Yay Michelle!

Hooray for our very own Michelle Odom, who is currently Hardcore Norfolk's featured artist! Check out the video by clicking the title above.

Michelle is one of the founding members of HandmadeVA, and probably our biggest cheerleader, as well! Check out her awesome jewelry and soy candles (under the name Gymbohannah) at the shop. You can taste some of her delicious and beautifully decorated cupcakes at Carolina Cupcakery, too! (Colley & 21st in Ghent...right down the street from the Mystic Mermaid)
Don't forget to swing by HandmadeVA for some last minute gifts and stocking stuffers!


This is what we are about.

I was so excited to finally see this piece from Nightline featuring Etsy! (Click the post title to link to the video...) I absolutely wanted to share it with all our HandmadeVA fans because we share many of the same values as Etsy...basically, we want to be a local, brick-and-mortar version of Etsy in our community.

I hope that if you have purchased anything at HandmadeVA, you feel that sense of "story" that goes into every handmade item.

Please feel free to leave your comments below with your story of heartfelt, handmade gifts! What's the best one you've ever made and given? The best one you've ever received?

And...we are stocking up the shop this week with more great gifts for Christmas!


Holiday Open House!

Yay, it's Open House time again! We're having our Holiday Open House this Sunday, from 12-5pm at the shop. Come shop for some great handmade gifts! We'll be having ornament-making, gift wrapping (for donations to benefit Habitat for Humanity), and of course, cookies!

Tell your friends!!!

Skip the mall madness this year, and shop handmade for the holidays!


happy small business saturday!

apparently today is the first "Small Business Saturday," a day to support your local shops and restaurants. we've got two great ideas for you! first, hit the Virginia Beach Christmas Craft Market at the convention center between 10 and 6 (it's also open sunday, 10-5), and support the lovely ladies of 7 cities crafters! (it's pretty much the sweetest booth in the whole show...)

then, head straight down 264 to ghent and visit handmadeVA (inside the Mystic Mermaid) for some more awesome handmade gifts! many ghent businesses are hosting open houses this weekend, so check out some of the other great shops down 21st and colley while you're at it.

holiday shopping, done! and your local artisans and small businesses thank you. :)



happy thanksgiving! (and preparations for the big show...)

hope you all are having a splendid thanksgiving! i've been doing a bunch a last minute crafting to get ready for Virginia Beach Christmas Market this weekend at the convention center...i'm super excited about the VA pillows i've been wanting to make forever!

i'm thinking about offering custom states to order, as well!

meanwhile, my family is cooking up a storm in the kitchen, as we'll be heading to grandma's soon for dinner with 16 people! my sisters are pretty crafty in the kitchen. this is the made-from-scratch apple pie my twin sister kim made (i helped with the decorations :)...

and the gorgeous pumpkin center pieces she made as well...

i hope you all have a lovely thanksgiving with friends and family! don't forget to check out the craft market this weekend (friday through sunday) and stop by the 7 cities crafters' booth to see some handmadeVA artists! (it's better than black friday shopping...buy handmade for the holidays!)


getting ready for the big show...

So several of the handmadeVA ladies have the privilege of participating in the Virginia Beach Christmas Market at the convention center this year, as part of the 7 Cities Crafter's booth. It happens Thanksgiving weekend, November 26-28th (so bring all those out-of-town guests!). (Click the image above for more info.)
That means we all have a ton of work to do! Besides making sure the shop is stocked for a busy shopping weekend, we've got have plenty of inventory for this huge 3 day show. I've been finger-knitting away on some mini-scarf necklaces, and I know the other girls are getting busy, too. So excited!
And, by the way, we got tons of comments at the Spring show that 7 Cities had the best booth in the whole place...pretty sure we'll do it again for this one! :)


handmadeVA keeps growing & growing...

and we're looking for new crafters! ideally, we'd like to see practical, housewares-type items, but we're open to other fun things. we are limited on jewelry space, but we are always willing to look at unique and unusual items. holidays get very busy at the Mystic Mermaid, so we'd like to make sure we have plenty of wonderful handmade gift ideas available for shoppers!
if you're interested (or know someone who is), please email vicki at handmadeVA@yahoo.com.


buy fresh, buy local.

i've recently discovered this organization that promotes fresh, local produce from area farmers and restaurants and i'm a big fan. check it out at www.buylocalhamptonroads.org

thought it would be of interest to all of our handmadeVA fans, considering your love of all things local and handmade! :)


open house was a blast!

thanks to everyone who came out to our open house wednesday and made it a huge success! susan (of the mystic mermaid) is already planning for next year! the music and food were great, and we all had a fantastic time.

[some of the girls...]

[the awesomely talented ben hardesty & band]
thanks so much for coming out and showing your support for local art & craft!


open house this week!

don't forget the Mystic Mermaid/handmadeVA open house is only 3 days away! be sure to join us for a good time...live music, food & wine, giveaways, & of course, great handmade goods. if you haven't stopped in for a while, you'll be delighted to see the changes we've made in the handmadeVA space. we've been busy adding new artists and crafters with some fun new items.

Mystic Mermaid/handmadeVA halloween open house
wednesday, october 13th
6-9 pm

see you there!!!


dc crafty fun!

several handmadeVA & 7cities crafters friends had the great opportunity to check out dc's crafty bastards arts and craft festival this past saturday, and it was awesome! we were all pretty inspired by the 150+ vendors with some fun reconstructed clothing, prints, jewelry, ceramics, and more. plus, we were all excited about our free etsy "i heart handmade" bumper stickers! and soraia got a hug from jay mccarroll, the first winner from project runway! (sorry i don't have more pictures...i was too caught up looking at all the craftiness!)

afterward, we decided to check out some of the monuments:

some of the group:

it was definitely an awesome day and well worth the trip! perhaps next year, we'll be vending as well??


open house at the mystic mermaid!

yay! it's time for our open house at the Mystic Mermaid! join handmadeVA and others on october 13th from 6-9pm for live music, refreshments, giveaways, and a good ol' time! handmadeVA ladies will be there helping you to make your very own fun halloween mask. don't miss it!


handmadeVA has expanded!

handmadeVA is growing....we've just expanded our space at the Mystic Mermaid! now we've got room for lots of new treasures, including...

super cute primitive hand-carved birds by dan henkel.

my fav, with the sad little eyes!

awesome vintage-inspired crocheted neckwarmers by katie emborski (the attic suitcase).

plus, we've added wood-burned items and notecards by amanda hertz (pics coming soon!).
we'll be adding more handmade goodness in the weeks to come, and we'll have news about an open house night soon!


cute as a button!

hooray! welcome to our newest crafter, katie bowling [one delightful button]. she makes the most adorable fabric covered button earrings and bookmarks. check it out:

i mean, really...how cute are those?? stop by the shop to check out our new items!


why i care about local, handmade goods...and why you should, too.


You need to watch this video. We all need to watch this video. It made me want to cry, yell at somebody, kick myself for continually falling prey to this horrible kind of consumerism, and then go protest somewhere....peacefully, of course.
But most of all, it reminded me that this is why I care about handmade, local goods. This is one of the reasons HandmadeVA exists. Yes, we want you to buy our stuff. But we want you to think about your purchases wisely, too. How often do we truly pause to consider the impact of the purchases we make? What sort of consumer cycle are we supporting when we buy from the "big-box-marts" as opposed to local businesses? And even when we shop at local businesses, do we think about where the goods they sell are coming from?
I don't expect HandmadeVA to change the world or put an end to consumerism as we know it, but I do want HandmadeVA to be a catalyst for change in the 7 cities. We are not just about awesome local crafts. My hope is that it will encourage you to think more carefully about what you buy. Shop local, buy handmade!
Please take the time to watch "The Story of Stuff." It is well worth it. Feel free to comment below....I'd love to know your thoughts on the matter, and what we can do to make changes in our community.


lookin' good...

so we finally got all the gals together for a little sprucing up in the shop today (and a group photo)! we're all so excited about how things are going with handmadeVA, and it's only getting better.
come see for yourself...it's pretty awesome.
new items added recently:
gorgeous prints [sophie's lament]
fun mermaid signs [kelly guswiler studio]
more soy candles [gymbohannah]
new earrings [from heather's hands]
va love tote bags [dreamfly]
and love ninjas!!! [23hearts]


a little shout out for 7cc...

7 cities crafters is just about the coolest group of crafty ladies (and maybe the occasional guy) in all of tidewater. handmadeVA would not exist if not for 7 cities...it's a great way to network with other crafters and maybe learn some new skills and techniques. basically just a social group, 7 cities holds meetings the first sunday of every month. check out the website for this month's meeting details.


happy crafting!


interested crafters and artists...

apparently there's been a lot of inquiry about how to get involved with handmadeVA! if you are an artist or crafter and are looking to sell your wares, feel free to contact me (vicki) at handmadeVA@yahoo.com.

we may not have room in the space right this moment, but as we look at our options for the future, i'd definitely love to include lots of other local talent. let me know if you're interested, and i'll keep you up to date!


lovely handmade goodness

just thought i'd give you a sampling of items in the shop, just in case you haven't been by to check it out yet. (why haven't you??)
[earrings by heather wright.]

[zipper pouches by soraia gobin.]

[beaded scarf necklaces by vicki bahr.]

[rings and earrings by michelle odom.]

[upcycled cd coasters by kristen runberg.]

[hand painted wood turned ornament by kelly guswiler.]


it's official...

...handmadeVA is open for business! Hooray!

We'll be adding even more inventory over the next week or so. Check it out!


oh man. we're so excited!

So the set-up has begun, and we're super stoked about how things are looking...We've got a great little corner in the Mystic Mermaid.
Just to give you a little preview...

Not much to look at yet, but inventory will start coming in on Monday. Be sure to check it out for some awesome handmade goodness!


hello, handmadeVA!

HandmadeVA is coming soon! We'll keep you updated about exact dates, but look for us at the Mystic Mermaid at the Palace Shops on 21st St. in Ghent in early July!

As an introduction, however, this is a little bit about who we are:

HandmadeVA is a local crafter's collaborative whose mission is to support local art & craft in the 7 cities.

We believe in the handmade, homegrown, heartfelt, DIY lifestyle.

We care about creating...about making something that means something. Handmade=made with love.

We care about supporting local businesses and our community.

If you care about these things, too, help us support local artists and crafters. Shop local, buy handmade!

Check the blog often, or become a follower, to read updates about the shop, artist profiles, news about local shows and events, and thoughts on the handmade lifestyle.

Thanks for stopping by.