Buying things is fun.
Oh sure, sometimes I splurge on things that are indulgent, mindless, or downright wasteful. But I'm quite happy to report that after my yearlong shopping ban, I've got a much better handle on how - and how not - to shop.
But I will be the first to admit that sometimes I just gotta throw all this caution to the wind. I believe it's the tiny treasures and interesting details give a home its soul, and there's nothing like a late night online deep dive to scour up a few little unique and highly personal items that whisper to me and ask for a place in my life.
And for that kind of shopping, hands down, Etsy is the place to go.
So here are some highlights from my recent Etsy hauls, and I must say, buying each one of them was one hundred percent fun.
Here's a purple-grey still life printed canvas from an artist in the Netherlands, settled into its new home in a frame from Virginia. I first discovered this adorable little scene last December, and waited until July to pull the trigger. I love the dreaminess of the puffy peonies and the pastel tones.
The frame I bought separately. It came unfinished, so I stained it myself and discovered in the process that the print actually looks better mounted so that it's facing out from what's meant to be the back of the frame. Somehow, I find this 'make it work' moment to be quite satisfying.
Meet my 1970 handmade sand-cast owl. He speaks to me, and among the dozens of vintage ceramic owl tchotchkies I found perched in the trees of Etsy, his voice came through loud and clear. A groovy dude with his geometrically on fleek feathering, this guy gives me all the best childhood vibes.
Okay so you know that little doll house / Christmas diorama I'm working on? Yeah, this little girl is going to live there. She is profoundly tiny, articulated arms and all, and carved from a piece of alder wood by a magical lady in Ukraine. I spent a ridiculous amount of money on a one-inch doll but you know, I have zero regrets.
I also bought a tiny black cat to live in the house with this dumpling child, and the combined effect is so cottage core it makes me weep.
At Christmas, I've a small collection of tiny deer that I set here and there among the holiday clutter, and when I came across these, I knew they were destined to join my herd. I mean, never mind that they are literally meant to be children's toys. I love them so much that I've let these two dappled fawns live year round on my kitchen shelf.
And once I broke down the barriers around using toddlers' toys as home decor, I figured why not add a horse family to boot? This lovely handmade trio arrived from Russia just this week, and I for one am charmed.
Don't let my neutral walls, grey furniture, and black and white throw pillows fool you; I'm crazy for color. Yellow is one of my through-way favorites; little bits of it pop up in every corner of the house and I knew I could put this big mid-century vintage vase to use in a dozen different ways. A big friendly fellow, he lives in my front hall and makes me smile every day.
My parents-in-law built a lovely custom home back in 1959 and decorated it at the top of mid-century design curve. In the living room on their brick fireplace wall hung a painting of two quail, still proudly on display in the eighties and nineties when I joined the fam, and I have fond, fond memories of sitting on their couch, a bit harried from the process of winging my children across the country and into this Ohio nest, and staring at those birds. The painting has long since slipped through my fingers but when I saw this vintage pair of similar birds, I knew they were meant to be mine.
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P.S. When I get an itch to shop for one-of-a-kind treasures in the daytime, I go thrifting. In-person shopping breathlessly demands an immediate response, and while I hate that feeling of pressure, the single digit price tags keep the stakes low. Here's one of my favorite scores of the summer thrifting season.
^ I'm obsessed with small boxes. Their crisp, clean corners feel satisfyingly stable and square; their mysterious inner depths spark my curiosity. This lovely specimen features delicately straw-covered sides and a woven top featuring my favorite pattern, tumbling blocks. When I bought it, she shined with an unfortunately glossy sheen, but a few swipes of liquid sandpaper and two coats of matte urethane later, I fell in love.