Moop Canvas Bags

 

Wendy Downs, founder of Moop canvas bags, is making things happen. Her shop turned ten earlier this year and she’s constantly looking for new ways to improve, from seeking out quality materials from tested manufacturers to making sure each super-versatile bag is as mindfully made as possible. Each one is handmade from start to finish in Moop’s downtown Pittsburgh storefront by her small yet mighty team, who do everything from design to shipping. I very much admire her commitment to thoughtfully creating Moop’s line of fifteen bag designs while looking towards the future of not only her shop but small batch manufacturing.

Shop Moop Canvas Bags

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stak Ceramics

 

Heather and Myles Geyman built a friendship, marriage, and business – in that order. Chances are you’ve seen Stak Ceramics‘ super functional slip cast ceramic pieces before, because they’re everywhere. (They’re also often ripped off, unfortunately.) Whether it’s the kitchen tablet dock, the sprout planter phone dock, or any number of other minimally beautiful creations made in their Pittsburgh studio, you can be sure that they’ll help you live well.

Shop Star Ceramics

 

 

 

 

 

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OATMEAL

 

Elise Birnbaum is a maker, skill collector, coveter of interesting objects, and founder of Pittsburgh-based OATMEAL. She works predominantly with clay and metal, creating pieces for both body and home that are inspired by simple things and made in a narrow, often neutral, color palette. I’ve been following Elise, and the creations she often shares on Instagram, for some time now and very much appreciate the way she doesn’t depend on color to make her pieces standout. (One of those knot necklaces is definitely on my birthday wish list!)

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BLAK RUST

 

Shannon Pultz creates BLAK RUST‘s textiles by combining contemporary aesthetics with 7th century Japanese shibori silk painting techniques. With a focus on hand-made, high-quality, and hand-dyed traditional art, custom colorways and patterns are reproduced on textiles for apparel, upholstery, and wall coverings. Products available in BLAK RUST’s shop are luxury silk stoles and scarves that are wearable one-of-a-kind pieces of contemporary art.

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Reiko Yamamoto

 

Reiko Yamamoto is a modern ceramicist combining her skill in creating versatile, functional pottery with her experiences growing up in Japan. Eating meals meant a collection of handmade pottery rather than a matching set – a completely foreign concept – and Reiko has brought that approach to her Pittsburgh studio by creating pieces of various sizes, colors, shapes, and patterns that all work together harmoniously. The jewelry she creates has the same organic feel and presence, with a weight that feels substantial but not heavy.

Shop Reiko Yamamoto’s work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Savannah Hayes

 

If you’re a lover of bold, graphic prints then Savannah Hayes has got your number. The Pittsburgh-based textile designer refined her urban aesthetic through years of living and studying in various cities – San Francisco, London, New York City, and Los Angeles – and working with big shots Kelly Wearstler, Martha Stewart, and Kravet Fabrics. In October 2015 Savannah struck out on her own and has since expanded her eponymous line to include products for the living room, dining room, bedroom, baby, and tech. But if you have an idea of your own, she also sells fabric by the yard. I own one of her blankets, a heavy knit that’s ready to be brought back into rotation for autumn any day now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ashley Cecil

 

Our Pittsburgh Maker Profile series has been on extended hiatus for awhile now. This area is so rife with creativity that I feel I’ve been doing it a disservice, simply highlighting one maker a month really isn’t enough. So this September I’ll be highlighting a few dozen instead! You’ll know it’s a Pittsburgh creator by the little seal above that will mark each post.

Shop Ashley Cecil’s work

 

 

I first became aware of the flora-meets-fauna art of Ashley Cecil last spring when she created a line of scarves that sold at the Carnegie Museum of Art. She paints from live observation at renowned institutions, and marrying realism with abstract modern backgrounds is her signature style. Those two things alone garner loads of interest for me, but what makes it all work so well together is Ashley’s innate understanding of color and the way she knows when to keep it reigned it or go all out. She’s also working to save birdlife with an innovative window film that helps birds see the surface rather than fly into it injuring, or even worse killing, themselves.

Shop Ashley Cecil’s work

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Genevieve Barbee

Genevieve Barbee-1-Design Crush

 

One of the more recent friends I’ve connected with in Pittsburgh is the multi-talented Genevieve Barbee, aka The AP Collection. In fact, if you follow me on social media you’ve already seen her work without realizing it because she’s the artist behind my avatar. Genevieve has her hand in many creative pots, my portrait being part of her That’s What You’re Good At (TWYGA) project where individuals are asked to submit their talents to be translated into art. Mine was trendspotting and the result is one of my favorite depictions of myself ever.

 

EPSON MFP image

Genevieve Barbee-3-Design Crush

EPSON MFP image

Genevieve Barbee-4-Design Crush

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The Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom-1-Design Crush

 

I began sharing photos of my current home shortly after moving in last September, not all at once but as things came together. The master bedroom has been pulled together for over six months, but I kept putting off posting about his room for some reason. Maybe because a bedroom is about as personal as a home gets, or at least that’s my best hypothesis.

My bedroom has always been my sanctuary. Ever since I was an only child growing up it was the one space my introverted self could escape to, where I might pick up a book or draw for hours on end. I guess some things never change.

 

Master Bedroom-2-Design Crush

 

My favorite thing about this space is all of the natural light it gets through the west-facing windows. I painted the walls the same custom white-grey/grey-white as the rest of my home and hung simple white curtains to capitalize on it.

To be completely transparent, I’m bored of my metal bed frame that weighs approximately 300 pounds. It was my taste when I bought it nine years ago, but like many things that’s changed. Thankfully it’s rather plain, so I’ll deal with it for awhile longer. The same goes for the matching lamps, but I just haven’t come across the perfect ones to replace them yet.

What I love are my matching Penelope Nightstands, throw pillows from Rebecca Atwood and Kristi Kohut, and the art – Float by Betty Hatchett. I chose this piece for over the bed specifically because it was so calming and reminded me of dreaming.

 

Master Bedroom-3-Design Crush

 

I also love my mid-century 6-drawer dresser to no end. Until this one came into my life last year I was still using the two cherry wood chests my grandparents bought me when I was ten years old. They’ve been relegated to the guest room for the time being and will probably be schlepped up to the finished attic eventually. Becky Simpson’s Be Present print hangs right next to the door as a reminder every morning.

 

Master Bedroom-4-Design Crush

 

Jewelry is kept in order mostly where I can see it. Sentimental pieces and things I don’t wear on the regular are kept in the box on top of the dresser.

 

Master Bedroom-5-Design Crush

 

And here’s the dirty little secret that resides in the second floor hallway and bedrooms. Not Bebe, rather the wall to wall carpet. (Blech.) I couldn’t be less of a fan, but at least it was new when I moved in and it’s not an offensive color. To combat it I’ve gone with the rug-on-rug approach and laid down an 6×9 flat-woven rug by Safavieh that makes the space feel more pulled together through color and texture.

 

Master Bedroom-6-Design Crush

 

On the wall opposite the bed is the door to my walk-in closet, which I don’t know the history behind but am guessing was added at some point after being built in 1900. I really like how large and clean this wall is and didn’t want to clutter it up, so instead I settled on these three pieces – Staredown by Amy Carroll, Salinity Now by Denny Holland, and Find Your Bliss by Kristi Kohut – that are united by white frames.

 

Master Bedroom-8-Design Crush

 

I’m slowly becoming a crazy plant lady and experimenting with what I can keep alive longest. This guy is the first of many floor plants that will be added through the next few months.

And that’s that! I’m hoping and half planning to get the guest room up to speed this spring, so hopefully I’ll be able to share that will you then.

 

Master Bedroom-9-Design Crush

 

Penelope Nightstands c/o West Elm // Shibori pillows from Rebecca Atwood // striped pillow c/o Kristi Kohut // Float, Salinity Now, and Staredown art c/o Minted // Mid-Century Six Drawer Dresser c/o West Elm // Be Present c/o Becky Murphy // rag rug (discontinued) c/o Rugs Direct // Find Your Bliss art c/0 Kristi Kohut framed by Simply Framed

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Handmade Arcade 2015

Handmade Arcade-1-Design Crush

Kara Reid

Hey, Pittsburgh! Tomorrow – December 5th, from 11am to 7pm – is Handmade Arcade, Pittsburgh’s first and largest independent craft fair. Handmade Arcade brings together innovative crafters and progressive do-it-yourself designers at David L. Lawrence Convention Center to sell their handmade, locally produced, and offbeat wares just in time for the holidays.

Kara Reid created 2015’s branding art, seen above.

The process started with a basic wooden platform, painted black to boost the appearance of the typography. Almost 900 nails were used around the center logo and outside frame to create the best surface for the string. Once the existing HA logo was stenciled and painted onto the center of platform, the string was strung. Each letter was then lightly stenciled onto the surface, then re-painted twice to enhance the appearance of the typography.

 

Handmade Arcade-2-Design Crush

Garbella

This year’s show features 160+ crafters, designers, and makers from all around Pittsburgh,
the tri-state area, and the country. Some of my favorites that should not be missed – everyday balloons, Worker Bird, girls can tell, Stak Ceramics, strawberryluna, Alternate Histories, Commonwealth Press, Garbella, Make Believe, and so many more will be there slinging their wares.

 

Handmade Arcade-3-Design Crush

 

Admission is free and includes the Hands-on Handmade area. It features a variety of drop-in, short, and day-long interactive programs – including craft demonstrations, mini-tutorials, make-and-take activities, craft competitions, and art installations – all designed to bridge the gap between consumers and creators. I got a sneak peek of this year’s activities and can’t wait to make my own.

 

Handmade Arcade-4-Design Crush

 

Handmade Arcade will also be launching its inaugural print publication, Things Making Things: A DIY Coloring Book, featuring original commissioned artwork by ten Pittsburgh-based artists and Handmade Arcade vendors. Inside you’ll meet their imaginative creatures who are all crafting, making, and designing things – from robots screen-printing to spiders painting – and ready for you to create an artwork of your own.

Hope to see you Saturday!

 

Handmade Arcade-5-Design Crush

Photos by Joey Kennedy

PS: Due to the high demand for our 2015 Early Birdie Passes (which are now sold out) we are opening up a limited amount of Early Birdie Shopping Passes for a reduced fee of $10. These passes do not come with the goody bags. Passes will not be mailed, your name will be placed on the Early Birdie will-call list. Please print out your Pay-Pal receipt to ensure entrance and bring it with you to Handmade Arcade December 5th for 10AM entry.

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