bio: Through bookbinding, costume and puppet making, and more recently, bag and accessory making, I have grown a strong attachment to leather. I love working with leather. It is completely unlike any other material, with its natural variations in texture, thickness, and absorptions of dyes. Each piece, whether it be a full hide or a scrap bin treasure, carries its own personality.
These characteristics, combined with my detailed, sometimes whimsical designs, form the basis for Twilight and Filigree ~ beautiful, functional and unique pieces for people like you to enjoy.
Are you ready to get away from the cold and snow yet? Summer may still be a few months away, but a warm weather getaway is the perfect solution to your winter blues. Just imagine the hot sun, a cold drink and the perfect beach read – a tropical getaway, if you will, to some exotic local. Despite the cold weather, there are still plenty of handmade artists out there ready to outfit you in the stylish clothes you need to thoroughly enjoy some rest and relaxation.
This sweet patchwork tank top by good morning – midnight is just perfect for a summer getaway. Comfortable and light weight, it’s casual enough to wear to the beach and stylish enough to wear around while exploring your new sunny local. The gray triangle gives this top a modern look that is versatile for both daytime excursions and nights out on the town. It can easily be dressed up with a skirt or dark jeans, or worn with shorts.
What better way to beat the winter blues than with a pair for brightly-colored shorts? These vintage-style pink shorts by MirthQuake Clothing are the perfect way to add a pop of color to your summer getaway outfit, allowing your legs (which, let’s face it, are probably a bit pale) to soak up some of that glorious sunshine.
A trip to the beach just isn’t complete without a magazine bag to carry around all of your necessities. Large enough to hold your beach read, sunscreen, wallet and more, this stylish cotton bag by Bundarra features two fabrics – a black and white screen printed geometric print and a black and cream striped print. The geometric pattern will accent your new tank top perfectly.
The photo featured at the top of this post was taken by Sarah Jarreett Photography.
Who says that the bag that carries and protects your laptop must be boring? Rumah Kampung has the right idea.
Today has been a long time coming, and I really couldn’t be more excited to introduce the first of several(!) new contributors to Try Handmade.
Leah Peterson is a master interviewer, and she has graciously agreed to join the team and work her magic on the finest makers around. Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes in the workshop of your favorite artist? Leah will deliver the goods to you every week in the first new Try Handmade column: “Focus on Makers with Leah Peterson”
Join me in welcoming her, and please make her feel at home :)
Erin Bruce at Kitty Empire creates the most lovely purses, wristlets, wallets and messenger bags, which are sturdy enough to hold a laptop. Her products are all 100% vegan. Continue reading to find out where she gets her ideas and what she eats for breakfast. Don’t forget to check out her items on sale!
What are vegan products? Why is that important to you?
Vegan products are made without using any animal products (wool, leather, etc). Animal rights are hugely important to me and I try to focus on that with this business. I also donate 5% of my sales each month to a different animal charity.
Do you have pets?
3 cats named Sebastian, Belvedere and Smokey.
How long have you been sewing? Why do you sew?
I’ve been sewing on and off since I was a teenager. I find it to be a great creative outlet and also very calming (despite the occasional frustration).
Can you explain your process?
I come up with a design idea then draw out the stencils and the bag pattern. Then I usually make a prototype that I can give to a friend and get feedback. If all goes well, I start production.
Your designs are so fun and whimsical! Where do you get your ideas?
I can get ideas from anything really. Fairy tales, art, my ceramic animal collection and just random ideas that pop into my head.
Do you have a favorite piece you’ve created?
Hmmm. Maybe the Red Ridinghood messenger bag. My favourites change.
Do you do any other types of crafts/art?
I make some pillows, mobiles and sometimes stuffed animals, but mostly only as gifts for friends.
Do you sell your products in stores?
I sell at a few local stores, but I don’t have time for crafts shows. This is my little side business, my full time job takes up the rest of my time.
What were you like as a kid?
I was a bit shy, but very creative. I’ve always had very creative friends and my mom is extremely artistic so there was always some sort of art project on the go.
Tell me more about you…?
My favourite color is green. I don’t drink soda, but my favourite drink is a vodka tonic. I drink berry smoothies instead of cereal for breakfast.
The Sewn Natural shop is owned by a mother-daughter team specializing in sustainable eco-design, and vintage-inspired styling for children. This shop is chock-full of brilliant color and sweet vintage style. Toys. Blankets. Clothing. Accessories. It’s a one-stop source for stocking up on amazing gear for your baby or child.
For instance, this colorful matryoshka doll crib bumper. It’s simply luxe. It’s created from a lovely retro (and out-of-print) Anna Maria Horner fabric, and has a matching quilt also for sale.
I was so delighted to see this cute messenger bag, recycled from men’s khakis and featuring vintage fabric and lace, and a beautifully embroidered high-wheeler bicycle. Just wonderful. What child wouldn’t love this sweet little bag as he goes about his day, hunting for treasures?
These adorable little summer gnome dolls are part of a whole gnome series sold in the shop. The dolls are safe for infants, but would be a much-loved gift for an older child. They’re made from beautiful vintage fabrics and are all hand-sewn and embroidered.
This beautiful little dress is one of many finely-constructed, made to order, children’s garments. They range in sizes from 12 months to 5T, depending on the style.
A child’s hanging mobile in colors sophisticated enough for an adult’s creative office space or bedroom? I think we may have found it here. This modern mobile is hand-sewn and needle-felted, and hung from a piece of found driftwood. It’s so beautiful in its simplicity.
This lovely little momma bunny doll is made entirely from organic materials. She has family members, a baby, Willow, and two other children, Spruce and Sierra, each are sold separately. I particularly love that she, and all of her kiddies, have little hearts on their chests. A nice touch.
Drop by the shop and see these, and other darling items for your little darlings.