Hidden Talents: A Nature-inspired Discovery

Miniature pots of paint. Jewelry wire. Resin. These are all items that I did not own six months ago. But after finding inspiration in friends and wildlife, these have become items I am now unsure whether I could do without.

It all began with a simple need for coasters in a friend’s new house. A big fan of DIY projects, I had an idea to make some, but then remembered that years had passed since I last completed even a pencil sketch. Daunted and uncertain of my capacity to paint an octopus that actually resembles an octopus, I invested minimally, in those mini pots of paint and a few ceramic tiles. I thought, it won’t matter if they don’t turn out well. It’ll be fun to give it a try. Over a few days, I spent several hours with some good tunes attempting to replicate with paint some fantastic nature photographs.

My first project of cephalopod coasters included a nautilus (left) and a cuttlefish (right).

To my surprise and delight, the coasters turned out well, if I say so myself! 

Maybe you have a knack for painting too! If painting does not appeal to you, there is also the less time-intensive route of looking through your photo boxes or buying scrapbook paper for your coaster’s decorations. Whichever way you choose, your friends and family will surely know a lot of love went into the production of your crafts.

Since July, I have delved into this new hobby that I love dearly, scored my first sales on Etsy, and gifted sets of coasters and wine charms to friends, with more projects in progress and waiting to begin. I am curious to experiment with mixed media next for a more three-dimensional, abstract take, and I’ll continue to look for inspiration in first-hand experience, my friends favorite fauna, documentaries, and photography. With such diverse ecosystems filled with majestic, adorable, fierce and silly creatures, there are endless possibilities!

These whale coasters are ready to be put to good use in a friend’s coastal home.

Check out Stephanie’s shop, Sunfleck Studio, on Etsy.com!


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