Saturday, March 31, 2012

AMAZING!  Artists With a Special Touch!
The artisan behind this shop is Dee, a "50 something teacher who has been crafty from a young age."  Dee is an active member of HandmadeArtists, participating often in the Forums and attending the weekly Chat.  Take a look at her unique work.
To purchase this lovely bracelet, click here.
 This bracelet caught my eye immediately...  I recognized the button used as the focal point, as I've used that very button on a sweater I knit!  But this isn't a sweater - it's a bracelet!  I just had to check it out.  What Dee has done is taken things that wouldn't normally be jewelry and transformed them into just that.  How cool is this!!!  I so enjoy things that move outside the box.  I think the colors are so springy, too...  just right for this time of year.
This bracelet can be found here.
Here is another of Dee's pieces.  This bracelet is 14 inches long and can be double wrapped around your wrist.  It also uses a button as a closure.  It's tightly braided/crocheted hemp with gun-metal beads.   This one is so classy and understated, yet still so much fun!
Dee has recently opened her shop on HandmadeArtists.  You can also find her on Facebook.  It's so much fun to watch an artist grow and evolve from the beginning!  

Sunday, March 25, 2012


The voting in Which One Is Handmade #4 was close again, but not as close! Did you all gain a couple of pounds reading about and looking at those wonderful chocolates?
Item #1 in dark chocolate...  oh yumm!  I thought the hint on this one would be the price (1/2 pound for $2.00).  Most of you picked up on this one and guessed correctly (40%) that this is the mass-produced item.  If you would like to buy this candy, I found it at the GreaterGourmet.

And Item #2...  my blood sugar is going up just reliving the decadent experience of consuming this confection!  I had the extreme pleasure of meeting this wonderful confectioner, a delightful lady named Ruthie, at an arts festival last summer.  Simply walking by her booth leads to a weight gain!  Her shop, Lacie'sSweets, is full of fabulous edibles.  This particular item can be purchased here.  60% of you guessed correctly that this one is the handmade item!

Ready for Which One Is Handmade #5?  Here we go!
Luxe Fur Faux Booties

Inclement weather is no match for these extra-cozy booties. Expertly woven from finely spun strands, our luxuriant faux fur captures the natural weight, depth of color and indulgent softness of genuine fur while keeping tiny toes toasty warm.
  • Lush pile is impeccably woven for realistic beauty and inviting softness
  • Offered in arctic fox (pure white) or mink (variegated shades of rich beige and grey)
  • Arctic fox: shell is 37% modacrylic, 32% polyester, 31% acrylic
  • Mink: shell is 74% acrylic, 26% polyester
  • Lined with silky polyester plush
  • Polyester soles have non-slip dots for safety
  • Machine wash
Price: $14.99

Fur Baby Booties Faux Fur Baby Boots
Adorable and warm these felt lined faux fur baby booties will keep your child comfortable and adorable when the cold weather comes. These gray faux fur booties are lined with black felt to make these fur boots cute and comfy. Thin leather ties and no slip sole complete this pair of adorable booties.

These boots are for indoor use only, they are not waterproof.

Price:  $28.00
So, which one is handmade?  You can vote in the poll in the right-hand side bar.  Have fun and see you next week!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

AMAZING!  Artists With a Special Touch!
Let me begin by quoting this artist's description of herself from her blog:
I love creating in general.  I really enjoy painting ornaments,  making stained glass items,  and sometimes combining painting on glass and stained glass. I also crochet, knit and sew. And, oh yeah I'm really into photography too!
To buy this ornament, click here!

This lovely glass ornament is a perfect example of Kris' love of painting such things!  The tremendous attention to detail is simply enchanting.  Her choice of colors makes this lovely ornament striking and calming at the same time. Not limited to winter holidays, this lovely ornament could hang in a window year round.  To see more of Kris' beautiful painted glass, visit her shop on Artfire!

To buy this hat, click here!

How entirely different can you get?  I know many artisans who have various talents, yet somehow related.  Kris is truly an exception...  from painted glass to crochet!  This lovely toddler-size hat is crocheted from pink acrylic yarn and pink fun fur!  What toddler wouldn't just love wearing this!  The lovely photography also lets the viewer nearly feel the softness of this unique hat.  To see more of Kris' lovely crochet, visit her shop on HandmadeArtists!

Kris also has a delightful blog, where she discusses all kinds of things!  Please visit this multi-talented artisan on any or all of her sites...  you'll be so glad you did! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The voting was so close last week...  53% for number 2 and 46% for number 1.  And the winner is...  the handmade item is ...  oh, the suspense is killing me ...  
This hand-tooled, hand-dyed leather wallet is available from AmazingLeather at  Artist Nicole also has a shop on Etsy.  Her Etsy shop has a much wider variety of items - these amazing wallets,  belts, cuffs, clutches, bags and purses.

This beautiful wallet, though not handmade, is from American West Handbags.  According to the description, this particular style is made in/imported from Paraguay.  They're available in a number of places, but the one I featured was found on ShopNBC!
This means 53% of you picked the wrong  one!   Many of those choosing correctly noted the stitching on Item #1 as the thing that tipped the scales.  And honestly, I would have chosen #2 with the majority just from the description...  it seemed more personal to me.

Can I get you again?  Which One is Handmade #4
Item #1
Dangerously dark chocolate!  Deceptively complex with the alluring texture of German cinnamon almonds, marshmallows, Cappuccino & Kahlua flavorings.

Price:  8 oz. bag - $2.00

Item #2
Our original! Some have referred to as “Almond Joy” on steroids. Fresh roasted almonds surrounded with mouth watering coconut nougat and hand dip in the finest milk chocolate.

Davies Coco-Dots: Essentially the Coco-Dot without the almonds but all the coco-nutty goodness. Also available in dark chocolate!

Price:  Box of 5 dots - $5.00

So....  which one is handmade?  Voting will close Sunday, March 25, 2012!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

AMAZING!  Artists With A Special Touch!

You would think that when you know someone well (or at least kind of well), that it would be easy to write a post about them.  On the contrary...  I find just the opposite to be true.  Where do you start?  What do you feature?  What might other people be interested in reading?  It's a quandary, but one I'm happy to take on for this wonderful artist, father, husband, and tireless promoter of handmade.

Hiding behind the hundreds of metal rings in the logo above is a man named Andrew.  Having a full time job which forces him to drive all over the northeast US, a wife and two sons would be all that most mere mortals could handle.  Andrew would be completely bored if this was all he had to do!

His website and his shop on are both full of chainmaille.  Not your typical chainmaille either as demonstrated by the piece shown to the left.  This is the centerpiece of a necklace which can be purchased here.  But here's my question...  How on earth do you take tiny circles of metal (in this case sterling silver), weave a whole bunch of them together, and end up with squares or cubes? Seriously...  how is this possible???!!!   My brain hurts just trying to figure this one out!

Andrew's shops don't only contain necklaces.  There are earrings and bracelets, too, and even chainmaille lanyards to hold your ID badge at conferences.  Andrew works in sterling silver, copper, bronze and aluminum.  He'll soon be adding brass to the mix.  This mixed-metals piece is a perfect example of the perfection Andrew strives for in every piece.  It is so incredibly even and balanced!

You would think this would be enough to keep one person busy, but that's not the case here.  With his wife, Kim (who I featured a while ago), they designed, built and maintain  The site has shops for handmade artisans, a blog, and my favorite, a forum.  The forum is the ultimate support group for anyone marketing art in any of its forms.  In a difficult economy, with sales intermittent at best, the support and camaraderie given to all of us participating in the forum is truly priceless.  Andrew is a tireless promoter  for HandmadeArtists and all of the artists and crafters it supports with thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  I simply don't know how he does it all!

One of these days, I'm going to have to get Andrew to give me the secret of his seemingly endless supply of time and energy!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Which One is Handmade?

Need this?  Click here!
Lots of voters last week, and 81% of you got it right!  I must admit that I love the shark pot holder.  This mass-produced item is available all over the place.  Manufactured by DCI, it ranges in price from $8 - $15.  The bumble bee pot holder is just one of the many selections made by ScrapHappieAZ out of Gilbert, Arizona.  Her shop on Etsy is full of delightful things including these wonderful pot holders, aprons, cup cozies and organizers.  I have sent a few of her items as gifts and can personally attest to the quality, great customer service and quick shipping.
So, here we go with quiz #3...  Which one is handmade?  You can vote using the poll in the sidebar to the right!

Item #1 
These wallets measure 4 1/2" x 3 1/2" when closed. Natural cowhide is tooled and dyed, lined, and assembled with rich calfskin lace.

Top grain leather lining in rich brown with removable photo / card case, bill compartment with divider, and card pockets .
Cash and cards for display only.

Price: $75.00

Item #2 
A classic redefined. Created to hold all your essentials, the hand-tooled cutouts on the front make this wallet anything but ordinary. Paired with the velvety cow hide, created with a brown/cream pony pattern, you'll wake up your wardrobe with this novel wallet. 

Crafted from rich chocolate brown leather, cream leather peeks out from the cutouts at the bottom front. Studs decorate the front for another layer of modern style. Designed to keep you organized, the interior features two clear credit/ID card slots, 10 credit/ID card slots, one zip pocket for coins or other small items, and three full-size slots for paper currency or receipts.

Additional Information:
Snap closure. Antiqued silver hardware. Measures 7.5"L x 1"W x 4"H. Made of leather with cotton interior.  Use leather protector for care.

Price:  $67.25
So.....  which one is handmade?  Voting will close next Sunday, March 18, 2012.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

In Memory of Janelle...
Janelle was such an important and active member of the arts community.  Her life was ended far too suddenly and too soon.  But she survives in her amazing pieces.  This lady could take a piece of wood and turn them into wearable art like I've never seen anywhere else.
All of Janelle's remaining pieces are available at half their original price here.  All of the proceeds go to her brother to help offset final expenses.  
Janelle is still with us in spirit.  Thanks in advance for your support.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Which One Is Handmade?

I would like to thank everyone who played last week in my too-easy first installment of this feature.  Number 1 was the mass-produced item.  Those earrings can be purchased at  If you're interested in those great handmade earrings, visit FatDogBeads at  Ready for another?  Let's do it!

Item #1
Dun dun... dun dun... dun dun ... lookout!... Your cupcakes are overcooking!  Hopefully your cupcakes will not meet the same fate as your arm!  Maybe next time you should pay more attention to the scary theme music that you are hearing in your head.

Our Shark Bite Oven Mitt will amuse even the most discerning chef.

100% Polyester. Outer Back: 100% Neoprene. Lining: 100% Nylon.  Measures 15.75 inches x 9.25 inches.

Price: $8.00 

Item #2
Darling and convenient Bumble Bee potholder to protect your hands. Great for any bee lover.

Just insert your hands in the front pockets for protection and to easily grab a casserole dish on either side. Potholder is perfect for that newly remodeled or decorated kitchen.

The handy shape protects your hands from burns and can be used on either left or right hands. This style is multi-functional as you can also use it as a hot pad.

This potholder is made with two layers of Warm and Natural cotton batting and one layer of a reflective metalized poly film that resists radiant energy to keep heat away from your hands. These are sandwiched between new fashion fabrics from quality 100% cotton. Plus batting is also used between the upper layers that protect your hands. Hands pockets are also re-enforced for durability. Self fabric bias trim.

Machine washable.

Price:  $6.00

Sooooooooooo.....  which one is handmade?  You'll find a poll in the right side bar to vote!   

Friday, March 2, 2012

Which One Is Handmade?
Let's have some fun!  If enough people participate, I will do this on a weekly basis. I've had a lot of feedback on my article on spotting the mass-produced from the handmade, so let's see if you can do it.  The pictures, descriptions and prices shown are quoted directly from web listings.  Can you spot the mass-produced item? Check out the two items below and vote for the one you think is handmade.  I'll reveal the answer on Thursday! 
Item 1
Item description:
  • Finish:  Matte
  • Material: Nickel-Free Metal
  • Decorative Accents: Gemstones
  • Closure Style: Fish Hook
  • Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Dry Cloth
  • Overall Dimensions: 2.0" L x 0.5" W

 Price:  $9.99

Item 2 
Item description: 
These dichroic bead twirly whirl spiral earrings are amazingly lightweight and measure approx. 3" from bottom of sterling silver ear wire to bottom of dichroic bead.

The beads are gorgeous - just gorgeous! Alive with color - pink, gold, blue, green and more. They explode with color whenever the light hits them. My photographs do not do these beautiful beads justice!

A shiny silver colored bead has been added to the dichroic bead, and both are wire wrapped to the twirly spiral earrings. 

Price: $15.00

So what do you think?  Is Item 1 or Item 2 mass produced?   Vote in the comments section and check back on Thursday for the results!