Monday, December 19, 2011

2012 Handmade Family Calendar

The 2012 Handmade Family Calendar is finally here!

Featuring scenes from Akira, Empire Strikes Back, Firefly: Serenity, Ghostbusters, The Legend of Zelda, Megaman, My Neighbor Totoro, Sesame Street, Spiderman, Star Wars, Tron, and Where the Wild Things Are.

The concept behind this years calendars is movies and dress up. Mr Handmade chose 12 of his favorite movies shows and video games, and illustrated them...with a twist. He came up with a set of rules. The kids would be the main protagonists, and would get accurate, high quality costumes for their scenes. Adults would take supporting roles, and their costumes would be thrown together. The settings for the scenes would also be things from around the house, We wanted them to be plausible, but also obvious what it is supposed to be.

We're really excited about this one, and love how well it all printed! Something that I planned for this year is the reusability of the images. I wanted all the pictures to be able to be removed from the calendar as a whole and be used as pictures for the kids rooms, without there being holes visible on them.

Calendars are available in our Online Store at, at Fusion in Chesterfield mall, at E.L. Riley in downtown Kirkwood, or at I Am What I Am On Mainstreet in mainsteet Saint Charles.

Until next time, take care and be good!

Your friend,


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Handmade Family 2012 Calender Giveaway!

Over the course of the last month, Mr Handmade has been filling all his free time finalizing the illustrations for the 2012 Handmade Family calender. Now it is nearly finished and will be ready to send to the printers next week! Yay! We're really excited about this years calendar, featuring the kids dressed up as favorite movies and shows, and us parents trying to keep up with them! Ha-ha-ha! At the same time, we've also been running a contest over on our Facebook fan page.

At the beginning of November, Mr Handmade decided that on December 1st, he would write down the names of all the people who have "liked" our page and do a drawing to thank them for supporting us this year. The winner would get a Free copy of the 2012 calender, and there would also be a couple of runner-up prizes too! So, with the help of his little assistant, here's the results of this years Handmade Family 2012 Calender Giveaway!

The fourth place prize, a set of Pin Back Buttons goes to...
Sheri Grau!
Third place, a pair of Forest Sprite postcards goes to...
Curtis Ellis!
Second place, a signed print of the Sesame Street Illustration goes to...
Jessica Ballard!
and finally, First place, a signed copy of the 2012 Handmade Family Movie Extravaganza Calender goes to...
Kayla Lynn Jarnac!

Thank you everyone for supporting us and following us either here or on our Facebook page. We really do appreciate it.

One last note, before I sign off to go work in the studio, we are in the process of setting up a dedicated website with a store, galleries, news and blog at As you may have noticed, the url has the host carrier on it. Apparently, somebody has already taken, and so right now we are deciding what we would like our domain name to be. Until then, I'll be posting both here and there, and will let you know when we make the official move.

Until next time,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Win a Kermit Marker Sketch

Mrs Handmade and I are long time Muppet fans. We enjoy them as much today as we did when we were kids, and we are all looking forward to the new movie coming out on November 23. In his speech to Doc Hopper at the end of the original Muppet movie, Kermit says:

“I’ve got a dream too. But it’s about singing and dancing and making people happy. That’s the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with. And…well…I’ve found a whole bunch of friends that share the same dream, and that makes us kind of like a family.”

We take a lot of joy in what we do, and with sharing it with you all. In that spirit, from now until when Mr. Handmade manages to check our FB page on November 23, we will be having a giveaway drawing for this marker sketch of Kermit and his banjo. All you have to do is leave a comment on the photo thread on our fan page telling us who your favorite Muppet is.

And like Kermit says, it gets better the more people you share it with, so let your friends know too!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekend Roundup

It's a good life, and don't let anyone tell you it's not. Trying to keep up with a couple of different blogs, and get stuff made is...interesting. Unfortunately, it's our correspondence with you all that seems easiest to let fall to the wayside.
Things are busy here, as we wrap up outdoor chores in the last few beautiful days of autumn and prepare to bundle up indoors with indoor games and projects and cabin fever.
Mr. Handmade rearranged the living room, and gave it a much needed deep cleaning. No more dustbunnies under that couch!
The air was a bit chilly (it IS November after all), but the diapers, socks and shirts looked so festive blowing in the wind and sunshine.
Our little adventurer. Olive knows no fear, and insists on climbing everything at the park and going down the slides all by herself.
Just love this little peeking smile around her milk. Ha-ha-ha!
Abby was just in a fingerpaintin' mood the other day. She did four or five paintings...of camels? We wonder where she got the idea of painting camels from, but 4 times out of 5 when she makes something, it's a camel. Or a mail box. Mr. Handmade asked her if it was all ready to go in the shop. She said "Yes, that's why I'm making it all beautiful."
Speaking of the shop...Mr Handmade put this new display together for his marker sketches. He'll do a proper post about them soon. As soon as he gets the calender he's illustrating finished.

At the park.
Mr. Handmade's friend, Chet's car. It's currently being dismantled by the boys to be refinished.
Don't you just Love Olive's monster feet?
Mrs. Handmade hard at work making capes in the studio.

Not pictured:
-Getting together with our crafty friends at Fusion for our Pre-Holiday meeting/pep rally.
-Our trip to the Store Supply Warehouse to pick up fixtures for art and craft shows, fairs and festivals.
-The look on Abby's face when I made her eat Cream of Wheat
-Trips to the shop to drop off custom orders (did you see Mrs. Handmades breast cancer apron?)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fight like a the kitchen

This is a custom order for someone who saw the Supercape at Fusion.  Her mother is a survivor and, as much as she loved the idea of it, she didn't quite see her mother decked out as a superhero.  Enter the Fight Like a Supergirl apron!

Double layer cotton fabric with ribbon trim and handy-dandy pockets.

Mr. Handmade took a cute picture of me with baking props and everything; but really, who are we kidding?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fight Like a Supergirl

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, I came up with my best superhero cape ever!

A few years back, one of my coworkers was diagnosed with breast cancer. Before she began treatment, I was honored to sign a pair of pink boxing gloves to encourage her to "fight like a girl." And boy did she. Later she did a photo shoot with the gloves, and I can only imagine what kind of strength she had and still has. She and my feisty aunt, who also beat this villainous disease, are my inspirations for this most super of capes.

The cape is available at both Fusion in Chesterfield Mall and I Am What I Am in old town St. Charles. They are $45 with mask included and 50% of the sales go to breast cancer research. Also available are pink ribbon neck wraps and eye pillows (also 50% donated) and satin pink ribbon no-sew iron on decals for $1 (100% donated).

Thin permanent markers instantly turn this cape into a wearable get well soon card.

Below is Jessi, owner of I Am What I Am, standing next to the cape at her shop's  Progressive Pink Party last weekend.  She had a close friend who is unfortunately no longer with us, and although I did not know her, if she was Jessi's friend, I'm sure she was a supergirl in her own right.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Becoming a Handmade Family Part 2: Strange Folk

I think I mentioned in my last post, that one of the changes that we've made in the last year, by forming Handmade Family and joining the local independent craft community, we've made a lot of new friends (and continue to make new friends all the time). We're edging up to the precipice of starting to do shows now, and that kind of makes us nervous. Part of preparing for it for us is that we go to different shows to meet people, and also to get a feel for what different ones are like. We've been to some okay ones, and some good ones...

This weekend, we went to the Strange Folk Festival in O'fallon Illinois. It was AWESOME. Everything about it, from the general atmosphere to the variety of artists made it feel like it would be a very good fit for us next year.

We got to see several of our friends there, and the girls got some fresh air, probably the BEST cupcake I've ever had, and before we left they got to play on the playground.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera :( so I didn't actually get any photos myself, and I would love to give a shout-out to all our friends, but there's just not room. I would like to mention our friend Andrea of Zenbot Baby though, because her husband (who I'm friends with on google+, and who I narrowly missed meeting in person today) DID take a picture of this super cool upright bass made out of an upcycled bicycle. When I saw this thing I was just floored by how cool it is.

There was some part of us that wasn't really sure about the whole show aspect of this business/life, but I think we both came away from this event inspired.
Until next time, take care and be good!
Your friend,
Mr. Handmade

Friday, September 23, 2011

Becoming a Handmade Family

It's been a little over a year now since I left my full-time job to become a creative freelancer and stay-at-home dad. Some of the time the change has been frustrating, or worrying...there's a lot of waiting involved in this lifestyle. Mostly though, the changes have been infinitely rewarding as I've developed very deep connections with my daughters, I've had the time to make lifestyle choices that focus more on slowing down and enjoying the days, and Mrs. Handmade and I have come a long way toward growing together as a handmade family.

 One of the things that I've been watching change and develop over the year is our back yard. Last spring I dug up two garden beds, and planted vegetables in one of them.  I had some limited success, but I learned a lot from the experience, and next year should be better. One thing that I learned is how much better everything tasted! 

Another thing that I learned is it's a constant battle. Ha-ha-ha! A little bit of work on a small plot goes a long way, though!

One last change for this day, is the wonderful friends we've made since joining this community of crafters and handmade artisans. One of our new friends Dana, of Dana's Creations painted Abby's face for her last weekend.  She was so excited! When we got home, she wanted to get some pictures taken, so we went down to the little thicket in our backyard.  It's amazing how much she's grown in the past year, from a 2-year-old toddler, to a 3-year-old little girl!  She was even doing poses for me, of what she thought a flower faerie would do.  Ha-ha-ha!
Thanks for looking and until next time, take care and be good!
Your friend,
Mr Handmade

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Wine Cozy & Coasters

Introducing a cute new gift set!  

This design was inspired by a friend's recent marriage, as no one in the Handmade Family drinks wine.  Now if I made a beer coozie, that would get used.  Although these days with kids and work and work and work, it probably wouldn't be that often. 

Large enough to hold a wine or champagne bottle.
Comes with 4 padded coasters.  Sorry folks, glasses & wine not included.
The coasters fit nicely in the bottom of the bag for easy storage & carrying.

If you're interested, you can hop on over to our Etsy shop to pick one up (blank or personalized), or just contact us.  Embroidery is available and I have lots of other fabric if this one doesn't float your boat.

Thanks for reading!
Mrs. Handmade