Epically Epic Soap

Citrus Slice - Epic Handmade Orange, Grapefruit, Lemongrass, and Lime Soap Bar with Olive Oil and Shea Butter
Citrus Slice - Epic Handmade Orange, Grapefruit, Lemongrass, and Lime Soap Bar with Olive Oil and Shea Butter

Also hailing from Chicago: Epically Epic Soap. Created by Allison, these bars look as beautiful as they smell. Let’s be honest — the best soaps spend most their lives in the dish untouched, so they might as well be beautiful! If pop art and soap making had a love child, these would be it — perfect for a quirky home or to add a little life to a traditional one.

Mrs. Zebra Handmade Olive Oil Soap with Cedar, Lemongrass and Sandalwood
Mrs. Zebra Handmade Olive Oil Soap with Cedar, Lemongrass and Sandalwood

Shop Local: Chicago

You know who’s awfully crafty? The folks down in Chicago. I could probably blog for a year about Chicagoans’ handmade goods, but here are a few of my faves:

Maine Lichen Ringcatcher
five trees' Maine Lichen Ringcatcher

I crochet here and there — I’ve made several blankets and more scarves than I can wear in a winter — but that’s nothing compared to five trees fiber arts. Amy’s shop is full of assorted neckwarming devices, of course, but what really sets her apart are her clusters of crochet bowls and stuffed critters. Something for Mom and Baby in the same shop — love it!

five trees Maxwell
five trees' Maxwell

Also using fiber — this time of the fabric variety — is cookoorikoo. I love this necklace made of fabric yo-yos: now that is a statement piece!

cookoorikoos partly sunny yo-yo necklace
cookoorikoo's partly sunny yo-yo necklace

And one more for the kids: Les Tissus Bows. Handmade bows, nursing necklaces, children’s decor and more all handmade by owner Heather. I just love the fluffy hand-trimmed tutus — enough to make any terrible two-year-old look like an angel!

Les Tissus Bows tutu
Les Tissus Bows' tutu

Antiques & Treasures

Last week I printed up a second order of earring tags for Antiques & Treasures, a french-themed boutique in Australia. I can’t believe how much my printing improved in just a few months — the first ones were perfectly acceptable, but these are gorgeous — deep impression, not an inking flaw to be found. Practice makes perfect, I guess!

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Bailey Doesn’t Bark

Ants On My Cup and Saucer
Ants On My Cup and Saucer

Bailey Doesn’t Bark is the creative outlet for Re Jin Lee, a New York-based illustrator who wants her work to be not only beautiful but useful. She transfers her original drawings to porcelain blanks, making them handy for the home yet still a stunning piece of art. I love the whimsey of her ant pieces (above) and the elegant quality of her line.

Teabag Teaspoon Cup and Saucer
Teabag Teaspoon Cup and Saucer