Felted + Beaded Brooch by Jeanette Cook, Beady Eyed Woman
It's time. Yep, it really is. It's time for Handmade to shine. Enough with the "made in China", and all the money spent on imported goods. Why would any person in their right mind buy these sorts of products when there are completely incredible goods made right here, "Made in the USA", most likely by one of your neighbors? If you are guilty of that, then it might be time to rethink how to go about buying "Handmade"!
Lovely Nuno Felted Vessel by Amy Morris
As we are currently in the thick of "Handmade Season", and what I mean by this is that there's practically a craft show on every corner, during every weekend, and around every bend!
When you see one of these, I suggest running as fast as you can t-o-w-a-r-d-s the craft show, not away from it!
It used to be these shows were filled with mediocre "granny style" art... what you'd buy to give your granny for Christmas! But not any more! These shows are a delight for the eyes, showcasing the most imaginative, creative, fantastic finds. You can't possibly find this sort of artsy finery at the mall. Really.
Gorgeous hemotite and silver pendant (left) by the fabulous and lovely Jane Tipton Designs. Jane makes jewelry for the everyday goddess.... will wonders never cease :o)
If you stumble upon a good craft show, bookmark it. Get on the mailing list, sign up with the artists, take business cards! Most importantly, let everyone there know how much you like what they are doing. Then, go back next time, and buy the artists work you like. Support your local artists! Their prices are totally affordable (more than fair), their products exceptional, and something you will love for years to come. I know this, because I have been shopping craft shows for years. These handmade works are the ones I truly treasure. Those mass produced items from China are the ones that get tossed first into my give-away bin. And believe me, in our current time of reduce, reuse, etc... when I do spend money, I am all about buying the things that really send me to the moon. Things I really can't seem to live without (uh, yeah! When it comes to jewelry and felted goods. Duh!)
The other spot to find Handmade goods is in your local artist co-op. Practically every town has one. I am involved with three awesome shops... one in Coronado, Austin's Gallery. No.2 is in South Park called Make Good. The third is the fabulous Hello Bluebird in West Reading, PA. I'm so sure there is one in your neighborhood too.
Today, I am most excited about the 100% honest products I bought from Skinfolk at last weekend's Handmade Holiday Pop-Up Show. Tisha boasts "natural skincare, at it's best". Just days into using several of her magical products, I am giving up purchasing skin care products at the beauty counter at the mall, and ordering nature's best remedies lovingly blended by none other than Tisha herself. And she lives right here, in San Diego. Heck. Really, what could be better?
Handcrafted... you rock! (You too Tisha, and all the handcrafted artisans I've supported this season!) Now, go find yourself a craft fair, and a co-op gallery. Support your local artists. You'll be so glad you did.