Recycled by Hyena: My work is infused with my ethic and each of my creations is the result of passion and dedication. My clothes are made from scratch but not from new materials. They are made with fabric from clothes I purchased in Goodwill stores and non-profit thrift stores.
I “believe” in the craft revolution and I think it is our future. The handmade and eco-friendly life is the only alternative to the consumerism destroying our planet and the living beings surrounding us.
Light and comfortable jewelry? Who would say no to that. Oh, plus it is so luxe yet clean. No easy feat to pull off.
MOUFELT. | modern felt goods
All designs are handmade in portland oregon using 100% pure wool felt. A sustainable and renewable resource, felt is a simple and honest material with an endless range of creative opportunity.
With a focus on clean lines and simple geometries, necklaces and earrings are bold yet remarkably light and delicate. Both traditional hand felting techniques, craft, and industrial felt are used to create this collection.
Allison Taylor’s story as a crafter begins in a familiar way: she first learned to crochet at her grandmother’s knee at the tender age of six.
Despite her grandmother’s considerable skill as a fiber artist, not to mention her infinite patience, crocheting didn’t quite stick with Allison that first time around. Six year olds aren’t famous for their attention spans, so it’s not really that surprising!
It wasn’t until much later when Allison was a college student that she picked up crochet hooks and some yarn again. Although she had never gotten into the knitting, crocheting, sewing, and other fiber arts that her grandmother had mastered, Allison had always admired her grandmother’s talent and skill with needles, yarn, and fabric.
When her grandmother became ill and was no longer physically able to craft, due to side effects of a stroke, Allison was inspired once again to take up the craft she had not been able to master as a little girl.
She made her grandmother a blanket, to show her how much she appreciated her, and how impressed she had always been with her fiber skills. Blankets are still Allison’s favorite thing to make, and friends and family can count on one for a gift whenever there’s a wedding or baby on the way.
Allison was “hooked” on crochet from then on, and turned her hobby into a side business with her Etsy shop that opened in 2008. Although she has a day job unrelated to crafting, it in no way diminishes her fierce love for making.
The best part for Allison is having strangers own something she made with her own hands: “It’s a way of sharing something tangible with people across long spaces, which is so rare,” she says. “It’s really exciting and touching, and I never get over it.”
She also feels a connection to her grandmother every time she picks up her crochet hook, another feeling many crafters can relate to. The emotional connection associated with creating and sharing handmade goods is probably one of the big reasons handmade is so popular these days.
The most popular item in Allison’s shop is the best friends beanie, which also happens to be her favorite thing to make for the shop! Customers also respond well to her continuum scarves and continuum collars, with their unusual shape.
Like most of her creations, Allison let the continuum scarf emerge on its own, without too much planning ahead from her. Her general technique is to pick up her crochet hook and yarn, and experiment with different stitches until something she loves emerges.
You can find Allison’s crocheted gems in her online shop. If you see something you like but are fixated on a certain color, don’t worry because Allison loves to do custom work!
I’m a total sucker for cute and kitschy accessories and Cute Creations certainly fits the bill. Kate, the woman behind Cute Creations, is a graphic designer from the south coast of England and creates acrylic jewelry and accessories that she sells online and through local craft fairs.
Kate has been into arts and crafts since school, where art was her favorite subject. She’s been creating since she was a child, making anything and everything from Christmas decorations to papyrus paper for a school project on the Egyptians! As an adult, Kate became fascinated with “cute” things and started by experimenting with charms made from clay and acrylic paints. These turned out so well that in February 2007, after some detailed research, she decided to sell online via Etsy.
Kate squeezes crafting into her life, quite literally! She is currently living with her boyfriend and her family and has only a small desk to work on. However, she doesn’t let this stop her and finds working in front of the TV or while listening to music relaxing. Kate also crafts part-time and fits it around her full-time job as a graphic designer. Like many designer-makers, at the moment it doesn’t make financial sense for her to craft full-time.
Like me, Kate’s least favorite part of the crafting process is getting the products ready to put up for sale online. I find it so difficult to get good photos and always, always need to do extensive Photoshopping! I’m trying to take comfort in Kate’s view that all the hard work is definitely worth it. Also like me, Kate loves getting customer feedback, especially with repeat business.
Kate’s inspiration for Cute Creations comes from Japanese characters, like those created by Sanrio and San-X. Already enjoying success in accessories, Kate is also planning on branching out into other areas such as plushies and homewares, eventually aiming to craft full-time. I don’t know about you but I’m brimming over with Christmas present ideas!
Erin of SockZombie.com has lived in and around Tempe, Arizona since 1990. After years of moving around town for college and jobs, she somehow settled directly across the street from her old high school, doomed to listen to the Aztec Marching Band play every morning for all eternity. Erin and her husband of two weeks, Randy, have a five-year-old Australian Shepherd named Jake. When he was a puppy he jumped out of a four-story window and walked away with nothing but a badass attitude and a secret fear of windows. Erin describes herself as “Perpetually jumping from one patch of levity to the next.” Don’t miss the Zombie Interviews on her Etsy pages!
How long have you been making zombies?
I started making (or trying to make) monsters out of socks for birthday gifts. I’m not a natural craft talent, mind– I’ve been crocheting for literally twenty-five years and to this day I can’t make a blanket that isn’t shaped like a trapezoid– so the monsters took quite a bit of trial and error. My first efforts were decidedly less “monster” and more “bunny”. Early on I started using standard white men’s crew socks for the monsters’ bodies, and their little pale bodies paired with their gray heel “mouths” just screamed ZOMBIE to me. So I spent some time figuring out the best way to attach the arms to stick straight out from the body in a classic zombie stance and after a few dead ends it clicked and I got it.
Can you explain your process for us?
The zombie creating process involves a lot of Diet Coke and a lot of daytime television. I spend two or three mornings a week in front of my sewing machine, stitching together the zombie “skin” out of sock parts, and I spend almost every evening stuffing, closing and detailing those zombies. Both steps incorporate television.
Do you do it for fun or for fulltime work or both?
I’m making sock zombies full time now because my “day job” as a history writer seems to have dried up with the economy, so I’m being much more proactive these days in terms of promotion, seeking out wholesale/consignment opportunities and craft shows. The sock zombies differ from all of my other crafting forays in that I actually seem to be better at making them now than when I started. Surprisingly, I haven’t gotten bored with the process yet, either; I’ve made and sold upwards of 1,200 sock zombies both on and offline since September of 2007, and I still genuinely enjoy watching each zombie become his or her own little entity. I’ve added different variations on the theme, though, like Throwing Zombies (smaller zombies made out of child-sized socks), sock zombie puppets, etc, and I’m sure that helps combat craft monotony. I think my favorite zombie is the “toehawk” zombie– a zombie with a mohawk made out of toesocks.
Where do your ideas come from?
I get a lot of ideas for zombies themselves from custom orders on Etsy– the Pirate Zombie is a great example.
Someone asked if I could make a sock zombie that was also a pirate which led to lots of awesome brainstorming about what a zombie who also happens to be a pirate would look like. The Pirate Zombie wears a little felt vest and an eyepatch and he carries a messenger bag full of gold and treasure, a tiny sword, a glass bottle of Captain Morgan and a real rolled up treasure map. I think that’s hilarious.
I also get great ideas from people who read my blog; I complained that my metal gearshift knob was too hot to touch in the summer, and an awesome reader commented that I should make a sock zombie gearshift protector. So I did: the Sock Zombie Cozy. It’s fantastic, I feel like I’ve got my own all-star Research and Development team. I’m a writer by trade so I really enjoy the promotional end of my business, writing the individual descriptions and zombie interviews and whatnot.
This entire fluky foray has been and continues to be so incredibly fulfilling. Every time someone looks at a sock zombie and laughs I feel that much more validated. It’s also completely changed the way I look at handmade items; not only do I have a greater appreciation for an individual artist’s ability, but I also appreciate what it means for the artist to hear that.