The Handmade Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Ok you guys... in an ideal world I would make every single gift I ever give. But let's be honest... that is just not possible. Plus, I like to give things I may not know how to make and support other artisans and makers buying from them. So I am still giving the gift of handmade (but made by a fellow creative and their hands not my own). With holiday mayhem, Black Friday and Cyber Monday and deals abound, I wanted to take a minute to share with you some of my fave handmade gifts ideas. Click each photo below to be taken to the shop directly.

Flowers are such a great hostess gift if you are going to a party or dinner. How about a handmade twist. If you follow me on social media, you know the wooden handmade flowers I have are one of the most valuable and important things I own. In that spirit,  I bought these from Stephanie at Triple Knot Studio and LOVE them. They are made so well, and she gives such care to shipping. A perfect gift that lasts a lifetime.

 

Want a little razzle dazzle? How about the perfect gift for your crochet or knit loving maker friend something that is really special? Check out this beaded hand dyed yarn from VanessaKnits. The color is one amazing aspect but then the pop and sheen of the sporadic beading makes it really just so special. 

 

One of my favorite things about being in a community surrounded by other talented peeps, is how I also get to support them Tanya posted this hat on Instagram one day and I instantly knew I had to have it. Sure I can get the colors and make my own but chances are it would look different and why copy when I can get the real deal from the original designer? Tanya so graciously sent me one and I have literally worn it nearly every cold day since. IT IS MY FAVORITE HAT EVER. Get one for yourself or if you run out of time to make all the gifts, get one for someone else!

 

The Sexy Knitter Tool Kit is in my bag and the perfect gift for makers on the go. I cannot tell you how many times I have been so happy to have this handy kit in my bag! You can get them in a variety of fun sayings and images on the tin cover. I love the mini sheep tape measure too.

 

 

Three things I NEVER leave home without: My yarn, my favorite TooShayCrochetHook handmade hook and my knitting project bag with my Clever Cove pins. For real.. this is me putting each in use while at a Coldplay concert. The bag is perfect and I decorated it with two of the cutest pins from the Clever Cove Shop on Etsy. . The hooks are my favorite because not only are they handcrafted wood handles, but the paint and design is just so special. I have a full set!

I have been a fan of my handmade crochet hook cases from Soyun Park ever since I got my first one a few years ago. I now have three - 2 for hooks and one for knitting needles. Soyun always does an amazing job with detail and her works stands up to my every day use. I LOVE THEM! If you have a special maker in your life or want to truly treat yourself, I cannot recommend Soyn's cases enough!

 

 

If you follow me on social media then you know one of my favorite things is my mug collection. It is not just fun, but really encouraging throughout the day to have a bit of fuel on a mug with a message. The one that started it all, this blog and my gusto if you will, is my Create. Hustle Repeat. mug from Small Glow. I am such a fan of Zenia and her maker small biz Small Glow. She took some time off after the birth of her new baby but is back with a whole new line of Boss Babe gear that is the perfect gift for all your maker tribe. And even for yourself!

 


If you are looking to to stat an amazing new project  then check out the kits from Mama Knows Luxury. Because trust me, Sarah (mama) KNOWS! I myself am currently working up something fun with her big merino wool and I tell you that this would be such a treat to get as a gift. For real... this is so much fun that you may want to get a kit for yourself. I have designed home items. accessories, and am working on a poncho now. SO MUCH FUN TO BE HAD WITH THESE!!!


So there you have it... awesome handmade finds for people who love handmade or even to Treat Yo’self this holiday season.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS !!!! 
xoxo
Michele
 

Handmade Mother's Day Gift Guide 2017

Ok you guys... in an ideal world I would make every single gift I give. But let's be honest... that is just not possible. Plus, I like to support other artisans and makers buying from them. So I am still giving the gift of handmade (but made by a fellow creative). With mother's Day around the corner, here is my official handmade Gift Guide.

Flowers are such a traditional Mother's Day gift. How about a handmade twist. If you follow me on social media, you know the wooden handmade flowers I have are one of the most valuable and important things I own. How about giving mom, or nana, or anyone, flowers that will last forever? I bought these from Stephanie at Triple Knot Studio and LOVE them. They are made so well, and she gives such care to shipping. They will actually be both a Mother's Day gift and a housewarming gift for my bestie. A perfect gift that lasts a lifetime.

One of my favorite new handmade items was actually a birthday gift to me from my husband and would be perfect for mom too. This HANDMADE breakfast tray was custom made by Sam of Giving Tree Woodshop and legit... I cannot express to you how much I love it. I use it almost every single day as either a snack tray, work station on the floor or in bad. It is so perfect. The legs fold up and are held by a strap (because let's face it, clutz that I am would snap it off if it wasn't) so it can literally be used so many ways. Sam worked with me to pick the right wood and finish and man... I love it. And it was SO AFFORDABLE ( I expected to pay double what he charged to be honest) so yeah... this would be a delight for mom. Serve her up some awesome treats on an awesome handmade serving tray.

Looking for something with a special message? For Christmas I got my fellow makers a handmade wood burned ornament from Ashley at Made of Embers. She also made the coasters for our Stitch Up Chicago gifts bags. Ashley makes wall hangings (I have one in my studio) and wooden serving spoons and so many other things. She is so creative. So if you've got a Mother's Day message to send, send it hand burned with love.

For something truly unique, check out Globe In. I talked about the importance of finding the right brand partnerships recently, and I could not be more excited that we partnered with Globe In for Stitch Up Chicago. Not just about Fair Trade, but in short, Globe In brings artisans from around the world to your door. I still use the items they sent me from my Comfort Box. Maybe get mom a subscription for the Artisan box or a really special handmade gift from around the globe.

 

If you are looking to send mom a project to keep her busy (or hint you want her to make you something) then check out the kits from Mama Knows Luxury. Because trust me, Sarah (mama) KNOWS! I myself am currently working up something fun with her big merino wool and I tell you that this would be such a treat to get as a gift. For real... this is so much fun that you may want to get a kit for yourself. She is even giving you guys a discount: code hustle10 is good for 10% off anything until June 30, 2017. WHAT?!?

 

So there you have it... awesome handmade finds for mom or even to Treat Yo'self ;-)

Yarnie Tools On The Go

It's true. My purse sometimes looks like a notions bag instead of a purse. Never be shocked to find a crochet hook, stitch markers or tape measure whilst rummaging around for my lip gloss. Now that I have added knitting to my arsenal it has only gotten worse.

So it wasn't a hard sell for Sarah from the Sexy Knitter to catch my eye when she wanted to send me her new notions tin to check out. Yes please.

I was quite impressed when it arrived because the simplicity is beyond genius. I was like... um.. hello lovely new awesomeness that will now live in my purse. The size of an Altoid Tin and it comes with and holds all things I usually find floating around, sans hooks & needles of course. But let me tell you the real genius.. the one thing that makes me ooh and aahh over this baby: the magnetic top. No more jabbing my fingers with a needle. Now it is right where it should be and easily accessible pain free. She even put in the most adorable origami stitch markers and tiniest scissors I think I have ever seen.

I have already put this Tool Kit to great use and now as a treat for YOU, use code Stitchandhustle for 20% off to get your own. Just in time for the holidays and a perfect gift for your fellow yarnies. She's got a huge variety of yarnie saying to select from too. I say THUMBS UP SARAH!

Disclosure: Sarah of The Sexy Knitter sent me this tool kit free of charge for the purpose of this review. Although this is sponsored content, opinions and review are completely my own.

Three Great DIY Projects For Holiday Gifts

My love for handmade is endless. Especially when it comes to gifting. Something about taking time to think about someone, and then put a bit of love into each stitch or hammer swing or paint stroke. It makes the project so special and the giving so magical. Receiving handmade is pretty special too. I mean just knowing someone thought about me enough to take TIME to CREATE something just for me is a little bit of magic.

In that spirit, here are three fun and fabulous projects from three AMAZING artsians you can make. You still have time to make some handmade magic for your holiday gifting.

First up: The Crochet Clock by ChiWei of @1dogwoof.
Ok um excuse me a minute while I literally drool at both the beauty and genius of this project. When Chi Wei initially shared this project on Instagram I was speechless. It is both simplistic and intricate. It never occurred to me to crochet a clock. But why not? I mean really... WHY NOT?

What I love most is the simplicity. In the making and in the design. Ideal for someone with a new home or that friend who loves classic style.

Next Up: The Lovely Star Stitch Pouches by Stephanie of @allaboutami
Stephanie constantly inspires me. What I truly love about these pouches is their simplicity in design. A sewing project that doesn't scare me is rare because sewing is not my strong suit. Stephanie takes you through this step by step and you can whip this up in a flash.

And if you are like me, and sewing is not on your top of fave things to do, you can make just a crochet version and it is still lovely. It can be a make up pouch, notions pouch, beach pouch... uses are endless. A great gift for anyone really.

And Last but not least... This simply fantastic Shave Case from Drew Emborsky, AKA The Crochet Dude.
  Now, let me first say WELCOME BACK to Drew who took a crochet hiatus. It is no secret he helped me get my start of taking my passion for yarn to the next level and I am forever grateful.

But beyond that, he is still the original badass for Why Didn't I Think Of That designs that are awesome. This Shave Case is awesome for the fellas but could easily be a make up brush case for the ladies too. It could be so many things and is not scary to make.  It looks like you slaved for days when really you can whip this baby up in an afternoon. So pick your fave color combo and get to it!

So there you have it. The countdown to the holidays is on but there is still time to hand make some awesome gifts of love.

Back To School Hustle Is On Giveaway

I don't have kiddos but so many of my friends and members of our community do that I thought a little "Back To School Hustle Giveaway" seemed appropriate. This is a good one too.

Mug: Of course you need fuel for your project so why not enjoy your coffee or tea in this awesome Hustle mug? This was the mug that helped launch this blog and now it can be part of your collection. It is one of my faves.

HUSTLE Bracelet: Keepsakes by Katie was part of my holiday Shop Small suggestions. Last year I got everyone personalized Keep bracelets and watches or key fobs. Perfect gifts and of course I nabbed a few treats for me. Now YOU get a Keep bracelet to help encourage you to stay on your hustle every day.

 

Pattern & Yarn: One of my FAVORITE artisans who I discovered and met on Instragram is Nicole of Naturally Nora Crochet. This woman has got some talent with a ball of yarn I tell you. I am constantly in awe of her work. This Alana Tee will not only be a perfect project for you to make but ideal for your little one to wear. You get the pattern AND a $20 gift card to Knit Picks for the yarn to make it. WHAT? YUP! You can read a bit more about Nicole here on the OML Blog too.

Children's Book: I got to meet the awesome Paula of Knit Baah Purl at Stitches Midwest and she has this awesome children's bedtime book. A Sheep's Tale. So wind down the day with a story for your little one.

 

Get Organized: Hooks & Needles

As a new knitter, I've quickly started collecting a variety of knitting needles and supplies. I've been trying my best to keep organized and shop smart so as not to amass a pile of things I won't use for the long run. But I know I needed a better way to store it all than using a vase on my yarn shelf. Especially since I travel so much. The vase won't travel well 😉

Since I have two crochet hook cases that I love from Atelier de Soyun on Etsy,  I decided to go back and see if she could make me a knitting needle case. She had some in her shop but I wanted something that would hold all my gak in one case. I sent Soyun a description of the supplies I had and some of my needles are F-A-T, some others are loooooong and I explained that I wanted to make sure they would all fit into a single case. I was so excited when she said it could easily be done. YES!

Well, I could not be more thrilled with this purchase.

My knitting needle case is perfect!  Yup... She nailed it. Every needle fits, even my F-A-T ones and long ones. She even added pockets for my shorter hat making needle sets as well as pockets for my circular needles. Every needle has its place and that makes my heart happy. I've got my needles all organized and ready for when I need them or when I travel.

While I was browsing her shop I noticed her lovely project bags so I also got myself one for my on the go days.  The project bag is so amazingly well crafted and has inside pockets for organizing my supplies and notions. It's the exact size I needed and holds enough yarn and supplies for projects on the go. I am particularly happy with the drawstring close for when I toss that bag in the backseat (come on, we've all done it then cried when the yarn spilled out). I am now ready for travel!

This is my third case from Soyun and I cannot recommend this shop high enough. How do you stay organized with your hooks, needles & notions? Share in the comments below.

July Project Pack Giveaway

Who loves summer projects? I know I do!

One of my favorite things to do in summer is pack up my project tote, grab a blanket and picnic on the front lawn with the dogs. Something about being at home and outside is the best of both worlds. With that in mind, we have put together quite the fabulous July Project Giveaway.

Check this out. You win ALL this:

Pattern & Yarn: One of my most popular designs is my Molly Four Way. It is perfect for transition from season to season. Wear it as a shawl, a scarf, a sarong or a wrap. Now you can make your own because you get the pattern AND the yarn to make it!

Mug: Of course you need fuel for your project so why not enjoy your coffee or tea in this awesome mug?  I start every day with a fresh cup (or pot) of coffee in one of my favorite fiber arts inspired mugs. Now you can have your own from Cluck Cluck Boots!

Project Tote: Well you are gonna need to carry your project around right? This AWESOME tote from That Darn Yarn Co. is so cool. It is bigger than most totes and what I love the most about mine is the long straps. That is a super cool feature.

Hook: We all have our favorite hooks and notions. Some of mine are from Clay Bean Co. Kelli even made me an awesome set of donuts stitch markers which I am madly in love with. You will get this ergonomic hook in the appropriate size to work up your new Molly Four Way.

Now THAT is a project pack! So enter below

Shop Small in 2014

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It's that time of year again. Every retailer on the planet is clamoring for your hard earned dollars. Steals and deals abound. Stores open at all hours to serve up holiday shopping splendor. That's all fine and good, hey I won't knock capitalism at it's finest. But I will take this platform and opportunity to encourage you to consider shopping small, handmade and even local this holiday season. here is a list of some artisans, small business and fellow entrepreneurs that I encourage you to check out not just for the holidays but all year round. I have personally shopped from every one of these so these suggestions are based on my own experiences. No one paid to be on this list nor were they notified in advance of the list.

This is just me talking to YOU reminding you to shop small!

First up is Mad Love Shop. I met Angel, the owner of Mad Love Shop at the One Of A Kind Show in Chicago last year. We were both featured artists in the Etsy Pavilion and her booth was across from mine. As soon as she started hanging her screen print creations her work caught my eye. I LOVE wearable art. Angel doesn't use a machine screen printing process. She hand screens prints all of her original designs. Come on! THAT is wearable art at it's finest. I own and enjoy several of her designs at this point including a messenger bag, hoodie, and several tank tops.

During the show and since, Angel and I have also gotten to become great friends. She is such a fabulous woman. I encourage you to check out here work at Mad Love Shop here and on Black Friday you can even us code Thankful for 30% off. Um… hello… THAT is a deal!

 

My Rain Girl Bags

Next: is Joanna from Rain Girl Designs.  I discovered Joanna's shop on Etsy when I was in search of the perfect iPad case. I wanted someone to create a case that could be a pouch as well. In my mind it would be fabulous of course. When I contacted Joanna, she seemed to understand exactly what I was after and made the ordering process super easy. I was so impressed with the craftsmanship and customer service that I went back for my project totes.  Joanna looked high and low to find the right fabrics to fit my color palette and style. She created these perfect project totes for me. In fact they are so fabulous, i even use them as purses in summer.

Check out Joanna here and see what fabulous accessory she can create for you.

 

For the sassy fun party & foodie crowd, allow me to introduce you to Dell Cove Spices. Now, discovering Dell Cove was quite a fun thrill. They have everything from BBQ rubs, pop-corn seasonings to drink rim sugars. I mean… they make me drool. I also love following them on Facebook where there is always something cooking or a new recipe to drool over. Someday when I learn to cook, I will probably go broke in their shop. I got a variety of sample packets of the drink rim sugars to include in my gift bags a couple of years ago and they were a HUGE hit. Everyone loved them and you will too.



 

And last but not least is me. Hats, scarves, wraps and more. Get cozy and warm in hand crochet Cozy Chic Accessories.  Use code MC2014 for 20% off items in my Indie Made shop here . If you are looking for one of a kind or want to see all I have to offer check me out on Etsy as well and use code FR8FREE for free shipping through December 2nd.

Do you know of a fabulous small business or artisan? Share their info below in the comments. Let's band together and support small biz!