I just love Adorn magazine — the second issue is completely gorgeous. Whether you want to make cute holiday cards, felt-and-sequin earrings (by the ultra-talented Faythe Levine), fabric-covered headbands, pom-pom garlands, or delicate filigree-and-chain jewelry, it’s jam-packed with great ideas for gifts or for yourself. And I’m so excited about my feature, the New Craft Night! I interviewed crafters from all over the country about their get-togethers at bars, studios, coffeehouses, and living rooms and got great info, pictures, and ideas for starting your own group.
I also designed a flower-and-ribbon holiday card for the new Cutting Edge… and the issue is filled with fun and beautiful things to sew. There are patterns and instructions for elegant garments like a silky cowl-neck dress and a dramatic beaded jacket, as well as cute animal-themed pillows, blankets, wall decor, and plushies for a kid’s room extraordinaire.
I’d love to hear what you think if you’ve picked up either of the issues! And I’ve gotten to write about some fun stuff over at the Adorn blog lately, too. Those girls always have the best ideas!
I got my Sampler in the mail today, and… wow!
So many great things in one package! This time, I especially love the Sappy Moose Tree magnetic bacon, Studio Cate’s tissue cover, Enamor’s darling little bird pendant, the adorable Nut and Bee letterset, a Petals leaf-and-button heart pin, and a tin of Zazzle grapefruit body balm. Every month’s mix is different, but I always find instant favorites and new lines to check out. You can always take a peek at the gallery page to see what might end up in your mailbox, but part of the fun is the unpredictable mix-up.
And now you can even win a lifetime subscription to the Sampler! Marie, who puts each and every month’s Samplers together with love and care, has graciously donated a permanent subscription as a fundraiser for Felt Club XL.
Each raffle ticket is just $2, and all the money goes towards putting the event together… and if you win, you have the excitement of a Sampler to look forward to every month from now on! But hurry, the contest ends tomorrow (11/30) and the winner will be announced on Friday (12/1). Who will it be??
I’ve been doing lots of my holiday shopping this week — due to very annoyingly timed travel, I’ll be missing all the cool craft sales, including Crafty Wonderland, Felt Club, the Craftacular, and the Indie Craft Experience next month… wah. So I’ve had to get an early start.
Andrew and I hit up Amazon and the Chronicle sale (free ground shipping rules!) for most of our family presents, and then I stopped by ReForm School for one last wonderful (secret) thing. While I was on Sunset, I also met up with Sarah, proprietoress of Pull My Daisy, at Eat Well to hear more about her December-only venture, Bingo’s Craft Emporium — named after the king of the neighborhood, her dachsund Bingo. Sarah is setting up a one-month-only space next door to her shop to feature all kinds of handmade work from dozens of Los Angeles artists and crafters. This Friday, December 1, she’s throwing a grand opening party to celebrate the Emporium… plus the launch of American Appalling, an all-new calendar for 2007 that sends up the very distinctive advertising of a certain Made-In-Downtown-LA vertically integrated clothing manufacturer. It must be seen to be believed.
So if you’re shopping in Silver Lake anytime next month, be sure to swing by, and if you’re looking for a place to sell your killer handmade stuff, look no further! E-mail Sarah and Jovita at email@example.com for all the details (the big picture: 60/40 consignment split, drop things off anytime priced and ready to go, check back in January for your cash) or stop by the store.
Yay, it’s time for the Chronicle Books 40% off sale! It’s going on through December 10 — check out their site, visit their San Francisco store in person, or call 1-800-722-6657 to order. This sale happens twice a year, so be sure to join their mailing list for the heads up. Last summer I ordered a bunch of the Denyse Schmidt notecards (discounted to $8.37 for a box of 20!) for my wedding thank-you notes. This year I have a couple of holiday gifts in mind which shall remain secret for now in case the recipients are reading this…
Off The Wall has tons of cool midcentury wallpaper patterns that I’d love to track down in real life. In the meantime I have all the ones I like best (and there are many) bookmarked.
Fabulous Fabrics of the 50s keeps me on my toes at thrift stores and estate sales, hunting for that perfect atomic or floral pattern. I probably checked this one out of the library ten times before Alex and Heather surprised me with it for my birthday!
Denyse Schmidt Quilts is a beautiful collection of projects and photos to pore over. I have been so inspired by the cool mix of housewares, gifts, and (of course) quilts since I got this book, but I think any new sewing projects are going to have to wait until January… and the oven mitt is first on my list.
Back to the sale — if you want to cut to the chase and check out all 149 of their craft books, here you go! And one more thing: in addition to the discount, Chronicle is giving away a free copy of the World Almanac Daily Calendar with every order.
Have I mentioned my intense love for Stumptown coffee over here yet? I am a huge coffee person — living in Portland for nine years will do that to you — and Stumptown is the best of the best. We even thanked them in the acknowledgments when we published Super Crafty, since their amazing coffee fueled our crafty project marathons!
It is such a treat now that I’m in Los Angeles most of the time… and Stumptown is not. They don’t sell it to cafes or shops outside of Portland so every time I’m back I snap some up and ration it out slowly. So when our friend Bethe came down to visit on Thursday night, and brought us two pounds of whole beans, I swear it was like Christmas in November.
The other thing I really appreciate about Stumptown is their emphasis on social responsibility and sustainability. All their employees get health insurance, and the company records their workers’ bands and and puts out compliation records. They donate freshly roasted coffee to the Oregon Food Bank, and they also sponsor local art and music events (like our Super Crafty book release party, for example!).
So if you are also a coffee type (or you have one or two on your holiday gift list), keep in mind that you can buy their coffees online by the pound on their new site. My favorite is the Holler Mountain blend, which is organic and fair trade, but they’re all incredible, so why not order three or four kinds and try them all?
**I love this cheerful flower pattern and I’m always searching for the other color combinations — somewhere (probably in storage in Portland?) I have the reverse of the orange/yellow print too. It reminds me of the sheets on my twin bed when I was little.
Today I am thankful for my husband, my family, my friends, my camera, my writing projects, the fact that I wake up every single day excited to make jewelry, and the luxury of food and shelter. But I’m also thankful for my favorite craft supplies of the moment — all four of these have been in heavy rotation lately, and I love them. (I will say that felt is and always will be my favorite supply of all… but it’s mostly stayed on the shelf this week, so no photo.)
I just love Aleene’s Tacky Glue — it’s lightweight, quick-drying, wonderfully non-toxic (I’m looking at you, E 6000), and holds all kinds of things together gracefully. I read Aleene: A Tacky Lady this week on Cathy’s recommendation, so I’m even more excited about her signature product. Aleene and I may not agree politically, but I will use her glue with enthusiasm forever.
I’ve always adored rhinestones (they remind me of Torie!) but until I shopped the downtown Los Angeles bead and jewelry stores,well, I had no idea that you could buy them in so many colors, shapes, and sizes… wow. My bejeweled projects have been so much fun lately. These oversized pink ones look like candy!
Kathy introduced me to the wonders of glitter hot-glue sticks on her “Lucha Libre” episode of Craft Lab, and I got to use it to add all kinds of stars and trinkets to my mask. I’m 100% converted to the glitter path when it comes to hot-gluing — such a cool touch.
And 24-gauge wire is perhaps the single most useful jewelry material in my arsenal — I prefer sterling but I also use gold-filled and all colors of craft wire. It’s easy to work with, and flexible and strong at the same time. I use it for linking, wrapping, joining, dangling, and decorating, and it is a dream to shape with pliers — it coils up beautifully. I just got done working with some a minute ago, actually. Love it.
Of course I treasure my Gocco and my serger, and my pliers and sewing machine are right up there with my wedding ring on my list of most-prized possessions, but right now I’m especially thankful for these four!
I love cooking and I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow — Andrew and I are making grilled salmon, brussels sprouts, green beans, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and pie. (Well, to be honest, we had to buy the pie because our oven broke, which is such a drag.) It’s kind of a ridiculous spread for just the two of us but I’m excited anyway!
No food pictures yet, but here’s my Deadly Squire oven mitt, which will be seeing plenty of action:
And here are some of my favorite holiday recipes, if you’re interested in adding a little something new to your line-up… how about red vegetable soup, roasted vegetables, cornbread stuffing, or chocolate-chip bourbon pecan pie? I promise they’re all really easy to make. The pie is especially killer.
Oh, and here’s a new mocktail I made up this week:
-3 parts Trader Joe’s ginger lemonade
-1 part pomegranate-cherry juice
over ice, with a lime wedge.
I’ll definitely be having that tomorrow, and maybe some champagne too.
Here are four things near and dear to my heart today — a very cool mix of crafty events and finds, plus my latest project for good measure.
I just started using my Gocco printer and I adore it! I’ve been making gift labels, tags, and other little things on paper, and just yesterday I put my very first card together — I found these little girls in a 40s math workbook and fell in love with them. I traced them with the carbon pen, printed them in blue, and then glued the print onto cardstock. I like how it turned out. I just ordered some great new ink colors from Northwood Studios to make my holiday cards — silver, gold, olive green, turquoise, and chocolate brown. Gorgeous!
Oh, I really wish I could be in Portland this weekend! Sunday is the annual Riches at Rimsky’s sale at Rimsky-Korsakoffee House — and I know it’s going to be amazing. Plus Sister Diane will be running a free DIY table to make your own gift tags all afternoon. If you’re in town, don’t miss it — skip the mall and buy handmade! All the info is at richesatrimskys.com.
And if you are looking for some craftivism to mix into your holiday projects, Nancy Flynn and Christy Petterson of getcrafty.com are organizing a Handmade Holiday Drive, collecting soft toys and cuddly blankets for children in shelters through Project Night Night. Christy says, “It is so exciting to think that we, as crafters, can take an activity that we love and transform it into helping others, as well as make a statement about mass production.” For inspiration, here is the set Nancy created, using a Wee Wonderfuls pattern. I’m planning on making an embroidered polarfleece toy and blanket — washable and quick to make!
If you’d like more details on either of these, I just got to blog about both Rimsky’s and the getcrafty project over at Adorn, too.
Last, here’s a super cool recycled zipper pouch I picked up at the fabulous ReForm School party on Saturday! As the label says, it used to be a car tire. It’s a Christmas present for my nephew, Julian, and we’re going to fill it with art supplies and little trinkets for him to do some cool projects with. I can’t wait to head back and do some more holiday shopping next week — I spotted so many great things at the party. Love that store!
If you adore vintage crafts (as I do) you will not want to miss a single entry over at Cathy of California‘s new blog. She posts incredible 60s and 70s photographs and craft supplies from her astonishing stash, adding links to, and details about, all kinds of cool things. My favorite post to date is her intriguing entry on Aleene Jackson, inventor of the beloved Tacky Craft Glue. I found a signed copy of Aleene’s autobiography on eBay within an hour (and fyi, you can get copies on Amazon for a penny).
I first met Cathy at the inaugural Felt Club in May and chatted with her when she bought one of my skirt kits. I got to see all her work at the next month’s event and snapped up one of her adorable pink felt-embellished wastebaskets — it’s perfect next to my sewing table. I also love her felt flower cupcake toppers and display many of them in my kitchen. Felt has always been my favorite craft supply and Cathy uses it in amazing ways!
If you’re not in Los Angeles, she has a freshly updated etsy shop full of her pieces to browse, too. But back to the blog — here’s one of her images, an amazing 1967 tile mural from a children’s hospital in LA designed by Mary Blair.
Cathy of California tipped me off to the new World Famous Crochet Museum, curated by Shari Elf, on Highway 62 in Joshua Tree. I’ve always wanted to go out to the national park, and never had a chance yet in the year and a half we’ve been living in LA, so now we’re definitely planning a trip… maybe for my birthday in January? I can’t wait to see all the crochet-ness in person.
It’s open on weekends during the winter from 12-5, along with the Art Queen Gallery and an adjoining biodiesel station. Besides the museum’s own website, you can also check out Ann Magnuson’s review of their opening party, and a flickr slide show of photos by Mark Pritchard. Thanks to Cathy for spreading the gospel of vintage craft!