Fascination Chainmail Earrings
Bright, shiny chainmaille earrings with a most definite 80s feel. Best worn with moussed hair and neon leggings. You’ll look so totally bodacious!
Brass and Sterling Silver Spinner Ring
This 13mm (1/2″) wide spinner ring is made from textured brass sheet with 2 patterned sterling silver rings spinning freely around the inner ring.
NY Black & White Snickerdoodle
Nurture, condition and brighten your skin with this decadent soap, infused with the aromatic notes of warm vanilla sugar, sweet butter and cinnamon. This soap is a unique and lovely combination of my two favorite cookies; the NY black and white and snickerdoodles! Just like the cookies, this soap… details »
It’s been raining nonstop in Manchester for many, many days. This is not an unusual occurrence – when I first moved here four years ago, it rained constantly for a full month. My husband and I wondered what the heck we had got ourselves into! I’ve got used to the gray days now, but now and then the gloom does get to me. During this spate of gray, I’ve rounded up some handmade treasures to brighten my day – enjoy!
The above print from Askey Illustration reminds me of jumping in puddles as a child – a common pastime in the rainy North! The inspiration came from stormy spring days, “when the sky is slate grey and the sun shines through the clouds for just a moment making bright colours really pop against the dark sky” – I wish this would happen in Manchester today!
These delicate earrings from RosieJo incoporate pebble-like beads, which inspired the piece. “In this case the wooden pebbles were just so tactile, I loved the natural shape and their lovely colour.” Many of RosieJo’s items feature flowers made from scraps of fabric in silk, satin, cotton or other materials. “I find nothing more satisfying than taking fabric that might otherwise go unused, or from a used or vintage item, and using it to create something pretty like flowers.”
The rosettes for this hair slide were made from fabric from one of MischaM’s husband’s shirts! “It was a beautiful shirt of slate gray, and when he decided it was past its sell-by date I jumped at the chance to make something pretty from it.” Mischa knew that the subtle sheen of the fabric would translate into beautiful fabric flowers, giving new life to an old favorite. “My husband is now under strict instructions not to throw away any shirts without consulting me first…”
This beautiful felt case was inspired by the palette of the UK landscape. Elin says, “I absolutely adore grey, which we have plenty of!!” Elin has recently started to work with Harris Tweed and has a huge passion for it. “The whole ethos and process of Harris Tweed have a consistency and integrity that I like, the landscape of the outer Hebrides speaks through the fabric but not in a corny or literal way. I hope my lichen and mycology work has a similar quality, it’s realistic but subtle as well.”
Does your landscape inspire your handmade creations? I’d love to hear about your inspiration!
So, you’ve taken a pledge to give only handmade gifts this Christmas. Your ornaments and decorations are all one-of-a-kind creations gathered from the local craft fair and visitors to your home are going to be treated to local artisan cheeses and breads before being sent home with homemade fudge and gingerbread from your own kitchen. It sounds like you’ve got the bases covered…but you’re not planning to use boring old store-bought wrapping paper, are you? Of course you’re not!
I have always been a proponent of the fabric gift bag. Not only do they look so cute under the Christmas tree, they are almost infinitely reusable. Considering the cost (and waste!) of paper wrapping and plastic ribbon, fabric bags will pay for themselves within just a couple uses. These colourful, reversible gift bags by Pidoodle are doubly-good for the environment because the fabric used to create them was repurposed from thrifted garments. A dedicated thriftier and “fickle crafter”, Carissa seeks out used (and sometimes damaged) pieces at charity shops and gives them a second life by dying, silk-screening and sewing them into gift bags. She even includes a piece of tulle to replace expensive and fragile tissue paper. How clever!
Do you have travels planned this summer? Then take along one of these adorable pieces of luggage from Another Jamie Davis. These upcycled suitcases, bags and purses are plucked from relative obscurity from flea markets, thrift stores and yard sales and renewed by artist Jamie Davis. Each piece is lovingly repaired, often re-lined and then hand embroidered with a tree theme.
I’ve made things all my life, bunk beds for my dolls when i was 8, dresses for my little sister when I was old enough to use the sewing machine. I dabbled in selling my jewelry and hand made purses at holiday bazaars in college but it wasn’t until after graduate school that I found etsy and fell in love with idea of selling my things online.
Jamie’s shop has been open since October of 2008, but she found her focus on upcycled embroidered handbags in April of 2009.
I’m really enamored with the luggage in my etsy shop right right now (could it be that I’m longing for a vacation?). I absolutely love this little yellow tree suitcase because it’s bright and fun. And I love the Black Wood Grain Hip Bag overnight bag because it’s perfectly practical, and big enough to carry everything you could need for a weekend away.
Jamie was born and raised in the Akron Ohio area — made things — went to art school at the University of Akron, studied Metalsmithing and sculpture — made things, moved to Massachusetts to go to graduate school — made things — got an M.F.A. in sculpture — made things. Are you catching a trend here?
You can find out more about the other stuff Jamie makes on her webiste: www.anotherjamiedavis.com
The upcycled purse above is from Sparky Jones
Sometimes I get my greatest inspiration from other bloggers. This week was no exception – when I visited Going Home to Roost to see what Bonnie is up to these days I came across a post she had written recently on shopping ethically. I know this isn’t always the most popular topic, even amongst those of us in the handmade community, and I’m sensitive to that. At the same time it seems to me that the blogosphere is a great place for us to write about these types of things, and to learn from each other and share our thoughts openly. I hope that these virtual discussions can enlighten, encourage and challenge us. From week to week Bonnie gives us a glimpse into her world and shows us the joy that can come from living more harmoniously with the environment and exploring our creative passions.
Bonnie’s post on shopping ethically included a great checklist – questions that she asks herself before making a purchase:
– do i really need this?
– will i be able to use this for long time, then recycle it?
– how far did this have to travel to reach me?
– who made it and how were they treated?
– is it labeled honestly or with clever marketing?
Key rack above is from Half Pint Salvage
The issues surrounding these questions are actually what led me to blog in the first place, so reading them in point form on Bonnie’s site was refreshing. As my friends and family know – I love design, in any form – from a candy bar wrapper, to fashion, home décor and everything in between. But at some point I realized that my love of design and “things” was contributing to systems that reward unethical treatment of workers in foreign countries and hurting the environment.
Napkin holders above are from A Remark You Made
I can’t say that I’d give myself an A+ now as a conscious consumer, but I know over the last couple of years I have managed to reduce my consumption and now buy more goods that are made in ethical conditions. My heroes are the individuals who have really taken it to the next level, and I hope that these are areas I’ll personally continue to improve in.
iPad case from Chicken Willow
Today, inspired by this post, I’m taking my hat off to a few Etsy artists who do a wonderful job of upcycling and recycling. I hope you enjoy what I’ve found and as always I’d love to hear your thoughts on these issues!