since the first day, but we love it anyway because my 4 year old chose it himself and had a real blast hanging every last ornament I had at hand! 🙂 I think one of our mottoes with ISEPaperAndCraft, although we have never precisely discussed it or spelled it out, is keeping it real. We are not making and selling things for customers, we are sending them to other people. And we are people too. So, here it goes, our* Christmas tree this year:

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This is the second year we’ve been decorating our tree solely with ISEPaperAndCraft decorations. I’ve been wanting to do a carefully designed and well balanced Christmas tree decorations design with our products, but this will have to wait until it’s Summer, because real family Christmas trees are meant to be simply enjoyed. In my opinion – it is not possible to have an ugly family Christmas tree, especially if the decorations are put on the tree by all family members and are self-made or special and love in some other way or for some other reason. This year I just took out the box with what I had prepared for our tree the last year and almost everything also on sale at the shop – could not miss a chance to test them on an actual tree! My 4 year old son had a blast decorating, and I we love our tree to bits. (Note the red yarn and the star shaped bowl – our tree-vase turned out to be leaking and this was our solution to avoid removing the tree and taking everything off of it)

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The different sets of acorn/chestnut/ pine cone ornaments go together surprisingly well and the tree feels just so right, natural materials are just so … natural on a real tree. Artificial ornaments are of course brighter in colour and shinier, but not something I really want to bring into my own home. What I love about acorns/ chestnuts / and pine cones, is how rich in detail and texture they are – they invite you to look more closely. They are eventually made of tiny cells, like we are, there is richness in texture and colour, even if more subdued. Our cosy little tree feels like yarn coloured with natural colours, it’s like a field of (northern) wild-flowers. And if you want to light up that kind tree you should either use real candles or choose some more exquisite brand of Christmas lights which would look more like fireflies on a jute cord not like a random electric cord with plastic on it and some more plastic.
Of course there is a limit to the natural. Some ornaments are made with a drop of quick dry glue, acrylic paste spikes on chestnuts are not what the soil is made of and satin ribbon is very much artificial in origin. But, well, that’s where the balance stands right now 🙂

Here are some chestnut rose ornaments. Can you tell the difference between the ones made for last Christmas and the ones made this Fall?

DSCN9695 DSCN9700 DSCN9702 DSCN9704   First and last are picked in 2013, the middle two are 2014 crop. The only difference I could spot was in style. And if you are curios, what kind of filter is used for the photos, I must disappoint you. It’s just the lack of light 🙂

Here’s my best shot of one of the silver cones:

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And here’s the crochet cap acorn set I originally made for Easter 2013 – it turned out to liven up our tree really well. It’s such a hassle to brand things. I know they look equally convincing on twigs with willow pussies, but I admit that the concept of eastern acorns is rather … unique. Even though it is definitely cute and original and nature friendly 🙂 As for the acorns being also from the last year – I don’t even feel like it’s noteworthy, red oak acorns are so sturdy and durable that I suspect that it will be a really long wait of decades to see one wither up and fall to pieces …

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As for the white oak acorn ornaments from last year – they will have to wait until summer for me to get proper close-ups of them 🙂 Some ore visible on whole-tree shots though! But here’s one of my experimental tree-decorations. I once covered this oak leaf with golden paint, with no particular purpose in mind. A future Christmas tree with acorns and oak leaves? Why not!

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PS: Some ornament sets are on a 20% post-holiday sale now at our shop.
PPS: I am actually aware that the year number is changed and it is customary to send out new year wishes and such on that occasion. But I also feel that the internet and every other place is so full of new year wishes on this day of all the days, that I will put mine/ours up at some later date.

-maarja
*this means our little family of tree. My sister had some wonderful Christmas decorations up at her house too – I don’t know if she took any pictures though.