I am in love.
I get an extra little thrill when I find a beautiful, handcrafted item that I have absolutely no idea how to make myself. Some things I can imagine the process, or have even tried myself over the years, but watchmaking is not one of them. The watch above, created by Wilk Watchworks, is so pretty – and handmade by Scott Wilk in Ontario.
Trained in Metalsmithing and Gemmology, Scott brings his talents together in making the lovely cases and dials for his watches. The resin enamel patterns on the dials add some flair and colour to the otherwise understated cases.
And, oh oh oh! Look at this one! These are certainly unique pieces to save up for, but well worth it for the pride of ownership, I’d say.
Last week, Vancouver-based Cargoh.com blasted out of their beta status and launched a lovely new version of their site – clean, bright, fun and packed full of highly talented, creative artists sharing their hard work. We’ve been a fan of Cargoh since they launched last spring, and I’m thrilled to see more and more artists joining in. As a curated marketplace, Cargoh is focused on ensuring that there is a certain standard of design and quality in each shop, and I know every time I log on that I’m going to see something I haven’t seen before… like today’s C+H featured artist, Wilk Watchworks!
If you haven’t visited yet, go take a look – and be sure to share your favourites with the fab social tools that are built right in to make it easy to Facebook, Tweet or Pin your wishlist, or just give a shout-out to a new designer :)
June is just around the corner, and that means that beach and pool season is nearly here! There are endless ways to bring some handmade creations along on your summer adventures. For those who are feeling brave, you can even find beautiful hand dyed bikinis like these ones from Daub + Design! Just slather on the sunscreen first… please!
Now maybe you aren’t feeling particularly bikini-ready, but you still like the look of the fabrics… Daub + Design has some beautiful lightweight scarves or tights that would be a great accent to any outfit.
When the sun starts shining and the mercury starts to rise, I know that many of us feel like our wardrobe needs a little freshening up… so why do we end up wearing the same bathing suit year after year? (or maybe that’s just me). Why not make your beach attire as unique and personal as you are, and take a little handmade goodness to the beach this year? Check out the Daub + Design Cargoh Store to see what is available!
~dreaming of warm sand between my toes, and a cold drink with an umbrella in it…
As many of you know, I have recently returned to my “outside-the-home” job after maternity leave with my little munchkin. This also means, among other things, a return to planning and packing lunches. So far I have managed to get something together every day and avoid starvation (or a desperate McDonalds’ run). However, usually my lunch has ended up thrown into a big ugly shopping bag. So what’s the big deal with that? Nothing really, but picture this: Me, attempting to look “professional” and “put together” (ha!), carrying my purse, baby’s daycare bag, and a grocery bag lunch, while balancing the baby on my hip and fishing my keys out of a pocket. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
So, while it might not be a huge deal to have a stylish and pretty bag to carry my lunch, I think it will make a difference in how I feel about myself each day as I dash off to work. Enter: Urban Harmonie Designs. I think these eco-friendly, reusable, and super-chic lunch and snack bags are fantastic!
These bags are made with laminated cotton, and are free of all the nasty stuff that normally accompany most plastic items. Even better: you can just wipe them clean with warm soapy water! Vicki (aka Urban Harmonie) has a love for all things vintage, so her fabric choices often have a retro feel. Her bags are all handmade in her Vancouver studio.
Now if only I could be as inspired about what to put *in* the lunch bag!
Here at my house we are in the midst of a not-so-fun baby milestone. My little girl is getting her first molar(s) and it is turning out to be a pretty difficult experience for all involved. The poor kiddo is either whimpering in her sleep, sobbing in pain, or clinging on for soothing snuggles and cuddles. We are doing our best using all the standard teething tips and tricks, and hopefully soon those sneaky teeth will come through and all will be well again. In the meantime, anything that offers comfort to my little girl is golden in my books! I think these adorable hug-able fleece pillow monsters from LemonPie are just the ticket.
These pillow pals would be perfect for a kids bedroom, or playroom, or the living room for a fun-loving family! I believe that every day should have smiles and snuggles, and these LemonPie monster creations supply plenty of both. The pillows come in regular size (about 7″ x 7″) or large (about 9″ x 9″) if you want more squeezable fun. Visit the Cargoh store or the Etsy shop to meet the rest of the LemonPie monster family. Head to the blog , facebook, or twitter, and get to know Klaudea and Lawrence (aka: the LemonPie team). There is even a giggle-worthy Monster’s Day Out video on YouTube!
Because everyone deserves the comfort of a warm, friendly hug… even if you aren’t busy growing molars!
There’s just one month until Valentine’s Day – that Hallmark-branded day that’s supposed to remind us all to treasure the ones we love a little more. How about, this year, we all spread a little handmade love instead of buying those sad grocery store floral department roses, mmmkay?!
The lovely graphic prints from Rosy Designs are a great place to start. The print below is actually called “Love is in the air”!
Rosy Hung, the artist behind the adorable characters and hearts, lives and works in Vancouver. Her designs and illustrations are reminiscent of vintage children’s picture books, and have a really lovely esthetic for Valentine’s Day – innocent, joyful and full of love and hearts. This postcard collection (below) would be great for children to pass out to their friends at school, or to send a little collection off to Grandma and Grandpa, and the “9 Ways to Say I Love You” card can be a nice alternative to the sappy sentiments at the mall card shop.
Do you have a favourite love song, maybe from the “first dance” or “first kiss” that reminds you of the early days with your loved one? Here’s my V-Day tip – the print below (appropriately called “Love Songs”) packaged up with a copy of the original album with “your” song on it. Valentine’s Day worthy, right? But don’t stop there! The prints on their own are gorgeous and creative, but when you add in the fact that Rosy will customize them for you, they jump up a few notches on the “perfect gift” scale. You can choose hair colour and style, skin tone as well as include a personalized message that she types on her typewriter and then digitally inserts them into the image. Brilliant!
While we’re talking about love, Rosy has a really lovely selection of wedding-themed prints that are, once again, fully customizable. I love the Bride and Bridesmaids, as well as the happy couple prints (same sex couple options available too! I love Canada.)
You can find more (many more) of Rosy Designs in her Cargoh and Etsy shops, as well as keep in touch via Facebook, Twitter and her own website. Visiting RosyDesigns.com where I discovered she and her partner haverecently launched a new joint venture, which you can check out in their new Etsy shop, NicRo Designs.
Share the love,
Lately Sarah and I have both been feeling the need for a little “me time”, some quiet space within our busy days that is just for us. A peaceful moment filled with things that inspire us and make us happy. Since lovely jewelry always makes me smile, I knew that I wanted to share some with you today. Billy Would Designs are made with reclaimed hardwood, and feature smooth, elegant, organic shapes and designs. The moment I saw Adea’s work, it was as though a wave of calm washed over me, and it was just what I needed during an otherwise hectic morning!
Of course we believe that men should accessorize too, and Billy Would has a whole selection of items made from used and broken skateboard decks that would be perfect for any gender! I know that Sarah’s husband received a fantastic pair of cuff links for Christmas, and I am tempted to play follow the leader* and get a pair for my dear husband! I also really love the belt buckles and the vintage feel… so cool.
You can find Billy Would products in her Cargoh store, or click here for a list of retail locations, maybe there’s one near you! You also won’t want to miss her website to see an even bigger assortment of her beautiful work. If you tweet, then follow along on Twitter, or join the party on Facebook!
*hey, I am the little sister, and while I heartily deny ever “copying” Sarah, I will admit that from time to time she has been known to get to a good idea first! At which point it’s not so much copying as it is a vote of agreement. :-p
Eye catching. Bold. Fun. Bright. Really, really cool. I could go on, but rather than break out the thesaurus to tease you further, why don’t I just get on with it and show you the awesomeness (thesaurus be darned) that is Pulp & Paisley.
Cara (the talent behind Pulp & Paisley) calls Belleville, Ontario home. A happy wife and mom of two, she loves music, the occasional frosty brew, and creating fabulous jewelry.
If you know someone who would love one of her pieces, but you aren’t sure exactly which one, you can get Pulp & Paisley gift certificates at the Etsy shop. She can even email them to you if you need them quickly to top off a stocking or tuck under the tree!
I’m off to feast my eyes, and conveniently bookmark some favorites (*ahem, dear husband*)
A few weeks ago, I sent my brother and his fiance on a mission. There was a craft show in another town that I wanted to attend, (but couldn’t) and they were conveniently going to be in that very town, on that very day. So they happily became our C+H street team and off they went with instructions to “gather information on anything that you think is cool”. They had a great time, and soon reported back that they had found some really neat stuff. One of their favorites were these beautiful pieces from Sculpted Light. When I went online to see what they were talking about, I was pretty impressed too!
Joanne begins by making her own tissue-thin paper using unique fibers from plants like forsythia and hollyhocks. This gives her paper beautiful texture and depth. Then she shapes them into stunning free-form sculptures using reeds, and finishes them off by attaching a light inside. The result: gorgeous sculptural pieces that glow warmly from the inside out.
A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, Joanne uses organic materials and found objects like leaves and feathers in her work. My favorite piece (called “Orchestra”) looks like this when sitting on a table or shelf:
Or it can be mounted on the wall and look a little something like this:
Awesome, right? And if you are looking for something to make your holiday greetings stand out from the crowd, look no further! Sculpted Light has these fantastic holiday lantern cards that will definitely *not* end up in the recycling on boxing day:
These pieces combine the best of art and functionality, and give a warm, earthy glow that is truly unique.
You can see more from Sculpted Light on Joanne’s Cargoh store, her Etsy shop, Facebook, Twitter, or the Sculpted Light website.
Let there be light!
First, you choose the perfect gift for someone special. Next, you wrap it and make it look lovely. Then, you place it under the tree and wait to see the expression of joy as they unwrap it on Christmas morning. There is something so special and festive about seeing all the different shapes and pretty colours under the twinkling lights, knowing that each one was chosen or made with love. However, there is one thing that is not so festive: Garbage. All that wrapping and packaging, while it looks great, can add up so quickly, leaving you (and the earth) with a big mess to clean up. So what’s a girl (or boy) to do? Reuse whatever bags or paper you can, or even make the wrapping part of the gift. You could wrap your mom’s gift in an antique handkerchief from a flea market, or your best friend’s pretty bangle in a colourful scarf, even comics and old magazines can find a fun second use before they get recycled! Of course, we have crafty Canadians who have come up with even more creative solutions, like the reusable fabric gift wrap from Hop Frog Pond.
These simple to use and stylish wraps are as easy on the eye as they are on the earth!
Wrapping gifts in fabric has been a tradition in Japan and Korea for centuries, and I say it’s time for everyone to hop on board. It’s really quite easy to do, just click here to see some wrapping instructions. Each one can be used over and over again, saving you money and reducing waste.
Don’t forget to get the little ones in on the act: it’s never to early to learn about conservation and being kind to our earth.
Hop Frog Pond (also known as Doris), is from North Vancouver, BC. She loves colour and great fabrics, and doing her part to be kind to our planet. Find out more about her and Furoshiki wrapping on her website, or stop by the Etsy or Cargoh shops to see all the available styles. Then head over to Facebook and Twitter to share the love.
I’m dreaming of a Green Christmas…