Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Totally Handmade: New By Hand Website March 2, 2009

The following is excerpted from one of my favorite websites, Wickedly Chic, which effortlessly combines shopping and indie, handmade culture—a perfect blend, in my opinion. (Their tagline, “Independent Shopping for the Wickedly Fashionable” says it all, doesn’t it?)

By Liz Nonnemacher, Editor-in-Chief, Wickedly Chic

byhandI’d like to introduce a unique new website to Wickedly Chic readers. ByHand is the creation of husband & wife team, Adam & Rebecca. I’m just starting to play around with it and there are so many cool features for both sellers & shoppers. Let’s talk to Rebecca and find out more about ByHand.

What is ByHand?

It’s a social community for handmade artists AND handmade buyers created with the purpose of putting the personal back into handmade. It is NOT venue specific. We have an artisan directory where anyone who creates handmade can list themselves for free and it allows them to list all the venues they sell on whether it’s Etsy, Artfire, Silkfair, Dawanda, their own website or anywhere else that they sell their items. My husband feels very lucky to have a stable job in this economy when so many don’t…so this is how he felt he could give back. We are paying for everything for the site out of our pockets including the new server and back up external drive we just purchased.

What are some of the features that ByHand can offer both buyers & sellers?

Our big key feature right now is what we call Spotlights. Basically they
are like Etsy’s treasuries … but you can add products from any selling venue we have listed (Made it Myself, Zibbet, SilkFair, 1000 Markets, Dawanda, ArtFire, Etsy & ShopHandmade). A user creates a Spotlight using any 9 items from these venues. The Spotlights are archived forever and never disappear unless the user deletes them. You can click on every product in the Spotlights section and it takes you straight to that product’s page..wherever it may be. Now what’s even better is that Spotlights show up not only on the ByHand site, but you can use a code we provide to post them to your blog or social community as well. There are javascript and flash versions depending on what works on the external site and different sizes and layouts offered as well!

Do you have other features to offer buyers & sellers?

Yes, we do. We have a Community Blog where users who set up an account (remember…it’s free) can post and we also have a Chat feature. There’s a complete listing of Artisans that have joined us at ByHand and a Clubhouse where you can join groups or create your own. There are many opportunities for the seller to showcase their items and for buyers to find cool stuff to spend their money on!

Who are some of the sellers that you have on ByHand?

Here’s a short list of some of our fabulous sellers:

Mama’s Little Monkeys (Custom gifts for mom, baby & more).

Heather Knitz (Unique rag bags and rag bag kits. Sassy hair and jewelry accessories. Funky art and crafting supplies. DIY patterns and tutorials).

Peaches and Kream (jewelry & needle felted items).

Infinite Vision Photography (photography).

BeachyRustica Practical Art (furniture knobs & hooks).

LiberTEAS (tea).

Splashin (handpainted clothing).

Broken Hallelujah (crocheted accessories).

Weird Bug Lady (plush bugs, spiders, reptiles, etc.)

Timothy Adam Designs (metal)

Lumina Jewelry (affordable jewelry)

Tilley Jewels (fairytale jewels for the everyday princess).

BookWormz (stylish bookmarks).

Be sure to take a look at ByHand today & find more great artists….and if you have a shop yourself, why not join & promote your products?


Cool Couture by Kenneth D. King February 17, 2009

coolcoutureweb_000I know fashion designer and author Kenneth D. King from my days as a sewing editor, and along with being an absolute delight of a person, he’s also amazingly talented in his art and supremely generous in his sharing of his knowledge. In fact, he’s been teaching the second semester (embellishments) of the FIT Haute Couture certificate that I’m pursuing, and I’m crossing my fingers I’ll be lucky enough to get him as a professor. But for those of us who don’t get to learn from Kenneth in person, he’s recently released an updated version of his 1996 favorite Cool Couture: Construction Secrets for Runway Style, and frankly, his timing couldn’t be better. His sensibility is both classically original and futuristically fresh. And couture (and knowing how to accomplish it) is truly just so cool now.

Order Cool Couture here.

Visit Kenneth D. King’s web site here.


Get Crafty: I Love to Create web site February 15, 2009

Filed under: Totally handmade — rebmas03 @ 10:27 pm
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createFor you crafty types, here’s a cute web site created by crafts company Duncan:


Take Your Knitting on the Road January 22, 2009

Filed under: Totally handmade — rebmas03 @ 3:33 am
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book_cover_new161102012_stdAn expert knitter once said to me, “Knitting is my friend—I can take it anywhere.” Boy, is she ever right. I’m a sewer, but when I want a portable craft, knitting is my numero uno choice. And there’s a book created for exactly that purpose: Knit 1 for the Road by Margaret Nock (who knitted her way through inaugural day making chemo caps!). Margaret also publishes a companion blog for her book. So grab your No. 8 needles and hit the road!


Cheerful retro oilcloth totes December 28, 2008

kiwi-ginghamWell, you know how I can go on about buying local and handmade, and this week, I just happen to be on Johns Island in South Carolina (right outside Charleston), which is exactly where Sabrina Vegis of Tanner Bananer creates her fiercely cheerful oilcloth bags, aprons and kid’s items. Yes, oilcloth, that hardworking ’40s tablecloth fabric, now gets new life in these durable, easy-clean, retro totes, lunch bags and more. They are just so unbearably cute and tough and have been featured in several magazines. Check out these brilliant, bright retro stars.

P.S. Every Friday and Saturday, you can find Sabrina and her wares at Charleston’s historic open-air market.