Handmade in Sweden

I recently spent a few days in the midwest to see family. Some of you might know this already, but certain parts of the midwest are really more like little Scandinavian outposts. My family originally hails from Sweden, so I always feel myself drawn to all things Svenska.

West Coast of Sweden: LillaJizo

On the west coast of Sweden, scientists recently discovered the bones of a 10,000 year old whale… and I discovered the very fine designer LillaJizo and her little pieces of art that she creates on broken pieces of pottery. Historically, Jizo is a Buddhist helper/bodhisattva. He is considered to be the helper of all beings, especially children, women, and travelers. LillaJizo painted this “healing shard,” as she calls them, with Roku Jizo, or the Six Realms Jizo. I wish I had this healing shard to carry with me in my pocket when I was on my recent trip. LillaJizo also has a blog, where you can read more about her dedication to the yogic path.

Sverige, Sweden: Jealousy Designs

This hammered silver man’s ring is such an amazing gift for the guy in your life. I always love inside out rings–rings with the good stuff on the inside. Jealousy Designs’ use of natural, raw, and uncut stones, as well as the hammering of the metal results in pieces that are both masculine and feminine. Actually, many of her designs are one of a kind because she works around the natural shapes of the stones. Most of the metal materials she uses are recycled, and the only pieces of her jewelry she does not make herself are clasps and tiny chains.

Eskilstuna, Sweden: MayaLee on Etsy

Finally, how could I resist this simple photograph of a heart–it is almost Valentine’s Day, after all. To me this image is a perfect expression of how I see the Swedish aesthetic, always with color and light playing together in a crisp and fresh way, but with an appealing warmth to it too. MayaLee has other photographs in her collection where she captures the simplest of things, set against a light infused background. But I think this is my favorite, the little dappling light and the stick pins, like a metaphor of what love often is–not necessarily fleeting, but certainly not permanent–And oh how we wish it was.

  • Handknit Hugs
  • Fiber Jewelry by Susan Sanders
  • Spring Organization: Workspaces
  • Twirly Fabulous Upcycled Sweater Skirts
  • Rainbow Crochet Toasties
  • A pincushion for every day
  • me me me
  • Handmade in Sweden

To DIY or not, that is the question…

thread spools picture

Photo from 74 Lime Lane

For the longest time I couldn’t figure out what “DIY” meant. I’d read it here and there and kept forgetting to look it up or ask someone. I felt relieved when I figured out it’s meaning – and chuckled a bit inwardly, realizing it had been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up I was surrounded by “DIY” as I know many of us were. From what I remember there was no political motivation either – my mom and my aunt made things for us kids simply because they enjoyed it. A good chunk of my clothes were sewn by my mom up until junior high, and a lot of my room decor and even many toys were made by my mom or other members of our family. As a child I didn’t distinguish between the items which were handmade or not, I loved them all fairly equally. A few items do stand out of course, like the super cute mushroom shaped lamp (the windows glowed!) that my Aunt made for me – the dollhouse lovingly made by my Grandpa, and some of the exceptionally bright outfits my mom sewed for me.

embroidery pattern

Embroidery Pattern from A Little Sweetness

floral embroidery hoop

Embroidery Hoop from neawear

Fast forward 25 or so years and here we are now – the world is different in many ways but DIY is possibly more popular than it’s ever been before. Unlike in my mother’s generation, many of us women are in our thirties and still haven’t had our first child, and many of us may choose to work even after our children are born. What does that mean? Possibly less time for DIY and even less time to make heart shaped cookies at Valentine’s day and Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes for our kids before school in the mornings.

fingerless gloves

Fingerless Mitts Pattern from The Pompom

fingerless gloves

Owl fingerless gloves from Fingerless Mitts Pattern from Homelab

I’m sure that when we (finally) do have kids I’ll find a way to make the time to keep some of these very fun traditions alive in our household – I know how much glee I found in these creature comforts growing up. But will I have the time to make all my children’s clothes, toys, and such? Probably not. And because I’ll be a busy mom I’ll be happy that the internet is available so I can find beautiful handmade goods for my children, when I’m not able to make them myself. While we can’t always carry on every tradition, it comforts me that we’re able to make new ones – and in this day and age, make new friends in our neighborhoods and all around the world too. Today – I think that’s part of the joy of DIY for me.

I’ve rounded up both items that you can purchase as completed products as well as some patterns too, if you’re in the mood for some DIY of your own!

  • Handknit Hugs
  • Fiber Jewelry by Susan Sanders
  • Spring Organization: Workspaces
  • Twirly Fabulous Upcycled Sweater Skirts
  • Rainbow Crochet Toasties
  • A pincushion for every day
  • me me me
  • Handmade in Sweden

Yummy

About this stunning bracelet by juiceglass
This bracelet took a lot of time and joy in the making. Created with my own lampwork beads, jade stone, bits of seashell and sterling wire, it is a unique piece. A little girly, a little earthy, a little beachy!

Three pillow shaped lampwork beads are the bright center of the design. Each is flanked by seashell caps, which also are paired with glowing chips of jade stone on dangles. Sections of hand forged sterling wire create links between the lampwork beads, and the entire piece is clasped with a hand forged clasp, compete with a jade stone briolette dangle wrapped in more sterling wire. The entire piece was tumble hardened for hours, then given a rustic patina for an aged, finished look. Entire bracelet is a little over 7.5″ long.

All glass beads are made by me in Bullseye glass, a local glass company, and cleaned in harvested rainwater. All beads are digitally annealed for strength and durability.

  • Handknit Hugs
  • Fiber Jewelry by Susan Sanders
  • Spring Organization: Workspaces
  • Twirly Fabulous Upcycled Sweater Skirts
  • Rainbow Crochet Toasties
  • A pincushion for every day
  • me me me
  • Handmade in Sweden

Taline Farra Shoes

Taline Farra Shoes: All shoes are made from natural leathers. I purchase small quantities of leather, giving each shoe a unique look and texture. The availability of such leathers ensures smaller quantities of each style is made, therefore creating a unique one-of-a-kind custom shoe experience. Growing up in California, I have always been environmentally conscious. I am proud to be able to incorporate my awareness into these shoes.

  • Handknit Hugs
  • Fiber Jewelry by Susan Sanders
  • Spring Organization: Workspaces
  • Twirly Fabulous Upcycled Sweater Skirts
  • Rainbow Crochet Toasties
  • A pincushion for every day
  • me me me
  • Handmade in Sweden