So, you're not too keen on having loads of dead animals and macabre animal parts around your house? Not a problem! I adore the idea of a cheeky, totally, blatantly fake cabinet of curiosities as well! There are all sorts of fantastical beasts awaiting classification.
Perhaps a Unibunny catches your eye? Etsier girlsavage has all sorts of wickedly cute feltidermy like this little guy.
For other cheeky trophy heads, Cardboard Safari is awesome. We have a medium Buck in our library and it's quite the conversation piece.
These handmade ceramic skulls by mudpuppy are creepy but beautiful. These life-size specimens are popular for Halloween but I say keep them up year round! I especially love the gold tooth.
But what if you're more of the DIY persuasion yourself? Well, I personally tend to be more of the TIY-but-never-quite-DIY type (think it yourself which never quite translates into doing it yourself, ie my mind writes checks that my craftiness can't cash). But, I think there's a few simple projects that could definitely contribute to my cabinet.
I love this idea I saw on mer mag last month: Merrilee's husband made her an insect display by printing drawings of butterflies, beetles, and dragonflies on patterned paper. He then cut them out and pinned them into a hinged shadowbox. Genius! I would use this font to make my butterflies.
This nature walk mixed media piece by CoriKindred (as seen on poppytalk) inspires me to take a second look at all the pinecones in my yard. Hers is undeniably gorgeous, but I think I could put together something similar, maybe with typed labels to emphasize the "scientific" quality.
What about using some SunPrint paper to create gorgeous botanical cyanotypes ala early photographer Anna Atkins? That gorgeous blue negative is iconic in both photographic and botanical history.
In the end, I think your Wunderkammer should be about you and your adventures. While much of mine may be carefully hunted down in the giftshop and the wilds of Etsy rather than the Serengeti, many of the pieces still have personal resonances, which is definitely the best part.
Like I said earlier, I like to pick up treasures from giftshops in museums and the like. Natural history and science museums always have those collections of stones, gems, and crystals for (somewhat) cheap. Shells can be combed by the tenacious or bought by the lazy (guilty!). But for the slightly wackier items etsy is your friend. There are plenty of vintage taxidermied animals and found bones and claws, but some of the best items are the ones created by actual taxidermists and entomologists.
I am in love with the butterfly displays from BugUnderGlass. Museum quality displays of conservation-farmed butterflies (and beetles) done by an entomologist. They have a huge selection and everything is beautifully and artfully displayed. Awesome!
Or you could have someone else do all the work for you! Etsy shop aldetha has a few cabinets with awesome contents pre-chosen and arranged.
It's no secret that I love cabinets of curiosities. I love them like imperial Victorians loved killing (now)endangered animals. Besides art museums, my favorite museums are those of natural history. I have always wanted to put together my very own cabinet full of curiosities found near and far. However, not being a steampunk-y adventurer ready to take flight in my own balloon, brave the grasslands on safari, or dive deep into the sea, I make do with curiosities found near and far in museum giftshops and thrift stores. Below are some inspiration photos; next up will be some affordable ways to make your own wunderkammer (cabinet of wonders).
You can go subtle, like these seashell collections hung from a picture rail...
Or do a full-scale wall of shelves filled to the top with wonders.
A virtual wunderkammer can be produced through zoological and botanical images, such as these gorgeous examples drawn by Albertus Seba, 18th century collector, which are now reproduced in a gorgeous (and expensive!) edition by Taschen.
Or you can just make your entire home one giant repository of all things odd and curious, like fab sisters Hollister and Porter Hovey. See more of their home in the New York Times feature "The New Antiquarians."
It's ridiculous, I know, but one of my must-have items this winter was a bomber hat, aka a furry earflap hat. Cutesy versions (plaid, polka dots, neon) have been everywhere at Target and the malls, but I wanted one that was more versatile and less teeny-bopper. I lucked out when, while Jennifer and I were in Spokane, we visited the newly-opened Cabela's in northern Idaho, and found a super-warm version meant for hunting and other outdoorsy things.
This hat with real, soft, and most of all, warm rabbit fur is mine!
Don't get me wrong, I love plaid and fun colors, but there's something about the sedate colors mixed with the slightly absurd silhouette that I love.
The blogs are all a-twitter about the upcoming Target collaboration with Libery of London, and I for one cannot wait to see what all they have in store. I'm really excited that it's not limited to women's clothes - they're doing men's, childrens, and housewares as well. The only product images I've seen are the few on Oprah's website, but they're enough to convince me. I am definitely getting this floral-print tie and wearing it dandy-style with a a velvet blazer.
I wore this outfit to work my first day after vacation. I definitely needed something with a bit of sparkle to make the day easier! This dress belonged to Jennifer but she passed it on to me and I'm eternally grateful! It definitely needs to be belted which gives it this great 50s look. I'm in the market for a great fluffy skirt/crinoline to wear under it.
Dress from Monsoon, belt and shoes from Anthro, gold locket is a family heirloom.
As a bonus, the (inappropriate for the snowy weather) shoes I wore the next day. I liked the mix of the neutral tone shoe with peacock blue tights.
I've found that going back to the place you grew up with someone who's never been there is the best excuse to go and do all the things in town you haven't done since you were a kid. So, when Jennifer and I went back to my ancestral home (haha), a ranch north of Spokane, WA, I knew we had to spend at minimum one full day exploring the awesome Riverfront Park and partaking of all of its off-season goodness.
Here we are in a gondola overlooking the Spokane River falls.
Ice skating - neither of us are very good at it, but it's somehow very satisfying.
The pride of Spokane - the World's Largest Radio Flyer Wagon (TM). Why? No one knows.
Spokane's iconic clock tower.
My favorite part of the park is undoubtedly the carousel. It's very old and very cool.