Tag Archives: handmade

baby / tots

Fun & Funky Crayons!

What kid doesn’t love crayons?  Sitting down to color with Ava is one of my favorite times of the day … even if she only wants me to draw smiley faces.  The other night I came across these naked statue crayons [The COLOURS] made by designer, Heli Heitala and was inspired to find more cool and funky crayon sets.

These recolored alphabet crayons are made from broken crayon pieces by Niklyn Designs.  I love the imprints in each of them, not to mention how pretty they are!

Niklyn Designs also makes owls, turkeys, stars, and lots of other cute shapes – these would make excellent party favors!

Soooo adorable – kitty egg crayons from Kitty Baby Love!

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decor

Hand-Stamped Pillows by Heidi Devlin Design

devlin

I just ordered one of these handmade pillows by Heidi Devlin Design and I cannot wait for it to arrive.  I love pillows – they are such an easy way to change up a room.  I tend to rotate ours from room to room depending on my mood and the time of year.  I like to mix a few neutral colored throw pillows with some brightly colored ones to give the room a little jolt.  The French Patisserie pillow is going to look great on our sofa!

fashion

Spring/Summer Purses [that are kind to your wallet]!

Your purse is one of your most important accessories.  It holds things that are near and dear to you – the things you need to get through each day.  Keys, phone, make-up, credit cards, glasses, tampons, breath mints, bobby pins … and the list goes on and on.  It is a reflection of who you are – not just on the inside, but the outside too.  A great purse is the key to looking and staying put together … I mean, if we trust these bags to hold such precious commodities, shouldn’t it look good doing it?

The fabric choices from Charm Design just scream SPRINGTIME!  SUMMERTIME!  I am in love with these zippered pouches, but they also have a wonderful selection of shoulder and tote bags too.  Pretty, fun, and simple – just the way I like it!

charmdesign

The hand woven cotton on this bag from Tippy Thai is the perfect pick for warmer weather.  There are lots of rich color selections to choose from in a variety of natural fabrics [cotton, hemp…].  Excellent casual bag.

orangered

Don’t be afraid of carrying leather in the hot summer sun.  While it may not be the ideal choice for a day at the beach, a leather tote is perfectly acceptable [and looks so cool] for a day lunching and shopping or a night on the town.  The bags at Hoakon / Helga are made from vintage leather jackets and other upcycled materials [awesome!].

ecoleather

You’ll definitely turn a few heads carrying this bright yellow pouch from Farrago Bags.  Their bags also come with a key chain monogrammed with your initials for a personal touch.

yellowpouch

These simple and classic sailor totes from Bayan Hippo are just the thing for a day at the beach or strolling through the park.  Choose from a wide assortment of colors … I think I’m going to have to get one of these!bayanhipp

This bag by Spongetta is made from upholstery remnants and wrapped around two rattan rings.  Great bag to just pick up and go with!

brokenwindow

How chic are these metallic zip pouches by Marketa in NYC?!  You can fill it up and toss it in your bag to help stay organized or use it as a clutch for nights out when you don’t want to lug around a huge purse!  There’s something about shiny things that just makes you want them … meow.

metalliczip

This gorgeous handbag [the manzanilla] by Zelaya was made with incredible attention to detail.  A raw cotton fabric [manta] is used and then embroidered with polka dots and sewn together with thread dyed using chamomile tea and finished off with a hand carved wooden handle.  It’s elegant, yet casual and I think it’s probably my favorite bag.  This one goes on my covet list for sure.

manzanilla

creativity

Spring Fever – Art Roundup Inspired by My Longing for Spring

It may be snowing outside, but I can hear the sweet song of the birds luring spring to come.

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You know when you start hearing that chirping that spring MUST be coming soon [please, mother nature, please!].  I am so tired of the color gray – I cannot remember the last time I saw the sunshine or the color green.  I do love the snow – especially untouched snow, blanketed over the streets and yards – no footprints, no tire tracks, but I’ve had enough of it and I’m ready for the melting and awakening to begin.

These beautiful and colorful prints are reproductions of artist, Yangyang Pan’s original “Blossom” watercolor series.  Originals are also available at the artist’s Etsy shop, Siiso Visual Art.

blossoms

These prints remind me of these lines from Emily Dickinson’s “A Light Exists in Spring”:

A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.

blossomseries

This gorgeous photographic print is the work of Jennifer Simpson.  Her work is airy and has a daydream quality to it – makes me feel like running through a meadow with the scent of blooming flowers at my nose and warm sunshine all around me.

deliciate

This is a photo of one of Marie Antoinette’s hamlets at Versailles.  So romantic and enchanting … like a little secret garden or something.  I want to run away to France … ahhhhhhhh.  Find this print and more at A La Parisienne on Etsy.

antoinette

I thought I would finish this roundup with a burst of color and this “Las Guitarras” print almost jumps off of the page!  So bright and bold!  I love it.  Taken by the great eye of M. Campbell – Zurek.

lasguitarras

baby / tots

Cute Stuffed Things

Ava is only 15 months old and already has more stuffed animals than I have places to store them.  Most of them fit into the little vintage doll crib I brought back from my gramma’s house, but there is also a basket of puppets on the shelf and a box of furry monsters in the corner.  A majority of these stuffies were gifts – people just can’t resist buying cute stuffed things!  Who can blame them – especially when they are as cute as these …

This handmade birdie rattle [named Enid] is made from vintage chenille and is so lovable and adorable and huggable!  You can find her and many other cuddly creations at Leah’s Etsy Shop!chenille

How can you not love these little egg people?!  You can even choose faces that reflect your own family!  Made from mohair needle felted wool and merino, these little cuties are irresistible!  Available at the AsherJasper Etsy Shop.

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Vicky [from the above mentioned AsherJasper shop] also makes these imaginative rattles [made from pure wool – very eco-friendly].

birdmonkey

This 22 inch tall giraffe is so colorful and [for lack of a better word] cute!  Find it at Biggy Piggy!

giraffe

Move over sock monkeys and make room for these darling dollies by Chickabiddy Baby Boutique!  You can choose boys or girls and even have them made with custom colors.  The dolls are around 13 – 15 inches and also come in a smaller rattle option.

chickabiddy

What stuffed animal collection is complete without a bunny rabbit?  This little hopper is made from 100% cotton and available at Blonde Birdie.

rabbit

spotlights

Spotlight: Heidi Crawford of HMC Designs

I first became familiar with HMC Designs during an Etsy search for all things teddy bear [for my post, “Please Bear with Me“].  It was hard not to fall in love with the adorable designs of Australian Artist, Heidi Crawford.

hmc

The product list includes gift cards, badges [buttons], magnets, colorful plushies, hair bobbles, and baby bibs – all hand crafted and some are even customizable!  HMC Designs started in 2005 and quickly grew from selling at local market stands to a booming retail and online business.  With the recent birth of her daughter, I just had to find out how Heidi finds the time to do it all [because there are days I can hardly find the time to shower!].  I also wanted to know more about her business and motivation …. here’s the Q & A:

How do you balance being a new mom and running your business?

“I try to find a good balance between looking after my daughter, my home and finally my business! I do a lot of my design work when she is napping during the day and after she has gone to bed at night.  I am very lucky to have a wonderful partner and a close knit family who are always available any time I need help or someone to baby sit  for a few hours when I need to fill an order or spend time at a market.
I think the key to running my business successfully is making sure that I am really organized and set achievable goals. This means lots of  “To Do” lists!  There’s nothing better than ticking the “Done” box after you have successfully completed something.”

What is your best selling item?

“My best selling item would have to be my Wedding and Graduation cards.   weddinggrad

I have found that people really love the option to customize the faces so they look like the recipient. This feature makes the card that little bit more special when compared to the generic wedding card you may find in your local store.”

Where do you get the inspiration for all of the cute little characters?


“Currently, I am finding a lot of inspiration in children’s picture books, but I have always been fascinated with imagery from Japanese Pop culture.  As a child I practised my drawing by copying Sanrio characters and cute illustrations found in Japanese magazines.  From here I became interested in Anime and Pop Art in general.  For a few years now I have been collecting lots of colourful and interesting images, figurines and treasures.  All of these provide me with endless amounts of inspiration to continue designing and creating.”

Any plans to bring the products to US stores?

“Up until quite recently I have only been selling my products online and at local art markets.  I have just started approaching stores here and so far I have been getting a really positive response.  So once I have tackled the Australian market I hope to venture overseas to the US.  Having said that, if any overseas wholesaling opportunities pop up in the meantime I will definitely consider them.”

What makes you laugh?

“I love this super cute comic strip called “Patchesâ” –  It never fails to make me laugh.”

What is your favorite home decor item?
roca
“My partner and I purchased some amazing outdoor “Roca” chairs from a fellow stallholder [Carey Potter] at an Artists’ Market here in Melbourne.  They have a really grungy, weathered feel – they don’t look it, but they are really comfortable!
When I have a spare moment, I love to sit out in my backyard on my Roca and relax.”

[Heidi, I just might have to come to Melbourne to get one of these chairs!  I LOVE THEM!!]

Have you been selling the baby bibs [they are adorable!] for awhile or was this something that came about when you found out you were going to be a mom?

bub

“I started making the baby bibs after my daughter was born. I had a lot of trouble finding good quality cotton bibs that not only did its job but also looked good too.  I gave a few as gifts to friends who had recently had babies and after receiving a lot of positive feedback from them and after my own extensive testing with my own baby, I decided that they would definitely become part of my product range.”

Thank you, Heidi!!!  Can’t wait to see your stuff in the shops, but for now I am content with buying from your Etsy store!

fashion

Beautiful Fair Trade Heart Pendant Necklace

I was smitten with this necklace the moment Tammy Wilson from Earthlover sent me a sneak peek.  Crafted by hand using imfibinga seeds (awesome), this pendant hangs from a 24″ hand knitted cotton string.

imfibinga2

This necklace is part of the Be Sweet product line, working with villagers in South African tribes  – their mission is to “bring socially and environmentally friendly products to fashionable consumers that evoke an individual style and help support community development around the world.”  A portion of their proceeds are donated to a school in the Eastern Cape, where many of the artisans’ children attend classes.  What makes a better gift than a gift that gives back? Nothing.  This necklace is available at Earthlover for $21.00 … and if the necklace isn’t for you, there is a gorgeous heart shaped pin!

creativity

Robot Love

What could possibly be more romantic than cold, metal, heartless, robots?  Well, lots of things … but for some reason robots are cute.  At least these robots I found in my weekly Etsy search are …

Robots may not have hearts, but they can give them, as depicted in this adorable greeting card by JulieAnnArt.  $4.00

robotlovecard

The perfect card for your very own love machine, designed by ArtbyKellie.  $4.00

robotlovecard2

These mini art blocks are the perfect gift for the robot lover in your life.  I know they would look great on the shelf in Mike’s office.  Crafted by artist, John W. Golden.  $48.00 / set of 8

robotblocks

You can customize these canbots or pick out of the many creative designs at Sage12888‘s Etsy shop.  Made from recycled cans.  Prices vary.

canbot

Show off your robot love with this shrinky dink ring from Dillon Designs.  $8.00

robotlovering

I love this T-shirt – design by Youngsun Compton, available at the Whootiz shop on Etsy.  $18.00

robotlovetee

Here’s something for your little love machine – a cute onesie by Give A Good Day.  $15.00

robotloveonesie

I found this zipper pouch at Nancym4‘s Etsy store.  It’s perfect for storing loose items in your purse or in your child’s bookbag. Available in a wide range of patterns/styles.   $10.50

robotlovepouch

These robots can get you clean.  Robot soap from LoveLeeSoaps is made from glycerin and shea butter with a fresh lime scent. 1 4oz. soap, $5.00

robotsoap

Top your wedding cake with these cute creations from The Junk Bucket.  $40.00

robotcaketopper

I had to include these guys because they are so darling [and inventive!].  Made from vacuum tubes by Justina Kochansky.  $10.00 each

vacuumbot

I also love this little sculpture made from various materials by Morning Bicycle.  $35.00

robotsculpture

And even though it’s a dog, it’s still a bot that you can’t help but love.  Available at Adoptabot on Etsy.  $195.00

dogsculpture

decor

The Gift of Time – Wall Clocks!

The other day I came to the realization that I am surrounded by time, yet I never have enough of it.  The microwave, the coffee maker, the stove, the computer, the alarm clock, the cable box, the stereo, and my cell phone constantly remind me how very little time I actually have.  I swear I have aged like 10 years since I gave birth.  I don’t know where it goes, but time really does fly. Anyway, the point is that I have all of these digital clocks all over the place and not one wall clock – which is ridiculous.  The wall clock is a staple of the home and we can’t let that quiet tick-tock be silenced by an LCD display.  So, give someone the gift of time this holiday season … or give it to yourself – you deserve it.

This MDF and bamboo creation is the work of Keith Moore of PILOTdesign in Minneapolis.  I love his color combinations!  Be sure to check out the rest of his modern clock pieces and his lighting designs – very cool.  Splat White-on-Green Clock $59.00.

whitegreenbamboo

This little owl clock is soooo cute!  Made from laser cut bamboo and fitted with a silent motor [making it perfect for baby’s room!].  Made by Maiko Kuzunishi of Decoylab in Kansas City, MO.  $48.00.

babyowl

These beautiful china clocks are the works of Jenilyn of Faire Houre.  The clock on the left is made with a porcelain plate from PiP Studio and on the right, some gorgeous lacey looking repurposed china.  ON SALE – $39.00 / $33.00

piplaceclock

Such a simple design and a totally modern feel.  I love this Pendolo Clock by husband and wife team Vincent and Jessie of uncommon.  Available in a wide range of colors.  $59.00. You should also check out some of the amazing furniture pieces handcrafted by Vincent at Dust Furniture.

pendolo

creativity

DIY Bows, Plantable Gift Tags, & Holiday Cards!

I love the holiday season!!!  Twinkling lights, festive decorations, and of course PRESENTS!!!  This year I want to be a little more eco-conscious than in years past, so I’ve been searching the internet for creative ways to top my gifts and send out my holiday greetings without wasting tons of paper and going through endless bags of bows.  [And don’t worry … I’ll be talking about wrapping paper solutions later in the week.]

Check out this tutorial on making your own bows from magazine pages from Talk Crafty To Me [they also have tons of fun holidays crafts!].  I think they look even prettier than store bought bows and the customization possibilities are endless!  I am going to be making some of my own bow creations this week and will definitely share the results with you.  How about you?  Will you be making your own bows?  What are you using to make them and CAN I SEE THEM??bow

I am really digging [no pun intended] all the plantable cards and gift tags hitting the marketplace.  Grace Graphics in Eastern Oklahoma turns out these plantable creations using recycled fibers and soy & vegetable based inks.  She has quite a selection of Christmas and Hanukka cards available and I just love the “Seeds n’ Greetings” phrase printed on the gift tags!  1 dozen gift tags for $11.50 and cards are $3.75 each.

seedsngreetingsletitsnow

I came across a lovely little blog today called ormolu, belonging to Kaitlin Sheaffer who is a mom who loves paper, handmade, and interior design.  She has an Etsy shop filled with all sorts of wonderful things like these A is for Angel Alphabet Gift Tags – 26 for $8.00 …. and these Love Song Paper Chains [that I completely ADORE], which would make an excellent garland [there are also some Christmas themed chains available] – approx. 1 yard for $4.50.

aisforangel

As I perused through the holiday cards on Etsy, I smiled and maybe even chuckled a little when I saw this letterpress print by Paper Elixer.  I laaaave it!  $4.00.peacejoylaaave

Be sure to check out all of the great holiday deals at Earth Lover!

earth lover

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