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Seeds of Creativity: 10 Etsy Favorites

February 26, 2013, 12:49 pm  Posted by Lark
 

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I’m going to come right out and tell you, I set out to do a gardening post today. Maybe some ideas for gardening in small spaces or instructions for building a wooden planter of some kind. After all, it’s getting to be about time to start our seedlings. But, for most of us, it isn’t quite time yet. And I just wasn’t feelin’ it yet. So, instead of forcing it, I’ve decided to collect a bunch of fertile, seedy beauty from around the Etsy-sphere to help us all get into the gardening mood. (Thanks for the brilliant idea, Beth!)

 

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This. I have to have this. I wish I knew what kind of berries the artist (Cynthia Del Giudice) used, because I want to learn everything about this piece (and the matching earrings). This is just my kind of pretty—so basic and natural, and earthy.
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Brilliant! Paper artist Erin Groff packs a wide variety of ornamental, edible, and medicinal wildflowers into these 3.75 x 6.75-inch sheets of handmade art for your art!
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What do you do with seed paper? The first thing that comes to my entrepreneurial mind is a gift card! My awesome friends at Mother Earth Produce use plantable gift certificates, and their clients love it! First of all, from a business perspective, what a perfect way to help make your Earth-loving mission statement part of everyday operation; and second, making it a gift card will help you offset the cost, because let’s face it—seed paper ain’t cheap. Of course, these would make great little gifts for friends and loved ones too—draw or stamp a pretty design, write a message of love, give a coupon for one free foot massage, etcetera.

 

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Dandelion Necklace

This necklace from ScrappinCop is part swag lamp, part crystal ball, and part “I wish Jesse liked me.” That adds up to a lot of nostalgia for a midwestern kid with hippie parents.

 

 

Some wonderful things you might not know about dandelion:

  • It is a superfood. It treats more ailments than I can list here. Just to name a few of its benefits: it regulates blood pressure and blood sugar, feeds your gut flora, makes digestion happen, and reduces cravings for sweets. Dandelion is also one of very few diuretics in existence that doesn’t cause your body to lose electrolytes because it replaces them as it works!
  • It is very good for your garden. Its long, long tap root draws nutrients from deep down in the soil that your domestic plants wouldn’t otherwise be able to get to. So, if you do weed the dandelions from your garden, just leave what you pull out sitting right there on the soil, and it will make a nutritious mulch for your more “desirable” plants. That’s permaculture, baby!
  • Roasted dandelion root makes a pretty good coffee substitute. It’s been used that way since at least as far back as the 1830s, and it’s a great way to ween off of the real thing—not that you would ever want to do that for ANY reason.
  • Its seeds make beautiful jewelry!

 

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Oh em gee. Talk about childhood nostalgia. This is a slingshot that shoots little balls of wildflower seeds, from Etsy seller visualingual.
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This is the kind of thing I see and immediately think of that person who needs to own it. Someone I love—I’m not telling who—will be receiving this as a gift soon. Of course I will need one for myself too. What better way to beautify our unruly, barely navigable hillside than from the safety of the back porch…with a slingshot?!
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How unique! I love this eye-catching piece by multi-talented artist Anne Arden McDonald. I hope she won’t mind my saying so, because I know she really intended to explore seeds with this series, but it is sort of…locavamp (locavore + vampire)!
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I love the way this ring grabs my eye and then changes as I look at it. I see apple seeds, and I can almost see an apple orchard in my mind’s eye. Then, as I examine it, it starts to resemble a mouthful of canine teeth, and things suddenly get kind of dark and…dental. Now I see a [vampire] mouth biting into an apple. I really appreciate something that engages my imagination the way this ring does! Also, I want one.
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Etsy artist CeciLove has taken a collection of wildflowers from a landscape many may think of as barren and sparse, and made a gorgeous, colorful design with them, sort of a mini-landscape of its own.
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I have been working on a press book for about a year now, and I have gained a new appreciation for this kind of work. It is a truly challenging and creative way to honor our plant allies, and it provides a meditative, slow outlet for the artist. There is no way to make this kind of art without slowing down and getting to know the plants.
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These pretty, pretty bejeweled and beseeded earrings are made right here in Western North Carolina! I hope you’re not getting tired of my earthy aesthetic, but I just cannot get enough of this sort of natural beauty that seems to need little to no decorating, but merely needs arranged in a pleasing way that, in this case, can be hung from our ears. Jewelry artist Margaret Goodson makes a lot of this lovely cluster jewelry using semi-precious stones and seeds, but this pair stands out to me for its simplicity and practicality—as she points out, these earrings are much lighter-weight than cluster earrings made with all stones or glass beads.
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Nephrite jade, by the way, is the dandelion of stone medicine. By that I mean, it is used for everything! Among countless other historic uses, South American natives, at the time the Spaniards arrived, were wearing jade near their sides as kidney medicine; and the ancient Chinese took it in a powder form as a multivitamin of sorts that was believed to aid in longevity and general toughness.
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You might not recognize this lovely flower in its winter incarnation, but it’s bee balm! Those beauteous bright pink flowers with their distinct scent (a scent I refer to as that of “an herb that knows what it’s doing”)—they look like THIS in the wintertime.
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Minneapolis photographer Terra Rathai succeeds, in my opinion, in bringing us into the micro world of plant creation. It is very easy, even for those of us who loooove plants, to forget about the business of plant reproduction. These little guys do a lot of work while we’re not looking, including spending an entire winter out there in the elements. In the most uneventful scenario, they fall off the seed head into the leaf litter and spend an entire cold winter buried in freezing soil, getting “stratified.” More adventurous seeds get eaten off the seed head by birds and deposited perhaps miles away. Then, come spring, they put every single bit of their tiny life force into becoming a plant—this is an all-or-nothing proposition. It’s quite harrowing. Anyway. Thank you, Terra, for the pleasing reminder. I love this print.
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Aaaah! This is awesome! I might have had too much coffee just now, but I also think this necklace from one little world is great! I know lots of people are wondering, so here’s how you pronounce açai: ah-SA-ee. And here is how you wear it:
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Shop owner Jodie has a whole assortment of colorful, quality, affordable, hand made, fair trade items for sale on Etsy. The alpaca and llama wool wraps are lovely too!
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Here’s something different: A bunch of old vintage seed catalog covers (33 of them) that you can download for a few bucks. Etsy seller Mary Jo Barker has hundreds of downloadable images of all kinds in her shop, boxesbybrkr. I could spend hours and hours just browsing through them. That would cost me dollars and dollars, though.
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I am imagining colorful prints of these plastered all over the garden half of our garage. Or, they’d look great as transparent backgrounds for labels on preserved foods, or decoupaged on house plant containers to dress them up. Or decoupaged on EVERYTHING! Okay, maybe not everything, but definitely on the cover of your gardening journal. And all over the plywood surface of that gardening table your husband built for you. Hypothetically.
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Well, no surprise, but writing this post has worked its magic on me. I’m in the mood for planting. (Or at least for buying some cool stuff on Etsy.) Happy spring!

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And about that gardening post? Well, the Organic Grower’s School is a little less than two weeks away. The Organic Grower’s School is one of the best annual gardening / farming conferences in all of conferencedom, and it’s right here in Asheville, NC! They’ve got classes on everything from planting your first vegetable garden to managing climate risk on your organic farm to beekeeping to forest agriculture to food preservation, and lots more. This thing is really incredible, and it is where I go to get all excited about starting the garden each year. Soooo, I’m saving my gardening post for AFTER the conference, and it will be awesome and inspired!

 
 
 
 
  • Deb Weir

    Wonderful finds! Thank you so much for the feature and the very informative post!

  • Becky

    Thanks Deb! I saw you tweeted it too–thank you.

  • Melissa Morato

    The seeds used in the necklace are those of the Brazilwood or Pau Brasil. They are very common and popular here in Brazil, and in fact the country supposedly gets its name from them (according to one theory anyway). If you do a google image search for “semente pau brasil” to confirm they are the same seed beads. I tried to check around the internet to see if I could find an international supplier and found: http://www.acaibeads.com/NaturalSeedsCatalog.html I’m sure there must be other suppliers if you look on the net, perhaps under another name. If you can’t find any, let me know and I can see if I can buy some at a local supplier and ship them to you.