Saturday, August 30, 2014

Review/Giveaway: Golden Hands Designs - Warm Weather Whimsys

Several months ago, I was able to review one of my favorite handicrafters - Golden Hands Design.  All of her items have a wonderful Bohemian Chic air about them, perfect for crunchie hippies, young and old alike. (Her motto is "Hippy fashion from an Old Hippie!")  The purple 'gnome' hat I reviewed last winter became a signature piece for me, and will be again once the weather turns cold.

This time, I took a look at couple of Cathy's warm weather designs.  As much as I love Golden Hands Design winter hats and shawls, I think it is her crocheted halter tops and barefoot sandals that really show off her free-spirited design personality.

In fact, one of her rainbow halter tops has been used in a major production of Hair at the Hollywood Bowl!

Going right along with the halters, Golden Hands Design makes delightful little barefoot sandals - these are basically foot decorations, as there is no actual sole.  Made of delicate weight yarn in many styles and colors, the sandals wrap around the ankles and hook onto a toe.

The set of barefoot sandals I received were black trimmed with a bright multi-colored triangular patch that decorates the top of the foot, adding a colorful splash of interest to any summer look where shoes aren't necessary.

I find them to be ridiculously cute, but not for me, so I asked my friend Aurora to do the honors of modeling the pair of barefoot sandals I received.  Aurora is, among many other things, a belly dancer, with a whimsical fashion sense that I think plays quite well with Golden Hands Design.

Our getting together to take photos turned out to be a comedy of errors - we normally get together a couple times a month to hang out with friends around a good fire, but first she couldn't make it and then I couldn't make it, and then when we'd given up trying to have me take photos (her boyfriend agreed to do it instead, she went on a camping trip that apparently included all the mosquitoes in the known universe, and they all agreed her feet tasted delicious!

But finally, she was able to model them - and I think it was well worth the wait, because they look just fantastic, don't they?

In terms of worksmanship, while I don't crochet, I found them to be very well made - delicate without being unduly fragile.

Obviously, they're not intended for hiking or rough use (because, hello, barefoot!), but the only portion that might wind up with some real wear and tear is  the bit under the toe - nothing else touches the ground.

I think they'd look amazing with any sort of summer dress, shorts, or even jeans, and I'm rather jealous that my balance issues make going barefoot difficult for me.  Depending on the exact design, Golden Hands Design barefoot sandals run between $10 and $20 for a pair.

The other item I received for review was a Purple Crocheted Wine Sling, and I plan to make heavy use of it at a few upcoming events, including our local Renn Faire.

I absolutely love  the idea of these - a wine glass fits into the sling which can then be worn around the neck for handsfree portability. These little goodies come in several colors and cost only $15.00 with a wine glass included.

If you want to walk handsfree with these, I'd suggest keeping the liquid below the half way point to avoid sloshing (common sense, that).  I find that the best use of these, other than making you look adorable, is to wear them as a way to hang onto a glass easily between drinks.

A few times a year, when I gather with friends, we have a tendency to share a communal cup together. While I love this as a practice, pragmatically, my lowered immune system creates risk - I am going to bring my Golden Hands Design Wine Sling with me the next time, as a way of sharing a toast without sharing anything unintentional.

One thing I think these wine slings would be perfect for would be a bachelorette party or 'girls night out' event - at such a low cost, these would make wonderful favors and souvenirs of the event.  Someone crafty could even mark the wine glass with something meaningful to commemorate the experience.

Before I move on, the biggest question I had when the package arrived was how easily the glass could be removed for washing - have no fear there!  It easily lowers down the stem and slides off from the bottom without stretching.  As long as any other glass has a base that isn't much wider than the one that comes with it, it shouldn't be a problem switching it out for your personal favorite bit of stemware. (I also find myself wondering how this might do with a small drinking horn!

Please do go to Golden Hands Design and check out all her whimsies - in addition to winter hats and scarves, there are fingerless gloves, and her warm weather items include these lovelies, but also crocheted dreamcatchers and some fabulous repurposed china garden art.

Each Golden Hands Designs garden art piece is completely one-of-a-kind, because she uses repurposed thriftshop and yardsale finds to create them.  Some may have very minor chips or scratches as a result - as Cathy says, it's unlikely the birds will mind.

To set these up in your yard, all you need is a 3-4ft pole (not included), about 1/2" thick (such as rebar), planted into the ground or pot where you plan to put this.  The piece includes a bottle that can slide over  the pole.

Cathy's agreed to let us offer this gorgeous repurposed  maroon and white china plate garden flower to one of our readers.  Due to the expense of shipping such a heavy item, this giveaway can only be open to US residents.

As we move into fall, our garden blooms may be going away - wouldn't it be great to have this splash of color to remind us of the lush days of summer?

The value of this China Garden Art piece is $25, and the Giveaway will run until just before midnight on September 13.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Rafflecopter, then leave the name you commented under and your email in the box in the Rafflecopter entry. (This lets us contact you if you win!)  This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning.

Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. I love her barefoot sandals and scarves!!

  2. Oh how beautiful! I love it all! The wine sling quickly answers the question I most often ask: Where did I put my glass?

    1. Which, after a few glasses can get very tricky to remember!

  3. I know several Belly Dancers and Hoop Dancers who would love the barefoot sandals! I like the wine glass holder! What a great idea for garden parties.

  4. I love her collection of hats! I added Golden Hands Design to my etsy favorite shops.

    BTW: I found this giveaway at Miki's Hope Sunday Stroll Giveaway

  5. love the barefoot sandals so cute

  6. i love all of the barefoot sandals! Pretty peacock has cute colors

  7. I visited and fell in love with the Handmade Crochet Wine Holder with Glass Wine Necklace. I have never seen anything like that. They are so clever and so much fun. What a great addition for any party and what a great gift idea too.

  8. i absolutely love the Handmade Rainbow Bulky Shawl, beautiful!

  9. I love the garden designs and I think that my neighborhood birds and squirrels would enjoy them also I especially like the blues and peaches of this Whimsical Glass Garden Flowers, Recycled Plate Flowers, Yard Art

  10. I love the barefoot sandals! I love next to the beach so would be awesome to have these.

  11. I love the hats! My favorite is the Handmade Crochet Mandala Winter Hat in the plum color!

    i love this!!

  13. I like the red handmade hooded cowl.