With my passport dusted off, and tickets in hand, I am off discovering foreign lands with my dear husband. So naturally we have had travel on the brain for quite a few weeks, and I have stumbled upon some very cool handmade items that are perfect for any global adventurer! So I thought I would share a few of them with you, while I am away soaking up some European sun…
I really love this travel journal from Prairie Peasant:
And LaPetiteBoheme’s “whole wide world” earrings are a lovely accent to finish off any outfit with some international flair:
Nellyvansee from Montreal has this lovely globe pendant that lets you keep the whole world in your hand (or at least near your heart…)
You can even bring lots of international appeal to your very own home sweet home. A little touch like this fabulous aviator map pillow from Atelier688 could be just what you are looking for:
And just in case you need something to help pass some time while you wait for a plane, train, or automobile… Check out this cute little travel tic-tac-toe game from MyHappyHobbies :
Whether you are having a “stay-cation” this summer, or crossing the globe on an epic adventure, we are all neigbours on this crazy spinning planet of ours… and now you can embrace your inner global citizen while supporting the Canadian handmade community. I call that a definite win-win!
We use so many little things in our daily lives without even thinking about them. But how much fun is it when something useful can be beautiful and even have some special meaning to you? That’s why I love these coasters from Jonathon Wayne Design. They have an old-school vintage feel, with plenty of opportunity to customize a set that really speaks to your personality. You could capture the soundtrack to a special time in your life, or have a daily reminder of that incredible road trip with your best friend as you sip your morning coffee.
Encyclopedia and Dictionary themed coasters could protect your tables while you are doing the Sunday crossword, reading a favorite novel, or engaging in a spirited game of Scrabble… (on that note, how DOES my husband get 62 points from the word “spell”… How??!!?)
John is a full-time student, activist, and artist, based in Winnipeg. His coasters have a cork backing, and he is always open to custom orders and special requests. Check out his Etsy shop for more details (and the scoop on whether or not he was really named after *that* John Wayne…)
Here’s hoping we can all infuse a little bit of individual flair into our daily lives!
I will admit that I was a bit of a bookish child growing up. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly climbed my share of trees and rode my bike for days on end, but I have always found a good book to be something totally magical. It’s not at all surprising then, that for a good chunk of my life I entertained dreams of being a writer. I outlined plots, sketched characters for my great Canadian novel, and lurked around corners to hone my skills as an investigative reporter. Now I’m all grown up, and even though I may not be a Canadian Lois Lane, a really nice notebook can still make me swoon!
Why would you settle for a plain old boring notebook, when you can have something as fresh and pretty as these?
New Leaf Handmade Goods is the partnership between sisters Maria and Cecilia. Based out of Swift Current Saskatchewan, they have blended their love of paper and fabric with artistic talent and thrift-store sleuthing to create these beautiful books. The paper inside is all reclaimed, recycled or repurposed, so they are lovely to look at and easy on planet earth!
Mixed in among the blank pages in each notebook, you can find reclaimed treasures like sheet music, tracing paper, and map pages that give each book some serious personality. Maria and Cecilia even include a few notes about the origins of “your” paper, so you can truly get a feel for where the pages came from. Then it’s up to you to fill each page with whatever your heart desires.
There are even some childhood favorites that will bring back happy memories. I just read this one to my little girl a few days ago!
Want to see what else the sisters have to offer? Head on over to the Etsy shop where you will find plenty more notebooks to choose from, as well as a whole bunch of great pillow covers like this:
Then, when you are done browsing, stop by their Facebook page or Twitter stream and say Hello, or visit the blog for musings, DIY and even a newsletter. Also, make sure you wish the girls a Happy Birthday because New Leaf turns one year old in just a couple of weeks! Congratulations Ladies, and keep up the great work!
There is something special about writing in a lovely journal – even if it’s just jotting down the day’s to-do list, it feels more “permanent” to me when it’s written on paper (and yes, I know how strange that sounds coming from a girl who spends most of her limited free time with a keyboard in front of her!)
I saw the notebooks from Edmonton’s Sushi Papercraft at a Handmade Mafia event back in the fall, and loved the vibrant colours! I wanted to scoop them all up and immediately start writing the great Canadian novel, or some angsty teen poetry. These journals, notebooks and sketchbooks are all created and bound by Jenna O’Flaherty, and some even feature her original artwork on the covers.
If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll likely know that I’m partial to maps. Jenna is after my heart with her lovely Africa and European map journals, perfect for a traveller… or someone who’s just dreaming. I love the clean edges, the coptic binding which lays flat (the better to write close to the center of the book) and that the pages inside are blank to accommodate doodling and sketching!
This is also the perfect time of year to start making good on that New Year’s resolution to finally get organized. Sushi Papercraft has some lovely agendas available that are undated, leaving you with a flexible start date and lots of room for notes and planning.
Jenna has a lovely way of looking at her notebooks – born of a love for writing and drawing, and wanting to surround herself with inspiring places to record her thoughts, Sushi Papercraft journals are…
“…a place for people who get joy out of putting marks on a page. There’s something about the immediacy of a book, and setting pen to paper, that can’t be recreated by technology.”
I agree wholeheartedly.
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!
It’s that time of the year, my friends. The new year is almost here, and you need a new calendar. Yes, you do. And I’ve got a few lovelies to share today!
Hammypie’s shop at Cargoh.com is full of a beautiful line of 2011 calendars! My favourite is the long and elegant script style shown below.
Harmony, the designer and creator behind these lovely calendars, lives in Vancouver and works her day job as a graphic designer. Feeling a lack of stylish calendars in the marketplace, Harmony filled that void with her colourful and locally printed options. The calendars are large – 16-3/8″ tall x 5″ across – and there are so many ways to display them! Hang them with the silver bulldog clip they come with, clip them to a ribbon and spread them across your wall, pin to a corkboard or frame them (they are that pretty!).
Harmony is only half of Hammypie, though! Her partner Eunice chooses needle and wool to display her talents. According to the Hammypie.com website, Eunice has Harmony to thank for opening her eyes to her love of knitting. Now, she’s making lovely cozy-looking cowls, with unique button detailing and 3 sizes to suit! There are Itty-bittys, In the Middle and Big and Slouchy… head over to Hammypie to see Eunice’s work!
You can find the full line of 2011 calendars in their Cargoh shop, as well as on Etsy and their own website. Get ’em now, before January 1st creeps up on you and you don’t have a new calendar to keep track of all those parties and date nights :)
P.S. Hop over to the Etsy shop for a 25% off sale when you buy 3 calendars! Steal of a deal!
P.P.S. Vancouverites, Hammypie will be at Shiny Fuzzy Muddy this weekend. Drop by and say hello to Harmony and Eunice if you get a chance!
Today marks the beginning of a new school year for many students across the country. Having been a student for many (many!) years myself, September always feels like a time for new beginnings, a clean start, and getting organized. One of my favorite things about back to school was all the clean, new supplies. Aaaahhh… the bliss of fresh, unmarked notebooks, a set of highlighters with every colour, pens and markers galore, all neatly housed in a new pencil case and backpack.
Within a few weeks I was always down to one blue pen, a random highlighter, a couple of markers with no lids, and my notes were falling out of their once-organized binders. But for a few precious days everything was bright and new, full of possibility and opportunity. So in honour of the first day of school, may I present some school supplies that would definitely have made the cut for my backpack: courtesy of Smackeral of Books.
Smackeral of Books (aka: Beth) works from her home in St. Catherines, Ontario. All her notebooks are hand bound and unique. In addition to notebooks, journals, and portfolios, she also has a few pieces of abstract art available. You can see the whole selection at her Etsy shop.
Here’s to all the students and teachers in our lives… have a great year everyone!
This time of year is prime time wedding and event season. That means bridal and baby showers galore, weddings, family reunions and so much more. That means lots of cards and thank you notes to be sent off to the special people in your life. I love the personal touch of a handwritten card or note, but now you can take your message over and above the rest with Botanical Paperworks.
Made of 100% post consumer recycled paper, each piece of paper or card is embedded with wildflower seeds. Simply cover them with a layer of dirt, water, and watch as beautiful wildflowers bloom. Now the people you love can not only read how you feel about them, they can see it too!
Based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, this mother-daughter team has been creating their plantable stationery since 1996. Their line of products now includes cards for any occasion, plantable confetti, wedding favours, envelopes, invitations, and that’s just getting started!
May your day be filled with beauty and words of love,
Back in high school and university, I indulged in a mild office supply addiction. Living in France for a year, with fountain pens and all the lovely notebooks and papers, didn’t help. Sadly, for the last few years my laptop has taken over and I hardly ever write with pen and paper anymore.
I just discovered these handbound journals, though, and they are so lovely that I’m already dreaming about a trip to the office supply store to stock up on my favourite inks and pens!
Rhonda, at Etsy’s My Handbound Books, lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia with her family. She discovered book binding while she was still at library school and immediately felt a connection to the art. Rhonda’s collection of handbound journals and notebooks are often covered in leather or suede, with straps, buttons or twine to help keep them closed and tidy.
I have a bit of an affinity for the Medieval era, and this notebook made in the style of the 1600’s struck my fancy immediately:
I love the different straps and wraps that she uses to keep the notebook together in your bag or on your desk – this mini journal looks very elegant, and I think it would be perfect to use as a small travel journal or idea book!
All of the notebooks have torn-edge paper, many with recycled papers, and the combination of the rough paper and the leathers and suedes make these notebooks very special.
You can find Rhonda’s books at her shop on Etsy, or visit her at her blog (check out this post, where she makes notebooks out of the boxes from “As Advertised on TV” products like the SlapChop and the Snuggie!). You can also follow her on Twitter (@myhandboundbook) or on Facebook! Rhonda is everywhere!
Hunting online the other day for the perfect graduation card for my little brother, I stumbled upon Hug and Kiss. This shop out of Chilliwack, BC is run by Nikki Kelly and as she says on her site, it’s the “home of the sassy, sarcastic, slightly rude greeting cards”. Perfect for little brothers with a devilish sense of humour!
I particularly love this one:
There are plenty of other giggle inducing options but they aren’t all family-friendly. In fact, most of them aren’t at all. That’s why they’re perfect for your sarcasm-loving friends that can take a joke… sometimes at their own expense!
Hug and Kiss started in 2007 and now these fun cards can be found in more than 25 retail locations across the country as well as through the shop online. We liked Nikki (I met her a couple of weekends ago at the Make It Edmonton show!) and her fun, sassy cards so much that we decided to ask her if she wanted to be our first “Feature Friday Interview”!
Watch for her profile coming up later this week!
P.S. To find out more about Nikki and keep up with her travels to shows across the country, you can visit her Facebook group page, too!