As an artist and craftsperson myself, I find Etsy to be a remarkable marketplace because there is not only something for everyone to be found there, but also the widest range of artistic endeavors, from beautiful creations that would be at home in a grand palace to things that would scare my dog. If you're interested in the latter, Regretsy is an excellent resource for the WTF items found there. Always excited about good art, however, I prefer looking at the amazing-in-a-good-way items. There's just a ton of good art and craft out there, and it should be shared and enjoyed.

So here we are. Each week I'm going to stop in and share some things that caught my eye.

This week's first pick is from an artist who lives in Germany, near an area where Grimm's Seven Dwarves apparently resided (which is pretty cool). The Curious Printery specializes in Victorian-era images printed onto pages from antique books. They have many mind-boggling collaged images, but this was the one that first caught my eye: Lady vs. Octopus Kraken. I'm a sucker for antique and vintage items to begin with, but the subject matter of this collage is just fabulous. Not only is our very proper heroine going up against a giant octopus (who inexplicably is not located in any body of water), but she's about to face it with a bow and arrow. Perhaps she was Hawkeye's great-grandmother. Whatever her background, I'm betting she'll win this battle.


Peacock Pillow

Second up, we have a fun set of greeting cards from Sugar Beet Press which features different animals on holiday, including two fly tourists photographing a giant Venus Flytrap, an armadillo at a slot machine, a kiwi carrying suitcases, and a sardine couple on land with water-filled diving helmets. This set is just one of artist Joy Kolitsky's "whimsical and quirky" designs- she has cards for every occasion and all of them are beautifully rendered.

Last (but not least) for this week are Jolie Marche's gorgeous printed French-inspired burlap and cotton pillow covers, all handmade in her studio in Tennessee. This peacock one is the first one I found, but there are many varied designs, mostly flora and fauna--all of which I want for my house. She does custom sizes of her designs as well.

There are so many excellent independent artists in the world, and with the convenience of shopping online these days, check out some of the good stuff on Etsy and other craft sites next time you need a gift for someone or just want to bring some beauty or whimsy into your life. And hey, if you find something you like, let me know about it in the comments.