Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Part 1: Support Handmade for the Holidays Participants

I'm really excited by all the shops that signed up for my side bar event.  It was kind of an on a whim decision to see if anyone wanted to do it.  I was secretly a little worried no one would!  Glad I was wrong and excited to help get the names of these shop owners out and spread the word about their products.

So like I said, I really like to support independent artisans when possible.  It's nice to know your purchases are going to support an individual and their family.  Plus as someone who is passionate about memory keeping and scrapbooking, it gives me a lot of satisfaction knowing I'm helping someone else live out their dream of doing their passion for a living. 

Each of the following businesses will be featured on my sidebar all month long and into December.   I hope when you start thinking about holiday gifts you'll check one of them out first!  I've been to each one and have found lots of great things.  I've found lots of new favorite shops and I'd like to feature "My Pick" for each one below. 

Happy Hapa
It was easy to pick out my favorite thing at Happy Hapa, it's gotta be Sharon's camera straps.  Why, you ask?  Because I already own one :) 
One a lot like the Aloha Hawaiian Print Patchwork Camera Strap.  Mine just doesn't have the cap pocket, because I like to keep mine strapped to the camera.  Mine is also a custom size, made to the size I requested.  Love it!

The camera strap isn't the only thing we've gotten from Sharon.  We also have an awesome car organizer, that Sharon helped me find the perfect fabrics for.  Most recently we got some fun Barbie dresses and a mermaid towel that's the envy of every other little girl at our neighborhood pool.

Step at Sew Fierce is another blogger I met and then found out about her shop.  She makes beautiful outfits for little girls and great accessories for babies too.  We are lucky enough to have a twirl ready skirt and a wipes case that matches, sun hat, and a few outfits.  I could never in a million years sew anything nearly as nice as Steph.  So when I want a special outfit, I don't even try.  I just browse her shop.

My Pick:

The Lilac Breeze Halter Dress, because  I love the double layer look and the ruffles.  It's so pretty and girly, perfect for the summer days we'll soon be missing so much in the Midwest.

Scrappy GiftsMaryanne from Scrappy Gifts is the third blogger I regularly read and visit online.  I often participate in her monthly Online Crops and have won a few prizes from her.  The scrappy canvas is in my daughter's room and the scrappy box she made us is in my office.  If you missed it, check out her guest post from last Friday.
My Pick:

Definitely the Scrappy Box,  it's such a unique way to show off your favorite photos.  I love that it's interactive and visitors to our home always think it's just the neatest thing ever.  Get the laminated version, because you and your friends won't be able to put it down.  It's going to be handled and looked at constantly.

Love Notes by Lauryn
The blogger behind Love Notes by Lauren is a newlywed preschool teacher doing crafts, going to school, and loving fashion.  Her shop is called Lulu's Little Loft and in this virtual loft you'll find signs, banners, artwork, frames, design, invites, and more.

My Pick:

You and Me Word Board - I love the look of hand lettering but never like it when I do it.  Lauren's is such a fun mix of eclectic handwriting styles and all the different phrases are so sweet.

Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom
Suzy from Suzy's Artsy-Craftsy Sitcom specializes in Ukrainian Eggs.  They make fabulous, unique Christmas ornaments and gifts.  If you've never seen Ukrainian eggs before you won't believe how impressive they are, really gorgeous!  She'll tell you a little bit more about them in her guest post Friday.

My Pick:

Two Turtle Doves-Ukrainian Egg: I love the motif and colors of this one of a kind egg representing a line from one of the season's most famous songs.  Series of dyes and bees wax went into creating this fabulously decorated goose egg.  I am fascinated by the technique that goes into creating these!

Amy from One Artsy Mama stocks her shop with a combination of things she makes.  She focuses mainly on jewelry, with an emphasis on modern, personal family jewelry for moms, grandmothers, and the other women in your life.  She also does blog buttons/headers/other graphic design.  Amy will be here next week with a tutorial on how to make her Pop of Color Earrings. 
 My Pick:

Sweet Peas in a Pod Necklace: This pendant caught my eye right away.  Now that I have two kiddos it would be a fun mommy necklace to represent both of my little loves.  This necklace can be customized with up to four glass beads to fit your family.  Amy also has another family jewelry options, a cute nest and birth stone necklaces.  Her wrapped wire style is really quite dainty looking, very feminine and pretty.

Maureen's story behind Release Me Creations is so moving that I think she can tell it best.  Here's what she emailed me:

I have been crafting and selling jewelry and accessories on Etsy for almost three years. The story behind how I got started is a sad one, but it is one that out of something negative and sad, came something positive and happy.

In April of 2009 my Dad was diagnosed with Stage IV Cancer. Eight months later, on January 2, 2010, he passed away after an incredibly brave and difficult battle with the disease. His loss to me was, and is still a crushing blow to my heart. He was a pillar of strength in my life. But from his ordeal, I learned how important it is to take advantage of every minute we have here on this earth. It made me realize the value of appreciating everything, and everyone I have, and how fleeting our time is here. Perhaps most importantly, I realized the importance of doing in those minutes the things that make your heart happy.

I began crafting jewelry while I was staying with my parents during my father's last months of life. In my down time I needed something to channel my energies in a positive way. I needed a distraction, and a release. I suddenly felt the urge to begin crafting jewelry. Call it chance, call it coincidence, or call it fate. All I know is that creating jewelry for me has become my meditation, my peace. I put so much of myself into each and every piece, that it creates an incredible release for my heart, mind, and soul. Thus, the birth of Release Me Creations.
I know WOW, right?!  Not only does Maureen have a meaningful story, a lot of her gorgeous jewelry pieces have meaningful imagery.  My pick is the Banksy Style Balloon Girl Necklace So Fly Bright Silver Image Silhouette Academy Awards Pendant and will be part of the 2012 Academy Awards gift lounges so you may see your favorite star wearing it soon!  As the mother of a daughter, I think it would be a wonderful piece to give her to encourage ER to always try to fly after her dreams, wishes, hopes, etc.  It was seriously hard for me to just pick one from Maureen.  I am also oddly attracted to the Nautical Dive Helmet Brass Pendant, it's just so quirky!

Please come back tomorrow for Part 2 of the feature on the talented Support Handmade participants.


4 Friends Said:

Mommyof2girlz/StephD said...

Great features and picks from each shop. And of course, thank you for featuring us :)

***Sharon*** said...

I just woke up, haven't even had my coffee yet and Steph directed me to this incredible post! WOW! Thanks so much for including Happy Hapa and supporting handmade! You are the best!

Kim C. said...

I found Happy Hapa from another one of your posts. I ordered mother/daughter aprons for the big girls and I. They are getting theirs this Christmas. I found working with her an absolute joy!

Maureen said...

So many amazing artists and gift ideas! Thank you so much for featuring my little necklace :)

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