I am Malwina. I am an independent crafter who believes that beautiful things can make a difference in everyday life.
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.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of Gemma Correll’s work. Gemma is a well-known freelance illustrator who also makes greetings cards, screenprinted tote bags and T shirts, pocket mirrors and art prints. Her Etsy shop is my go-to place for funny cards and gifts for my husband, who also loves Gemma’s work!
Gemma has been crafting her whole life, beginning with sewing, knitting and crochet, which she was taught by her grandmother. While at college, she started to make plush characters to accompany her illustration work, and she considers this to be her first ‘serious’ foray into crafting. At the same time, Gemma began to sell her plush characters and felt brooches at bi-monthly craft fairs, organised by Gemma and her friends.
When a friend told her about Etsy, which was not well-known in the UK at the time, Gemma decided to start selling online too. She’s since expanded her reach, selling in shops worldwide and online via her own fantastically illustrated website and Etsy shop, as well as the odd craft fair.
As well as selling handmade items, Gemma is a big fan of buying as many handmade products as possible and would much rather find something unique than buy items from large companies, as she feels there’s more of a personal touch. Unfortunately, Gemma has in the past had ideas stolen by large companies, which is a concern for many independent designer-makers and can put many people off sharing ideas with the wider handmade community.
“In five years’ time, I hope that I am still crafting for fun. As I spend more time working and outsourcing products, rather than making them myself – I simply do not have the time or the facilities to print 500 tote bags by hand, sadly – I hope that I can still enjoy making things just for myself. I hope that I’m still going to craft nights with my friends.”
Nothing reminds you that Spring is here better than the little birds chirping away outside of your window.
Bird motifs are everywhere in fashion and home decor right now. They represent many different things in many different cultures such as: joy, happiness, luck, love, and freedom. The bookends pictured above, made by graphicspaceswood, are handcrafted in their family’s wood shop and are just one of several different adorable woodland creature products that they create. Each of their products is laser cut and assembled from a mixture of different types of wood to create a layered and modern look. Perfect for a nursery or children’s room or to add a little charm to a bookshelf anywhere in your home.
As I’m sure you know, it is very common for different areas in your home to accumulate a mixture of loose papers such as mail, appointment cards, to-do lists, etc. Add a small memo board to your space and force yourself to rummage through your pile to only hold onto the important pieces and pin them to the board. The clutter will cause you stress every time you walk by…so lose the trash and clear your mind! The burlap message board above is the perfect size to hang in any area of your home where you tend to collect papers. Find this and many other bird and vintage inspired home decor in the shop of nextdoortoheaven.
I came across this delightful and functional little project sack for our readers out there who love to knit and/or crochet! Handmade in Europe from all natural linen, KnitterBag carries all different sizes of these lovely project bags as well as wristlet pouches, and needle organizers to keep all of your supplies neat and organized. The owl bag shown above even comes complete with pockets for your knitting needles…could it get any more cute?
Sea of Tales: Even if the schools I went to prepared me for something completely different, only now I can say I can’t wait to get up early in the morning and do what I do! I love making clothes and bags and hope you will enjoy the things in my shop