THE BARROW BLOG
This year has been so different. More than ever, I've spent this year trying to create a home full of coziness, comfort, and poetic charm. The cottagecore lifestyle and aesthetic has never felt more relevant than this extended time spent at home.
Now we're approaching the holiday season, and most years, we'd be strolling through goblin markets and alley shops, picking out unique and fascinating gifts for friends and loved ones at this time, but we all know that this isn't the year for it.
As an artist and small businessperson, I've been so grateful for those who have still gone out of their way to find our handmade and unique goods to gift to themselves or their friends and family this year. If you're struggling to find some unique gifts for the cottagecore person in your life, I'd love to suggest some items from our shop, as well as other small businesses and artists!
Most of these shops, including ours, are located in the southeastern United States, so you can maintain that "local market" shopping satisfaction.
1. Tea-themed planner pad
Is there anything more charming than planning your weekly baking and reading on a lovely watercolor notepad? This lovely little pad is made by Cottonbook, who, among other adorable creations, does some amazing art zines around cottagecore/mori kei lifestyle. Her entire shop is very cottagecore, so I have no doubt you could do half your shopping here if you liked. I personally bought this cutie a few months ago, and I simply couldn't live without it. One pad should last nearly the entire year!
Buy Here: Cottonbook
2. Field Guide to the creatures of Russian Folklore
To me, there are few things more cottagecore than folklore. This book is one of many by an artist I personally adore named Faina Lorah. She creates a variety of whimsical works around folklore and fairy tales. I discovered her at a local convention, and I have been slowly filling my home with her art ever since. In addition to her various folklore books, she also sells prints, oracle decks, journals, and original paintings. Believe me, you're going to love her work.
Buy Here: FainaLorah
3. Fairy Tale Specimen Curio
What better companion to a field guide of folklore than a collection of fairy tale specimens? Our own shop has a number of botanical and fantastical items for your shelf or wardrobe, and this one features unique specimens from various famous tales. Each curio includes a small guide to the specimens, with references to origin and their literature.
Buy Here: Fogbarrow
4. Embroidery Kit
There is something so unbelievably peaceful about sitting in front of the fire, listening to music (probably "Concerning Hobbits" on repeat, if I'm honest), and embroidering plants for your clothing or walls. These days, there are plenty of beautiful kits available which include patterns and materials to create your own beautiful art. I love this particular kit, with it's folk art flowers and autumnal colors.
Buy Here: MatryoshkaDollShop
5. Mushroom terrarium necklace
Okay, we admit, we're obsessed with mushrooms. They fit in with all of our favorite categories--nature, food, and folklore. I personally have been foraging for a few years now, so I take an extra level of pride in filling my home and wardrobe with, yes, even more mushrooms. These charming little terrarium necklaces, available in many different colored glazes, are handsculpted from porcelain and kiln-fired by our sculpture artist Katherine Smith. Want something even larger for your home? She also does full-sized mushroom terrariums!
Buy Here: Fogbarrow
6. Luna Moth Hair Slide
Ready to further enchant someone's wardrobe? These stunning leather moths are all hand-tooled and hand-dyed leather, and will make you feel like a magical creature has chosen you for their own forever companion. Our leather artist, Melody, makes all sorts of stunning variations, so if there's another moth or butterfly that speaks more to you, she will create for you a custom piece. She can also adjust styles for different hair thicknesses, or adjust for a cloak/necklace pendant, should you prefer a different placement.
Buy Here: Fogbarrow
7. Mushroom grow kit
Prefer function to form? Gift someone with their own mushroom grow kit. These can spawn many times over, giving someone the satisfaction of growing their own magical food (and if you've never tried oyster mushrooms--they are divine). These kits, located in Memphis, Tennessee, ship free and are guaranteed to produce. This company also offers a couple of different mushrooms, so if you don't care for oysters, grab a shiitake or lion's mane kit (or try them all out!).
Buy Here: BluffCityFungi
8. Bookbinding kit
A beautiful way to pass the time at home is journaling and sketching. One doesn't have to be a great writer or artist to find happiness in the simple act of journaling, and it keeps the year from simply passing without remark. Nothing could make journaling more personal than first binding your own, and Peg and Awl has put together a simple and beautiful kit for doing exactly that.
Buy Here: PegandAwl
9. gingham Face Mask
I'm not sure it would be 2020 if we didn't each get a face mask in our stocking. I happen to love this sweet face mask, featuring a pale gingham print. These soft shades are perfect for a cottagecore or mori kei wardrobe. I bought this same mask recently, and it's just neutral enough to match most of my wardrobe, while still adding a bit of style. Of the few times I've had to go out, I always got compliments on this one. Why not add some character to what has become an essential accessory?
Buy Here: BErryFinds
10. Tea cup Candle
Oh my goodness. There is something about a vintage tea cup filled with a soothing brew. I'll be honest, though, I often find myself with more teacups than I know what to do with--not to mention, one can only use so many cups at once (especially in a time where we can't entertain guests). I absolutely love seeing vintage tea cups reused into candles, and I've loved buying and gifting them when I find them at markets. It lets me fill my house with lovely tea cups (and equally lovely scents) without...just...leaving my dishes lying around...
Buy Here: MayasLighthouse
I hope this gave you some ideas for how to shop cottagecore locally for the holidays. There are plenty more beautiful artists and shops out there, so if you haven't found something here, consider searching Etsy & Instagram for other small businesses who are still going this holiday season. If you have a favorite holiday market you'd usually frequent, you can also check their pages for virtual events or shop suggestions!
We hope you have an enchanting and cozy holiday season!
*All images are sourced from their product listings and belong to the original creator/shop. The associated shop/product is linked beneath each item.
*Prices listed are based on current listings, do not include shipping, and may change after article posting. Prices are not guaranteed, only listed here to assist readers in easier shopping.
As a child, I acted like a bit of a little goblin. My pockets were always filled with pretty rocks and bits of nature I found in the woods. I filled any container I could find with caterpillars, fireflies, and crickets. I've always had a penchant for little oddities.
Even now, my house is filled with jars, bottles, terrariums, and other displays of weird specimens--dried moths, a live snake, an array of reproduction Egyptian scarabs, porcelain flowers, fossilized trilobites, dehydrated mushrooms, crystals... Goodness, that doesn't even account for the ones that don't fit in containers, like the carnivorous plants, Victorian medical pamphlets about conjoined twins, or the poison darts of Papua New Guinea.
What I hadn't yet found was a bit rarer-- specimens from the folklore of the world. A bit rarer, no, to track down objects from stories people believe were simply fiction?
I've indulged in the study before, but this year I've finally bottled, labelled, and archived a small collection of specimens to share with the world.
This curio includes a small zine booklet to highlight the origin behind each specimen, and will hopefully encourage you to further research the history and literature behind your new collection.
These fairy tale curios are limited, so if you're interested in owning your own little collection of fairy tale oddities, swing by the shop. We also have a number of lovely mushroom terrariums, moths to alight in your hair, and other specimens of the strange and beautiful.