Meet Your Maker:
Arthur’s Plaid Pants

Welcome to Meet Your Maker! This blog series will introduce you to the individual artists and businesses that you support when buying something handmade here at Homespun. We hope the series will help you better understand the thoughtful choices and meaning that go into these artists’ goods, better appreciate the value of a handmade item, and possibly learn a bit about different crafty processes. You may even meet a neighbor, as many of our makers work right here in Indianapolis!

We’ll start (or rather, revive) this series with Michigan-based illustrator Jen Husted-Goss, the force behind stationery and print company Arthur’s Plaid Pants. We’ve been working with Jen for almost a year now and her designs are constantly making us and our customers laugh. We’re so happy she’s on board!

Jen and her dog Rocky.

What do you love to make?

I really enjoy creating illustrations that make people laugh.

Why do you love to make it?

If it puts a smile on someone’s face or makes someone laugh out loud, then I’ve done my job.

Greeting card illustration by Jen.

Button set designed by Jen.

How did you get started with your crafty business?

I’ve been a graphic designer since the early 2000’s. I co-owned/operated a design firm in Chicago for four years before deciding to branch off and focus solely on my illustration. That’s when Arthur’s Plaid Pants was born.

How long does it take to create a new design?

It depends on the piece, but every product starts off as a hand-drawn illustration. Once the drawing is complete, it gets scanned into the computer and is colored digitally. Once I’m happy with the digital design, it’s set up for print. Greeting cards are printed at a local, family-owned, eco-friendly printer. Pinback button and magnet sets are printed, cut, hand-pressed and packaged in my home studio. It’s a lengthy process since we do everything by hand.

What makes a handmade item valuable?

The satisfaction of supporting the single handmade artisan. Handmade artists pour their heart and soul into their products and their businesses. Nearly all of the raw materials I use are from local family owned businesses. So you’re not just supporting me, you’re also supporting other family owned businesses when you purchase my products.

What’s your favorite handmade item that you own?

That’s tough! Our house is furnished with so many great pieces from handmade artists. I’ll narrow it down to two:

1) A custom “horrible adorable” piece by Jordan Elise which is a mama and baby Loch Ness monster pair

2) A woodcut print titled “Mama Bear” by Tugboat Printshop

Jen’s studio in Grand Rapids, MI.

What do you wish people knew about what you do?

Our commitment to green standards and our policies on utilizing local companies.

Our stats:

• Greeting cards are printed at a local, family owned printer and are 100% recycled, FSC, WWF & Rainforest Alliance Certified.

• Greeting card envelopes are 100% recycled and are sourced from the oldest, local, family owned paper mill that is 100% hydro-electric

• All of our shipping materials are 100% recycled & are 100% recyclable or 100% biodegradable

• All button and magnet packaging is made from 100% recycled card stock and is sourced from oldest family owned paper mill that is 100% hydro-electric

• Our wholesale catalog is only available in a .pdf format. We do not use a printed paper catalog which saves a tremendous amount of paper.

Each year I review our business practices and try to up my game from the previous year.

Magnet set designed by Jen.

Thank you, Jen, for participating in our series! You inspire us!

Be sure to stop by Homespun to check out Jen’s work in person, and please stay tuned for more maker interviews!

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Glass Etching

Hello Crafty World!

As you may already know, we here at Homespun are really psyched about handmade; handmade products, the handmade movement, and the creative process. Most of us on staff here are makers ourselves. My name is Lee, I’m the Social Media Manager, and I will be writing two new blog series’ for our website: the “How-To” Craft Series and the “Meet Your Maker” Interview Series. This is me:

I am a graphic designer and bookbinder working under the business name Read Write Books (you can find my work at Homespun, of course). I love to make stuff. It’s in my nature. But I think even if it doesn’t come naturally, making stuff can still be a ton of fun. It’s a great experience that also helps you to appreciate the complexities of the creative process. Because, after you’ve thrown away your first five attempts at making a book, you’re ready to go to Barnes and Noble and buy one like everyone else!

But that’s kinda what crafting is all about- the process. There is value in the process, whether you are a beginner or a skilled craftsman. It represents dedication, hard-work, traditions from the past, love, fun and so much more. Everything we carry at Homespun embodies this and we love supporting creators and teaching others how to experience the process of creating, too.

And so we begin!

To help decide what my first project would be, I grabbed one of our how-to books off the shelf: Super Crafty: Over 75 Amazing How-To Projects by Susan Beal, Torie Nguyen, Rachel O’Rourke and Cathy Pitters. There are some funky projects in here! I loved how this wasn’t a run-of-the-mill book and I thought the skill level for a lot of the projects was often just above basic, which I like; a challenge but hopefully not a disaster.

So our first project will be: glass etching! Art and function in one. Love it.

First step: get some glass. I stopped at a secondhand shop to see if they had anything that might work. It was a big place and I was starting to think maybe they didn’t have any glasses, but then I turned the corner:

THERE THEY ARE! A huge selection. I also took some photos of other etched glasses in case I needed some inspiration later.

Then the nice woman at the check out gave me a discount and I only paid $1.28 for a beer mug and four tumblers. Sweet!

Next stop was the hardware store for some “glass etching cream.” This is a thing?

Turns out, it is, but I couldn’t find it at the hardware store. Of course, Martha knows all about it. I found mine at Michael’s* (and bring a coupon, ‘cause it ain’t cheap).

*Turns out there may be a better option. Check around for Armor Etch- it would also be at an art supply store but something more like Prism Art Supplies rather than a chain.

Next step is planning. I decided to start with a simple design: the Homespun “H”. The book recommends using contact paper, and after working on this I also recommend it, but all I had was blue painter’s tape so I went with it. I printed out our logo, put some blue tape down on a cutting mat, then taped the paper with the printed logo over top of it and cut through both layers at once.

Remember: think opposites. I wanted the logo to be etched, so I put the tape left from around the logo onto the glass.

Then cover in a thick layer of the etching cream.

Safety Moment: gloves are highly recommended. Full disclosure: I did not wear gloves. If you are like me, and feel that gloves really limit your dexterity and prefer to generally live life in the fast lane, at least remove any jewelry you may be wearing.
Leave on for 15 minutes.

It turned out well! There was a little bleeding, so I made a note to press down extra hard on the tape edges for future glasses. Then I gave it to Amanda, Homespun owner extraordinaire, as a special present from her favorite employee!

Next, I searched online for mid-century patterns to start planning my set of four tumblers (because I’m on the cusp of new trends, of course!) and was inspired by this one:

I liked that it was a free-form design, which I thought would be easier and more forgiving for a beginner. Here’s me struggling through:

Then I used the cut-out pieces for the next glass, which was a much easier process. I recommend this if possible.

Next I decided to go geometric rather than organic. Inspired by this design:

I actually found this process easier for me. I just kind of winged it- cut strips and laid them on one at a time. No sketch or template. I did the same for the next one (bottom right corner) with even less of a plan. I wanted to do something that would be a lot quicker to execute and still maintain the geometric theme, so I just cut out rectangles of tape and placed them around the glass.

Here they are as a group.

I think it went pretty well! Something like this would be a really cool and cheap party favor or housewarming/wedding gift. I could imagine making a few of these and having them on hand for such occasions.

Thanks for reading along! Hope you enjoyed our first How-To post. If you have any questions or ideas for projects you’d like to know how to do please don’t hesitate to contact me at or post in the comments below. I would LOVE to hear from you!

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INDIEana Handicraft Exchange:
Saturday, June 14th

This is a very exciting week for us at Homespun! In case you didn’t know, we’re the team behind the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange contemporary craft show series and our biggest show of the year is this weekend!

Enjoy over 100 craft vendors this Saturday, June 14th from 12-8pm at the Harrison Center for the Arts. This is your chance to meet some of the artists behind your favorite Homespun products. Ask them questions, see their latest creations and discover new favorites. You can check out the complete vendor list here.

The INDIEana Handicraft Exchange is presented in conjunction with the Independent Music and Arts Festival. Be prepared for live music, gallery shows, local food, local craft beer from Sun King Brewery and cider from New Day Craft , ice cream, raffle prizes, and more. And if you are one of the first 100 attendees, check out the Yelp table at the main entrance of Harrison Center for your free swag bag!

We would like to thank this year’s generous presenting sponsors: Sun King Brewery, Just Pop In! and New Day Craft. You’re the best! And we can’t forget our supporting sponsors, too; jakprints, Foundry Provisions, Ronlewhorn Industries , Amy McAdams Design, little robot photography, Forum Credit Union, Yelp, and Harrison Center for the Arts: we’re all working together to put on the best event yet!

Stay connected with Handicraft events throughout the year, like our Facebook page INDIEana Handicraft Exchange

Thanks and hope to see you there!

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Etsy Craft Party

Etsy Craft Party 2014: Recapture :: bring new meaning to your photographs. Etsy Craft Party is a one-day celebration of meeting and making. This year’s theme focuses on transforming photographs into display-worthy works of art using a variety of craft supplies and creative techniques. The event is free, however registration is required.

We here at homespun:modern handmade, we will be doing photo embroidery. We will have embroidery floss, needles, scissors, paper, tape and other goodies for your creating needs. Rana, our workshops coordinator will give a brief tutorial on basic embroidery stitches, so do not worry if you haven’t done this before! Be sure to bring in your own images to recreate and inspire (they do not necessarily have to be vintage images). Please note that the image you bring will be the image you stitch, so make sure its either a copy or photocopy on photo paper or card stock. Also, if you have a specific project in mind or do not wish to embroider, you are welcome to bring along your own supplies to the party.

If you are on Instagram or Twitter please use the tags:

#craftparty @etsy #homespunindy

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First Friday and May Workshops

Have you checked out our events tab lately? We have some wonderful happenings in the month of May. Including a few free events. Go ahead and click it. You know you want to.

Click Here to get our May newsletter and be sure to sign up for our mailing list. Just enter your email address on the right –>

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