Archive for the Featured Shops/Artisans Category

Supporting the Local Yarn Store

Posted in Featured Shops/Artisans with tags , , , , , , on October 3, 2015 by kellyjcallahan

Today, I spent time at two local yarn stores (LYS). SW Washington (Clark County) has been bereft of a good yarn store for many years. (Sorry, Michael’s or Craft Warehouse don’t make the cut.) If you were a knitter or crocheter who wanted quality yarn, a trip into Portland, Oregon was needed.

In the past year two stores have opened in Vancouver, WA and I finally took some time to check them out today.

I went to Urban Wolves Fibers, which is located in Hazel Dell at 9301 NE 5th Avenue, Suite G-120, Vancouver, WA 98665 (360) 609-2792. One of the co-owners admits that the store has an unusual name and is usually perceived as a tattoo shop. By the way, the shop is named after their two Siberian Huskies (thus the Urban Wolves).

The shop is clean, well lit, with plenty of stock and a nice sitting area. Urban Wolves carries a large variety of brands, with limited colors. They carry both major brands (Madeline Tosh, Dream in Color, Rowan, etc.) as well as, some local favorites. Books, magazines, needles, etc. are also part of the inventory. As with most LYS they also carry a stock of roving for spinners.

Urban Wolves holds frequent classes and workshops and hosts regular group activities and events. Their open knit/crochet/spin/weave events take place at 10 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 pm on Wednesdays, and 1 pm on Sundays.

The second shop I went to was Blizzard Yarn and Fiber. Blizzard is located at 6924 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Set A, Vancouver, WA (360) 991-5350. The location is at the corner of Andresen and Fourth Plain. Blizzard is a large store which includes a large classroom, as well as, a smaller table for gatherings. Another clean, well lit shop, with lots of inventory. Blizzard carries a smaller selection of major brands, but a larger color selection than Urban Wolves. Blizzard also carries a variety of locally dyed and spun yarns. Books, magazine, needles, hand carved crochet hooks, roving and spinning wheels.

Blizzard Yarn and Fiber has a calendar full of classes and get togethers; including Russian Continental Knitting, beginning weaving, etc. Saturday and Sundays include drop in for help times.

I support local yarn stores for many reasons. Just like buying handmade, I believe in supporting locally owned businesses. Also, I am a very tactile knitter, I frequently go just to feel the fibers. I simply can’t knit with fibers that don’t feel good. Which is why I never knit with Noro, hemp, linen or other yarns that need to soften as you knit… I won’t get there. If I buy online, it’s only a yarn I’ve personally laid hands on.

If you’re local in the Portland/Vancouver area, I hope you drop into your local LYS.

2011 Handmade Stocking Stuffers for Kids

Posted in Featured Shops/Artisans with tags , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by kellyjcallahan

The last post for the Handmade Holidays…  Wonderful ideas for stocking stuffers for kids. They will, of course, all be handmade and at a reasonable price.

  • What child wouldn’t want to bath with these fun Popsicle soaps from KC Soaps and More. From the artisan… “Nothing says summer quite like a nice cool treat. This is a set of 4 mini Popsicle soaps. You get 1 cherry, 1 blueberry,1 watermelon and 1 pineapple. They are perfect for gift giving or keeping for yourself. These would be perfect for a classroom or stocking stuffers-they are the perfect size.”

  • For that cutie pie who loves a great hair doodle, a fun hair clip from Details. From the artisan… “This Polka Dot clip is about 1.75″ and is suitable for toddlers, young girls, and those of us who are still young at heart! We use high quality wool felt in yummy bright colors. Each clip in stitched by our hands, so depending on our coffee intake that morning, some minor variations may occur. The initials are painted using fabric paint that will not fade or bleed.”

  • These wonderful flashcards from Catherine Osorio provide colorful entertainment wrapped up with education for your little one “I created these illustrated Flash cards for my 1-year-old because she loved when we made animal sounds. We spent hours imitating the animal sounds on the cards, it has been her favorite game for months. It’s also a winner with all the kids at daycare. Educative, great for travelling and a wonderful quality time game for you and your child! And since many of us speak more than one language, I thought it would make the game even more fun if it was multilingual!”

  • For the budding artists in the family, milk paints from Pinky Creations. From the artisans… “It is eco-friendly, non-toxic, washable, which is a must in my house (with 2 budding artists) and edible, but I would think twice about that! The colors created are beautiful, and easy to use and will create something beautiful! Just add 1 tbsp of water, mix and enjoy!”

  • For the robot enthusiast in your house, a robot coloring book from Sombras Blancas. From the artisan… “Each book includes 10 robots + one more on the cover + two blank pages to draw your own robots = 12 pages. The book you will receive is a printed copy, but every illustration has been originally hand drawn by Sombras Blancas.”

All photographs are property of their respective owners. Photos used for illustrative purposes only.

2011 Handmade Stocking Stuffers for Teens

Posted in Featured Shops/Artisans with tags , , , , on November 30, 2011 by kellyjcallahan

Another day closer to Christmas and another Stocking Stuffer post, today… for Teens. All suggestions will be handmade and at a reasonable price.

  • For the Skater Boyz and Girlz… Dog Tags made from recycled skate boards. From the artisan… “We give each broken board we rescue a new lease on life and turn it into something it was never meant to be. Each piece is completely handmade and, because no two boards are ever ridden the same, each one is unique and really is one of a kind. Perfect for the person who likes to stand out amongst the rest.” You can purchase these or other recycled goods from All Decked Out.

  • From Quacked an adorable, yet ferocious cookie monster cell phone charm. From the artisan… “”Cookie Monsters are meteorites broken off from the planet ‘Dough.’ When falling through the Earth’s atmosphere, they become warm and crispy. Cookie Monsters are best eaten fresh. Eat them before they eat you…”

  • For the girl who likes to change it up every day… Perfume samples from Lemon Citrus. From the artisan… “Love those perfume vials that you get at the perfume stores at the mall? Afraid to commit to a full bottle of perfume oil then end up not liking the scent you purchased? Or just want a few varieties of perfume oil to put on…depending your mood? Then this set of perfume oil samples will be perfect for you.”

  • For the musician a set of wood guitar picks from Woody Pick. From the artisan… “Each with its own unique sound. Unlike run of the mill mass produced plastic picks, each of these picks has a unique sound depending upon the type of wood and the unique hardness of the location within the original board. No two picks will play exactly the same and all will generate a much more organic sound than any other pick material.”

  • For the geek in the family… A Periodic Table Hat from Yellow Bug Boutique. From the artisan… “Now nobody can question what that thing is on your head. Of course, they can still question what’s UNDER the beanie, but that is none of their business.”

All photographs are property of their respective owners. Photos used for illustrative purposes only.

2011 Handmade Stocking Stuffers for Women

Posted in Featured Shops/Artisans with tags , , , , , , on November 29, 2011 by kellyjcallahan

As we creep closer and closer to Christmas, another post with wonderful ideas for stocking stuffers for the women in your life. They will, of course, all be handmade and at a reasonable price.

  • For the woman who still loves to jot off a note or two these beautiful letterpress peacock note cards from Sweet Harvey. From the artisan… “Send a hint of spring with these lovely letterpress flat notes! Hand drawn illustration by artist Brandi Powell. Each card is individually hand printed on one of our antique presses.”

  • For the one who always runs hither and yon from dawn to dusk, a hot/cold therapy wrap from The Ferris Wheel. From the artisan… “Just pop our microwave heating pad wrap in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes and you’ll experience 30+ minutes of warm moist heat. A few hours in the freezer turns the microwave heating pad into a cold pack. Works great as a neck wrap or for any other aches and pains you can think of.”

  • Sweets for your sweetheart. From Esther Aguirre comes these decadent Raspberry Truffles. From the artisan… “We make these truffles, with raspberry jam made from organic raspberries from our backyard. We incorporate it in the chocolate ganache… they are terrific!”

  • Pamper her in style with a bath and body gift set from Chicago Honey Co-op. From the artisans… “Our Bath and Body Gift Set is our luscious 10 oz Honey Sugar Body Scrub and Moisturizing Body Bar combined in a sparkling organza bag. A complex blend of essential oils combined with our own raw honey, sugar crystals and jojoba oil make up the Honey Sugar Body Scrub. The body bar is a solid body moisturizer made with our own beeswax, cocoa butter, palm oil and sweet almond oil.”

  • Give her the gift of a beauty for the next 12 months. Not only is this calendar from Alicia Bock useful, but when the month is finished, she can frame the wonderful photo to hang permanently. From the artisan… ” This calendar features 12 playful photographs… memories of our favorite days. Professionally printed on high quality iridescent, pearl card stock for extra thickness and durability. You will love the way they sparkle in the light!”

  • For those chilly walks in the moonlight with your sweetheart, a pair of felted mittens from Whimsie Dots. From the artisan… “These mittens have come out of a love affair with felted wool. The wool in this pair of mittens has been felted making it a very thick, soft and warm material. The wool has been recycled from sweaters, all recycled fabrics are in excellent condition. This pair has a been made from an elegant cream sweater and appliqued with subtle floral blooms in innocent muted colors. They are lined in a cream fleece. “

All photographs are property of their respective owners. Photos used for illustrative purposes only.

2011 Handmade Stocking Stuffers for Men

Posted in Featured Shops/Artisans with tags , , , , , on November 28, 2011 by kellyjcallahan

Tick Tock goes the clock. Christmas is getting closer and closer. My next four posts will be for those great stocking stuffers. They will, of course, all be handmade and at a reasonable price. First up… those hard to buy for men.

  • For the outdoor guy on your list fleece boots liners from With The Rain. From the artisan… “The actual intention for these wonderful fleece socks is to prevent that annoying problem of socks slipping down in your boots! They are long enough that the top cuff can be folded over the top of your boots even Hunters, to keep your feet and legs cozy!”

  • For the Hot Sauce Fiend in your family, a bottle of the Original JC Hot Sauce. From the artisan… “JC Original Hot Sauce is the sauce that started it all. A full flavored hot sauce that turns up the heat. Made with a blend of three Mexican chilis, this sauce adds the perfect amount of heat to your favorite dish.”

  • Is werewolf hunting one of his favorite past times? Perhaps a silver bullet key chain from Lucky Horn. From the artisan… ” A stainless steel silver bullet makes a statement for a key chain.”

  • A little humor to save the day… Great note pads from Terri Taylor Design. From the artisan… “80 opportunities to leave important notes for the special people in your life.”

  • For those guys always on a quest, even at the office. Compass cufflinks from Rag Trader. From the artisan… ” Little tin working compasses encased in plastic covers on silver plated cuff links.”

  • For the football fan or the man cave, tile coasters from My Little Chickadee. From the artisan… “These natural stone travertine tiles have been hand stamped and painted in a football player design. You can request  colors to match the team colors. Add your own personalization at the top, like the team name, or a person’s name..whatever you would like.”

All photographs are property of their respective owners. Photos used for illustrative purposes only.

2011 DIY Kits Gift Guide for All Ages

Posted in Featured Shops/Artisans with tags , , , on November 21, 2011 by kellyjcallahan

This guides are for those who would like to make their own handmade gifts, but don’t know where to start. I’m featuring Do-It-Yourself Kits. These kits (in most instances) will include everything you need to create your own gift(s). The kits themselves make great gifts or the final results. Join the handmade revolution!

Please remember that these kits are to be used for PERSONAL USE ONLY. Resale of these items is strictly forbidden.

  • Weepereas provides this DIY kit to make these adorable reversible Baby Booties. From the artisan… “Make these adorable baby shoes in under an hour! Simple to make, and ideal for beginner sewers. Made with high quality designer fabrics, these baby shoes will be perfect for your little one or make a great gift for someone special.”

  • My Poppet Shop offers this DIY Bunting Kit. From the artisan… “If you can sew in a straight line, you can make this bunting/garland. This kit contains all the materials you need to make 3m (9′ 10″)of bunting with easy to follow instructions. Pre-cut flags means you just need to sew them together!”

  • From Succelent Designs is this wonderful living wreath. From the artisan… “Have you ever wanted to try making your own living wreath? This package will give you all the materials necessary to get a great start on a fun, do-it-yourself miniature garden.”

  • From Dancing with Badgers comes this DIY Fairy Crown. From the artisan… “Heres a little kit I’ve put together so you can make your own winter fairy crown. Everything you need is included to make one or maybe two similar to the one pictured. If you use the vine double it will make a sturdier crown and will make one or you can cut the vine in half and make a single hoop which would be suitable for a childs head in which case you could get two crowns out of this kit.”

  • From Fly Art Center comes three kits to for your kids to make three great projects. From the artisan…. “Each box contains new, reclaimed and repurposed materials ready for action. You will want to have some markers on hand and maybe a little glue too.”

  • From La Tea Dah Designs comes a Learn to Spin kit. From the artisan… “Learn to spin your own One-of-a-Kind unique yarn with our handmade drop spindle and easy to spin roving. This is a great spindle for beginners.”

  • From 1 Bead Weaver comes this great beginning bead jewelry kit. From the artisan… ” This bead bracelet kit is a beginners bead project. It is a simple technique which results in an awesome complex “looking” bracelet. The kit includes complete instructions and more than enough beads to make a bracelet of up to eight inches.”

  • From Erinzam a great kit for learning how to bind books. From the artisan… “Included are all of the supplies that you need to make one 3″ x 4″ book and complete instructions for four different Japanese stab bindings. The instructions are written out as well as illustrated to make each step clear. Choose to make one of the bindings with the included supplies and once you get the hang of it, you can make the other bindings with your own materials.”

All photographs are property of their respective owners. Photos used for illustrative purposes only.

2011 Handmade Gifts for the Host/Hostess

Posted in Featured Shops/Artisans with tags , , , on November 18, 2011 by kellyjcallahan

We are creeping into the party time of year. As the holiday season kicks into gear, it’s a good idea to be prepared for giving your host/hostess a little thank you. There’s no better way to enchant your host or hostess then with a handmade gift. Shopping handmade contributes to local economies, supports small business, and often helps with recycling. Join the handmade movement and purchase handmade this year.

I tried to keep all these suggestion at an affordable price, with one exception (too beautiful to leave out) they are all under $40.00.

  • Do they love modern design with a retro touch? This serving plate can be a perfect gift. From the artisan… “It was hand-built by me, decorated with a chartreuse green matte glaze, white satin glaze, chocolate gloss glaze & leaves design, and low-fired in an electric kiln.” You can choose this design or other simple and modern designed pieces from Hope Johnson.

  • Perfect for the lover of all things food, a journal/recipe book. From the artisan… “Come celebrate food and its connection to your life with this handmade journal. It’s all about savoring the good food and great moments in life.” You can purchase this journal or others from Making This Home.
  • Does your host/hostess grow their own herbs? They will love these wonderful garden markers made from vintage silverware. From the artisan… “This is a set of four garden markers. The name of each herb is hand hammered into a vintage silverplated spoon. This set includes four markers for use indoors or out….the patina will just keep getting better.” You can purchase these or other markers from Wooden Hive.

  • Bring along a tin filled with mouth-watering shortbread cookies. From the artisan… “Freshly baked to order, your customized cookie gift will include 18 sparkly snowflake shortbread cookies, each measuring about 1 3/4″, that are made from our signature shortbread recipe, hand rolled, cut & decorated with your choice of sanding sugar colors ~ and than a final dusting of white edible glitter for extra sparkle. They will be packaged inside a white, round 7″ tin complete with a festive red grosgrain ribbon, Butter Blossoms Christmas label and gift tag.” You can purchase these yummies or many others from Butter Blossoms.

  • The hostesss with the most-ess is always prepared for an upcoming event. Help her along with these beautiful letter pressed cards which can be used for any occasion. From the artisan… “These bright and cheery folded note cards would be perfect for any occasion–birthday, thank you, quick note to a friend, etc. Each card was printed by hand on a vintage platen letterpress.” You can purchase these note cards or many others from Lucky Bee Press.

  • My favorite style of apron is simple yet versatile. It fits over anything and covers thoroughly, therefore no worrying about the party clothes underneath. It has no ties and is easy to slip off. From the artisan… “This pinafore is very versatile and easy to wear. Made from pure linen with the edges left raw and fringed.” You can purchase this apron or others from Retro Home.

  • A perfect gift for that wine tasting party or the wine connoisseur, enameled wine glass charms. From the artisan… “Handmade Sonoma County Wine Country Wine Charms are 3/4 inch copper discs, individually hand flamed with vitreous glass enamel. These charms have been placed on individual, hand forged antique brass wire rings to wrap around your favorite wine glasses. One clear bead has been added to enhance and to lend a bit more charm to the charm.” You can purchase these and other colors from Gasquetgirl.

  • For the master of the BBQ a variety of dry rub spices. From the artisan… “Perfect for grilling, roasting and smoking beef, pork, chicken, seafood and vegetables.” You can purchase this set of 12 sampler pack or others from Craig’s Market.

All photographs are property of their respective owners. Photos used for illustrative purposes only.