Modern Lutheran Jello

Dear Reader,

I’m a Lutheran, and when people ask what kind of Lutheran I usually respond “The Wisconsin kind.” And if they won’t let up I just start singing the Yon Yonson song till they go away.

My name is Yon Yonson
I live in Wisconsin
I work in a lumber mill there.
All the people I meet
when I walk down the street
say “Hello, what’s your name?” and I say:
My name is Yon Yonson
I live in Wisconsin…
(repeat and repeat and repeat)

I really have no idea what synod or sect or cult of Lutheran my family is. I just know that we tend to drink lots of coffee and there are usually at least two kinds of Jell-O at church gatherings. And that we secretly envy the fact that Catholics get to have hard liquor at their family get togethers.
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Product Showcase: Go England!

With this year’s World Cup going on, there is plenty of friendly rivalry going on among the participating nations. With this in mind, this product showcase has an England theme, to demonstrate my support for my country in this important football tournament – at the time of writing, we are still in but hanging by a thread!


This cute little guy is hand-sewn by Emma of Squigglymonkeys, and was originally a pair of socks! Emma was drawn to the red and white stripes of the fabric and decided to make him in honor of England’s participation in the World Cup.


Show off your inner queen with these regal earrings! Designer Lindsay of Trash Superstore says, “Although I was too young to be a part of the punk movement, its attitude and creativity is a constant source of inspiration and I love Vivienne Westwood as she embodies the idea of a true British original.”


Continuing with our regal theme, this card by badbooks came from a project on anti-littering. The summer of 1858, during Queen Victoria’s reign, became known as The Great Stink because lack of a proper sewer system meant that raw sewage was being washed into the river Thames. Helen wondered what Queen Vic would have to say about littering today, concluding that she would not be amused!


After something more traditional? Lucky Penny Books from sweetscarlett make the ideal graduation gift this summer. Maggie combines recycled materials with beautiful fabrics and embellishment. The book is made with recycled cardboard covered with vintage fabric purchased at a vintage fabric fair in Stroud, UK.


lizplummer’s London Bus notebook has been hand-printed using a Print Gocco machine and is perfect for tucking into your handbag. Liz loves to travel by bus and created the image from a photograph of a traditional red London bus.


Bring some London style to your home! This photo print by EliseShop was taken near Buckingham Palace and has been post-processed to emphasize the true British red. Elise has a multitude of London-themed prints on display in her shop.


This project bag from nicsknotsandstuff is perfect for storing knitting – and demonstrating patriotism! Nic is exhibiting at Knit Nation in London in July and decided to make some limited edition prints bags and needle rolls – something that would say London and the UK to all the Brits but also the many knitters from all over the world who are planning to come to the event.


The inspiration for the afternoonoutings cards comes from exploring new areas of London. Alice says, “The city is vibrant and constantly changing, but the pace of life means that amazing places can be overlooked. I think that everything good should be shared, so I hope that Afternoon Outings cards will be shared amongst friends looking for a new place to have lunch, get inspired or take a stroll.”

For more great finds from the UK, why not try Best of Handmade? Feel free to post your best discoveries here!

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Oh, Buckle!

Scouring etsy for locally made goods has enlightened me to all of the artists in my backyard. It is great fun, I suggest you try it. If you do you may be lucky enough to come across something as lovely as Awcombe’s Belts and Accessories. This is such a refreshing find, a new twist on a common item.

There is something so fun and lively about these belts. They are bold without the usual bling of commercial buckles. Though they are bold, they aren’t over-done. These buckles are just right.

The artist has a great sense of color and composition. She carefully selects the bright, cheerful parts of the pattern to create a design for her masterpieces. As she would say, “Finding ways to bring fabrics to life can make an otherwise hum-drum pair of jeans or a t-shirt have zing.” I want me some zing!

The belts and buckles come together to form a happy union. The bold patterns seem reminiscent of the sixties, especially those with flower patterns. The leather belts appear weathered giving the whole design a vintage look. But, this is better than vintage, it is handmade.

How would you choose to wear one of these creations? With jeans? Maybe a peasant dress paired with some cowboy boots? Or would you prefer to spice up a boring suit? A yes to any of these would be the correct answer, don’t you think?

There never seems to be too much or too little color. The artist always seems to choose the right amount of contrast and pattern. You can see her “love (of) fabric and all the exciting colors and designs that are available.” When an artist follows their love and passion it shows. The outcome is always beautiful. As a result, we usually covet their work and find reasons to buy it. So, please visit her shop and spread the love.

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Discover: Katchkie Farm

Seedling Forest

There are over two-hundred tomato seedlings living out their days in seed trays on my kitchen counter. The fruit of every single one of them is intended for consumption by myself, my family; no one else. I may have gone a little overboard. But we love — and I do mean love — tomatoes.

It’s no surprise then, if a producer wants to catch my eye all they have to do is market something inventive, something tomato-ey. Katchkie Farm of Kinderhook, New York did just that. And from there I fell further and further in love.

Katchkie Farm doesn’t just sell Tomato Jam — a product that they report has a little kick, but goes down smooth thanks to the included ginger and cayenne pepper — from their Foodzie Shop. Owned by Great Performances, a New York City company famous for its local catering and cafe menus, Katchkie Farm also brings their local, organic products to consumers in the NYC area via Farmer’s Markets in the city throughout the year. Plus, they offer weekly and bi-weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares to families in the Tribeca and surrounding communities; shares that not only include their own vegetables but also fruit sourced from other local growers for a round, family diet.

And you know, if we stopped there Katchkie Farm may be in a class with so many others — small farms and producers who are all striving for the same goals and functioning on the same mission; good honest and important goals — but they’ve taken it a step further, thoroughly earning their place in the Try Handmade hall of fame. Katchkie Farm is home to The Sylvia Center; a garden-to-table program that connects kids with the source of their food and empowers them to make healthful decisions in fueling their bodies. In my opinion, there is no work more important.

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