Yep, it is September. Can you believe it? And yes, it is almost time to prep for the big gifting season. I know early right?!, but I want us to start a new tradition this year or maybe you are a superstar and you continue a long lasting tradition of shopping and gifting designer-maker / artisan / indie made works. I would like to introduce some fellow designer-makers of mine, who are not just amazing in their own right but all of us a based in Europe, many in the UK, and even in London, like myself. However, quality handmade works which you can often personalise take time to make and that's why we aspire to inspire early this year!
I know what you are waiting for, the freebie or voucher code. Don't be disappointed, I don't have a collection of those for you. It simply does not feel right and here is why. We designer-makers and artist love and live our work, everything each one of us creates is heartfelt, envisioned, crafted with care and each piece is unique in one way or another. Every time we ship something to you we ship a piece of our soul and hope that you will cherish it the same way we cherished every second making it. So all I am having is stories and the hope you will enjoy them, maybe even get inspired by them, feel the urge to shop happiness!
Happiness for you, your family and friends when you tell them about the people who helped making their gift this year. The happiness for you knowing you supported someone who loved creating and crafting for you.
Now, I can't speak for all of us but maybe for some, when I say, that every time you share my work, be it with a like on one of my social channels, contact me, buy something or leave a review - I am excited and delighted, absolutely happy to know that you are there supporting my work, me, one way or another. In fact we are all very grateful and I for one will be showing my gratitude this Christmas with set saver offers, complimentary gift wrap and free shipping options! And I am sure my fellow designer-makers will have similar 'thank you's' in store for you!
So but where and how to find you guys?!
Let me help with that, I am going to feature 18 [+ me] designer-makers and their stories over the coming weeks. The picture on the right has items by all the makers but not all the items. I am very proud they trusted me to style, photograph and talk about their creations. I promise, the stories, gifting inspiration and links will be well worth stopping by!
Furthermore, many of us already have their own website, next to Etsy and so on, and there are special directories or groups which 'vet' us before we get listed, for example Crafty Fox Market or Craft Central. There is the fantastic Just A Card campaign which presents makers on their blog and does so much more - like the 28th is #JustACardDay.
If you like Etsy the London Local Group will help you find makers in London, just check the member list - and yes you will find many of us and me there too. But be sure to check their blogs too! So, that is online sorted but from time to time we do pop ups and markets as well. To find the latest - it is best to either follow the blogs of the designer makers you like or you could check the sites I just mentioned above.
Hope to see you next Wednesday 19.09.18 to meet the first 3 designer-makers and their
work within my first 'Christmas' story.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow ... the gifting season is coming but let's get in the mood first - over the coming weeks slowly but surely the excitement is starting to grow and even the adult of the totally grown ups is starting to get into the mood that the festivities are around the corner. I promise I wont hit you with just all the 'jingle bells', well not just yet but to share three stories of three wonderful designer-makers with you, who create items you will be able to enjoy before Christmas as well as during and after, so treat yourself to get in the gifting mood, well everyone does it, no? just me? ok, well go on than give it as a thoughtful gift. Personalised, handmade unique and quality work takes time but can give endless happiness!
< Wooden baubles & banner ByPryorArrangement ; Enamel Heart Mug by smaltumfunenamelware; Mittens by ValentinaKarellas; Geometric ring by EniJewellery; styling & photography by PASiNGA
Have a look at Valentinas fashion which is 100% unique and once you know about her ethical sourcing I am sure you would be more than proud to call one of her pieces your own or gift it proudly to a loved one. Or how about the wooden banner with a motivational quote by Willow or - and here comes the Christmas happiness - her personalised baubles [picture above] I am just in awe of those! With all this early Christmas thinking and the thought of all the jolly stressfulness of the upcoming season I think we deserve a proper black or afternoon cuppa - I mean, don't you think?! Yes, I think so too, my workbench as well as desk look pretty complete with a sturdy and fun enamel mug by Bebe! But get to know these wonderful ladies better before you decide to have them make something just for you or the person in mind ....
Valentina from Valentina Karellas
has a sustainable approach to urban chic and the antidote to London’s fast fashion.
Every piece of her modern and tactile knitwear is one-of-a kind. That’s because of the use of surplus yarn from large factories that would otherwise have gone to waste. She is dedicated to sourcing and handcrafting everything locally in North West London. Her pieces are made to order leaving zero waste in the production. Using a linear approach to the making process, this reduces our carbon footprint as well as focusing on the final garments beauty and quality, making no compromises to the finish.
A wonderful unique and luxurious fashion gifts for him & her
Willow from By Pryor Arrangement started started making things when studying Lighting Design in London.
She began by putting lights in props for theatrical shows, and moved into weddings, decorations and homewares. On the way she built a giant lightbulb for an exhibition in Sydney, wired up the LEDs in Starbug, and laser cut a lot of things for my own wedding - from invitations and favours to cheeseboards and chandeliers. Nowadays she designs and makes things in a little workshop in her home in Maidenhead, UK, which she shares with her Lasercutter, her husband Luke and their two bunny rabbits Charles and George.
Gifts for the typography lover & gifts for the whole family
for more ByPryorArrangement on Etsy
Bebe from Smaltum Fun Enamelware.
Her mum set up her first workshop about 30 years ago! Since then, her work has developed and together they are working and creating fun, colourful and durable enamelware and jewellery. They work from a little workshop on new designs and their customer stories as the following expresses their joy of making.
A photo of a happy girl from France, to whom they sent her lost earring or a panicking father from the USA whose kid lost the mug and is refusing to drink from another! …
What they love the most about enamel is how timeless and resistant it is - it never loses its colour, you can put it in a dishwasher, or take it camping and put it on open fire to cook in.
So go on do the ecological thing - use them again and again!
A mug for everyone & for tea or coffee lovers - Heart Mug £16, 'Life begins after coffee' Mug £16, for more SmaltumFunEnamelware on Etsy psst - in this shop you could find a little something for your pet as well!
Tips for whom these gifts could be perfect for ....
All fashionistas as well as everyone who loves a piece of unique fashion; the wall art collector or someone in love with motivational quotes; every family member should have their own Christmas bauble; mugs like these are perfect for hikers, bikers & campers or everyone crafty; a mug with a quote - nothing can go wrong if given as an office gift ....
More unique and wonderful gifting ideas, styles and uses for those items featured today, other items as well as designer-makers yet to be introduced will be in the upcoming Christmas stories!
Yes indeed, it's time to make some lists. Halloween and Thanksgiving are around the corner and yes, the thought of Christmas shortly after is hanging in the air. But fear not, I've got some inspiration for all those events while enjoying a good read about some lovely designer-makers and artisan crafters who would love to help us make all those festivities cherished moments!
Well, let's think of autumn and winter, well all those occasions can use a good candle. And these scented soy candles by Rebecca smell so good they can make the mood in the room unforgettable! But let's not forget the beauty side of things, to ease the stress and treat yourself her hydrating beauty balm could be just the thing!?.
< Pencil case by YolaWalaszek, Candle & Beauty Balm by [M]BOTANICALS, Bauble Fist Knot by AllAboutTheMonkey, Pencils by DirtyWorks, Jewellery by PinkMushroom, Mittens by ValentinaKarellas; Twig Espresso Mug by JinnyNguiDesign, Notebooks, styling & photography by PASiNGA
Rebecca of mbotanicals, a natural and vegan friendly skincare range. She only uses powerful plant based ingredients as well as nature identical actives to boost the beauty of our skin. She set up mbotanicals as an expression of her love for formulating and an obsession with taking good care of her skin. Self taught with formulating cosmetics but her love of essential oils led her to study aromatherapy formally. She has formulated everything herself and hand makes all her creations in small batches so they are as fresh as they can be. It is her immense pleasure and joy to make for and hear from people using her ever evolving skin care and candle range!
Tasha illustrator & designer of DirtyWorks, est. 2016 (formally known as the F**k It Society). She wanted to spread positive energy on the internet, after getting out of a personal funk. As well as cheering you on she wants to make things that do good in the wider world by using suppliers from as close to home as possible and using packaging that can be recycled. She is inspired by the conversations we're having on the internet about living and working in the 21st century. Everything from productivity hacks to the reality of self-doubt interfering with our everyday lives - creating things to keep you inspired while you work "think less, create more".
Gifts for teens, her and him
Yola designer-maker of YolaWalaszek, she started making leather bags when her daughter was born in 2007. She used the nap times of her daughter to explore her creative side. She would cut the leather and do the stitching to make bags out of it. Her bag business, where often bags are one offs, grew and since she did not like to waste left over pieces her attention turned to making small accessories as well, and that’s how she came up with the idea of creating wallets, pen cases and bookmarks. Her goal is to create practical yet quirky, simple yet functional designs. The fact that they are all handstitched with a distinctive zig zag stitch makes them different from other mainstream products.
Gifts for her, teens and him - Leather pencil case available in different finishes from £12.77 and for more YolaWalaszek on Etsy
What can I say, everyone loves to look beautiful, so nothing can go wrong if you show of your treat on or all of these festivities or give these handmade gems by Nonia as special gifts. And there is that tree or branch asking for some decoration and you are guessing right, after personalised wood baubles [Part One], geometric concrete ornaments I have selected these silver grey and multi coloured Monkey Fist Knot Christmas Baubles by Emma for you!
Nonia the designer-maker of PinkMushroomDesigns, takes wood beads to a new level and is giving it a good splash of colour. Growing up, she was exposed to the beauty and vibrancy her heritage offered. She loves all things natural, earthly and wood features pretty high up on the list. Being the hands-on person that she is, she tries (really hard!) to look for solutions to any problems that she might stumble upon. That includes if she can't find it, she will make it. So creating and making the perfect coloured accessories for herself and others was a no brainer! Her aim is to the point; provide beautiful and affordable jewellery which can be enjoyed by everyone.
Emma artisan of AllAboutTheMonkey started her small biz after making 40 place card holders for her wedding based on a Monkey Fist knot.
She loves Christmas and after thinking what else this knot could be she thought of the knot baubles for our trees. But the sky is the limit she is only just getting started and as these are conversation starters they have been hung on door handles, light fittings and other places to impress.
She is always coming up with new ideas of things to make with them and is slowly building up the product range on Etsy around her day job - her latest addition are key rings for example.
To me nothing is more thrilling than making a list, checking it twice, finding and buying the perfect gift and enjoying the bright happy smiles
when all is well received. I hope you enjoyed the altogether 8 designer-maker introductions so far and are excited to see what else we got in store for you come the 10th of October. I know, I know what about the room decor? and what about Halloween? I've got some
ideas for that too - so follow my blog or my social media channels to not miss a bit of inspiration! Awesome!
See ya and jolly good day as they say,
October is here time to get the baking gear!
Alright, I wont lie - I can't bake. I guess I have two choices, learn a new craft and get the rolling pin from Rose, and my grandma's secret recipe from my face purse from Nelle. Well, I would need an Elf or Elfie herself to keep the strong black coming from Jinny's twig espresso mug and hope not only tears and sweat end up in Laras beautiful kitchen towel .... Or, I could cheekily light a candle, enjoy my espresso calmly and buy those stunning undoubtedly delicious cookies from Sylvia and ask her to even personalise a few for my friends and family. Tadahh, excited, beautiful, and no one has to bite on eggshells, happy, done!
The choice is yours but if you are one to feel guilty for a bit of cheekiness let me ease your doubt by telling you the stories of the artisans and about the care that goes in every single work I carefully chose to present to you in this little Xmas series [Intro, Part 1, Part 2] ...
Lara is the designer and maker of LaraGörlach. She is focused on bringing the tradition of silk-screen printing to the forefront of contemporary design practice. The art of print allows her to fully express her creativity through transferring a design onto multiple surfaces. Her aim is to make functional artwork - a carefully considered colour palette and pattern adorn everyday objects, making beautiful textile design accessible for those who appreciate the physical skill of screen-printing and the luxury textural quality it offers. She hopes that she can help her customers to inject unique and contemporary elements into their homes.
Sliver Stripe Tea Towel £12, Set of two available from £20,
for more ,like napkins and so on, LaraGörlach on Etsy
psst ... these are perfect for Furoshiki gift wrapping
Silvia of Silvias Gingerbread House, artisan iced biscuits. She loves baking and spent a lot of time baking with her mother and sisters in her childhood. She is a trained pastry chef and worked in high end pastry kitchens. With her own business she is able to express her baking and especially decorating skills while expressing herself through her designs. Her inspiration comes from a lot of things, but most from vintage china and folk motifs of her Hungarian roots. After all she is using a 200 year old Hungarian recipe with an added twist of honey! All the cookies are made by hand even the dough. She uses traditional royal icing to pipe her patterns and elegant decorations freehand with the upmost care and love for details.
These wonderful treats are gifts for everyone, a stocking stuffer or Christmas ornament
and for more SilviasGingerbreadHouse
Rose founder of RoseJamesDesign - she is based in South West London and her studio space is one of the beautifully renovated railway arches. The shared space generates a lovely creative buzz which helps her to imagine fresh ideas. She loves merging classic design with contemporary trends as seen throughout her lovely range of handcrafted woodware, made using traditional methods and sustainable materials. The collection offers multifunctional home accessories ideal for small-space living and spacious areas alike. Each piece is lovingly hand painted using organic paints with 6 tasteful colours to choose from, and the made-to-order service allows you to choose your colours to suit your space.
psst... the tea towels by Lara and Roses rolling pin make a perfect match for a backer or your chef at home!
Chanelle the creator behind StudioNelle found her love of leather after setting up a community workshop which offered those affected by mental health an outlet for recovery without being labelled. Whilst running these sessions, she was donated a pile of cow hides that had been discarded from the fashion industry. The leather industry eliminates full leather skins due to pimples, scarring and so on. For her designs, she is buying some of them off before they are discarded to the landfill. She enjoys making items such as small wallets, purses and phone covers and uses motifs which are either debossed or laser etched to decorate the leather in a unique way. The designs are an equilibrium between stylish regal British culture, rituals, philosophies and heritage of black culture. To assemble each product Chanelle uses an age-old traditional stitch using two needles and a strong polyester waxed thread called the “saddle stitch”. Arguably the strongest stitch available, to ensure each product lasts a lifetime.
Woohoo, thats quite lovely isn't it?! I think we deserve it, let's have an espresso in style, let me introduce to you the designer of the elegant twig espresso mugs ...
Jinny designer-maker of JinnyNguiDesign. She has always enjoyed being creative and feels lucky that she could make it her job. She studied Ceramic Design at Central Saint Martins and worked as product designer after graduation. After 6 years she really missed making. She decided to buy a kiln and to create her own tableware. She is back with new ideas after having taken a year off for maternity leave. While London is primarily her source of inspiration she feels that her Chinese heritage has an increasing influence on her work. Her bone china wares are sourced from Stoke-on-Trent, she applies her designs by hand and then fires the bone china to 820°C. It is her dream to screen print her own ceramic as designing and making products that people use everyday is her joy.
Gift idea for coffee lovers, espresso fans, bone china collectors, him and her
psst ... she has cute things for tea lovers too!
Aren't these ladies just lovely, you have met 13 creative souls so far, no you did not?!!! well, feel invited to catch up on the -introduction of this series - Part 1 Getting in the Christmas mood and Part 2 Making a list. I hope you enjoyed the baking part just now and are as excited as I am about the parts still to
Golden happiness for all of us, we deserve it, don't you think?!
Yes, we got in the Christmas mood and resist to let it become the Christmas blues. We made the lists and checked it twice, sorted the cookie side of things cheekily or not and looked after ourselves as we should so we look stunning when Santa is finally coming. And that is just what we did now not to mention what we did the rest of the year!
Time to feel good and indulge ourself and wonderful friends and family with some handmade golden goodness. Quite practical is the shiny card pocket keyring made by Dee, who would ever misplace this cutie even when times are stressful.
^ Eye pillow by Blästa Henriët Jewellery by EniJewellery; Grounding / Feel Good roll on by BeauitySkinCare; Coin bag keychain by Suede&Co; Gold Tea Towel by LaraGorlach; Decorated cookies by Silvia's Gingerbread House; Scented candle by [M]Botanicals; personalised wooden bauble by ByPryorArrangements; Concrete Sculptures, styling & photography by PASiNGA
Dee started Suede&Co back in 2015 after working for a vintage brand. She saw first hand all of the beautiful suede and leather off cuts they would throw away after altering vintage styles. She saved those soft suedes from the bin, knowing that she is going to put her skills, she had learned from the young age of 10, to beautiful use and started making small pouches and accessories. After a year or so her suede stash was running out, so she made the decision to start the brand from scratch and introduced a whole new range of the bright and colourful 100% genuine leather and suede sourced in the UK that Suede&Co has come to be known for. She makes everything herself from her small studio in East London, and loves working with different colours and metallics to create affordable luxury products.
Gifts for him & her, for every age the cutest accessories can be found, a fashionista present or personalised [the 'US' she printed just for us] gift idea, Coin Bag Keychain from £7; Various Clutch Designs from £32 and for more Suede&Co on Etsy
Christmas or not the eye pillow crafted by Lo or the aroma inhaler 'Feel Good' by Sophie will be just about right to stop at least me from running around in circles. Know someone who is famous for doing the same?! Well here we go. Even though, I am more the eye pillow kind of girl my super hero Elf who helped me with the shoot [huge thanks for modelling, lifting and your power hugs] called dibs on the inhalers!
Lo of Blästa Henriët was inspired by the natural remedies of her childhood when she came up with the idea for the hot and cold packs. She comes from a background in textile design and wanted to create something beautiful that was also useful and made to last. The Blästa Henriët wheat bag and eye pillow cater to so many different needs, and really are all round useful objects. They can be heated, cooled down or used at room temperature. The hot or cold packs are for wellness, pain management, post workout or just to relax. A perfect present for anyone suffering from migraines, cramps, swelling or tense muscles.
A wonderful gift idea to indulge, ease pain or stress, there is no age limit to this gift the design could fit for him and her
Sophie from BuitySkincare got into natural skincare and aromatherapy because of her love and concern for her son who had a mild to moderate eczema since he was born, and herself experiencing dry and itchy skin. She really wanted to find something natural for him, which would help to sooth and heal his skin. Her partner who at the time was introduced to essential oils had built up quite a nice stockpile of essential oils so she thought she could use these oils for her son’s skin issue. She started researching, learning about the oils. The most amazing thing was to find out about their healing properties. After learning how to formulate and how to create balms, body butters, inhalers and rollers for her son and herself she slowly started to share these products with friends and family. Eventually, she was selling her items online, she has grown in confidence with her products which are infused with love, care and attention.
This could be the gift for the new year, anyone who needs a little lift from time to time, him or her to help heal or naturally ease anxiety/ stress, 'Be Calm' and other Inhalers from £5.25, Aroma-therapie Roll On £7.50 and for more BuitySkincare on Etsy
Well, what could be missing after all this goodness, maybe that little not so useful still absolutely necessary extra ... the joyful bliss, maybe!?! ...
Eleni is the founder of Eni Jewellery and is both the designer and maker of all her creations. In order to create and use the right method to actually craft her envisioned piece she needs to research and learn continuously. Her inspiration is often a single shape, an impression, a moment in life refashioned in contemporary, often geometric designs, often spin off in unforeseen and unanticipated directions and often creations. The process of giving life to an idea, milling it with fire and hammer, leaves her always pleasantly surprised. Eleni started her Jewellery training in Greece over 10 years ago and improved her skills during a placement at Central Saint Martin, London. Since 2016 she has incorporated an eco-friendly philosophy, using recycled materials and is proud to have signed up to be one of the jewellers certified to work with Fairtrade gold and silver. Her creations can now be found at fairs, markets and exhibitions across Greece, Germany and the UK.
I feel fantastic right now, not to say golden, haha - I think all these items are made with great care and love. I can only imagine the smiles when your friends or family members receive their carefully chosen gifts which have been made like that.
If you have counted we are almost there - many amazing artisans have been featured, meet them all here, click - but it's not Christmas yet and I hope we have time for two more inspirational stories to come.
I look forward to welcome you back soon, it's lovely having you,
It's November, time is passing by fast and we are already on part 5 of my little artisan Christmas gift guide series. Only some small events are going to happen before the jolly Christmas time, we look for Nicolaus, celebrate 4 Advents or Thanksgiving to name just a few. But it can truly be said now - Santa is coming!
So lets get the bling on for Santa with modern leather jewellery by Melodie, enjoy it all and light some candles it's that time of the year!
Melodie from SlinkyLinks jewellery. She makes modern and wonderful light to wear jewellery. She found leather as her material and uses reclaimed leather for all her works. She started out and created her brand after working in the footwear industry. She realised the potential of the wasted leather and went for a sustainable approach by using cast-offs. It is one of her daily accomplishments turning discarded quality material into beautiful, colourful and fun pieces. Each piece of leather is unique and has to be cleverly used to show the full potential and beauty. This creative way of working forces her to come up with designs to fit the material at hand. She also love reaching out to fellow leatherworkers, partnering with them to use their discarded bits of leather, constantly bringing novelty to her collections. Always, designing with modern women in mind, creating versatile pieces that they can wear day or night. This as well as the eco-friendly aspect of her creations appreciate her kind customers the most.
Gifts for him & her, fashion lover, from Teenager to Grandma a perfect fit as stocking stuffer or under the Christmas tree
and for more SlinkyLinksJewellery on Etsy
My name is Antje and I'm a London-based artist and creative entrepreneur with a great love for design and making or in other words - a photographer who has moved into concrete sculpting. I focus primarily on monochrome art but often branch out into creating other visuals and versatile objects. You could say this Christmas I even branched out into serious blogging and it has been my true pleasure to introduce these wonderful designer makers to you!
Gifts for Him & Her, for the homemaker, the design lover, architect or designer
If you thought I was early with it all, starting this series in September, I am so with you but if you are a dear friend from the US, Canada, Australia ... the big wide world,
you will hopefully have read the stories and designer-maker introductions with a joyful twinkle and appreciate the time and peace of mind when you can order just the perfect gift with time to
spare even with international shipping. Anyhow, fear not Christmas is not hear yet and I have more ideas to share and to inspire even more - not just in my last post of this series coming up
5th of December but also with fun do it yourselfs and decor inspiration as well as via my social channels.
Read it all, from introduction to the last post, be inspired by it all the designer makers featured so far in my Christmas Special on the gifting page!
The Christmas shipping timetable to have the gift happiness arrive just in time!
The following dates are based on my timeframe of crafting, finishing and wrapping as well as the shippers recommendation for the busy period of the year.
Services to the UK
Order Date - 12 Dec - standard shipping
Order Date - 18 Dec - first class shipping upgrade will be listed
Order Date - 20 Dec - Special delivery services upon request*
Services to the EU
Order Date - 08 Dec - standard international shipping
Order Date - 15 Dec - Special delivery services upon request*
Services to the USA / Canada
Order Date - 03 Dec - standard international shipping
Order Date - 12 Dec -Special delivery services upon request*
I took the upmost care in calculating these times but the shippers do not guarantee their services.
Bright as summer - a gift wrapping mix of some garden flowers with a mix of different geometric concrete pendants. Maybe just the right way to say thanks!
I love the gift wrap above, which I found on Pinterest, it looks so delicate. While I am not sure where to get the printed Pergament paper - I am already starting to dry some flowers!
A minimal almost masculine way to wrap presents offers the combination of recycled grey or brown paper, dark baker twine and hexagon ornaments.
I think everyone loves a beautiful table setting. It's inviting, thoughtful and a joy to set up, isn't it?
So many stunning ideas created by such amazing talented people. I felt so inspired and decided to share my favorites with you. After all it's part of our Advent Calendar to help us get ready for Christmas and I might have a little voucher for you.
Just a small collection of gift wrap ideas as it is early. However next Sunday the 6th is the time to gift the first small present!
I have found all these wonderful simple clean and earthy ideas on Pinterest and the original pin is to find here!
These are just my favourites but find many more over on their blog and of course don't forget to browse their lovely bags!
Happy Christmas Shopping!