Featuring Canadian artists, crafters and inspiration.


Hello, friends! Thanks for stopping in.

We’re on a semi-permanent hiatus from posting here at  Canadian+Handmade. Hopefully, we’ll be back to writing here one day but for now we hope that you will take a wander through our archives and maybe discover a new favourite Canadian artisan.

Until next time,
Sarah and Jennifer

Art for Ruben’s Shoes

The lovely April Lacheur, of BC’s Yapes Paints, is putting her talents to use for a good cause. Throughout the month of May, she has offered up 20 artwork pieces (some prints, some original works) for silent auction on the 32Auctions site. All of the proceeds from the auction will go to support the work of Ruben’s Shoes!

Dahlia - original artwork

Dahlia – original artwork

Ruben’s Shoes is a charity recently set up by Kelly Strongitharm of Port Moody, BC. On a trip to the Dominican Republic she had the opportunity to visit her World Vision sponsor child, Ruben, and recognized a need for shoes in the community. She has been collecting new and gently used shoes ever since (and the pile is growing!)

April’s auction runs until the end of May, but if nothing there strikes your fancy she has also generously offered 25% of all sales from her online shop to the charity.

Cheers to Kelly and April who are doing their part to help communities in need! To learn more about Ruben’s Shoes and how to help by donating or dropping off if you are local in BC, you can find the organization on Facebook, check out Kelly’s video on YouTube or follow along on Twitter!


P.S. We originally featured April’s work back in January 2011 – click over to the post to read more about her work and inspiration!

iPad Mini Case Round-Up

Ah, the combination of hi-tech and handmade. It makes me happy. Our family just welcomed another member of the i-family to our home and our brand shiny new iPad mini needs a case, so I went Etsy browsing!

Bonspiel Creation - Victoria, BC

Bonspiel Creation – Victoria, BC

One-of-a-Kind sleeve style case, made from a piece of an oil painting that has been sealed to be weather resistant. Upcycled buckle and leather trim as well. Created by Bonspiel Creation from Victoria, BC.

Leather iPad mini case - Toronto

Princess Tree Accessories – Toronto

Charcoal and lime green iPad mini case from Princess Tree Accessories, based out of Toronto. (on sale for $30.14 CAD with a free iPhone 4/4S case, too!)

Sock Monkey case by Downgirl - Guelph

downgirl – Guelph

Handknit Sock Monkey iPad Mini sleeve by downgirl, from Guelph, ON. ($29.11 CAD)

Etsy shop - VintageFabricFinds - Annapolis Royal, NS

Vintage Fabric Finds – Annapolis Royal, NS

Padded iPad Mini sleeve in grey chevron with velcro closure by VintageFabricFinds from Annapolis Royal, NS. ($22.00 CAD)

BoutiqueId - Toronto

BoutiqueId – Montreal, QC

Felt Fox sleeve, with small front pocket and included D rings to turn it into a small messenger back from Boutique Id in Montreal, QC. ($64.46 CAD)

Molipop - Quesnel, BC

Molipop – Quesnel, BC

Padded cotton sleeve with velcro closure from Molipop in Quesnel, BC. ($28.07 CAD)

Zenok Leather - Vancouver, BC

Zenok Leather – Vancouver, BC

Hand stitched leather sleeve with snap, and option for monogram. By Zenok Leather in Vancouver, BC. ($88.37 CAD)

Shibang Designs - Montreal, QC

Shibang Designs – Montreal, QC

Cotton sleeve with screen-printed branches and a bright cobalt blue flower appliqued on the front. Shibang Designs from Montreal, QC. ($46.78 CAD)

All of these makers and designers have lots more product available in their shops! Colours and sizes to fit lots of different devices. Enjoy :)


Fashionably eco-friendly, Voilà!

Sometimes, I stumble across an artist that I think I really should have known about before.

Voila par/by Andréanne is one of those times. Hailed as one of Canada’s up and coming designers, and proudly representing her Aboriginal heritage, Andréanne Dandeneau’s eco-friendly and fair-trade clothing is beautiful in all the best ways. From start to finish, her clothing line is made in Winnipeg and the 2013 Spring/Summer collection is full of flowing fabrics, lace details and original screen printed artwork.

Some of my favourites…

Shadi Flow Dress

Shadi Flow Dress

William Lace Dress/Tunic

William Lace Dress/Tunic

And this one… the one that grabbed my attention in the first place. Oh, that jacket. I love the story behind the “Catherine’s Vine” pattern that wraps around the jacket as well. Andréanne was inspired by embroidery work done by one of her Métis ancestors in the Winnipeg area. Read more here and see an example of the original embroidery here.

Bamboo fleece riding jacket

Bamboo fleece riding jacket

I love the versatility of the 8-way Nova! Shawl – I think this “belt in front” is my favourite version, but being able to wear it as a shirt, shawl or even a skirt makes this a bargain 8-in-1. The ‘Northern Willow’ print also has a tie to Andréanne’s Aboriginal heritage and was created by a Métis artist.

8 for the price of 1! Bamboo Nova Shawl

8 for the price of 1! Bamboo Nova Shawl

Check out the rest of the Voilà par/by Andréanne collection online, in her Etsy shop or at one of a few select boutiques. If you don’t want to shop online, you can see her at one of the many shows around Western Canada that she will be attending in the coming months: Winnipeg Folk Fest, Edmonton Folk Fest and the Regina Christmas Signature Show to name a few. Those of us east of Manitoba will have to see her pieces in person at the Christmas One of a Kind Show in Toronto.

You can connect with the designer on her Facebook page and Twitter, too!

Leave us a note in the comments – we’d love to hear what your favourite piece is!


P.S. This Feather Skirt in Tangerine is ON SALE! Grab it now for a summer wardrobe boost!

Feather Skirt - fun and flirty for summer!

Feather Skirt – fun and flirty for summer!

Do what you love, love what you do!

Update May 6, 2013: They met their goal, with 5 hours left to go! Congratulations, Make It Happen team, we can’t wait to see the final product!

::  ::  ::

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to quite your day-job and just MAKE for a living? Whatever that thing is that you love doing, but always gets pushed to the side for your 9-5 duties?

Jenna Herbut and Neil Mangan want to show you that it can be done. They are trying to raise money to make a gorgeous documentary called “Make It Happen! How to Succeed in the Handmade World”.

You can see watch the Make It Happen trailer and contribute to their funding campaign on indiegogo.com.

If you’ve been to one of the Make It! shows (in Edmonton, Calgary or Vancouver), you’ll probably even recognize some of the artists featured in the trailer so far. Don’t forget to check out some of the fun perks they are offering to supporters (I’m looking forward to getting my t-shirt and a copy of the movie!)

Have a great weekend, friends!


Not Made in China

When I saw Hugo Didier‘s booth at the Spring One of a Kind Show, I quite literally ran across the aisle to check it out. I mean, really. A shop with the name “Not Made in China” is pretty much up my alley, right?

M. Didier is a 3rd generation ceramic artist, and desires to merge the traditional with modern. His “not made in china” artwork on many of the pieces is meant to promote and encourage the idea of buying locally made goods. That’s a message I can get behind.

The small coffee cups are lovely…

Tasse: Petit café

Tasse: Petit café

… but I personally prefer the larger ones. The better for drinking the most tea possible!



Et, biensûr, la petite poutinière est parfaitement Québecoise et Canadienne!



You can take a look at more of Hugo’s ceramics on his site HugoDidier.com and on Etsy, and find him on Facebook and Twitter, as well as at various shows and expos.

Salad bowl

Salad bowl

And there you have it, our first “maker” feature in far too long. Not Made in China kicks off our 2nd time around with Canadian+Handmade. Happy to be back!

Cheers to that,




Here we go again…

Hello, friends!

Yes, I know. Jenn and I have been gone for a long time. A lot longer than we expected, to be honest. We’ve missed writing here, and we’ve heard from quite a few of you that you’ve missed reading. Priorities have shifted a bit again, and life is allowing a bit more time for some of the pleasures of life (instead of just the work of everyday)… and finding and sharing Canadian+Handmade treasures definitely falls into the “pleasures” category.

After a wonderful evening of late-night shopping at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto last week, I came away (again, as I always do) inspired and full of awe for our amazingly talented country. From coast to coast, people are full to the brim with wonderful ideas and inventive products. I also loved walking the aisles and seeing familiar faces selling their handmade beauties… and hugs and long chats with vendors who have become friends through C+H is a pretty awesome perk, I have to admit.

I can’t guarantee that we’ll post every day, or even every week but we have new favourites and old friends that we want to share with you and it’s time that we got back to doing just that. We hope you’ll join us!


Summer vacation!

Dear Canadian+Handmade friends… if you follow us on Twitter or Facebook, you likely know that my family is just days away from the moving truck arriving to start the journey from Alberta to Ontario. Jenn has some exciting news as well (I’ll let her share in her own time), but all of this means that we have made the difficult decision to take some time off from C+H for the rest of the summer.

I will be road-tripping across Alberta, Saskatechewan, Manitoba, through Northern Ontario (including a trip on the Chi-Cheemaun ferry, which I’ve never done and yet heard about my entire childhood!) to our new home just outside of Guelph, Ontario. A month-long odyssey of camping and adventuring with our 2 little girls – and 2 cats and a dog! – means I won’t have much access to internet until Fall.

We’ll be back then, with regular posting and (hopefully) a new website look to go with our cute new logo that we debuted back in the spring. In the meantime, please follow us on Twitter (@canadahandmade and @mrsgryphon), or visit us on Facebook (Canadian Handmade) where I’ll post trip updates when I can, and Jenn will pop in once in a while as well.

Stay safe, enjoy the rest of the summer, and we’ll see you in September!

~Sarah + Jenn

Campsite C6 at Mt Kidd

Sarah's "Home away from home"!

Indulging an Obsession

It has been a while since I last wrote about pretty coloured glass.  I have made an “executive decision” (ha!) that this needs to change… today.  When I was away on my European Adventure, one of my favorite things was seeing so many incredible stained glass windows.  It seemed like everywhere we looked there was clear summer sun streaming through beautiful colours, throwing ever-changing patterns of light that danced on the floors.  So I think there is no better time to share some authentic and lovely *Canadian* stained glass with you, our lovely C+H readers!

Tara Sawchuk is a Winnipeg artist who designs and creates her own unique stained glass panels.   Art has always been a lifelong passion for Tara, and while she has produced works in several mediums (including designing tatoos!), her glass works have been her biggest calling since 2006.   Take a peek at some of Tara’s lovely panels:

I love the colour scheme, and the "lucky sevens" theme

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The graceful, clean lines of this panel really appeal to my eye!

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Maybe you don’t have a spot to hang a whole panel, but you still want a little piece to dress up a room?  Maybe something like this gorgeous music box would be just the ticket.

Pretty colours, and pretty music, a fabulous combination!

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My absolute favorite though, is this awesome celtic symbol with an abstract twist.  A little bit different, a whole lot fabulous!

Deep colours, but still light and airy feeling, it just begs for you to keep looking a little closer

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To see more of Tara’s work (including an adorable panda, and super-sweet fox), drop by the Etsy shop!

Have a great day, and go ahead and indulge *your* obsession,

Romance in recycled materials

If you’re looking for something unique and a little romantic to wear this summer, look no further than Edmonton-based Pondhopper.

These gorgeous dresses and accessories are all made with reclaimed, previously- loved garments and bits and pieces of textiles and sparkle. The many layers and overstitching are Pondhopper signatures, and lend even more texture to these pretty pieces.

The dresses in particular, with their jagged hemlines and almost patchwork effect, remind me of some long-ago (and imaginary) Shakespearean wood-nymph!

Something as simple as grey and white t-shirts can become… this breezy little number:

Pondhopper tshirt dress pondhopperjunction.com - featured on canadianhandmade.ca

Swing it, girl!

Unchain My Heart dress by Pondhopper on Etsy - featured on canadianhandmade.ca

The "Unchain My Heart" dress - so romantic!

This Promenade Jacket is In.Credible. Incredible!

Promenade Jacket by Pondhopper on Etsy - featured on canadianhandmade.ca

Stunning and gorgeous and spectacular.

Grenada Fog skirt by Pondhopper on Etsy - featured on canadianhandmade.ca

What a fun, summer-filled skirt!

Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d say: These spats are so pretty!

Forbidden Liaison spats by Pondhopper on Etsy - featured on canadianhandmade.ca

A fun way to add some spice to your outfit!

You can find out more about Lorraine and her creative, organic pieces on her blog, her Facebook page and you can certainly do some shopping from this Edmonton based artist at her Pondhopper Etsy shop!