Handmade Sunday Vol. 2

Happy Sunday, friends. Today I have four more beautiful shops to share with you. (Psst … if you missed last week’s installment you can find Handmade Sunday vol. 1 here!)


I am smitten with the illustration work of Kate Durkin. Her style is clean and playful, and her design choices are delightful! I love the foods she included in these food alphabet cards, and her mini pillows are really charming. I especially love her New York City collection.


Hayley makes truly lovely, playful art prints like this whimsical Alphabet Print with Colorful Shapes and this charming Apples Print (wouldn’t that look perfect in a classroom or nursery?). I just adore her color choices, especially the muted bright palettes with a bit of a retro feel. Hayley writes that her shop “is inspired by the fun and magical memories of my childhood, growing up in a lovely small village in Surrey. It's this fun and magic which I very much hope my own children and others will share through my prints and artwork.” How fun is this Types of Rainbows Print?!


Abril makes the sweetest fabric dolls and wall decor. I am in love with this little bunny! Her dolls wear beautiful clothes and scarves, too. Abril writes (translation my own):

Compagino mi trabajo de restauradora de objetos antiguos con la creación de muñecas de trapo y otras pequeñas cosas hechas a mano. Mis muñecas están cosidas con mucho amor y con el gran entusiasmo que me produce hacer lo que me gusta: el trabajo artesanal unido a la libertad creativa. Me gusta el mundo de la ilustración, del papel, de los trabajos textiles hechos a mano (bordados, tejidos, ganchillo...) y también todo lo referente a reciclar y reutilizar materiales.

I combine my work as restorer of old objects with the creation of rag dolls and other small handmade things. My dolls are sewn with a lot of love and with the great enthusiasm that makes me do what I like the most: artisan work combined with creative freedom.

I like the world of illustration, of paper, of handmade textile works (embroidery, weaving, crochet ...) and also everything related to recycling and reusing materials.


Last but not least, I am enchanted by Daria’s hand carved stamps. These seashells of the world put me in the most summery mood. She has dozens of intricate, magical designs inspired by anatomy, life cycles, and the natural world. Have a look at these pine cones and these leaves from common trees.

Handmade Sunday Vol. 1

Happy weekend friends! Today I thought I’d start a new series sharing my favorite independent art shops with you. It is so important to support independent artists, and these four women are making such beautiful work that I would love to use in my classroom or share with the kiddos in my life!


Kristina makes the most charming, lifelike polymer clay fruits and vegetables for imaginary play. My students would adore these! I love her story too: “On my maternity leave I became fond of modeling from polymer clay and I finally found my true self. At first I made mini fruit and vegetables for educational games with my daughters and then I simply wanted to make the kids of friends and family happy. My friend’s son liked to plant potatoes and carrots into kinetic sand and my niece likes to play with toy figures in an imaginary shop.”


Lauren makes magical felt garlands and wall hangings - wouldn’t these stars make the loveliest backdrop for teaching? Here is part of her story: “When my daughter came along, I was determined to create a beautiful nursery full of magic and fun so set to work creating plush softies and garlands to adorn her room with. She loved them! and so I decided to share them with others.” I adore this panda bunting!


I think I have food on my mind today! Claire Louise has some of the most beautiful felt food I’ve ever seen. I especially love the sushi set, the rainbow chard, and the colorful fruit. She also makes lovely felt garlands and wreaths! From her story: “I love creating fun, functional yet visually appealing play food and toys. My felt food range is a great learning tool. Teaching kids of all ages about different foods, cultures, cuisines, shapes, sizes, colours and even textures. Most importantly they are encouraging pretend and imagination play.”


Joanna makes intricate quiet/busy books, toys, and dolls. I can’t get over the detail on her work! I would love to use this weather sensory board in my classroom. And look at the beautiful dress up outfits on those dolls! Joanna has a fascinating story: “Since I was little I like art (my family can confirm). For many years I've been going to the art classes. I have done a lot of modeling clay figurines, I was paining, drawing, I sewed the dresses for dolls (I decorated them with glitter). Once I made an advent calendar for my sister, which had the Christmas lights attached. I tried to go to art school, it didn't work. Today I know that one of the reasons why it didn't work is that I didn't believe in myself. I finished geography with teaching specialization. Later I worked with kids of different ages and I was doing a classes that they were aimed to teach and entertain. I liked it very much, but I wanted to do something about my artistic passion. My husband and I decided it was time to change. At one meeting with my college friend, appeared the idea of the quiet books. She told me they were starting to form. When I was coming home by the bus, I started looking for information about it. From that moment , I knew I want to do it. I want to sew the quiet books that will help the development manual skills of children and imagination, which is so important.”

My Etsy Shop Journey: 1 Week!


Hi everyone,

I thought it would be fun to document my Etsy shop journey here on my blog, both to keep myself accountable and to remember the little things. I hope you enjoy this peek behind the scenes!

It’s been a little over a week now since I opened TeacherHappyMail. I chose the Etsy platform vs. Teachers Pay Teachers because I’m just more familiar with Etsy, but I am hoping to sell things on TpT too. I’ve been thinking about selling my designs for a while now and everything just came together time/money wise over the last few weeks.


I’ve known I wanted TeacherHappyMail to be the shop name for the longest time! I just love the idea of getting happy things in the mail, from one teacher to another. I drew a few quick logos for practice when I was still in the dreaming phase, and ended up using one of them. I’m still refining it though - I think I want it to look a little more complementary to the logo I drew for my @englishteacherem profile pic.


For me, pricing has been the most difficult part of this process. I have used several online calculators to try and figure out the real cost of my own labor, and it’s honestly always more than I’m charging. Add to that the fact that I don’t own a printer, and I’m committed to using my local print shop (they’re so helpful and kind!) rather than a big box until I can save for a printer of my own. But at the end of the day, I am an independent contractor in the gig economy. I have several part time jobs, student loans, etc. I only want to charge a reasonable amount for my items - the kind of prices I could afford to pay every so often. So in short, I’m still figuring it out.


Creating! I have a huge running list of things I want to make, and it just keeps growing and growing. I decided to start with some things I already use versions of with my own students: the veggie flash cards, tools for teaching colors, and the star rewards. I also created two coloring pages, and it turns out those were my very first sales! That was really heartening for me.


My goals for the next few weeks are:

  • Try to strike a balance of digital downloads / physical items (I have no idea if people prefer one over the other!)

  • Learn more about / offer some downloads on TpT

  • Host a giveaway

  • Create more designs of course!

Thank you for reading! I would be delighted if you checked out my shop and I would love to hear your feedback.

Em 💕