Lo & Behold crafter, writer, life-liver - page 5

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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Pencil shavings necklace by Victoria Mason

I’m a nerd. I love pencils, WAY more than pens (even though metallic pens are pretty exciting), and to this day adore a little coloring in a coloring book. Call me childish, but it’s the simple things eh?

That’s why I loved these Pencil Shavings Necklace so much. How ingenious and brightly suggestive of a love of the simplest writing utensil to grace the page. I’d wear one around my neck with pencil-pride!

Pencil Shavings Necklace by Victoria Mason

{ via DesignMilk }

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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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Texas bluebonnets

Every year in the spring, usually around April, the highways in Texas explode with bluish purple and red color of the Bluebonnets (Texas state flower) and the Indian Paintbrush. Lady Bird Johnson, LBJ’s wife, championed the spreading of wildflower seeds throughout Texas and that tradition still stands.


As the geeky pet parents that we are, we decided (okay, it was strictly MY idea to do this but Brett went along with it) to take a wildflower drive with the dogs to see if we could find a good patch or two. We drove south to Marble Falls and back up 71 to Austin on our search. Unfortunately the blooming bluebonnet fields have yet to fully develop, but we did find some decent patches along our way.


We pulled over, drug the panting dogs out on the side of the highway and made them take pictures. It was TOOOO good. I loved it. Look at those smiling faces. Just LOOK at ’em!


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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 Etsy.com 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 Etsy.com 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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Moleskin launches new products

Moleskine, the notebook of the design and geeky crowds, will be launching a new product line of bags, pencils, pens, reading glasses, computer cases, a rechargeable reading light and an e-reader. Everything a writerly art type could want!

The design of these new items (offered in one of either the reading, writing or traveling collections) takes a hint from the simple, black, rounded cornered Moleskine notebooks themselves. I’m intrigued to see what these items do, in fact, look like. The simplicity of the Moleskin notebook can’t really be beat. It’s an absolute classic.

(via Core77)

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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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Entering the Austin craft world

When we moved to Austin from Seattle, we moved into a smaller house by about 250 sq ft. Downsizing is AWESOME! But, the bad part of all that great downsizing is that I had to give up my craft space that occupied the third room of our house. Now, because we’re living in a strict two bedroom with no office or extra space, I no longer have a space to spread out and do my thang.

WIP embroidery

I don’t love that I don’t have that space anymore. It makes it hard for me to spend much time getting creative, because now my creative time also includes the setup and breakdown time of all my materials and crafting apparatus. But, I’m figuring it out as I go, sewing at the kitchen table and embroidering by lamplight in the living room.

My husband has been very supportive of my efforts to get involved in the Austin crafting scene, as I was pretty heavily involved in the Etsy team in Seattle. I just joined the Etsy Austin team, and we’re super busy with preparing for Etsy’s involvement in SXSW! There is gonna be a Wall of Wonder, a huge photo prop, some guerrilla marketing and much more! I can’t wait.

I also got invited to have a small booth at a little craft show that at Medici during SXSW. I still have never done a craft show, so I’m excited and nervous at the same time. Even if I sell one thing and give out cards, I think it’s worth it. Wish me luck, and come out to see me if you’re in Austin!

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Pre PRE birthday weekend

This weekend was roughly two weeks before my 28th birthday. 28th!!! I’m not old, and I’m not freaking out about my age. But more than that, I’m just AMAZED at how time flies. One second I’m in college beer bonging and keg standing and the next I’m a real woman in a real relationship making real life choices. It feels good.


Today is also the seven year anniversary of the Brett and Shrie love story. Seven years ago today, I first kissed the love of my life. And to tell you the truth (at the risk of sounding like a weiner) I knew I wanted to marry him within a couple of months. It took four years for him to pop the question, but I’m fairly sure that we both knew it would only be a matter of time. In almost exactly a month we will celebrate our two year wedding anniversary. This is absolutely WACKY! It feels like just yesterday that we were road tripping down to Texas from Washington on the scary icy roads with our red dog Clem and a car full of wedding decorations. It’s been a journey so far, and not one without a significant amount of bumps and proverbial bruises. I never dreamt about weddings or being married as a kid, but I cannot WAIT to get old and wrinkly with this man.

My parents came into town this weekend to help me celebrate my birthday. My mom just can’t stand not being able to make me breakfast, our birthday tradition of biscuits and chocolate gravy (if you are not southern and have not heard of this wonderful dish you are certainly missing out). It was DELICIOUS. I miss Seattle, but it feels SO RIGHT to be in Texas right now, seeing my family, living in the greatest state in this great country. It’s starting to feel like home, and it’s been a long time since I’ve known what that feeling is like.

In other awesome news, one of my embroidery art pieces was featured on Vaavoom.com’s Etsy Treasury of the Week last week! Thanks guys!

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Make a wish

A candle or a ring? It’s both! This limited edition Make A Wish gift from Bettina Nissen Design is revolutionary. Put it in your sweetie’s cake on their special day for a big “blowout”, and then clean it up to wear as a keepsake ring! I’m loving this idea, and the color options they come in.

(via Design Milk)

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Get yer discount here!

I’m sponsoring the lovely and illustrious Chantilly’s blog, My Girl Thursday, this month. If you act now you can nab a coupon code for my shop, as well as for her other sponsors, right now via her latest blog post!

{ Get yer coupon code here, ladies and gents! }

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Tempting Tutorials: simple decor DIY

My style would not be considered minimalistic. The concept of that sounds grand, but when it comes down to it my dream abode would be chock full of kitschy wonder, granny afghans, crayon box color and a teensy bit of glitter. A place where homey meets retro, where my collection of beer koozies can be displayed prominently on a floating wood shelf and my oodles of weird collections have homes.

Likewise, I’m drawn to these fun and simple DIY tutorials that can add a little panache to your space and your life.

{ click on the images to go to tutorial }

Book Page Fabric

Paper Garland

Chalkboard Globe

Lace Stenciled Frames

My husband, the science and map geek, would adore this chalkboard globe in particular! And I am a lover of lace and spray paint, so I’m certain that project will get attention from the Spangler household in the near future!

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Hot Etsy Finds: Beat Up Creations

My lovely and crafty web friend, Chantilly of My Girl Thursday, blogged about this shop as an inspiration of hers, and I’m feeling extremely inspired about it as well! I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to see what kind of plate creation Chantilly comes up with. Simultaneously darkly quirky and refreshingly vivid, Beat Up Creations‘ altered antique plates and assembled sculptures took my breath away! I WANT.

PS – It was actually very difficult for me to choose a photo to accompany this post… their items are just TOO awesome. In fact, here are some more links to more super rad Beat Up Creations works of art!

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Polly Danger’s Custom Tear-Off Notepad DIY

My sweet e-friend, and amazingly awesome penpal, Mrs. Polly Danger featured a very useful tutorial on her blog this week for custom tear-off notepads. These would be a great gift (perfect for teachers!) or stocking stuffer, but would also make a great addition to your OWN paper and stationery collection as well. Think of the customization possibilities!

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BBQ Bonanza

Black'sSince moving down from Seattle to Austin, the gastro-nerd hubs of mine has wanted to take a mini field trip out to Elgin or Lockhart to taste some of that world famous BBQ some swear by. This weekend the craving hit hard and we high-tailed it to Lockhart early in the day to partake in some BBQ sampling.

Unfortunately, one of the three big BBQ landmarks in the little old town, Kreuz, was closed on Sundays (what BBQ joint isn’t open on Sundays? Blasphemy.), so we couldn’t eat there. We began our taste test with Black’s BBQ, a homey shack of a restaurant that serves buffet style sides, and your choice of protein from the guy standing behind the register in a meaty apron hacking away at different cuts on a heavy chopping block. The jalapeno cheese sausage was a bit bland and not even approaching spicy, and the brisket burnt ends had a good bark on them but had obviously been sitting out a bit too long. My husband had a monster rib, which turned out to be more about shock value and less about taste. The mac and cheese was appropriately gooey, and an unhealthy shade of yellow orange, but was pretty tasty.

Homemade wienersOur second destination on our mini weekend BBQ field trip was to Smitty’s, which had more of a long saloon hall vibe with an impressive smoker in the back part of the building. You walk all the way to the back to order your meat, and you WILL NOT come out of that smoker room smelling of anything other than rich meaty smoke. You order your sides at the pay counter and saddle up to one of the long benches that span the room. The “hot ring” sausage we had was greasy but chock full of flavor. White bread was a perfect vehicle for the piping hot goodness. The fatty brisket that the hubs ordered had the fat cap cut off (boo!) and wasn’t really that impressive. My BBQin’ hubs’ brisket is better than both of the options we had today. Overall we preferred Smitty’s in just about every category.

Patchwork fabric and rosette fabric artOh… AND I got a little wacky with some fabric scraps, hot glue and a pretty button and made something. I got inspired by a piece of patchwork wall art I saw while browsing Etsy and decided to wing it and try my own. In hindsight, perhaps I should have left it as just the sewn-together pieces of patchwork fabric, and not put on the rosettes or button. But perhaps not. Either way, it felt good to get crafty today after all the moving/job madness of the last few weeks!

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Tutorials from The Long Thread

Holy cupcake, I’m a sucker for tutorials. If they’re simple and quirky, you’ve won me over before we even got started! A friend of mine, Lynnea from Squid Ink Kollective, posted a link to these tutorials on her Facebook page and I was immediately intrigued. A big long LIST of TUTORIALS you say? Okay.

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