Etsy Journal

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Journal Ideas and inspiration for creative living | Summer 2017

Hot Home Decor Bring the tropical trend indoors

Come One, Come All Collaboration and the art of community


studio tours around the world, a design hotel like no other, and the DIY bouquet anyone can ace

Cool Summer Jewelry Make a splash with porcelain statement pieces

Etsy Journal Alison Feldmann Head of Editorial Valerie Rains Senior Editor Katie Hawley Editor Alexandra Drozda Art Director Diana Corredin Designer Jing Wei Illustration Director

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Here’s to a more creative life. AT ETSY, WE KNOW THE JOY of holding a carefully


crafted object and learning the story behind it. That’s why we created the Etsy Journal, a new magazine you can flip through with your own two hands. Within these pages, we’ll tell the stories of Etsy’s makers, collectors, buyers, and sellers, exploring how the unique connections forged within (and beyond) the Etsy community can shape a new business venture, a personal reinvention, or a way of life. We’ll also cover the topics and conversations that matter to us most: innovation, design, entrepreneurship, and artistic practice. Join us as we visit artists’ studios and learn their stories, highlight emerging trends, and share ideas and inspiration to bring out your own creative side.

Alison Feldmann Head of Editorial

Ready to dive in? Learn more about the trends, makers, and stories featured in this issue at ETSYJOURNAL.COM



03  A Day in the Life:  Hecho en Harlem Jewelry

19  The Color of Summer Entertaining

05  Style Update:  Wearable Ceramics

21  In the Studio With Kara Leigh Ford

07  Crafting an Artist Community

25  Checking in at the Jennings Hotel

15  Sew a DIY Eye Pillow

27  Flower Arranging Made Easy

17   Sustainable Fashion With Royal Caballito

29  Tropical Decor in Bloom




Hecho en Harlem Jewelry

Pounding the pavement and polishing metal with New York City jewelry designer Ifétayo Abdus-Salam



Jewelry designer. Photography teacher. Museum educator. Airbnb host. With a CV like this one, we’re not sure when Ifétayo Abdus-Salam of the Etsy shop Hecho en Harlem Jewelry sleeps. But then Ifé, who started selling her original jewelry designs in the gift shop of the Studio Museum in Harlem when she was still in college, has never really been short on ambition. After she graduated, Ifé spent 10 years working in non-profits and teaching art at a public high school in the Bronx. In 2014, she returned to the medium that first captured her imagination as a young girl, and she’s been honing her style ever since, crafting simple, statement-making pieces in copper, silver, and brass. “There’s something so cool about working with fire and metal— watching it go through the stages from a piece of wax to a finished, beautiful thing. That whole process is magical to me,” Ifé says. Today, Ifé juggles jewelry making with teaching photography and leading tours at New York City’s International Center of Photography, along with a slew of other pursuits. It helps that her biggest sources of inspiration are right at her fingertips in her Harlem neighborhood. From its rich hip-hop and jazz heritage to the inimitable style of the women in the community, “the cultural aesthetic of Harlem is all about being bold and never afraid to experiment,” she says. “I’m so inspired by that.” We tagged along with Ifé on a typically atypical day to see just how she does it.


“Running a small business can be overwhelming, so every now and then I have to give myself a break to be inspired by someone else’s craft.”

7:30 am First things first As soon as I wake up,

and focus only on what I’m doing in

I feed Farai, my cat, make some tea,

that moment. Afterward I feel strong,

and start checking email to make a

accomplished, happy, and ready to

plan for the day. Before I begin working

dive into the next item on my to-do list.

in the studio, I need to mentally prepare

2:00 pm

for the tasks of ahead of me: Do I have orders that need to be filled or shipped? Do I need to restock inventory for an upcoming market? Is it time for me to start working on a new line?

9:30 am

Nature fix I live across the street from Morningside Park, which is an ideal place to walk and think—there’s so much texture and visual inspiration there. I detour through the park whenever I can. When you live in New York

Into the studio I’m really, really lucky

City, the chance to surround yourself

to have a home studio. I have a three-

with greenery is priceless.

bedroom apartment, and I use one

3:00 pm

room to do my design work, which includes fabricating and polishing my jewelry and building the wax models for my cast pieces. I usually carve out four-hour blocks of time for studio work: one in the morning, and another in the afternoon if I’m not teaching or

Supply run For some of my jewelry pieces, I carve molds out of wax and send them out to be cast in metal. The caster I use most is in Midtown Manhattan, a block away from the photography school where I teach.

7:00 pm Time to unwind I’m a member of my local community garden, and I love planting vegetables and herbs to cook with. It’s all kind of the same idea: exploring the possibility of what we can create. I typically water my plot in the afternoon or evening,

leading a tour.

I love when I have weekday classes

1:00 pm

and then go teach, all in one trip.

my favorite pastimes.

4:00 pm

8:00 pm

Mid-day break I have lunch at home as often as possible, but when I go out for a lunch date, Chai Wali is one of my favorite restaurants in the neighborhood. The food is healthy and affordable, and the space is gorgeous. I’m so impressed by how perfectly they’ve executed their design aesthetic. I also love working out in the gym and riding my bicycle around Central Park; it’s a great way to push aside the pressures of running my business

there, because I can drop by the caster

School’s in Currently I’m teaching two beginning black and white darkroom classes at the International Center of Photography. Throughout my life, being in learning spaces with other people who have the same natural drive and passion has been important for me. Hands down, the thing I get the most gratification from in my creative life is the opportunity to build community.

and ending my day in the garden is one of

Nights and weekends Running a small business can be overwhelming, so every now and then I have to give myself a break to be inspired by someone else’s craft. I often check out museums on the weekends—I love Uptown Fridays at the Studio Museum in Harlem, a summer series with a dance party in the courtyard, free guided tours, and live performances. Visit ETSYJOURNAL.COM to shop Ifé’s line.




All Fired Up The perfect counterpoint to your summer wardrobe’s vibrant palette? Crisp, clean, porcelain jewelry, left unglazed or minimally adorned. These pieces are all about shapes (geometric or gently curved), finishes (textured or flat), and in some cases, a bit of humor (see the cheeky matchbook brooch by Etsy maker Monochromatiques). Depending on the style, they can evoke anything from a Roman arch on an ancient ruin to a summer camp craft project made from glitter and macaroni (but more grown-up, of course).

Porcelain and brass brooch, OAK Gallery, $17 Porcelain and gold earrings, Goutte de Terre, $49

Matchbook brooch, Monochromatiques, $79 Curtain brooch, Monochromatiques, $79 Sea urchin ring, Patotype, $48



Hand brooch,

Third eye earrings,

Monochromatiques, $45

Goutte de Terre, $52


Visit ETSYJOURNAL.COM to shop the look.

Porcelain and gold necklace, Goutte de Terre, $180 Textured porcelain and silk necklace, Vanilla Kiln, $60 Speckled porcelain and suede necklace, Things by Bea, $39Â

Crafting a Community


As an artist, then a gallery owner, and now the mastermind (and mother hen) behind Minnesota boutique Golden Rule, Erin Duininck has always found magic in the connections between makers.



Golden Rule owner Erin Duininck on the shop’s front steps. Opposite page: The gallery wall at Golden Rule.




alking into the Golden Rule, a maker  focused boutique in a converted   1920s house in Excelsior, Minnesota,   is like stepping into a dreamy,   light-drenched, and expertly curated Instagram feed. There’s the ever-evolving gallery wall of abstract paintings, the portable jungle of potted plants (#jungalowstyle), and the jewelry and accessory displays descended from flat-lay heaven. But for all the care Erin Duininck puts into selecting and styling the handcrafted home goods and small-batch beauty products that fill her shop—many of which she sources from makers in Etsy’s wholesale marketplace—actually selling items is secondary for the boutique’s founder, curator, and animating force. “It’s not about retail,” Erin says. “I care about the existence of art and beauty in the world, so that part matters to me, but the act of selling things doesn’t. It’s this community space, this place where people feel welcome even if they can’t afford to buy, or don’t want to buy—that’s what Golden Rule is about.” For Erin, that sense of community is both lived experience and life principle, not a marketing ploy or mere talking point, and it’s what sets Golden Rule (and most of Erin’s other endeavors) apart. The daughter of ministers and musicians, and a singersongwriter, artist, and jewelry designer in her own right, Erin was raised to appreciate the unique challenges in and value of leading a creative life. So much so that



throughout her first foray into running a gallery space, in a 450-square-foot outbuilding on her property back in 2010, she didn’t even charge a commission on artwork sales. “I felt like it was my mission to get these artists’ work into people’s hands,” Erin says. “And at that point I also didn’t really know what I was doing, so it was like, don’t pay me for this, I’m just making it up as I go.” Next, Erin graduated to a pop-up shop in downtown Excelsior in 2013. That experience clarified her unique vision for the role a brick-and-mortar retail space could play in a community—and in her own life. Recovering from a series of personal heartbreaks, Erin poured herself into the project, and got back far more than she bargained for. “The pop-up was supposed to last three months, and it just kept going,” Erin recalls. “It was so fun and successful and brought me life—and, honestly, distraction and perspective as well. I realized that everyone who came in had a story, and it was so helpful to be able to meet people where they were and to get outside my own skin a little bit.” Blurring boundaries between the personal and the public, home and work, art and commerce is all part of Erin’s modus operandi. “That’s my life, it all spills over into everything, and everything is interconnected,” Erin says. Fittingly, Golden Rule’s aesthetic—and its come one, come all ethos—are closely mirrored in the home Erin shares with her husband, Ben, and children, Lillian and River. The first order of business when Erin and Ben bought the place back in 2008? Adding three more bedrooms and an extra bath to accommodate (and encourage) out-of-town guests. “I feel like everyone has a personal calling and a vocational calling, and maybe a family calling too, if they choose to delve into that. And I think as a family our calling is to invite and host and gather,” Erin explains. “We want people to stay with us and celebrate with us; people have even had their weddings here. And we love that—it feels really good.” Expanding the kitchen, naturally, was also high on the couple’s renovation agenda. “I love big groups; I don’t ever have just a couple over,” Erin says. “If I’m going to cook, it’s going to be in bulk.” To make more space for Erin’s feeding-an-army ambitions, the couple knocked down walls to combine three rooms into one connected cooking space, then added blush-pink walls, white cabinets and marble countertops, and a vintage island to use as a prep station. From the large window over the sink, Erin can look out over the front porch and yard where the family often entertains. “We have huge parties where we take up every room; we’ve even done house concerts here, where everyone buys a ticket and brings a beautiful homemade dish to share, and we all get to hear some local bands and have a big feast.”

Clockwise, from top left: Erin sells her own line of jewelry, called ekate, at Golden Rule; the shop’s sunny main room; paintings by Minnesota artist Missy Monson and ceramics by Amy Hamley, Solid Manufacturing Company, and From Donna’s Hands.


of Erin Duininck’s   favorite Etsy shops Amy Hamley Ceramics Display-worthy porcelain vessels accented with glints of gold

Fail Hammered metal designs that are equal parts tough and chic

Solid Manufacturing Company A Minnesota-based husbandand-wife team specializing in handmade wooden home goods and leather gifts

Amy Heitman Cool, contemporary greeting cards with a touch of nostalgia



Clockwise, from top left: The gallery wall at Golden Rule, which Erin updates often; the event space above the shop; celebrating two years in business with the Golden Rule team.

In the dining room—formerly a wood-paneled TV room that downplayed the lakeview windows on three of its sides—Erin whited out the walls, brought in a long midcentury modern dining table that Ben found on Craigslist, and reupholstered its worn-out chairs in the emerald green velvet that’s become a style signature in both her home and her shop. As for the family’s favorite spot in the house? That would be the spacious, sunny living room, with its pink velvet couch (snagged on sale at a local outlet) and a striped play tent in the corner for 1-year-old River. “That couch definitely sets the tone,” Erin says. “It gives everyone permission to be playful. We’re not taking ourselves too seriously here.” If anything truly defines both Golden Rule and Erin’s home, it’s the focus on art. “The heart of our house is the artwork that’s everywhere. Every room is an art gallery,” says Erin. A lot of that art comes from family, 11


friends, or folks whose work she carries in the shop, but it doesn’t stop there. “My walls are filled to bursting with treasures, stories, and mementos of lives intertwined with mine,” Erin says. “I have my mother’s paintings, my father’s lyrics, my husband’s high school baseball team photo, a mitten my mother made for me as a child, framed and hung.” Even the kids’ rooms are decorated with original paintings, including Lillian’s own abstract watercolors (Erin runs a kids’ art camp every summer, and has a knack for identifying beginner-friendly mediums for frame-worthy results). She describes her style as nostalgic and personal, and herself as ‘a maximalist trying to be a minimalist.’ “I assign meaning and value to objects that might otherwise be thrown out,” Erin says. “Of course, this puts me in a precarious perch leaning into hoarder territory, but it’s where I naturally reside.”

Clockwise, from top: The “tiny house” on Erin’s property where Alex and Dan Cordell of Solid Manufacturing Company live; Alex and Dan with one of their handmade side tables; the couple’s L-shaped open kitchen.


or someone like Erin, a home—or a shop—is   not something that is ever “done.” It changes,   it grows, it adapts to the people who inhabit it.   Since opening Golden Rule in 2015, Erin has   bolstered her business, and her connections with her local maker community, through a steady stream of creative collaborations: seasonal pop-ups, annual parties, and rotating art shows. She’s forged relationships with artists she had long admired. (“I buy from all the people that I respected and had art crushes on,” Erin says.) She’s also launched an upstairs event space that hosts private gatherings and open-invitation DIY classes alike, and built vital bonds with a crew of young women (dubbed “the Golden Girls”) who work in the shop, meet regularly for meals, and even vacation together. But of all the unexpected returns that running the shop has yielded, one of the unlikeliest outcomes is unfolding now, very close to home.

Earlier this year, Alex and Dan Cordell, Etsy sellers and the creators of home goods brand Solid Manufacturing Company (one of the first product lines Erin sought out when stocking her then-new shop), began renovating the former studio and gallery space behind Erin’s Excelsior home. The duo, who are now expecting their first child, converted it into a fully functional and warmly minimalist abode, and have been living there full time since April, in exchange for helping Erin and Ben manage the sometimes-wild land on which both houses sit. It’s cozy but not too cozy. “On a city block we’d be about eight houses apart,” says Alex. The families coexist easily, meeting spontaneously on the lawn for coffee or to dream up new ideas for their respective and overlapping businesses. “For me, community is almost part of my theology,” Erin says. “It’s this main, central thing and everything else falls away for me but: How can I make a space for you? How can I bring you into this fold? The way I show love



is to bring people into my home and to share with them everything that I have, whether it’s a living room to dance in, a shoulder to cry on, whatever is in my refrigerator, or the extra furniture I have stacked up. This house has definitely been a tool for that, and all I want is to sharpen this tool and make it better.” Erin Duininck uses Etsy Wholesale to source one-of-a-kind handmade items for Golden Rule. To learn more, visit ETSY.COM/WHOLESALE



“My walls are filled to bursting with treasures, stories, and mementos of lives intertwined with mine.”

Three shared family passions—books, music, and art—are represented in the Duinincks’ living room. Opposite page, clockwise, from top: Erin’s colorful kitchen; the Duinincks; River’s play tent; the airy living room, a favorite hangout spot for the whole family; Erin’s white-walled dining room, which overlooks a small lake on the property.





We fell in love with her patterns first. The simple repeating rows of geometric shapes and minimalist slashes of black on fields of blue, white, and gold struck a distinctive note: confident, uncomplicated, and utterly at ease. They were also just plain fun. You could imagine your favorite singer wearing Diana Saldaña’s designs, or your effortlessly cool best friend—which is also how Diana presents them, enlisting her own buddies (and musical muses) like Britta Phillips of Luna and Ana Naranjo of Linda Mirada to model for her lookbooks and collaborate on new ideas. But when we learned earlier this year that the largely self-taught designer and former art historian would be receiving an award for sustainable design from the British Council, we knew that Diana’s Royal Caballito line was more than just a pretty surface—and we wanted to go deeper. So we checked in with the Madrid-based maker to get her take on responsible textiles, done right. 17



There’s more to this Spanish maker’s pared-down designs than meets the eye.

“When I started Royal Caballito, it felt natural for me to pursue sustainability and try to create something I felt proud of, something that would reflect what I stand for.”

Has sustainability always been part of your design mission, or did that develop over time? With a fashion label, decisions have important consequences and small actions can add up to real change. When I started Royal Caballito, it felt natural for me to pursue sustainability and try to create something I felt proud of, something that would reflect what I stand for. I also believe that making items in a sustainable way creates community and inspires others to do the same—and that producing and consuming mindfully is a huge step. We definitely all have a part to play. How do you select and source the materials for your line? I use mainly soft, lightweight, natural fibers— Egyptian cotton, cashmere, and merino wool—from a traditional Italian mill that is Oeko-Tex certified. That means their yarns meet European fair trade and wage regulations and are guaranteed to be non-toxic and hypoallergenic. Quality materials mean longerlasting clothes that feel better against your skin, which has a direct effect on how much we love the clothing we put on our bodies.

If we opt for quality over quantity, we can buy fewer items. My aim is to create well-designed products that are as beautiful as they are functional and ethical, that you can wear and keep in your closet forever. What about your production process? How do your values factor in there? I focus on excellence and craftsmanship in the production process by partnering with a wonderful family-run workshop just a few miles from my studio. They are consummate artisans who create impeccable garments, and because they are so nearby, I can be actively present for every part of the production process. I also like supporting the local textile industry. This team is very much integrated into the label’s philosophy, and I cherish how much I can rely on their expertise and love for their work. What are your goals for the future of Royal Caballito? I would like to continue putting my heart and soul into what I do and keep growing organically, with no hurry. It feels like a real luxury to be able to continue to explore and expand

our sustainable practices and my knowledge of craftsmanship, and to search for ways to empower more women within the fashion industry. And it has always been a fantasy of mine to one day grow our line to include other textile surfaces and products. Visit ETSYJOURNAL.COM to shop Diana’s line.




Forget cucumber slices. Take your next at-home spa day up a notch with this easy-to-make eye pillow filled with calming lavender and buckwheat hulls.





Sew a Soothing Eye Pillow






Ready, set, relax.



Good news: If you can stitch a straight line, you can make this project. A sewing machine isn't required, but it will make the work go more quickly. You will need: 1 00� cotton fabric (one fat quarter will do) Rotary cutter Clear quilting ruler



Use a rotary cutter and an acrylic ruler to cut two

Iron the fabric, then use straight pins to

6-inch-by-10-inch rectangles of fabric. We chose

secure the pieces of fabric together with

two contrasting pieces of fabric to create a playful,

the printed sides facing in.

mixed-pattern design.

Cutting mat Pins Sewing machine



Funnel Measuring cups 2 cups buckwheat hulls ¼ cup dried lavender Needle Thread



Mark a 2-inch opening along one edge of the fabric

Carefully trim the excess fabric from each corner

rectangle with pins, then stitch along the remaining

at a 45-degree angle, then turn the fabric pouch

edges on all four sides, ½-inch from the edge.

right-side out and use your fingers to fully extend each corner from the inside.




Stitch and enjoy

Fill the fabric pouch with 2 cups of buckwheat

Use a whipstitch to sew the small opening of your

hulls and ¼ cup of lavender. (This is when that

eye pillow closed. When you’re finished, give the

funnel comes in handy.)

pillow a shake to help distribute the lavender. Feeling fancy? Add a tassel or two for extra flair.




Pretty in Pink It’s official—pale pink is the color du jour. As far as we’re concerned, there’s no wrong place to splash this soft, unapologetically feminine hue, but these days we’re especially loving it for all things entertaining. After all, who could resist a summery cocktail or refreshing spritz served in a delicate pink coupe? (Rosé all day, indeed.) Styling tip: For an unexpected tabletop twist, try juxtaposing sparkly old-school vintage glassware with matte or textured ceramics in the same color family.

Find these ceramics on Etsy: Farmor’s House Vintage, Ayse Sakarcan Ceramics, Camille et Clementine, SinD studio, Lais Vintage Find this glassware on Etsy: Design Frills, 1350 Northvintage, Amy’s Vintage Decorium




Visit ETSYJOURNAL.COM to shop the look.

Vintage Glassware 101 Tips for styling and sourcing Keep it simple If you’re looking to add vintage glassware to your collection but aren’t sure where to start, consider a simple pair of wine glasses. “Pretty stemware is always fun,” says collectibles expert Jeni Sandberg of Etsy shop Jeni Sandberg Vintage. “You can use it every day, or just on special occasions—I never fail to amaze people with my rotating collection of unusual wine glasses.” Mix and match When it comes to purchasing vintage glassware, buying larger quantities can be tough, and you’ll pay a premium for it. If you’re having trouble finding a complete set—or want a more unique look—try buying one or two pieces at a time, building up a mismatched set all your own. “If it’s all the same color, it’ll look great together,” says Jeni. Brush up on search terms To get the broadest results from an online search, start exploring with general terms, like pink glassware, vintage glassware, and Depression glass. Once you’ve figured out what you like, you can move on to seeking out wellknown manufacturers (Jeannette, Anchor Hocking, Indiana Glass Company) and patterns (Mayfair, American Sweetheart, Royal Lace).



The Jennings Hotel How a Kickstarter campaign, a dream— and the help of a handful of talented designers—turned this historic hotel into a one-of-a-kind artists’ retreat that’s open to everyone 25


As is the case with any good art project, reviving the century-old Jennings Hotel in Joseph, Oregon, has been as much about the process as the end product for founder Greg Hennes. After keeping tabs on the Main Street mainstay—which began as a hotel, and later housed offices and apartments—throughout four years’ worth of weekend trips to the area, the Portland transplant purchased the building in 2014. Since then, he’s been working with a rotating cast of like-minded creatives and local artisans to renovate one room after another, funding the work with a Kickstarter campaign and giving individual collaborators complete control of a single space’s aesthetic. An early wave of artists-in-residence contributed handmade details, such as the dinner plates in the communal kitchen made by ceramicist Haley Ann Robinson and custom quilts stitched by Brooklyn’s Zena Verda Pesta. It’s all been a bit like an extended barn-raising, only with more design cred. The Jennings has been adding rooms on a rolling basis since the first one opened its doors in 2015; a new batch, including one conceived by Etsy seller Lisa Garcia, the designer behind the home goods shop Soñadora, became available for booking this summer. With the renovations nearly complete, Greg will have more time to focus on his next great adventure (and fundraising campaign): building a workshop for the non-profit Prairie Mountain Folk School, also in Joseph, which he launched in March 2017 to host weekend workshops in natural dyeing, metal forging, spoon carving, and more. We asked Greg and Lisa to tell us about their creative collaboration at the Jennings Hotel.



Greg, what were you looking for in a hotel collaborator?

himself with wonderful, talented people who get things done.

Greg: I was really just looking for someone with a strong sense of design; I wasn’t attached to a particular aesthetic. All the rooms have a distinct personality and are distinct experiences, but they’re all connected by the thread of good design.

Will you tell us about the idea behind your room?

Lisa: Greg was so open and allowed us to really explore and have fun—it’s been awesome. How did you two first meet, anyway? G: We met in 2012, when I was launching a holiday shopping event in Portland called the Portland Bazaar. Lisa reached out to us about her band playing at the event. L: We just became friends after that. Lisa, you’ve done hospitality design before. What appealed to you most about working on this project? L: It seemed very, very special from the start. I visited about two years ago and got to see the bones of the hotel and help Greg with the very first room; at that point, I was hooked. I realized that he had stumbled upon a real gem out there: The community was amazing, the location was incredible, everything about it was dreamy. When he asked me to design a room I didn’t hesitate. We’ve had some unique challenges, but overall this has been one of the more rewarding projects I’ve worked on, and I think that’s in large part because of how great it is to work with Greg and his team. He surrounds

L: I went back to the drawing board quite a few times, thinking about what would be best for my room that would also fit in nicely with what the other designers had done. Eventually we settled on a concept that I’m calling the INFP4 room. INFP is a Myers-Briggs personality type, and the 4 is an Enneagram type, which I loosely translate to being “the introverted artist.” It’s such a magical space out there: The landscape is really conducive to creativity and unblocking, and both times I’ve gone it’s been pretty cathartic. With that in mind, I wanted to design a room that would be a conduit for future works of art. So how did you bring that concept to life? L: Mainly, I wanted the room to be a blank palette for someone. The desk was key—we ended up doing a builtin for that. We also created a gallery fixture with shelves to display art made by different artists. To get at the idea of reflection, I made large mirrors a prominent element. I also sourced a field easel that you can take out onto the trails to work on, and I started a weaving wall, which will slowly turn into a large tapestry as guests contribute to it over time.

Greg, what do guests seem to love most about the hotel? G: I think the sauna and the combined kitchen/library have been the two most important aspects of the hotel, both from a guest perspective and from a personal one. It’s incredible to see how people gather in and use those public spaces: to have conversations, listen to records, look through books, and sit by the fire. Yes, the guest rooms are all unique and that’s super-special, but bringing people together and creating conditions for conversations, that’s the thing that really makes the project stand out.

Best way to spend a day outdoors Hiking in the Wallowa mountains (start from the Hurricane Creek trailhead, just west of town) Best place to pick up a souvenir

Plan Your Visit

Visit M. Crow in Lostine for reimag-

Getting there

home goods (

The Jennings Hotel is in Joseph, Oregon, near the state’s northeast corner. Fly into Lewiston, ID, or Walla Walla, WA, both about two hours away by car, or Boise, which is closer to four hours away. Rooms at the Jennings Hotel start at $95 per night; book yours now at

ined workwear and heirloom-quality Best meal (any meal) Fried chicken at the Imnaha Tavern, located in a historic general store (541-577-3111) Best beverage Arrowhead Chocolates for Stumptown coffee (arrowheadchocolates. com) and Terminal Gravity Brewing for the harder stuff (





T wo years ago, life looked very different for Kara Leigh Ford. The Devon, UK, native was working a tedious office job and slowly chipping away at her pile of student debt—and her sense of well-being. “My work was mentally exhausting and didn’t fit with my kind of soul,” she recalls. “I knew I needed to do something creative to keep me sane.” With her happiness on the line, Kara enrolled in an evening ceramics class and fell hard for the tactile medium. “I was completely hooked,” she says. “The moment I took my first pot out of the kiln was incredible. It was the eureka moment I’d been waiting for my entire creative life.” Kara began spending nights and weekends in the studio nurturing her blossoming hobby, and soon after applied on a 21


whim for the British reality television show The Great Pottery Throw Down. While she didn’t make the show’s final cast, her fellow contestants—a lively group of full-time ceramicists—provided the proof point she needed to pursue pottery professionally. “They were so encouraging,” she recalls. “They said, ‘Kara, if we can do it, you can, too.’” She took the plunge, quitting her day job and launching her eponymous Etsy shop from the garden studio behind her home—a previously unused space that was begging for creative work. Today she spends her days throwing pots and whipping up nature-inspired glazes in the sunny backyard shed she knew was meant to be hers. “Handing in my notice was the best decision I ever made. The universe was telling


The beauty of nature provides endless inspiration for this maker of functional ceramics.

“The moment I took my first pot out of the kiln was incredible. It was the eureka moment I’d been waiting for my entire creative life.”



me in a lot of different ways that I needed to be a potter.” While new to the world of ceramics, Kara was no stranger to the arts when she began molding clay. Growing up in coastal Devon, England, she was a creative child who developed an early love for painting. But it was the permanence of potting that stole her adult heart. “Paintings take so long to emerge, but pottery is very final,” explains Kara. “When a piece is out of the kiln, it’s there, and you can eat your dinner off it.” Many of the pieces in Kara’s line are influenced by her formative years by the sea. “I love the textures and the colors of the ocean and the coastline,” says Kara. “Devon has beautiful beaches, and my 23


aesthetic definitely stems from that— I’d describe it as modern rustic with organic undertones.” In pale seafoam greens and deep, glossy ceruleans, her hand-thrown mugs and freeform ceramic spoons evoke happy summer days spent splashing in the waves. “I always hark back to the ocean,” says Kara. “That’s one of the keystones in my color palette.” Though her current quarters no longer border the coast, Kara finds fresh inspiration in the rural countryside surrounding her home outside of Bath. “I love to go for walks around the fields and through the footpaths,” she says. “I’ll see some moss on a tree or lichen on a stone wall, and get out my phone to

take a picture. That will become a reference point for my next glaze color or the basis for my next set of mugs.” Kara’s pieces may evoke the ethereal appeal of the natural world, but she prides herself on creating pottery that’s as useful as it is beautiful. “For me, the functionality of a piece is absolutely integral to it,” she says. Carefully crafted from sturdy stoneware, Kara’s creations are built to last. “It’s almost forbidden to touch artwork, but ceramics are completely the opposite. You want to touch them—in fact, you have to touch them. It’s a beautiful thing to use a piece of art in your everyday life and not be afraid of it.” Visit ETSYJOURNAL.COM to shop Kara’s line.

Kara embraces the natural imperfections that her style of work produces. “I want each piece to have its own unique character,” she says.

“It’s a beautiful thing to use a piece of art in your everyday life and not be afraid of it.”








Make a Quick and Easy Bouquet





Farmgirl Flowers founder Christina Stembel launched her bouquet delivery service to connect floral fanatics across the country with a curated selection of seasonal, responsibly sourced blooms. Today, she shares her secrets for creating a festive, designer-quality arrangement at home.

Find it on Etsy Leather-wrapped vase,


Good Medicine, $50



Let’s get started. “Anybody can put a bouquet together,” says Christina. “My biggest philosophy is that there shouldn’t be any rules.” Follow these simple steps and take heart: It’s virtually impossible to mess this one up. You will need: 6–10 stems each of three different flower varieties in complementary tones. (We paired bright pink peonies and orange pincushion protea with softer, more muted coral ranunculus.)



Select your flowers

Process and prepare

“I usually pick one bright color to pair with some

Gently remove any leaves that will fall below the

muted or neutral tones,” says Christina. “I also make

water line, leaving the top ones in place to help the

sure that the flowers aren’t all the same shape.”

flowers open. Fill your vase with cold water.



A mixed green bouquet Gardening shears A vase of your choosing Optional: 2–3

stems of a whimsical accent flower, like scabiosa or veronica

Add greenery

Add flowers

Split the mixed green bouquet in half. Position half

Take half of your first flower variety and stagger

the stems in the vase tilting to the left side, and the

the stems in your hand. Trim at a 70-degree angle

other half resting on the right; think of making an X

and place them in the vase in front of the greenery,

with the stems.

on the right-hand side. Turn the vase around and repeat with the rest of this batch, placing the flowers on the opposite side of the greenery, leaning on what is now the vase’s right side.





Take half of your second flower variety and stagger

Last, take your third flower variety, trim the stems

and cut the stems in the same manner as step 4.

in the same manner as step 4 and add them to

Place them in the vase on the left side. Turn the

the center of the vase. Fan them out to blend with

vase around and repeat on the other side with the

the other flowers. If you selected an accent flower

remaining stems.

(we used white scabiosa), now is the time to pepper it throughout the bouquet.




A New Leaf

Visit ETSYJOURNAL.COM to shop the look.

CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT Mounted staghorn ferns, Pistils Nursery PDX, $48 and up; Banana leaf self-adhesive wallpaper, Wall Halla, $27 for 48 inches; Vintage brass pendant lamp, Indigo Trade Co., similar from $195; Vintage brass pineapple, North Fork Vintage, $89; Vintage Soholm Denmark pottery vase, Glittery Moon Vintage, $145; Velvet lumbar pillow, Studio Tullia, $80; Palm motif linen pillow, Studio Tullia, $60; Minimalist steel bench, Crafts Manhattan, $300.




Maybe it’s the endless-summer feeling that comes from being surrounded by palm-leaf prints and bright botanicals, or the retro vibe cast by all that brass and rattan. Whatever the reason, tropical decor is everywhere we turn these days. If you’re ready to bring the outdoors in, vintage shops are a great starting point for one-of-a-kind accessories and statement pieces (think breezy woven seating or an iconic pineapple ice bucket). Just be sure to layer the look with contemporary elements like a minimalist bench and jewel-tone velvet pillows to avoid the whole stuck-in-a-timecapsule-in-the-jungle thing.



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