Hype & Lavender: Fashionably Crafty Gals & Makers Market


LiliGlow Boutique is turning 5 years old! To celebrate, Tamara Johnson, the brand’s founder, is hosting Hype & Lavender. Tamara is currently looking for 14 crafty female designers or makers to vend at this event. By the way, free tix to attend Hype and Lavender are currently available as part of the Early Bird Special. Here’s some more info from the event page:



Event is being held in the Eraserhood/ Loft District over at SAVERY Gallery (319 North 11th Street). Date: August 22, time: Noon to 5pm. See hypeandlavender.splasthat.com for additional details.

Handmade Philly Member Feature: Danni M

Danni Morinich, a member of Handmade Philly was given the opportunity to create a soap for The Italian Market Visitors Center. She lives in the neighborhood, she was not only honored to be asked, but so pleased at the result.

If you’re in the neighborhood for the Italian Festival Saturday, May 18th and Sunday, May 19th, stop by and see how she worked with the Italian Market Visitors Center to create a soap with an appearance that pays homage to the originators of the market in fragrances that are a nod to the importance of food in the market.
These gems make perfect gifts for the tourist, the foodie or those who still call Philly home while taking up residence elsewhere.

This soap is available exclusively at the Italian Market Visitors Center 919 S. 9th Street (Just south of 9th and Christian between Montrose Street and Salter Street (215) 278-2903.

Niesha Kennedy-Robinson is a lover of things handmade. Besides being a wife and a mother, she is the owner and operator of Wee Bit Trendy, a small online shop that provides Handmade Faux Treats for Baby. She loves DIY (why buy when you can DIY), and doing PR for Sharp with Art Group and West Park Arts Festival

Design Curator: Design Blog Pick

On my quest to curate top design sites and blogs I stumbled across a gem. In the jungle of social networks, namely Pinterest, I dug up the Design Work Life blog by Seamless Creative.

Seamless Creative is a New York City-based design studio, where creatives Brian and Courtney offer a variety of services from branding to marketing and beyond. Design Work Life is where Brian and Courtney catalog their daily inspirations.

Boy, did I hit the jackpot. Brian and Courtney’s blog shouts creativity. Each post dishes up scrumptious goodies for the eyes and mind. If you need a place to look for inspiration, come here!

Abstract Colors by Alessandro Pautasso (aka Nosurprises) is an illustration project with a portrait series of classic movie stars. There is the post about Edge & Barrett’s branding project for a high-end East London Boutique, 11 Boundary. Then there is my favorite: the hand-embroidered Penguin book cover illustrations by Rachell Sumpter. Search the blog for your favorite and find your gem of inspiration.


Elizabeth Wann {Jewelry Designer & Writer}

Design Curator: The Mother of Ikea

You might have heard of it. That dominating blue and yellow hulking building across the sky. Ikea. The Disney World of design and mass production.

I bet as you’ve walked through the showrooms, laid on the beds, sat on the sofas and chairs you never thought much about the story behind the interior designs. Ikea might even be cliche to you; overused and overdone. Yet, there is a design concept peeking through each piece, which stems from the mother of Ikea known as Scandinavian design.

Scandinavian design includes the countries of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway; it encompasses the idea of  “beautiful things that make your life better.” A design is truly Scandinavian when beauty and functionality are one.

Functionality is how practical an object is, how accessible, and how enjoyable for the general public.  The idea of designing products in such a way that they are accessible and affordable to the masses comes from Scandinavian local institutions, such as the Swedish Society of Industrial Design.

Fortunately beauty (the beauty of an object being a quality pleasing to the eye drawing us towards that object) was not sacrificed to the highly functional and accessible Scandinavian designs.

Smashing Magazine talks about the origination of the term Scandinavian design:

“The term “Scandinavian design” originates from a design show that traveled the US and Canada under that name from 1954 to 1957. Promoting the “Scandinavian way of living,” it exhibited various works by Nordic designers and established the meaning of the term that continues to today: beautiful, simple, clean designs, inspired by nature and the northern climate, accessible and available to all, with an emphasis on enjoying the domestic environment.”

Left: Poster from the Stockholm Exhibition, 1930. Right: Catalogue from the Helsingborg Exhibition, 1955.

Though  it seems everyone shops at Ikea (making it cliche), and most artists cringe at the words mass production, there is a design concept inherent in each display. We can learn from Ikea.

So far the design elements I’ve covered are simplicity, timelessness, and uniqueness. Now I have added functionality with beauty. With your designs think about how you can make it aesthetically pleasing, but also functional for your audience. You can try the “form follows function” approach and decide on your style aesthetic based on the practical need first or flip it; have a design aesthetic , but add elements of functionality to it.

Next time you walk through that blue and yellow superstore of design think about the design concept that mothered Ikea.

Elizabeth Wann~ Jewelry Designer and Writer

Design Curator: Simply Clutch

It’s Labor Day! The end of summer and the start of fall. Why not get a clutch for your re-emerging fall outfits? As the design curator, I’ve talked about simplicity, timelessness, and uniqueness in design. A clutch is a timeless fashion accessory in and of itself, but when Karina from Simply Clutch sets her hands to work her designs also have a beautiful simplicity in them; making the finished product strong.

One of my personal favorites from Karina’s shop is the Blush Silk Clutch with Black Lace. How can you get more timeless than black lace? Another personal favorite of mine is the Black Silk Clutch with Hot Pink and Aqua Chevron. This clutch retains a timeless factor, while keeping simple lines, appealing to trends, and using color blocking.

I was able to interview Karina from Simply Clutch before Labor Day weekend:

How did you get started making clutches? Why clutches?

First of all, I have always had a special obsession for clutches and purses. The holiday season had just passed and I was disappointed in myself for not thinking of a unique gift for my friends. It was January at this time and I set out to learn how to make clutches for my friends for the following holidays. It took me about 5 months of trial and error to learn how to make the clutches the way I wanted them. From there I spent the next few months making them to give out for Christmas.

How did you come up with the idea for Simply Clutch?

After the Christmas that I gave my friends their clutches they were obsessed with them and really urged me to consider selling them. I thought about it and decided that I would give it a try and see if people responded to my style outside my supportive group of friends.

What is the inspiration for your designs?

Colors and lines. Sometimes I see color combinations and think that it would make a great clutch. Even just walking through the fabric store inspires me!

Is there a specific kind of aesthetic you’re going for? If so, what?

Elegant and fun! I am a simply classic person with my tastes and I think that’s reflected in my clutches.

How do you find inspiration for developing new ideas?

Again it depends… sometimes different color palettes, fashion magazines, and also just life!

What is your favorite clutch in your shop and why?

This is a hard question! I like all my clutches for different reasons. For a formal or dressy event, I would pick the cobalt blue clutch with the large flower on the side, but maybe in red instead. For fun, the black chevron clutch with hot pink and aqua.

What kind of materials do you typically work with?

For my store I mainly use raw silk. I love it and it’s really versatile. At home, I’ll make cotton printed clutches but I would love to start using vinyl and leather too. Also, for most of my frames I use a nickel-free frame with a silver coating. Many times frames are made from nickel but people tend to have allergies to it.

So far on my monthly posts for Handmade Philly I’ve talked about 3 different aspects or categories of design: simplicity, timelessness, and uniqueness. What aspect or category of design would you place yourself in? Why?

Despite my store’s name I would pick timelessness. I certainly hope that my pieces will transcend trends and be used for years.

Elizabeth Wann ~ Writer & Designer

Design Curator: Design Website Pick

Many of my posts have covered elements of design: timelessness, uniqueness, and simplicity. Last month I featured Sultana Maria Jewelry, whose designs exemplify the element of uniqueness. A new addition to my posts will feature design blogs and websites. I will curate the most fun, educational, and inspiring sites for your reading and viewing pleasure.

My first pick is Design Sponge. This website has so many tasty slices of design pie, which makes the whole pie a gourmet delight. So much good stuff is packed into this site that it’s easy to let the time slip by as you browse. Design Sponge is best known for its DIY projects and videos, as well as its before and after design makeovers. Want to know how to do faux French windows? Pattern fan blades?  What about turning a birdcage into a chandelier?

For a variety of design columns, from recipes, DIY projects, mixing drinks, entertaining, and much more, Design Sponge has it all. Biz Ladies is a section on the site with business advice for women. If you are an artist and want to learn how to market your work, sell, and grow your business, then you need to be checking out this section everyday.

If you need some creative inspiration when you are entertaining, Design Sponge is where it’s at. Whether you want to decorate a room, plan a party or mix a drink you can come to Design Sponge and soak up its creativity for all your design projects.

{If you have recommendations for a design blog or website feature please let me know below in the comments section.}

Elizabeth Wann ~ Writer & Designer

Design Curator: Sultana Maria Jewelry

Every month I’ve brought different design concepts to the table. This month is a real life example of one design element we’ve already discussed: uniqueness. Sultana Aschim is a local jewelry designer and metal smith whose work embodies a unique design that is quite her own. Sultana uses lots of feathers, which is not a unique concept, but have you ever seen a feather with bullet shells?  Sultana is able to take something that isn’t unique and repackage it into something very unique; giving feather-wearers a new look.

I was able to to interview Sultana before the holiday weekend:

  • How would you describe your jewelry designs?

I would describe my designs as organic and bold. I use natural objects and found pieces in my work.  It is eco-friendly and original. Each piece is handmade by myself with objects I have gathered from my daily travels.

  • What is your inspiration for your designs?

I am inspired by my found objects. I have been collecting small inanimate objects my whole life in glass jars (I have so  many it’s really ridiculous.)  My parents are antique dealers and since I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to incorporate my collection into my work– from  vintage jewelry, small objects, recycled bullet casings, my rock collection, and anything else I’ve picked up that I felt had a unique design to it.

  • Do use any techniques?

I was trained as a Metalsmith/Silversmith in college when I received my BFA in Metals and Jewelry from Arcadia University.  Since then, I’ve developed my charm and chain line for Sultana Maria Jewelry, and I still use some of the techniques that I learned in college (ex: drilling, forming, cleaning up pieces with my dremel, oxidizing metals with patinas, and more).

  • Is there a specific kind of aesthetic you are going for?

Yes. I am not a dainty girly girl at all…. I do love my dresses and tall heels, but I love the grungy vibe (tattoos, abstract designs, city life.)  All the chain I use is oxidized (darkened to give my line a more organic feel.) I’m a rocker girl; I like loud music and I feel that my boho, gypsy rocker soul has adopted my jewelry collection.

  • How do you find inspiration for developing new design ideas?

I get my inspiration from the objects I find.  Right now most of my jewelry is made from rocks, feathers, and recycled bullet shells that I gather at indoor shooting ranges. I’m always wandering antique and flea markets to pick up new pieces to recreate in my work.

  • So far on my monthly posts I’ve talked about 3 different aspects or categories of design: simplicity, timelessness, and uniqueness. What aspect or category of design would you place yourself in?

I would definitely put my jewelry in the category of being unique.  I keep my work trendy and current with the style, but am always doing my own twist on it to keep in different from anything anyone has seen.  I’m definitely not a simple person 🙂

{Elizabeth Wann} Designer & Writer

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