New in the Gallery

  • Hand made leather bags

    I hand cut and hand sew hand made leather bags in NYC. I have been working with leather for the past 10 years. I really like the mission and purpose of your website, and I just want to be a part of it. I just got my website up… details »
  • Buddha shrine

    8″h x 8″w x 3″d wooden shrine is perfect for a small sanctuary space in your home or healing room. The image is engraved on aluminum. details »
  • Mix of Colors – Set of Seven Stacking Rings

    This set of seven colored stack rings are perfect for anytime!!! They are all hammered, and you’ll receive two in shiny sterling, one oxidized, two heat treated copper rings and other two copper rings with a verdigris patina (please note that each patinated piece will be slightly different due… details »

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My Mom Rocks

A couple of years ago, a one of my mother’s friends took me aside at a family event and told me, “Your mom would move mountains for you, Rebecca. Remember that.” At the time, I took as an off-hand comment, but it was actually a prophecy of sorts. Just 6 months later, when I called my mom to tell her that I was planning to leave the West Coast and move back to the Prairies, she said, without skipping a beat, “Great. Rent a truck. I’ll drive.”

A few short weeks later, with Vancouver in the rear-view mirror of my Jetta and my mom at the helm of a packed U-haul, I headed home. It took us 3 days to make the 2000+ kilometre trip. My mom was Thelma, I was Louise, and the gas-guzzling U-haul was called “Piggy”. A lot of laughs, a few tears, and a couple slightly-sketchy hotel rooms were shared as we made our way across 3 1/2 provinces. At the end of our trip, when my belongings and I were safely in Winnipeg, my mom asked for nothing in return. She just gave me a huge hug, told me to behave, and hopped on a flight back to BC.

Someday, I hope I get the chance to pay it forward and do something like that for my own kid. (Except I’ll probably make him drive the U-haul.) In the meantime, since my mom is my rock, I have gathered up this collection of stone-cold awesomeness in her honour…and just in time for Mother’s Day!

According to Lindsay, unlike children, air plants require minimal nurturing to keep them alive. They don’t even need soil; just a sunny spot and a twice-weekly bath. This Tillandsia makes his home in a sandstone pebble planter, which has a lovely modern, organic design. Check out Lindsay’s shop of all sorts of unique and beautiful gifts for mothers (and others.)

Dean & Sue of British Columbia carve words and designs into stones that have been polished by the Pacific Ocean, using a sandblasting technique. They will carve all sorts of words and images into the stones, but I think these sweet little baby feet would be perfect for a new mom. The pendant pictured above, from the Monkeys Jewels shop, hangs from a silver bail and comes on a black leather cord with a silver clasp.

I love how these felted pebbles fool the eye. At a glance, they appear smooth and hard; but in the hand they are warm, soft and touchable. Taking her inspiration from nature’s organic forms and textures, Delica creates her tromp l’oeil rocks by felting natural merino wool. The set pictured above is made up of nine grey pebbles; each as unique as their stone counterparts would be in nature.

And, finally, some rocks of a different kind – the edible kind! These decadent mini rocky road cheesecakes (pictured above with the peanut butter cup cheesecake) from the Bakesalery are topped with loads of vegan marshmallows, ganache and chopped almonds on a chocolate cookie crust. The best part, though, is that they come in pairs; perfect for sharing with mom.

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9th, 2010.

Organization for the Little Artist

Teaching children about the techniques and pleasure of art is a truly wonderful thing. Finding ways go keep their own art supplies in order…not so much. Here are a few handy items to keep their paints, pencils, tools, and even their completed projects in order.

The bright and cheery art clips pictured above are handmade with child and earth in mind and are available in a variety of colors and themes. These wooden clips, created by Wanda at Maple Shade Kids are eco-friendly and can be used to display inspirational pictures in a creative workspace, hang projects to dry, organize papers, and so on. Take a look at their shop for additional designs and other adorable items for your child’s room.

In whatever area you choose to designate as your child’s creative space be prepared to have containers around to sort supplies that will be used on a regular basis. The art bucket shown above features a convenient handle for easy transportation and individual side pockets to hold up to twelve markers. Mom N Mia Quilts designs these handy little buckets for your creative toddler. Don’t worry about spills – they’re machine washable!

If you already have designated buckets for your supplies, don’t forget to add labels. Created by the graphic designers at The Sticker Hut, these mini chalkboard labels give you the freedom to erase and re-label over and over. Let the kids get creative and write out the labels themselves. They add a little personalization and simple creativity to your space.

Share some of your idea with us!
Link to photos of your child’s creative workspace below.

Recycle, Repurpose, Refabulous

April 22nd is Earth Day. For 40-years, activists and non-activists have been using it as a platform to raise environmental awareness. It has evolved over the years into a month-long event, where on any given weekend in April, you can volunteer to help clean up the parks, beaches, forests, any green stretch of earth; or plant new earth.

Here at Try Handmade we have our own resident Going Green guru, but in the spirit of Earth Day, I decided to find out for myself what fabulous things other people do in the spirit of recycling and renewing.

The most popular act (aside from separating recyclables) that anyone can do is to bring your own market bag shopping with you, passing on plastic bags whenever possible. There are so many options to choose from, like this cool, upcycled coffee bag tote from Its Our Earth. Similar to Sea Bags (one of my favorite shops, located in Maine; they create bags from discarded sails), Its Our Earth uses discarded burlap coffee bags to create everyday bags.

If you want something less earthy, but still 100% repurposed, there’s a bag for you, too, like this tote, that uses a vintage army laundry bag, repurposed leather straps, and vintage blue and white cloth.

Some people happily recycle their trash, but aren’t as quick to buy recycled and refurbished products because they think they look used. Some of the most fabulous finds are these exact products. These white baskets from Tuuni are one example.

Some items aren’t what they seem at all, but still exquisite. This stunning chandelier from Metamorphosi is made of recycled plastic.

Crafters are some of the best resources you can find for people who creatively repurpose, recycle, and recreate. I’m repeatedly amazed at the outcome.