Browsing Tag

Mother’s Day

Maker Stories

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Jewelry Designer Trudy James

January 31, 2019

Jewelry maker Trudy James in her California studio, photos by Emily Hodges

Trudy James’ gorgeous jewelry designs, like her Nest Egg Necklace and Elephant and Her Little Peanuts Necklace, quickly became some of our bestselling gifts for daughters, mothers, and grandmothers. The artist handcrafts her nature-inspired pieces using high quality material that she’s collected from around the world. I dropped by her workspace in Oceanside, in between Los Angeles and San Diego, to discuss the concepts behind her sentimental pieces–she often celebrates motherhood, gratitude, and love–and to learn about her everyday inspirations. (And, of course, to try on all of her beautiful treasures.)

Trudy includes 1-4 little amazonite eggs to represent your baby birds in her Nest Egg Necklace

Trudy’s workspace is located in her home, in a room 100% dedicated to her craft. Her sweet dog, Layla, greeted me at the front door when I arrived and, alongside Trudy, led me into the well-lit studio. Stacked and organized against the back wall were “in-progress” and “completed” jewelry pieces inside labeled boxes, and her desk space proudly showcased tools and the necklaces she was currently tinkering with. At every corner of the room, I spotted photos of family and friends, travel keepsakes, and…bird’s nests, lots and lots of bird’s nests! Trudy’s space, like her designs, is truly one-of-a-kind. The moment I stepped in I could easily see that she put her entire self into her special oasis to reflect herself and her passions.

I later learned that the nests sprinkled around her studio played as small reminders and tokens of gratitude for the success of her Nest Egg Necklace design–inspiring her to not only focus on her business, but also to keep her creative vision alive. Read on to learn how Trudy came up with the concept for another design hit, how Albert Einstein influences her day-to-day work, and when her creative chaos usually begins!

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The Uncommon Life

She’s Something Fierce: Our Favorite Moms of the Animal Kingdom

May 9, 2018

Bird Art Portrait | UncommonGoods

Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching, and here at UncommonGoods, we’d like to give a toast to all moms—not just the moms we know. In fact, we’re not even confining our celebration to the human moms out there this year. We’ve taken a deep dive into the internet underground in search of the animal kingdom’s most dedicated mamas, and today, we’re raising a glass to their efforts to bring up their young in some of nature’s toughest conditions. Read on for our favorites—plus, fuzzy babies below!

 

The Weddell Seal

A Weddell seal mom and baby share a smooch | Image by William A Link, USGS

Weddell seals are remarkable animals. Natives of Antarctica, they spend much of their time swimming around beneath sheets of ice, sometimes diving as far as 2,000 feet below the surface and staying there for up to 45 minutes at a time.

Weddell seal moms are even more remarkable. Each year, they raise a pup of their own following an 11-month pregnancy (yikes), and they do it all by themselves. When their pups are only two weeks old, these roly-poly mamas teach them to swim for the first time, providing invaluable instruction on how best to navigate the frigid Antarctic waters they inhabit. Other important lessons: how to keep air holes in the ice from freezing over; how to punch new holes into ice sheets using only their teeth. (Hey, seals don’t have hands.)

Eventually, of course, these pups need to fend for themselves… no matter how much they fuss. But at least that fussing makes for cute videos, right?

 

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The Uncommon Life

Make Your Own Mother’s Day Card
in 6 Easy Steps

May 2, 2018

Make Your Own Mother’s Day Card in 6 Easy Steps

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve outgrown your macaroni art years. Maybe you already picked up a great gift for mom, or maybe you’re still on the lookout for a the perfect Mother’s Day gift, but just because you aren’t sitting down to handcraft an epic gift masterpiece doesn’t mean you can’t give mom a little something handmade. Print off our free template and follow the simple instructions below for a DIY Mother’s Day card. After all, you’re never too old to whip up something she’ll be proud to hang on her fridge!

What You’ll Need

Materials

Our template (Just print this easy-to-follow template to get started. Click here to print: DIY Mother’s Day Card)
Scissors
Pen or Pencil
Tape or glue (Optional)

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Gift Guides

20 of Our Favorite
New Mother’s Day Gifts

April 13, 2018

20 of Our Favorite New Mother's Day Gifts

Flowers. Brunch. Homemade cards, hand-delivered. You’re familiar with all the old Mother’s Day standbys, so why not get Mom something new and exciting this year? To make your life just a wee bit easier, we’ve assembled 20 of our favorite things you couldn’t get her to say “thanks for raising me” in 2017. Whether she’s into jewelry, knitting, donuts, or any of the good stuff in between (even woodland creatures), we’ve got something she’ll like—we guarantee it.

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Gift Guides

Gifts for the
Impossible-to-Shop-for Mom

April 14, 2017

One of the things you love about Mom is her discerning nature. And it’s quite charming that, when she sees something she wants, she goes out and gets it. When a holiday rolls around, however, the mom who has seen it all (or maybe even has it all) creates a conundrum. How can you show your appreciation for her with a gift she’ll actually appreciate? We say, go thoughtful or go home. Whether it’s a personalized sign or an in-sync set of lamps, a unique present that comes from the heart means so much more than anything she’s found so far. Behold, our picks for a picky woman.

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Maker Stories

Inside the Artist’s Studio
with Rhonda Dudek

April 10, 2017

Rhonda Dudek in her Providence, RI studio, photos by Conor McDonough

Succulents and smiles abound in Rhonda Dudek’s radiant Providence, Rhode Island studio. Located in PVD’s West End, where creatives have transformed shuttered mills and factories into workspace lofts, Rhonda designs and assembles her nature-inspired jewelry (when she’s not traveling the country). Vintage US National Park postcards adorn a wall above an antique mail cabinet speaking to her wanderlust and goal to see all 59 of our national treasures (so far she’s been to six!).

A North Carolina native, Rhonda first came to the 50th biggest state in the nation to attend the Rhode Island School of Design. She returned to NC after school, settling in Asheville to grow her Figs & Ginger line of jewelry when she caught the attention of UncommonGoods. Ten years later, she’s back in Rhode Island finding inspiration in Providence’s historic College Hill neighborhood. The studio’s enormous windows look out on downtown Providence where the iconic “Superman Building” leaps out from the small city’s skyline. Rhonda sees the city’s history as a manufacturing center of costume jewelry as motivation to continue growing her woman-owned independent business.

I met Rhonda in her studio on one of those late winter days where a cloudless sky and bright sun give hope to the promise that springtime is just around the corner. She reflected all of that and more with an enthusiasm to match her loving and whimsical creations. Check out our conversation below to discover one of Lil Rhody’s biggest talents.

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Gift Guides

20 New Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day 2017

April 7, 2017

 

She’s the woman who gave you everything, so what could you possibly give her? You’ve done flowers, you’ve done brunch. You’ve probably even done something handmade (macaroni necklace, anyone?). This year, we’re offering you the chance to stop repeating yourself. We’ve gathered 20 goods that are new to our site since last Mother’s Day, so you can share your love differently than you ever have before. (And if you have a sibling gift rivalry going on, you’ll be sure to win Most Original Child.) Read on for our best and brightest gifts celebrating Mom!

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The Uncommon Life

Baby Behavior & Bangs for Your Buck: Announcing Our #Momisms Contest Winners

May 6, 2016

In preparation for Mother’s Day, we teamed up with our friends at Mental_Floss to collect your most wow-worthy #Momisms, from the hilarious and sometimes embarrassing “I can’t believe she just said that” mom texts, to the heartwarming times when mom really did know best.

We expected to find zany witticisms and sage advice from moms and grandmas, but we had no idea we’d get so many great entries–making it pretty hard to pick just two winners.

We had a great time giggling over the witty, sassy, creative, and insightful ideas that moms and grandmas can conjure up. We couldn’t stand the thought of not sharing the joy from this contest, so before we get our #Momisms winners, we’ve rounded up our favorite quips and quotes for you to enjoy!

#Momisms Contest Winners

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