As 2014 draws to a close, I'm beginning to think about which calendars to purchase for the new year. Calendars are one of my favorite things to buy. When I was younger, I gravitated toward glossy travel calendars with romantic destinations like Paris or tropical islands. Now I prefer simpler handmade calendars with bold graphic designs that reflect the beauty of nature, especially birds and flowers. I also like supporting artists and small businesses.
Yesterday I searched Etsy for 2015 calendars and an artist named Rigel Stuhmiller caught my eye. Her work can be purchased through her Etsy store, Drenculture, or her website. Her designs are beautiful, from colorfully printed note cards and art prints featuring birds and flowers to kitchen towels hand screen-printed with bold vegetable and fruit designs.
You can learn more about the printmaking process here. I took a printmaking class years ago and made (or tried to make) a block print by carving into linoleum. I found it very difficult and frustrating, so I really appreciate the skill level of this art form.
I also love these raven cards for both the design and the subject. I'm fascinated by ravens and crows, which are very interesting and intelligent birds; the common raven is a larger bird than the common crow, but they look very similar. (If you're interested in learning more about crows, watch this PBS Nature show, which I thoroughly enjoyed.) Stuhmiller sells an 8 x 10 print of this raven illustration through her Etsy store. I think it will end up in my shopping basket along with the birds calendar!
Here are some of Stuhmiller's adorable designs for dog lovers (she also has a cat series). The holiday card assortment is so cute! The naughty beagle card reminds me of our Ella, and look at the face on that Chihuahua wrapped in Christmas lights. Precious!
Stuhmiller's studio will be open this weekend and each weekend until Christmas as part of the Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios event in which 100 artists and craftspeople open their studios and galleries to the public. Visitors can shop for unique, handmade holiday gifts while getting to know the artists. If you live in the Berkeley, Ca., area, check it out. Wish I could!
Photos: Rigel Stuhmiller (used with permission)
Any of these items would make thoughtful Christmas gifts, don't you think? So tell me, do you purchase things through Etsy? What are some of your favorite Etsy shops?