WINNERS UPDATE: The makers have chosen their 4 winners & emails have been sent (check comments for Congrats): Andrea Garland wins the sign from williamraedesigns, Julia wins the knitwear from KnitBrooks, Claire Reed Warren wins jewelry from Lotus Light Originals and Susan wins Jenny Rijke ceramics. Congratulations to everyone and a big thanks to all of you for participating!
I just love this time of year… because I am obsessed with everything handmade and I also believe in supporting small businesses. Let me introduce you to 4 incredibly talented and hard working makers & artists and their wonderful handiwork! (And don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post by leaving a comment)
Meet Jenny Rijke of @jennyrijkeceramics “Handmade in Clay”
Jenny is a self-taught, full-time, ceramic artist. She currently lives where she was born and raised, in an early 1800’s farmhouse on a horticultural farm in rural eastern Ontario with her husband and growing family. Her upbringing was one of family farm life, hard work, and simple living. Today, those same roots are evident and are what laid a firm foundation and gave her a vision for her ceramic business that started at the end of 2014, turning her hobby into a business. With her passion for creating with her hands, Jenny artfully makes tangible pieces that are inspired by nature.
I thoughtfully design and hand make each piece in my small-batch, home-based, ceramics studio. Each piece begins with clay that is then coloured in the studio and marbled. It is formed and allowed to dry slowly over the course of a week. It is then fired in my kiln, glazed using in-studio developed and made glazes, then fired again yielding it to completion. Each piece is made individually and has its own exquisite pattern that cannot be replicated.
You can find Jenny and her lovely ceramics here:
Courtney and her business partner Fraser originally started designing custom furniture in 2014. Fraser was building all of these amazing, unique pieces and Courtney decided she wanted some of the action. Since she’s only 5’3″, she figured smaller home decor projects would be the best fit for her to create. This is how they started making signs. Court first chose words that were really simple and easy to paint….you know, the generic “home” and “family” types of signs. She made these signs for awhile, but something still wasn’t filling this creative hole in her soul. That’s when she sat down and actually thought about what words mean to people.
Courtney says, “If you’re human, we know you’ve cried over words. We know that words have made you angry, sad, and happy. As well as fearful, overjoyed, and hopeful. These feelings are important. In fact, they are what connect us and make us human. Words are powerful tools that not everyone thinks about on a daily basis. You don’t think about what they mean until you happen to be walking by and spot a sign, with a quote that touches some of these emotions. This is how we started to realize that people are always searching for more than just “home” and “family”. They want something in their home that actually connects with who they are as a human on this earth.”
We now make roughly 350-400 signs a week and we can’t make them fast enough. We’re still learning as we grow, and we’re so thankful for the growth we’ve seen in just 2 years. The Alberta community has welcomed us with huge open arms, and we can never express how much that means.
You can find all the williamraedesigns Rustic Farmhouse Signs here: Instagram @williamraedesigns and website williamraedesigns.com
Meet Edie Pruss, owner of Lotus Light Originals, specializing in handmade, one of a kind semi precious stone bracelets and malas.
Hello, My name Is Edie, and I am a teacher by trade, a mom of 4 boys and a grandma of two! I love the outdoors and am fascinated with rocks. I think this is where my love of beads stems from. About ten years ago, I decided to start making jewelry and sold my items at a local market on Saturdays. This little hobby morphed into a small business, which I truly enjoy. I created my brand and my own website a few years ago, and then approached a few stores to carry my line. I am fortunate enough to be in four stores, three here in Alberta, and one in B.C, Canada. I love using semi-precious stones, not only because I find them beautiful, but also because each stone has unique healing properties. I love to create custom work and making people feel great about their pieces, designed by me! Thank you for supporting local handmade businesses.
Edie’s stunning jewelry can be found at http://www.lotuslightoriginals.com and on Facebook at Lotus Light Originals.
And finally, meet Kelly Brooks, a cozy enthusiast and nature lover who lives in Dundas, Ontario, Canada, where she knits and crochets toasty accessories for the modern nature lover. She has also recently branched out into hand carving wooden crochet hooks out of sticks she finds in local forests.
I picked up knitting in 2010 when I was looking for a way to distract myself from the stresses of college – I was an awkward introvert in the second year of a photojournalism program and needed a quiet creative outlet.
A couple years later knitbrooks was born by way of an Etsy shop, and over the years has become a way to combine all the things in my life that I love. Whether I’m knitting hats and scarves for an upcoming handmade market or designing a new DIY pattern, the joy I find in writing, photography, exploring new places, and of course staying as cozy as possible, is always present and consciously incorporated into whatever I’m working on.
I love being outside (casual stroll through a local forest, anyone?), but when the cooler weather hits I want to be toasty and comfortable. My knit and crocheted accessories are typically oversized and as delightfully squishy as possible to make sure those cozy feelings are achieved!
While I do love making snuggly accessories for other people, I also have patterns available for the creative folks who want to get their DIY on. Seeing other makers knit or crochet my designs is so rewarding.
Most recently, I tried my hand at making my own wooden crochet hooks. I’ve fallen in love. The craft of woodworking and somehow turning a stick into a functional tool is a new and exciting endeavour. I love that these hooks are bringing a piece of the Canadian wilderness into the creative processes of other makers – I mean, why shouldn’t our tools inspire us?
You can find Kelly Brooks knitting herself into social media at
To enter this Giveaway, leave a comment telling me which of these 4 beautifully handmade gifts you would like to win: knit wear, ceramics, jewelry, home decor sign (all subject to availability). The contest closes December 18, 2018 midnight MST and winners will be announced December 20, 2018. Good luck!