Silver Button and Turquoise Necklace
This pretty necklace was created from a gorgeous button I found in a grab bag. The button was very Nouveau and I loved it so much that it was cast in silver. I paired it with a natural turquoise cabochon and together it makes a charming eye catching piece. details »
Chloes Classic Brights Dog Collar
These Dog Collars are classic designs that will last a life time. They never go out of style and are great for all year wear! Made with layered grosgrain ribbon and backed with brown nylon webbing. Comes in three classic bright colors: pink, green, and aqua!Collars are… details »
Constricted Heart Necklace
I made this heart necklace to be finished on both sides. It is totally reversible (same on both sides) so that if it should flip around while wearing it, you will not be seeing an unfinished back. The heart is formed by use of a hydraulic press which domes… details »
Beth Cummings of Diffraction Fiber has lived in Chicago for the last four years and loves it. “It has a neighborhood feel where I live but still within a short distance from amazing food and culture and everything you could possibly need to be inspired.” she says. Beth lives with her husband, Regan, and a little doggy named Ditto that they just recently got from a shelter.
Beth describes herself as a typical Pisces – a lover and an artist who loves cooking. She loves dinner parties, sunshine on a crisp day, snuggling her puppy and her husband. Beth also loves reading and playing board games. Her favorite quote is, “Life is either a daring adventure or its nothing. Security does not exist in nature nor do the children of men as a whole experience it”. — Helen Keller
How long have you been sewing?
Oh man, as long as I can remember. My mother and grandmother taught me to sew when I was tiny.
Why did you start?
Well I was a curious kid, and you see your mom and grandma sewing you want to do what they are doing. That’s how I learned lots of handy life skills.
What are the items you have handy at all times for creating?
A rotary cutter. I adore that thing. And embroidery scissors. They are absolutely essential for all the detail work I do in my appliques.
Pastel Hippy Upcycled notecardsThese 4 darling butter yellow cards measuring approx. 2.5 x 2.5 inches (6.5 x 6.5 cm), are accented with salvaged wrapping paper in a pastel, retro motif, a crumply distressed paper bag square with a heart hand stamped on the front and a lovely pastel pink bow.4 matching… → details
Rainbow BrightThree strands of multicolored small glass beads – no particular pattern or order. Approximately 7″ → details
Fireworks Barrel BagThis bag is hand knit in a cylinder shape, black yarn is used throughout and mixed with a rainbow of colors (gold, orange, red, pink, purple, blue and green) all of pure wool. It is then topped with a fluff black eyelash yarn to give it a flirty look.… → details
Her column is about atypical guift guides – she’s going to go beyond “Gifts for Him” “Gifts for Her” and “Gifts for Kids” and find the perfect thing for “when you’ve finally completed your dissertation” – “congrats on your new job even though it was your third choice” – “I’m so happy you got promoted instead of that other guy.”
Well, those are the kinds of gift guides *I* would write if this were my column, but it’s not. April will probably choose other themes, but I guarantee you they won’t be pedestrian.
Do you have a tricky gift-giving situation coming up? Leave April a comment below and just maybe the next edition of Gift Guides will be about you!
Why the French are getting all the credit is an enigma to me. After all, they didn’t invent the macaron. No, the Italians should be getting the accolades for that bit of genius.
Macarons came to France in 1533 with the pastry chefs of Catherine de Medici, wife of King Henri II. Then there was some business about nuns making and selling them and creating quite a stir. The nuns made simple macarons, no fancy flavors, no double cookie with a filling. (Above photo by Chelsea Victoria.)
A bunch of time went by with people making simple almond cookies. Then in the 1900’s a guy named Pierre Desfontaines (not the author) was working as a pastry chef for Laduree Passterie and decided to take two macaron cookies and sandwich them with ganache.
And the modern macaron was born.
Then a bunch more time went by and I was born. And a little more time went by until I discovered my passion for macarons. What a shame all those wasted years.
If you have yet to sink your chompers into these morsels, just know it needs to become a life list item. They are little pieces of pure heaven.
And they offer a little something for everyone. I’m personally partial to the traditional flavors, chocolate and pistachio topping my go to choices. But macarons come in flavors that circle the globe. There’s wasabi, passion fruit, green tea, peach, rose, orange blossom, mint, pumpkin, coconut, chili chocolate, honey and praline, just to name a few.
So now that I have you all almond buttered up and salivating, I’ll tell you where you can get them. I buy my macarons, locally from a little French passterie in San Diego named Opera. But sometimes I think I’d like to ship some to a friend for a birthday or a baby, or even a hello there, I’m thinking of you. A girl’s gotta share the love.
I found a pastry chef in Austin, Texas who is in the business of shipping her goodies. Soraiya Nagree used to be a chemical engineer for a bowling ball company. Luckily for all of us macaron junkies, she left that job to attend the Le Cordon Bleu school and follow her true passion. She and her husband Azim opened Luxe Sweets and the rest is tasty history.
“It is a simple truth: food made from scratch just tastes better. The colors, the textures, the smells, and of course the flavors – nothing is better. We started Luxe Sweets because we wanted to create delicious treats which capture all the flavor and taste of home-made food. Every one of our delights has been made by us, by hand. They may not look all the same, but that’s the part we like best. Because it means that every single product has been made for you by a person – not some machine.” -Soraiya
I’m new to Try Handmade if you haven’t noticed. I’m going to be writing the gift guide column. I’m pretty good at shopping. In fact, if there was an Olympics for shopping, I’d take gold, for sure. So for this first post, I wanted to feature something that I personally would love to get as a gift.
I recently threw a big party and I served macarons for dessert. They were a hit. And they are so pretty they double as décor.
photo by secondsister
Bet cha can’t eat just one. And if for some reason you are on some silly diet and you can’t indulge, then by all means buy Chelsea Victoria’s print and feast with your eyes.
Fluted ceramic little wren flower vase by little wren pottery
This fluted vase was handmade from white Devonshire stoneware clay. Its outwardly curving shape was created by working with my potters wheel, a throwing rib was used to skim the surface of this pot as it was being created to give a smooth finish.
The perfect necklace
This beauty is made from hand forged pieces linked together to make the perfect necklace.
Jasmine, Lilac and Freesia Hand Rolled Soap
This alluring soap is a blend of jasmine oil with just a touch of lilac and freesia to deepen and really bring out the scent of the jasmine. This is an all-natural, detergent free vegan soap made with organic ingredients. details »