Available in our shop once again…

Thought you missed out on them? Well surprise surprise, they’re back!

Stinky the Zombie – our original Zombeez Travel Companion needle felted doll pin – and our zombie angel Christmas tree topper are now available once again in our store as made to order products!

Please keep in mind, our zombie angel tree topper takes a long time to make, so it’s a good idea to order early if you want it by holiday time.

Shop The Maniacal Menagerie – http://themaniacalmenagerie.etsy.com

I was featured in a magazine!

Well I’m quite late to the game posting this, but I’ve been very preoccupied for the past couple months with work, moving, preparing for my college graduation, etc… but I am excited to announce that my black cat pin was featured in a magazine!

It was featured in the October 2014 issue of the UK magazine Cross Stitcher, on page 13.  Take a look:


crossstitcher feature

I am so excited and flattered!

Seller Spotlight – Magic Mushroom Patch

Welcome to the latest installment of our Seller Spotlight, where we feature the work of talented new artists and artisans.  There’s something for everybody!  Jewelry, traditional art, home decor & more.

Have you ever heard of drawing on plates with sharpie and then baking the ink into the ceramic?  Neither had I.  Then I ran across Mariya Sydorenko of the Magic Mushroom Patch, and her beautiful sharpie art plates.  I’ve heard of drawing in sharpie before, my husband does it, ToniTiger415 (our first seller spotlight) does it, but it never occurred to me to draw on things other than paper, and moreover, that you can bake it on for lasting pieces of useable art.

Not only does Mariya use this interesting method of decoration, she also is a talented artist and depicts beautiful scenes on her plates & mugs.


magic mushroom patch hand drawn art plate

Remember that 1970’s Sears Roebuck mushroom kitchen set?  It had placemats, a butter dish, utensil holder, cozies…my Mother had it, I always loved that set.  That’s what Mariya’s art reminds me of.  It’s so cute!

magic mushroom patch hand drawn mushroom plates

magic mushroom patch hand drawn vintage flower mug

magic mushroom patch artist made whimsical mushroom mug

If mushrooms aren’t your thing, her shop also features custom text plates, homemade jam, and knitted dishcloths!

You can find her shop on Etsy at http://magicmushroompatch.etsy.com

Follow her on Facebook for recipes and updates:  http://www.facebook.com/magicmushroomkitchen

Introducing…An Adorable Pink Elephant Brooch!

novelty pink elephant brooch

 This darling pink elephant brooch carries a heart-shaped flower in her trunk as she waits for just the right someone to come along.  She is made out of wool with bead eyes and a bar pin back, so you can take her anywhere with you (much to her delight)!

I’ve been wanting to make a pink elephant pin for some time now.  Ever since I was a little kid I’ve been obsessed with the “Pink Elephants on Parade” scene from Dumbo (even have that song on my phone).  Add to that the fact that elephants are one of my favorite animals, and how much I love making cute felted things, and you see how this day was inevitable.  I hope to introduce more elephants into my shop!  Also lined up for the near future are cute little piggy pins (my husband’s favorite animal!), sloth pins, and some new variations on our cats pins, like tuxedos and calicos!

This sweet elephant pin is sure to brighten your day, and makes a fantastic gift!  As always, she’s available in my shop:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/191754180/elephant-brooch-needle-felted-pink?ref=listing-shop-header-0

Felt Art Commissions on DeviantArt

Some of you know that I frequent DeviantArt.  I love it, there’s so much amazing work on there (and, let’s be honest, some…not so amazing work too).  It’s easy to get lost for hours on DA just browsing.  In my travels a while back I entered a contest for custom artwork done by Kailyn Dickason, who does adorable felt illustrations.  Well, I won!  As I was working on Philbert at the time I requested a plague doctor, and here he is:


Ain’t he cute?  You can find his deviation at http://kailyndickasonart.deviantart.com/art/Plague-Doctor-458099801

Check out the rest of Kailyn’s art at http://kailyndickasonart.deviantart.com/

For you Storenvy users, you can find her there, too http://kailyndickasonart.storenvy.com/

Seller Spotlight: Wraps by Rene

Wraps by Rene is a fellow Pretty Awful team member and a wonderfully talented jeweler and sculptor.  Her work is whimsical, unique, adorable, often personalized, and appeals to a wide variety of interests.  On top of that, she has some really cool products like retractable name badge clips!  How many of those do you see on your travels round Etsy?  If I had a job where I needed a retractable name badge clip, I sure would want a spiffy one-of-a-kind handmade one!  Her shop is filled with personalized items, steampunk accessories, and even decorative (but useful!) items for the home.  She sculpts with polymer clay and incorporates watch gears and other media into her work.

I usually save my favorite for last, but for a change of pace we’ll start with it:  An absolutely adorable steampunk elephant pendant and earring set, complete with monocle.  I wants!



Wonderfully creative salt & pepper shakers for the steampunk home:


Retractable name badge clips:



And a variety of other handmade  jewelry:




She has many more personalized and career-specific accessories in her shop to brighten your workday, so take a look!  You can find her on Etsy at http://wrapsbyrene.etsy.com

As always, don’t forget to give her social media some love!

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/renemiller2/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wraps-by-Rene

We’re Now Self-Hosting!

It is with copious amounts of delight that I announce that our blog is now self-hosted!  Our domain, www.themaniacalmenagerie.com, is once again up and running.  All of my lovely followers have been transferred, as well as all of my previous posts, and I ask that any new visitors interested in subscribing please visit themaniacalmenagerie.com and subscribe there.

Thank you very much for your support!  I look forward to bringing some exciting changes and additions in the coming weeks and months, including our very own store!

Also, TIL that I need to work on my maniacal laugh.  It is dreadfully lacking.

We’re Expanding Our Empire!

I’m excited to announce that the Maniacal empire is expanding a bit further with the grand opening of a spiffy custom Storenvy storefront & marketplace store!  The “Store” link in the navigation bar will now take you to my Storenvy store.  For those who don’t know about Storenvy, it’s a marketplace of unique, largely handmade or vintage items much like Etsy, but for sellers it is currently completely free- no listing fees, monthly subscriptions or commissions, and you get to completely customize your store to boot!   Checkout is easy and you can pay securely with Paypal- but don’t worry Etsy fans!  I have no intention of ever leaving Etsy!  Etsy is an invaluable community of wonderful creative sellers and I’m proud to be a part of it.  You can still find my Etsy store link over on the right sidebar under “Follow”.

Lastly, I’m making an even bigger expansion…

I’ve purchased hosting and am building my very own website!  Our domain, www.themaniacalmenagerie.com, will likely look quite messy for a week or so while I learn the fancy WordPress plugin and get the new site set up.  In the meantime this blog is still available right here at https://themaniacalmenagerie.wordpress.com and we will continue business as usual with a Maniacal 5 and Seller Spotlight lined up for this weekend.

Thank you to our lovely customers for all your support, and I hope you enjoy all additions and improvements!

Meet Philbert


Meet Philbert. Philbert is a plague doctor, and he has seen all manner of frightful pustules and boils in his lifetime. He’s used to seeing sickness affecting other people, but lately he’s noticed something is amiss with his own self. He’s noticing the birds sound happier, the grass seems greener, and the pustules seem less disgusting. Yes, Philbert is down with the sickness.

The LOVE sickness.

(Please note: previous line meant to be read in Barry White voice.)

With whom, you ask? Why, you of course! When he’s with you the very world stops spinning and nothing else matters. He would swim across the ocean, climb the highest mountain, cross the largest desert just to be with you. Look, he’s even brought you flowers!

Philbert is a miniature needle felted doll made by yours truly entirely out of wool batting. He stands a whopping 2 3/4″ tall and fits conveniently in the palm of your hand.

He is available in my shop for only $23.oo  https://www.etsy.com/listing/190726584/felted-miniature-doll-philbert-the?ref=shop_home_active_3

Seller Spotlight: Clara Lieu Fine Art

Oy vey.  I’m really late with this one.  I’m sorry, really I am.  I was running a little bit late with it to begin with last week, and then I lost my internet for three days. (Coincidentally, right after I posted that creepy Area 51 employee Coast to Coast clip.  Hmmm…)  To make up for it, there will be two Spotlights this week!  So without further ado, on with the show!

Clara Lieu is a traditional fine artist creating mesmerizing and haunting ink drawings, sculptures, and intaglio prints.  As she states in her biography, her art is a study of mental illness and social isolation.

Her work brings feelings of pain and loneliness to the viewer not only through her dark, moody, dream-like subject matter, but also through her technique.  Each stroke feels like a lashing, each smudge a cloud over your vision like a nightmare where you can’t see the monster that is chasing you.

Her story of her own struggle with depression adds another dimension to her figures.  They are not just an outsider’s view, or a study for curiosity; they are the representation of personal pain.







Clara’s work can be purchased at her Etsy store, http://claralieufineart.etsy.com.

If you like what you see, you can follow her on:

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/claralieu

Flickr:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/claralieu

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/claralieu

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/claradolly

Tumblr:  http://www.claralieu.tumblr.com  

And her WordPress blog:  http://www.claralieu.wordpress.com  (It is really an amazing read if you’re interested in the arts.  Clara is an Art Professor as well as a fine artist, and even runs an advice column for artists.)