Sweet, pretty and simple — perfect for a night out. I love Lisa’s work, and you should too. u handbag is mainly a site to buy specialty purse-making supplies but if you move fast you can be lucky enough to get one of her lovely sample bags like this one. Sweet.
Please help me welcome Jesika Wolff to Try Handmade! She’s a writer, artist and web developer and here on the blog she’s going to be detailing tips for Small Space Living. I live in a small space so I’m looking forward to her tips, and if you have any special requests, please leave them in the comments.
This mosaic inlaid candy dish by Smith Mosaics would be perfect for holding those little hard candies our grandmas loved so much, but maybe you’re not a candy person. Let’s say you’re more carrots and celery sticks. Those won’t keep too well in an open dish on the counter. There have been plenty of little bowls and silver dishes I’ve found enticing, but couldn’t fathom a use for. There are only so many “change bowls” a person needs before you end up losing the bowls with the change. Still, I can’t help but be drawn to beautiful craftsmanship; particularly if I can conceive a purpose for it.
I like looking at things. I can’t help it. When I’m driving down the highway I read all of the signs. When I’m shopping every window display has my undivided attention for at least one minute. I’m an observer by nature. One weekend, while observing a vase full of bracelets at my favorite boutique I had an epiphany: I was looking at bracelets in a vase. A grand realization, I know, but stick with me. I promise you it’ll all make sense in the end.
Why did I grow up thinking Jewelry had to be kept in a box? Stores keep necklaces on hooks and rods. They put earrings on trays and bracelets in bowls. I’d been hunting for the perfect Jewelry box for over a month, to no avail, when the solution was sitting in my kitchen cupboard! Boutiques keep it cute and classy by putting jewelry in random containers. Why couldn’t I do the same? Now, for those that want a little more flair than the standard glass vase, I highly recommend Bottlehood in San Diego, California. Take a look at this gorgeous upcycled Absolut bottle:
Wouldn’t your bracelets look spectacular in there? You could even put a few tumbled rocks in the bottom for filler, if you don’t need the bottle to be that deep.
But the earrings! What shall we do with those? We can’t possibly put them in a jar or bowl, even a little one, without making quite a mess of things. There’s a cheap and easy solution to this dilemma. Remember when you bought a shirt with buttons? Did it come with an extra button in a little plastic bag? I’ve already lost track of the shirts those buttons belonged to, but I still had those button bags. I took all of the buttons and condensed them in a jar, then used the bags to hold my earrings. This way I could put them in a container without making a mess. I’m also a big fan of organza pouches:
Home2 makes these lovely jewelry pouches. You can usually get them in any size and color, and they look much nicer than little plastic bags.
Here’s what I ended up doing:
I don’t have much jewelry, so I put the bracelets in a vase, stacked the really thick bracelets, and put my earrings in pouches. That weird looking metal contraption in the middle is actually a candle holder. I found it in our new house’s basement and couldn’t bear to part with it. Took me a month, but I finally figured out where to put it! I put my earrings in the glass “candle holder” and dangle my necklaces from the hook at the top.
Now I know there are two necklace boxes that managed to sneak in there, but for good reason. Some jewelry is a bit too important to put in bags and hang on hooks. One box has my wedding necklace. A beautiful piece I purchased from Etsy seller Leela Bijou. The other box has an anniversary present from my hubby. It’s another wonderful handmade piece from Etsy, by seller Kivaford.
What I love the most about this arrangement is that everyday I wake up and feel like I’m shopping for a new piece of jewelry. It makes the ho-hum of morning ritual a bit more interesting. Go ahead, give it a try! I’m sure there a few wine bottles left over from last weekend, maybe a nice vase from that last flower arrangement you received, or my absolute favorite way to spend a weekend: garage sale discoveries!
So next time you’re thinking of buying a new jewelry box for all of those earrings, necklaces, and bracelets you’ve accumulated, why not take a stroll around your abode first? You might be surprised by the random containers you find.
Another fantastic find in the Gallery. Gorgeous leather bags and wallets from te. by temono.
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.
Simple, clean, bold graphics and recycled sailboat sails are united to create handmade products that are one-of-a-kind and kind to the environment. Reiter8 bags are modern, sporty, fun, functional, eye catching and extremely durable.
Working with recycled sails is exhilarating. Each sail has a different ‘hand’ – texture, density, and crispness – a testament to its history. I have yet to come across two sails that are exactly alike which that keeps my work fresh and Reiter8 products truly unique.