Sunday, 23 February 2014

Why I Like To Buy Handmade

I love to buy handmade and most of all I love to buy handmade jewellery, accessories and artwork. Today I'm going to tell you why, as well as show you some of my favourite handmade items I've bought online, from craft markets and independent shops.

I bought this fabulous bow from an awesome shop called Cherry Cherry that used to be in Norwich. Sadly it closed down but you can find Dolly Knits online. Click the name for the shop!

When I started making my own products one of the first things I did was create an Etsy account and make a shop. This was a great place to start because I could easily see what other people from all over the world were making and it gave me a bar to work towards when it came to the quality of my work. It also meant I was massively inspired and tempted by all the wonderful handmade things. I will admit I did spend some of my hard earned pennies on goodies from Etsy.
Lucie Ellen and No Milk Today can both be found on Etsy. Click the names for their shops!

The main reason I like to buy handmade is because you know the passion that has gone in to making each product. As creative people we want to be happy with what we make, we want it to be high quality and we want it to last, because if we aren't happy with it, if it isn't high quality or if it doesn't last we are solely to blame and we have let ourselves down. We are judged by our products in a way that big retailers like Topshop, Habitat etc aren't. You complain to a customer service assistant, or you complain to me, to my face.

You also know, when buying handmade, that you won't find that product on your high street (unless you're lucky enough to have awesome independent shops selling handmade items) You are in pretty good stead to own something none of your friends have, and lets admit, who doesn't love an "exclusive"? Sometimes you may own the only one of that kind if the maker won't make two items the same! My grey and mustard knitted necklace by Aeron Hall-Apps is just that. (Sorry guys she doesn't have a website or Etsy shop, but often takes a stall at our Handmade & Timeless markets so i'll keep you posted)

Lastly, buying artwork straight from the artist really does it for me. You get to chat to them about their work and get to know why they make the work they do. You also see a great range of what they make, it might not just be prints, paintings, collages or photographs. They may use those images for other products like notebooks, greetings cards or postcards. Katrine Macklin sells t-shirts, button badges, notebooks and artwork as well as the cards you see below.

Katrine's work can be found on her website. She promises she will be opening an Etsy shop soon. She had a stall at the last I Make Fun Stuff market too so hopefully she'll join us again soon. 

So that's a little about why I love to buy handmade. Have you got any handmade treasures? Tell me your favourite makers in the comments below!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Tiny Cats

I'l be honest, I find it really hard to blog regularly. From the dates and frequency of my last posts you will definitely see that I just can't post even once a week. I just don't feel like my life is generally interesting enough to post often but I am endeavoring to change that.

I have been making so many new things recently that it seems a shame to not share them and you know how it is, blogging gets you followers and followers like your work, I'll do my best to keep you interested!

It's taken a little while to get these little cats made, just because of Christmas and having to rework the images (and i'm bad at Photoshop/Illustrator so try to avoid it!) The wait was worth it though, they are so cute and tiny when sat next to the cat brooches! Sorry there are no images of them in ears, I can't wear my own earrings. Some day I will pluck up the courage to go and get them pierced again. The cuteness of these may help me find some balls!

They're available from my Etsy shop priced at £4.00. Select them in my little shop widget on the side or click the hotlink.