Tag Archives: nature

Wordless Wednesday – Inshriach Nursery

19 Jun

Wordless Wednesday – Highland Wildlife Park

12 Jun

Yurting in Winter

29 Jan

This may sound a little mad, but my partner and I are just back from a mini getaway – staying in a yurt in the woods just outside Elgin.  It averaged about zero degrees, there was snow, rain, wind and ice, but we still managed to have a wonderful time.  Our yurt was situated in Aldroughty Woods and is owned by Marius, who is wonderfully friendly and hospitable and went the extra mile to ensure that we had a pleasant break.  Our yurt had everything we could possibly need, and more!  It was fully kitted out with candles, games, CDs, a fruit basket (which also happened to include my favourite chocolate!), an endless supply of wood for our stove and the warmest, cosiest, most comfortable bed I have ever slept in!

It was the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding towns and countryside.  We visited the aquarium at Macduff, looked out for dolphins at Spey Bay (unfortunately the tide was out so none were to be seen), wandered around the sleepy coastal town of Lossiemouth, and even went on a day trip to Aberdeen where we explored the maritime museum.

It was such a relaxing, slow-paced holiday – mainly because it took about half an hour to boil the kettle for a cup of tea! – but once the stove was roaring, the wine was poured and the cards dealt, it was bliss!

If you ever get the chance to visit Elgin I highly recommend you stay at Aldroughty Woods!  The website for full details can be found at http://www.aldroughtywoods.co.uk/

Etsy Love – A Flash of Nature

25 Jan

il_570xN.363567611_jvbzNext up in my Etsy Love series is Kacie from A Flash of Nature, a nature photographer who sells prints and gadget cases featuring her stunning images.   I’ve always been a fan of nature and Kacie’s photographs capture the vivid colours and natural patterns which sum up my passion perfectly!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. 

Nature photography has provided me the opportunity to blend my two passions as a Biology Major who also happens to love art. I came across Etsy in 2009 as a shopper and fell in love with the sheer volume and variety of hand-crafted items available. About a year later, I was looking through all of my photos and realized that I had a number of unique shots. For the next two years, I pondered the idea of opening up an Etsy shop until finally this past summer I took the plunge. Since opening my shop, I have added two lines of functional art depicting my photography including iPhone cases and neoprene iPad sleeves.

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.il_570xN.363577260_7pyi

I actually have several favorite pieces, but probably the photo I am most proud of is my “Hummingbird Flight” photo; it is part of a 17 piece collection. One of the things I really enjoy doing during the summer is sitting at my hummingbird feeder and watching these amazing creatures do their aerobatic acts. I had always wanted to photograph a hummingbird in flight so that I could share with my family and the world what beauty lies in their own backyard. Capturing a flying hummingbird on camera however is not easy. Hummingbirds are jumpy and fast, they beat their wings 70 times per second. So, in order to get the perfect photo I had to not only gain the bird’s trust, but also be quick to take the shot. It took me two summers, but eventually I captured a female on high-speed.

3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

My shop is unique in a few ways. As I mentioned above, I like to get close to my subjects. I’d say at least 50% of my pictures are macro photography. Often times, when you see wildlife photos for sale, they are taken using a fancy camera with a zoom lens. With my photos, if it looks like the animals are close, it’s because they are. My photos are also unique in that they are realistically vivid and color saturated. These pops of color make them ideal for functional art. Not everyone has a place in their home to hang another photo, but just about everyone has a cell phone and a computer; which is why I started offering iPad/iPhone cases this past fall. It enables my customers to take their art with them wherever they go!

4. What’s next in the pipeline?

I hope to keep adding to my photo collection and hopefully expand my functional art line. I will also be having at Valentine’s Day sale from January 23rd- February 14th. All items are 10% off with coupon code MDVD13.

5. Tell us something about you or your shop that you haven’t previously shared!

I do custom orders as well, so if you see a photo you like but need it in a different size or if you wish a photo were offered in another form of functional art such as a laptop bag, coffee mug, or note card, let me know!il_570xN.375782343_teg8

6. And finally, let us know where we can find you.

Etsy Store: www.etsy.com/shop/AFlashOfNature
Wanelo: wanelo.com/aflashofnature
Tumblr: www.tumblr.com/blog/aflashofnature

Thanks Kacie, you have a wonderful eye for detail and have captured some beautiful shots!  Don’t forget to visit A Flash of Nature and use Coupon Code MDVD13 for 10% off – offer ends 14th February!


Etsy Love – Williams Honey Farm

17 Jan

Today I am getting to know Jay and Adrienne Williams who run Williams Honey Farm and are active beekeepers who practice and promote safe, sustainable, chemical free beekeeping. Their Etsy shop is full of honey, comb honey, creamed honey and lip balms.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. 

We are a small husband and wife beekeeping operation based just south of Nashville, TN. We specialize in “finishing honey”. In other words, our honey is quite sweet and usually is drizzled over a fine dessert or cheese rather than dumped in bulk into larger recipes. We want you to savor our honey and try and taste all the floral varieties packed into one vial! The inspiration for our Etsy shop came from our love for the honeybee. It’s a tough time for honey bees and they need all the help they can get. As a result, we decided to break from normal beekeeper tradition and not use any sort of chemicals, antibiotics, acids or other harsh treatments when raising our bees. Our honey is as raw as it gets. It’s as if you stuck your spoon inside the hive and pulled out a scoop. Our bees seem happier, and we maintain a clear conscience.

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.il_570xN_407432975_fb9l

Our current favorite piece is our “Love is Sweet” honey vials. The name says it all clear and simple. It also works great because we took a big gamble this year with our beehives and held off extracting honey until our local Basswood trees finished blooming. The flower only blooms for 2 weeks out of the year and is quite tricky to time right. What this means for the honey taste is a smooth start followed by an extra sweet kick at the end. Honey is just like wine and you’d be amazed at how it can flirt with your taste buds the more you eat or pair it with food. It’s a great romantic gift or even a great wedding favor.

3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

Our shop is unique in that we treat our bees like family and cherish the bounty they provide. We are also unique because we rescue wild beehives in danger. We swoop in before an exterminator gets to them and move them to a safe, clean area to live out the rest of their days. The left behind beeswax we melt, strain and turn into lip balm that we affectionately call “Lip Rescue.” It’s a win win for all involved. The concerned citizen isn’t scared about being stung, the bees live another day, and customers get to enjoy a 100% pure lip balm experience.il_570xN_293695899

4. What’s next in the pipeline?

Next in the pipeline is what we call our “Mini Honey Flask”. It’ll be a 5 oz container you can easily take anywhere to spike your coffee, tea, or party drink. Look for it to come out this spring!

5. Tell us something about you or your shop that you haven’t previously shared!

We frequently try to get together with fellow Etsy shops and team up for our projects. Just like bees in a beehive, we’re all in this together. Our “Love is Sweet” vials for instance came from our good friends over at InTheClear on Etsy. Our customizable wedding favor tags came from our friends at EdgeInspired in the UK!

6. And finally, let us know where we can find you.

You can of course find us on Etsy at: www.etsy.com/people/WilliamsHoneyFarm

You can also check out our website for more info about us or links to help you become a beekeeper:

Please follow us on twitter @littleguyhoney
Please like us on facebook:
We were also recently awarded “Best Tasting Honey in Tennessee” at the state convention!

Thanks for sharing your wonderful shop with us, Jay and Adrienne – all this talk of honey is making me drool!  From browsing your products it is clear that your bees are very precious to you and it’s wonderful to discover a shop with a great cause such as yours!

Hunting for Conkers

18 Oct

I haven’t gone conker hunting since I was little and this year I have decided to try and find some, mainly for nostalgia’s sake, but I thought I could try and make beads out of them as well.

For the past couple of weekends I’ve been out searching for them amongst the trees near my house, but to be honest I’m not even sure what the right trees look like!  I might still be a little early as the leaves have only just started to fall, but we did find evidence of conker shells on the ground, already torn to pieces by the squirrels.

Last weekend we continued the hunt with a walk around Almondell Country Park.  Unfortunately I came home empty handed but managed to get a couple of nice photos with my phone.  I just love the autumnal colours and wearing my wellies meant I could go splashing through the mud and puddles as well!

The hunt continues this weekend…hopefully those pesky squirrels haven’t already pinched them all!

Etsy Love – When Shutters Click

12 Mar

We come to the end of my Etsy Love series with Natalie from When Shutters Click Gifts who sells handcrafted pendants, greetings cards and other gifts featuring her own photography.  Natalie’s shop is full of beautiful images and I get a wonderful nostalgic feeling when looking through her products.  I love nature and colour and the fact that Natalie’s jewellery and gifts are made using her own original photography make them truly unique.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop.

The name is Natalie and I’m a fun-loving, crafting gal who fell in love with photography at the age of 15. I have always been a very creative, visual person and come from a family of artists; my mother is a writer and my older brother is a jazz/R&B drummer.

When I decided to close my portrait/wedding/commercial photography business after 3 successful years so I could focus on friends, family and my health.. it didn’t take long for me to miss being creative and creating something I could share with others. After a few months, I decided to use my photography, and my love for crafting, to create pieces of jewelry and other accessories.

While still being able to focus on friends, family and health, I am still able to fulfill my need to be creative and share my work with others.

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite. 

My favourite piece is my Irish Eye necklace. I love that photograph so much, I have a 16×20 canvas print that I hang in my living room wall. The pendant is created using a high quality glass tile and a silver plated high-shine tray; it is my favourite because it is so bright and happy, it is a great fit for any outfit.

3. What is the biggest milestone you have achieved so far whilst selling on Etsy?

I can’t say that I have hit any yet. My shop is still fairly new, so I can’t celebrate being open for a year or anything like that. I am hoping that in 2012 I will hit the 100 sales milestone, that would be wonderful!

4. What are your future plans for your shop and crafting in general?

I have a number of products waiting to be added to the shop, new styles but also new photographs! I have a very special line of pendants coming out soon for my fellow photographers 😉

I am planning a new blog design and hoping to open a shop, in addition to Etsy, on my website where I can offer other products.

5. And finally let us know where we can find you.

Etsy Shop: http://www.whenshuttersclick.etsy.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WhenShuttersClickGifts
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/shuttersclick
Website: http://www.whenshuttersclick.com

 Thanks for sharing with us Natalie, your work is very beautiful.  I know that you will do well on Etsy as you have a truly original product and a brilliant eye for photography – it will just be a matter of time before the sales come flooding in!

I’d like to say thank you to all of my contributors to my Etsy Love series.  It has been a pleasure looking at so many original and beautiful designs and vintage finds.

I will still feature shops from time to time and if you would like me to feature your shop, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Etsy Love – Contempo Jewels

26 Feb


Next up in my Etsy Love series is Staci from Contempo Jewels who sells original and custom jewellery, stationary and hair accessories.  Staci’s jewellery has a delicate elegance to it.  I’ve always been inspired by nature (especially trees) and the woven silver branches and use of freshwater pearls really call out to me.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop.

I have been on Etsy for 5 years, making jewelry for 13 years. I’m always looking for new outlets for my products and places to meet new people.

I was reading an article about “Handmade Mafia” based out of Philadelphia. I checked out their websites and adored their work. I noticed most of them had an etsy site. Seemed pretty cool, so I started my own.

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.

Honestly, I don’t really have a favorite piece. I create jewelry for other people, not myself. That’s why I love custom orders – it keeps me focused and inspired. [That’s OK Staci, I’ll pick a favourite for you – I just love these Pearl Branch Earrings!]

3. What is the biggest milestone you have achieved so far whilst selling on Etsy?

 I’m almost at 400 sales – that’s huge for me! I make jewelry and that’s a tough market, so I’m thankful every time I make a sale!

4. What are your future plans for your shop and crafting in general?

I have been so busy focusing on my b+m shop, that Etsy gets lost sometimes. I want to post something new everyday and work on my shop a little bit everyday – change photos, better descriptions, work on tags…

5. And finally let us know where we can find you.

Etsy Shop: http://www.contempojewels.etsy.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/contempojewelry
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/contempojewels
Other Websites: http://www.contempojewelry.net/

 Thanks for sharing Staci!  It’s very clear to me how you have managed to reach almost 400 sales – you have a brilliant talent for creating miniature works of art in each of your designs.  This success is well earned and I wish you many more sales to come!