I've joined in with a ton of other lovely bloggers in Angela's blog hop! We're spreading the handmade word to try and encourage people to support artists and crafts people this holiday season, and beyond! I am always thrilled to talk about how important hand made things are, so I jumped at the chance to share with this great community. For this wee little blog, it's an honor to share the list with so many awesome sites! From cooking to crafting, handmade is always much more satisfying to me. I'd rather cook dinner and bake cookies in my oven than go out to eat or buy oreos (as yummy as they are...) And I do my best to carry that over into my holiday shopping.
Now, I admit, I make a LOT of my gifts every year. But there's always that person who is hard to craft for, or the list of "to make" becomes too long to handle... That is when I turn to others who make. I tend to use Etsy.com for this purpose, collecting ideas into treasuries or clicking "favorite" through out the year so I can keep track of what I may purchase, or things to add to my wish list. I also go to local galleries and boutique shops, but for easy handmade purchases, the internet is just darn handy!
Here's a peek at my potential shopping list... I know I should plan ahead better, to make sure everything comes in on time, but I just can't stop looking for that one item that would be just perfect for so-and-so! I hope my list helps narrow yours down!
Meet Stan the Bird. I have the green Stan hanging in my house. I met his creator at Maker Faire this year, and know several people who would love to have one in their homes too.
I have three brothers, plus a bunch of guy friends, Bare Tree Apparel will make it easy to shop for them (for once! And great lady stuff too!)
SunnyRising is one of my favorite people online. Seriously, she's amazing, kind, and terribly talented. I'm hoping that I have enough change in my coin jar to add some of her work to my gift list this year.
And don't forget to say thank you for all your handmade gifts received! (well, all of them really!) Keep your handmade commitment going!
I mentioned treasuries on Etsy earlier, and they are a great way to shop! Here are two examples of treasuries I've put together recently. They make for great reminders when you are ready to get shopping! And it's fun to see what other people pull together too! (in fact, you'll see some of the items above in these - told you I use them!)
I love cold weather. This fall has been frustrating in that regard. It's still warm enough down here that I don't need a coat, and can only get away with wearing tights because it's chilly in the morning and freezing in the office.
Sigh... A wool lover's hell is a warm fall. But I'm not letting it keep me down! Noooo Sirreee Bob! I've got 2 sweaters on the needles! One is a mindless, stockinett stitch in the round deal, and the other... oh the other is a dream in sweet wool. Cables, cardigan, pretty grey heather wool yarn, big needles. Perfection.
I've gotten through almost half the back, and am well in the swing of the cable patterns. I love cables, don't you?
I went out to a farmers market with my friendReeve (she has two good blogs) this past weekend ( yes, I'm late getting to these things... usually am. ) We got lots of yummy veggies and cider (along with some DELICIOUS smelling mint I'll dry and use in tea later this winter.
We ended up at one of the local museum's tag sale. Most things were way out of our price range (nice furniture, dish sets, etc) But then I stumbled across some mushrooms. Hand-blown silver and red glass mushrooms. In various sizes. For a decent price even. Reeve was sweet and helped talk me into buying them by saying that she'd give 3 of the 12 a good home at her place. I caved. As we were loading them into the car, she saw the original price of these little darlings. YIKES!!!! Deal of the year, that's for sure, I paid 8% of the original price, if my math is right, which it probably isn't :)
Aren't they sweet? I've already lined them up on my mantle, but will have to wait for better lighting to share it with you.
Here's a peek at a kind of secret project I've finally started after a year or so of saying "wouldn't it be awesome if..." with the owner of Charlotte Yarn, the local yarn shop I work at and frequent often on weekends.
It's only a sort-of-secret because the theme is fun and surprises are good. Plus me being totally excited to finally get cracking on this = sneak peeks!! I have quite a bit more work to do though! Enjoy!
I worked my fingers off last week. And then forgot to take photos of everything I had made before I went and showed it to a wonderful shop in town.
You've seen this cuff before, it now lives on the wrist of an amazing woman who is giving me a chance to get my work in front of people. This is important, I do enjoy the ease of etsy, but it is also frustrating. It's saturated in awesome, and I haven't yet found how to scratch that surface. It may come, it may not. I think that selling into shops and at shows is better for me. It makes me happier to KNOW someone will see what I'm doing. That they can pick a cuff up, turn it in their hands and know that someone local made it. I love local things. I love touching the work of artists I might pass on the street unknowingly.
After a long and good (good) talk with H. discussing the merits of some pieces over others, figuring out pricing; I now have a handful of cuffs waiting for their new owners at Boris + Natasha!! I am so lucky to have a quirky, super stylish place like this in town. I can't find their link right now but if you're ever in the Queen City and need some serious good looks, I can only recommend this shop.
It is a great validation for me, to have a business owner who I trust and adore not only want to sell my work, but also name the same prices I was a little too shy to claim. Pricing, as anyone trying to sell anything, is the hardest part of creating most days. She's owned B +N for at least 10 years, she knows what sells, and at what prices, it was just so great to have someone who isn't a close friend or family member get so excited about what I'm doing!
I am terribly excited about this step. It feels like my first "big girl step" into the world of making what I love. I feel so good down in my heart about this journey. Creating with leather is incredibly rewarding, and this is just a gold star right on top of a cherry sundae.
Wishing all of you the best Sunday afternoon ever! I'm off to dye yarn and take photos and roam through my mind and enjoy the day.
This was the weekend of the antique expo! I went early on Saturday, since I had a lesson to teach in the afternoon (she needed to know how to spin on a bottom whorl spindle).
I bought two belt buckles and some absolutely beautiful trim, which I'll photograph later in their full glory. Here's a small sliver of what I saw. I wish I had more time! It was a beautiful day, crisp, cold and sunny. I got to wear my boots, scarf, new knit vest, hat AND fingerless gloves- myyyyy favorite kind of outfit! Layers and layers, siiiigh...
I'm tired. I was victim to the Ick last week, and I'll spare you the details, but I'm still not 100%. The drainage is awe-striking in its determination to stick around. Sigh. I get sick so rarely, I forget how much time it takes for my body to righten itself after going all wonky-like.
Either way, I started tooling a new belt last night before I went to yoga (which helped SO much!)
But the more importantly, the belt is for someone out there who is not me! I'm very excited to present a woven belt on my etsy shop, the one I made myself (as most prototypes are) is very special to me. I hope that once this beauty is finished, you'll find it just as lovely and soul strengthening as I find mine.
In the mean time, this cuff will hit the shop this weekend, I just need to measure it so you can make sure it fits you... It's small on me, so I'm guessing it runs somewhere around a 7 to 6.5" wrist. (yes, I apparently have MONSTER wrists... and fingers, but hey, it has some advantages!)