Arts + Crafts

Sidsel Gaustadnes & Spagat

September 29, 2008

I cannot deny my love for owls. I carry a photograph of one in my wallet and look at it whenever I need courage or if I’m in a bad mood — I glance at my little owl and the world is all better again. Don’t laugh, I love carrying around little tokens that reel me back in whenever I’m feeling a little out of balance. Something about owls in particular really captivates me. When I was little my mother took me regularly to this beautiful sculpture park and garden in South Carolina near our house called Brookgreen Gardens. It was my absolute favorite place to go, especially because it had a small zoo where I would spend hours admiring the owls. I would stand before them perched high in their tree and imagine what they were thinking, what they did when the zoo closed, if they understood what I said as I spoke to them. I always felt tremendous peace looking at them, the great horned owls were my favorites…

Sidsel Gaustadnes & Spagat

It’s no surprise why today I’m still very much a lover of owls. I’m always interested when I find others who have been inspired enough by owls to photograph them or include these gorgeous birds into their artwork or pattern designs, like artist and graphic designer Sidsel Gaustadnes from the Spagat blog and shop.

Sidsel Gaustadnes & Spagat

Sidsel Gaustadnes & Spagat A card Sidsel designed that will soon be in her shop… no owls here but look closely at what it says. It’s a riot but many a truth is told in jest!

Sidsel Gaustadnes & Spagat

Sidsel Gaustadnes & Spagat

Doesn’t this arrangement look so sweet? These are paintings by Sidsel and her studiomate Line Juhl Hansen. Line is a professional artist and freelance architect who has a lovely blog here and an Etsy shop. I’d love to own a painting from Line or Sidsel.

Do you like owls too? If not, what do you enjoy seeing in artwork that gives you good memories of times past? I love owls, birds in general, and girls – fashion illustrations, abstract paintings of women, and of course florals… I never tire of flowers.

(images from Sidsel Gaustadnes)


  • Reply lush bella September 29, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    i just love owls too. this past weekend, we were at target, and we picked up a little doggie sweater for chloe that has an owl appliqued on it. and i agree…they are so peaceful to look at.

    lush bellas last blog post: Lush Bella Print (framed and ready to hang)

  • Reply Diana September 29, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    How lovely to have a talisman like that! My tiny little tattoo is that to me – a reminder of wonderful things in life. And these owls have so much personality! What fun!

    Dianas last blog post: Creative Space

  • Reply tricia mckellar September 29, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Line’s paintings are very fresh– simple and yet draw the viewer in… Thanks for the post. :)

    tricia mckellars last blog post: Set of 7 ACEOs, Fine Art Photographs by Tricia McKellar, Departure Series

  • Reply Jana Souza September 29, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    I do love owls; they remind me of growing up—we had them in my parents decor via the 70’s and they are fitting. My husband and I spent our honeymoon at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sir—it was great fun to return their for a long weekend for our 5 year anniversary–they had a lil gift shop with a handmade iron owl with great, somewhat realistic russet orange eyes—to my wonder, he surprised me by buying it and having it mailed to our home a month or so later. This lil guy holds a great spot in our home.

    I am currently somehow sticken with an affinity for peacocks—their color, their grandeur, also a throwback to the past.

    thanks for the post,


  • Reply DecorPad September 29, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    That’s so cute! I feel that way about elephants!

  • Reply Miss B. September 29, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    This was a sweet post:) I like ALL animals. I am very drawn to animal/nature inspired anything it makes me smile.

    Miss B.s last blog post: MONKEY BUSINESS ET AL…

  • Reply Elizabeth September 29, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    I am not an owl fan in particular, but these are very cute! I know owls are very IN right now!

    Elizabeths last blog post: Recovered Chair Seats

  • Reply Christen September 29, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    I have the same fondness for owls, and my love for them stems back to my childhood. My dear great-grandmother Neva was an avid collector of many things … Betty Boop, pigs, and of course owls. I used to love to visit her and play with her many owl statues. When she passed away, I was given her owl collection. At the time, I was going through my “angry teenager” phase and put them aside without much thought. Now I’m so thankful I have these little treasures. To this day, whenever I see an owl, whether it was one of hers or a different, I smile and remember her zest for life.

    Christens last blog post: Celebrate Yourself

  • Reply Sarah September 29, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    I know exactly what you mean about finding something that brings a certain sort of peace. My image would be the sparrow. They’re so graceful and beautiful. The plan is to get a tattoo of a sparrow eventually :)

    Sarahs last blog post: October Calendar

  • Reply Laurie September 29, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    The last few weeks I’ve had the windows at my house open and at night I can hear an owl outside. It is a little surprising because I live in a pretty urban area but I find it soothing. I wish I could see it!
    I enjoy your blog, you appeal to my designer’s eye!

    Lauries last blog post: Organizing my life

  • Reply lindsay September 29, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Hi Holly,

    It’s so funny how so many people tend to like the same things, at the same time. Last week while reading your post about what people are obsessing about, I noticed many of those items were on my current “want” list. I did a little painting that incorporated my current faves…I even wound up incorporating that little tea pot you posted about…what a dreamy thing to serve tea from :) I posted a pic of the finished piece over at my blog, if you want to have a look.

    lindsays last blog post: break for a cup of tea?

  • Reply Charlie @ So Lovely September 29, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Ummm.. I think my inspiration is trees and the water. Even now, standing under an enormous tree looking up, just brings everything back into perspective. I grew up, partly in New Zealand so spent a lot of time at the beach, sunbathing (it was allowed in ’70’s) and surfing. Its always had a calming effect on me. Every time I see the ocean in person or in artwork or photography, I can feel myself slowing down instantly.

    Also the sunsets – the reds and blues in the sky are really stunning.

    Charlie @ So Lovelys last blog post: The Getty Museum

  • Reply samantha hahn September 29, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    I’m a big fan of Spagat!!

  • Reply Sarah September 29, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    If you love owls, you should check out this image by one of my favorite bloggers.

    Sarahs last blog post: Pretty Little Things Club

  • Reply MaryBeth September 29, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Hi Holly
    3 years ago following the death of our newborn grandson, we returned home to our ranch to find a n amazing family of owls had taken harbor in our giant eucalyptus tree. An American Indian women shared with me that they come to offer protection and comfort. Their presence was unspeakably healing for me as I was a brand new photog and spent hours under the tree communing with them and taking pictures. below are links to 2 of the owls.


    Here is one special owl I encountered 6 weeks ago

    I will be seeing this amazing fella and others this weekend.

    Let me know what size you like images in.

    As always I thank you for your wonderful inspiring blog.


    MaryBeths last blog post: Happy Tuesday says Toot!

  • Reply Nicole September 29, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    I love owls too–it’s something about those eyes. Have you seen Matte Stephens’ owls? I’m not sure if he has any in his shop right now, but if you scroll through his blog, you’ll see a few. They’re gorgeous in all of their kaleidoscope wonder! Here’s his address:

    Nicoles last blog post: Going blind and a few words

  • Reply mrs. french September 30, 2008 at 12:08 am

    I love everything about owls…this post is lovely.

    mrs. frenchs last blog post: I heart Monday.

  • Reply eva September 30, 2008 at 2:22 am

    I love to look at blue sky (pictures). They remind me to look up, when I feel down and they also tell :”hey, there will be better day tomorrow!”

    evas last blog post:

  • Reply eva September 30, 2008 at 3:02 am

    I`d like to add that I love the arrangement on windowsill! I hope my son grows up fast, so I can display my favorite bits and pieces everywhere again. Now I have to hide everything that is not secured to somewhere :)

    evas last blog post:

  • Reply Elizabeth Wright September 30, 2008 at 3:20 am

    love the owls and i have always loved birds ( before their current popularity ) and houses ! i have often been fascinated what makes us so passionate about the things we love, what makes people have huge collections of e.g. salt and pepper shakers !!!!! read decor 8 always with such interest, thankyou! Lizzie from Melbourne, Australia.

    Elizabeth Wrights last blog post: saturday stitching

  • Reply sidsel_._ September 30, 2008 at 4:07 am

    Ohh Holly – thank you so much for this sweet post – I?m so happy that my owls have found their way to your wonderful blog. Today is a great day – and I?m blushing with joy!

    sidsel_._s last blog post: Open House in the Studio

  • Reply karina September 30, 2008 at 7:07 am

    I love them,too!!!

    karinas last blog post: Sunday

  • Reply Coco September 30, 2008 at 7:25 am

    I love deers in artwork, probably because it brings me back to christmas.

  • Reply Linda September 30, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Owls are amazing – I also connect them with autumn, my favorite time of year. I just included an owl in my recent painting (it’s on my website, under “paintings).

  • Reply Claire September 30, 2008 at 11:11 am

    I love owls too! Owl plushies are one of my favourite things to make! Owls and quirky robots!

    Claires last blog post: Illustration

  • Reply Anna September 30, 2008 at 11:17 am

    I love owls. Birds in general. I don’t know why. But a friend suggested, that the very special shape of an owl face compromises the Kindchen Schema. I don`t know the english expression, but the big eyes are always appealing. Just imagine all the japanese cartoon characters.

    Just take a look at my tamed owl at my site.

    Annas last blog post: :: Last Days of Summer

  • Reply Melissa H September 30, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Those are very cute! I feel the same way about polar bears. I love going to the zoo and looking at cute polar bear butt! Hehe!! This was a great post– made me smile, and I needed it.

  • Reply sly_fox September 30, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Anything handmade from India takes me to my happy place. When I was in gradeschool, my big sister (by 11 years) discovered that I loved anything from Pier 1 Imports – the more “exotic” the better. She gave me a polychrome print of Krishna, and I was fascinated by his lavender skin, garlands of flowers, opulent jewelry (rings ! bracelets! earrings ! necklaces! anklets !), peacocks at his feet, and kohl-rimmed doe-eyes. He was like nothing I’d ever seen before, and I was enchanted.
    This ignited my enduring fascination with Indian art and crafts, and whether it’s a pair of finely carved and painted wedding chairs from Rajasthan, or a patchwork floor cushion fashioned artfully from recycled sari scraps, the masterful Indian color-sense and joyful ornamentation even in the humblest objects continually delights me.

  • Reply Elisa September 30, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    I love your blog, I find it very inspirational.
    I need some drcorating/reno help.
    I have a white Ikea MALM bed and would love to do a big fabric chocolate coloured headboard.
    Need some help on what fabric to go for, how to build it and how do I fix it to the exhisiting short headboard…can anyone help!

  • Reply Brooke H September 30, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    I’ve been a fan of owl’s since reading the Harry Potter’s years back in college (when i had my wisdom teeth removed I spent 3 days reading through the first 4 Harry’s). Ever since I’ve had my eye on owl’s specifically white ones, like Hedwig, that coordinate nicely with my creamy white apartment decor.

    Brooke Hs last blog post: Sienna

  • Reply Tiffany September 30, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Owls definitely are making a come back from the 70’s. I love it! What gets me most every time are hummingbirds.

    My father passed about six months ago from melanoma cancer. The logo for The Melanoma Research Foundation is a hummingbird. I’m not sure how to explain it, but it’s almost comforting to me when I see a hummingbird whether in person or photograph or a graphic.

    Dad loved birds. He had loads of bird feeders, including at least three hummingbird feeders. He’d get those hummingbirds to stay even over the winter, which is rare in the Seattle area. So now I have one hummingbird feeder in the front and back of my home.

    Bottom line is, hummingbirds will ALWAYS be special to me.

    Tiffanys last blog post: Dance Floor Thriller & Two-Face Killer (aka Harvey Dent)

  • Reply Elisabet September 30, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Holly,
    Can’t resist to indicate a website which sells owl bedding items (if that’s a word ? :))

    Anyway, you were so nice to indicate Le Souk to me the other day when I was looking for a white leather pouf (I found one ! and it’s beautiful) that I couldn’t resist to let you know about this little item on sale in

    Beaux reves (sweet dreams)!

  • Reply Jodi September 30, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Owl’s Wisdom Includes:

    * Stealth
    * Secrecy
    * Silent and swift movement
    * Seeing behind masks
    * Keen sight
    * Messenger of secrets and omens
    * Shape-shifting
    * Link between the dark, unseen world and the world of light
    * Comfort with shadow self
    * Moon magick
    * Freedom

    I always like to know the meaning of things when I am attracted to them – so just in case you feel the same way, I thought I would post this. It’s just interesting to know – this is from Shamanism Animal Spirit Guide.

    Mine is a Moose…..

    Jodis last blog post: HI HO HI HO, IT’S BACK TO THE RINK WE GO!

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente September 30, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Oh, these are so sweet! I love owls too, elephants, deer, birds, and whales in my imagery…some inspire me just with their look or some with their noble or gentle status…I am off to check out these sweet shops!

    Melissa de la Fuentes last blog post: Ellie

  • Reply Petra :-) September 30, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    I feel the same to the camels :-) I wish I could buy in the future one and take a ride whenever I want :-)

    Petra :-)s last blog post: the visitor :-)

  • Reply Laura September 30, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    I am a lover of all things birdie! To me they signify freedom, peace and true beauty :)

    Lauras last blog post: Some new creations and a little gift for you!

  • Reply magikquilter October 1, 2008 at 3:03 am

    I love those owls….there are a lot of owls around at present …bags cushions and artworks. It may be something to do with the graphic and slightly kooky look of the bird and the way one can play the wings and eyes off against other fabrics etc. We have some wonderful ones on my flickr groups and I cannot get enough of them….see one and invite invite invite!!!

    Love that artwork and looked carefully and tootally agree…sorry the post seemed to call for it! Love the photography of the cushions against the windowsill… brilliant!

    magikquilters last blog post: Daddy?s Girl by Lisa Scottoline

  • Reply Tabitha (From Single to Married) October 8, 2008 at 10:47 am

    I love those pictures! they look great together too!

    Tabitha (From Single to Married)s last blog post: Design – Light Fixtures

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