Time to pack your American bag!


Ernest Alexander 
98 Thompson Location, soho
Full Release_FR

If you are in the market for some new leather luggage made by members of our extended American family, do I have a sale for you!  Ernest Alexander, the labor of love of Ernest Alexander Sabine, is having an amazing New Years sale with some items up to 70% off!  My favorite American made Ernest Alexander beauties on sale is the Perry Gym Duffel,

ea perry gym duffel

 

 

If you want to take advantage of the sale on the American made Perry Gym duffel, don’t dilly dally; the sale ends on January 4th and during the sale you can take advantage of free ground shipping.

Now get shopping!

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Scoutmob delivers the goods!


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I recently came upon an amazing website that features hundreds of American makers making all sorts of great stuff.  Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Scoutmob‘s purpose is to introduce Americans like you and me to small scale independent American makers.  They feature crafted goods for men and women, for the kitchen, for the home, jewelry, gifts, you name it.  One of the coolest features of the Scoutmob website is their “Find local makers” interactive map.  By hovering over your state, you can discover which makers are featured on Scoutmob.  I get a daily Scoutmob email that provides me with loads of  products I need from local makers. Here are just three from my home state of Washington.

Kimberline Co.

Kimberlin Co.

When I first learned what was involved in creating Kimberlin rings, I was aghast. Cutting up perfectly good spoons!  I think that is still a crime in England, Land of Tea.  But when I saw how cool Kimberlin rings are, I was on board.

Buds-Ridges-Spoon-Ring-kimberlin-1423594508

Stumpdust

stumpdust

Stumpdust is the business Andy Chapman has created in Duvall, Washington.  Andy makes all sorts of amazing wood creations using his trusty lathe.  All of the wood Andy uses in his business is locally sourced and recycled. The wood is either harvested from Andy’s property in Duvall or within a 100 mile radius of his property.  My favorite Stumpdust products on Scoutmob are Andy’s Salvaged Wood Honey Dipper, very reasonably priced at $10,

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and his Salvaged Wood Bottle Stopper Set, a steal at $20.

Salvaged-Wood-Bottle-Stopper-stumpdust-1435345229

And if you want to learn to turn wood, you can visit Duvall and Andy will teach you how to do it!

Studio Manufact

Manufact glasses

If you want to get some very cool glasses, look no further than the glasses made by Studio Manufact available on Scoutmob.  Sean O’Neill is glassblower who runs Studio Manufact.  O’Neill received his B.F.A. in glass from the A.C.C. at Tennessee Tech University in 2005 and was an artist in residence at Northlands Creative Glass Centre in Lybster, Scotland and our very famous Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA. Sean’s Green Upcup Recycled Glass tumblers are available on Scoutmob.

green-upcup-recycled-glass-tumblers-set-of-3-1389800814

Sean’s amazing stacking Demi Bowls are available on his website.

Stack

So I urge you to check out Scoutmob and all the amazing members of our extended American family that are making useful and beautiful products.

Now get shopping!

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Santa might be stopping by!


Germany Christmas Markets - Dresden via GCM-ORG-UKWith Christmas less than two weeks away, the gift buying imperative is upon us.  This year I have decided to try to purchase Christmas gifts which are produced by individual American makers.  A great place to find such gifts are the myriad of holiday markets in America. The Germans are also big fans of Christmas markets and have been for more than a few years. The Striezelmarkt pictured above has been held in the northern German city of Dresden since 1434.

Next weekend I plan on attending the Renegade Craft Fair at Magnuson Park’s Hangar 30.  More than 175 local makers will be hawking their wares.  If you attend you can do more than buy handmade gifts; you can participate in hands-on workshops and gorge yourself on tasty treats from local vendors. What’s not to like?

I couldn’t wait for the Renegade Craft Fair, so last weekend I attended the Urban Craft Uprising at Seattle Center.  There were a ton of great gifts on offer from lots of makers from Portland and Seattle.  I plan on doing a load of posts on all the makers I met last weekend, but I wanted to let you know about the two firms I discovered that simply have to be on your gift buying list for this year.

great & small

Great & Small

Great & Small is a firm from Portland, Oregon that makes simply amazing handmade, hand painted, utterly original works of art depicting various members of the animal kingdom.

panda

I got myself a narwhale at the Urban Craft Uprising.

narwhale

These Great & Small guys really have a sense of humor.  Don’t believe me? Well check out their KISS Panda Band series featuring Gene Simmons Panda,

Gene Simmons panda

Paul Stanley Panda,

Paul Standley Panda

and Peter Criss Panda.

Peter Criss Panda

You can almost hear the strains of “Rock and Roll All Nite” just looking at these pandas!   Great & Small will be in attendance at the Crafty Wonderland in Portland, Dec 13-15.

careful it bites

Careful It Bites

If you are looking for really whimsical stuffed animals, look no further than Careful It Bites.  Kelice Penney is the amazing seamstress that sews the delightful collection of Careful It Bites animals in Seattle.  My favorites of Kelice’s creations are her Woolly Yetis,

woolly-yeti-3

her Catballs,

catballs-scene-1

and her hilarious Flasher Bat.

flasher-bat-1

So rather than shopping at the mall this year for gifts made God knows where, with God knows what, by God knows who, buy gifts made by your neighbors in Seattle, Portland or wherever else in this wonderful country you happen to live.  By purchasing gifts made by members of our extended American family, we can put money back into our communities and be able to give unique wonderful presents in the bargain.

Now get shopping!

 

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The Festive Period is officially underway!


presents pictures

If you live in England, the “Festive Period” is generally thought of as the period of time between Christmas and New Years.  But I tend to think of the entire month of December as the Festive Period and my Festive Period got underway last week with the Gray Magazine Holiday party at Design Within Reach, a wonderful furniture firm in Seattle where I live.  By the way, Design Within Reach is currently having a great sale on the iconic Herman Miller Chair; the Herman Miller Chair Company has been making its chairs in Zeeland, Michigan for over a century.  I got invited to the Gray party because I have done a few guest posts on their blog in the past.  Gray put on a delicious spread of nosh and while at the party I met a host of wonderful makers making great stuff for the home: Nick of Urban Hardwoods, Ross of Surface Theory, David of Seattle Stair and Design and Tammy of Savvy Cabinetry by Design.  Over the next few weeks, I will be featuring each of these firms on this blog or on the blog associated with my Homerica website, “Stories of Home“.  And beginning tomorrow, look for a series of posts suggesting great presents for Christmas made by members of our extended American family.

 

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American brands, delivered to your phone!


 

Bezar-Launch-01 (1)

I’m convinced that curated ecommerce sites are going to be instrumental in helping to sustain and grow American made products, especially products made by smaller makers.  A case in point is BEZAR, the brainchild of Brad Shellhammer.  I can’t even remember how I got signed up for my daily emails from BEZAR, but each day they arrive in my inbox.  BEZAR doesn’t exclusively offer products made by members of our extended American family, but lots of the products on BEZAR are American made.  With BEZAR, you sometimes have to “strike while the iron’s hot” since products do seem to disappear from BEZAR from time to time.  One of BEZAR’s Holiday Gift Collections is titled “Merica” and all the gifts in that collection are made by Americans.  Here are some of my favorite American finds from BEZAR.

Anderson Design Group

Nathan Anderson and his colleagues at Anderson Design Group in Nashville, Tennessee make some of the most beautiful posters, coffee table books and cards I have ever seen.  All their products are printed in Nashville and I am gaga over their National Park posters.  They are simply stunning.  My three favorite Anderson Design Group National Park posters are Arches,

ASA_ArchesNP2_popup

Bryce Canyon,

ASA_Bryce_QueensGarden_popup (1)

and Bad Lands.

ASA-NP-Badlands_popup

Broderpress

Broderpress is the brainchild of artist and printmaker Shannon Broder. Since 2009, Shannon has been making amazing animal pillows.  Shannon starts by hand silkscreening her animal designs onto American sourced fabric using water based non-toxic ink.  Shannon does all the work to create her wonderful animal pillows in Brooklyn, NY!  My three favorite Broderpress pillows are the Elephant,

broderpress-elephant-pillow-square

the Manatee,

broderpress-manatee-pillow-1

and the Zebra.

broderpress-zebra-pillow-1

I am buying my Christmas tree this week, and plan on ordering several of Shannon’s amazing ornaments for the tree!

bunny-2

moose-2

octopus-2

Gneiss Spice

If you want your spices at hand when whipping up your favorite recipe, Gneiss Spice is for you.  Since 2013 Beth and two of her comrades have been making the coolest spice jars you can imagine.  The spice jars have magnetic lids so you can keep them out on the front of your refrigerator.  While the lids and racks are made in Maine, Beth has not been able to find an American glass manufacturer for the jars themselves.  But she is working on finding a domestic manufacturer in the near future.  Gneiss Spice produces several themed spice collections for those that cook predominately one type of cuisine.  Are you partial to Phad Thai?  Then the Gneiss Thai Spice kit is for you.

Thai spices

Do you live to barbecue?  Then the Grilling Seasoning Kit is for you.

grilling spices

I already have my spices, so I plan on purchasing a DIY kit.

DIY spice kit

I am so thankful that I found out about BEZAR and the many American brands that are featured on the site.  I urge you to sign up for the BEZAR daily emails so you can always be seeing new American products that you can purchase for your self and as gifts for your friends and family in this festive period.

Now get shopping!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Way to go Nike!


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I was in need of some new cotton crew socks, so I dropped into my local Fred Meyer and beelined it to the sock section.  Imagine my glee at finding a nice package of very reasonably priced Nike Crew socks like those pictured above that are made by members of our extended American family.  The socks are incredibly soft and very warm even though they are made mostly out of cotton.

So if you are looking for crew socks for yourself or for Christmas stocking stuffers for Grandfather Ned or anyone else in the family, make sure to pick up some great American made Nike socks!

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One old favorite, two new friends


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I recently made a few purchases for the home and of course made sure that the products I was buying were made by members of our extended American family.

The Old Friend: Libman

When I began blogging more than four years ago about American made products, one of the first posts I wrote was about Libman.  Libman has been around for a long time and is always my go to source of anything having to do with cleaning in the home.  I needed a system for cleaning hardwood floors and bought three Libman products to get the job done.  First, I removed the big debris with a stylish Libman broom.

0003217_libman-precision-angle-broom-with-dustpan

 

Once the big stuff is up, I get rid of the floor dust with the Libman Freedom Floor Duster.

Libman freedom floor duster

The Freedom Floor Duster uses a removable duster head can be tossed in the washer rather than disposable sheets.  Nice.

Finally, for a good wash of the hardwoods, I finish with a Libman Wet & Dry Microfiber Mop.

Libman Wet&Dry Microfiber Mop

One could I suppose dust with the Microfiber Mop, and then wet it for the final cleaning effort.  But I like having different Libman cleaning implements for different phases of the hardwood floor cleaning process.  The Microfiber Mop head can be cleaned up in the Washer like the Freedom Floor duster.

I also got a Libman Bowl Brush & Caddy, but the less said about the use for that product the better.

Libman bowl brush and caddy

First New Friend: Veratex

I fancied a new shower curtain, so I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and was introduced to the Veratex Soho Linen Shower Curtain.  Talk about elegant!

veratex soho linen shower

Veratex sells a lot of products on their website, but I am not sure what percentage are made in the States.  I plan to follow-up with the firm to update you on what other Veratex products are made by Americans for Americans.

Second New Fried: Spectrum

I can’t vouch for the American bona fides for all of Spectrum’s products, but the Wall Mount Paper Towel Holder I bought was made by members of our extended American family.

spectrum papertowl holder

So if you find yourself in need of some products for the home, consider following my lead and buying products made by Americans.  If you want to get a really good listing of products for the home-made by Americans, please visit my new Homerica website.

 

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