It’s amazing how many dedicated Do-It-Yourselfers thrive in a world that places so much value in convenience and instant gratification. We’re not talking about people who save hundreds of recipe and craft ideas on Pinterest to revisit in the winter. (Though we’re all for that!) We’re talking about both novice and professional makers who create for the pure enjoyment of creating. It’s tough to prevent yourself from spiraling into a guilt trip when exchanging gifts with these DIY enthusiasts. You know that they probably spent hours getting their hands dirty to make you something special. How can you compete with that kind of laborious gesture? But just because you’re shopping for a gift instead of crafting from scratch, it doesn’t mean that you can’t show just as much love for your giftee. We’ve rounded up hands-on kits and accessories that will inspire and excite the thoughtful, crafty people on your holiday list.
The next Instagram Challenge theme is CLEVER COSTUMES. Every autumn, I always remember one of my favorite lines from Anne of Green Gables: “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” From the perfectly cool weather, to the creative energy leading up to our favorite spooky holiday, there’s so much to love about October. For the rest of this month, we want to see the clever costumes you’re planning for October 31! While sharing your most creative Halloween photos, be sure to use the hashtag #UGInstaFun to be in the running for a $50 gift card. Visit here to see the entries we’ve received so far.
Product: Easy Weaving Loom
I already know how to knit and crochet, so I’m ready for a new textile challenge. The Easy Weaving Loom caught my eye the minute I saw it in This Just In. After watching this video I was sure I was up for the challenge. It seems simple enough, and once I get the hang of it I can begin to explore different materials and textures. There are endless possibilities!
I completed my experiment in June, and I wanted to make something that would be useful right away. The product story claims that when using this item, “In no time you’ll have a professional looking woven masterpiece than can become a stylish scarf, or cellphone or sunglasses case.” A stylish scarf, while fun to make, would not have be seasonally appropriate. And while the projects that are possible are not limited to these three, I decided a sunglasses case was a good place to start. It’s basic and small enough to finish quickly, so I figured it was good practice and I’d be making something to accompany me to the beach in no time!
As a Graphic Designer who studied painting and drawing in undergrad, my entire life has revolved around different craft projects. Lately, I’ve gotten too far into the computer and am looking to take a step away from pixels to explore some analog creativity. I’ve decided to pair these two items together because they both deal with positive/negative space relationships, one additive and one subtractive. Both kits also use the color blue and involve fabric. I remember doing tie-dye and photo imprint in high school, but haven’t experimented with it since then. I’m excited to jump in!
Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the person behind the product.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I actually started making candles as a hobby. I love doing anything DIY and was happy to find something that combined artistry (drawing the labels) and the act of making something! When I started to use books as inspiration for the scents, that’s when I thought I could really make something out of it!
What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?
It’s just amazing to me that I can do this as a full time job. I set my own hours, can be as creative as I like, and can call reading research. Nothing better than that!
What does your typical day in the studio look like?
I make my candles to order, so a typical day consists first of me drawing out a list of how many candles I need. I make them in the morning, do all shipping labels in the afternoon and label and pack them up at night!
Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?
I like to keep the old jars I used when I first started. I bought them from a supermarket and handwrote the labels. It reminds me of where this all started, and how humbled I am that people like the things I make!
Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?
I’m not sure they’d recognize the books used as inspiration, but hopefully they’d say they smell good!
What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?
I actually love this quote by Lori Greiner: “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” Every time I feel overwhelmed, I remind myself that I am doing something I created and something I love. That beats working a job I’m not passionate about any day, and it makes the work seem so much easier.
What are your most essential tools?
My most essential tools are my oven and my pouring pots!