As you know, we’ve been talking about cross-stitching a lot here lately. And yesterday, we featured some fantastic Etsy sellers, including this amazing woman, who makes some of the greatest samplers I’ve ever seen.
It seemed like a good opportunity to re-post this story, all about cross-stitching, Gollum, and the way Etsy is supposed to work.
If you read this site with any regularity, and really, why wouldn’t you, you already know about Steotch.
Steotch makes strange samplers, and I buy a lot of them. In fact, Steotch is my favorite Etsy seller, and this is hanging in my kitchen.
I know. Don’t hate.
Well no, you can hate. You have no choice, really. Even I hate myself, and it’s my sampler.
Anyway, I’ve bought several of her pieces now, and last month, I bought this one.
How incredible is that? Amazeballs, that’s how. And the little ring is embroidered in gold metallic thread, just to make you even more jealous and unpleasant.
Now, we’re a little nerdy over here, and we definitely could have found a place in our home for this. Next to the replica of Darth Vader’s lightsaber, perhaps. Or maybe alongside our oil on velvet of Admiral Ackbar.
But when you love something, you set it free. And so we did.
We wrapped this sampler up, and we gave it to our friend Randy.
Randy was the Animation Director on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He and his team actually created Gollum.
To me, this is a perfect Etsy moment. This is how it’s supposed to work. Talented people making amazing crafts that find their way into the homes and hearts of other smart and talented people. And the circle of fuckery is complete.
Or you could just glue a plastic chrysanthemum on a box of Kotex and call it steampunk.
It’s difficult to manage so many objects, but we keep things in check by stringently adhering to three rules:
1. Do not allow collections to migrate (ie: no Spiderman figures in the bedroom)
2. Surround odd objects with sleek and neutral objects, so the eye has a place to rest
3. You can’t buy everything
It’s all good advice, but it’s really that last one that keeps the house from looking like the season finale of HOARDERS. Well, that and the paucity of dead cats in the living room.
And so I present, with infinite longing and regret, seven Etsy shops I love, and have yet to buy anything from.
1. Creative Pal
It’s hard to describe Paul Shapiro’s Etsy store. He’s inspired by old toys, baseball cards and Willie Wonka, and he makes amazing motion lamps (with or without sound). But for me, his best work is reproducing vintage in-store advertising like the motorized Slinky display above.
His store is on hiatus due to some personal issues, so I’ve linked some sold pieces that I wish I’d bought when I had the chance.
2. The Art & Designs of Ron Guyatt & Indy Lytle
Ron Guyatt, a Canadian graphic artist, makes travel posters for places we’ll never see. He also has some amazing faux movie posters, as well as an assortment of pieces that will delight any gamer.
3. Jessica Alpern
Jessica first came to my attention last year, when she made a hand-cut paper map of Helsinki for this post (password: CF4L). It’s hard for me to believe that anyone has this kind of dexterity and control, but then, my hands shake trying to get the Pop Tarts out of the toaster. Of course, that could just be excitement.
4. Musetap Studios
Wil Woods and Tyrine Carver turn out some of the wittiest art I’ve seen in a long time (the Deathstar Reflections print pictured above made me laugh so hard I cried). They affectionately deliver their backhanded valentines to every geek staple from Dr. Who to Star Wars, with a generous helping of X-Box and Marvel on the side.
5. Jewel Renee
Jewel Renee is not only extremely gifted, but incredibly generous. She has donated art to our fundraisers, and supported many of the people we’ve helped over the years through April’s Army sales and other projects. While her aquatic monsters are freaky and wonderful, she also does remarkably sensitive animal portraits and art for children.
6. Vandalized Vintage by Trixie Delicious
Trixie Delicious is a master of contrast and contradiction. She successfully mines humor from the unexpected juxtaposition of antique plates and harsh words, and the overall effect is enchanting. Or fucking enchanting, if you prefer.
7. The Gryllus
Cara Thayer and Louie Van Patten are two collaborative Oregon artists who paint side-by-side. They had me at Breaking Bad, but their subject matter runs the gamut from pop culture icons to color studies to nudes, with the occasional still-life thrown in just to kick your ass some more.