Excuse me while I whip this out

BadgeI’ve had an amazing time writing this blog over the past 7 months, and I thank each and every one of you who takes the time to read. I love comments too, but clicking through to check out the featured artists is all I really ask of you.

The goal of this site is to shed light on the amazing work being done by independent artists, crafters and artisans all over the world, and to encourage folks to think twice about big box stores and name brands before shopping. I have lots of plans for 2009, but first I want to thank you all for a fabulous 2008 :)

As a Christmas present to myself, I contacted the very talented (and whip-smart hilarious) Laurie Smithwick of LEAP Design, and Try Handmade now sports lovely badges for your enjoyment and distribution. Here is the code for one, but there are several badges to choose from.

And for those of you who aren’t in(s)ane like me, this 8 second video shows where I got the title of this post. One of the very funniest movies ever :)

(Oh yeah, I know I said I was done posting for 2008 yesterday, but I couldn’t help myself!)

Try Handmade
Visit Erika Jurneys profile on Pinterest.

Stars and Hearts and … Pretzels

twigsandheather.jpg

flower-ringHeather and Kerry Alice Collins, Silversmiths
Twigs and Heather is Kerry Alice and Heather Collins, twin sister silversmiths and casters. We opened our studio in 2000 and have been creating one of a kind sterling silver jewelry ever since. Using the lost wax casting method, and a few new tricks of our own, our pieces are cast from plant life native to the Atlantic Northeast, and hand carved wax models.

Heather’s earthy and natural pieces are subtle reminders of just how wonderful something as simple as a twig can be.

There is nothing subtle about Kerry Alice’s pieces. They are bold, modern and urban. Made for the person who isn’t afraid to express themselves.

Our collection incorporates our different styles and personalities with a complementary mix of natural and modern pieces.

Gorgeous sterling silver jewelry by Twigs and Heather.

  1. Big Spiney Heart Pincushion
  2. Maple Seed Earrings
  3. Pretzel
  4. Sterling Silver Beaded Square Green Sea Glass
  5. Sterling Silver 6 Pin Pincushion
  6. Lovely Sacred Heart
  7. Star and Safety Pin

This will be the last post this week as I’m taking time to be with the fam and have good times involving hot cocoa, letters to Santa, and frantic, last-minute toy-assembly followed by (or perhaps accompanied by) cocktails. Wishing similar happiness for you :)

Try Handmade
Visit Erika Jurneys profile on Pinterest.

Save U.S. Handmade from being regulated into oblivion

The ladies at Cool Mom Picks have already written about this topic, so just head over there for more information. The upshot is that come 2009, folks who make toys and other items for babies and kids in the United States are going to be burdened with ludicrous and hugely expensive product testing requirements. Unless this legislation is changed, I’d be willing to bet that almost all handmade sellers in this category will be driven out of business. This is a tragedy in the making.

save-handmade
Image via the fabulous Laurie Smithwick of LEAP Design.

Try Handmade
Visit Erika Jurneys profile on Pinterest.

Coming next year :)

“Handmade Nation” the movie is in the works, but in the mean time, check out the book:

handmade-nationFaythe Levine traveled 19,000 miles to document what has emerged as a marriage between historical technique, punk culture, and the D.I.Y. ethos. For “Handmade Nation” (along with the documentary film of the same name, coming in 2009), she and Cortney Heimerl have chosen 24 makers and 5 essayists who work within different media and have different methodologies to provide a microcosm of the crafting community. Participants in this community share ideas and encouragement through websites, blogs, boutiques, galleries, and craft fairs. Together they have forged a new economy and lifestyle based on creativity, determination, and networking. Twenty-four artists from Olympia, Washington to Providence, Rhode Island, and everywhere in between show their work and discuss their lives. “Handmade Nation” features photographs of the makers, their work environment, their process, their work, and discussions of how they got their start and what motivates them.

$20 at amazon.

Also see them on Etsy and their blog.

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Try Handmade
Visit Erika Jurneys profile on Pinterest.