Scranton Made Artist Spotlight: Pixie and Thistle

ArtistLena Zolotarev

Pixie and Thistle’s hand-embroidered Tomten (gnomes) are filled with magic & wonder and each has its own unique personality!  What a perfect gift for a child or the young-at-heart!  Besides her Tomtens, Lena of Pixie & Thistle makes gorgeous baby blankets, mobiles, pillows and many other cozy works of art! We are so excited to have this unique art at Lackawanna Arts Fest for the first time this year! 

Tell us a little about how you started Pixie and Thistle. How did you come up with the name?

Pixie and Thistle started from when I first read a book about a magical Tomten from Scandinavian folklore to my toddlers. I loved the Tomten so much I decided I needed a set for my own home, and then my best friend asked for a set and then my mom asked for her set, and I haven’t stopped making them since.

Much thought went into my name and brand, the black and white logo is very intentional, it allows me to express my love of color and textures on my products. Pixie and Thistle is named after my 3 children. My little pixie Vivie, who loves everything pink, purple, fluffy and magical, and the Thistle, my boys, Vivie has a twin brother Linc who is the complete opposite of her, the tough, rough and tumble type, and my oldest Julian he’s the best big brother and protector.


What type of items do you make? 
I make hand embroidered Tomten/Gnomes and items for the home. I have favorite fabrics, wool and flannel, they’re just so cozy, most of my items are made from these two fabrics. I use a premium wool felt, which I dye by hand, allowing me to create my own colors, making my decor completely one of a kind. My process is very involved I take great care in the detail of each of my items.

Your creations all have such a unique aesthetic. What inspires you?
I strive to create items that make people happy, nothing is better than when someone takes a moment to choose the object that speaks to them. My goal is to have people see the products they chose from Pixie and Thistle in their homes, and it just makes them smile, I love that.

Do you have a favorite product or item that you will be featuring at Lackawanna Arts Fest?
I’m looking forward to sharing my new baby mobiles, they allow my to incorporate my watercolor illustrations. I hand paint the woodland animals (the fox is my favorite).

Do you have an all time favorite creation?
My Tomten I think, I really love how they all have their own unique personalities and when I start to make, they just happen.

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
I have always been a night owl and maker, ever since I was a little girl, I’d stay up all night into the early morning making all types of things, in school studied as an illustrator. As I got older handmade markets were always a favorite of mine, the talent and artistry of other Artist is just inspirational. I’m looking forward to sharing my product as well as admiring the other hardworking maker’s wares.