Practically good enough to eat.


Paintbox Soapworks

The revolution will be squeaky clean! Welcome to Paintbox Soapworks, my labor of love & outlet for nonsensical highjinks since 2009…

I’m a former pastry chef, lifetime nature & media nerd, & the mother of two ridiculous boys, with my heart in west England, my soul in Chicago, & my feet in south-central PA. I’m also tartchef on Etsy & at :)

Paintbox Soapworks was born out of my love for handicraft, beautiful fragrances, clean hands & awesome colors. It’s not a far leap from tempering chocolate to making soap, & I bring a lot of my pastry skills to the workbench, from piping techniques to working in percentages to blending scents. The sturdy, dough-kneading biceps help, too. My best ideas come to me in the middle of the night, or when I’ve had a song stuck in my head for a few days. Inspiration is a capricious beast, one I like to…

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Kate MccGwire

Kate MccGwire: Intrinsic to her method is the collecting and sorting of materials from hundreds of different sources over a period of months, even years. In turn, pieces evolve intuitively as if out of the subconscious, the language evocative rather than purely illustrative. As the work takes shape, a new, playful reality emerges, so that the object itself becomes a sort of prism, refracting the layers of meaning and cultural associations buried within, the quantity of materials used sometimes deliberately overwhelming, as if charged with a power and ambition beyond the reach they possess when seen in isolation.

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Johagi Originals

bio: We are sisters JOSIE and GINA. and HAYDEN is GINA’S first son. Back when we first started making purses out of recycled vintage in 2003, we combined our names and could not leave out Hayden for he was only a newborn and was a part of many inspirations.

Since then we have evolved into what you see now as Johagi Originals but have always kept in tradition with our philosophy of creating modern designs by using vintage and retro materials.

All of our purses are made from recycled vintage materials including the accessories and buttons. There are no exposed seams on the inside and we use reinforced stitching on the straps and body increasing durability. They have a button closure. No two purses are alike making your purchase a true Johagi Original!

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New Column – Freshly Made

Please welcome Chelsey Mona to Try Handmade. She’s a jewelry designer and a blogger, and has done a great job describing her new column to you. Leave her a comment to welcome her to the site, and tell her if you have any shops to suggest!


Diamond in the rough

You know the feeling you get when you introduce your best friend to a new band she’s never heard of? Or you when you discover that little hole-in-a-wall restaurant that makes THE best blackberry pancakes? Well, that’s what Freshly Made is all about. I get the privilege of introducing you to new artists that haven’t been discovered yet, the rare diamonds in the rough that are beautiful but little known.

As new artists get started, they’re still learning how to publicize their shops. They’ve made amazing stuff, but how do they connect with you? Let’s face it, most artists would rather be in the studio and though they may be used to the show circuit often times new artists have yet to learn the mysterious ways of selling online. Plus most websites that feature handmade items usually focus on shops that already have a following. While those artists are certainly deserving, it makes it really hard for new artists to break in. So how does the new artist get heard? We here at Try Handmade will hand them a megaphone.

Each week I’ll be featuring a new shop that hasn’t yet had a lot of online sales. I’ll be bringing you the freshest shops where the paint has barely dried, the wire has just been cut, the stones have just been set and the last threads clipped. Together we’ll go on an expedition to discover great new artists while giving a voice to those shops that need the publicity the most.

I am so excited to be a part of the Try Handmade community! I hope you’ll share your secrets with me, too. If you have a favorite hole-in-the-wall shop that should be featured or you have one yourself, please let me know in the comments below. I have a lot of shops in the queue to feature, but I know I wouldn’t have discovered half of the independent artists I know if I hadn’t been introduced by other people. Let’s build this up together!

Photo by Katharina Surhoff, available under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NonDerivative 3.0 license.

Try Handmade
Visit Erika Jurneys profile on Pinterest.