Olann and Loves
A collection of beautiful, quirky and useful crafts and kits from Ireland and around the world that caught our eyes
Sew Let’s Craft – Worry Buddy Craft Kit
Anja the lady behind Sew Let’s Craft is a busy mum of two daughters. Having inherited craft supplies from a family member’s business, Anja decided to open her own online shop. Initially, she concentrated on selling crafty bits and bobs; buttons, zips, etc, but as her business has grown Anja has begun to create craft kits, which contain everything you need to complete a project.
The Worry Buddy stems from Anja’s understanding of how crafting can be great therapy for both adults and children. She developed her concept of the Worry Monster/Eater and turned it into a sewing kit for children to make. Designed to help your child voice their concerns/worries, it is a way for them to understand, express and deal with them in a safe way. It is suitable for kids that are afraid of the dark, school, illness, hospitals, doctors, grieving etc.
Children can write down the worry on a piece of paper and place it in the mouth of their worry buddy who will gobble it up. This action can sometimes be enough for the child; just writing the worry down is helpful.
The kit itself is particularly well presented. Packaged in a brown paper bag tied up with string, it includes everything you need to make a Worry Buddy, including a Birth Certificate to complete once the Buddy is made (a great touch we think). Not only will the child have a great toy they can share worries with, they will have created it from scratch, with love and care.
The Worry Buddy Kit costs €13.99 plus shipping and is available on the Sew Let’s Craft website. If you’d like to stay up-to-date with all things Sew Let’s Craft, you can find them on Instagram and Facebook.
Fintan Wall – Hate Hearts
Graphic designer Fintan Wall specialises in print but with a bit of online work thrown in. Having worked with many different clients, one of his recent collaborations was with Dog’s Trust to create a range of mugs, notebooks and greetings cards. In combination with his day-to-day work, Fintan creates fun pop culture inspired merchandise including enamel pins, art prints and t-shirts, that are little different.
The product that caught our eye from Fintan are his Hate Hearts. They are soft enamel pins, not too dissimilar to the Love Heart sweeties by Swizzles, with one of two different slogans on them. Available in four different colours; pink, yellow, blue and green, you can show the world exactly what you think of it, by sporting your badge with ‘Not Today Satan’ or ‘Can’t Even’ on it.
Crafty Cat – Row Counter
As a lifelong crafter, Debra Turner has always enjoyed making things, which she blames in no small part to Blue Peter. As an adult, her passion for yarn and all things fibre and woolly has grown and after starting to knit lace patterns Debra realised just how important stitch markers are and wanted to make her own.
Having learnt that pretty isn’t always practical and that no-one wants a marker snagged up in your yarn slowing down your rhythm, Debra began designing and making her markers as non-snag as possible and enjoyed sourcing unusual beads to create unique markers. Naturally, these led on to row counters, crochet markers, progress keepers, and most recently, copper wire shawl pins.
Opening her Etsy store in 2011 Debra was able to make her dream come true and turn The Crafty Cat into her full-time job in 2016. Her stitch markers can be found in yarn stores worldwide and Debra also wholesales to large and small independent yarn dyers.
We’d spotted her Row Counters several months ago and have been desperate to share them with you. We’re fans of tools that are both pretty and practical, and these are both. Easy to use, the Row Counters will count up to 100 rows by starting at the top ring and working down to the bottom. You simply slip the 10mm ring when you need too. We’ve put a coloured ring in for the fifth so at a glance you can tell where you are. The easy move clasp allows you to keep track of the 10s, 20s etc.
Perfect for you or as a little knitterly gift, the counters retail at prices from £6.99 plus shipping from the CraftyCatKnittyBits Etsy Shop and come complete with written instructions. Every order will arrive gift wrapped and with a little something extra!
You can keep up with Debra on Instagram where she posts a mixture of products, the great outdoors and of course the Crafty Cats, the most famous of whom is Tom ( a rescue cat) who features every Tuesday (Tom Tuesday) and has a bigger fan base than Debra!
Love Ink Paper Scissors – Notebooks
Nadine Guerlain is the talented illustrator behind Love Ink Paper Scissors. Originally from France, Ireland captured Nadine’s heart 29 years ago and she has lived in Dublin ever since.
Nadine has drawn or made things all of her life, with her kids, for their rooms or birthday parties, gifts for friends, bridal tiaras, Christmas decorations and even her own wedding invitations.
Eventually deciding it was time to put her work out into the world, Nadine opened her shop Love Ink Paper Scissors on Etsy in October 2017. She followed this up by taking part in the fabulous Dublin Flea Christmas Market, which she found was a great way to start and to meet other artists and makers from Ireland
Nadine makes greeting cards, prints, notebooks, magnets & badges from her illustrations. Her drawings can be full of bright colours, or simply black and white, sometimes with pops of red, which is her favourite colour.
Working and make everything at home, Nadine told us she loves running my small business, even if it is still very early days. Her partner in crime is her husband who Nadine calls her IT consultant as he helps with Photoshop, layouts and printing. Her other two companions are coffee and her radio.
If you’re like us then you’ll find Nadine’s A5 Notebooks are the perfect size to slip into your project bag. They contain 40 blank pages made from 100gsm cartridge paper, making them ideal for jotting down notes, sketching, journaling, etc and would make the perfect little gift. Nadine prints her digital illustrations onto textured Tintoretto 250gsm paper to make the cover of the notebook and the designs are also available as greetings cards. Notebooks are bound with staples, hand trimmed, wrapped in a cello bag for protection and cost €6.00 each plus shipping. They are available from the Love Ink Paper Scissors Etsy Shop, along with Nadine’s other products, which start from €3 each.
R & H Shearer Ceramics – Porcelain Brooches
Helen Shearer lives and works with her husband Rory Shearer in rural Co. Antrim. Rory is a potter and together they run R & H Shearer Ceramics specialising in brooches and framed pieces.
The couple work mainly in porcelain; Helen told us ‘it’s my media of choice, it is soft and malleable, and I love that it can pick up all the tiny detail in my work. My framed porcelain illustrations are simply drawings in clay. The lines are incised and layers of oxide wash and under-glaze colour add life to the drawing. I use a ‘slow’ process to create my work. I get so much enjoyment from the making process and I like that each piece I make is entirely hand-made and individual’.
Helen’s inspiration comes from her love of colour, texture and pattern. She enjoys drawing and often sketches the plants and creatures found in the countryside surrounding her home. These are then interpreted in her pieces.
Both brooches and framed pieces can be bought in many shops and galleries throughout Ireland and the UK and are also available via the R & H Shearer Ceramics Website. Brooches start from €14 and are perfect to brighten up a woolly jumper or hat.
The Knit Kit
Two generations, a mother, Patti and two sisters, Katie and Libby, all with a long history with knitting and yarn, made the decision to purchase and take-over The Knit Kit in 2017 and bring their passions for family, knitting and yarn together in a family run business. Originally launched in 2009, the ladies have totally revamped the product and are manufacturing now near their Cape Cod location, so they are able to assemble and perform quality checks on every Knit Kit prior to being sent to the customer.
In addition to the Knit Kit the company also sells additional products including yarn, project kits, needles and notions.
Known in the industry as the “Swiss Army” tool for knitting the Knit Kit provides 10 essential accessories needed for knitting on the go in an all-in-one compact solution; a Row Counter, a Crochet Hook, a Retractable 5 ft. tape measure in both inches and centimetres, a Thread Cutter, TSA Complaint Slip-N-Snip™ collapsible scissors, Round Stitch Markers – 4x 10mm and 4x 6mm, 2 Locking Stitch Markers, Point Protectors, a Darning Needle and there’s a Needle Gauge on the back compartment flap.
All together in a very durable, compact, easy to locate device. The entire kit has been overhauled, from the quality of the products, to the mechanisms which exist
inside, the Knit Kit came out a more robust product than before. All parts and components are manufactured and/or sourced in the USA and comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. At time of publishing available colours are Tallulah Teal and Billy Black, but new colours will be introduced periodically.
Rosemary aka The Constant Knitter in Dublin has the exclusive rights to sell the Knit Kit in Ireland and the UK, where you can purchase your Knit Kit for €35. The Constant Knitter offers worldwide shipping and at the time of writing this post had sold out of over half of her initial order.
We will of course tell you more about the Knit Kit and the other items listed in this issues Olann and Loves in our Podcast episodes.