A Holiday Wish Come True: A Q&A With Artist and Instagram Star Riley Sheehey

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by

Abby Grace Photography

Christmas has come early for Over The Moon thanks to a Nutcracker-inspired custom glass ornament collaboration that we’ve launched with multimedia artist Riley Sheehey. The first of its kind, this set of 4 custom printed ornaments evokes scenes from the whimsical holiday classic, The Nutcracker.

“I have been a fan of Over The Moon since the brand first started as a wedding blog and referred to OTM many times throughout the planning process for my own wedding in 2018,” Riley remembers. “Since launching e-commerce and registries in 2020 and 2021, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with the team on several product design projects and have continued to keep in touch with founder Alexandra Macon and buying director Emilie Ghilaga over the years.” A few of those design projects include collaborations like the Fleur Home x Riley Sheehey OTM Exclusive Mirrors and the Riley Sheehey x Refine slip dresses.

This time, the holiday classic The Nutcracker served as the capsule’s “jumping off point”—Riley finds annual inspiration in the ballet. “We decided to incorporate floral elements into each scene, to make the designs unique and representative of both of our brands,” Riley explains. The custom glass ornaments are tied off with complementary velvet bows.

To commemorate today’s launch, we caught up with Riley on what inspires her, what she’s most excited for this December, and how she’ll be decorating this holiday season.

Your work evokes such a childlike sense of wonder. How do you maintain that throughout each project?

Thank you so much. That is always what I am aiming for, so it makes me so happy that that is how it is coming across! I have always loved children—I taught elementary school for six years before going full-time as an artist—and since becoming a mom, I find my artwork is even more influenced by childhood and nostalgia.

What do you find most inspiring, in art and in life?

In art—I am always drawn to artwork that tells a story, which is why I really loved and am always inspired by folk art. I also adore anything of Mary Cassatt’s—I love how she depicted motherhood and everyday family life. In life—right now, I am so inspired by my daughter and watching her grow.

Do you have fond memories of The Nutcracker when you were a child? How did that inform your approach?

Yes! I actually danced—really poorly, and only for a year—when I was little, and my parents have a VHS of me at least a few steps behind everyone else dancing to “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” Needless to say, I realized pretty early on that I was more cut out for painting the ballet than dancing in it, and as a lifelong girly-girl it provides the ultimate painting inspiration during the holiday season. I couldn’t dream up a better brand to collaborate with on these designs than OTM.

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season?

Spending time with family! My sister and brother-in-law just had my first nephew last week, and I can’t wait to see him and my daughter in matching Christmas PJs.

How do you approach decorating for the holidays? 

Because we tend to travel a ton in December, we usually stick to a tree and a few special pieces. Decorating our Christmas tree is one of my favorite traditions, and I can’t wait to add these Nutcracker ornaments to ours this year and for years to come!

Finally, who is your favorite character in The Nutcracker?

Always Clara—but I have a soft spot for the Rat King, too.