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Happy 4th everyone! A huge thanks to all the men and women who keep us free.

Beautiful bracelet from the beautiful @lisaleonard. Can’t wait to share more! #umbassadors

Happy mail! Adorable ceramic coasters from @shopthecoastal. Love them and love her story.

Decked out in some new Umba jewels for an interview this afternoon.

I spy with my little eye, a few new handmade staples for my counter.

Loving our shoot today with @augustandjean. Can’t wait to show you the final product.

It’s true, friends! Come work with us! Head to blog.umbabox.com for the full listing. #umbaeditor

If you caught our DIY this morning, you would know we are crazy about string art. It can be super easy and fun to do!

We are especially loving this piece by Ramble and Roost. The dimension is incredible and the design is lovely. A perfect piece to have in any home. Chic and rustic. 

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DIY String Art 

If you are looking for a great statement piece for your wall that is cheap, easy to do and can be super personalized, we have just the DIY for you. Not only is it something that you can make with the stuff you have lying around your house, but you can make something unique and special that will add dimension to any wall in your space. Want to see what we are talking about?

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It can be a little hard to see so here is a close up:

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Let’s have the breakdown:

Craft: DIY String Art

Skill level: Easy but some patience required

Cost lovel: $ if that… (we used all left over supplies)

Supplies:

  • String
  • Fabric
  • Straight pins
  • Cork-board
  • Tacky spray
  • Felt (not pictured)
  • Scissors
  • Pattern pieces (one big, one small)

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First step, cut the fabric to fit the surface of the cork board and allow for some to wrap behind to the back. Spray the tacky spray on the surface of the cork board and lay the fabric down. Gently smooth out the bubbles or creases till the fabric is smooth. Wrap the rest of the fabric behind the board and spray it down as well.

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Next, lay down the pattern piece that you want to have as your big piece. We choose a heart because of Valentine’s Day and the little image inside the heart, our last name initial, a C. You can choose any two shapes.

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With the straight pins, begin to outline the edges of the shape. Space them equally apart between 1/4 to 1/2 an inch.

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Make your way around the entire shape.

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Once you have gone around the entire shape, gently tear away the shape.

Somewhere inside the completed pinned shape, we choose the bottom left corner, repeat the process with your other smaller shape.

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Now you are ready for the string!

You want to unwind a decent amount of string from your spool, but DO NOT cut it yet.

Take the end of the string and tie it around one pin; we started at the very end of our heart.

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Begin to wrap your string around each pin of the little shape and back to the bigger shape. This can be complicated so make sure you look at the next couple of pictures. Taking the string from the bigger shape, wrap it around one of the pins of the littler shape and then to a different pin on the bigger shape. Since there are more pins on the bigger shape, you can wrap the string more than once on the littler shape. See below:

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Make your way around the entire shape; this can be tedious, just take your time. When you get to the end, cut the string and tie it to another pin.

To make our littler shape stand out more. We cut the shape our of some bright colored felt and placed it inside the shape.

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The great thing about this project is you can literally do any two shapes, like this one we made of Ireland, the heart is over our favorite city:

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What two shapes will you use?

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Getting to Know Umba Box

We love to get our boxes in the mail every month just as much as you all! Every month we wait in anticipation till our boxes get delivered and love taking Instagram pictures. We love each box and we try to pick out handmade goodies that we know you will love and enjoy, but each one of us has a favorite from these last couple of months. See which ones we are loving…imageLauren is loving the Sugarcube Press Coaster Calendars from our January box.

Erin is loving the Make Pie Not War Braille Necklaces from our January Limited Edition Box.

Emilie is loving the Rag and Bone Bindery Instabooks from our December box. 

Allison is loving the Evoluxe Candles from our December Limited Edition.

We would love to hear which ones you are loving!

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This was the WEEK of LOVE!


Happy Valentine’s Day again. We hope your week was as fantastic as ours. We had so much fun with the 7 Days of Giveaways and we loved all your comments and the amount of participation we had. We wish we could do a giveaway each day so that everyone could grab a piece of handmade love. Just in case you missed these giveaways, you can still see what they were on our FB page.

First, we want to again, give a shout out to each artist and their shop that contributed to our 7 Days of Giveaways:

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Patricia Kim and Fourteen-Forty Fine Paper Goods

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Holly Castro and Charm & Gumption

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Nicole Ebbitt and The Caramel Jar

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Lisa Shaffer and Zelma Rose

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Emily McDowell and Emily McDowell Illustrations

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Esther Kao and EstieMade

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Brad Weckesser and Richwood Creations

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Emily Weckesser and The Oyster’s Peal

Thank you again amazing artists. We couldn’t have done it without you! You not only made our week, but you made several people very happy with your handmade goodness.

And even though yesterday was Valentine’s Day, we just can’t seem to get enough of hearts. Check out this lovely handmade fair-trade journal made by local women in India in collaboration with Jones Design Company, who designed the sweet cover. It is absolutely beautiful and you are helping support women who are making a living to support their family.  We think fair-trade is just awesome.

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And lastly, we love these sweet little gems from Dariami Jewelry. In three shades, perfect for the spring. They look like those candy hearts, but we think these are much sweeter!

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The Oyster’s Pearl and Richwood Creations

First, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!   Not just one, but TWO incredible handmade goods are up on our Facebook page for our 7 Days of Lovely Giveaways.

Husband and wife team, Brad and Emily Weckesser, are the epitome of a creative, power couple. Brad has a passion for woodworking and ceramics, and Emily is a master at design and print making. Put these two together and boom: amazing creations. We bet their house is bursting with handmade goodness!

Make sure you stop by their Facebook pages as well to see what new products they are making (you will also need to like each one as part of entry to the giveaway). Find The Oyster’s Pearl here and Richwood Creations here. 

We asked these two fun questions about handmade, love and why they create. Read more to see if their answers match each others!

Tell us about yourself : 

Brad-  I’m an Ohio native who currently lives in the mountains of West Virginia with my wife. I run two Etsy shops, one selling custom engraved wood housewares and another selling custom pottery. I spent a year teaching high school and running my ceramics shop online before deciding to venture into handmade full-time. I spend my days alternating between the wood shop and the potter’s wheel. I enjoy playing the banjo, reading, and drinking coffee.

Emily- I am an Indiana native who now lives in WV with Brad, my husband. My days are full of design work and running The Oyster’s Pearl full time via Etsy selling unique paper goods, wedding invitations and home decore. I love to travel, design, craft and spending quality time with the many lovely people in my life. During the day, I try to work from home without being distracted by instruments, Pinterest, and afternoon naps.

Brad’s Other Answers: 

Favorite thing about Valentine’s Day: 

It gives me an occasion to be creative for my wife.

Why do you love to create? 

I feel the most connected to the passions and longings within me when I am creating, making, building and designing something.

Do you believe in love at first sight? 

I don’t believe in true love at first sight, but I would say there could be some unexplainable connections right away.

Favorite Romantic movie and why? 

I think Braveheart is a great romantic movie. William Wallace is fueled by losing his new wife… to kill the English.

What handmade means to you: 

Handmade means the ability and freedom to do the things you love in the endless ways of expressing your creativity and self.

Favorite sweet thing to eat: 

Ice Cream. Any time, any day.

Do you have a favorite handmade product that isn’t yours? 

Yes, my wife made some very creative invites for our wedding.

Best thing to do on a date? 

Go on new adventures together.

Emily’s Other Answers:

Favorite thing about Valentine’s Day: 

Having an excuse to create and buy cute things for loved ones.

Why you love to create:

I really enjoy the process, but I honestly love the end result- having something beautiful that I can use or look at every day as well as the satisfaction of having made it.

Favorite Romantic movie and why:

The Notebook! I think I captured everyone’s hearts because their love endures the test of time and hardship- there’s nothing like seeing two people in love until the day they die.

What does handmade mean to you: 

To me, handmade has been an incredible global movement of talented people offering their gifts to the world; it has also been a big movement in my own small family, with my husband and I both relying entirely on those who support handmade for our work. So while technically it’s my hobby-turned-job, it has completely changed the way I think, dream, work and live.

Favorite sweet thing to eat: 

I really can’t resist a Nerd’s Rope.  My husband, Brad, got them for me in bulk last Valentine’s Day :).

Top 5 Love Songs:

1. “Swept Away” by the Avett Brothers, 2. “La Vie en Rose” by Louie Armstrong, 3. “Can I Stay?” by Ray Lamontagne, 4. “Dancing in the Minefields” by Andrew Peterson, 5. “You Make My Dreams” by Hall and Oates.

Do you have a favorite handmade product that isn’t yours? 

I do! My husband makes and sells custom hand-stamped pottery. Shortly after we got engaged, he surprised me with a beautiful mug that had my future initials on it. It really hit me then that I was going to be his wife, and that I would be changing my name! I have treasured it ever since.

What is the best thing to do on a date? 

Share delicious food and drink and compelling conversation.

Aren’t these two awesome? Make sure you check our Brad’s other shop, Weckery. His pottery really really special.

Thank you all for participating in our 7 Days of Giveaways. We hope you loved it as much as we did. We are sad to see it it end but it gives us something to look forward to in the future!

EstieMade 

There are pieces of jewelry and then there are PIECES of jewelry. Pieces that make you stop and go WOW!   Add a dash of handmade goodness and you get Esther Kao and her company, EstieMade.

Not only is Esther Kao a talented blogger (see her blog here) and DIY enthusiast, she is a guest blogger on our Let’s Get Crafty Tuesday posts every month, and she is a fantastic artist as well. 

With mixes of natural stone and elements of nature, Esther makes earthy but chic pieces that we absolutely love.

We have an amazing giveaway for you. To see what piece of Esther’s collection we are giving away, head on over to our Facebook page, while you are there, go ahead and like EstieMade’s page. You will need to like her page in order to be entered in the giveaway. 

Before you enter into this fantastic giveaway, read below to find out more about this cool chick and what her favorite love songs are (trust us, they are good!).

Tell us about yourself: 

I grew up in a small suburb of Massachusetts, but now call Dallas home. Growing up, I enjoyed arts and crafts time, and loved using my hands to make things. Over the years, that passion has translated into making crafts and blogging about it, and making jewelry to sell on Etsy and at local craft shows.

Favorite thing about Valentine’s Day: 

I know it’s become a commercialized holiday, but I love that Valentine’s Day reminds me to appreciate my other half. It doesn’t have to mean going to a fancy dinner and getting a dozen roses. For us, it means just spending quality time together that day.

Why do you love to create: 

I love turning old things into new. It’s really fun! And I love how crafting brings people together.

Do you believe in love at first sight? 

Sure do!

Favorite Romantic Movie and why? 

Moonrise Kingdom! It’s not technically a romantic movie, but I really like how simple and cute the love was between Susie and Sam.

What does handmade mean to you? 

To me, handmade means that the item was designed and created with love. Handmade artists are passionate about what they make (and create because they love it, not because they want to earn money). And this passion shows in the quality and craftsmanship of the finished good.

Favorite sweet thing to eat? 

There are too many choices! But if I had to pick, I’d say a good pistachio or salted caramel macaroon.

Top 5 Love Songs: 

1. Love Theme from Cinema Paradiso, 2. I Want to Hold Your Hand, The Beatles, 3. Your Song, Elton John, 4. All Out of Love, Air Supply, 5. More than Words, Extreme

Best and Worst Valentine’s Day Experience: 

My husband and I dated long distance for 4.5 years, so I cherished the times we actually got to celebrate Valentine’s Day together. The best happened a couple of years ago, when he flew in to visit and proposed! It happened a week before the 14th, but it was such a great surprise. I am happy to say I haven’t had a bad Valentine’s Day so far.

Do you have a favorite handmade product that isn’t yours?


Lots and lots! My current faves are rings from F is for Frank. They’re a Dallas-based duo that makes really fun and funky jewelry out of cast pewter, then dip it into gold. I’ve got three of their rings, and I wear them all the times.

If you could share a cupcake with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why? 

My mom. I don’t get to spend a lot of time with her because we live in different states, so it’d be nice to share that cupcake and catch up.

What is the best thing to do on a date? 

I’m pretty laid back! A fun date would be going on a walk or hike on a nice day (I love being outside), then going somewhere for good food and a craft beer!

We love Esther and EstieMade! Make sure you follow her on Twitter and Instagram at WhollyKao!

Emily McDowell Illustrations

We here at Umba Box absolutely love Emily McDowell Illustration. If you have taken a look at our logo before, which we bet you have, if not, take a gander to the left on this blog and you shall see it. Well, if you are wondering what magical person designed such logo, you are in luck. Today’s giveaway and post is about said person, Emily McDowell and her amazing Illustrations.

We love typography, flourishes, hand-drawn illustrations, fun colors and all things inspirational. So Umba Box and Emily McDowell are a match made in artistic, creative heaven. 

We wanted to pass on her talent to the rest of our Umba Box community, which leads us to Day 5 in our 7 Days of Lovely Giveaways. We are giving away a sweet and inspirational print hand-illustrated by Emily McDowell herself. To see it, head to our Facebook page and enter to win. It is the type of print you will hold onto for years to come. Make sure you check out Emily’s page as well, if this isn’t your first rodeo  giveaway with us, you know the drill, but you must like her page in order to enter the giveaway.

If you want to know more about this fun loving gal and her artistic expression, not to mention her amazing sense of humor, please read her fun interview below. And if you ever need a note forged for your teacher, we know just the woman to call…

Tell us about yourself: 

I grew up outside Boston, and my first job was forging parent signatures on my fifth grade classmate’s math packets for a dollar a piece. I went to Minnesota for college and majored in English, and when I graduated it was the Internet boom, so I want to San Francisco and worked at a startup. AFter that company went under, I had a series of jobs that eventually led me into advertising, where I spent eight years as an art director, copywriter and creative director at ad agencies around the country. In 2011, I quit my job to make more things that weren’t ads, and no I divide my time between illustration and design, and doing freelance advertising work as a writer/ creative director. I love outside of Los Angeles with my boyfriend Seth, his 7 year old son, and my 14 year old, 21 pound cat who thinks he’s a person.

Favorite thing about Valentine’s Day: 

Candy! Also, pink and red together make me happy (Us too!)

Do you believe in love at first sight? 

No. I believe in “that person is hella cute” at first sight.

What does handmade mean to you? 

To me, handmade means translating an idea that starts in my head into something other people can hold and relate to, which is just about the most rewarding process ever. A handmade object is a tangible representation of human connection and energy, and that’s pretty special.

Favorite sweet thing to eat: 

Flour-less chocolate cake with sea salt (O wow, recipe please?).

Best and Worst Valentine’s Day experience? 

This isn’t really very romantic, but the best was last year, when McSweeney’s ran a piece I wrote about my years of online dating as their featured Valentine’s Day story. And without all my crappy Valentine’s Days, I would have had way less material to write about.

Do you have a favorite handmade product that isn’t yours? 

There is this guy who makes vegan Korean food and sells it at all the LA Farmer’s Markets; his name is Dave and his brand i just called Dave’s. I will follow Dave anywhere. I’m not even vegan (or Korean). That’s how good it is.

What is the best thing to do on a date? 

I firmly believe dating is not about what you do, it’s who you do it with. That said, don’t go out for dinner on a first date. There’s not enough opportunity for a swift and graceful exit if it doesn’t go well.

Isn’t Emily awesome? We certainly think so! Make sure you follow her on Instagram and Twitter, both @EmilyMadeIt. She is too funny, we guarantee a good chuckle!

Zelma Rose 

When it comes to our jewelry, we love pieces that are expressive, unique and have that special WOW factor to them. So naturally, when our eyes first saw Zelma Rose Necklaces… it was love at first sight! 

Lisa Shaffer, sewing maven and fantastic designer is the founder and creator of Zelma Rose. She not only employs an age old family love to handcrafting goods, but loves to add the modern to the classic in each piece. Math is not our forte but that addition makes total sense to us!

We especially love the cross-stitched heart necklace and thought it would be amazing to share one of these necklaces with you and is today’s giveaway over on our Facebook Wall. (Also check our Zelma Rose’s FB wall as well, you will need to like it in order to enter the giveaway!)

Before you leave us and want to go enter into the giveaway (which we strongly hope you do), please stay a while and get to know Lisa, Zelma Rose and what is surprisingly her favorite romantic movie (you will never guess what it is!).

Tell us a little bit about yourself: 

I am the owner and head designer at Zelma Rose. I am a mom, designer, psychotherapist, business consultant, blogger (check out her blog here), and wanna be hip hop expert. I enjoy discovering the inner workings of all things and once spent an entire summer drawing broccoli. I am married to an enchanting man named Matt and we are Mama and Papa Bear to our daughter, the Bean and dog Sherman. I have lived and worked in San Francisco for nearly 15 years and I am still head over heels for the City by the Bay.

Favorite thing about Valentine’s Day: 

It is so often that we forget to tell the people closest to us that we love them. Valentine’s Day is a nice reminder to get the year started off right and tell people over and over again that they are loved.

Why do you create? 

Creating is as essential to me as breathing. I wouldn’t know how to not make something, alter it, or just leave it be. I might be kind of a nuisance actually! Making allows me to communicate with the world in a whole other way. It’s quiet, but impactful.

Do you believe in love at first site? 

Yes, although there is such a thing as love at second sight! I was so not impressed with my husband the first time we met. Add a 3,000 mile location change, a few years, and it took just a minute to be head over heels.

Favorite romantic movie: 

The Graduate. Probably not what you would expect! This film in no way tries to organize love. It’s messy, all over the place and makes us do and say strange things. Totally unpredictable, and I think that is really what love is all about.

What does handmade mean to you: 

Handmade to me means that there is an artist having a conversation with materials, process and design. Handmade is personal, intimate, and a relationship with a product.

Favorite sweet thing to eat: 

Cookies, cookies, cookies. If I had to choose, macaroons, but not the fancy french ones. The hardcore Italian bakery ones. Coconut, egg whites, sugar and vanilla.

Top 5 love songs: 

1. Theme from Mahogany, 2. Oh Yoko, 3. It Had to Be You, 4. Wicked Game, 5. Kathy’s Song

Best and Worst Valentine’s Day experiences: 

The best Valentine’s Day was when my husband surprised me at my office with beautiful roses. I don’t think I’ve ever really had a terrible one.

Favorite handmade product that isn’t yours: 

I LOVE handmade shoes.

Who would you share a cupcake with dead or alive: 

Always a cupcake with my daughter, she rules!

What would be the best Valentine’s Day Date: 

I always loved bowling dates. Casual, competitive, great music, and fun. You can really see what a person is like.

Isn’t she fun? We just love that picture of her blowing glitter into the camera. We think that is a perfect portrait of her and her creativity. Make sure you follow Lisa on Twitter, @ZelmaRoseCurios and Instagram @ZelmaRose. 

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