The Etsy Blog

Guest Curator: Blanket Magazine handmade and vintage goods

Bec_bio.jpgBec Brown is the publisher, editor and art director of Blanket Magazine, an online magazine devoted to uncovering art, design and photography from around the world. At age 5, she art directed, designed and produced a limited edition book titled A Picha Book that captured the hearts and minds of her teacher and fellow kindergarten classmates — and she has since been hooked on publishing. After studying photography, magazine publishing, graphic design and barista training, Bec combined these skills to start Blanket Magazine. Inside its pages she indulges her inquisitive nature and her love of beautiful objects by collecting stories, interviews and pretty pictures. Bec recently relocated from one wonderful city — Melbourne, Australia — to another, Manchester, UK.

I am a collector at heart and in truth Blanket Magazine is a large collection of creative people who have inspired me and thus I want to share them with my readers. I’m attracted to unique and thoughtful artwork that evoke emotions in the viewer or that tell a story. I also love vintage items, particularly found objects, where an artist takes an object and reuses it to create a new piece of art. There is no shortage of these items on Etsy and they come in all shapes and forms. Bold, wearable jewellery, illustrations that conjure up dramatic tension, or artwork that has an accompanying narrative are all featured in my Etsy choices.

Miniature Cabinet of Curiosities 29, Letters from the Front by MiniatureRhino, $28.

Sometimes we all need a little kick-start to let our imagination run wild. MiniatureRhino provides a miniature kick-start with these pieces. Each individually numbered vial holds a small collection of fascinating found objects with a tantalizing story title. It’s just up to you and your own imagination what story they tell. 


Embroidered Print – Star Map by selflesh, $30.

I discovered Shannon Rankin‘s work while researching collage artists for the scissors feature in the upcoming Rock, Paper, Scissors issue of Blanket. Shannon reuses found imagery from sources such as vintage maps and breathes new life into them by creating these wonderful collages. The added touch of red thread creates another dimension to the piece.

Mountains brooch by nomoi, $10.

I love bold pieces of jewellery, especially brooches, that make a statement. What I particularly like about nomoi’s work is that she mixes found imagery and illustration and reinterprets them into a beautiful and wearable piece of art.

Jo by nosideup, $20.

This is not a typical portrait, which is why I am so drawn to it. A mystery is created in this piece because you can’t see the sitter’s face, and this mystery is only enhanced by noisedup who creates a personality for each portrait. You are given snippets of information, which is both interesting and frustrating as I have this overwhelming feeling just to grab it and turn the illustration around!


Southbank Tea Cup and Saucer by EstherCoombs, $45

I can just imagine EstherCoombs hunting out vintage ceramic treasures and then drawing intricate illustrations on their surfaces to give the object a new purpose and to create a new story. Drawing on paper is difficult enough, so anyone who can draw freehand on vintage china is truly amazing!

stormy afternoon by milkylane, $11.

Sometimes a drawing evokes strong feelings of drama and tension and you find yourself transported into the story the artist has created. I love stormy afternoons and I love this piece by milkylane.


Lets Meet in the Forest Print by betsywalton, $35.

I first encountered Betsy when I interviewed her for Blanket‘s Communication issue. I was drawn into her work, which has a mystical and dreamlike element to it. There’s a narrative to each picture but it’s open-ended, so you can use your own imagination to complete the tale.


bearfurcated. hazel and ingrid, a double brown bear by everyeskimo, $28.

The cheeky hand-stitched and stuffed creations by everyeskimo always have a funny, little story accompanying them. She creates a personality for each piece, often with a humorous or quirky twist, and that’s what makes these pieces so memorable.


Sliced Au-Go-Go Open Edition Giclee A4 by inaluxe.

Kristina Soastarko from inaluxe was featured on the Blanket poster and in the Blanket 2010 Calendar, so it’s safe to say I am a huge fan of her work! I love the way she combines graphic elements with bold colour to create striking pictures that grab your attention.


Sunshine by virginiakraljevic, $22.

Black and white line drawings are classic, simple and understated. I love the detail in this piece, especially the geometric shapes, and I admire Virginia’s patience to create such an intricate and detailed work.


Original Abstract. 7 by wallnut, $60.

This piece by wallnut has such a delicate feeling but the bold, red thread creates a wonderful tension.



confetti by spinthread.

Craft from our grandmothers’ era is making a comeback as people embrace handmade traditions again. I love the work of spinthread as her pieces are a modern twist on the traditional craft of hand embroidery.