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

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Goin' off the Grid

Jeffrey got a clothesline for his birthday from his parents. He recently dug and cemented holes and is now hanging our laundry out for all to see.  He's quite excited about this, and wanted a cool bag to carry clothespins in.  So after some discussion and a couple of nights of planning and working, I bring you...

All of the material was from a large bag of fabric scraps (5 large bags to be precise) that was given to my by a friend.  Some was kept, some was trashed, and the rest was given to The Upcycle Exchange (which if you haven't yet checked out, it's definitely worth a look).  

It's got a large opening with not top closure for the clothespins.

The top flap has no opening underneath, but has snaps so he can hang it from the clothesline.

The straps button on, so if he wants to he can remove them while it's hanging.

Doesn't he look so cute getting ready to skip out on some of our electricity bills?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What The Rest Of The Family Is Up To

This is what happens when you go downstairs to change laundry while stamping is going on. Ha-ha-ha!

In related news, I've decided to start posting the kid's art on a new blog, Take Care and Be Good. We really do a lot of things together, but they don't always relate to what's going on here so...there you go. Thanks for checking in and until next time, take care and be good!