Rowe’s Fashion: Unique Canadian Designs.

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Good morning, Thursday Crafthackers!

This morning, I present to you a clothing company that designs, cuts, sews and patterns from Canada. As someone who does the same and feels that businesses have a responsibility to contribute back to their own economy, this alone is a hugely attractive quality. When you buy a piece of their clothing, it means not only are you spending your money on a quality product which is supervised by those who have developed the company, but the money you spend is also going to pay your fellow Canadians, if it isn’t the same people who made it.

Rebecca Rowe is the founder of Rowe’s Fashions, and she not only worked throughout the retail industry, but also went to study first in New York City and then in Paris. She came back to Canada to start her own business with the help of her family. She works closely with the varying aspects of the company, working closely to have a good connection with her employees and also with the quality control of the clothing that is produced.

Having seen her product, I can tell you that they are designed for women, and for women of varying body shapes. She cuts curves into her patterns so that a fitted skirt is not just a sheath, it’s a piece that is cut to curve to your curves, giving shape to a piece that is so often without it.

Her styles are creative but wearable. I love that this is a designer who has thought about usability to build into the garments so that you’re not left with something that you don’t know how to wear or have no where to wear it. This is possibly one of my favorite qualities in a clothing designer, as, if I buy a piece of clothing or jewelry, I plan to wear it. And as often as I can.

Rowe Fashion has a website where you can purchase her wears and peruse photos. You can also read the full history of the designer and company in the About Us section. You can also find hand follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Pintrest.

Hope you guys enjoyed reading about this designer and happy crafting, and happy shopping!

~Megan


Couth and Nail: Unique Jewels.

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have for you a jewelry designer who specializes in the unique and slightly macabre when it comes to jewelry. She had her work purchased for the tv show Winona Earp and creates some really interesting pieces to sell.

Skeleton key encased in quartz.

She started making interesting jewelry and trinkets out of leather and fabric for friends and family and then moved into making things out of metals, gemstones, wood and the remains of small insects and animals. All of her materials, however, are responsibly and ethically sourced and collected, and that means that her pieces are unique and that the same item may not be available at later dates.

I absolutely love the little touch of darkness to her work combined with the delicate flowers, the sparkle of gold leaf, or the shine of gemstone. It is such a beautiful and unique combination that you don’t see anywhere, and that will set her pieces apart from others.

A mink’s tooth set in a wristwatch – inspired by Victorian mourning jewelry.

She has so much to look at and she keeps producing all kinds of new things. You can peruse her wares available now at her Etsy shop, and you can also find photos and keep up to date with her latest creations on, Pintrest and on Facebook as well.

Check her out. There’s lots of stuff to look at from the dark to the light. Not only does she work with bones and small animals, but flowers as well.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Sheena’s Scottish Shortbread

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Good Morning Crafthackers.

This chilly morning, I bring to you the perfect thing for having with your nice hot tea or coffee. I don’t often run across food vendors when I go to markets and shows for makers but, as you can see, it does happen. I love when makers make food and bring them to craft shows. Not only because it’s a way to get some home made goodies made from family recipes out into the world, but as vendors, it can provide some delicious noms during the slow moments.May I present, Sheena’s Scottish Shortbread.

This particular set of noms comes from a 100 year old recipe that was literally passed down through the family. It is also a recipe that can be traced back to a Scottish origin, so these are true Scottish shortbreads. Not just that, they’re hand made, so you know that the secret ingredient going into the food is love. They also come in 3 flavours – original, lemon and maple.

You can buy these lovely shortbreads (I can tell you they’re lovely, I tasted them), at makers shows across the GTA, which you can find a list of here, something that’s pretty amazing is that when I talked with these ladies, they don’t just sell bags for your personal consumption. Orders can be put in to have wedding or shower favours made, or favours for some other kind of special occasion.

Be sure to check out their website, and their Facebook page for updates as to where they’re going to be and when as well as photos of not just the booth but new baked goods that are coming out of the kitchen.

Now that you’re hungry,

Happy Crafting!

~Megan


La Chacha Soaps

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Good morning, Thursday Crafthackers!

I bring to you a small business who I really enjoyed meeting a few months ago. This is La Chacha Soaps, which is a company that makes a wide collection of skincare products that are all hand made in Canada. Hand made in Canada, that’s what I like to hear. It has such a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? What’s even better is that this is a family owned company and it is their business philosophy to create high end, non toxic and all natural skin care products.

I love that they don’t just make soaps, though. They have a huge variety of skin care products that are made with love. Bath bombs, deodorants, face serums, shampoo bars and lip balms. You can of course see all the things they offer at the different shows they attend, and you can shop on their website also.

One thing that I loved was that when I visited this booth, the young lady who helped me (she must have been in her teens), was the one who was manning the booth and man was she informed about the majority of the products that they carry. She was able to explain much of how the different products worked and what ingredient in them made them exceptional, like their muscle and joint body butter. I love that they have a natural, topical alternative to muscle pain.

I also talked with this young lady about their facial serums and about what products that they might have that would be beneficial to eczema sufferers and I loved what she had to say and the products that they offered. It was quite a lovely experience, and I love the diversity of the skin care that they offer. You can check out their Facebook here, as well as their Instagram to follow and keep up with the goings on of the business and for new products.

I hope you enjoyed meeting them as much as I did.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


Claymore Ceramics Inc.

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Hi there Thursday readers!

Continuing on our small business feature extravaganza, I have Claymore Ceramics for you. Sandra owns and operates this lovely pottery business making all kinds of varying array of housewares. They are food safe, microwave and dishwasher safe as well.

This patterning of white and blue is actually two separate clays that have been mixed together. I spoke with Sandra about this and was amazed that no extra glaze was put on top of some of her pieces.

I love that not only are all the pieces functional, but they’re all one of a kind, due to the patterning of the clay. She also uses a mixture of different colours of clay to make her pieces, which gives you some absolutely beautiful pieces that look amazing both glazed with a colour and glazed without.

You can buy sets, or individual pieces and they’re all beautifully shaped and uniquely glazed. Just as beautiful in person as they are in the photos.

One of the interesting things about this vendor is that you can see lots of her work on Facebook and on her website. But she vends mostly at varying craft shows across the GTA, and the coolest part is that this is a handmade artisan that is selling on a larger vending site. I’m sure that you’ve heard of Wayfair? Well, she is selling through there as well. I absolutely love the idea that a hand made artisan can make that break forward.

Well I hope you enjoyed looking at her work as much as I did. Be sure to check Claymore Ceramics at the show nearest you or…. you can order it online because that’s awesome too.

 

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


Hand Made, Personalized and Teachable: About Face

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Good morning Crafthackers!

This Thursday, I’ve got a really cool vendor to show you. He is a jeweler out of Fergus, Ontario, and he makes all kind of amazing hand wrought or cast things. This is About Face. I say things because not all of it is jewelry. And the best part is that he teaches classes!

I met Tony at the Craftadian craft fair, here in Hamilton, and I was amazed by his workmanship, and quite enjoyed listening to him explain the different methods he uses to make his pieces. He’s very well versed in many different ways to make all kinds of different pieces, and they can range from necklaces to rings, bracelets and brooches to reliquaries. If you’re not sure what a reliquary is, it is a piece of jewelry or sculpture, made to hold some of the remains of a loved one. They are beautiful and let me tell you, at least around here, they are hard to find.

He works in precious metals, golds, silvers, along with really almost any gem you like. and you can not only buy something from his fabulolously whimsy collection, or you can have him design and make something for you himself.

Best of all, and I say this about many hand made artisans who I feature here (I can’t help that I meet supremely talented people), is that the quality is amazing, and his detail work is spot on.

Probably my favourite thing that this artisan does, is that he teaches classes. Now that’s fabulous in and of itself, but let me tell you the best part. He holds classes for couples to design and make their wedding rings. I know. I just about fell over with how fantastic I thought that idea was.

 

So, now that you’re definitely hooked, take a look at his website, and you can follow him on Facebook as well as Instagram to see all the new and great stuff he’s putting out. Don’t hesitate to contact him with an idea for a special order. He’s creative and can design just what you’re craving.

 

Happy crafting!

~ Megan


Bellabagu: Silver and Pretty Things

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers.

I have a wonderful artisan to share with you. She is a jewelry designer from Mississauga, which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from where I’m living. Her jewelry is all silver that she designs and puts together. She makes bracelets, earrings and necklaces, and I’ve seen them in person. They’re all classic in design, and yet very creative, all of them quite beautiful.

You can shop through her wares on her website, or you can visit her Facebook page to see what are the latest collections she’s cooking up.

I have a number of reasons why I love and was impressed by her designs. One of the big reasons is that she normally works with sterling silver. This might not seem important but I have so many friends who can’t wear any costume metals, just gold, silver or steel. And I love that you can get something like this as a gift for someone without worrying that their skin will fall off.

I also love that her designs have this beautiful combination of a timeless feel (like a string of pearls) but they certainly don’t feel old fashioned. The designs are creative and innovative while still having the ability to be worn as either statement pieces or as every day wear, depending on your style.

She also does custom work (see above photo), which, as you can see, turns out beautifully.

If you’re involved in all the social media, you can follow her on Twitter and on Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest that she’s putting out.

I hope that you enjoyed looking at the lovely sparklies. Don’t forget that Mother’s day is coming up, so if you’re local you can find something great for Mom, and there are lots of lovely ladies (myself included) who have birthdays they are celebrating in the summer, and ladies love a little bling.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


Sew Much Love.

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers.

I come with a lovely maker who I met at the Craftadian craft show here in Hamilton. Her name is Ally, and she is a sewer. She is the owner of Sew Much Love Studio and is the purveyor of lovely off the rack and custom makeup bags as well as brush storage bags.

After years of buying cheap makeup bags to hold things, and ones that you can’t wash, that it was wrong. I learned this when I  bought my expensive brushes and wanted to keep those costly little things safe, especially while travelling. I can’t count the times that I’ve caught brushes in zippers, squished them at the bottom of my  bag so that they look like an overused toothbrush or they just plain broke from being handled so roughly. Ladies, meet Sew Much Love Studio.

You can buy one of their ready made pieces, they’re all in varying sizes for your makeup needs, or you can have one made for you in the fabric that you enjoy, in the size that you need. Her prices are absolutely reasonable for some great quality sewing, and another fantastic part is that you can have a matching set. Or a contrasting set done in the same colour scheme. LADIES, WE CAN ACCESSORIZE! And remember convention goers, you don’t want any of your cosplay makeup anywhere but your body. These are handy to keep all that business contained!

If you’re in need of some protection for makeup that needs to be taken care of – I know that my nice stuff isn’t just going into some ratty old bag – take a gander at her Etsy shop to see what she has available, and remember to get in contact with her if you’re looking for something custom. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram to see the new things she’s putting out. These could be great sets for bridesmaids, for birthdays, for Christmas. I always support local and hand made items, and I think everyone else should too. This is how we get some of the coolest stuff made!

Happy crafting!

~ Megan


Hand Painted Jewelry

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Hey there Thursday Crafthackers!

I come to you today with a relatively new local (to GTA) designer who does one of a kind, hand painted jewelry. I met her at a local craft fair that featured lots of local, Canadian talent.It was lovely to see this small, local show filled with vendors of a very high caliber and selling a wide variety of things that were both unique, handmade, reclaimed, or a combination thereof. It’s here that I met Sue. She makes some of the most amazing hand painted jewelry, and every piece is unique since the combinations of colours and how the paints work together will be different each time.

She paints on a few different metals, but one of the main metals that she works with is copper, though she will also have some pieces out of titanium, Sue makes earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, and though they are not matched as a set, you can definitely match what is available to have a set.

I think what really caught my eye about her creations was not just that they were extremely reasonably priced, but that the colours were so vibrant. When you see these pieces in the light, especially out in the sunlight, the paint that she uses to create these lovely works of art really does come to life and becomes just radiant. She also coats the top with a resin  not only to preserve the paint but it somehow just makes these colours look so metallic and bright. I also don’t feel like I’m going to accidentally scratch some of it off in my day to day wear – I am not a graceful person at the best of times, and after a few wears, it’s still as good as new.

I highly recommend checking her out and seeing what she has on hand. You can find her shop here, as well as lots of photos on her Facebook page and Twitter.

I’ve worn my pieces from her multiple times already and had quite a few compliments, and I can’t wait to start seeing Sue at other shows through the year. Follow her page to see where she’ll be next!

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


Among the Pines

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers

This morning I have a small business feature for a lovely handcrafted business that features hand made soaps as well as wood products and what’s even better is that they work not just to make but to educate people about living a more sustainable life. Meet Among the Pines.

The wood products that are made are simple and rustic but elegantly made and useful.

Not only do they give a lovely selection of hand made products that can be bought and enjoyed yourself or given as lovely gifts like cheese boards, beer flights made from reclaimed wood or even ones like this that really can be gifted, and filled with beer for the loved recipient…

 

They also offer a wood butter which is what I was most impressed with.

It is a wood conditioner that you can use to preserve and make beautiful all of your wood kitchen utensils and cutting boards that is free of any petroleum products like mineral oil.

Their other offering was their soap. Also hand made and wonderful, and best of all they have one that is made from beer that smells amazing.  What’s lovely is that you can find these guys on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to follow not just their excellent products, but their philosophy as well.

~ Megan