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.
According to ChangeEverything.ca, homemade cleaning formulas cost about one-tenth the price of their commercial counterparts.
Everybody needs dish soap right? It’s one of those basic necessities that people add to the shopping list and assume you have to buy from the grocery store. Ranging anywhere between $2.00 to $5.00, a bottle of dish soap isn’t that expensive, but every now and then, the stick-it-to-the-man feeling washes (excuse the pun!) over me and I end up revising my dish soap concoction. Super simple to follow and a great way to use up those left ove rpieces of soap!
Making your own dish soap is great for people that have allergies and sensitive skin. Unlike edible products, cleaning products do not have to list their ingredients. By making your own formula, you know exactly what is going inside it.
* 2 cups of soap shavings (cut up pieces as fine as possible)
* 2 cups of hot water
* 1 bowl large enough to hold the soap and water together
* 1/2 cup of lemon juice or white vinegar
* Squeeze bottle or container with a hand pump (I didn’t have a suitable container, so I used a mason jar I had on hand and later added a hand pump recycled from an old shampoo container)
Using a sharp knife, cut your soap as fine as possible. The smaller you are able to cut the soap, the better your consistency will be. For the picture above, I used some left over soap that I picked up from a recent hotel stay. You can use new soap or as I mentioned above, left over soap pieces. **
Place soap shavings in our bowl and add 2 cups of hot water. Let the mixture sit overnight to soften. You will notice that the soap pieces will begin gelling together.
Give the mixture a good stir. Don’t worry if you find some large chunks of left over soap pieces. I used a slotted spoon and removed any large pieces or try using a masher to break down chunks.
Measure 1/2 cup of lemon juice or white vinegar to the mixture to help fight grease. Add it slowly to reach the desired consistency.
It’s ready to use! Pour the completed mixture into your container. Mix / shake well before using as the soap and vinegar / lemon juice may have a tendency to separate.
Tip: For stubbon stains, use baking soda as a scouring powder. Soak pots and pans in a baking soda and vinegar mixture to eliminate stains, odours and built up grease.
** I prefer to use unscented soap or ones with just a hint of scent. However, feel free to add 2 to 3 drops of your favourite essential oils to your finished dish soap.
** This recipe is not for use in the dishwasher. Visit stain removal 101 for homemade dishwasher recipes or visit Change Everything for other recipes on making your own non-toxic cleaners.
Wood & Wool Stool started as a one-off DIY project when Ingrid Jansen designed her own crocheted cover for a wooden stool that her husband made using scrap wood. After receiving several requests from her flickr album, she started creating other home furnishings such as the pillows and signs above. See more of Ingrid’s amazing work on her website here or follow her blog here.
What do you make?
Unique Jewellery using vintage and recycled fabric with gold and sterling silver elements and sometimes vintage beads. Felt portrait dolls, needle felted dolls, recycled fabric fingerless gloves and accessories.
What or who inspires you?
I often get design ideas from my dreams, so do I inspire myself? Maybe. Successful female entrepreneurs, repetitive patterns in nature, my cats, Art History.
How did you get started?
I started making beaded necklaces when I was 8 and have been a painter, “sculpey”-tor since birth I think. Floating along from crappy retail job to summer camp lifeguard job I didn’t realize I could do what I love and get paid for it until much later.
After falling in love with sculpture in the Langara Fine Arts program I went to VCC for Jewellery Art and Design; which is essentially small scale sculpture. I stumbled into textiles when I needed a jewellery break after school. Now I mix my two loves together and have a great time making shiny pretty textured things. My fickle nature means I’ll probably incorporate some new techniques often. I just picked up needle felting this year and am really into it. There is so much to learn, how does anyone pick just one technique to master?!
What are your favourite materials to work with?
Delicate vintage lace, luminescent peridot beads, ornate kimono fabric, merino sliver, vintage beads, inventiveness, problem solving.
Do you have any advice for those in the biz?
Don’t guard your secrets. Share what you have learned with others and you will learn from them as well. Let’s all help eachother become better business people. Networking equals getting together with new friends over a bottle of wine or some snacks and being inspired.
Art vs. Craft – Are these terms different? Do you consider yourself an artist or a crafter?
I don’t want there to be a difference. I am an Artist and a Crafter. There used to be a big divide between high art and everything else but I believe the DIY movement has shortened that gap. I have always had as much respect for ceramics, jewellery and textiles (all traditionally female crafts) as I have for painting, drawing and sculpture. I think the art world and our generation of artists is moving in that direction and I’m glad.
(photo images courtesy of Stephanie Menard)
If you are interested in being featured, please send us an email at info(at)gotcraft(dot)com.
Sculptor Mitra Fabian uses everyday items such as binder clips (top), pipette tips (middle) and window blinds (bottom) to create beautiful art installations. She exclusively uses manufactured materials transforming the throwaway product into a more natural and organic form.
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 ♥.