Sweetgum Handbags is Kim, a twenty-something grad student who works on her PhD in ecology by day, and runs her sewing machine at all hours of the night. She learned to sew from her talented mother Chris, and from the tried and true method of trial and error.
Favorite materials include denim, corduroy, canvas, woven suede, and repurposed upholstery samples. Custom orders are more than welcome. The business is based in the lovely town of Durham in the fabulous state of North Carolina, USA. All Sweetgum bags are designed to be functional, pleasant to look at, and to last you a very long time.
nism: Hi, I’m Nathan Stapleton-McKinzie. I’ve always loved to draw and paint. I studied painting for a while in Carbondale, Illinois. From there I spent some time Upstate New York where I was represented by the Varga Gallery. At the moment I am working as a Freelance Designer/Flash Animator and living in the Windy City of Chicago. I love coffee and working on art late into the night.
Are you missing the hilarious Crafting with Lotta column? Me too… But instead of Lotta’s humor, check out her creativity. (Don’t make me use the word “craftivity” — just go look at her shop.)
Tanya Svoboda is a local Chicagoland artist that creates one of a kind jewelry. Whenever possible, she uses vintage beads, charms and buttons. She loves a good story and tries to find pieces with a unique history to incorporate into her work.
Tanya’s studio is named the “Mom O Matic” in a cheeky nod to the Automats of the early 1900s. Where women sat behind vending machines and dispensed treats to patrons day and night. As she herself frequently dispenses goldfish crackers to her two smallest patrons.
The theme for this gift guide is driving. Specifically, a summer night’s drive. The windows are rolled down in your car and your left arm is hanging outside. A warm breeze is rushing over your skin as you move your fingers through the resistant air current. The collective neighborhood smell of charcoal barbecues, fire pits, fresh cut grass and the occasional cigar enjoyed on a porch fill your inhalations.
Maybe you went out for milk, or are driving home from a night with friends. Either way it is driving weather and you are so glad to be in motion. As you pull up to your house the perfect song comes on the radio. The one that makes you feel 16 and wise beyond your age at the same time. So you smile and press your foot on the gas, pass up your house and circle the block one more time to listen to it.
Snowowl’s lino letterpress art captures the perfect marriage of music, driving and memories.
Sometimes if we didn’t have to be home right away, my dad would keep driving and time it so we got there right when the song was over. And we always had to have the windows down for the full effect.
Father’s Day is coming up and this personalized hammered copper and sterling key ring by ChipmunkHollow is the gift for fathers who stare longingly at the car keys when the fireflies come out to play.
TheBugGirl has a beautiful collection of art cards created from a found lot of 1960’s trading cards in her attic. The colors are rich and rubbed out, with great detailing. Buy them individually, or purchase and frame a set. Then stare at them wistfully when summer ends and winter forces you to roll your windows up.
Slide this ring onto the finger of a loved one that would rather road trip than fly, who prefers to cruise instead of hurrying to their destination. An abstract wood grain, tire tread patterned ring made by JewelrybyJohan.
It’s summer, it’s gorgeous and it’s fleeting. So turn the radio up, lean your seat back a bit, take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.
Aleta Wynn Yarrow: I am drawn to transitions in the landscape: passing clouds, twilight, autumn and spring. It is during transition that we are most vulnerable, and in our vulnerable hour our blessings are the most precious.
Landscape as a metaphor for emotional experience is the uniting thread in Aleta Wynn Yarrow’s work. Night represents intuition, mystery and enchantment. Autumn reminds us that what is beautiful does not always last. The story of Spring is that renewal sometimes happens swiftly. Yarrow’s work exists in the shadow land between technique and vision; emotion and intellect; the physical realm and the emotional one.