As the title says this is part two in my journey through the handmade waters – as you know swimming can be dangerous, you could always run across a mass-produced shark. However so far I’ve been fine. In the post I wrote back in January I explained (at least in my opinion) why we should buy handmade and how great the experience can be, so I don’t think I need to repeat myself here. Today I’d like to share with you some great shops I have bought from and some great gifts that have been sent to me from Etsy Sellers.
If you have a moment please take a look at these shops!
Just a quick note to say here, that all the opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post.
Hand painted Bookmarks from MrsPeggottyArts – by Elisabetta Stoinich – Italy
I loved this shop the moment I saw it. I was drawn in by the wistful illustrations and literary context behind them. I have a weakness for literary art as I used to spend hours and hours reading. At night under the covers and during the afternoon siesta. I read fast so devoured book after book. I still love to read, although I don’t have so much time to at the moment (I am reading my way through Dickens but only very slowly). Those reading habits and the constant spending of pocket-money in book stores have now left me with over 200 books and three over flowing shelves. Not that I’d ever think of selling them. A large percent of those book are classics and Jane Austen, of course, has pride of place among them. She sits up on the top shelf in-between Charlotte Bronte and Elizabeth Gaskell. I also loved watching the BCC TV version of Pride and Prejudice – my sisters and I have made a pact not ever to accept any other Mr Darcy other than Colin Firth. Anyway when I was given some money over Christmas I knew exactly what I wanted. These book marks now sit in a black frame in my office. Elisabetta’s shop is full of illustrations like these and I could easily buy everything in it.
Elisabetta has caught the characters perfectly. I loved the curls in the hair, the large watchful eyes, the attention to detail in the rose in Lizzy’s hair and ruffles in Mr Darcy’s necktie, the elegant frames above their heads and criss-cross patterns behind.
Handmade Food Jewelry Bracelet – “Breakfast In Paris” from LaNostalgieFrance – by Mariana Salinas – France
I have lots of hobbies and always love to learn new things. As above I was drawn to the shop because of my love of reading, here and you may guess this, I was drawn by my love of cooking. I cook every day and everything so often I like to try a really complicated French recipe out of Julia Child’s cookbook. Can’t cook that everyday as large amounts of butter needs to be worked off but as a treat it’s fine. I bought this charm bracelet to remind me to get round to trying croissants. . . one day. . .apparently to do it properly it takes nine hours! Although because of the heat over here I think I cut the rising time by half. A tip for getting bread to rise quickly is to put a pan full of water on the stove, with a lid on and let in boil away whilst your bread is rising. The steam rising from the water will create a little bit of moisture in the air. I am not sure exactly what the scientific explanation is but it worked yesterday when I had a bread baking session. Anyway getting back on track.
You almost wish the whole of Marina’s shop was edible. Everything looks good enough to eat. The charm bracelet arrived in a lovely little box with a red gingham ribbon. I don’t own or buy much jewelry but this was unusual and so tempting that I had to have it. The detail is incredible, everything is there down to the raisins in the current roll, the puffy sides of the eclairs, and tiny rising lines on the croissant. I also loved the extra touch of the little fork!
The first picture is Marina’s and the second two are mine.
Trade with FairyChamber – by Niina Niskanen – Finland
I did my first proper trade earlier this year. Trading is a great way to:
A. Get birthday presents and other gifts, or to treat yourself. Very good if money is a bit tight for everyone.
B. As a trade counts as a sale both trade partners can leave reviews at each other’s shop, thus helping your shop to grow quicker.
Niina was great to trade with and we soon came to a deal. I sent her a writing paper set and some greeting cards and I received a small original watercolour painting, a print and two postcards. As I was opening the package, my sister, who was standing looking over my shoulder as she always does whenever I get a parcel, took one look at the green fairy print and loved it so much that in the end I gave to her. My favorite are the autumn leaves. I love the soft orange and brown colours. I think it looks great in the little white frame.
I love all of Niina’s art. It overflows with colour, whimsy and there is a strong story-telling feel. I love to make up stories to go with pictures, art tends to affect me that way. One day I think I’d love to write a children’s book. Each of these pictures tells its own tale and as I look at each I can almost hear the words in my head. Beginning with perhaps: Once upon a time . . .
Another trade I did in January was an ATC swap with other All Handmade By Me Team members. We did this off Etsy and their were three of us participating. We each painted or drew a number of ATC just for trading and then chose which of each other’s we liked best. These are the three I did, by the way ACT stands for Artist Trading Cards are the same size an as ACEO but are just for trading.
These are the two I received. I love collecting art and these are a great addition to my collection.
ACEO Swap with SilentMagician – by Shannon Meyer – Netherlands
I love the bold lines in Shannon’s work. She has certainly caught Marilyn smile and playful head tilt. I like the fact that she has left the hair, skin and dress all one colour, as it’s made the lips and earings stand out.
ATC Swap with Jessica Wyant – USA – Visit her website here: www.jessicawyant.com
I loved the soft lines and detailed pencil strokes of this feather. The black background makes the feather stand out and it almost looks like it is fluttering in the breeze.
Gift from IsaBellabyMargriet – by Margriet van der Berg – Netherlands
You will recognise this talented artist from my Spring Shop series. Click here if you would like to read my original article of this shop. After writing the post Margriet offered to send me a present as a thank you. I was surprised and thrilled at her offer. I was even more pleased when I opened the parcel I received. She had sent me my favourites from the shop. A lovely little notebook and three postcards I loved her work and now the postcards are stuck up on my office wall and the notebook is waiting a story to be written down its pages.
Gifts from WaveofLight – by Svetlana Senchurova – Ukraine
This was the last shop I included in my Spring series. To see the original article click here. Svetlana wrote to me, pleased with the article and said she also wanted to send me a thank you gift. She sent a beautiful original drawing and to little origami cranes. I loved the drawing (which is now framed, the walls of my office and filling up fast). The colours were soft and gentle. The whole scene, the sun, the clouds, and light are very calming. I was very touched that she had sent me such a gift. Cranes are one of my favourites birds, as in Japanese legend, cranes are said to live for a hundred years and they mate for life – thus being a symbol of marital fidelity.
I think this must be my longest post to date! I want to say thank you to everyone for letting me take photographs of and feature their items in this article. Another big thank to those who sent me gifts! I don’t know want I had done to deserve so many beautiful gifts. Everything will be looked after and treasured. Thank you!
I am going to end the post with this picture.
Have a creative day
P.S. If anyone is interested in trading or swapping an ATC. Let me know!