Archive for Crafts

The cheesiest

My husband is a great cook. Anyone that spends any amount of time having drinks and niblets out at a local restaurant or coming to one of our many low-key weekend potluck hangouts knows this fact. They also know that I do NOT cook, like, almost ever.

Since my other half is the better one where the kitchen is concerned, and like myself can be mildly competitive, I’ve been encouraging him to participate in some local cooking competitions. Last year he won People’s Choice for a local neighborhood chili competition but was irritated he didn’t get voted in by the judges.

The Cream Team at Quesoff 2013

photo courtesy of Austin Fusion Magazine

This year he signed us (me, his coworker Paul CZ, and himself) to compete in the 3rd Annual Quesoff at The Mohawk here in Austin as The Cream Team. We, with me serving as project and logistics manager, entered a spicy queso (named Baby’s On Fire) and a meaty queso (named Cheezy Hot Gutz) complete with homemade Texas hot gut-style sausage. There were home cooks and seasoned chefs competing… we didn’t expect to even place.

But alas, after weeks of queso preparation and research, The Cream Team was victorious! We won both the Meaty AND Overall awards! I heard mumblings of us winning the Spicy as well, but I guess they figured two awards to a gang of home cooks was enough to wound the pride of several of the other participants and take the proverbial queso crown.

The Cream Team takes best Meaty and Overall

WAY more people showed up than was expected and everyone ran out of queso very early. Several people hovered around our table, even during the most crowded times, to snag a taste of the rumored best queso. When we ran out, people scraped our crockpots with chips and spoons – it was THAT good.

I’m so proud of my hubs and his trusty cooking partner CZ. They put in the work and made some damn good queso! Here’s to hoping that more cooking competitions are in our future….

Quesoff 2013 Winners

PS – You DID notice that I made a homemade bunting banner, signs for each queso, and team hats right (couple photos here)?! I mean, that’s what I do. Brett cooks, I create, we rule.

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Feliz handmade event

Man, Austin is a creative town. We’ve got artists coming out of the wazoo, musicians crooning on street corners and rocking out bars, and local patrons frequenting some of the raddest small business and shops around. One of my most favoritest and most talented Texans (via Portland), Abby Powell Thompson, is collaborating with Austin creative Natalie Davis to put on Feliz, a truly unique handmade event happening soon!

There will be a handmade sale (featuring maker gonzos Shanna Murray, Son of a Sailor, Canoe, fail, Folk Fibers, Krank Press, Leah Duncan, Paloma’s Nest, Stone & Honey and more), workshops—full list below—and parties galore. Feliz is coming up soon! So nab a workshop, shop the holiday sale and peruse some of the finest goods this town (and beyond) as to offer.

FELIZ (psst… check out their Pinterest page)
November 2nd-4th

Fri 2nd, 6-8pm
Meet & Greet party at West Elm
Details here.

Sat 3rd, all day
Workshops at Casa De Luz
Details here.

Sun 4th, 12pm-6pm
Feliz Holiday Sale at The Palm Door
Details here.

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New curtains and pretty plants

I’ve been meaning to make new curtains for our large front window for some time. The sheer ones that were there previously had been left by the people we bought the house from and just weren’t our style. And of course, I cannot allow myself to ever buy curtains because A) they’re usually not that cute and B) I can make them, so why wouldn’t I?

Well, our little pitty Iris made the decision for me last week. We came home to one of the curtains hanging in shreds. She had grabbed a corner of the curtain and shredded it… while still in her dog crate. She’s an industrious one. So I hoofed it to my fave local fabric store, Stitchlab, and nabbed some slightly mid-century style geometric fabric for the curtains. It literally took me one whole Sunday to make those damn things. Working with 11 yards of fabric that needs to be cut, ironed, pinned and sewn is no easy task. Pardon the iPhone photo… but aren’t they cute?!

During that uber-productive weekend we also repotted some plants and got a few new ones. Hoping they all survive. Our crazy big tomato plants aren’t looking so good :(…

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Pegboard jewelry organization

I FINALLY got the DIY pegboard jewelry organizer up in the house. Brett helped me construct it weeks ago and it’s been sitting in the laundry room collected dust ever since. Our weekends are bananas!

Last weekend I finally had time to paint the bad boy, and yesterday after a quick family trip for Memorial Day Weekend Brett helped me mount it up. I spent about an hour arranging everything on the board and making sure it was in good usable shape… I think it’s a DIY success!

My inspiration was Martha Stewart’s pegboard DIY. First, we attached four 2″x2″ boards to all four sides of the pegboard in the back. Then I lightly sanded the whole front surface and painted it with *two coats on the front and on the sides (don’t want the wood color to be visible from the side!). Then we measured and mounted the board via two long screws on the wall, simple placing the pegboard frame on the back onto the two protruding screws.

*I painted it the same color as our wall, a light gray color. I wanted the jewelry to stand out, not the pegboard.

Voila! An easy and super-organized jewelry organizer. I now realize how much room I have left to fill… I think I need some more jewelry.

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Friendship bracelets

I’m so behind on what’s cool. I just entered the resurgence-of-friendship-bracelets world. I made this one for myself last night! (it’s the easiest way to do it… what? i’m a newbie!)

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ACL + bamboo + consignment

I have been an absent little blogger! Tons has been going on, as per the usual, and I’m excited to share what I’ve been up to!

But first thing’s first… I have to profess my happiness that the Austin City Limits Festival is over! I recently took a job as a marketing and social media assistant at Front Gate Tickets (and have been LOVING it) so this was my first year to work at the fest. I loved seeing a few celebs, sweating my ASS off and listening to some super kickass music. A few highlights were: seeing Christian Bale backstage at TV on the Radio, meeting Nick Collison (of the Oklahoma Thunder) in the guest list line and seeing TWO actors from the TV show Friday Night Lights. Oh, and then there was the music: Mavis Staples, Kanye West, Phosphorescent, Tyree Morris and the Hearts of Worship, Alexander, Skrillex, TV on the Radio, Stevie Wonder (I couldn’t hear his set! I was so bummed.), Death from Above 1979, Hayes Carll and Empire of the Sun. And that was all in between working about 25 hours in three days. ROCK.

I also have a new batch of laser cut bamboo items in the shop! I’ve been experimenting with designs and applications and am really enjoying where it’s all going, which leads me to my next topic…

I just scored my first consignment gig! Jenni Charles at the awesome ATown shop here in Austin was super excited about selling some pom pom pillows, kid’s embroideries and some laser cut brooches and necklaces. I’m not sure I’m cut out for consignment, as it’s difficult for me to make quantities of my custom items in a timely fashion, but this is just one way I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and going for it!

In other news, my photos still suck AND I still have some new items to add to my shop (embroidered laser cut bamboo constellation necklaces and some laser cut brooches). But I’m working on it… life is good/crazy/disorderly/exciting!

PS – I’m (slowly) working on some friendship bracelets for my neighbor Mindy’s cutey kids. I hope they like them!

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Retro cameras out of paper

COLOR OVERLOAD! I love these paper sculptures of retro electronics. Totally bold and beautiful and intricate works of art. The walkman and cassette tape!

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Polly and me, penpals forever

So I have this penpal. We got matched up through the Reform School. And come to find out… we’re VERY similar. And more than that, I felt an automatic bond, even from many states away. I’ve never spoken to her on the phone, yet I have an idea of what her voice sounds like. We’ve been sending postcards and letters back and forth for months now, almost always on handmade postcards or special stationery. We write to each other like long-known friends, long letters laden with her trademark flowery bubbly script and my messy half print half cursive block print.

My letters to her are often filled with angst, uncertainty about what I’m doing and where I’m going. I battle with many thoughts in my head, and it is immensely helpful to just write them out, lay them out there for someone who doesn’t know you (but in fact knows you quite well) to go through and sort. It helps to have someone else sort out your thoughts sometimes.

I wanted to create a very special present for my penpal. I wanted her to feel the love through this item, and know that it came from the best parts of my heart. So I started working. In between other projects I gave it a little time, until finally, about two months after I started it, it was finished. I knew she would just love it. So I sent it and waited excitedly (I tracked it through the USPS because I was mortified that she wouldn’t get it for some reason).

Little did I know that the very week that I sent her gift package, one of her beloved dogs had passed away. This penpal of mine and I… we love our animals. It’s a big part of what we share together… our devotion to our dogs and cats. Not even knowing that this had happened, I had sent my package right on time. She reported back that she burst into tears and that she couldn’t believe how perfect it was. How I knew her so well! It was just what she needed at that time, she said.

This is why I make things for people. This is why it matters to send mail. This is why connecting matters. Giving gives you just so much more in return…

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Fourth of July DIY post

I put together a snappy Fourth of July DIY post for the Etsy Austin blog. Get your craft on, yo!

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Paint Chip Sample Moving Announcements

I can only HOPE that we’ll be moving soon. I have the “buy a house” bug. We’ll be making the big move sometime in the not-so-distant future, but I wouldn’t be unhappy if it happened sooner than later!

Check out these gorgeous, inventive and affordable paint chip sample moving announcements. Are they not the cutest! LOVE.

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A crafty weekend

Soooo… the Roots & Brew Festival in Temple wasn’t super awesome. Instead of harping on the negatives though, I want to share some positives!

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Positive #1: I got to hang out with my new friend and crafty lady, Adrian Layne. Her Cuddlestar Baby stuff is SEW cute.

Positive #2: My Mom drove down from east Texas to help me, and it was great to have her support and love there. She is truly an inspiration to me, and what motivated me to become such a crafter in the first place!

Positive #3: I met a new, and uber awesome, friend named Jodi Hopper. She makes the most fun little Lego creations you ever did see. I hope to run into her again in the future!

Positive #4: I sold four things! Albeit very small… I sold some things. (stay positive, Shrie)

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We also took my Mom to the Renegade Craft Fair here on Sunday. It’s the big daddy of Austin crafting, and BOY were there some awesome wares. I saw many of my crafty friends, like Robo Ruku, Abby Trys Again, Baby Bolt, Squid Ink Kollective, Craft Chi, Foamy Wader (all the way from Seattle!) and more. It was just filled to the brim with creative radness!

And lastly, but most importantly: I’m having a HUGE 35% OFF SALE on everything in my shop until it’s gone. I need to revamp, restart, reimagine, recreate my shop and my creations. I’m suffering from crafter’s lust after seeing so much amazingness at Renegade. I feel like if I want to be successful in what I’m doing I have to start exploring more, narrowing down more and planning more. I’m not putting pressure on myself, just giving myself the opportunity to excel.

So go there! SHOP! Buy! Pass this info on to your friends and family!

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My 2nd Craft Show Attempt

Okay, the first show didn’t go so well. Not many people showed up, it was hot as HADES on the top floor of the coffee shop and well… it just kind of sucked. I chalked it up to my first time etc. and am ready to give it another go!

I’ll be vending the Roots & Brew Festival in Temple, Texas this Saturday the 21st. It’s a country and beer festival that starts around 2pm. Perhaps the people in the mostly conservative hour-away town of Temple won’t really “get” my stuff, as my ever-supportive (but skeptical) husband might say. But I’m going to give it a go anyway.

I created several new pieces for the show (and am still trying to finish two!) and I’m excited about how they look and where my style is heading. Won’t you PLEASE come to the show if you’re in the Central Texas area this weekend? And don’t forget to hit the monster-awesome Renegade Craft Fair in Austin this weekend! Many of my crafty friends will be selling their variously wonderful goods.

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New in shop: “Put A Bird On It”

I love the TV show Portlandia. It’s insanely funny, and a pretty accurate (albeit jokey) representation of the northwest as a whole. As a recent citizen of Austin, having just made the trek from Seattle to Texas this January, I TOTALLY get the humor.

So I was inspired to tailor my embroidered art to the insanely rad comedy of the show. Now, in my shop, you will find the hilariously re-worked version of the saying “put a bird on it” utilizing a flamingo. I’m almost certain this ISN’T the bird they had in mind when they did the skit but it’s my humorous spin on the idea. I’ve already sold one and just relisted it for sale.

What do you think about making this a series of embroidered art? Perhaps one with an owl, one with a dodo etc? Do tell my dear crafters (and lovers of craft items)!

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M.I.A., not in reference to “Paper Planes”

I’ve been out of pocket, not blogging, away for a while if you will. As part of one of my jobs I blog on a thrice weekly basis on kitchen and bath design trends and products. While not the MOST exciting, it has zapped a lot of my creative blogging energy. That, coupled with life events and STILL trying to manage my two jobs, crafting, blogging, and my doggy and kitty children, I’ve been kind of out of whack!

I wanted to tell you about a couple of new items I’m slowly getting to posting up in my Etsy shop. I have a new line of Travel Tissue Packs and Travel Tea Wallets! I adore small sewing projects. The instant gratification and charming nature of these little items are what I crave in my crafting. They also tend to be fantastic inexpensive, and very useable, gifts.

geometric orange travel tissue pack

bright floral tea wallet

bright floral tea wallet

I also have a new wee embroidery in the shop. If you like eating or cooking, this one’s for you! I’m working on getting posted a new embroidery that I just finished last night that I think is OH SO AWESOME. It has to do with something that rhymes with “Zortlandia” if you know what I mean.

"EAT" embroidery

And last but not least (don’t you despise that saying?! I used it anyway.), I want to share some photos I found while trying to populate one of those big family photo frame doo dads that hang on the wall. The quality is bad because I took pics of them with my phone, but you get the proverbial picture.

Brother, Micah

Me as a baby, mom as a teen

The top photos are two pics of my brother. I won’t go into details, but I miss having my brother around. I want him back, physically and emotionally. The second row of pics are of me as a baby and my Mom as a teen! I love it. Family is important y’all.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMMM!!!!! I heart you x a million.

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Doozy of a month

You guys, March about killed me! It was crazy times. I went to the wedding of a dear friend down at the tip of Texas in McAllen, had my first craft show, participated in and volunteered for a big event at the interactive portion of SXSW, a new friend came and stayed for a week, I was covering the SXSW music portion for Seattle’s Another Rainy Saturday and my hub’s sassy and awesome mini-sized MeeMaw (aka Wanda) passed away. And those are just the big things.

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It’s been a long and tumultuous month, and I’m tired. The craft show didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, but it went about as I expected. It was good experience for a first time seller, and I got a lot of support from other handmade mavens at the show. Everyone was so kind!

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SXSW was amazing, sweaty, tiresome and a lot of work. I’m so glad I went for three days, and saw upwards of 20 bands, but I am just as equally glad that it’s over! Some favorites of mine were Jaill, Sunglasses, D. Black, Resplendar, Dan Deacon and We Are ENFANT TERRIBLE. My first day’s account of the events are up already on Another Rainy Saturday.

I feel like there is so much going on! I haven’t had time to check my RSS blog feeds, or write blog posts, or even unload my craft show gear. BLARGHHH. What do you guys do when things tend to be a whirlwind of craziness? How do you keep from going mad?

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PS: Those pics are of our Wall of Wow display for at SXSW. You could ride Babsy the cat!

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Very first craft show

That’s right webbie friends, and real-life carbon form friends, I have never EVER vended at a craft show. Sure, I helped market and put together a show, have been to multitudes of them. But, truth be told, I’m kind of a scaredy cat. I’m about to have to get over that though….

Because I’m going to be in my very first craft show! During SXSW, nonetheless. Eee gads. The illustrious Hannah Stoney, the lady behind this event, put together a lovely video promo for the event, and there is a Facebook event page dedicated as well. RSVP to come! I’d love to meet you, and you can revel in the ugliness of my booth, as I’m sure I’ll be wholly unprepared.

Spring Fair: Art, Craft & Vintage. 16th March 2011. from Hannah Stoney on Vimeo.

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I got featured y’all

I soo so so so so love when other Etsy sellers and buyers choose my handmade items to feature in their treasuries! It just blows my mind. So instead of just tweeting out when I’m featured, I wanna try out these cutey patootey little widgets.

So fun huh? Can you pick out my items in the treasury?

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