This series about handmade holiday gifts has been a lot of fun to write. I really like being able to promote other independent artists, and it’s been so nice to hear from others with similar ideals. I actually have three more posts drafted for this series, but I think I am going to stop early. Not because anyone offended me, or anything silly like that. It’s just that between holiday planning and orders and year end business tasks, I’m very pressed for time.
I’m also starting to feel a bit bombarded by commercials and the pervasive pressure to shop, shop, SHOP! That intensely commercial aspect of our culture can be really overwhelming for me (and judging by the other shoppers that I encountered today, I’m not the only one feeling that way). So rather than contribute to all of the commercialism and holiday pressure, I’m going to slow down and shift my focus.
Again, it has been my pleasure to promote my fellow artisans; and I do hope that my posts inspired you to buy handmade, buy local, or make your own special gifts this year. There are so many more talented artists that I could showcase (and I am brainstorming on ways to do this all year long) but for today, I’d like to share a very different kind of gift guide:
“To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.”
~ Oren Arnold
Many thanks to my friend Talia for sharing this with me at the exact moment that I needed to hear it <3
For this installment of my handmade holiday gifts series I’m going to focus on jewelry. It is such a time tested gift idea – we all love to adorn ourselves, and there’s a nice range of price points. Jewelry is great for stocking stuffers (like my peacock earrings to the left) and also as a more elaborate gift for someone special
Whatever you choose, I hope that you’ll avoid the big chain stores (where everything looks the same) and consider buying from independent artists instead. This list includes a few of my favorites from Etsy. Their styles range widely, but the common denominator is that these are individual craftsmen (and women) who create original, quality work.
beaded bracelet by Beadware
Beadware creates handcrafted gifts & fine beaded jewelry made with glass beads, crystals, stones, pearls, sterling silver, pewter, copper, brass & silver or gold plate. Affordable enough to wear a different piece everyday.
Her designs reflect a juxtaposition of left and right brain. She likes organization, order and details. She loves color, combining it in surprising mixes or staying within a color family. Her work is colorful, delicate, tasteful, understated and simple.
beaded necklace by Blazin’ Beads
Jenny of BlazinBeads says this of her work: “I strive to create unique pieces. I get my inspiration for my creations from colors I see in nature. I am always thinking of new ideas and feel most satisfied with my work when I can put the many ideas I have into a new and unique piece. My true passion is seed bead work and it is crucial to me to follow my own style. I have been beading for 20+ years now and my creations are meant to stand the test of time.”
tribal skull necklace by Erthe Fae
Erthe Fae is your source for handmade fantasy jewelry, steampunk jewelry and tribal jewelry. She makes beaded necklaces, crystal bracelets, unique anklets, chandelier earrings and more. Every item is one-of-a-kind and handmade in Arizona with a dazzling variety of beads.
Her handmade jewelry draws on her love of fantasy, faerie lore, tribal belly dance and the steampunk subculture. She designs with these passions in mind, always striving to create something that is equally at home with a costume or day-to-day wear.
wire wrapped bracelet by Faerie Kat
Faerie Kat’s Dream Faire wares are handmade necklaces and chokers, bracelets and cuffs, rings and earrings, tarot bags and pixie pouches, faerie stars, handcrafted books and folders with jeweled pens, tiny crocheted bowls and baskets, and other trinkets and treasures shaped from the ethereal gossamer of Kat’s dreams.
She is inspired by the magic of nature, mythology and legends, fantasy and folklore, fairy tales and faeries, all living in a world overlooked or unseen by most.
deer necklace by Heidi Kummli
Heidi Kummli’s beadwork is an expression of herself, and her feelings for our Mother Earth and the creatures upon her. Through researching Native American beadwork techniques and trial and error, her work has continually evolved. Heidi started working with beads in 1975 and remembers making jewelry even as a young child. Heidi’s great grandmother was a Chippewa Indian that did beadwork for Vaudeville. Heidi feels this gift was passed down to her. She currently lives on 12 acres west of Boulder, Colorado with her husband Gregg, and their son Benjamin age 15. Their home is totally off the grid. The sun and a back up generator is all they need to power their home. Heidi has won numerous design awards throughout her career. She hopes that through her work she can share the beauty that surrounds her.
JG Beaded Jewelry offers handcrafted beaded jewelry and unique gifts including beaded earrings, bracelets, necklaces, crystal sun catchers, rear view mirror car decorations, beaded bookmarks, real bug necklaces, insect key chains and Lovin Life stickers.
She loves beads & gemstones and started creating jewelry when she was very young. They say, if you love something – stick with it, well… she has stuck with it (for decades).
necklace by Rainwater Studios
Rainwater Studios explains: “Each piece I make is unique and enchanted. From faeries who frolic and play to butterflies in flight. I like to use vintage jewelry pieces and precious stones to mesmerize the eye. Each piece has a story to add a personal touch. From the Celtic highlands to the romantic times of the Regency Era. You are sure to find a special piece that you will soon want to call your own.”
earrings by Seattle Chic
Seattle Chic is a 1-woman artisan business, creating handmade jewelry & jewelry-quality accessories for boutiques, online, & local customers.
She says: “I can’t imagine a life without passion. Making imaginative, original jewelry & photographing it keep me busy all day & up half the night. When I do sleep, I dream up new designs & can’t wait to get up to make them real. I hope you find something here that you love & sense the joy I felt when creating it!”
ancient eye bracelet by Splendid Fish
Splendid Fish says “Each piece of high quality handcrafted jewelry from Splendid Fish Studio is based on original designs imagined and hand tooled by B. de Corbin.
You won’t find pieces like these made by anyone else, or sold anywhere else in the world. I work with copper, brass, and silver using a variety of ancient techniques such as forging and enamelling. My work is derived from the work of the ancient metalsmiths, but is still contemporary, and is designed and constructed to please the discriminating collector. This is not just costume jewelry – each piece is an original, quality piece of art!”
ear cuff by Thyme2Dream
Thyme 2 Dream states: “I create jewelry for Fae & Elven folk and have recently discovered that mortals like it too…in my shop you will find unusual jewelry items~ ear cuffs, bohemian wraps (ear wraps), arm cuffs, tiaras, circlets, hair vines combs & twirls, rainbows and other fairy accouterments.
Fantasy, Medieval and Renaissance wedding jewelry is also a specialty of mine…I would love to work with you to create something unique for YOUR special day!”
thistle ring by Winged Lion
Winged Lion says that they’re “an artistic family – Natalia, Sergey, and our teenage son Lev. In our etsy store you can see Jewelry made by Sergey and original hand-pulled prints by Natalia and Lev.
Having an extensive fine art background, Sergey combines deep knowledge of art history, refined taste, vivid imagination, and the ability to turn his artistic fantasies and inspirations into accurate and realistic renderings. Some of Sergey’s jewelry pieces are designed by himself, some by me [Natalia]. Our creative collaboration resulted in producing jewelry which can be truly called wearable art.“
filigree earrings by 1000 Dragonflies
1000 Dragonflies creates exquisite vintage inspired filigree jewelry, using components from her extensive collection of vintage and antique rhinestones. She has an excellent eye for line and color, and her work is particularly drool-worthy!
These artists’ work may or may not be to your taste. Of course, I hope that you will love their work as much as I do, and choose to support them … but if you don’t, please consider doing your holiday shopping with other independent artists on Etsy, or at local craft fairs.