Have you met APAK? They are a husband and wife duo, Aaron and Ayumi Piland, who make wonderful paintings about exploration and nature and animals and humans and crystals. And the vastness of space, or maybe microscopic life. Heck, just look at some of their work. (Click on an image to go to its originating page):
The creatures APAk depicts remind me of the prince and his cousins from Katamari Damacy, and also of another husband and wife art team, the locally-based Opertura. All of these characters seem part of the same universe, maybe even the same galaxy. Neighboring planets. I think they'd all get along.
APAK has prints of their work available on etsy, and you can go to their tumblr to see even more of their work, including non-print stuff like these adorable felted buddies.
Two notable things about today's i love vintage: One, there was a similar idea that was all the rage a few years ago, using vintage wallpaper and a simple animal silhouette. Those decor pieces are still for sale, actually. Two, this craft idea is by Marion Behr, a professional artist who appears to still be working. She had graduated from art school just a few years before when she sold this idea. In addition to painting, sculpting, and drawing, she co-invented a non-toxic etching method for printmaking. It also looks like she lives close to where I grew up in New Jersey. You go, Marion.
These big animal cut-outs are made by gluing fabric to mat board, and embellishing with felt features.
Need help with the animal shapes? McCall's has you covered. Remember, this is before photocopiers were in every office, so you'll need to use the grid enlargement technique to scale up.
Thanks for the groovy idea, Marion Behr! xo
These little plastic pendants from Wear It Mini Plants contain actual, living succulents and cacti. Wear one, and feel like a planet, or at least some sort of Gaia-esque earth spirit. (Click on an image to go to the product's shop page.)
What makes these kid-friendly, besides the obvious appeal of having a tiny pet plant you can wear, is the price: a mere $8! That price includes the ball chain shown in these photos; if you want fancier chains, they offer a nice range to choose from for a few bucks more.
Eventually, hopefully, your baby plant will outgrow your little necklace capsule, and at that point you can merely repot it into a bigger container. Click on each image to go to that plant's etsy page, and you can read exact care instructions for each. These people know (and care) about plants!
If the sea entices you more than the desert, try their sister shop, Wear It Mini Beach. These glass orbs are a little bit more expensive, but where else can you get a wearable, living, aquatic moss ball for under $20?
The sands and shells are taken from beaches all over the world: Bermuda, Japan, Hawaii... Each underwater terrarium is a little vicarious vacation in a pendant. Lovely!
I'm Debbie Way, an artist and writer who enjoys making things.