Thursday, May 18, 2017

Handmade Hamilton Holiday Show 2017: Call for Vendors

Handmade Hamilton Holiday Show: Call for Vendors!

A Holiday Arts and Craft Show at the Staircase Theatre Wants You!

When? Saturday December 2 and Sunday December 3, 2017
11 am to 5 pm.

Where? The Staircase Café Theatre in the popular Strathcona
 neighbourhood of downtown Hamilton.  

What? A one of a kind show that celebrates 32 of the finest local 
makers of art and craft.
Handmade Hamilton celebrates it's 6th year in Hamilton and it's 4th year at the Staircase.

The show is organized by The Staircase Cafe  Theatre and Lisa Pijuan-Nomura of GirlCanCreate.  Pijuan-Nomura is the founder of Movies and Makers in Toronto, one of the co-founders of Queen and Jackson in Hamilton and is especially interested in bringing together the best creative makers in beautiful vintage buildings.  Along with the hospitality of The Staircase Cafe, Handmade Hamilton showcases great makers, local community and good food, all under one roof.

Handmade Hamilton is looking for a variety of makers. Whether you make jewelry, clothes, art, stuffies, zines, buttons…we want you.

Please note that we cannot accept any makers of food or drink due to building health codes.


The deadline for applications is midnight on June 30, 2017.

All applicants will be notified of participation by July 15, 2017.

Please email all applications to curator 
Lisa Pijuan Nomura:

Applicants must submit the following:
• Company Name
*  Primary Contact
• Address
• Phone Number
• Email Contact
• Detailed Description of what you create (250 word maximum)
• Price Range of Goods

• 3 to 5 digital images of your work
(please keep files under 500k in JPEG or GIF format.)
These photos might be used for as on screen promotion at the Staircase Theatre. If you have a logo please include that.

• Website Link (Etsy, Shopify, Blog, etc)

• Table Request
6ftx2.5ft table-$185
4ft x 2ft table-$145
Please note that there are 3 separate rooms in the building that 
will be used for the show. Unfortunately the building is not fully 
accessible, only partially accessible.

Upon receipt of your application you will receive an email confirmation.
We will contact all applicants by email by July 15, 2017.

Once accepted all vendor payments must be submitted by August 15, 2017. If payment is not received by this date acceptance will be withdrawn. If accepted payment info will be sent out along with your acceptance letter.

Once accepted into Handmade Hamilton and your payment has been submitted, your participation fee is non-refundable.

Questions/Contact Information
Contact Lisa Pijuan-Nomura at with any questions.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Updates! Doors open at 11!

Hello everyone!

Well, one more sleep till the 5th annual Handmade Hamilton opens. 

The doors open at 11 and we are open for business till 5 each day. 

There is a $2 admission at the door and a portion of the proceeds will be going to 541 Eatery and SACHA. 

The first 50 attendees each day will be gifted a lovely swag bag full of some fun product from our vendors  for you!

Enjoy the Staircase Cafe that will be serving light lunches and treats throughout the day! 

Relax in our Theatre Lounge which has tables to enjoy your food and theatre sitting to sit down and chill out.  

The entrance is through the front door unless you need the accessible entrance.  Please ring the door bell at the back door if that is the case!

We are excited to host the 5th Handmade Hamilton and can't wait to see you!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Vendor Profile #13 - Pikelet Workshop

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

I design and create one of a kind plush characters, children's accessories and decor items. I also make sewing kits and teach kids to sew throughout the summer. As an Australian living in Canada I hope to bring my unique sense of design and colour to a new audience. 

I will be bringing a range of toys to the show, some Christmas ornaments and my DIY ornament sewing kits. My best selling Tooth Fairy Poppet will certainly be coming along too.

What does your process look like?

I start with a sketch and then turn an illustration into a paper pattern. Sometimes the pattern turns out perfectly and other times it needs tweaking. Then I spend a ridiculous amount of time sifting through my fabric to find just the right combination for each particular character. 
I spend a lot of time making custom dolls for people including Elvis, scuba divers and the main characters from Murdoch Mysteries. I really love working with people to bring an idea to life. The entire cutting, stitching and finishing process is done by me in my workshop at home, often supervised by a couple of naughty black cats and my 11 year old daughter.  She is also a pretty good product tester, when her eyes light up I know I am on to something.

What are your inspirations?

My IPod is my best friend (apologies husband). I have two classic IPods full of so many things, mostly audiobooks (shout out to for the best money I spend each month) and podcasts. So many.

I'll list a few faves which cover the variety I listen to.
The Broad Experience - a great feminist podcast about women in the workplace but it just applies to life as a woman in general. 

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History - hours and hours and hours of historical battles. Amazing stuff.

Dear Handmade Life - great interviews and chat about small creative business life. These girls also host the Craftcation conference in California each year and I'm super excited that a bunch of us gals from Makeology are going next Spring. California and Craft!!

Stuff You Should Know - just the best podcast by a couple of adorable guys, we've seen them live and love them. 

Kermode and Mayo's Film Review - a BBC show about film. The critic is super geeky about film and they are also pretty funny. They bicker like and old married couple.

Sword and Scale - a true crime podcast. Warning, this is not for the faint hearted. Some episodes are very graphic.

The Infinite Monkey Cage - a great British science podcast. Funny and super informative with lots of interesting guests.

WTF with Marc Maron - comedian who shoots the breeze with all sorts of people. His Obama chat is a must listen.

And probably 20 more. There are lots of little niche comedy podcasts I like and more science and history ones and loads of crafty ones. 

It's a problem, but I never have time to read anymore so this keeps my brain active. 

Vendor Profile #12 - Unbridaled

This year at Handmade Hamilton, I will be introducing my Men's Winter Collection. I have put together a selection of Men's Accessories including Ties, Bow Ties, Pocket Squares, Cufflinks, Tie Tacks, Lapel Pins, and Rings. 

For the past 15 years I have been working closely with Brides and Grooms designing and making custom wedding and engagement rings, cufflinks, and bridal jewellery. For the past 30 years I have been designing and sewing clothing for myself. Two years ago, I made my first tie for a friend. Another friend saw it and wanted one, then another. Twenty ties later, I decided to start being more deliberate about my fabric shopping. I shop for fabric with my hands. As I pass by the various patterns, I am also touching each one, and feeling the weight. The Winter Collection fabrics were selected based strictly on a 'hey, that's cool' basis. 

Since moving back to Hamilton two years ago, I have been amazed by the Craft/Art community here. Everything and everyone is so interconnected. It feels like home. I have always belonged to a communal studio, and work amongst other makers. Collaboration and sharing has been a huge part of my business. 

For the first time in my life I have been working solo, and it can be quiet. My daily work is fuelled by podcasts - I'm subscribed to over 30. Personal story and first person reporting podcasts like Radiolab are my favourite, but this year I have spent a lot of time trying to listen to a variety of voices to understand more about the political world around me. The stand out podcast of my year however was My Dad Wrote A Porno. There were several times I nearly burned down my studio from laughing too hard. Need a good laugh these days and haven't heard it? Download both seasons now. It will get you through the holidays. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Vendor Profile #11 - Pomegranate Press

Pomegranate Letterpress + Design is the husband and wife team of Joe Borges and Margot Cudmore. We met while working in the crazy world of advertising and realized if we wanted to keep our sanity we needed to find an outlet that let us be the client and produce work that makes us happy.

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

Our work is very much a mix of Canadiana and our sense of humour. We love the art of typography, and strong clean layouts. At Hamilton Handmade, you’ll see a collection of hand-printed art prints, drink coasters, greeting cards, booklets and our limited edition Canada150 calendar. Many of our art prints are eyebrow-raising, funny, or interesting quotes or phrases,. Recently, we’ve added original lino carving images to mix giving us a delightful new way to share our stories. We use a 600-year-old technology to create these truly one-of-a-kind items – each one different because of the nature of the printing process, the character of the wood and metal letters and the fact that each print is hand-fed, one colour and one sheet at a time. You can expect to find something that will make you smile knowing you’re the only one who owns something so unique.

What does your process look like?

Our process is a fluid merging of creativity and production. We make a great team by building on each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The process can start with a spark of an idea while driving in the car or talking to people at one of the craft shows we participate in. Once we have a new idea, we figure out the best way to make it come to life. A new art print might be created with our selection of wood and metal type, or it might be an original lino-carving illustration – or even a combination of both! Much thought goes into who we a creating this art for, and how they will experience it. All this before we even get to the press!
Once on press, we start hand-setting the type and creating the layout – this is when it pays to be fluid in your creative process! Sometimes the set-up takes hours and sometime the layouts create themselves in minutes. We take time to craft the layout, we kern the letters, we adjust the rollers, hand-mix the inks and then we replace, we discard, we start over. Or sometimes, we just print and enjoy the results.

What are your inspirations?

Letterpress itself is an inspiration because the process can’t be rushed, it is tactile, it is old, it is new, and it is different each time. Our collection of wood type metal type is inspiring because each letter has its own story. How many hands have touch this piece of wood, set it, cleaned it, sorted it and printed with it? How many stories has it told?

And Canada is inspiring. All of it. We love how this country is growing and learning, and what it brings out in all of us. The merging of cultures, all the foods it opens up for us. The CBC inspires us. Music inspires us. The farmers’ market. Our own garden. Pop culture - we love watching TV (a hang-over from our advertising days!). We love sports. We love going to Ottawa Street and hitting the antique shops. Or going to a concert in Oakville, or a local paper store in Thorold. Inspiration is all around us, you just have to be listening and watching for it.

Many makers listen to podcasts. Do you? and what are some of your favourites?
Yes, we both listen to some podcast. Two Podcasts we’d recommend are Unthinkable and The Creator’s Journey both deal with being creative and all the things that come with it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Vendor Post #10 - Hand & Shadow

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

I make screen printed garments.  T-shirts and cotton scarves, but this year some new fabrics-sweatshirts and some wool scarves.

What does your process look like?

With the botanical images, I collect them, scan them and build the images that way. Other images are hand drawn. I make my screens with these.  And then I either print onto pre made blanks or print fabric that will be sewn later. The ink I use removes the dye from the fabric, which leaves the image soft and there are all sorts of print variations that I love!

What are your inspirations?

With the botanical work, definitely Victorian cyanotypes.  And generally nature both being in it, and the way it is depicted. I'm a very visual person, I collect a lot of images and I think they all inform my work in some way.  And even the textures of certain materials inspire me.

Tell us some of your favourite things about Hamilton?

Good people, good food. I lived out west for a long time and I really missed the red brick!

How has Hamilton's art and craft scene changed in the past 5 years?
It's grown exponentially! There are always new people moving here, and new people getting involved.

What are your favourite books? Movies? Music?

How many pages can I take up?
Books(fiction): The City & The City by China Mieville and  The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Books(Non-Fiction): A Perfect Red by Amy Butler Greenfield and any illustrated book of botanicals, birds or animals! 

Movies: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, Flirting, And then There Were None (BBC)

Music: (This week) Helen Money, Phillip Glass, Neko Case, Thin Lizzy.

Vendor Profile #9 - The Simplest Stitch

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

 I mostly create functional, contemporary crocheted pieces.  Scarves, hats, cowls, slippers, headbands - and more. I do also like to do some sewn pieces... My work has definitely evolved over the years. I'm adding leather/metal details, and finally finding some inner willingness to try pastel-y colours - which isn't usually my thing (or so I thought). It keeps me interested with fresh and new pieces.  

What are your inspirations? Tell us some of your favourite things about Hamilton?

I am pretty proud to be a Hamilton Maker.  There are SO many amazing makers in this city, I can't help but be inspired by them - AND by all of the fibre and fabric perpetually kicking around (every room) of my Strathcona home. I've been doing this for years now, and while some days my hands "complain" about the work, I still just want to jump in to different projects and "make". 

How has Hamilton's art and craft scene changed in the past 5 years?

I love the small-town feel that you can so easily find in the arts community in this big city with a big heart. To see people stepping up to help those in need, or offer new opportunities to others is heart warming and reminds me that I'm in a pretty amazing place at a pretty amazing time.