My Cup of Tea (Towels)

One of my favorite types of gifts to give during the holidays is tea towels and they’re always well-received by aunts and great-aunts. It seems kind of early to be thinking about Christmas already, but here we are officially in the fall and just about 90 days until gift-exchanging extravaganza time.

Here are a few tea towels that have recently caught my eye and that I’m thinking of giving myself for Christmas, too, or at least directing the Mr. to this post as a hint to what I want this Christmas!

tea towels featured on dearestnature.com

About Donaville Herrick

Donaville is the Founder of Dearest Nature and also Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hello Hello Hi. When visions of nature and web design aren't dancing in her head, she enjoys spending time with her three munchkins, baking cupcakes, and trying her hand at various crafts. Follow her on Twitter to stay updated with her day-to-day musings.

Kate & Birdie Fall Designs

Park bench notebook by Kate & Birdie

I’m so anxious for fall to arrive! Can’t wait to cozy up to a warm fire with a good book in hand as soon as the temperatures begin to drop … even if they only drop 10 or 15 degrees!

The wonderful folks over at Kate & Birdie have a line of some of the loveliest paper goods perfect for the fall season. I’m in total love (okay, lust) with their peach berries wrapping paper (you probably haven’t seen the last of peaches on the blog yet).

Kate & Birdie cards and gift wrap / featured on dearestnature.com

And who says you have to wait until the holidays to send a card? Happiness can come in many forms, especially sending an unexpected greeting in the the mail. Hop over to Kate & Birdie and scoop up a little happiness to send to your loved ones this fall.

About Donaville Herrick

Donaville is the Founder of Dearest Nature and also Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hello Hello Hi. When visions of nature and web design aren't dancing in her head, she enjoys spending time with her three munchkins, baking cupcakes, and trying her hand at various crafts. Follow her on Twitter to stay updated with her day-to-day musings.

An interview with Briana Taylor

Pooling rains quilt by Briana Taylor

I’ve never really been one for quilts namely because the ones I typically saw were in my grandparents’ home and always looked so … old-fashioned. They’re comfy, yes. But a little too grandmotherly for my taste.

But enter Briana Taylor and her brilliant and nature-inspired lively style and creates artistic quilts, fabric bowls, pot holders, and more and I think I’ve changed my mind about quilts forever. Today, she’s sharing a bit about herself and what she enjoys about nature.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from Western Massachusetts and have been a New England girl my whole life. Since I was very little, art and art making has been a predominant endeavor. I finally went to art school at 27 years old and studied painting. I think being an older student helped me have a more grounded idea about what I wanted to do with my art and abilities. Anyone can go to art school, it’s just that they really don’t tell you how to “make it” as an artist after you leave … there’s no real road map, like being a lawyer or a dentist. You get out and look around and think “now what?” You can’t just hole up in your studio making art and hope that people find you.

fabric bowls by Briana Taylor / featured on dearestnature.com

I became interested in making quilts in an organic way. I’d been working hard to develop my painting and establish a way to exhibit and sell my work, at the same time I spent periods of time working full time jobs. I’ve always been interested in sewing and started making some quilts and selling them from my painting studio during Open Studio events … then I found Etsy. I was making mostly small stuff, like pot holders and coasters and found that I could make some extra money that way. Whenever I listed a quilt it would usually sell right away, so I knew there was something to this and that I could eventually quit my day job and work at sewing and painting and hopefully support myself. And that’s what I’ve done!

Who are some artists you admire?
Mark Tobey, Helen Frankenthaler, Louise Bourgeois, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, to name a few.

Briana Taylor quilts / featured on dearestnature.com

Who are some people that have inspired you to pursue art/quilt making?
My mother, she passed away in 2009 … she was probably my biggest fan.

Of the quilts you’ve created, which is your favorite?
The one that I gave to my boyfriend for his birthday two years ago. It is a really complicated gradation quilt made from many tiny scraps of fabric. It took a gazillion hours to make, but it was so worth it. I’ve since tried to make others in this way, but that one just turned out the best.

pot holders by Briana Taylor / featured on dearestnature.com

What are some things you enjoy about nature?
Let me count the ways :) It’s quiet, provides a peaceful atmosphere in which to rejuvenate and recharge the spirit. Most of the moments I want to remember in my life have happened in some outdoor place. There are so many fantastic places to explore and discover, and I’ve even started to learn to like the cold New England winter by immersing myself in it through cross country skiing, snow shoeing and I’m just beginning to learn to downhill ski! We’ll see how that goes. And it is also an endless source of inspiration for art.

About Donaville Herrick

Donaville is the Founder of Dearest Nature and also Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hello Hello Hi. When visions of nature and web design aren't dancing in her head, she enjoys spending time with her three munchkins, baking cupcakes, and trying her hand at various crafts. Follow her on Twitter to stay updated with her day-to-day musings.

Fish Mobiles

A now for something oh-so darling: spoonfish wind chimes by North Carolina artist Neva Starr. You can find them over at her shop, Twisted Metals. The creations are made from vintage stainless steel dinnerware and add a playful and welcome touch to your outdoor space.

spoonfish by Twisted Metals / featured on dearestnature.com

 

About Donaville Herrick

Donaville is the Founder of Dearest Nature and also Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hello Hello Hi. When visions of nature and web design aren't dancing in her head, she enjoys spending time with her three munchkins, baking cupcakes, and trying her hand at various crafts. Follow her on Twitter to stay updated with her day-to-day musings.

An Interview with: Rebecca Long

Sea glass and starfish mobile by The Rubbish Revival

I recently had the pleasure of discovering Santa Barbara, California-dwelling Rebecca Long’s shop The Rubbish Revival, where she sells a slew of decorative sea glass creations. I am smitten by Rebecca’s ombre sea glass mobiles, that are a perfect representation of the ocean’s gradients.

I emailed Rebecca to find out a little bit more about her, the inspiration behind her shop, and what she enjoys about nature. Read on for an inspiring and heartfelt interview with Rebecca.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up running around barefoot in the woods in rural southwest Virginia. I studied at Virginia Commonwealth University where I graduated with a BA in Graphic Design, even though half way through my junior year, I knew I wasn’t cut out to sit, starring at a computer screen all day. The design training works it’s way into my life almost everyday, but I have never worked exclusively as a graphic designer.

sea glass mobiles by The Rubbish Revival / featured on dearestnature.com

Share a little bit about your shop.
I opened my Etsy shop in August 2011. It started off slowly, but has turned into a flurry of activity with customers from Australia, to Europe, even the next town over.

Who are some artists that inspire you?
Everyone. Everything. I know that’s a vague answer, but I can’t even begin to explain how I get inspired for most of the things that I make. The sea glass mobiles are definitely inspired by a woman in Maine, named Jane Moran Porter. She makes beautiful mobiles and to my knowledge, is the first to do it.

sea stone magnets by The Rubbish Revival / featured on dearestnature.com

Of the things you’ve created so far, what’s one yoou’re been most proud of?
The first sea glass mobile. It’s kind of ugly, but I’ll keep it forever. It was the beginning of a new life for me. It was the first step to starting my business. I went from being an unfulfilled stay at home mom, to a successful business owner AND fulfilled stay at home mom. This first step is always the hardest, right?

What’s one of your most-prized nature possessions?

green sea glassIt is a piece of green sea glass. It’s the first one that my daughter ever spotted and picked up on her own. She was just a little over one year old. She had been me from birth, strapped to my chest, as I combed the beach looking for glass. She was walking well by then and just bent down, picked it up with her chubby little fingers and squealed. I was so proud.

What are some things you enjoy about nature?

Living near the ocean is such an immense privilege. I go to the beach almost everyday because my soul needs it. The ocean has an amazing restorative quality. It takes trash that humans have carelessly dumped into it and makes something as wonderful as sea glass. I love that. The sound of the waves washing up on the shore day after day, reminds me that life goes on no matter what. It keeps me centered and washes all the noise of life back out to sea.

sea glass gem magnets by The Rubbish Revival / featured on dearestnature.com

About Donaville Herrick

Donaville is the Founder of Dearest Nature and also Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hello Hello Hi. When visions of nature and web design aren't dancing in her head, she enjoys spending time with her three munchkins, baking cupcakes, and trying her hand at various crafts. Follow her on Twitter to stay updated with her day-to-day musings.