Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pardon the Political Interruption

But am I the only person drawings parallels between this:

And this:


Baby Shower Invites

My friend/faux sister-in-law is expecting and I offered, in pure party-planning dork mania, to host the baby shower for her bun in the oven (And her. And her husband.). Baby showers, baby, party planning, crafty stuff...all things for which I am a total geek.

From what I can deduce, her "colors" are brown and blueish with some mod polka dots mixed in here and there. I walked into the craft store ready to pick up supplies to send real invitations, as I felt an E-vite just wasn't fancy enough. Scrapbooking aisles in craft stores are bordering on overload, people. But I managed to find the Martha Stewart section and felt like that's where I needed to be. Call me a corporate sell out, but her stuff is NICE.

I picked up:
  • 12"x12" crafting paper in "Salon" (a lovely combination of aqua, leafy green and brown solids and prints)
  • some of her adhesive decorative ribbon tape in complementary colors
  • mini gingham envelopes in leafy green
  • Kraft paper cards and envelopes
  • three of her awesome markers in fine-point black, brown and leafy green
I decided on a relatively simple design, mostly because I didn't want to make the card too cutesy or too gendered. I also wanted to do it without a computer, which sometimes makes things feel impersonal to me. Ultimately, I'm completely satisfied with my little papercrafts project and I really won't hesitate to make cards by hand again OR purchase Martha Stewart stuff.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion!

I have finally made a lovely assortment of new jewelry AND updated my Etsy shop! Head on over and check out the goods!

Buy Handmade

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Autumnal Etsy Finds

Listen here, I think people like myself...pale, red-headed ladies...look best in autumn. I think that a warm wooly scarf compliments our rosy cheeks, cool breezes highlight our fantastically ginger hair, and soft sweaters keep our skin from being exposed to the harsh rays of the sun. I also think that autumn is the best smelling season and that there is nothing more beautiful than a pumpkin.

So when I logged onto Etsy today and noticed that there was an autumnal/pumpkin themed treasury on the front page, I got totally excited about my favorite season. It's unfortunate that Etsy doesn't have smell-o-vision, because there are soaps and scents that I'm sure are bursting with cinnamony goodness. And the scarves and hats seem so much more appealing. Below you'll find a large and random assortment of some of my fall picks from Etsy. With the exception of the necklace, they're all priced at $30 or less, too! Enjoy!

1. Chestnut Pumpkin from TheDailyPincushion - $10
Use this as a pincushion, obviously, or add it to your coffeetable, bookshelf or even dining room table as a cute autumnal decoration. I particularly love the squiggly vines.

2. Pumpkin Brulee Soup from britewerkz - $4.25
I've never purchased soaps from britewerkz, but recently they were featured in a separate treasury with a soap that was apparently reminiscent of leather. MMM, manly! I keep them in my scanning radar now because the combinations of scents sound delectable. In this case, lathering up with pumpkin brulee sounds divine.

3. Vintage Amber Apothecary Jar from tawnillia - $19
I have loved this jar since the moment I saw it. In fact, if one of you doesn't buy it, I probably will. I think it's absolutely gorgeous and would look lovely as it is in all of it's amber-rosey glory or filled with delicious pumpkin-flavored candies or cookies.

4. Pumpkin Pilates print from Stellalola - $30
My dear friend Mr. Fun Fun (as I like to call him) purchased a Cupcake Conga Line print for me from Stellalola for my birthday and I LOVE IT. I'm so glad to see she's continued on with her fantastic line of dancing food to include Pumpkin Pilates. Seriously. These are the most hilarious and quirky pieces of food art EVAR.

5. Biscuit Cutter (cherry) from WoodElements - $14
You can use a round cookie cutter, a hollowed out tin can or even just shape your own biscuits. But why not make it with something a curvy and smooth as this! WoodElements constructs practical and beautiful wood creations and this is my personal favorite. It reminds me of something old-world with a very crisp, modern charm to it. And biscuits with apple or pumpkin butter are a Southern fall staple, are they not?

6. Chocolate Chunky Bear Beanie from babaialainn - $21
If I EVER see a child wearing this hat, I will steal him. Seriously. Is this not the cutest!? This designer creates really sturdy hats and things for kids and adults with really unique color choices. This one is particularly simple, but perfect for a hip kid. In fact...I know a hip kid about to bust into this world. Perhaps my future nephew-in-law Henry will look darling in one of these. I think YES.

7. Harvest Handspun Yarn from misshawklet - $22
Miss Hawklet yarns are spun with love and care by my friend Holly. I don't really know much about yarn other than the fact that Holly's yarns are soft, gorgeous and expertly constructed. I love to knit with her yarns more than any other yarn I've found. Her prices are reasonable and she is just the sweetest, so buy some of her yarn make yer own dang hat!

8. Fall Thread Print from emmalynne - $20
My friend Shayne of NoveltyKitten gifted me one of emmalynne's thread prints as a thank you gift and I LOVE IT! I don't know why I find the thread and spool combinations in her simple and elegant prints so wonderful, but I do! And I think this particular print encapsulates all of the unique colors of autumn.

9. Wood & Resin Cluster Necklace from modica - $80
The last thing you want is a delicate, floofy necklace getting caught up in your wool scarf, right? Well, head on over to modica and pick up one of these GAWGEOUS modern wood/resin pendants. I love the natural/synthetic pairing in her pieces and I also absolutely love her color choices. modica also carries earrings that complement her pieces, so head on over and look!

10. Spice Neck Warmer from knittykittie - $16
Neckwarmers are SRS BZNS. They're all the warmth without the extra boob that the dangling tails of a scarf create when you tuck them into your jacket. I'm particularly fond of the crimson, spicey, burnt orangey-red look of this neck warmer. The construction is simple but they are incredibly comfortable and unique. Knittykittie has a unique collection of neckwarmers in just about every color you could imagine.

11. Orange Fondue Set from ladiesandgentlemen - $30
ETA: ladiesandgentlemen is having an AWESOME sale right now...a nifty buy-one-get-one arrangement. See the shop for more details!
Now, I can't eat fondue so if you buy this and make yourself some delicious melted cheese Swiss-style, don't tell me how great it was. Just know that I've had fondue before and I know it's God's gift to melted food in a pot. I love the look of this fondue pot, especially the bright orange enamel and gorgeous wooden handle. Use it for chocolate, cheese, or broth. Or just leave it on your dining room table and get some shag carpeting as a suitable accent. Cheesey baby YEA!


12. Colours Stack of Rings: Earthy from paintedmetal - $70 (half stack available!)
I can't believe I forgot this!! Doesn't this stack of patina'd brass rings scream FALL to you? It certainly does to me! I absolutely love this set and half stacks available in this same line. paintedmetal creates these slightly hammered beauties by hand and then carefully patinas and coats each individual one for lasting durability (and so yer fingers don't turn green!). I love them!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gettin' the hell outta Dodge.

(FYI: Click the images to make them bigger!)

This weekend Em and I were invited to stay with our friends Ed and John in a mountain top cabin in Harper's Ferry, WV. Naturally, we immediately replied in the affirmative and had our bags packed in anticipation for weeks. Harper's Ferry is about 10 miles away from my favorite little American town, so I was absolutely excited to share in the pastoral splendor that is the Eastern panhandle of West Virginia AND spend some time in the town I love dearly.

This is going to be a long pictorial, but I got a new camera this weekend at The Walmart (yeah, I know it's bad but I wanted to take pictures and mine is practically a 1970s Polaroid at this point), which was one of the only stores around.

We drove up to Highacre House, which is managed by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Friday afternoon. It was a nice drive, quick and easy and we landed at our weekend destination excited and ravenous. After a quick jaunt to Walmart, we settled in for the evening with food, booze and amazing views.

This is Highacre House. So cute!

Saturday morning we got up and had breakfast. We were going to hit up the Harper's Ferry Flea Market and Shepherdstown (my favorite place!), so we needed sustenance.

Ed on the left, Em in the middle, John on the right.

We put on our sunglasses and got ready to go.

Oh, isn't he handsome?!

After the Flea Market, which was interesting (I got two old ass Ball Mason Jars and this really pretty glass "thing" that used to sit atop power lines), we headed towards Shepherdstown. We hit up my favorite coffee shop in the WHOLE WORLD, Lost Dog, for hot coffee and an attempt at making my favorite drink non-dairy, a Soy Wet Dog. It was delicious. YES.

We walked up one side of German Street and down the other, enjoying things such as Shepherdstown Sweet Shop, Four Seasons Books, and The Herb Lady.

We also wandered around Shepherd University's campus, where I pretended to be a student for a year. It's still beautiful, I think. I treated myself to a Shepherd t-shirt. Go Rams!

After a day full of fantastic delights, Ed insisted we hit up another cherished destination. Dairy Queen, of course. Look at that orgasmic delight on his face.

We headed back to Highacre at that point and spent the rest of the evening and weekend reading, relaxing, playing games and drinking. There are tons of picture in the Harper's Ferry Trip set on my Flickr. Head over there. I'll close with a few more of my favorites. If you ever have the chance, head to Shepherdstown. At about one hour outside the city (DC), it's a great day trip and there's so much to do, see, taste and experience.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Save Bitch!

A few years ago, my Mom was going through a list of magazines for which she was able to get awesome subscription deals, and she asked me if there was anything I'd be interested in. I had the HARDEST time mustering up the strength to say to her, "well, Mom, all I'd really want is Bitch." I've been incredibly loyal to Bitch, too, over the years. I buy the magazine in the bookstore faithfully, whenever I see it. It's the only magazine I really collect and re-read multiple times, and I generally feel like it's the only magazine out there (read: Not Ms. or Bust) that is really doing feminism justice. They manage to *get* intersectionalism like no other magazine out there. That's why I kind of feel like they need to be on your coffee table.

Sadly they're in a bit of a crisis. They need $40,000 by October 15th to pull off another issue, and that's where you come in. Follow this trusty banner to their website and donate, or do what I did and pick up a subscription for yourself and your best friend (Surprise Bucko!). It's a really easy way to tell this kick ass magazine that you love them and you want it to stay around for years and years and years...or at least long enough for my kids to read.

Save Bitch!

Oh, I've added the thermometer in my sidebar so we can track the wiener for as long as it takes. Grow wiener dog grow!

Yes vs. No - The End of Summer Edition

It's time for another installment of Yes vs. No! You'll find this one to be particularly tv-heavy...we just got cable again after a year hiatus. Wee!

1. Excedrin Tension Headache - YES! Tylenol - No.

2. Bathrobes - YES! Muumuus - No.

3. Paperclips - YES! Staples - No.

4. Jeopardy - YES! Wheel of Fortune - No.

5. Chinese - YES! Cheese - No.

6. Ironing - YES! Buttoning your shirt closed in the wash and hoping for the best - No.

7. Jon & Kate + 8 - YES! The Duggars - No.

8. On Demand - YES! YouTube - No.

9. Sleeping - YES! Heat Exhaustion - No.

10. Phasefest - YES! Michfest - No.

DC Area Craft Shows - My Hot Picks!

When I was a kid, I remember watching my Nanny (maternal grandmother) make hundreds upon thousands of little crafty bits for God-knows-what reason. Had I been a little older, I would've probably encouraged her to enter a craft show. I think she made them, though, out of compulsion. When she passed away, my mother and I inherited close to 30 Xerox boxes of yarn, thousands of little cross stitch kits that had been marked down at craft stores all over the area (she had a "buy it because it's on sale" compulsion, too), and little projects she had either started and/or finished such as blankets, doilies, crocheted snowflakes, refrigerator magnets (I still have two! See the orange men below!) and hair clips. My Nanny was a craft store, for all intents and purposes, and she is my inspiration should I ever open a craft store of my own. I won't sell half-made projects, though. And I'll probably keep things a little more organized.

The point of all of this rambling is that my Nanny should've entered craft shows. People would've purchased her stuff en masse and I could've been one of those cool kids who hung out with their grandma at craft shows. Despite her lack of exposure on the local show circuit, I've somehow developed a deep love for craft shows. Any excuse for me to buy something small, cute and exquisitly handmade for myself or a loved one is an immeasurable delight. I've found that there are a handful of shows that I love to go to in this area, especially as the holiday season grows closer, and I've compiled the list here for you.

Adams Morgan Day Festival - Sunday September 14
I realize that, as of today, this festival is over. Last year I participated as a member of the DC Craft Mafia (DCCM), and it was my first EVER show as a crafter. I had a great time, sold lots of stuff and loved the outdoor, social, neighborhoody feel of it.

Barracks Row Oktoberfest - Saturday September 27
This takes place yearly in my favorite Capitol Hill neighborhood. The shop owners come out to play and there is a decent assortment of local crafters and artisans. This is a great way to experience a unique area in DC, all within walking distance of Eastern Market, a year-round food and art market with rich roots in DC.

Crafty Bastards - Sunday September 28
While I'll probably never be brave enough to apply for Crafty Bastards, it is THE best show in the DC Metro area. Artists and crafters come from ALL over, it seems, to share and sell their wares. There is an enormous assortment of stuff available...from jewelry to clothes, to pet products and soap. It's hosted by the Washington City Paper.

Art on the Avenue - Sunday October 4
Del Ray is another one of my favorite neighborhoods and this is their annual celebration of art, music and fun. It sort of ushers in autumn for a lot of people, especially locals. Last year I was able to find an awesome assortment of crafts, from the typical and traditional to the avant garde and unusual. There's lot of delicious food and entertainment, too.

Ballston Arts & Crafts Market - Saturday October 11
This is a monthly market that runs from the spring to fall every year. I participated once last year with the DCCM and had a great time. It can be busy or it can be slow, but there is live music and it's a great assortment of local crafters. It's gaining notoriety this year, too, by hosting crafters such as my blog buddy Dandelion Blu!

Clifton Day - Sunday October 12 (Rain: October 19)
This is one of those festivals that simultaneously throws you back in time and makes you feel like a kid again. There are games, entertainment, cotton candy and kettle corn...cheesy flea market things to purchase and fine, rare antiques. Basically, you have the freedom to roam one of Northern Virginia's oldest towns and enjoy everything it has to offer (including hills...wear good shoes!).

DCCM UNusual Suspects Holiday Craft Fair- Sunday November 2
I'm a former member of the DCCM but I still love them so! Head on over to their holiday craft show and sale at the Anastasi Room in Bethesda for a faboo crafters market. Close to 50 vendors will show their wares with everything from clothes to jewelry, toys to knick knacks. The DCCM manages to pull in some pretty kick ass crafters for this event and it's truly a lot of fun.

Holiday Heap - Saturday November 15
I've always wanted to hit up the Charm City Craft Mafia's event. Maybe I will this year! Baltimore is a wonderland of homemade delights, between the CCCM and BEST. Go Bawlmer!

Fairfax Holiday Craft Show - Saturday November 15 & Sunday November 16
This is the show that my Nanny would've been in had she been in craft shows. This has everything from cheesy painted wood signs to handblown glass ornaments. There's a huge selection available here and it's open for two days, which ensures you won't miss a single second of it!

Do you have a favorite show? Let me/us know in the comments!
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