Monday, November 29, 2010

Etsy Holiday Gift Guide - Rhode Island

In the last few years Rhode Island artisans have become some of my greatest internet friends, and because RI is not far from where I live, I sometimes get to see some of these friendly crafters in person at shows! I have my work in the all handmade shop Craftland in Providence and I do very well there. I feel like Rhode Island folks just get me. And I get them too! I highly recommend their gorgeous goods:

à la mode stuff
Seatbelt bags :: home decor :: jewelry & more. Linda makes amazing items with seatbelts, yes, seatbelts. Also industrial jewelry, switch plates and fun jewelry. I have one of her home prints and I love it!

D. S. Brennan Photography
I only know this photographer through her friendly tweets, but I love these images. They cover all my favorite topics: flora, fauna, the ocean!


Screenprinted goodies, handmade with love. What can I say about Heather? She is a fabulous person who makes utterly original work! Dell and I buy her cards and bookmarks whenever we see her. And the coffee at her shop is excellent too.

K. O'Brien Jewelry
Contemporary handcrafted jewelry. Kim is someone I met online and am very glad I got to meet in real life. She is so generous and kind, and her jewelry is gorgeous!

Kristin Crane

Books, travel journals and other fun stuff! Kristin is an amazing bookbinder. Her map-covered, hand-bound, blank journals make excellent gifts for travelers and graduates. Plus Kristin is the fun voice of Craftland on Twitter!

Parrott Design Studio
Letterpress wedding & stationery. I've met Sarah in person at shows and I just love her elegant letterpress!

Tanner Glass
FUNctional Objects for Everyday Life. Suzanne is a glassblower! How cool is that? She's also a super nice person I love interacting with online and running into at craft shows :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Etsy Holiday Gift Guide - Local

This holiday gift guide features local area (Massachusetts, New Hampshire) artisans I've gotten to know better this year. Please check out their shops for gift giving ideas! (Note: gift to self, always an excellent choice :)

Kerry Hawkins
Kerry takes pictures that capture what's interesting about a particular place at a particular moment. She often photographs a person's hands as they are making something and posts it on her blog, always makes me happy when she chooses me :)

Mimi Kirchner

Mimi's work snuck up on me. I never intended to become interested in art dolls, and I will tell you, I'm still not really. But Mimi's work just mesmerizes me. The details, the materials, the craftsmanship! Her unique take and the characters she chooses to manifest. Wow. You'll see.

Red Staggerwing
Lisa makes beautiful bags that are expertly sewn! I treasure the little card case I got from her.

Stonehouse Studio

Betsy transforms polymer clay in elegant ways. Her work is beautiful and modern.

Stray Notions
Sharon has a whimsical way with textiles I find charming.

To Boldly Fold
I'm just getting to know Melissa, can't wait to see her work in person, I love the finishing touches on her hand bound books; vintage buttons, beach stones.

Vintage by Crystal

Crystal makes charming, vintage-inspired spun cotton decorations which are at once nostalgic and modern, very sweet.

Jen's work is so adorable and her craftsmanship is so expert, I think I need one of her ornaments this year!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Etsy Holiday Gift Guide - Lowell

I made a list of some excellent local online shop owners I know, they either live in or have a studio in Lowell, Massachusetts. I hope you will check them out for your holiday shopping!

Brick Mill Studio
Intricate and lovely bead crochet by an expert. I have a bead crochet bracelet in my favorite colors and it is so comfortable to wear, I treasure it!

Heather Wang Jewelry
Enamel jewelry and custom pieces, this is her 2010 ornament, I have one and I love it!

The Intuitive Garden
Painstakingly-crafted, original, resin jewelry. I have a HUGE collection of Intuitive Garden earrings that I treasure and wear all the time.

Junk Culture
For the the ultimate in hip eco-giving, buy vintage! Junk Culture has an excellent eye for classy and kitschy home goods.

Lush Beads
Carefully constructed jewelry, this is from her new unisex industrial line made from upcycled computer parts, I think they look excellent!

Skiing Weaver
Handwoven Scarves, wraps, journals. My Skiing Weaver scarf gets a bazillion compliments and is so comfy!

Sweet Lydia's
I don't eat sugar so I am relying on all of you to support this super nice baker! The husband gives her smores an enthusiastic thumbs up and I think they would make any holiday party a hit.

Walk On The Moon
One of a kind & limited edition artisan jewelry, she has an eye for things that sparkle exquisitely!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Making table covers for craft shows

Recently my good friend Candace asked me to sew her some custom table covers. She bought king-sized cotton sheets, washed them and loaned me her spray bottle. I gathered my sewing machine, iron, pins, measuring tape, straight edge, cutting mat and a rotary cutter.

Some of you may know that I am not an expert sewer, but this was going to be straight lines and I knew the hardest part would be the measuring and cutting. Also the ironing! Never again will I ever try to iron anything without using a spray bottle. What a lifesaver. Candace had tried to get 50%/50% sheets so they wouldn't hold a wrinkle so steadfastly, but that kind wasn't available and time was short so we made do.

I cleared my crafting tables, moved everything to the sides of my studio and pushed the tables together to make a large working surface. I also set up one of Candace's tables to take measurements. I put a plastic drip cloth on the floor to keep the white fabric from getting dirty on the rusty metal floors.

I measured and cut and folded over and pressed and hemmed! The most exciting moment was when the thread pulled out of my machine as I was changing the needle. You see, I've been tying the new thread to the old one for years and pulling it through without learning really how to properly thread my machine. So when it pulled completely out my heart stopped for just a second. Then I got onto the trusty internet and found a threading diagram for my 20 year old sewing machine! Have I mentioned how much I love the internet?

I don't think I handled the inside corners with finesse, but at least the measurements were right!

Candace really loved the covers and her work looks smashing on them!