Archive for Personal - page 3

Creative Tithing and Handmade Food Gifts

For the past several months I’ve been the reigning editorial assistant intern at I’ve done lots of research for features, helped Jen (the illustrious editor) put together the second edition of her e-zine Joie, and wrote a few of my own features such as the Sketchbook Project post.

Two pieces that have run of late, and ones that I’m particularly proud of, are my Creative Tithing post and my 14 Handmade Holiday Food Gifts post. I felt that the Creative Tithing post was especially relevant this holiday season, as a reminder that the holidays aren’t about BUYING. They’re about sharing, making, loving and supporting. It’s kind of a warm and fuzzy post with a bit of a real backbone. These ideals, the concept of giving back a portion of your handmade earnings towards other indie and handmade businesses, really ring true in this economy where people are fighting tooth and nail to grow their businesses into a financially successful endeavor. I want to support that! Don’t you!?

And if you’re in a crunch to figure out what you’re going to make for the giftees on your list this year, some of the food gifts I’ve pointed out in my 14 Handmade Holiday Food Gifts post are simpler than you may think! And food gifts are always received with open arms… AND open mouths. Don’t be scared to give handmade. I promise, it won’t hurt a bit!

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I’ve been MIA! I admit it. I’m sorry. There is absolutely no excuse. Things have, however, been quite crazy lately. I wasn’t sure at first, so I didn’t out us but now the news is in and it’s concrete.


It’s true. We’re about to leave Seattle, pack up our tons of belongings, the four pets, and our courage, and truck it back to Texas. This time in Austin! We’re originally from the Dallas area, so this is a return of sorts I guess. Leaving Seattle leaves me a bit saddened and regretful. But I’m fully ready for the next stage in our life, to be closer to family and friends, and to live the Texan way. As much as we tried to acclimate to Seattle… we’re true Texans at heart. We *heart* Seattle a ton, and will miss many things about it. Namely such…

community involvement / cultural diversity / Asian food / good coffee  / plethora of dive bars / the mountains, oh the mountains / the sea air / support of local small independently run businesses / the DIY handmade scene / apples /  our amazing, fantastic, incredible neighborhood and all the people we’ve met there

I’m looking forward to finding my way in the music and crafting scenes there, and I know the hubs is looking forward to exploring the restaurants and food and beer-brewing scene. It’s scary to make big life changes sometimes. But, it’s refreshing, invigorating, challenging and an unforgettable adventure. If anyone has some Austin tips for us, please don’t hesitate to pummel us with them!

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It’s unusually chilly here in the northwest. Today the high is a whopping 23 degrees, and this morning on my adventurous bus transit adventure to work, it was 17 degrees. YES, 17. For a native Texan, that’s a little too cold. We’re trying to embrace it for what it is though, walking to the bars in our neighborhood for toasty happy hours, and throwing snowballs at the dogs.


In crafting news, there are several new items in my shop, including a sweet piece of embroidered artwork, a Texas and a Washington laser cut wooden pendant necklaces, and a wreath embroidered ornament! I’m working, working, working away on making handmade holiday gifts for my family and friends, trying to survive this SNOWPOCALYPSE 2010, and readying my inventory (and myself!) for my first craft show. Whew!

AND my parents are coming to visit next week! So that means the Spangler household needs to get it’s butt in high gear and clean. Because the hizzy is a total mess. I’m excited to see the Dallas Cowboys play their traditional Thanksgiving day game, my husband’s extremely stellar (like the best I’ve ever had) mashed potatoes, roasted turkey, cornbread & chorizo dressing, cranberry relish, roasted brussel sprouts and praline cheesecake… not to mention the dishes that our participating neighbors are bringing as well! That’s a lot of tasty food, eh?

Hungry yet?!

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Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ into the holiday season

Just a few bits o’ news for you to chew on… my new feature, “Scrapbustin’ Holiday DIYs” is up at! I love doing tutorial roundups. There are so many great DIY projects out there, and with the holidays rolling around, I’m hoping these ideas get a few people rollin’ in the DIY direction.

I created a very fall-like “Gift of Autumn” Etsy treasury to feature some of my favorite Etsy artists. My cupcake wall art was featured in Blue Owl Vintage’s Cupacupacupa Cupcakes! treasury (thanks Amie!). One of my pin cushion listings was featured in a “Sew what do you want for Christmas” treasury, my super geeky Floppy Drive necklace was nabbed for the “Gift for the Geek” treasury AND my super bee-utiful Coral Hawk tote bag was featured in the “Oh the Beauty” treasury as well. Whew! That’s a lot of schtuff.

Oh! And I’m spending a long week in Denver this weekend to visit my very best friend Jamie and her new baby Jasmine! It will be my first time seeing Jasmine, and the Taylor family as a party of three. I’m very excited, and kinda nervous… I feel like this will be the baby litmus test. Do I wanna? Or do I not wanna?

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I haven’t felt like blogging. A crime? No. Unfortunate? Yes… especially when you’re trying to be all crafty and bloggy and make stuff and sell it, and get people to read about your life on the blog YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE UPDATING. Awesome.

So instead I’m just going to run through what’s been going on! I was a Price Is Right contestant for Halloween. I made my props at my job (sign shop) so it was fairly easy to put together, and not much is more comfy than jeans and a tshirt. Don’t ask what my husband is going as, I don’t know and he wears this every year. So.. yeah.

Im a Price Is Right contestant!

I’ve been gettin’ crafty lately (or trying to). I signed up for my first real craft show and I’m pretty nervous that I’m not going to have enough stuff, or GOOD enough stuff. I am, however, trudging on and doing what feels right. I love making pillows, and this new one in a gray menswear-type fabric is no exception. The picture doesn’t do it justice, and the felt strips look floppy. In person it’s pretty darn cute though. The backing fabric is a delicate Alexander Henry print that is really sweet.

Holiday appliqued throw pillow

Again, with the pillows. I appliqued these trees and the moon shapes on this fabric, which is a sturdy, slightly rough burlap like material. I’m not good at knowing exactly what fabrics I’m working with. DOH! (i’m sorry this pic is so blurry, product of a camera phone) I really like this creation though, and can’t wait to take real photos of it so I can list it in my Etsy shop!

I also made a pretty adorable new bag with an appliqued graphic and a pocket inside. The inside fabric is a supremely bright blue that I’m loving. Plushies aren’t for me, I don’t think. I royally screwed this one up.. it’s all misshapen but somehow still cute! And last, but not least… the disco cupcake wall art. Simple. Fun. Rad (i hope!?).

Disco cupcake wall art

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Rock shows, tattoos and neighborhood brunches

I don’t know about all of you in the world of internetz, but I had a fairly busy weekend! The weather here has taken a turn for the autumn, and the blustery gray rainy days are back. This weekend felt like the beginning of all that, but I didn’t let the weather slow me down one darn bit.

Friday night, even though I was exhausted and stressed from the work week, I met a dear friend out for drinky drinks and tater tots downtown before heading to night two of Seattle’s City Arts Fest. I was covering the Wye Oak/Seabear/Fruit Bats/Blitzen Trapper show for regional music blog Another Rainy Saturday, where you can see my lengthy review of the lineup.

Clem y Iris

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Not enough time in the day…

I know everyone feels the same way, that there is just NOT enough time in the day. I often over-commit myself, I like to be involved and get as much experience as I can, but sometimes it’s just too much. With multiple internships, a full-time job, a little music writing on the side, maintaining my own blog and making stuff for my Etsy shop I’m a wee bit overwhelmed. And on top of all of that, I have to try to hold down the fort at home with my husband and our four furbabies. And YES, I know it’s my own doing, but that doesn’t make it easier. I have the best of intentions for myself… and I know (well, I’m hoping) that all my hard work will pay off. That’s what they say right?

hubby baked this pie and made his own crust!

Suffice it to say, with the holidays coming up (costumes, handmade gifts) my life is feeling pu-retty crazy right about now. I’ve decided that instead of making EVERY SINGLE gift, I will either buy handmade or make them. This gives me flexibility and a little more time. Part of me feels like I’m letting myself down, but I know that’s just me being hard on myself. And as far as costumes… I have no clue what the hubs and I are going to be!? Guh.

What do you do when things are starting to get a little out of hand?

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Thirty Five

My husband is 35 today. He doesn’t feel like he’s 35. This is him with our two dogs, aka children, on the coast of Oregon. I have so much love for these three. In some ways, Brett was the beginning of my life. He entered my life when I was in a constant state of flux, changing everyday almost. The imprint that this man, and these dogs, have made on my life is ENORMOUS. There are no words…. so I won’t even try.

You are the lovey dove of my life.

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Busy weekend!

I had a busy weekend, y’all… and it just keeps getting busier! I spent two whole days at the Bumbershoot Music Festival here in Seattle and saw loads of great acts, including: Baroness, Bobby Bare Jr, HEALTH, Bomba Estereo, The Whigs, Solomon Burke, Justin Townes Earl etc.

I’m working with a bunch of uber-talented folks to put together the etsyRAIN Pre-Holiday Craft Fair here in Seattle (meeting up tonight!), and I STILL haven’t gotten pics and listings of some items that I wanted up in the shop for back to school… BAH! Oh well. Here are some pics of me from Bumbershoot. Fascinating, I know.

Back soon with MUCH more interesting blog fodder. Pinky swear.

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Custom Embroidery

I’ve wanted to do a bit of custom keepsake embroidery for a while now. My best friend had a baby a little over a month ago, so I really wanted to create something for them that was special, handmade and super cute! I think this speaks for itself… I can’t wait to do more!

I designed it in Illustrator, printed it on paper, traced it with a Sulky pen (which, by the way, I am NOT a drawer or artist so tracing the image accurately proved to be quite difficult) and then iron-transfered it to the fabric. Then I just had to embroider it and NOT mess it up! There is a tiny mistake, but I think it’s minimal. And in the grand scheme of things, it’s part of the handmade charm in my opinion.

This weekend I’ll be attending the Bumbershoot Music Festival and covering it for Another Rainy Saturday. Fun times in the sunshine! I’ll post links to my coverage when it all goes live.

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(late) Weekend Update

If I were to be completely honest, I’d say that the creative well has been a teeeensy bit dry these days. I have project ADD: I can’t focus on one gosh darn thing long enough to get it done. I’m always grasping for something to do, some way to be productive. I feel like maybe this whole time I’ve been crafting, when what I really want to do is find my art. I guess I don’t consider myself an artist of anything.

So. I think maybe I’m going to start blogging a little more. I want to stop worrying a little less about making sellable products and just try to enjoy myself while making and creating. That’s how it began, and how it shall remain!

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music + festivals

This past weekend I went to the No Depression Festival at Marymoor Park in Redmond. Marymoor is such a fab park, with it’s wide open spaces, multiple sports fields, concrete paths for walking or biking, climbing wall and FANTASTIC dog park. We’re usually there to take advantage of the dog park and let our furbabies swim and run a bit, but on Saturday we went to hear some folk and Americana music.


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Friday the 13th Weekend

My weekend is about to be here… T minus two hours! Since I’ve been kinda MIA this week, I thought I’d give you lovelies a rundown of my upcoming weekend (as if you cared! ha!).

Friday night:
Happy hour meetup with the Ear Candy crew
Lamb burger grillin’ with neighbors Kristen and Chris at our house, courtesy of my husband and his rad cooking skills

Landlord is coming over so we can resign our lease (eek)
Enjoying the 92 degree weather!
Outdoor movie (either Wayne’s World or the Goonies), and we’re taking Clem-dog!

Dog park with the doggies
Joule’s Sunday BBQ series – Vietnamese theme

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THEESatisfaction, Sarah Jaffe & Fuck Buttons

I do a bit of music writing in my free time, when something strikes my fancy. I previously wrote for for several years, and now am writing for Travis at and Chris B at Visit these sites, they are good people and deserve to be read!

Sooo… if you’ve been jonesin’ for some fresh femme rap (and who isn’t!) take a gander at my review of the THEESatisfaction show on Saturday at the new and improved Columbia City Theater. The venue is gorgeous and Thee Cat and Stasia Satisfaction put on a walloping good time.

Other reviews of note include my take on sultry Texas songstress Sarah Jaffe’s phenomenal performance at the Tractor Tavern and the retardedly loud and incredibly mind-blowing Fuck Buttons set at Chop Suey, both from back in June.

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Today: last minute gas station hot tea, blackberries, Luna bar

So I’m going to start taking pictures of my breakfast and posting them here occassionally. I’m going to be accountable to myself for the kinds of breakfast I’m eating! No more chocolate donuts, or 7-11 taquitos (okay… maybe sometimes). Don’t judge!

Dusty Springfield is awesome. She sang so many songs you know, that you didn’t know she sang. This song was written by Carole King. **hearts**

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“Your Woman”

I confess… I have loved and do in fact, still love, White Town’s song “Your Woman” from back in 1997. White Town was pretty much a one-hit wonder, essentially the solo output of straight edge and ex-Marxist Jyoti Prakash Mishra after his other bandmates left him in 1990.

Matinee Records band Cats on Fire recently covered “Your Woman” though, and pretty successfully. Today I am, guiltily, listening to this song over and over and over…

Cats on Fire – Your Woman (the cover)

White Town – Your Woman (the orginal)

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Teresa takes on Seattle

Brett’s niece Teresa was in town visiting us this past week, that’s why I’ve been kinda M.I.A lately. She just graduated high school and this was kind of her inaugural trip into the real world, so to speak. I think she had a TERRIFIC time!

We gave her the visitor’s tour, hitting up Pike’s Market, Paseo’s (home of the best sandwich in the whole entire world), Alki Beach, Seward Park, Wallingford, Ballard for shopping and cupcakes, a Cascade Mountains drive-through and even a gander at Snoqualmie Falls. (more…)

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