Monday, July 24, 2017

Handcrafted Items, Made to Order

by Jeff Ambroz
ColorTextureStudio

In this age of mass-produced goods, items that are created just for us hold special meaning and significance.

Many HandmadeMN artisans work with their customers to create unique, one-of-a-kind treasures.  From accessories to home décor to stationery, these HandmadeMN makers enjoy bringing you items that speak to your soul.

“I’m a card maker and I'm passionate about paper,” said Aliya of PlaysNicelyWithPaper.  “I started selling cards because I made so many of them that I couldn't give them away fast enough.  It’s an honor to participate in someone's special occasion even as a small part of wishing someone well, celebrating a new baby or sharing a laugh over good times. My favorite part is when I get a note from someone saying that the card was perfect and the recipient gasped when they received it.”

“One of my most memorable custom orders came from a woman who wanted to make sure her niece had a special sweet 16th birthday. She wanted a culturally specific card that had lots of bright colors and many shiny elements. The final creation was so awesome, and she gave me permission to play in my craft room for hours while I made custom background paper and searched for the highest-shine glitter paper possible. The card was such a hit, her other relatives ordered another one for her niece too.”


https://www.etsy.com/shop/PlaysNicelyWithPaper?ref=l2-shopheader-name

One-of-a-kind card by the PlaysNicelywithPaper Etsy shop.

SusieBHandicraft receives many custom orders for panda afghans.  Great care is taken to ensure the perfect item for each customer.  “When a customer contacts me about using specific colors, I photograph the yarn I think they want to confirm the colors. The joy in custom work is that I know I'm making it for someone special,” said shop owner Sue.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/SusieBHandicraft

Customized panda afghans, made with love by SusieBHandicraft.

TuesdayBlueberries has developed a strong following for its custom patches, many created in a fun retro style. “My shop actually started as a vintage shop and has transformed into a patch shop with some random vintage finds,” said shop owner Lisa Jean.  “People were always so interested in the vintage name patches I had, I saw a need and ran with it. I specialize in random. If you have an idea, let's see if we can create it!”

“I have had a couple special orders that stand out in my mind. One was for a little boy's 1st birthday party.  His mom dressed him in coveralls and I made a patch for the back that said "Noah's Garage". It was a cute idea and I loved helping her with it. The other one that stands out to me was an order that I did for the Children's Theatre Company, right here in Minnesota. I made the characters’ patches for the musical The Sneetches. It was so fun to see pictures on their Facebook page of the costumes with my patches on them,” said Lisa Jean.
 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TuesdayBlueberries

Custom patch by TuesdayBlueberries: A special birthday surprise.


Many HandmadeMN designers are ready to put their skills to use on a new challenge.  “I love working with people on custom projects because it exposes me to materials that I might not have otherwise chose to use,” said Nicole of nicolecollodoro.  “For example, I had one person want a custom pendant with copper. I use primarily sterling silver, but while making his piece I really came to appreciate and like working with copper.”
https://www.etsy.com/shop/nicolecollodoro

What kind of jewelry would you create with Etsy shop nicolecollodoro?

These HandmadeMN makers, and many more, are eager to work with you to create a special, handcrafted item that brings a smile to your face.  Contact your favorite HandmadeMN artisan today to start work on your very own custom work of art. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Showing our colors for Canada Day and the Fourth of July

By Sharon Parker
Sharon's Compendium

Both Canada and the U.S. celebrate their nationhood and independence at the beginning of July with picnics and parades and patriotic displays of our national colors — which are, like, two-thirds the same.

Maple leaf rubber stamp from TC Witchcraft Factory
(Click on the captions of any photo to see more info about, and even purchase, the item.)

Canada Day, on July 1, marks the anniversary of the British North America Act of 1867, which joined four provinces, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec, to form the Canadian Confederation.

Ink roller style print of Canada, by Mercurial YoYo

Often referred to as Canada's birthday, it marks a major first step on the way to full independence, which was completed in 1982 when Canada's Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and England's Queen Elizabeth II signed the Proclamation of the Constitution Act, which transferred the power to amend the Canadian constitution to Canada.

Red-and-white striped cotton napkins, for your celebratory picnics, by Shaggy Baggy.
And so this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presides over the 150th anniversary of the beginning of a process that was completed by his father.


Americana cuff by Metaling Susie
Meanwhile in the United States, we celebrate the adoption of our Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the second Continental Congress, which, to most Americans, is the birthday of our country.

Quilted wall hanging by Hartford Avenue Quilts
But the Continental Congress actually voted for independence on July 2. In fact, John Adams was certain that the second would be the day to celebrate, as he wrote in a letter to his wife, Abigail: " The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival."


Flag onesie by Bethie Ann Baby

But, for the official record, our founding document was dated July 4, 1776, and so that became the date that we celebrate its adoption. 

American flag dress by Margaret Mousley
Although some sticklers for details would say that our country's official beginning was at the signing of the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783, which ended the war between us and Britain, and in which Britain officially recognized the United States as an independent nation.

But if we celebrated our nation's independence on the third of September, what then would we do with Labor Day? Move it to July? 




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Friday, June 23, 2017

Boho Bounty from HandmadeMN Artisans

by Jeff Ambroz
ColorTextureStudio

This summer, boho-inspired looks continue to heat up fashion, accessories and home décor.

Boho is associated with the 1960’s and 1970’s counterculture.  The look is relaxed, casual, earthy and handcrafted.  It’s inspired by a vagabond, multicultural and nomadic spirit.  Looks are layered and flowing, and pattern mixing is encouraged.

In short, if you think Stevie Nicks would like it, you can probably call it boho.

Now that you’re familiar with the style, are you interested in adding a little boho inspiration to your summer?

A beaded bracelet by RestlessArtMpls perfectly captures the boho spirit.  Earthy colors abound, and the artisan’s detailed handwork is evident throughout the piece.


https://www.etsy.com/listing/110045256/hand-woven-pink-gold-and-grey-bead?ref=hp_rv
Hand-beaded beauty for the wrist.
This beautiful, boho-inspired wish box by NoelleRollinsArt will help you state your life’s intentions, and manifest them to reality.  It also makes a thoughtful and hope-filled gift for someone undertaking a significant life change or transition.


https://www.etsy.com/listing/208744265/boho-animal-inspiring-or-dream-box-gypsy?ref=hp_rv
This summer, bring forth love and peace.
Earrings by mynaptimejewelry will delight the eye, and nose.  In addition to being beautiful, these earrings act as oil diffusers, letting you lend a subtly peaceful scent to wherever your spirit may take you.


https://www.etsy.com/listing/495721853/essential-oil-diffuser-jewelry-diffuser
The beauty of natural materials, with the bonus of a subtle scent.

Speaking of gorgeous scents, are you familiar with DeepMidnightPerfumes?  This Shangri-La perfume oil is one of many original scents available via Etsy.  Select from a wide range of handcrafted options, from earthy to exotic.

 
https://www.etsy.com/listing/99023344/shangri-la-perfume-oil-cherry-blossoms
Scents for the earth goddess in you.
Every boho outfit benefits from an eye-catching bag.  This bag from PineNeedleDesigns adds a carefree, artistic flair to your wardrobe, and its thoughtful design makes it a practical choice as well.


https://www.etsy.com/listing/266001615/giant-hoito-bag-dark-green-with-crewel
A gorgeous and practical addition for your carefree wardrobe.
As you ease into summer, let the relaxed boho lifestyle lead the way.  Be sure to visit the Etsy shops of these designers, and be on the lookout for other boho-inspired pieces from the many artisans of HandmadeMN.