Happy Wednesday, everyone! I'd like to thank you all again for the great comments and response to my posts here. Quite a few of you sent me links to your favorite handmade shops and it has been fun for me to discover so many new things. See, we're creating community!
Today I want to talk about some of my favorite resources for people who make things by hand or people who are creative in general. Personally, I spend lots of time wishing I was making something, but instead I am driving, cooking, at the gym, or walking my dogs or — sigh — cleaning. Other times I only have a limited amount of time, but still want to be doing something that speaks to me creatively. Here are a few of my favorite things to look at, listen to, and read when I need a creative infusion. I hope you enjoy them — and if you have other resources, I would love to know about them.
Things to delight your ears:
I mentioned this podcast on Monday, but I'm going to tell you about it again:
CraftyPod with Diane Gilleland
I hear that Diane has a podcast on taxes coming up — perfect timing for so many of us. Diane's podcats are chock-full of information. She is detailed and to the point. Plus, she edits her podcasts so well that there is no unnecessary filler, and every word you hear is valuable.
Craftcast with Alison Lee
Finding a new Craftcast in my iTunes is always a treat. Dig through Alison's archives to listen to her shows that speak to you. She covers everything from book to product reviews, plus she teaches online workshops and her guests are engaging. Her podcasts usually run about half an hour — perfect companion for a good dog walk, in my book.
CraftSanity with Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood
I love these podcasts! Jennifer's podcasts are a bit longer than those I usually listen to, and I'm so thankful for their length. She interviews all kinds of people and I've highlighted a few people she has recorded with who are also featured in The Handmade Marketplace. Jennifer herself is featured in my book. She also makes weaving looms and she blogs.
CraftSanity episodes with Handmade Marketplace folks:
Episode 75 — features Emily Martin, a.k.a. The Black Apple. Emily is one of the illustrators of my book.
Episode 58 — features Natalie Dee Drieu, who is a contributor, and Amy Sedaris, who wrote a fantastic blurb for my book.
Episode 68 — a good one featuring Betz White, who also gave a great blurb for my book. Also, check out Betz's books: Sewing Green and Warm Fuzzies.
Cast On with Brenda Dayne
I don't knit, but that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy this podcast. Brenda is one of my favorite podcasters. Her voice is so soothing to me and listening to her while I work is like having someone read favorite stories to me that I love, but can't quite remember where I've heard them.
Things to help you with your business:
Make and Meaning is a new website written by a bunch of different creative people. The beauty of this website is not just the topics covered, but the discussion that takes place in the comments. A few of my favorite posts from Make and Meaning are:
And things that are pretty to look at:
A Collection a Day, 2010 by Lisa Congdon
And, just because I love them and they are pretty to look at, here are photos of my dogs. I would not be surprised if this was your favorite link in this post. Ha ha.
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As promised, here are more mini-profiles of some of the incredible people that you will find in The Handmade Marketplace. These folks were included in my book because they are all in various stages of business development. Some of them have agents, some of them are just beginning, some of them sell their handmade items part time for extra cash, and some make their living from their crafty sales. One thing they all have in common is, I personally order from them again and again. Their work is on my walls, in my handbag, covering my iPhone, decorating my bed, and given as gifts.
I hope you like them as much as I do:
Jennifer Judd-McGee: Jen is one of my favorite artists. I don't remember how I found her blog way back when, but I do know that I loved her work so much I hunted her down one summer at Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn and asked her how I could buy her original artwork instead of just prints. Since then, I've only come to love her style even more. Check out her Etsy shop.
Mati Rose McDonough: I met Mati for the first time in 2007 at an arts retreat. I knew about her work long before, though, and had purchased several of her prints. She was just as nice in person as she was online and everyone who comes over to my house is always drawn to her work. The last thing I purchased from her was a pillow with fabric she designed herself. Check out her online shop and her lovely pillows.
Laurie Coyle: Laurie is a good friend of mine in real life. It has been a real joy for me to watch her leave her full time job and jump into her crafty life with gusto. She sells her work online and in many shops local to her. I love having her in my book.
Megan Risley: Megan lives in North Carolina and we've not yet met in person, but her work is a big part of my life. My husband uses daily a key fob made by Megan and I use her well-constructed fabric pouches for everything. Megan is so talented with a sewing machine, that I often send her photos of things I would like and I can count on her to be able to sew it up for me. How nice is that? Belts, laptop cases, dog collars, checkbook covers... things that I need in my daily life made pretty. Excellent.
Liz Smith: This woman is one of my most favorite people ever. We became friends online years ago now (so weird to think about) and when we met for the first time face-to-face this past December, I was so nervous! I wanted her to like me as much as I liked her. Liz and I have a lot of funny things in common, like we have the same birthday, drive the same car, and both collect paint-by-number paintings. Her work is amazing and one of my personal goals is to own one of everything that she makes. Please visit her online shop as soon as you can.
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Kari Chapin has spent the past 15 years in the professional world incorporating marketing, publicity, buyer, freelance writer, community relations and stylist as various job titles. As someone who spends a great deal of time with artisans and craftspeople, it wasn't surprising that one day, a compact fluorescent light bulb went off above her head, and she sat down and wrote The Handmade Marketplace.
Books mentioned in this post
Kari Chapin is the author of The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online