Olann and Loves
A collection of beautiful, quirky and useful crafts and kits from Ireland and around the world that caught our eyes.
What Mustard Made – Stitch Markers/Progress Keepers
Having taught herself to crochet in her early 20’s, Tracey told us ‘it ebbed and flowed through her life until she started to fall in love with hand dyed 4ply yarns a couple of years ago, and really got stuck into the yarn community’.
Thoroughly gripped by her passion, Tracey signed up to a monthly yarn club, which included a stitch marker each time. Using them to secure her WIPs, it wasn’t long before the number of works in progress outnumbered the number of stitch markers.
Tracey went looking for extra supplies and despite finding quite a few, none of them were exactly what she wanted, so she decided to make her own. Initially, she bought some pretty beads and ‘standard’ metal charms, but as they didn’t really call out to her, she never used them and so her stitch markers idea fell by the wayside. They sat gathering dust for months, until making markers popped into her head again one day, and she went searching for better charms. Discovering a better supplier, she spotted the baubles with teeny multicoloured stars in – perfect!
Initially, Tracey ran her business through Etsy, but it wasn’t long before she decided to set up her own website and she hasn’t looked back since. Committed to selling products she likes, she soon realised there’s little point in selling things that she wouldn’t use herself. Her determination to be authentic and not give in and cater to everyone’s tastes sets her apart from many other makers and makes her products that bit more special.
Having recently learnt to knit, Tracey has begun to dye her own yarn and confesses to living and breathing anything fibre related, although she assures us that stitch markers will continue to be her mainstay. She absolutely loves the feeling of sending out a parcel wrapped up like a gift with little extras included, and hearing the joy in a thank you email, or seeing it via on an Instagram or Facebook.
Going forwards, Tracey is hoping to offer some hand dyed yarn with matching stitch markers, and eventually, some hand dyed fibre too! Having recently learnt to spin with drop and Turkish spindles – she has definitely fallen down the rabbit hole and is making a nest there ❤
Stitch Markers start at £1 each plus shipping from the What Mustard Made website and if you’re really lucky you might still be able to purchase one of Tracey’s Twelve Days of Christmustard box (no offence meant to religious beans re the Christmas pun on her name!).
As a special for readers of Olann and, if you mention Olannand in the comments box at checkout on the What Mustard Made website, Tracey will include a free stitch marker with your order. Which is on top of the free marker she already gifts with each order. (one-time use per customer)
Tidal Soul Studio – Boho Copper & Seaglass Earrings
Emer O’Neill at Tidal Soul Studio is an artist and jewellery designer living by the beach in Co. Cork. Her aim is to connect people to the raw energy of the sea through her boho style seaglass jewellery. She handcrafts wearable talismans using her beachcombing finds of glass ‘jewels’ that have been smoothed and polished by the ocean over many, many years. This glass which was once discarded and broken down, having been transformed by the ocean, is then given another lease of life through Emer’s designs and carries on its journey as a unique piece of jewellery.
Everything Emer experiences along the shoreline; the sounds, the sights, the smells, the textures, inspires her work. She conveys the sense of being at the beach through the colours and textures she uses and evokes the joy, freedom & headspace of a stroll along the wild Irish coast.
Tidal Soul Studio is committed to protecting our oceans, so only recyclable and biodegradable packaging is used. In addition, Emer has also committed to donating a portion of her annual sales to a non-profit marine/wildlife conservation organisation at the end of each year. So each time you purchase a piece from Tidal Soul Studio, you can be assured that you are playing a part in protecting our planet.
When we first saw the beautiful Boho Copper & Seaglass Earrings we were surprised by their weight, they are incredibly light and extremely comfortable to wear. Capturing the energy of the waves that tumbled it, the seaglass is complemented perfectly by the warm coloured copper that encases it. The earrings are just one of Tidal Soul Studio’s products, Emer also makes other jewellery including rings and necklaces and her Mixed Media Seascapes really capture the beauty of the Irish coast.
The Bead and Button Emporium – Polymer Clay and Ceramic Buttons
We first became aware of Sharon’s fantastic buttons at the first Yarnfolk Festival of Wool last year in 2017. Always on the lookout for something that bit different to finish off a cardigan or other project, Sharon’s pieces are a step up from the everyday fasteners we usually come across.
The choice of buttons available in most shops is basic, largely because they’re all that is available and the ranges are constantly dwindling. So discovering Sharon’s quirky, but still, utilitarian delights was an unexpected bonus.
Having always had a passion for creating, Sharon loved making her own clothes, but her teenage dreams of becoming a fashion designer, didn’t come to fruition and life took her down another path. Her interest in design led to a return to college as a mature student aged 40 where she got her degree in interior design.
Since then Sharon tried many, many crafts and in 2006 she began studying jewellery making and discovered polymer clay. The versatility of the medium allows Sharon to blend her own colours and produce different textures in order to offer her customers a bespoke service.
Determined to learn everything she can, Sharon has even travelled to France, the US and London to hone her skills and in 2013 she launched my business, The Bead and Button Emporium, offering a range of beads, buttons and accessories for crafters and designers.
Earlier this year Sharon had one of her tutorials published in Making Jewellery Magazine. The range of products she creates is always expanding and she has very recently added a range of ceramic buttons to he Etsy shop along with handmade handbags and project bags made for knitters/ crocheter.
Prices vary for Sharon’s buttons, depending on the size and material used, so we’d advise you to pop over to the Etsy Shop PolymerClayEmporium and have a look for yourself. She also welcomes custom orders and collaborations with designers.
It’s A Stitch Up – Hand Painted Yarn Dyeing Kit
It’s a Stitch Up is a small, independent producer of hand-dyed yarn, yarn dyeing kits and original knitting patterns. Based in Walthamstow, East London – an area with a rich history of textile design, and home to many independent creative businesses – they love to knit, create and own ethical fashion, and want to help and empower others to do the same. They pride themselves on making sure all of their products are sustainably sourced. From sheep to skein, the people and animals that help to create their yarn are respected and the environment is cared-for.
It’s A Stitch Up hand-dyed yarns offer some of the most beautiful colour combinations, but if you’d like to try your hand at dyeing yarn yourself they sell a diverse range of Yarn Dyeing Kits and Supplies.
The Hand Painted Yarn Dyeing Kit is one of their bestsellers and the one that they recommend for people who want to create a classic variegated yarn. The beginner-friendly kit contains everything you need including a bare 100g skein of yarn of your choice from, 4ply, DK or Aran weight and comes packaged in a brown cardboard box. As with all their kits included is a copy of the It’s A Stitch Up Little Book of Dyeing (also available separately), which introduces four different techniques for dyeing wool.
Stink Design – Aromatherapy Necklaces
Always on the lookout for something a little bit different we’ve been desperate to let you know about the Aromatherapy Necklaces by Stink Design. Created by Irish based Hungarian artist, Zsiri Dempsey, the necklaces are the ultimate pairing of design meets well-being.
The benefits of using aromatherapy are well documented and the rise in popularity of using Essential Oils seem to be continually growing. Many people now use Essential Oils as part of their everyday lives helping with everything from boost their mood, relieving stress and aiding sleep.
Each aromatherapy necklace pendant is about 3 to 4cm and it comes with a 70cm rubber lace. The handcrafted ceramic or porcelain pendant encases a replaceable merino wool felt ball. Felt is ideal for oil absorption and diffusing, making it one of the most natural ways to diffuse essential oils.
If like us, you’re wondering whether the oils will soak in and ruin your clothes, essential oil isn’t actually an “oil” at all; most essential oils are clear in colour, but a few are thicker or naturally coloured. A quick test can determine the purity of essential oils details of which can be found on the FAQ Page on the Stink Design Website here.
Stink is playful, creative, sustainable, eco-friendly, and most importantly, safe and easy for everyone to use. Currently, there are five different Stink Design Aromatherapy Necklaces available, with prices starting at €25 plus shipping, all are packaged in a reusable felt pouch and you can also order extra felt balls for use with different oils.
Popcorn + Crocodiles – Adventures in Yarn Notebook
Emily, a keen crocheter and beginner knitter lives in Edinburgh with her other half and two little ones. Short on time, but desperate to maximise her time for making, Emily decided she needed a way to keep on top of her projects and be able to quickly find what she needed.
At the end of 2016 she had a wonderful idea (some might say slightly crazy) to produce a notebook for people who crochet or knit, dye or spin, to keep track of their makes.
Having been looking for one for ages and still unable to find what she was looking for; the obvious answer was to do it herself! Thinking, designing and planning took place during her second maternity leave – ‘baby’ turned 2 last December, just as she got the physical copies back from the printer.
Like many ideas, the reality can be a much bigger undertaking than anticipated, but having achieved her first goal, Emily has loads of plans and dreams for Popcorn and Crocodiles over the coming months. All of which has to fit in around her young family and work commitments.
More about the ‘Adventures in Yarn’ notebook
Emily has really tried to think of everything that a yarn enthusiast would need, and really hopes that it’s an inspiring tool for people to use for their creative yarn projects. It’s an A5 wire bound notebook with loads of space to record knitting and crochet projects, ideas, inspiration, reminders and track progress.
In the notebook you’ll find:
- An introductory section to title your notebook and add your own indexing if you choose (each page has space at the bottom to add page numbers)
- 5 sections, each containing lined, squared and plain paper, and a page to attach your yarn samples plus notes.
- 7 plastic pockets to store business cards, yarn labels, patterns, fliers – any odds and ends!
- A measuring page to quickly check hook/ needle size.
- A colour wheel for planning and inspiration.
- Space for capturing your wish list of yarns, projects + accessories, to-do items, your crafting goals + reminders, things to check out (websites, books, podcasts) and your yarn inventory.
- Labels to cut off and attach to tension squares to keep track of what tools and materials you used.
Provenance is really important to Emily so the notebook has been designed with the assistance of an Edinburgh based graphic designer, and has been printed locally in Scotland using FSC paper.
The notebook costs £18 + P&P and is available online from the shop on the Popcorn + Crocodiles website 10% of the profit goes to charity, which changes every 6 months. During H1 2018 it was Age UK for the remainder of the year it’s the Trussell Trust who run a network of food banks across the UK.
Just as we were about to publish, Emily told us about a new product release, the ‘Out + About’ mini notebook, which she launched at Perth Festival of Yarn (which was also her first experience of vending!).
We’ll tell you a little more about them soon. In the meantime, why not pop over to the Popcorn + Crocodiles Website to find out more and/or give them a follow on Instagram where you’ll find Emily as @popcornandcrocodiles