12 Shops for Christmas – Shop Four

12 shops for christmas banner

On the fourth day of Christmas I went to see: Marilyns Trees

Alluring Amethyste Minature Handcrafted OOAK Bonzai

Rusty gates swing open and an enchanted forest lies before me. A gentle swirling mist lifts as I walk forward. Perhaps some silver bids fly over head and the tinkering sound of water from a nearby river or waterfall fills the air. Trees, with black curving wire trunks and leaves that shimmer and shine surround me. I can almost see the tiny winged folk, that live in the branches, peering down to look at this visitor. I feel like I’ve stepped through the looking-glass, the page of some well read book or better than that, downsized and entered the fairy realm.  

Marilyns Trees opened on Etsy in early 2013 and it’s ower and designer Marilyn comes from Montreal, Canada. Although the shop is not a year old, Marilyn has been creating these beautiful handcrafted trees for over 20 years. The shop sells a selection of these wonderful, one of a kind, Bonzai.  All made from semi precious stones and minerals, they have copper wire trunks and branches and sit in surroundings made from air dry clay. Since discovering Etsy, I been amazed at the variety and skills of different artists I have seen working. I am discovering more every day. I loved these trees the moment I saw them, the colours, the elegant design and stance and the skill of the artist behind them.  It made me wish that I had a fund just for buying wonderful art. One day perhaps I will. However with Christmas in the air, for the ultimate special gift, I don’t think you could do much better than one of these little trees.  

When looking at artists and their work, I always end up thinking about where they got the inspiration, what part did they liked best, what led them to their art and so on.  As I am painting silk I think of the colours, deciding which to use, balancing dark with light and loving the way they spread across the fabric. I’ve decided to ask each of the featured shops the same six questions.  I am really excited to see the answers; some may be similar whilst others may vary enormously. Everyone has their own way of working and viewing their art, so the answers should be very interesting. Let’s see what Marilyn says!

(Note: I’ve now decided it’s best that the above bit stays in for all the rest of the series. Just skip over it if you’ve read it before.)

Interview with Marilyn

Turquoise Temple Tree Sculpture

What led you to using semi precious stones and tree sculpture? 

My spirituality is expressed through my creative side. I discover my connection with life mostly within nature. Minerals,stones ,and gemstones always make me in awe of the creative power in nature. My profoundest and most exalted states have almost always occurred when I have been around trees. I don’t know why I just know that that’s the way it is for me. Trees have a strong presence that I feel and like. No matter how disturbing my day has been just walking through the park will transform my consciousness.  I create tree sculptures as part of my process of trying to understand more about it and also as a way of expressing it.

Because I am trying to capture the mood or feeling of a tree I use semi-precious stones because they radiate a vibration which matches what I am trying to express.This also makes my tree sculpture responsive to the viewer.There is an exchange that occurs.


Miniature Carnelian Agate Tree

What is your favourite part or what do you like best about your art or process?

I find that lately my favorite part of the process is carving the clay. It consumes me I just don’t see the time go by and then all of a sudden it looks like what its supposed to be – either bricks or rocks or a bench.



I am inspired by nature,by other artists especially miniaturists,and by authors of fantasy books.


Do you ever have music on when you work? (I like this question because I always do, in fact I can’t work without it). 

I always listed to rock music in my studio

Exquisite White Mother of Pearl Bonzai


Do you have a favourite piece of art in your shop?

At the moment my favorite piece of art in my studio is a card I bought from a shop on Etsy called Dreamweaver Spirit it is a card called Cernunnos-Spirit of the Forest.




And finally, what would be your “dream” Christmas gift to receive?

Dream Christmas gift to receive would be the teal “Birch Tree Painting” from ArtFromDenise

Thank you Marilyn from Marilyns Trees.

That’s it for the fourth in this series.  Don’t forget to check out the shop!


I love how Marilyn talk about trees and how they affect her, I feel very much the same way. I was reminded of something Anne Frank said in her diary. “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go somewhere outside, somewhere where they can be quite, alone with the heaven, nature and god. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.” I think it will always be like that.

A big thank you to Marilyn for taking the time to answer all my questions.  I have also set up a Pinterest board for all the featured images. You can see it by following my Pinterest link at the top of the page.

Please keep reading this series. Check back early next week for the fifth shop for Christmas.

Have a creative day!




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