Julie Green, from UpUpCreative, gave me the low down on the crafty scene in Rochester, New York. Julie is a talented graphic designer whose work is bright & bold. She’s also the brains behind the Each Penny Pretty design blog. Check her out on Twitter!
It’s no surprise that London has its fair share of fantastic crafters! A real stand-out spot, however, is The Make Lounge. A former magazine journalist, Jennifer Pirtle created The Make Lounge for the modern woman:
Some wanted to make things but didn’t know how. Others simply wanted something different to do on their own or with friends. For each of them, she created The Make Lounge, a stylish, welcoming space featuring short-term, project-oriented craft workshops.
Do you know the way to San Jose? This week’s Shop Local post is coming at you from sunny San Jose, California.
The Sharma Designs shop is full of funky jewelry that is refined enough to go just about anywhere! She has a wide selection of painted wood earrings and earrings made from vintage lucite, as well as jewelry crafted from various other materials. While this selection could easily be distracting, the Sharma Designs aesthetic brings a great consistency to the entire shop.
This fabric tea cup, by Atelier Usagi’s Quilt, would make a whimsical touch to a mantel or coffee table. Fill it with pens or paper clips. Store sweetener packets inside and serve it with your afternoon tea.
Acrylic rings are HOT and these are some of the very best I’ve seen anywhere! PoppyJoy‘s rings are colorful – with beautiful patterns and prints. At just $3.99 a piece, you can treat yourself to a little bling without breaking the bank. Love that! Poppy also has a bulk option to purchase larger quantities of rings at a discount. They would make outrageous & affordable party favors for a bridal shower or ladies brunch.
At only 18 years old, and an Etsy member since only January, Poppy – with over 200 sales – has a promising craft career in front of her!
Amy from Bandamy Boutique creates hand-knit bags & purses. The purse pictured above is knit from a wool and alpaca blend and features an antique brass kisslock snap frame. Such a luxurious place to keep a bit of change and a lip balm!
If it’s Monday, it must be time to introduce you to another great new Try Handmade columnist. Today’s wonderful addition is Tara Gentile of Handmade In PA.net fame. Every week she’ll be bringing you Shop Local — the best in handmade from local scenes all around the world.
Do you know of a location ripe for the picking? Does a particular city or district spring to mind when you think ‘handmade?’ If so, leave a tip for Tara in the comments and maybe your town will be next!
Before I go exploring the globe for unique handmade finds where you live, I thought I’d share some finds from my own backyard.
Kutztown, Pennsylvania, USA – about 90 minutes northeast of Philadelphia – is the home of Kutztown University, a vibrant Pennsylvania Dutch community, and now the Z-town Made indie craft collective. The ladies of Z-town Made all went to Kutztown University to pursue various endeavors and then spread out into “the big city.” But Kutztown called them back, allowing them to focus on their craft without the distraction of city life, mainstream design, or intense competition.
In addition to the beautiful work below, Z-town Made includes two other crafters: Mary Oswald of Collier Leeds and Jen Lindsay of Clothesline Designs. Mary creates high-end, hand-crafted leather & brass collars for (wo)man’s best friend. Jen focuses on designing for babies & toddlers with tummy-time mats, appliqued onesies, and giraffe softees in beautiful fabrics.
Z-town Made meets weekly to support each others’ businesses, learn new skills, and plan events.
Kutztown is sure to keep cranking out great crafters – the university has a BFA degree with an emphasis in crafts.
Clockwise – starting in upper left:
Peacock Feature Necklace – handcut sterling silver – by Karen Stanford of Skylark Studio
Stoplight Placemat Set in Curry, Charcoal, and Cloud – hand-screened on linen – by Sara Smedley
L. O. V. E. Letters – pink embroidery on gold metallic fabric – by Kimberly Scola of chezsucrechez
Hawk Mother Wooden Postcard – original illustration printed on maple veneer – by Melanie Linder of Spread the Love
Whenever I’m in need of a little design inspiration, a sure place to look is the great continent. I hopped over to Barcelona, Spain to see what the ladies of the Iberian Peninsula had cooking!
Misako Mimoko creates little stuffies – dolls, brooches, and necklaces – with lots of personality and a nod to the past. I followed a link in her shop announcement to find this little embroidery pattern, inspired by one of her dolls, that you can download and use to embellish a tea towel or pillow.