Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A busy weekend ahoy!

There are two fabulous opportunities for folks in the DC Metro Area to finish up their holiday shopping, and I'm pleased as pie to be a part of both of them. Scheduled for the same day, these two events are both something I've been looking forward to for since early December! The cherry on top is that both shows will give me an opportunity to spend time with some of my nearest and dearest craft buddies, too. There isn't anything better than that!

Craft Mutiny's 4th Annual Holiday Booty Market
Saturday December 19th from 10am - 5pm
Design Within Reach - Adams Morgan

I will have my full line available at the Booty Market, including (if all goes according to plan) a Make Your Own Felt Ball Necklace station! I'll have a huge assortment of colors to choose from and I will finish up your felt ball necklace on the spot for the bargain price of $20. Choose your favorite colors, your family's favorite colors, your favorite sports team's colors, choose all one color. The possibilities are endless! I will be selling with 19 other local vendors, all amazingly talented. The event is free and refreshments will be offered (including homemade cookies courtesy of yours truly).

Rock-n-Shop - A Rock-n-Roll Garage Sale
with The Queer Crafter Collective
Saturday December 19th from 8pm - 11pm
The Black Cat - 14th Street NW (between S & T Streets)

The Queer Crafter Collective will have FIVE tables set up at this event, featuring just about everything from four of our five members. Choose from an enormous variety of DC, queer and love-themed tshirts and hoodies (for adults and kids) from Lara at 237 Inc., find little handy accessories and wardrobe accoutrements from Michelle of Monkey Grrl Duds, a bevy of repurposed delights including jewelry, household accessories and other delightful bits and baubles from Julie of Junk Science, and finally me (of Oh Ginger, duh) with whatever I have left from the Booty Market! Count on an assortment of stocking stuffers, including vintage stud earrings and Cubicle Art. This event is free, full of kick ass music and beer (which is not free BUT affordable), with a ton of sellers ranging from local non-profit groups to vintage resellers to crafters.

In the meantime, I'm offering a 30% discount off the treasures currently available in my shop using the discount code HAPPYHOLIDAYS. Everything purchased from my shop will ship out Monday December 21st via priority mail.

Please support handmade! It's the gift that keeps on giving!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sponsor Roundup!

As we approach the final shipping deadlines for domestic and international shipping (in some cases, this has passed!), I wanted to provide an easily accessible list of all of my sponsors and their reviews. Please support handmade when you do your holiday shopping this year, and throughout the year. There is no gift filled with more love than one that is handmade.

[click on the image to head to the sponsor's review]

garbologist ad tina seamonster ad

miss hawklet ad broken plate ad

plf ad its stitch ad

leiva ad novelty kitten ad

dear kiki ad karida ad

chickadee ad beelisty ad

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Put a vest on it.

Shortly before Em and I started dating, I was shopping in Lane Gyant (née Lane Bryant) and found a cute brown fitted down-filled vest that zipped up and was pretty darn comfortable. Until that point, as a fully-nourished woman about town, I had not found a down vest that either accompanied my girth or my bosom...or both. And as any good lumbergay* can attest, down vests are amazingly comfortable, warm and practical. Last year I was doing some online browsing and shopping when I realized that Lands' End offered a down vest in plus sizes. And not only did they offer this vest in plus sizes, but they offered in DIFFERENT COLORS. Gone were the days of covering myself up in soul-shriveling black, gray and brown wool blends. I could be as bold and puffy as the soul within me wanted to be! I picked up a bright Kelly green vest and haven't taken it off since (even though one of the snaps was ripped off when it got caught in a door frame last winter).

I decided I needed a new vest this year and picked up the color you see featured above, called Iris, for the bargain price of $27.00. There aren't many places my fellow plump folks can find deals like that, especially for outerwear. The color is so rich and bright, and the cut is simple and clean without embroidery, embellishments or annoying closures. I genuinely don't want to take it off. Em asked me the other morning if I was going to wear a jacket with sleeves at all this winter, especially because we are going to Boston just after Christmas, but I don't plan on taking this off until April rolls around.

* See what I did there? That's called BRILLIANCE!

Make Christmas, Not War!

A long while ago, Etsy featured seller Bunny with a Toolbelt for all the world to see. I immediately signed up for her Twitter feed and started following her blog, because any woman who proudly carves/whittles wood into quirky and colorful designs with a hilariously humorous edge AND a universal commitment to appealing to people of all ilks (she'll make gay wedding cake toppers, y'all) is my kind of crafter!

Her Christmas/holiday pieces only amplify my adoration of her work. Nothing will get a rowdy, politicallly-minded person like myself all amped up more than picketing Christmas people! I am pro rum ball and I vote, too! With hilarious quips and phrases hand painted onto signs (or you can write your own), Bunny with a Toolbelt's line of wood carved Yuletide Activists (priced anywhere from $40-$60) warm my fuzzy, cantankerous, gay and social justice-oriented soul. Santas who want more cookies, SPEAK OUT!

bee listy is wicked stitchy

[This is the final post in a series of twelve posts designed to feature a wildly creative and exciting group of crafters and artisans. Please take a moment to visit the shop featured in this post and all the shops featured on the left and right hand sidebars of my blog. You'll have the opportunity to learn about two fabulous shops a week - just in time to get all of your holiday shopping done. Enjoy!]

One of my favorite things about the internet is the opportunity to meet people that you might never come across in "real life"...I would have to say that this is how I've introduced myself to most crafters, but also social justice leaders and visionaries have weaseled their way into my life via this tangled web of tubes. Four years ago this fall, I joined a community of journalers and thinkers (though in some cases, I would use that term very lightly) called LiveJournal and while roaming around some of the larger feminist and queer communities, I stumbled upon Becca. We became fast friends in an environment that catered to the heteronormative feminist woman, and managed to cause ruckus upon ruckus at every possible moment. Bonded by bannings and a mutual love of Johnny Cash, Becca and I have managed to stick it out and stay friends until now through love, heartbreak and heartache. I remember the moment I met her in person...I sat a coffee shop, slackjawed and mute, while she managed to crochet at the approximate speed of a whirling dervish, while drinking 8,000 cups of coffee and talking off my friend Shaun's ear about the wonders of her city, Cincinnati.

A logophile and Scrabble enthusiast, Becca developed her love for needle and thread from her grandfather (who used to stitch to relax after working 2nd shift) and her mother. While living in the creative isolation of Oberlin, OH she picked up cross stitch after reading about Subversive Cross Stitch in Bitch Magazine. Later she would start embroidering after discovering Jenny Hart's Sublime Stitching empire. Using the computer program PC Stitch, Becca now creates her own patterns as well as merging traditional techniques and themes with bold, political mantras and statements. A radical queer feminist to the core, bee listy's stitches are abrupt, thoughtful and immediate conversation pieces. Unafraid to share her feelings and sentiments through some DMC floss and a piece of cloth, Becca fights oppression and injustice through a very tradtional medium. One of the highlights of her work is the custom portraiture she's pulled together for family gifts and for special customer requests. Everything from her grandparents' wedding portrait to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Dolly Parton, Martin Luther King, Jr., Johnny Cash, Morrissey and Oprah Winfrey. Recently she even told me that she was working on a piece featuring a customer's cats!

With an unbelieveably committed and detail-oriented approach to her stitching, bee listy manages to provoke awe and wonder, thoughtfulness and action in all of her pieces. Whether she's embroidering ties for hot butches and bois, hankies for the ladies or a sentimental piece for a friend or stranger, you can feel the heart and soul worked into every criss-crossed stitch. She writes regularly in her personal blog, started up Queer Craft, guest writes for Radical Queer News, The Dating Algorithm, Twin Cities Avengers and will start [what might become] a regular spot soon on Sartorial Butch. Becca is also one of THE biggest music nerds I have ever met, constantly dumbfounding me with her lyrical knowledge as well as commitment to supporting indie artists from all over the world. She is funny, sweet, snarky and incredibly generous. In many ways, bee listy is what I want craft to amalgam of traditional techniques, political energy and a celebration of everything that makes us different and unique. Please visit bee listy and request your custom piece. You won't regret it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

this chickadee (she loves you)

[This is one post in a series of twelve posts designed to feature a wildly creative and exciting group of crafters and artisans. Please take a moment to visit the shop featured in this post and all the shops featured on the left and right hand sidebars of my blog. You'll have the opportunity to learn about two fabulous shops a week - just in time to get all of your holiday shopping done. Enjoy!]

Nothing will tug my heartstrings more than a person who mentions their grandmother when asked about their crafty inspiration. If you've followed this blog for a while, you know that I credit my mother and my grandmother, Nanny, with just about every ounce of creativity and crafty impulse in my body. And more than that, honoring craft as it was is one of my most important focuses as a member and critic of the craft scene. Our foremothers (and fathers) made craft not just because there was a need for something beautiful or unusual, but because every piece they created served a purpose. Hand carved spindles on a bedframe, basketweave seats on the kitchen chairs, socks knitted up to warm your tootsies, and paper made to write letters to your beloved. Craft with a purpose...that's what I like.

Though the woman behind the needles, thread and buckets full of vintage and repurposed fabric has morphed into a very dear friend, the fact remains that Becky of this chickadee is a crafty inspiration. In her little nest just outside the nation's capital, chickadee puts together the things that turn a house into a home. From coasters to placemats to full and half size aprons, your home will be appointed in vintage and homegrown comfort. For those on the go but with a penchant for some knittin' sticks and a skein of scrumptious yarn, chickadee offers the popular and utilitarian knitalong bags, designed to keep your project portable yet fancy (also available locally at Fibre Space). My personal favorite chickadee creation is the wanderlust wallet. My mother was never a purse kind of gal, opting to carry everything she needed in a wallet that she could easily tuck into her pocket, and ideally something that held keys. It's as though chickadee and my mom communicated before we ever met to create this perfectly organized masterpiece. And for the person, like me, who prefers to carry a metric ton of fine pens and pencils wherever they go, chickadee has portable pockets in a myriad of colors and patterns.

This Chickadee blogs regularly at a little spot on the web with the same name as her crafty empire, wowing her readers with new creations and inspiration close to everyday. A skilled and obsessed knitter, she also shares her trials and tribulations with some of the most inspiring and gorgeous hats, shawls and blankets I've ever seen. A committed patron of craft, she can be found knitting up yarn from a number of local and national spinners (including Neighborhood Fiber Co.). She has presented at Hello Craft's Summit of Awesome, is incredibly active in the mid-Atlantic craft show circuit, was recently added to the Cosa Verde eco-friendly line up, and will even bike across the Potomac River to visit a friend under a tent at a gay pride festival (but only if Elton John is available, too). She is funny and sweet, sincere and inspirational, and an incredible friend. Her craft is all of those things and more.

And the winner is...

I'm so pleased to announce that the winner of the Jolly Holiday Giveaway is Katya, who is coincidentally a crafter herself! She is the owner of Chicago-based Toasty Knits on Etsy, a young shop looking for more customers...hint hint!

Thank you all for entering and for helping me promote this fabulous opportunity. I'm excited about getting to know you all better through comments and other venues (like Twitter). Please look forward to more giveaways in the future!

Happy, happy holidays!

[Here is the administrative stuff...screenshot of the random integer results. I also entered all of the entrants, in order, onto a spreadsheet to weed out unrelated comments and keep things accurate.]

Monday, December 7, 2009

dear kiki...

[This is one post in a series of twelve posts designed to feature a wildly creative and exciting group of crafters and artisans. Please take a moment to visit the shop featured in this post and all the shops featured on the left and right hand sidebars of my blog. You'll have the opportunity to learn about two fabulous shops a week - just in time to get all of your holiday shopping done. Enjoy!]

My personal quest to find queer crafters through Etsy and other venues has proved...frustrating. There are a number of queer people out there, and many of them craft, but I think that the disconnect resides in the place where they can't quite draw a connection between crafting something and how it's integrated into their queer identity. For me, crafting and domesticity are interlinked in a number of ways...the act of engaging this classically feminine side of my gender is both a wonderful treat and a frustrating experience, because in so many other ways I cannot be pegged down to a simplified interpretation of feminine or female. This is why it is so important for me to honor and embrace queer crafters and artists; the experience is so profoundly unique that allowing our work to blend into the mainstream does its uniqueness a grave disservice.

Katie Kaapcke, a San Francisco based artist, exemplifies this boundary-crossing, gender-leaping approach to creativity. Her line of prints, stationery, fine art pieces and ACEO cards are full of intelligence, humor, self-reflection (and deprecation) and cautious hope. Bolstered by a firm foundation of nerdiness and dorkitude, dear kiki... is simultaneously quirky and uncomfortable, funny and chest-tightening. For women who were girls and neither pretty nor hip, her pieces validate you in ways that most things don't. Katie also embraces a strong whimsical, silly and cute aesthetic with her work, especially in her ACEO cards and her brand new line of mustaches on sticks. Deer, glitter, owls and foxes - these are perfect gifts to slip into birthday cards and into stockings or just little notes to say hello. The dear kiki... collection is rounded out with signed prints and limited editions pieces that run the gamut from jarring commentary on invisibility to the beauty of nature and one's relationship with it and around it. All in all, there is a brave and exciting realness to that which Katie creates.

Katie blogs regularly at Kiki and posts sales and special offers in her Etsy shop often. Constantly creating and innovating her work, she is both an inspiration to young queer artists as well as to people new to the art world and looking for something to which they can connect. Honest and fresh, I ask you dear readers to support fabulous queer artists like dear kiki... by sharing and acquiring her art. Active with a number of local and national teams, committed to cruelty free craftmanship and constantly evolving, dear kiki... is one to watch and a wonderful complement to a holiday that wanders down the path less traveled.

Better late than never...

There are great benefits to having a younger brother who is always tardy to the [birthday] party...had I received such a bounty of delights in early August, when I actually celebrate my birthday, it would've been too warm to enjoy such deliciousness. Instead, I received this box of delights a few weeks ago just as the air became brisk.

Hot tea and Moravian spice cookies, cream cheese and jelly muffins with sweet North Carolina huckleberry jelly, and hearty buckwheat pancakes embellished with some cinnamon and nutmeg while the snow slowly melts off the trees. This Southern Birthday package was just on time, that's for sure. And if I ever get lost, I can take my Cracker Barrel complimentary roadway map and find new deliciousness on the open road. Thanks Baby Bruva.

ETA: Like all good sisters do (insert: pathetic whimper), I forgot my favorite part of this present. Yes, the delectable treats from the South land were amazing and scrumptious, but there was something bigger and better in the batch. Nestled on my bookshelves, it completely slipped my mind. For those who make and craft, I cannot recommend this book enough. For me, it serves as a reminder that true craft started as an art of necessity and in narrative form, this tome provides instructions on how to make many of the things one can now acquire in mass-produced form. From stone fences to jelly to cheese, Lost Crafts: Rediscovering Traditional Skills is a wonderful and inspiring book.

P.S. - I should also note that my brother included a fork/knife/spoon setting that originally belonged to our Great Grandma Courtade from the 1935 World's Fair. You should've heard the hissy fit I threw when I found out that he received three place settings of these memory-laden pieces. Fortunately, he was generous enough to share with his tantrum-throwing older sister.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Handmade Mart's Holiday Shop-n-Snow

In May, you might remember that my friend Pang and I participated in a rather successful, brand new craft market called Handmade Mart. It was a ton of fun, the sales were great and we really enjoyed doing it together. When the opportunity came around to participate in the winter/holiday version of the mart, we jumped at it. In direct competition with the annual Holiday Heap sponsored by the Charm City Craft Mafia, the Holiday Shop-n-Stroll combined efforts with a local farmer's market cooperative and the Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center to put on something completely original (and a little bit crazy...) - an outdoor show.

Earlier in the week, I was paying close attention to the weather forecast because there were whispers of snow on the horizon. Snow, especially this early in the year, almost always turns to rain but this seemed like a serious crash between two intense weather fronts and with a serious temperature drop and a 100% chance of precipitation, the Girl Scout within rose to the surface (ok, the annoying festive elf within rose to the surface as well, as I was screaming all week to naysayers "IT WILL BE FESTIVE!"). Way back when I served at Clinton's first inauguration in the freezing, dreary, wet cold January and managed to survive. I could handle this.

We arrived early and Pang was traveling about an hour and half behind - and she had the tent. Em and I unloaded my stock onto the folding table, covered it with a tarp and snuck across the street into Starbucks for coffee. We sat by the window and watched in earnest as the rain continued to pour and the sun continued to avoid rising. When Pang and Yukon (what I call her boyfriend J.R.) arrived, we quickly threw up the tent and began our haphazard plan to wrap it in as many plastic tarps as we could. Using a bag of of about 8,000 clothespins and tarps of various sizes and thicknesses, our booth was essentially an igloo. It looked like this to our wonderful customers:

We bundled up as best we could to make it through the ridiculously cold weather.

They are so cute!

Pang brought a bevy of adorable delights, including many new additions like snowballs (!!!), cookies, three packs of baby cookies and her spinning rack of Yummy Pins - everything from ravioli to pizza to bacon! She really outdid herself and I can't wait to see what people think this year at Rock-n-Shop on the 19th or when she updates her shop!

I did the best I could with what I had - we loaded up a mini tree with Cubicle Art turned "ornaments", I hung as many pairs of earrings as I could and lined up my necklaces, too. Tina Seamonster was incredibly excited about a new addition to my line, Spectrum Bracelets, which was incredibly heartwarming (which helped, because nothing was warm yesterday and any little bit helped!). People were also incredibly receptive to my line of "heirloom" pieces - pendants and pins. More ideas are already brewing and hopefully on the horizon!

Despite the temperatures that stayed in the low 30s, the many inches of snow and slush that accumulated and the heavy dampness in the air, customers did come out. I was impressed at their interest and enthusiasm and more than anything, I was so incredibly appreciative of their efforts! Debbie and Kim, the masterminds behind Handmade Mart, were incredibly supportive and attentive...shortly after Em and I arrived, Debbie shared an IKEA umbrella with us which we promptly broke (sorry...again!). They provided handwarmers and sent folks around to bump snow off the top of our tents and were fantastic cheerleaders. The idea of doing another outdoor show in any month that could remotely be considered "wintery" sounds like a bear of an idea to me today, but if I was ever to do one again, it would be with Debbie and Kim. Handmade Mart, you are the best!

My full set of Holiday Shop-n-Stroll pics are available here.

Jolly Holiday Giveaway UPDATE!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I've updated the original giveaway post to include the addition of two lovely skeins of Neighborhood Fiber Co. yarn in Cooper Circle. Please check it out and make sure you sign up before Tuesday night at 11pm EST! Questions? Let me know!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tipp Shakers

Tipp Flower Basket Shaker Set - mint condition, Depression era

Waiting for me at home right now is the box that contains these beauties, and to say that I'm bouncing-off-the-walls excited about them is the understatement of the century. I committed myself long ago to have a kitchen with a "vintage red" theme...something that, in time, I could imagine myself filling with knick knacks and treasures old and new that remind of me cooking and sharing with my mom and family.

When I saw this shaker set available from one of my favorite Etsy sellers, Jadite Kate, I shed a tear and decided that when my bank account was ready, they would be there if I was meant to have them. Months and months travel by and I check on them periodically, until about two weeks ago when I saw them there AND on sale. Whether I actually use them or not is a non-issue, as they are perhaps the most beautiful things I've laid my eyes on in a long, long time. As with all Jadite Kate treasures, the utmost attention is paid to the historical background of the piece as well as a thorough examination of its condition. I cannot recommend her shop enough.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Neighborhood Fiber Co.

[This is one post in a series of twelve posts designed to feature a wildly creative and exciting group of crafters and artisans. Please take a moment to visit the shop featured in this post and all the shops featured on the left and right hand sidebars of my blog. You'll have the opportunity to learn about two fabulous shops a week - just in time to get all of your holiday shopping done. Enjoy!]

While I'd consider myself a crafty gal, I cannot figure out knitting. I have the basic steps down, sure, but when it comes to the more intricate finger-knotting techniques and all of those abbreviations and acronyms found in patterns, I feel like a dunce. Just as I have visions of sugarplums dancing in my head, I dream of a day when I can knit up a squishy, soft pair of socks or a shawl...heck, I'd even take a scarf that was fancier than a garter stitched, uneven nightmare! What's more, I've found that the temptation of gorgeous, handspun, top TOP quality yarn doesn't help this despair. Temptation, thy name is Neighborhood Fiber Co., a company deeply rooted in Washington DC but recently relocated to Columbus, Ohio, is Karida Collins' art, craft and livelihood.

When I met this fabulous woman, it was a few short weeks before she headed to the midwest. I was struck by her bright, bold pink lipstick and her sassy and energetic demeanor. This aura is translated to the fiber she dyes and spins up by hand in her home studio. Colors more vibrant than any I've ever seen, Neighborhood Fiber Co. yarns run the gamut from lace weight to super bulky. At Crafty Bastards this year, I fell in love with a super bulky green yarn nestled in her display, but every inch of her booth was bursting with life and color. As she explains on her website, NFC is "dedicated to providing fiber arts products rich in saturated colors that reflect the natural beauty and diverse neighborhoods found throughout the nation’s capital." This theme is carried through to the names of her yarns, which are all taken from Karida's favorite places in downtown DC. Encouraging and inspiring, Karida is also a coauthor of a relatively new book Pints and Purls : Portable projects for the social knitter chock full of patterns and ideas for the knitter who likes to knock back a few beers.

NFC yarns are a wonderful gift for the seasoned knitter/weaver/crocheter in your life. A gift full of life, creativity and color ready for the inspiration to hit, Karida's yarns translate perfectly to people of all ages as well. A little birdie has told me on more than one occasion how fabulous NFC yarns are to knit with, and that same birdie has turned them into a bevy of delightful shawls and cowls perfect for this brisk transition into winter. Pick up a skein or two for yourself, even if you have little to no experience, and trek out to your local yarn shop for a knitting workshop as a New Year's resolution. You can shop for Neighborhood Fiber Co. yarns and fibers at yarn shops nationwide and through Karida's Etsy shop.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jolly Holiday Giveaway!

Welcome one and all to the 2009 Queering Domesticity Jolly Holiday Giveaway! This giveaway is incredible and I am so excited to share with you all of the treasures generously provided by my twelve fabulous sponsors. Each crafty business owner has provided delightful treats for you and, all told, these prizes are worth more than $400! Let's take a tour through the loot - and make sure you click on the images to see them full size!

From Tina Seamonster we have two Zombies bookmarks, perfect for stocking
stuffers, and a 10-card set of her Zombie Christmas Cards featuring the Baby Jesus!

Three skeins of the most luxurious and delectable yarn from misshawklet.
Two skeins of incredibly vibrant electric coral and then a single-ply skein of
a complementary electric coral/gray/blue blend!

Sweet silver heart studs from it's a stitch!

Rudolph the Red Nosed Bacon ornament from Pretty Little Fings.
[Note: no matter how I photographed this little dude, he always
leaned seductively, hence my embellishment. He's a stud.]

A pack full of goodies from dear kiki...! A four notecard set of her Nerd Girl
cards, three larger greeting cards from the same series and an 8x10 print
of her blonde nerd girl, my personal favorite.

Ho ho HO REALLY? From Bee Listy, a festive stitched feminist piece
bedecked in holiday cheer. Turning traditional sexist unpleasantries
on their head, this stitch is progressive and fierce.

The sweetest, daintiest pair of earrings from leiva jewelry, featuring jade
and labradorite rounds and hand formed oxidized sterling silver earwires.

From The Broken Plate Co., a beautiful vintage plate turned pendant
with a sterling silver chain. This plate is coincidentally the same plate I
mentioned in my review, which has been turned into a breathtaking
tattoo on Ms. Broken Plate herself!

From dear sweet This Chickadee, an apron perfect for crafters and chefs alike!
Fitted with three pockets and a cheery pink and purple floral pattern, you will
never go back to apronless activities again! Trust me, I know.

A prize pack of delights from Novelty Kitten! Featuring the Fruit Seeking
Vegetable coloring book, four hilarious and cute Gocco printed notecards,
a bevy of buttons and Express Your Apathy cards to hand out to friends and coworkers!

From The Garbologist's Wife, a collection of accessories featuring repurposed
vintage buttons, including some jaw-dropping pieces made from
mother of pearl. Two rings, earrings, a brooch and hairpins!

And finally, from Neighborhood Fiber Co. we have over 800 YARDS of worsted
weight Cooper Circle yarn in delectable shades of maroon, plum, and
deep red. This yarn feels utterly amazing, and is astoundingly beautiful!

I feel truly honored to be offering these incredible treats to you all - not only because they are of such magnificent quality but because the people behind these creations are genuinely awesome too! Another fact I'm especially proud of is that in this group are three queer-identified crafters! Please take a few minutes out of your day to head to the shops linked in this post and along the left and right sidebars.

  • Please leave a comment including your e-mail address so I can contact you.
  • In your comment, please tell me your favorite item from any of my sponsors' shops!
  • ONE entry per person.
  • I will ship internationally, but I cannot ensure that the package will arrive before Christmas (12/25). Domestic shipping will be priority and should arrive within a few days.
  • The Jolly Holiday Giveaway will CLOSE in one week - Tuesday December 8th at 11pm EST. The winner will be announced on Wednesday December 9th!
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at!
Thank you and happy, happy holidays!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Novelty Kitten

[This is one post in a series of twelve posts designed to feature a wildly creative and exciting group of crafters and artisans. Please take a moment to visit the shop featured in this post and all the shops featured on the left and right hand sidebars of my blog. You'll have the opportunity to learn about two fabulous shops a week - just in time to get all of your holiday shopping done. Enjoy!]

I have had the great fortune of meeting a number of really awesome local crafters over the course of my two and a half year tenure with the Washington DC crafty scene, and Shayne Rioux of Novelty Kitten has been a friend of mine for just about every minute of it. The original founder of the DC Craft Mafia, Shayne has been crafting for years and years and years. Nestled in her Maryland abode with a menagerie of animals and a mythical crafty room that I've only heard about, yet never seen, the things that Shayne turns out is the kind of stuff that makes you giggle maniacally or makes you think, "WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT?" Funny, irreverent, snarky and maybe a little weird, Novelty Kitten is chock full of stocking stuffers and last minute impulse items that will please friends, loved ones and all of your sarcastic buds.

Using every crafter's favorite machine, the Gocco printer, as well as a number of other mediums, Novelty Kitten boasts a bevy of inspirational delights. Recently, Shayne has added a number of vintage image collections perfect for mixed media collages; she's even gone to the trouble of grouping them by theme! I can imagine turning them into a series of snarky greeting cards, especially the images from the Handsome Gentlemen series (mostly with mustaches!). She also carries an ever-expanding line of 1" pins, perfect for hats, backpacks or your lapel. Everything from commentary on gnomes, to a jiggly homage to canned cranberry sauce, to Peeps and succinctly expressed apathy - there's something for everyone. Novelty Kitten features a line of silly and irreverent paper products, too! Periodic Table of Monsters, Express Your Apathy Cards (I handed out a few to coworker recently and was met with UPROARIOUS laughter), and even eggs in party hats! There are times when I'd like to climb into Shayne's brain, settle down in a lawn chair and watch things happen. It's always exciting.

Whether you're shopping for your nerdy brother, a precocious kid, your grumpy sister in law or even for a White Elephant-style work gift exchange, just about everyone I know would be pleased to own a treat from Novelty Kitten. The fact that I know the woman behind the craft only enhances my love for the entire line of products. She's a true and loyal friend with a fabulous sense of humor. Want to win her over? Send her something gnome related - she shoots through the roof! I can't recommend Novelty Kitten enough, and I hope you swing by and grab a few things to turn your holidays into a giggling groan fest.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

leiva * jewelry

[This is one post in a series of twelve posts designed to feature a wildly creative and exciting group of crafters and artisans. Please take a moment to visit the shop featured in this post and all the shops featured on the left and right hand sidebars of my blog. You'll have the opportunity to learn about two fabulous shops a week - just in time to get all of your holiday shopping done. Enjoy!]

The craft scene is filled to the brim with jewelry artisans and designers, using every possible medium to bring their creative visions to life. Having been immersed in that over the past two or so years has helped not only clarify my personal style, but it has really challenged me to find beauty in things that are completely different than what I normally desire. Additionally, it has given me a deeper appreciation for fine artistry and the time and dedication quality jewelry making requires. I was pleased to add Leiva to my group of sponsors for that reason - I am a colorful and bright personality yet her delicate yet bold jewelry spoke to me in ways I never expected. I'm so excited to share her work with you!

Mandy Carroll-Leiva is the mastermind behind Leiva jewelry. Trained at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in jewelry and metalsmithing, Mandy spent many years honing her skills as a production assistant and manager in New York City for rather prestigious jewelry designers. Somehow, through what I would consider a beautiful twist of fate, she escaped to Argentina where she fell in love and undoubtedly drew an infinite amount of inspiration from the beauty and culture available in Buenos Aires. She returned home and is now settled with her husband up north, developing her exciting collection of jewelry. Her line now extends to a number of delicate and sweet designs for weddings and other romantic events. On top of that, Mandy is currently making available an extremely refined and jaw-dropping line of colored diamond rings - they are unlike anything I have ever seen! Available in greens, peaches, pinks and even black, these rings are perfect for the off-the-beaten path kind of gal, and also ideal for GLBTQ folks who are in the process of becoming engaged or planning a commitment ceremony. To wear something truly unusual and one of a kind is a perfect complement to the special love involved in all of the relationships in the queer community, in my honest opinion.

Leiva is celebrating her one year anniversary through Monday November 30th, and I sincerely hope you consider spending some of your "Cyber Monday" dollars at her shop where you can get 10% off (except the diamonds!). From hand forged metalwork to rutilated quartz rounds, jade and turquoise, pearls and finely sculpted oxidized sterling silver earrings, Leiva's line has something for every woman in your life. The artist herself is sweet as can be and I feel so genuinely honored that she stumbled upon this little blog and said hello. I cannot wait to watch her collection evolve. Please visit Leiva - you'll be glad you did!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Kick dust and take names.

Portuguese designer Cabracega developed this installation, Make Household Not War, for the Coca-Cola Light exhibition space in Portugal's ExperimentaDesign Biennale. I'm confident that if a Queer Housewife like myself were to develop her own line of household products, they would certainly honor the warrior within. BAM BOOM POW!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's a Stitch

[This is one post in a series of twelve posts designed to feature a wildly creative and exciting group of crafters and artisans. Please take a moment to visit the shop featured in this post and all the shops featured on the left and right hand sidebars of my blog. You'll have the opportunity to learn about two fabulous shops a week - just in time to get all of your holiday shopping done. Enjoy!]

It's a treat to find someone, anywhere, with so much genuine and unending enthusiasm and glee about crafting and community. That's what I found a few months ago when I met Malarie, designer and owner of It's A Stitch. Nestled in her little hideaway studio in the wilds of suburban Washington DC, Malarie creates two distinct lines: the first is full of quaint and adorable jewelry and home accessories; the second is sultry and seductive. I can only imagine that in person, Malarie is a very precise combination of all of those qualities. Marry all of this with her ever evolving interest in fashion and style and her top notch photography, and It's a Stitch is a crafter on the move up up up!

It's a Stitch designs combine whimsy with clean lines, which is often hard to come by when navigating Etsy for affordable and unique jewelry. Using vintage and vintage-inspired components, a variety of metals and gemstones, the pieces easily translate from day to night, casual to fancy. Additionally, It's a Stitch offers a line of ever-evolving totes and accessories using an unusual technique - she uses various stencils and bleaches the color from the fabric to highlight the edges and turns them into completely original pieces. Her third very special endeavor is a line of jewelry both gothic and refined in its inspiration. Spooky Chandelier features studs, necklaces and rings in rich, inviting colors. Many of the pieces available at Spooky Chandelier also feature more intricate wire wrapping and stones. And my favorite pieces, the itty bitty studs, come in such lovely deep shades of orange, pink, green and blue. There is quite honestly something for everyone in both shops!

So often the pieces available out in the crafty world are one notes and statement pieces, things that people will notice if you wear them more than once to the office or to class. But It's a Stitch pieces are special in that they have daily appeal. That's a wonderful compliment to Malarie's well-trained eye and her innovative, fresh approach to crafting. Find It's a Stitch and Spooky Chandelier at Etsy, where Malarie is also an active member of the Lab Rats Team. She's working on kick starting her own blog, and she updates regularly at Twitter, sharing a whole slew of interesting and exciting links and tidbits about fashion, music, jewelry and her crafting endeavors. You can also become a fan on Facebook which could prove fruitful in the future if she does another giveaway! I'm looking forward to how It's a Stitch evolves and grows; I'm confident it only gets better from here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bust out your Day Planners, kids.

This is it! Oh Ginger's show schedule for the month of December. I've packed in four shows in three weekends, just in time for you to get all of your favorite Oh Ginger goodies in time for the holidays. Links to all of the shows are available under this handy dandy calendar I made just for you! Can't wait to see your darling faces.

What is all this for, you ask?

I suppose that a number of people are curious about this onslaught of crafter review posts and why I've dedicated myself to sharing their work with you. Well, if you missed the original post, this is my first test group of sponsors and I couldn't be more pleased with the folks who chose to share their time and work with Queering Domesticity and its readers. One of the components of my arrangement with these enormous talents is that we'd work together to pull a giveaway together for you. And that's the point. I'm having a giveaway! A HUGE GIVEAWAY!

[click to embiggen]

Check back here at QD the morning of December 1st for all the details and pictures. You won't believe what I have in store for you. The giveaway sign up will last a week and the winner will get all of the amazing treasures just in time for the winter holidays. Thanks to my lovely sponsors and to my readers for inspiring me!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pretty Little Fings!

[This is one post in a series of twelve posts designed to feature a wildly creative and exciting group of crafters and artisans. Please take a moment to visit the shop featured in this post and all the shops featured on the left and right hand sidebars of my blog. You'll have the opportunity to learn about two fabulous shops a week - just in time to get all of your holiday shopping done. Enjoy!]

When Pang, the mastermind behind Pretty Little Fings, and I were introduced last year, I had no idea we'd be where we are at this very moment. A fleeting connection, a random and delightful crafty trade, a mutual love of bacon and fuzzy stuffed had potential but I never knew if it would work. Skip ahead about 11 months and here you have one of the most special friendships I've had in a long time. She's someone who manages to see the world around her and interpret it in the most astounding ways - turning her brilliant and ever-expanding imagination into beautiful works of plush art and photography. Self-taught and home grown, Pang of Pretty Little Fings is a fabulous friend and and even better crafter. In fact, there are days when I don't know if I could've done this (this whole crafty thing) without her!

Nestled in my favorite American town, Pretty Little Fings creates plush creatures inspired by all the things most people love: food, nature and that childlike sense of glee that you experience when you see or feel something totally fantastic. With a meticulous attention to detail, an eye for color and a precise understanding of the emotions behind each and every one of her creations, every fing that comes out of her studio will warm your heart and make you giggle. Not limiting herself to just making treats for her shop, Pang is the consummate artist, working hard to get seen and noticed nationwide. Recently, she had the great fortune of displaying her more detailed creations at Artomatic in downtown Washington DC and at the prestigious Plush You! in Seattle! She also contributes specialized delights for charitable auctions and creates personalized treats for her friends and loved ones. I mean, look at everything she has made in just a few short years!

I was dubious, at best, about the neverending sea of plush products in the indie craft world. I felt like there was entirely too much duplication and a kind of cute I couldn't quite wrap my head around. But when I saw all these pretty fings that Pang creates, I was won over. Every ounce of dedication and perspiration she puts into her pieces reflects in the final product. Loved by kids and adults alike, you can find a one of a kind and affordable gift for anyone on your list at her shop. She also blogs regularly about her crafty endeavors at the Pretty Little Fings blog, keeps her fans updated on Facebook and spends what seems like every moment of her day documenting her inspired life in pictures. She's started to parlay her love and skill of photography into a side business, taking commissions for photography sessions. Her work with this recently engaged couple is stunning and an indication how she can bring out the excited little kid in just about everyone.

What I like to consider a Whole Package kind of artist and crafter, Pretty Little Fings is cuddly and sweet as well as a force to be reckoned with! Come check us out at Booth #20 on December 5th - we'll be selling our wares together at the Holiday Shop-n-Stroll in Silver Spring, or what I like to call Handmade Mart Part Deux!
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