Handmade with love, the art of DIY


Over the holidays, our hearts fill with joy but our wallets fill with mothballs. These innovative few went from concept to commerce with their do-it-yourself creations.

ruth-steinback_crystallizedRuth Steinback
brightling works

Ruth Steinback goes by brightling or brightling works online where she sells her homemade jewellery, which she began doing in University.

“Making jewellery gives me a reason to collect a lot of really neat supplies I woudn’t otherwise be able to use,” says the 29-year-old artist.

It started for Steinback when she was younger and would get beading kits as gifts. From there she says it expanded into more expensive and advanced supplies as her skills improved. Each piece is unique in design and creation and can take Steinback months to make if she hasn’t found the right parts to tie the design together.

“You can get some wonderfully unique materials taking apart broken jewellery or salvaging elements from something that’s outdated,” says Steinback.

Typically it takes anywhere between a couple of hours to a couple of days to plan and layout some design ideas before fashioning the piece. From there it takes about half an hour to get her from idea to creation.

Steinback uses nature and the world around her to inspire her creations, but at the end of the day it’s her artistic intuition that each piece is derived from.

“You’re not just paying for an artists’ material when you buy their work. There is immeasurable value in their craftsmanship.”

Catherine Winter-Herbert

It can be next to impossible to buy Christmas presents on a college budget.With the cold weather upon us and exams on the mind, who has the time – or money – to shop?

An online weblog, Inhabitat, focuses on the practice of sustainable and smarter materials in home design and everyday life.

Design editor, Catherine Winter-Herbert, recommends making hand warmers this holiday. “They’re eco-friendly, don’t cost much to make and can be reused for years,” she says.

By gathering a few household items and following a few easy steps, you can have a Christmas gift ready to go.

By taking two pieces of fabric cut into equal shapes and sizes, sewing all sides but one, filling it with rice and sewing the final side, you will find yourself with a warmer that can be used inside your gloves, jacket or shoes to keep you toasty this frosty season. 

Just pop them into the microwave for 30 seconds and you’ll have a cozy companion.

The Sheridan Sun gave this gift idea a try with our online tutorial.




Katherine Walker & Glenn Stretton
Reclaimed Print Co.

Vancouver natives, Katherine Walker and brother-in-law Glenn Stretton, are newcomers to the home-business world but their designs are anything but amateur.

Using only locally sourced and sustainable wood and stone, Reclaimed Print Co. creates printed artwork and home décor products.

“We are proud to be 100% Canadian designed and made,” says Walker.

Using their own artwork, photography or customizable designs on request, they print on wood canvases and stone coasters in the North Vancouver area.

Walker has a working background in marketing and design and with the help of a printing partner, came up with the idea of wood canvas art which gradually developed into home décor production.

Their designs are original works that come from Walker, her father Graham Fletcher and her husband Josh. Walker and her husband use Photoshop and Illustrator to create the final products.

“You will usually find us working [on the designs] at Lonsdale JJ Bean,” says the entrepreneurial mother of two.

Having just opened their doors to the public this past May, Walker and Stretton have already received an overwhelming amount of generosity and enthusiasm from their community.

They currently sell their items online and at local markets in the Vancouver area.

They have gotten a lot of advice and feedback from other vendors, something Walker says is essential for brand new businesses. 

Reclaimed Print Co. is currently run out of a home office, which Walker says is a very tight squeeze. “Moving to a studio will be essential very soon.”