Thursday, May 29, 2008

Monster Mash

Why didn't anyone tell me that making your own monster was so freakin' easy?? All we did was sketch monster bodies onto flannel, sew, stuff and embellish away. Two custom freakies for my two babes in under an hour. Amazing. Even more amazing was how long my monsters played with these critters. There might have to be an adventures of the Bone Monsters story in the works for this summer...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Crescent Maille

Our next designer we want you to meet is Crescent Maille. She describes her business and what inspired her to start her line below:

I've drawn and painted, collaged and sculpted, sewn and photographed all my life. Early last summer I was in the middle of my "circle" phase in painting and drawing, when I was craving something more tactile, a real craft. I somehow stumbled upon photographs of chain maille jewelry on the internet and was immediately intrigued. Circles — and shiny circles to boot. I ordered some beginning bracelet kits online, and as soon as I started making my first bracelet I was totally hooked.

I taught myself traditional weaves one by one. I kept reducing the size of the rings I was using, trying to make pieces with the smallest rings I could manage. There is something really wonderful about the intricacy of a small-gauge weave and how delicate it can be. I work primarily with sterling silver rings — they're pliable but durable, luxurious, with such brilliance; it's metal, but it feels soft to the touch. When crafted to perfection, a sterling silver chain maille bracelet is an amazing thing, mesmerizing as it bends and moves and molds itself to your wrist. It almost feels alive.

As I grew more skilled, I began designing my own pieces, and my own weaves, using the traditional weaves as a starting point — for example, using the Japanese style of weave as a basis for patterns that look like lace; now there are four original patterns in the "Crescent Lace" line. Other original designs include pendants and necklaces, such as the Daisy Chain necklace, which is the Handmade Parade exclusive this month.

Chain maille is a passion and a joy. I think many people have a preconceived notion about chain maille, associating it only with knights in armor and renaissance faires. There's such potential to create jewelry that is totally modern, contemporary — different than any other metalworking technique out there. I hope to help bring about more awareness of the unique beauty of chain maille, and I strive to make jewelry that is as much a pleasure to wear as it is to behold.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Net of Area Thrifty One

Hopefully you have had a chance to head over to the new HP site and peruse the cool that is over there. As promised last week I have our first artists to introduce to you - Net of Area Thrifty One. I love her quirky little stuffies and love love love the clever name of her shop.

Hello, my name is Net. I live in the Channel Islands in the UK. I love scraps of fabric and odd buttons and making them into objects that are beautiful and useful. I am a stay at home mum to my 4 year old boy. When I'm not sewing, I'm tending to my tiny plot of homegrown vegetables, baking bread, or playing hide-and-seek. It's important to me to teach my son that you can achieve a lot with your own two hands, that not everything comes from the high street, wrapped up in plastic.

Area Thrifty One has been simmering in my heart for most of my life, but only recently found a place in the real world. After graduating from art college in London in 2000, with a degree in Fine Art I had various day jobs, including prop maker, scenery painter and florist. I painted in the evenings and exhibited and sold my work for a few years. I slowly stopped painting and started sewing, making quilts and toys for my newly born son. Soon, there was too much stuff cluttering up my home and I started offering a few things for sale, and so Area Thrifty One became a reality.
At the core of my working practice is a belief in not wasting things, in making use of the smallest scraps. I use a lot of patchwork and applique in my plush animals and strive to keep them original and quirky. Each piece is one-of-a-kind, with its own unique combination of fabric patterns and colours, yet with a design simple enough to inspire the imaginings of its new owner. I take extra care over the dolls and plush that are intended as toys for children, I believe that toys should be lovable, squeezable and washable.

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's here!

Handmade Parade has it's very own website for you to buy really awesome handmade goods from all over the world. Here is some info from the site itself:

"Handmade Parade began as a craft show in Sacramento, California, organized by Claire Bone. While the craft fairs were fun, family demands and difficulty finding large enough venues in the area drove Claire to seek other avenues for getting awesome handmade crafts to the masses. Etsy and Ebay are great places to find handmade goods, but their sheer size make it difficult to navigate and Claire knew she wanted to do something on a much smaller scale.

After working for several months on the Glitter and Grunge artists co-op, Claire decided to branch out and introduce Handmade Parade as a similar group, offering a more modern interpretation of vintage crafts, while also providing a place for members to sell kits and patterns along with their finished pieces.

You can check out all the crafty goodness being offered at! There will be new artists added all the time, so check back often!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Look!

How do you like the new banner up there? Pretty cute, huh? The super sweet, super talented Amy of Peptogirl Industries has made us some new banners and a really fabulous Handmade Parade website which will debut later this week. The new site will feature wonderful arts and crafts from designers all over the globe!

We'll be introducing you to these wonderful people this week and in the coming months on the blog. Check back later to see the new site! If you'd like to be a part of our mailing list to find out when new items and artists are introduced email us at with "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject line and we'll give you all the new info when we get it!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Giveaway Giveaway!

Jenny of Frazzy Dazzles is giving away these cute cute cute mice on her blog. Leave a comment until Sat 10 pm (Australian time) and if she drwas your name you'll be the lucky winner of those cuties. But I am crossing my fingers that it's me cuz they'd be awfully cute in the new room I have planned for the girls...

Good luck!

Flickr Fun

Flickr Fun, originally uploaded by handmade_parade.

I am tossing around the idea of doing a forest fairytale theme for my daughters' room. I figure its not too babyish and could be grown into for and older child (maybe I'm dreaming...). As usual the amazing talents of those on Flickr deliver.

Click on my flickr button to see the pic bigger and find all these talent folks. Most have Etsy stores, which will make my job so much easier come time to decorate.

I;m not sure why the picture insists on cutting off, I can't seem to figure it out. Does someone more techno savvy than I hae any suggestions?