animal collection

I really love animals. When I lived in Calgary I worked at a migratory bird sanctuary as a naturalist, and I spent all day birdwatching, catching bugs, and talking about animals with kids. It was so much fun to explore city parks with them and to see things like baby porcupines, wood ducks, coyotes, and great horned owls and really help open their minds to the fabulousness of the natural world. I definitely miss that life now that I live in Vancouver. I mean, the scenery here is amazing, but my job no longer involves me getting outside every day to just experience the natural world and help other people understand it. Surely you can see how I could miss such a thing.

Anyway, I've gotten a little off topic here, because my real intention is to show some really awesome animal-related gifts that I would personally be more than happy to give or receive this holiday season. First thing's first, we all know that it's a bad idea to give people kittens for Christmas, as many gifted animals are destined to end up in animal shelters when the novelty wears off, but how about these kittens?

meow mitts by TinyOwlsMagicAttic on Etsy

The best part is, this is just a pattern, so you make the kitten mittens (had to go there) yourself. This Etsy shop also has owl mittens, bear sweaters and more, and since it's just a pattern that you buy, no need to wait to get started on your project!

Do undomesticated animals appeal more to you? I've had my eye on the mini deer plaque's by Nice since I first found this shop. How great would the key rack look by anyone's front door? I also really appreciate that the artist cuts the wooden pieces herself, I like that attention to detail and craft. I'm partial to the white plaque, but now I see she's also making a chalkboard version...could be very useful!

mini deer plaque by Nice on Etsy
Now, I think I've saved the weirdest for last, and I don't mean "weird" in a bad way, but "weird" in the best possible way! I really had a hard time picking which item I wanted to show from Wannabes. I chose this one because I think it really captures a lot of the trends that are happening these days: ironic home decorating, taxidermy, floral prints, vintage upcycling, and is that some plaid I see? This piece has it all and, yes, I love it and its craziness. You have to check out this shop!

forever young commemorative plate by Wannabes on Etsy
Of course, these things all add a little more animal awesomeness to your life, but you could also help some real, live animals this holiday season with a donation to an animal rescue organization or conservation group. I recommend adopting a manatee or foregoing those felt antlers for your dog and instead donating to your local SPCA...not that felt antlers aren't pretty cute, it's just, really, how long is the dog gonna keep those on her head?

Here's one of my favourite Panda Bear videos for you:

A bit summery, but I think that's the right way to go in the darkest part of the year! Hope to see you all at Portobello West this weekend! Have a great first day of December!


  1. Welcome December and deers and snow and christmas

    I adore this post!

    much sweetness,
    hope to hear from you xx

  2. the kitten mittens are perfect and make my heart beat a little faster. i won one of those deer plaques from caitlin last year, and i love it!

    your job as a naturalist sounds perfect. i've wished for some time now that i could do something like that, but unfortunately a lot of those sorts of jobs are volunteer, and i doubt the electric complany would recognize my volunteer work ;) i always like to talk to kids about animals to help them appreciate the natural world rather than be afraid of it.

    those beads are gorgeous!

  3. Amy: I totally can't believe that it's already Christmas. For a while it was feeling holiday-ish here in Vancouver, with snow on the ground and gingerbread lattes, but now not as much. I'm excited for the holidays anyway, though. Thanks for stopping by!

    Danielle: Yup, I definitely want my mom to make those for me, since she has a bit more time than I do and is a much better knitter than I am. I often wonder why I gave up my amazing unionized job teaching kids about nature. It was so sweet, and you're right, a lot of places it's volunteers that do that work. Hope you're having a great weekend! Watch your mailbox in the next few days!


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