Countdown to the New Year with Cleveland Handmade: Playnature

It’s one of the busiest times of the year, with celebrations and parties, gatherings and gift-giving. This year Cleveland Handmade has geared up to showcase a variety of handmade goods for giving by stocking shops on etsy and throwing three handmade markets. I thought I’d showcase a seller each day all the way up until the New Year to let you know all the gorgeous goods available.
So here is a featured seller in the ongoing series:

I always repeat how I am the proud owner of one of the following artists mandalas. (I must confess I bought a LARGE one!) You can get one for yourself, or even five small ones. Be sure to hang them in a prominent place as they will get lots of attention.

5″ Custom Mandala Prints by Playnature Productions, $6.50

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Countdown to the New Year with Cleveland Handmade: Gina DeSantis

It’s one of the busiest times of the year, with celebrations and parties, gatherings and gift-giving. This year Cleveland Handmade has geared up to showcase a variety of handmade goods for giving by stocking shops on etsy and throwing three handmade markets. I thought I’d showcase a seller each day all the way up until the New Year to let you know all the gorgeous goods available.
So here is a featured seller in the ongoing series:

I am totally commissioning this gal to make me bonsai pots. Her work has a GORGEOUS zen quality!


Cherry Blossom Bowl, $30 by Gina DeSantis

Sunday Sustainability Tip

As winter fast approaches you may be tempted to turn up that heating dial on your thermostat, however don’t forget that with almost 50 percent of your household energy consumption being used for heating and hot water, those few degrees can make a difference, not to mention a dent in your pocket book. If you want to save energy and money, try to decrease the temperature you set your thermostat all winter, or better yet buy a programmable thermostat! You can save about 1% of your heating costs for every degree you turn your heating down.

You could always bundle up in these wonderful handmade items from Etsy sellers for extra warmth!

Sage Gray Faux Fur Scarf, from LazyTCrochet, $15.00

Artisanal Wet Felted, hand-dyed wool scarf by knitgrrl, $32.00

Felted Wool Knit Belted Poncho Top by Sandmaiden$99

Countdown to the New Year with Cleveland Handmade: petitelibellule

It’s one of the busiest times of the year, with celebrations and parties, gatherings and gift-giving. This year Cleveland Handmade has geared up to showcase a variety of handmade goods for giving by stocking shops on etsy and throwing three handmade markets. I thought I’d showcase a seller each day all the way up until the New Year to let you know all the gorgeous goods available.
So here is a featured seller in the ongoing series:

This Cleveland Handmade team leader makes in my opinion some of the prettiest adornments for your head!

Blue Skies, $55 by petitelibellule

Countdown to the New Year with Cleveland Handmade: LeahAna Designs

It’s one of the busiest times of the year, with celebrations and parties, gatherings and gift-giving. This year Cleveland Handmade has geared up to showcase a variety of handmade goods for giving by stocking shops on etsy and throwing three handmade markets. I thought I’d showcase a seller each day all the way up until the New Year to let you know all the gorgeous goods available.
So here is a featured seller in the ongoing series:

LeahAna is the crochet jewelry queen (who also happens to make some fabulous rings!)

Cranberry Sparkle Crochet Necklace, $32

Countdown to the New Year with Cleveland Handmade: LazyTCrochet

It’s one of the busiest times of the year, with celebrations and parties, gatherings and gift-giving. This year Cleveland Handmade has geared up to showcase a variety of handmade goods for giving by stocking shops on etsy and throwing three handmade markets. I thought I’d showcase a seller each day all the way up until the New Year to let you know all the gorgeous goods available.
So here is a featured seller in the ongoing series:

LazyTCrochet always seems anything BUT lazy! She has the coziest and warmest looking crochet designs at amazing prices!

Chunky Green Seaweed Scarf, $24

Countdown to the New Year With Cleveland Handmade: Virtuallori

It’s one of the busiest times of the year, with celebrations and parties, gatherings and gift-giving. This year Cleveland Handmade has geared up to showcase a variety of handmade goods for giving by stocking shops on etsy and throwing three handmade markets. I thought I’d showcase a seller each day all the way up until the New Year to let you know all the gorgeous goods available.
So here is a featured seller in the ongoing series:

Celebrate the Joy of the Season with Lori Paximadis (virtuallori)


joy stamped pendant $38

Countdown to the New Year with Cleveland Handmade: Smashing

It’s one of the busiest times of the year, with celebrations and parties, gatherings and gift-giving. This year Cleveland Handmade has geared up to showcase a variety of handmade goods for giving by stocking shops on etsy and throwing three handmade markets. I thought I’d showcase a seller each day all the way up until the New Year to let you know all the gorgeous goods available.
So here is a featured seller in the ongoing series:

Cleveland Handmade member Smashing has enamel pieces with colors that pop, and unique metalwork style!

Atomic Clock Earrings, $27

Bazaar Bizarre 2009- Don’t Trample the Artists

For the first time ever Bazaar Bizarre Cleveland is offering a Thanksgiving Weekend show beginning on Black Friday (You know, the day after Thanksgiving, when people go so nuts about holiday shopping they get up at 3 a.m. or earlier to hit crappy big box stores and traumatize the employees!)

Here’s the scoop on Bazaar Bizarre East:
12635 Larchmere (across from Vine & Bean) during the Larchmere Holiday Stroll. 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
The show takes place November 27th and November 28th

Get up at a decent hour a day after stuffing yourself with bird, check out a ton of handmade items (50 vendors) and find something for everyone on your list. Just be sure not to get **too excited** so you don’t trample the artists in your shopping frenzy k’?

Meaningful Holiday Giving

As the holidays are fast approaching I’d like to take the opportunity to I’d like to give you ideas on how to find gifts that will be meaningful to both the recipient, but also meaningful in a much larger sense.

When purchasing gifts this year consider three different possibilities other than just chain stores.

1. Shop Local
2. Shop Handmade.
3. Shop Charity

Using these three criteria you should be able to find the perfect gift for just about anyone one your list that will also give back to more than just the recipient.

Here’s a few things to consider:

Shopping Locally
In a nutshell, when you shop locally your hard earned dollars stay in your own community. The taxes you pay on items go back into your community, and often a larger percentage of the cost of the item stays in your community as well, as the seller usually spends their profits on local goods. Not only that, expensive transportation costs and environmental impacts are lessened as well. If you want to read more check out an article I wrote last year about shopping locally as well.

Shopping Handmade
When you shop handmade you are purchasing items made with care and concern. Often you will find that sellers of handmade goods give extra attention to detail, offer excellent customer service and package their items with care. When you buy handmade you are helping people support artistic lifestyles, helping them to support their families. Buying handmade helps small businesses grow, which in turn are also very beneficial for the economy. If your community is short on independent storefronts visit Etsy Shop Local to connect with home based artisans near you.

Shop Charity
There are also many gifts you can give that help improve the lives of people around the world in need. Some charities offer programs where you can donate in a gift recipients name. Others have store programs where portions of their proceeds from the sales of gift items goes to help the needy. One of my favorites is World Vision. World vision has a catalog in which you can purchase things like cows or chickens, donate to small business loans, or give a water well to someone in need in the name of your gift recipient. Visit http://www.worldvisiongifts.org to find out more. I am also a huge fan of unicef, which is one of the places I love to buy my Christmas cards each year, as the money goes to help children around the world.