Year: 2017
ICYMI: This Week at The Shop
December 29

ICYMI: This Week at the Shop December 29

It’s ICYMI time for the week of December 29! We hope your bellies are stuffed with delicious leftovers and your hearts full of wonderful memories from this holiday season. Thank you for making our 2017 year so special. We wouldn’t be what we are without our wonderful customers, vendors, and staff. We wish you all the happiness in the year to come and we hope you’ll continue to make your 2018 a little more handmade.

New Stock, New Year

Indianapolis City Flags from People for Urban Progress are back and already flying off our shelves! And new vendor, Tandem Ceramics, makes just the cutest air plant holders we’ve ever seen.

Babies on the horizon in 2018? New baby shoes and headbands from Starry Knight Designs are perfect accessories for newborn photoshoots. Add a bandana bib from Cradlemade and you’ll have the most fashion forward babe on the block.

For the Older Siblings…

You can’t forget to get a gift for the new big sister or big brother in the new year.  Temporary tattoos from Tattly make a great surprise for that small special someone (and are great party favors too). Keep them entertained with minimal, yet loads of fun toys from Goose Grease Shop. They will be soaring into the New Year!

For the Adults…

Whether you’re toasting to the host, or to yourself, on New Years Eve, we’ve got the goods for you.  Wine bags from Exit 343 Designs are sure to make the party-thrower smile, or your partner giggle as you settle down with some sweatpants and Netflix. Don’t forget to wear your silver or gold – like the new line from Natasha J. shown above.

Plans to spruce up the house in the new year? Come check out our handmade decor, like new desk caddy from Savvie Studio and Indianapolis population print from Cuyahoga Collective. -Your home is about to get a lot cooler.

Planning your great escape for 2018? Travel in style with new bags from Howl & Hide Design and new styles of wallets, clutches, totes, and more from People for Urban Progress.

First Friday in January

Every month Homespun: Modern Handmade hosts a celebration in collaboration with iDADA’s First Friday events. Our shows change every other month with various artists showcasing work in painting, illustration, photography, ceramics, and so much more.

For the months of January and February, we invite you to take a look at the work of Herron School of Art & Design graduate, Grace Beck. Finely detailed, continuous line work is juxtaposed against texture, -paying homage to Grace’s background in both drawing and sculpture.

Complete with treats and refreshments, we will have an opening reception of the work on First Friday, January 5th from 6pm-8pm in store. We look forward to seeing you then!

Don’t forget our holiday hours for New Years Eve! And then we’ll be closed all day on January 1st!

We look forward to bringing you even more handmade in 2018! Thanks again for making our 2017 A-mazing! Happy New Year everyone!

-Amanda D.

Comment (2)
Staff Picks ’17: Last Minute Gifts

last minute gifts, presents, party, flat lay

There’s always some reason for a last minute gift over the holidays- whether you’re meeting someone last minute, heading to an unexpected party, or you just thought of that person in your life who deserves a special thought this season, we’ve got the perfect thing. Stop in and find something sure to please at just the right price. Check out our suggestions below or ask one of our staff day-of and we’ll set you on the right track!


metal, pin, tired, uninspired, black, gold

Tired Uninspired Pin/ Patch by 1606 Supply Co., $10

Mark: A simple funny gift anyone can appreciate.


movie, candle, film, star wars, real

Candle Votive by Actual Film Cell Votives, $12

Hayley: These would make great last minute gifts because there are so many different votive to choose from that feature different movies on the front of each one!


Chocolate Bars by Curly Girl, $6.50

Anna: A gift and a card in one? Slap a ribbon on it and call it a day. Who can resist how delicious they are?!


gift card, homespun, shop local, last minute

Homespun Gift Card, $?

Claire: The perfect reason to come visit me in the shop and let the staff help you find something you love!


moth, ceramic, blue, handmade, clay

Insect Ceramic Mug by Linnea Campbell, $35

Lee: Everyone has a preferred cup-a, and no one can have enough mugs! I also love that the low profile of this mug allows for easy use under espresso machines, pour-overs, or other brewers of choice.


Do Good Wooden Banner by Savvie, $20

Grace: Simple, stylish, versatile and positive, this nice looking reminder to “do good” will fit into anyone’s decor.


Paper Holiday Floral Arrangement by Paper Peony, $54

Megan: You can never go wrong showing up with flowers- and bonus points for the creativity here.


candle, christmas, holiday, Christmas story

“You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid!” Candle by JKM Soy Candles, $19

Amanda D: A delicate and fan favorite scent for the Christmas season – perfect for anyone!


colorful, ceramic, trees, ornaments

Ceramic Tree Holiday Ornament by Art by Jen F., $12

Alayna: I love the beautiful simplicity of these ornaments! Sure to fit any decor.


Tea by Hugo Tea, $8.50

Amanda MT: Flavors for everyone and the packaging is so nice they won’t think it was last minute!


Hand & Dish Towels by Just A Jar, $28

Neal: Because you can never have too many kitchen towels, especially display-worthy ones.

Comments (0)
ICYMI: Gifts For Good

When you shop handmade, you care about where your products come from. When you shop for a cause, you care about where your money is going. When you shop with us this holiday season, you can do both with our collection of Gifts for Good. Read on to learn more about these charitable products and discover all the ways you can give back this season. 

Best Boy & Co.

As their motto states, “Great Taste for a Greater Good,” that really is what you’ll find with Best Boy & Co. When you purchase one of their mustards, hot sauces, fudges, and more, you’re helping them give back to charities like The Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and many more, as they donate 100% of their proceeds to charities assisting children and families.

LottoLove Scratch Off Cards

Every card’s a winner! For every card purchased LottoLove donates to their non-profit partners to fulfill their social mission of helping people receive clean water, solar light, nutritious meals, and literacy tools. How it works: the game is the same as a typical scratch off ticket, but you must match icons (instead of numbers). Flip the card over to learn more about the winning donation. Literally every card wins, and you can’t beat those odds, especially when it comes to helping others.

Caramelts from Newfangled Confections

You know all about Frittle and the amazing treats from local confectionery Newfangled, but have you tried these caramels? Made for a group of young ladies earning their cooking badge for American Heritage Girls, proceeds from the purchase of Caramelts will go to Agape, a therapeutical horse ranch serving individuals with special needs. Sounds like the sweetest stocking stuffer to us.


Why that word? Because BITCHSTIX aims to help bring an end to violence and oppression to women. The reapportion of the world “bitch” transforms it from a tool of oppression and shame, to the opportunity of beginning an empowering conversation. 100% of the net proceeds from BITCHSTIX go back to domestic abuse and sexual assault prevention programs. And what are BITCHSTIX? They are lip balms, muscle rubs, anti-chaffing sticks, sunscreen, and cocoa butter sticks. Stop in to see all that we have in store and become a real big bitch with us.

Grenade Soap from Stinky Bomb Soap Co.

You bring the stink, and they’ll bring the soap. And with the purchase of every grenade soap, Stinky Bomb Soap Co. donates a portion of the proceeds to Veteran’s programs. We’ll take one of each scent please.

Unlearn Fear + Hate T-Shirts from Kurt and Kremena

Unlearn Fear + Hate is a movement set forth by artists Kurt and Kremena, asking us to take examination of what makes us fearful of others and how those fears are often expressed in anger, violence, racism and xenophobia. The movement began in Lexington and was inspired by author and Affrilachian Poets founder, Frank X Walker’s, poem Love Letta to De Worl’. The movement and conversation has been spread by public art, talks, demonstrations, and a nation wide tattoo and embroidery project. All of the proceeds from the purchase of these t-shirts help the movement, and conversation continue.

Karmalit Candles

Smell Good, Do Good. And that’s exactly what Karmalit does. Karmalit donates a percentage of their proceeds to help fund classroom needs for teachers. And when you think about how nearly all United States teachers fund 100% of their own classroom supplies, that’s a big, big deal, for our teachers and our kids. And did we mention they smell amazing? Well, they do. And we have select scents from their holiday line in store right now!

Sandals by iX Style

Inspired by the people of her ancestry, iX Style founder, Francesca, started her organization after the green algae natural disaster of Guatemala in 2010. For each purchase of these Huaraches sandals, iX Style donates 15% of their profits to Ecofiltro -helping bring clean water to children and families. Not only does your purchase of these sandals help bring clean water to Guatemala, you also help to employ hundreds of female artisans that work directly with iX Style. We’ll take a pair in every color please.

Market Bags from The Patachou Foundation

Other than amazing brunch, we’re giving you another reason to love Patachou and their Foundation. Did you know that Indianapolis has been ranked the worst city in the nation for access to fresh food? With the purchase of this market bag (which is a great size we might add), you’re helping the Foundation provide after-school and daytime summer meals to children in “food desert” zip codes, right here in Indy. The Patachou Foundation also provides programs and activities, teaching children about their food, -using a holistic approach to end food insecurity. Buy a bag from our shop and help kids in all zip codes eat well.


We hope to see you in store soon, and please feel free to ask our staff to help you find all our Gifts for Good. Wishing you and yours, a happy, handmade season!

-Amanda D.


Comments (0)
Meet Your Maker: Home Ec. Preserves

Jessica Sowls is owner and chef of Home Ec., an Indianapolis based jam and pickle kitchen. If you’ve ever sampled any of her creations you know how transcendent (yes, I’m going there) an expertly made jam can be. Learn more about the life of a jam-maker from the sweetest one in town, and make sure you get your jam/ jelly/ marmalade game straight.

fruit, preparation, kitchen, indianapolis, jam, peaches

1| How do you describe your work to people who don’t know anything about crafting/art?

I usually say something like “I make fancy jam and pickles,” and then elaborate if people seem interested. I always feel awkward talking about it, as it’s such a grandma/bourgeoisie mashup.


2| Why do you make/design things?

I have artists in my family, so it was a natural thing to do while growing up. Once creating things is in your blood, no other work will ever be as satisfying.


3| What do you love about your job?

The autonomy! I can work when I want to, take breaks when I want to, and make what I want to make. I also love the variety of things that need to be done as a one-person business. I do everything- from bookkeeping to social media to selling at farmers’ markets to picking fruit at orchards to experimenting in the kitchen. I love that I found a niche where I can be creative and make a living (albeit modest) at the same time.

jessica, apron, kitche, jam jars, jelly

4| Was being a working artist always your plan or was there an “aha” moment?

Being an artist was the plan, yes. Being a jam and pickle maker, no. I went to art school and wasn’t a good cook by any means. I was always interested in DIY stuff though, and when I moved into an apartment with a really great kitchen I started cooking a lot and canning. Around that time I had an art show in one of Big Car’s old spaces in the Murphy building (I think this was 2010ish). I was doing food paintings and embroidery, and I set up a little table in the gallery to sell my jam too. People bought it, and I started selling more jams, pickles, and cookies in my friend Casey Roberts’ art studio every First Friday after that. I did that for a couple years before getting confident enough to apply for a booth at the Indy Winter Farmers’ Market, where I got my official start in 2012.


5| How do you work, and where?

I rent part of Lick Ice Cream’s kitchen at Circle City Industrial Complex. We both used to rent a shared kitchen in a church basement that was pretty cramped and old, with equipment that broke down a lot, nosey churchgoers asking if we believed in Jesus while we were working, and my stuff occasionally getting stolen. Lick has this great commercial kitchen at CCIC now that they built out and invited me to join them. I am forever grateful for that.

As for how I work, it really depends on what needs to get done. In the kitchen I voraciously listen to podcasts and music to keep my mind occupied since most of the work is purely physical- prepping fruit and veggies, washing dishes, and labeling jars can get really boring after a few hours.

spoons, fruit, jam, preserves, local, card

6| How did you come up with your current (and future, and past) jam and pickle flavors? Which ones are the most popular?

I use a combination of others’ recipes and my own. Inspiration often comes from flavors I encounter in other types of food, and I look at a lot of cookbooks. There are limits to how much I can be truly creative with preserving, as long-term safety is the reason that preserved foods are the way they are.


7| Where do you source your ingredients?

I buy from many local farms as fruits and veggies come into season. In the summer I will often pick the fruit myself from places like Prelock Blueberry Farm and neighborhood fruit trees (this year so far I’ve scored sour cherries, plums, and black raspberries). What I can’t get locally I will buy from wholesalers, though I try to adhere to a US-grown policy, as I hate the idea of using fruit shipped halfway around the world. I do have to make an exception for pineapple and vanilla beans though, as that’s the only place they grow!

work space, shelf, jars, process, jam making

8| Can you pickle anything? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve pickled?

I’ve yet to see anyone pickle potatoes, but you can pretty much throw some vinegar on anything and say it’s pickled. It’s a whole other level to be able to can or ferment the food and end up with something edible. Not sure which is the weirdest, but I’ve pickled winter squash, morel mushrooms, and starfruit. They were all really good.


9| What’s your favorite way to use one of your jams or pickles? Do you have a recipe to share?

I’m pretty boring when it comes to using jam and pickles. I eat my jam on toast and pickles straight from the jar. Both can be surprisingly good in homemade salad dressings. A spoonful of jam in a cocktail instead of simple syrup is good too.


10| If you could swap lives with another artist, who would that person be?

It would be fun to experience the life of someone very different, like Kanye or someone like that, who is the opposite of me in so many ways. We’re all human, but what other similarities would there be? I’d especially love to be inside the head of a man for a little while to see what goes on in there.

pouring, filling, jam jar, fruit, process, kitchen

11| What makes a handmade object valuable?

Value is completely subjective. For me the value lies in a connection to the object in a sentimental way or in appreciation of aesthetic qualities.


12| Using that definition, what’s the most valuable object you own?

Boring answer, but probably my car, which I’m terribly attached to sentimentally and aesthetically (it’s a 1980s Volvo that I’ve had for 15 years). It’s the only object I think I would be devastated to lose.


13| Tell us one true thing about yourself that people don’t believe when you tell them.

Maybe that I do my own car repair? Since my car is 30 years old I’ve had to learn how to fix a lot of things on it myself, and when done successfully it’s a really empowering feeling.


14| Give us three more non-crafting-related details about you or your life.

I grew up in rural Minnesota, on top of a bluff that overlooks the Mississippi River. I was a notoriously picky eater, though I always liked jam and pickles. Before coming to Indiana for grad school, I lived and worked all over the Southwest US, as well as the obligatory stint in Brooklyn (which was punctuated by 9/11).

canning, late night, kitchen, process, local, jam

Side question- what’s the difference between jam and jelly?

Jam is made with whole fruit, and jelly just the juice. Preserves are generally chunkier than jam, and conserves contain nuts and/or dried fruit. Marmalade is made with whole citrus fruit, rind and all. Sometimes I see people calling other things marmalade because it’s a cool word, but it’s not marmalade if it’s not citrus-based.


Need more preserves? You can find Home Ec. on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter @homeecpreserves. You can also find Home Ec. right here on the Homespun shelves in perfect little stocking stuffer/ last minute/ work party/ hostess gift sizes. They are just the sweetest little treat. Thank you Jessica!


Comments (0)
Staff Picks ’17: The Geek

Self-admitted or not, being a geek is nothing to be ashamed of. Geeks are cool. Geeks are genuine. And we have lots of genuinely cool geeky stuff here at the store to prove it. Here’s what our staff is buying for their geeky friends (or selves).


Zodiac Coloring Book by Mab Graves, $19

Mark: So many of my geeky friends are deep into astrology. And even if they weren’t, they’d still love this.


Princess Leia Pennant Banner by Oxford Pennants, $20

Hayley: Because who doesn’t want this iconic lady boss on their wall?


Alternate Histories of the World Book by Matthew Buchholz, $28

Anna: Historian meets monster fan. My kind of nerd.


Coasters by Green Bird Press, $10

Claire: Whether you’re shopping for Doctor Who fans, Star Wars fans, or superhero fans, these fun coasters run the geek gamut.


Star Wars Potholder by Umbrella Girl Productions, $9

Lee: ‘Cause every room needs some nerd flair, kitchens included.


Nintendo Controller Bow Tie by Perler Tricks, $10

Alayna: I feel like everyone geeked and had an obsession with Nintendo at one point in their life. It’s something you can’t get over.


Twin Peaks Coaster Set by Hunky Dory Studio, $49

Amanda MT: Twin Peaks is a nerd right of passage. If you know a nerd, you know they will love this.


Unicorn Lego Art by Smitten by Cat, $48

Grace: Unicorns and Legos? Sounds like a great combination to me!


Magnet Sets by Arthur’s Plaid Pants, $10-12

Neal: From Arrested Development to The Goonies, all the nerd staples are covered. Ready to cheer you up at every magnetic corner.


Platform 9 3/4 Print by Quiet Boy Studio, $20

Amanda D: A subtle Potter shout out perfect for the Hogwarts geek- like me!


Pocket Square by Handsome & Lace, $19

Megan: For your geek-on-the-down-low type- a nice, subtle pocket square.

Comments (0)