In a Word: Cicada

Cicada wing by Lawrence Curtis

As we enter the fall season, I am reflecting on things that characterize summertime (besides the heat, of course!). The nighttime buzz of cicadas came to mind. We lived in a very rural area when I was a child and I used to find cicada shells all over the place. I always thought they were kind of icky. Later in life, I saw photos of cicadas just after molting and realized how pretty and delicate they are.

roundup of cicadas by Katie Wade / featured on dearestnature.com

Why do you think some insects become more popular than others? The cicada is a popular insect in the world of jewelry and art. Cicada wings are beautiful but so are many other insect wings. What do you guys think? Does anyone have insight into insect popularity?

If you want to learn more about cicadas, read here. My favorite fact is that a cicada can live for 17 years!

About Katie Wade

Katie is the creative spirit behind Lemon Jitters, a blog dedicated to all things crafty. Her interests are ever-changing and currently include: an obsession with kitschy kitchen timers, digital design, eating lots of chocolate and paper crafting.

Tribal Adventure Whale Totems

Photo via le animalé

I was delighted to hear from Laura Johnston, creator of le animalé where she sells adorable animal totems. Handcrafted from clay and painted to charming perfection, the animals measure under two inches and are great gifts for wearing or decorating.

Earlier this year, Laura along with pattern designer Jessica Swift worked on a collaboration called Tribal Adventure Totems, and last week Laura and Jessica launched a limited edition series of ten colorful whale totems (six totems and four totem necklaces) that I — pardon the pun — whaley love!

Did I mention they’re a limited edition? In less than a week, a number of the whales have already been scooped up, so make haste and head over to Laura’s or Jessica’s shop to see which whales are still available for purchase.

tribal whale totems by le animale and jessica swift / 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.

Distle Funk 2

Teal and ivory clay pendant by Distle Funk 2

If you’re feeling in a funk, pop over to Distle Funk 2. It’s a shop by Maggie Montgomery, a self-professed craft-aholic hailing from Auburn, California.

Honestly, how darling are her handcrafted polymer clay beauties? Maggie uses her creative skills to give each pendant and bead a unique, distressed look — aging it to vintage perfection, if you will.

jewelry by Distle Funk 2 / 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 Meghann Rader

Tree line vignette necklace by Meghann Rader

I’m ecstatic about sharing the work of Canadian artist Meghann Rader, who also took some time to answer a few of our questions for an interview. Read on to find out who and what inspires Meghann and be sure to visit her website and shop to check out more of her incredible work.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello, my name is Meghann, I grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, on west coast of Canada. In 2006 I graduated from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver and I now live with my husband Tobias in Port Alberni, a smallish town that sits right in the middle of Vancouver Island. I spend my days making small scale artwork and jewelry inspired by the nature that surrounds our home on the west coast.

sketched bear by Meghann Rader / featured on dearestnature.com

How would you describe your artistic style?
I’m most comfortable working small and can usually be found with the thinnest brush I can find. I love playing with textures like the scribbled markings of a pencil or the lovely staining effects of watercolour. I also like to keep my work somewhat simplistic so I usually keep all of those textures contained in solid outlines and shapes.

artwork by Meghann Rader / featured on dearestnature.com

Living here has had a big effect on my style. Port Alberni sits in the middle of a valley and there are lush green tree lines and mountains in every direction. When we moved here I unpacked my art supplies and started painting the trees, I haven’t looked back since.

Who are some people that have inspired you to become an artist?
My family has always supported my artistic side. I started taking art classes outside of school when I was in grade three and some of the pieces I made during that time are still hanging around in various places. Now my biggest support is my husband. He is always encouraging me and together we have worked very hard to make sure that we are both doing what we love to do.

necklaces by Meghann Rader / featured on dearestnature.com

Of the things you’ve created so far, what’s one you’re most proud of?
There’s no one piece that I can think of that I’m most proud of. I guess I’m proud of getting to a place with my work where I can see my style forming. It took me several years of floundering around to get to this point but now I have a much clearer sense of what I want my work to be and where I should go with it. Now I am producing much more work than I ever have and I’m much happier with it as well.

Meghann Rader's most prized nature-inspired possession / featured on dearestnature.comWhat’s one of your most-prized nature-inspired possessions?
My most prized nature possession is a porcelain vase that my mom gave me several years ago. We had stumbled across a small ceramic show on Granville Island in Vancouver featuring the work of artist Rachelle Chinnery. Rachelle makes the most beautiful hand carved vessels that reflect the rhythmic waves and crashing surf of her home on the edge of the Pacific ocean. I was immediately taken in by them and I guess it was obvious because I was lucky enough to find one of her pieces under the christmas tree that year. I always keep it out on display even if I have no flowers for it because it’s just so beautiful.

What are a few things you enjoy about nature?
I love the refreshing energy that nature brings. It clears my head and makes all of those little worries that build up over the week not seem so important. I especially love walking through forest trails. Forests are ancient, strong and sturdy places. They are quiet and peaceful , but also teaming with life, wild and dangerous. They have an effect on all of the senses.

On a smaller scale, we’ve just moved into our first house and now have a yard and a garden. I’m looking forward to learning all about my new plants and how to take care of them. In the future I’d like to try building a vegetable garden as well. I think that growing and caring for my own plants and vegetables will give me a whole new perspective on nature that I’m looking forward to.

 

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.

One Ripple Photography

Dried peppers print by One Ripple Photography

I’m blown away by Michigander Adva Ringle’s vibrant and crisp photos of flowers and food. Head over to her shop One Ripple Photography to see a heap of various other inspirational photos.

flower and food art by One Ripple Photography / 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.