Making Crafty Magic

Tip of the Cap: The Nature Makers

I just wanted to share with you a few of the makers who have been absolutely blowing my mind lately (yup, my mind has been bottled, boggled and blown by them). These are the folks that can take something as simple as a stick and turn it into pure magic. I’m constantly astounded by their innate ability to artfully and respectfully incorporate natural objects and materials into their work. To me, they’re a cut above the rest. They inspire me to keep moving forward while at the same time intimidating the heck out of me with their talent. Darn them! I appreciatively and frustratingly shake my fist at their creative genius!

Roots and Feathers: What can I say about Laura that I haven’t said already–without sounding too much like a stalker? Probably not much. Here’s what I’ve had to say about her in the past:

I completely adore and idolize Laura. She’s just the whole package. Her site is a blend of bohemian fashion, jewelry design, astrology, nature appreciation, and soul-searching. She’s completely unafraid to reveal her most deepest truths and personal struggles. This honesty and fearlessness has garnered her legions of devoted, supportive fans, including myself. Plus, her and her hubby are so darn cute together! They warm my chilly little heart!

roots and feathersIf you like what you see, just know that Laura goes out and collects the feathers, branches and bones herself. These are truly made from start to finish by her sweet, creative little hands.

Sacra Luna: Okay, it’s hard for me to even fathom that 2013 marked Ana Marie’s first year as a jewelry designer. WTF?! Are you kidding me? She literally can’t keep anything listed in her Etsy shop for more than a few minutes. That’s of course because she’s freakin’ awesome at what she does. Here’s a great example of someone who is successfully using Instagram as their primary marketing vehicle. She takes the most haunting photos of her work, pairs them with beautiful statements about nature and the world around us, tells people when she’s putting her work in the Etsy shop and each piece is sold within minutes of posting! And she’s a sweetheart who puts up with me verbally drooling all over her Instagram posts. I can’t wait to see what 2014 and beyond brings for her!

sacra lunaHere are some of my personal faves:sacra lunaWild Ivy Creations: Okay, if you only do one thing today, make it hitting the “follow” button on Natasha’s Instagram account. Just the dog and cat photos alone will make your life worth living. Natasha seamlessly and uniquely blends natural elements with metalwork. She’s got a real gift for design and her shop offers a wide variety of items such as jewelry, note cards, ear cuffs, fans, wall art and everything inbetwixt. This is the first shop I would visit if I was unsure of what to get someone.

wild ivy creationsHere are some of my personal faves:

wild ivy creationsGipsy Dharma: Okay, I am not a leather girl but I’m totally cool if others embrace it (no judgements here). I do my best to avoid wearing it because I really don’t want to support the evil empire that is the factory farming industry. If I’m going to put some leather on my bod, it’s probably going to be from the thrift shop. With that being said, Gipsy Dharma gives me much, much, much, waaaay too much pause. Their boots are some of the most gloriously crafted things I’ve ever seen on this very planet. I’m drooling just thinking about slipping my feet into a supple pair and lacing them up. Ahhhh….

Gipsy_DharmaAnd to placate my leather issue, here’s what the FAQ section of their website states:

Do you make vegan boots? Where does your leather come from?

I’ve been trying for months now, however I’m still searching for the right materials to do the job, but I assure you that I’m trying really hard! Some materials just do not work with my designs and others that do work would more than double the cost of the boots. Also, I’ve had a few people write to me, expressing their surprise that I’ve still not been able to have vegan boots made. Well, the truth is that it is very difficult to find alternatives to leather, that do not produce very harmful chemicals as they are being made and do not pollute the environment for hundreds of years after they have been deposed of. So a lot of people who are eager to save the environment seem to be missing a point here, because non leather unfortunately does not necessarily mean good for the planet…

As for the second question, I make sure that all my leather comes from sustainable sources, i.e. no animal is ever killed for their hides.

So for now, it looks like leather may be harder to replace than one would think but I give Gipsy Dharma props for trying. No matter, I’ve found a solution to my inner conflict. I plan to win a pair. Yup, each week they give away a free (shipping included) pair of boots. Lady Luck, please, let’s finally make friends or call a truce because this girl needs a new pair of cruisers! And yes, they make super-fly dude boots too.

Making Crafty Magic

The soap debacle has ended in joy!

So luckily this mess…

6c4c7b123bf311e3849f22000aeb126c_8Turned into this awesomeness…2013-10-24 10.12.45By the beard of Zeus! By last night, I was 100% positive that I was going to have to scrap this soap. As I shook the soap block out of the mold I was absolutely dreading what I was about to see. I apprehensively peeked at it with one eye, preemptively wincing, to find that it was, in fact, beautiful! It’s made with olive, organic coconut, castor & avocado oils mixed with natural colorants (turmeric, spirulina, activated charcoal, pure cocoa, cloves, & cinnamon), fullers earth clay, french green clay and cinnamon essential oil. Not too shabby for my first (and probably last) attempt at the faux funnel pour.

Also, I’m featured in the Artist Spotlight on The Treehouse’s blog. If you’ve ever wondered about me (and many do…myself included), feel free to read this. It may help clear things up or perhaps make them even more mirky…who knows!?

Here’s what I’ve accomplished today…

2013-10-24 18.12.55
I have three more of these particular messenger bags in the works. All bags and jewelry will be sold at upcoming shows and eventually make it to the Hazardous Materials Etsy store.

2013-10-24 18.10.50And what did I do with all of my little, teeny, tiny, wee scraps of fabric from making these bags, you ask?2013-10-24 18.07.20

Well most people would probably throw the scraps out BUT I can’t seem to throw anything out (with the exception of bills and the like). And no, it’s not a good thing. I seem to have a guilt complex around this issue. Perhaps something inside me sees an opportunity wasted? I don’t know. Nevertheless, I managed to make some really adorable jewelry out of the scraps from my recent sweatshopesque bag-making extravaganza. Just what I needed, more incentive to hold on to my hoarding habit.

Other points of interest that I thought I would pass along:

♥ For those of you who have a craft show display fetish, like I do, Laura from Roots and Feathers just posted the coolest jewelry display EVER! There’s no doubt it would make people stop to shop. Afterall, it’s all about curb appeal…just like so many things in life (Ooh, that’s my gutter mind sneaking into this blog post. Bad Jaime!) . See it here.

♥ This nice gal named Carli just contacted me via Etsy about submitting a product for review on her website, Livin’ the Mom Life. Sadly, I’m pinching every last penny so I’m not participating in any product reviews at this time BUT I wanted to share her site because she has a lot of information on product recalls and coupons (which I need to actually start clipping more of, speaking of pinching every penny). Visit her site here.

♥ Last but not least, I need to give another shout-out to my girl, Lisa. Just a few short weeks ago I helped her get her product review website up and running and she’s already gotten over 400 subscribers! She’s the Little Engine That Could of the reviewing world. Keep on chugging woman! Jesse from Themis and Thread is going to be sending her some clothes and jewelry to review. It’s always great to be the catalyst behind bringing two great people together. I plan to help her out from time to time on product reviews when/if she becomes overwhelmed. Check her out cuz she’ll be Checking U Out!

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Blogs I adore

This month I decided to do something I’ve never done before, I’m sponsoring two blogs that I look forward to reading each and every day. In return for my sponsorship, they run a Sweet Pea’s ad that hopefully drives more traffic (and sales) to my shop. It’s a win-win.

The first blog is SillyGrrl. Sarah is a web designer and a circus performer– which certainly makes things interesting for her readers. I don’t know how she does it but she seamlessly blends those two incongruous worlds into one entertaining and informative site. And for those web designers and bloggers out there, her free design advice is invaluable. Seriously. From the newbies to people who consider coding to be old hat, there’s always something to learn from her.

Roots and Feathers

The next blog I’m sponsoring is my absolute favorite, Roots and Feathers. I completely adore and idolize Laura. She’s just the whole package. Her site is a blend of bohemian fashion, jewelry design, astrology, nature appreciation, and soul-searching. She’s completely unafraid to reveal her most deepest truths and personal struggles. This honesty and fearlessness has garnered her legions of devoted, supportive fans, including myself. Plus, her and her hubby are so darn cute together! They warm my chilly little heart!