I've been buying a lot of handmade stuff recently, but haven't been able to share descriptions or pictures of it here, because most of it is intended as gifts for people who may be reading this blog. Yesterday, however, I attended the Wheatsville Arts Festival, one of my favorite annual Austin events, and bought a boatload of stuff just for me. Which means I can share!
(The photo shows two stacks of homemade soap, two sets of hand-thrown pottery bowls, one blue and one green, and three brightly colored handmade headbands.)
Above you'll see my haul from yesterday. The sets of bowls in the back are made by a local potter who sells her wares under the name "Mudslinger Pottery." I've bought from her for three years now. Last year, I bought a large bowl with the same glaze pattern as the green bowls shown in this picture. I love her stuff because it's not only gorgeous, it's super-durable, microwave and dishwasher safe, and lead-free. It's also really reasonably priced--these bowls were only $10 each, and her larger ones are generally $20-$30.
To the left of the bowls is a stack of soap from Herbal Soapworks. They're vegan, olive oil based soaps scented with essential oils. No nasty stuff. I bought three bars, one in lemongrass, one in orange chamomile, and one in lavender. They were $4.50 each or 3/$12. I haven't tried them yet, but I'll let you know how they are. They are rumored to be long-lasting with a dense lather.
To the right is another stack of soap, these by Fleegal Farms. They're not all olive oil based, but also contain palm and palm kernel oils. However, they are again scented with only essential oils and colored with natural pigments. My stack includes a pumpkin spice soap, a peppermint swirls soap, a lavender fields soap, and a clay facial soap. These too were $4.50 each, or 4/$16.
Finally, in the middle, you see three handmade fabric headbands from The Crafty Monkey. The Crafty Monkey makes not only accessories, but also quilted art, and she had some amazing stuff in her stall. I love these headbands because they are made of 100% cotton, fantastic prints, are reversible, and actually fit on my giant cranium. She makes stitched, silk, quilted, and ribbon versions as well. These were a bit spendy at $9 each, but given my current state of hair grow-out, very much worth it.
All of which is to say only this--buy handmade! For Christmas, for yourself. The stuff is way cooler than what you'd find in the store, it's not that much more expensive, and you are supporting someone's art. What could be better?