I have found so many wonderful and talented people over the past year who can make the most beautiful handmade delights and thought I should share some of my favourites with you. I love to shop handmade, knowing that I am supporting someone else just like me (except ten times more talented).
Handmade dresses are my weakness, and those I will share with you another day. This blog post is about those other handmade items - anything but clothes!
So in no particular order, here are my favourite handmade buys of 2011:
Jac & Skeet
This fabulous oversized order book cover was made for me by Jac & Skeet. When Jac posted a picture of this jelly bean fabric on her Facebook page, I knew it just had to be mine! My order book was a mess and pages were all over the place, but not any more! Jac can make these covers in any size and can make matching business card holders and notebook covers too.
Also from Jac & Skeet are these Eco bags, made wonderful with a terrific facelift. Both sides of the bag are covered in my fabric choices from Jac's fabric stash. I get great comments from other shoppers when I pull out my bags, especially when craft and yarn shopping!
My favourite gifts for others last year were these cookie decorator kits from Becca's Biscuits. My initial kit purchase included plain white iced biscuits, edible ink pens, gift box, cello bags and ribbon. Julia loved decorating the biscuits with her own designs, then gift wrapping them for special friends and family.
The ink pens were used over and over for more kits purchased later in the year. I even bought lots of plain tiara shaped biscuits for her birthday party, and her friends loved decorating them too.
Beck makes fabulous custom cookie creations, cookie cards, biscuit bouquets and cookie pops, and her designs and decorations are just fantastic! I bought the letter biscuits for my husband's birthday, and Julia set them into place on the birthday table - what a great centrepiece! The decorated tiaras were a special Christmas gift for Julia's friends at calisthenics. The beautiful work that Beck puts into each decorated biscuit is truly amazing.
There are so many delicious biscuit flavours available, but our favourites are lemon cheesecake and gingerbread. She can post all over Australia too, so take a look at her website and order a sample collection pack today - you'll be hooked too!
My husband was searching online for a cover for his ipad so I suggested he might like one from Lella M. This cover fits perfectly and provides good lightweight protection for travel.
Michelle makes wonderful padded covers and pouches for phones, dvd players and ipads as well as a fabulous range of bags, coffee jackets, notebook covers and lots more.
The Karma Soap Company
Julia has quite sensitive skin that can dry out easily so I thought I would try some goats milk soap from The Karma Soap Company. This soap is just heavenly! It leaves her skin so soft and smooth and smells wonderful. It's so good that now we are all using goats milk soap in this house!
Felicity makes all her soaps in small batches, and none of her soaps contain preservatives, alcohol or petroleum products. I have tried several fragrances, and whilst Julia's favourites are chocolate and vanilla, my favourites so far are lavender and frangipani. Take a look at the website for more details.
There's a very special offer right now in the shop: Simply spend $20 or more on any products and include something from the seconds album to receive a free 30ml sample tube of the new goats milk moisturiser - this offer is limited so don't miss out!
Odds & Blobs
I bought this gorgeous passport cover from Odds & Blobs for our big overseas trip last year and it was great! So well made, and how nice to stand out from the usual boring blue covers that all look the same. I bought one for each of us and it made finding passports a little easier in my bag too.
Jess also makes eye masks, luggage tags and zip pouches and you can find a great range in her madeit store.
I hope you enjoy browsing these stores as much as I do. Please support handmade!