I met Andi at Make it a few weekends ago in Edmonton and instantly fell in love with her accessories line, Hoakon + Helga. Actually, I may, or may not have spent most of the weekend petting her super soft handbags! Named after her Norwegian grandparents, Hoakon + Helga is a line of eco-friendly and unique silhouette of bags. Using vintage leather jackets, her line strives to achieve a respect for the past and future using sustainable approaches.
Though the bag silhouettes are similar, each one takes on its own set of visual characteristics due to the nature of the initial recycled vintage jacket. Each one is different in color, shape and pocket design. The result is a bag that each owner can call one-of-a-kind.
I tend to shy away from pack sacks as they often make me look like a tourist or a school girl, but I think I will be changing that after seeing these beauties!
Infusion represents a collection of hand designed, hand sewn, sustainable textile work. Made by Abby Meadow from Oregon, she strives to create durable and long lasting items that are both functional and beautiful to look at. Taking inspiration from nature, her line of sustainably made bags and other textile items are made using natural, organic, sustainable and recycled fibers and fabrics.
What do you make?
I make bags mostly. Recently I started making jewelry by painting on porcelain pendants. I am really enjoying this new medium. I also make chocolate mustaches, and a mean spinach smoothie.
What or who inspires you?
Anyone making and creating. Vintage pieces, people’s nostalgia to said pieces and the feeling of nostalgia of newer generations for times they unfortunately were born too late for. Scandinavian design, particularly their textiles!
How did you get started?
I’ve always made things, as most creative people have, I believe. Before I knew how to sew (as a kid) I would glue fabric together. I was always keen on making money being creative too. From a kool-aid stand with homemade cookies on the corner of my cul-de-sac to making friendship bracelets and selling them at our yard sales, the entrepreneurial bug bit me early. I started making and selling bags the Christmas after I quit fashion design school. I made bags for my sisters as gifts and the following March discovered etsy.com via craftster.org. I went out immediately and got my first credit card so I could sign up.
When I moved back to the city (from the Okanagan where I was raised) I started doing craft fairs and selling in stores such as Favourite in North Van and Shop Cocoon on Cambie street.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
Fabric with bold prints. Heavy cottons, broadcloth, wool and denim. Ceramic paint and porcelain. Hardware (metal snaps)!
What is the hardest and most favourite part of crafting?
I suppose for me, it’s the pressure to sell what I create that stifles me most creatively. I find my most satisfying moments are derived from making a gift for someone, or even a custom order. It’s thinking about a person individually and figuring out how to combine my style and their preferences that I enjoy. I think the “pressure to sell” aspect of creating (or crafting) is two-fold for me. Just as there is a pressure to create something someone will like enough to swap their hard-earned cash for, having someone like something I make enough to do so is my favourite moment of creating.
I’d also like to acknowledge the issue of hoarding supplies. Considering my studio is the dining room of a small one-bedroom apartment, needing to keep everything I could potentially use is a tad overwhelming sometimes.
Lovely Package and The Die Line: both sites dedicated to product and package design. Very inspirational and so many beautifully designed products.
What are some of your favourite links Lovely Package and The Die Line: both sites dedicated to product and package design. Very inspirational and so many beautifully designed products.
A Cup of Jo: I love her personality and all the things she posts about. And her Wednesday giveaways are always exciting.
Color Me Katie: An amazing photograper who is able to capture (and orchestrate) so many magical and beautiful images.
Oh Happy Day!: Another great blog that features incredible products, fashion and style. Jordan also makes some fabulously creative invitations.
Do you have any advice for those in the biz?
Just do it. I mean, yes, it is of course important to have a plan (for advice on this I recommend books such as The Boss of You and Craft Inc.). But I have found I have spent countless hours thinking about what I want to do and looking at what other people are doing and admiring their successes rather than working on my own.
(photo images courtesy of Sam Made)
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Did you know it takes 1,000 years for polyethylene shopping bags to break down? Why not save a few from the landfill and create a sturdy and waterproof zipper pouch!
Follow these simple and easy steps create a sturdy and waterproof zipper pouch!
• Ironing board
• Parchment paper
• Plastic shopping bags
• Sewing machine
Step One: Gather two plastic shopping bags.
Step Two: Lay each bag flat and cut off the bottom seam and handles. Slit the side open so that the bag can be opened and laid flat. Fold the bag so that the image faces inside (if facing outside, the image may rub off). Fold the bag so that you have 6-8 layers (ideal, but feel free to experiment). The layers can be achieved either by folding the bag into itself or by using more bags stacked on top of each other.
Step Three: Sandwich the stack of plastic bags between two pieces of parchment paper.
Step Four: Prepare your iron and make sure it is at a low setting (level 2). If you find that the plastic is not fusing together, then turn your iron up to a higher setting (level 3 – Rayon).
Keep your iron constantly moving and don’t forget the edges! Once the plastic has melted into one sheet, you’re done!
CAUTION: Make sure that your workspace is well ventilated when ironing plastic
Step Five: Fused plastic can be sewn just like regular fabric. Pin a zipper to the widest end of the plastic piece and sew in place with the zipper foot on your machine. Turn and do the same so that the zipper is attached to the fused plastic piece.
With wrong sides facing together and the zipper half way open, sew up the edges. Make sure that the zipper is open so that you can open the pouch to turn it inside out.
And, voila! You just made yourself an inexpensive, sturdy and waterproof zipper pouch.
Hello! We are a husband and wife team that share a love for a good cup of coffee and a slice of Victoria sponge. This is where we share our work, our travels, snippets of our everyday life, and most important, the things we ♥.