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!
Gina Germ bio: Gina is entirely fascinated by animals –biology, behavior, ecology and history– and they provide the primary inspiration for her work, which includes observational sketches, commentary and portraiture. A self-taught artist, she has been painting for almost ten years, and drawing since she can remember. She works in acrylic, ink and spray paint.
Gina lives in Minneapolis with her husband, three year old son, and two kitties. She spends her days doing design and production on 4-color books, calendars, and marketing materials, and her evenings (after her son goes to bed) working in her coveted basement studio.
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.
When I first came across this shop, I immediately was reminded of the Japanese animated film My Neighbor Totoro. So it should come as no surprise that Jacqueline, the artist behind UsagiRabbit is infatuated with Japanese culture. A student slowly working her way toward a college degree in linguistics, one of her goals is to learn to read Japanese. These whimsical bunny creatures are part Totoro and part Care Bear and so cute! Some are just for loving and cuddling, while others are put to work protecting your small electronic devices.
Jacqueline got her start in handmade when she couldn’t find the things she wanted in the stores. Though her shop has only been open since May she’s been creating art since she was old enough to pick up a coloring book – from making clothes for her dolls to patching up her jeans.
I used to knit scarves and a friend suggested I try selling some of them at a small local craft fair. I took the plunge and it was a blast! I loved meeting all those other crafters and artisans. Artists are some of the nicest people you can be around. Finding Etsy really got me thinking that I could make a go of this. It’s full of so many inspiring stories and helpful fellow sellers. I really want to try my best!
Her skills have been honed over the years with help from her mother (a lifelong seamstress) and various friends and teachers along the way. Isn’t it wonderful how the creative community came together to help this artist learn the skills to realize her vision?
There’s something about the feeling of the wool in my hands and the slight hum the thread makes that fills me with satisfaction.
Jacqueline first starts planning her creatures with a drawing and some key concepts.When she’s inspired a piece can come together very quickly; sometimes the process can take days or weeks. Once a design is decided on, she chooses colors and felts and cut out the pieces. The most time consuming part of the process is sewing the pieces because it takes a long time and the stitches have to be just right! Lastly, her creation is stuffed with pure cotton and sewn shut. Thus is born the latest addition to the UsagiRabbit family!
Well, I love all my finished creations (even though some of them can be quite beastly during the making) but if I had to choose just one I guess my favorite would be the orange rabbit with a yellow flower on its belly. It makes me smile when I see it.
Born and raised in New Jersey this Texas transplant is inspired by her travel and experiences of other cultures. She has no sales so far, so let’s get her started – shall we?
Everyone please welcome Helen Hobden to Try Handmade! She’s a seamstress, artist, writer, renovator, pyrographer… The list goes on – I think she’ll really fit in here. Please leave her a comment on her first post and let her know if you know of any great alternative fashion she should feature. Other than her own shop of course :)
I’ve been wanting to watch Red Riding Hood for ages and I finally have this weekend. I loved it! It was everything I hoped it would be; the snowy village scenes, the mysterious atmosphere; Grandma’s fantastic cabin in the woods, but especially the costumes. (Credit to Cindy Evans for costume design.)
Due to films such as this one and fairies being the new vampires in the literary world, fairytale fashion is getting bigger and better than ever and there are some fantastic outfits on the market. I have never really grown up as far as clothing is concerned and I relish any opportunity to dress up just like I loved doing as a kid. I just wish invitations to fancy dress parties came my way more often!
This is one of my absolute favourites made by Enlightened Platypus; it is surely the ultimate Red Riding Hood coat. Made entirely out of recycled jumpers, this must have taken her hours and hours to sew together all the different pieces in various shades of red. I know her work sells very quickly, so if you’re after one these coats, watch out for new listings regularly.
If you’re on the look out for the perfect fairytale dress to wear beneath the cloak, then don’t be tempted to buy a horrible polyester number in a cellophane wrapper that you’ll feel uncomfortable wearing. Instead look for a creation that will make you feel special and stand out in the crowd.
This lovely medieval style velvet dress with its large bell sleeves and decorated belt is beautiful. Yes, it’s blue, so may not be your first choice for Red Riding Hood, but this is actually quite similar to the dress Amanda Seyfried wears in the beginning of the film. You could easily wear this one to another party without a red cloak and go as a different fairytale character!
This cloak has my favourite hood – I love the pixie-ish shape of it. Although it doesn’t look like it in the picture, it’s actually made from lightweight wool and trimmed with black lace. I bet it takes the chill out the wind when out walking in the woods on the way to Grandma’s.
If dressing up to such an extent isn’t your thing, then there are several t-shirts with really cool designs that give nod towards the Red Riding Hood trend. One of my favourites is this one from limeyts.