Saturday, November 21, 2009

Meet Your Maker: Pear & Peacock

Erin McCloskey of Pear & Peacock is one of our fave Eco-crafters! Pear and Peacock is handcrafted precious metal jewelry.

Why the Earth loves her
"I strive to reduce environmental impact by using recycled precious metals and vintage beads," say Erin. "Sometimes throwing in a few hints of enamel for color here and there."

Why we love her
"I want my jewelry to inspire confidence in anyone who wears them. Pear & Peacock pieces are simple with a unique modern edge."

Find Pear & Peacock at Holiday Heist tomorrow!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Meet Your Maker: Palace of Varied Industries & Great Sock

A Crafty Double Feature
Sisters Joanna (The Palace of Varied Industries) and Isabel (Great Sock) Church have been both artsy and crafty for most of their lives, and are bringing the family busiess to Holiday Heist!

Joanna Church, of Palace of Varied Industries, makes novelty pictures and other "small art," including animal silhouettes, shadow box scenes, and children's illustrations, using found frames, objects, and images to combine into one-of-a-kind decorations with a sense of humor.

Isabel Church, of Great Sock, makes stuffed toys out of socks (new and used-but-well-washed!) and other random scraps of material, turning them into frogs, cats, monsters and many more.

Toys are stuffed with bamboo fiberfill and average between four inches and ten inches or so and depend on the size, shape, and stretchiness of the sock.

(See Akimbo, above, my personal favourite!)

Why we love them
"Thanks to a steady diet of Muppet movies, Smothers Brothers albums, and similar family favorites, we love creating slightly odd things for others to enjoy. Happily, we are capable of sharing a booth: no sibling rivalry in our crafty world!"

Muppets and crafting? You're preaching to the choir, ladies :)


Meet Your Maker: Fisticuffs

Fisticuffs' John Davis makes some cool f*#&ing stuff. Sure, I love dropping F-bombs. I love even more that Fisticuffs leather cuffs inspires me to wax poetic all up on this blog.

Fisticuffs makes handmade leather wrist cuffs/watchbands/dog collars from 100% recycled leather and found objects. And makes all that hard work look good.

Find Fisticuffs at Holiday Heist. F*#& yeah.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Meet Your Maker: Phil Barbato

Fun stuffed toys that kids and adults alike can enjoy and appreciate. No, not from Mattel, from Phil Barbato!

His work isn't stocking stuffers; sometimes, they are stockings!

Meet Thorgrimm the Defeated:

And Ronald Jeremy Hyatt:

You've gifted many things over the years: Socks, ties, perfumes, Norelco shaving kits, and my personal favourite, the Barack Obama Chia Pet. Have any of these brought more than a pasted-on smile and a cardboard "thank you, I always wanted one!" from their recipients? Don't repeat the same mistake this year; give a Whiskerbear and get a genuine smile out of your friends. And for god's sake, return the Snuggie.


Meet Your Maker: Bette's Bag

Betty and Maggie Mudd, the talented mother-and-daughter-designer team behind Bette's Bags have an interesting story to tell:
"Maggie purchased a very expensive designer bag and before she left the mall she saw another woman carrying the exact same bag. To tease Maggie, I made her a "One of a Kind" bag. She liked it and used it; friends and co-workers commented on it and wanted one of their own. We made several bags as "gifts.” After hearing from friends and family things like, "you two should start your own business,” “where do you sell your bag,” “do you have a website” and “how can I get you to make one for myself?," we started Bette's bags.

And that's how Bette's Bags all started. Lucky us!!
Betty's beautiful bags are all made individually from start to finish. They make one bag at a time so you can be assured that they put quality and care into every stitch.
Check out Bette's totes, handbags, purses, yoga bags, diaper bags, etc. at the Holiday Heist Craft Show this Saturday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Meet Your Maker: Yinibini

Soyini George's Yinibini exotic jewelry is made out of wood, precious metals, resin, seeds, beads, semi-precious and precious stones, nuts, and more, all intricately carved and designed to create unique style. Yinibini clothing and jewelry are known for that pop-art urban look. Silk-screened, embroidered or painted by hand, each item has its own cute personality!

Yinibini clothing and jewelry are known for that pop-art chic look. Silk-screened, embroidered or painted by hand, each item has its own cute personality!

Yinibini exotic jewelry is made out of wood, precious metals, resin, seeds, beads, semi-precious and precious stones, nuts, and more, all intricately carved and designed to create unique style.

Yinibini baby clothing and accessories are all hand made with tender loving care in a smoke-free and pet-free environment. Booties, hats, burp cloths and more, all made out of the most stylish of fabrics! Your baby will be Yinibini cute!

Find Yinibini this Saturday at Holiday Heist Craft Show!


Meet Your Maker: Lollibomb

"Sugar Rush is a delectable blend of cotton candy, fresh vanilla, caramel, fig, raspberry, and sugary lemon drops..." That's not a recipe for dessert tonight. It's one of Lollibomb's most memorable scents! Handcrafted cosmetics and body treats have never been sweeter. Lollibomb has it all: delicious fragrances, fluffy whipped body frosting, mineral powder, luxurious milk baths made with soy milk, and even edible message oil (Me So Honey! Love it!)

Why we love them: Their products are 100% vegan with absolutely no animal by-products or harsh ingredients. Plus, they have a scent called, Tobacco Road. How rock'n'roll!

Pick up the scent of your choice at Lollibomb's booth at the Holiday Heist!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Meet Your Maker: Holland Cox

Valerie Williams is the designer behind the one-woman-shop Holland Cox.

Her collection includes seven handbag styles and more than a dozen accessories, all handcrafted in the brightest and boldest fabrics. Everything at Holland Cox is always limited edition, and always made with love and care by Valerie.

Why we love her
"Holland Cox is a company founded on the idea that high fashion does not have to be mass produced, ridiculously priced, or covered in logos. We think fashion should be about being yourself while looking fabulous, not looking like everybody else. We strive to provide our customers with beautiful products that are well made, reasonably priced, and incredibly stylish. We also strive to support other independent businesses that share our ideals and emphasize handcrafting."

About Valerie
"After several months of rushing home after work every day to sit at my sewing machine or in front of my sketch pad and dream up things to make all evening, it occurred to me that my quarter-life crisis might be over. I really just want to sew all day long. One day I threw together scraps from two skirts I had just made and an old pair of pants I had recently converted to shorts. What I got was the very first Holland Cox handbag, although I didn't know it at the time...since then I've been working hard to make my dream of having my own business a reality, and here we are."

And here she is! Find beautiful bags by Holland Cox at the Holiday Heist!


Meet Your Maker: Space Moderne

Space Moderne has really taken taken to gift of wine and punched it up a notch with their originally designed wine pockets! Each wine pocket is designed and handcrafted by Momi Antonio-Barnes and features unique designs with wool felt and/or embroidered stitches.

Talk about the perfect gift to bring with you to your upcoming Holiday parties! And don't forget to attach some handmade ornaments to the bottle, like these:

Stop by Space Moderne's booth at the Holiday Heist Craft Show this Saturday. I know. We can't believe it's this weekend, too!

Meet Your Maker: bLuGrn design

We at the Craft Mafia love jewelry. We especially LOVE jewelry that combines the 3 C's: Critters, Creativity and the Chesapeake Bay. bluGrn design (pronounced blue green, right Lucia?!) does just that--



Chesapeake Bay:
Little FYI: Most of the fossils used in these necklace were found on a little beach in the Chesapeake!
Check out bLuGrn design at the Holiday Heist Craft Show this Saturday!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Meet Your Maker: A.W.E. Designs

Things we love: Dramatic copper jewelry
Deb Soromenho named her shop A.W.E. ~Artsy, Worldly, Earthy~ "because it describes perfectly how I feel about my work; artistic, earthy items with a worldly flair and an environmental lean."

Most of Deb's jewelry is made by mixing handforged sterling silver and copper with other natural elements.

"I work mainly with materials such as leather, hemp, & silk, dark woods, sterling silver & copper, semi-precious gemstones & freshwater pearls, and Swarovski crystals. I sometimes use re-purposed or vintage when I fall in love with something."

Need to get your jewelry fix? Visit A.W.E. Design's Shop at the Holiday Heist Craft Show next Saturday!


Meet Your Maker: Bee's Knees Studio

Things we love: Painting
Bee's Knees Studio is a one-woman art explosion brought to you by Richmond-based artist Erica Vess. She's not much for writing bios, but she does have a plan for world domination which involves owls, cuteness, and the color blue. That's all she's at liberty to say at the moment.

With work ranging tiny 2" paintings to oversize fine art prints, from whimsical children's paintings to sleek modern design, there is something for everybody!

Why we love her
"Certainly, I have something for every budget. While my larger original pieces range from $95 to $300, the bulk of my stock is much more affordable: my tiny original paintings are $20, and the majority of my prints are $15 to $30."

Easy on the eyes and the wallet! Find Erica's work Holiday Heist next Saturday!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Meet Your Maker: Artmonger

Six years of art school in New York never lent a hand to watercolor skills. I can only sit back and admire the work of talented artists like Michele Banks of Artmonger.

Michele creates beautiful paintings, collages and handpainted greeting cards. We are so excited to have her work at our show!

Michele Banks got her start as an artist in the late 1980's when she decorated her cubicle at Price Waterhouse in London with repetitive images of comic-book figures. Several years and three countries later, she quit management consulting, got married, had a baby (the sublime Isabella) and got back to those repeated images. By now she had advanced to clip art images of coffee cups and fish.

By 2000, the kid was in pre-school and Michele got to work in a serious way. Now she tackled subjects such as snails, hippos, fans, frogs and pigs. She even took an art class. In 2001, Michele had her first show, at Tryst, a cafe in Washington. She has been showing steadily in the region ever since. By 2003, Michele had mainly switched from collage to watercolor painting, although she still throws in some collage elements now and then!

Find Michele's wonderful watercolors online and next week at Holiday Heist!


Meet Your Maker: Beth Pohlman

I must admit, I am so fond of silver. I'd be lying if I said that the Mafia doesn't covet every piece of jewelry that Beth Pohlman creates; her designs are the perfect balance between nature and design and stands out in all the right ways.

About her jewelry
"All of my work is designed and handmade out of sterling silver, making every piece unique and slightly one-of-a-kind. My designs are influenced by modern, minimal design and lush organics; I like to think of my work as organic geometry."

So just to be clear, for anyone who wants to know, these earrings are on my holiday wishlist:

And this necklace:

And these:

And that:

And that's it. I swear. For now.

Shop for me- I mean, for yourselves and your loved ones- at Beth Pohlman's booth at the Holiday Heist Craft Show!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Meet Your Maker: Creativ* Bee Designs

Wait...Is that a Typo?
No. Creativ*Bee Designs is spelled differently from the norm, because Creativ*Bee Designs is just that...different from the norm..Who wants to be like everyone else?

Creativ*Bee Designs began in 2003 as the creative outlet of Raleigh artist & graphic designer Brandi Bowen. Her designs vary from one of a kind, hand painted silk scarves to her original oil paintings and ink drawings to reworked vintage pieces into original and unique jewelry.

The Jewelry
Only hand-selected semi-precious gemstones, pearls, vintage Czech glass,
brass, wood, and other natural elements, genuine sterling silver and gold filled findings are used in our design.

The Silk
Only 100% Silk is used in our Hand-Dyed Silk Scarves. Nothing more, nothing less.

The Artist
Once upon a time there was a little girl that loved to draw and paint and do anything artistic.
Years later the little Bee decided that she wanted to pursue her love of color and type and went to college to major in graphic design and photography. While in school, Bee soon discovered her love of jewelry design and fibers. Naturally, the little Bee had an idea and in 2004 launched her own business Creativ*Bee Designs.
In addition to her line of jewelry, Miss Bee also freelances and currently has several works of art in area art shows. Miss Bee has won several awards along her journey as an artist and designer. Currently, she can be found creating in her North Carolina studio or somewhere out and about looking for inspiration for upcoming designs.

What's Next to Come?
We will be adding Limited Edition Apparel, one of a kind Fiber Art pieces, Greeting Cards, Paintings and Limited Edition Photographs.

Is your name really Miss Bee?
No. Since she always creating something artsy in her studio, Miss Bee is a nickname that her friends gave her, and it just seemed appropriate.

We are excited to have Creativ*Bee Designs, along with 35 more talented artists at the Holiday Heist Craft Show!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Meet Your Maker: Block Party Press

Polymer clay: The words evoke memories of sitting at my kitchen table, playing with Sculpey and cheering at the success of my baked-hard project (which usually were inscence holders; simple, as I'm no scultpor).

Those memories are a distant cry from Block Party Press, where artist Tamara Shea creates polymer clay jewelry, accessories and home decor by carving her own stamps and adding color with acrylic paint.

She also creates tree collages out of old catalogs and digital colored pen and ink drawings, which are available as prints, cards and other goodies.

Why we love her
"As with many artists, I have been drawing and making things for as long as I can remember. Sometimes my brain overflows with more ideas than my hands and my wallet can keep up with. I love texture, patterns, contrast, color (especially red, white & black and any pastel color paired with chocolate brown)."

"For fun, I love creating art with recycled items(trash). I am self-taught through much trial and error and a SAHM of 2 boys, although I guess I am a WAHM now. I hope you enjoy my creations, as much as I enjoyed creating them!"

Block Party Press will be partying with us at the Holiday Heist Craft Show next Saturday! See you there!