What's A Maker? I AM!

What's A Maker? I AM!

What defines being a Maker? How do we define ourselves? These are simple yet not so simple questions. For over a year or two since I first started hearing about the "Maker Community" shortly after joining Instagram, I was just so uncomfortable with it. I am not even sure why. Maybe because it felt exclusive rather than inclusive. Maybe because it felt limiting. But I AM A MAKER and you are too!

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Be You & Shine Your Light Bright: Just Do YOU!

Hi Everyone.

I little off the topic but in relation to my most recent series to Shine Your Light Bright, I want to encourage everyone to please go read VanessaKnits Instagram post from yesterday here.

I’ve shared that I had recently experienced some really poor treatment and drama from Social Media and I have been trying so hard to understand it.

I realized that I have (unsuccessfully) been trying to find a way to remind people not everyone has to make this a business and not everyone has the same path. It’s about what’s right for you or me or whoever. Your fiber journey is YOURS. And some will be a business and some will be a side hustle for a few extra dollars and some will be just to love fiber. NONE will have to be the same.

It’s part of what I feel is the core of so much of the “Maker Community” nonsense and drama I see and hear about and have experienced - and why I’ve had to really step away from it all.

I feel like there’s an unspoken pressure through social media and all these groups to make these big businesses or design this or make that or work with this brand or use that yarn - and all of it is unnecessary - because it’s really ok to just love to knit or love to crochet. It is ok to be on YOUR path and still celebrate or share someone else's.

I work hard and yes this is my full time job but this is MY path. I do not expect it to be the same as anyone else.  I will continue to share ways to help your fiber journey and this blog because I feel that is my calling and part of my fiber journey - to encourage others. You can coem for the free patterns, come for the tips on markets or come for the fiber finds. Whatever your reason you are welcome here and i am glad to have you.

But the thing I want to encourage most is this: I want to encourage every single one of you to follow your path and if you feel that unspoken pressure brush it off, turn on some music and dance. Or make something. 

JUST DO YOU!!!

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And thanks to Vanessa who i have had the pleasure of meeting and working with and gotten to know to remind me and all of us about this important truth.

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 ;-)

March Maker Madness

March is a big month around here. Happy Birthday to Stitch & Hustle who officially turns 1 on the 17th. My birthday is the 13th. The 8th is when we celebrate the adoption of our rescue dog Sadie and there's something else I'm forgetting ... Oh yeah March Madness for college basketball. (ok that last one may be less of a big deal lol)

But still, with all that I decided to celebrate with March MAKER Madness.

Think of it as a thank you to everyone for really welcoming this blog and this crazy idea I had that we CAN support each other and help build each other up while still striving to be our very best version of ourselves and our businesses. That we CAN have both community AND competition! You all have welcomed me and this blog incredibly.

So then; For the WHOLE month we will have insanely awesome giveaways of insanely awesome prizes. Free patterns released. Special Social Media Series will help you up your game. And more! Truly... So much MAKER awesome!  It all starts below with a fun giveaway.

In addition to being my social media besties, Shannon & Jason (the dynamic duo known as Shibaguyz) are my design and pattern writing heroes. They just get it! I got to spend some time with them when they were in Chicago last summer teaching classes at Stitches Midwest and cannot wait to see them again this year. They have signed a copy of their book Crochet Geometry for one lucky community member.

As a new knitter, I am having a blast discovering new needles and tools and knitter treats. One unexpected delight was Knitter's Pride. Not only have I fallen in love with their knitting needles, but I was thrilled to discover they have crochet hooks as well. WHAT? Yup! So you win their complete dreamz hook set with all the hooks you need to make your new designs. You will also get a bag full of yarn to get started. A variety of fibers to create awesomeness. And last but not least... a Maker's mug from Uncle Jesse's Etsy Shop to keep the fuel running while you get your maker vibe on. Now that is a way to kick off March Madness. So don't miss out - enter below.

And again - THANK YOU for being part of this awesome community and supporting Stitch & Hustle. This blog is for you!!!

xoxo
Michele