Saturday, July 7

why handmade is best, and some links to prove it.

today was a very good day. you know, the kind of day that was really sunshiny and where you smile a lot and enjoy the presence of many kindred spirits. these things all make for a good day. i went to a little event called "urban craft uprising." don't you just love that name for an event? so intensely crafty.

handmade shop owners hailing from portland to vancouver (wa) and all in between gathered to create a crafty dense hotspot for people like myself to drool over all the handmade and vintage goodness. i was happy to stumble across artists who's work i have admired for some time, and even happier to discover lots of new artists and craft makers who are truly and wonderfully gifted. i thought it would be nice to share some of my favorites, so you too can adore the work of the delightfully talented independent sellers of the pacific northwest (and they really are delightful people, indeed).

so. in no particular order:

illustrator and designer, derek sullivan
 washington i.d. travel poster

quite some time ago, e and i acquired this print on a postcard from annie's, a local art and frame and miscellaneous goods shop in ballard. i love this picture. so, i was pretty excited to find it sitting in the middle of a booth amongst lots of other fun and quirky pieces and a very nice, bearded gentleman named derek sullivan. i also really enjoy his alphabet prints and christmas is for friends.

foamy wader
etsy / twitter

seattle jewelry maker alexa allamano makes really interesting things, including knitted beards, wouldn't you know. interesting fact: her last name translates to "by hand." so, really, it's all just a little bit perfect how her fate came to be. she gets inspiration for her pieces from movies, books, music, nature, and funny quotes from friends. i like that. she creates some fancy, silvery jewelry that is certainly beautiful, but my favorites are her rings. i took home for myself one such ring with a little black kitty on it.


inger l. genest, owner and creator of meme cosmetics, is a very pleasant woman. she likes chai tea, and even recommended her personal favorite in all of seattle. she is a certified herbalist and started this company to provide naturally healing, chemical-free make-ups, soaps, and moisturizers. see those delectable looking cupcakes in the picture above? yeah - those are bubble bath soaps. as explained on the website, "they soften the water with ph-balancing baking soda and skin softening vegetable glycerin. the foaming ingredient is derived from coconut oil, blended with our signature scent blends." all products are non-animal tested, contain no artificial preservatives, no synthetic chemicals, no mineral oil, and no solvents. they are not 100 percent vegan, as many of the products contain bees wax, but if that doesn't concern you, then you really should maybe get a lip balm or something. for myself, i did get an eyeliner. for fancy nights, and such. 

lindsay jo holmes, owner of maple xo in portland, oregon, is saving the world from overflowing landfills, one trashed skateboard at a time. she said that she gets really excited about busted boards that skaters bring in, especially the ones with really colorful guts (like the one the ring was sculpted from). she says that she imagines the pretty earrings it will make. and make those earrings she does. her company uses environmentally concious practices in production, and operate under the belief that recycling the boards is their way of giving back to the skateboard community by reducing the environmental footprint of skateboarding. linsday says, "with such amazing art and talent that is put into the graphics, production, and physical use of a skateboard deck, they deserve way more than to end up in a landfill." isn't that sweet? she is super cute. and clearly, super talented. check out her beautiful work. it's marvelous.

when i saw the table with chocolate samples, the first thing i had to ask before getting my hopes up was "are any of these vegan friendly?" and you know what dear, dear kaine chandler, the owner,  said? "they are ALL vegan! and gluten-free, too!" oh my gosh. heart a-flutter. i was so excited, and the sweet girl told me that is made her happy that i was so happy, because she and co-owner carla jones (whom i did not meet) worked really hard to make options available for everyone. some chocolates have nuts, some do not. all are soy-free. all chocolate is fair-trade. and all of it - all of it - is delicious. i took home the "mexi-cocoa" nib brittle (cocoa, cayenne pepper, and sea salt. YUM), the strawberry-chocolate cocoa body scrub, and the luscious chocolate-hazelnut fudge (aka, vegan nutella). happy, happy tummy.

craftwich creations

this one goes out to all you crocheters out there. really, all i can say is that this woman is an angel of crocheters. monica lowe hand-carves and sands each and every unique hook she makes, which come in all sizes, colors, and shapes. her beautiful organic hooks come from fallen wood around the puget sound. furthermore, she uses all-natural wood preservatives (such as soybean, coconut, sandalwood, and tangerine oils). i did not take one home today, but i sure did lust after them a little. i feel like one of these would be ceremonious to have in the event that i make a really special present or something. 

have you ever been in a craft or yarn store, perusing the bins fulls of wools and acrylics and fine and thick and fluffy and coarse and weird and wonderful yarns and still feel like, there just isn't the perfect yarn there for the very special project you have pictured in your mind for grandma or your bf or your cousins new baby? wouldn't it be...grand...if you could, i don't know - make. your. own. yarn? let that sink in for a second. whether in the great city of portland or not, yarn-lovers of the world can now, from the comfort of their own homes or workplace or wherever they are with internet access, design the yarn of their dreams! you choose the color, fiber, thickness and amount - and these fine people will take care of the rest. it will be delivered into your hands, as if the clouds have parted above and it has fallen from yarn heaven. and, you guys, i'm not even kidding - the blog name is chronicles of yarnia. 

well, there you have it. my top favorites from today's crafty adventures. i hope you enjoy exploring the work of these talented people! do you have any favorite artists or crafters? i'd love to hear about them. please share!

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