Lo & Behold crafter, writer, life-liver - page 6

Stand By Your (Wo)Man

I’m loving the sweet Etsy finds in the newsletter that popped into my inbox this morning! Super fab gifts for the (wo)man in your life… and no it doesn’t have to be for Valentine’s Day!

{ click on the images to view the listing }

I got inspired and starting doing some Etsy perusing myself… wouldn’t this manly felt neckscarf for mid-century tumbler set be huge winners in the gift department?! I think so.

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Pack a lunch!

I’m a big believer in taking your lunch, whether it be to work, to school or on the road. It saves money, is usually healthier, and makes for a less wasteful life. I’m totally in love with this new website, Lunch It, Punch It. Three lunch-packing ladies got together and started holding each other accountable, in order to achieve their own personal nutritional and monetary goals, and this little movement was created. There are Lunch It Punch cards to help you stay on track, and recruiting friends is encouraged to help you stay on track. If it wasn’t Friday night, I’d be off packing my lunch right this durn second!

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Thing-A-Day February

So I recently heard about this idea called Thing-A-Day. Not a very catchy name, but a very challenging and fulfilling concept: create ONE new thing every single day of February and post it on a collective blog for everyone to see. It sounds deceptively simple, something I’d like to try but will probably keep from doing so because the fear of not accomplishing the task is enough reason to not to even try. Ahh, self-doubt.

Thing-A-Day is just another one of those “light the fire under your ass” movements like NANOWRIMO. But just like NANOWRIMO, Thing-A-Day is a positive thing and actually a really awesome idea. Oh, the knitting, folding, embroidering, sewing, drawing, nailing I could do! The handmade shrine to awesomeness my house would become! In truth, there would probably be a lot of unskilled scribbles, some mangled embroidery and a wonky zipper bag or two hanging around the house mucking it up for a whole month.

But who knows? Maybe I’ll give it a shot. I’ve got just about two weeks to decide… and I’m hoping the strong-willed competitive streak inside of me will flare up and mean business!

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Puckward Bound

Ahh. We’re now safely in Austin. All of our stuff made it here, our sanity (well mostly) made it here… and all of our pets are here, safe and sound. Moving across the country from Seattle to Austin with a 16′ Budget truck packed with all of our worldly possessions and one pit bull named Iris, an FJ Cruiser packed with two kitties known as Puck and Fey, one peanut butter dog named Clem and one stressed-out road-weary husband was hard.

East of Tombstone, AZ

And if all of the drama that follows that caravan around weren’t enough, our surly alpha kitty Puck slipped out of our west El Paso La Quinta hotel room and went missing. We searched around the hotel and the surrounding businesses for hours, shaking his food bowl and calling his name. Puck is a friendly cat, more like a dog than a cat, and is known to come when called. Puck did not come when we called his name. We subsequently freaked.

After many many tears, lots of hand-wringing and a heavy heart we left town, just KNOWING that if he was there and had heard us he would have come running. We were absolutely crushed… and attempted to drown our sorrows in El Paso’s H&H Car Wash’s tacos. The tacos were fabulous, and the several hardworking Mexican ladies were friendly and warm, but our Puck was still not with us.

We drove nine hours through the desert, from El Paso to Austin, weeping and lamenting and just feeling downright rotten. It was a tough ride, and suffice it to say when we finally showed up to our new house my face was puffy and red from the crying. While trying to maneuver the menagerie of boxes and furniture now stacked in our house, Puck was never far from our mind.

A day and a half later, at almost 1am, hubs got a phone call. On the other end I heard, “Uhh.. did you lose a cat?” Puck had escaped our room, run scared down the stairs to the first floor, slipped into another room and hid in a drawer. When the room’s new tenant arrived and heard Puck’s uncertain meows, he coaxed him out and called the number on Puck’s tag. THANK GOODNESS he had a collar and tag on.

Hubs subsequently got up at 6am, after only about four and a half hours sleep, and made the drive right back to El Paso, nine hours each way. Puck is back, ornery as ever, and causing trouble like he never left. I’ll put up with his drawer opening, his howling and his beating on the blinds for as long as he’s alive. Because even though he’s a royal pain, he’s OUR royal pain and we’re extremely happy to have him back ruling our roost.

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Wacky Moving Christmas Craziness

We’re in the midst of moving, from Seattle to Austin. Things are crazy, our Christmas is in shambles, we’re a little discombobulated…. I’ll be back after the New Year, in a new place, making a new start!

Wish us luck…

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Creative Tithing and Handmade Food Gifts

For the past several months I’ve been the reigning editorial assistant intern at IndieFixx.com. 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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A VERY Christmas Story

“A Christmas Story” is a favorite in our household… and not just during the holidays. It’s humorous, playful and just downright knee-slappin’, whether you’re a grandma or a wee one. There’s just something irresistible about the bunny suit, the leg lamp, Ralphie’s little brother who “can’t put his arms down”.

Kris from 1 Inch Minis created a mini version of the famed leg lamp, and the details are simply incredible. She twisted embroidery floss into each strand of fringe? Amazing.

So that kind of got me on a “A Christmas Story” kick. I was curious how many Etsy sellers created “A Christmas Story” themed items for their shops. A LOT. Below is some of the rad-ness I found.

Triple Dog Dare necklaceRalphie Paper Doll magnetChristmas Story house printYule Shoot Your Eye Out cross stitchThe Pink Nightmare ornament

I REALLY want to go watch “A Christmas Story” right this second!

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Pretty Pictures

I’m constantly getting inspired by the photos from my Flickr contacts. Professional photographer or not (and most of my Flickr friends are NOT pro picture-takers), these images just struck a bright chord with me. Enjoy! And click through to see who took them…

All Smiles

hurricane

Joni

Oh, Christmas Tree

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Hot Etsy Finds: Holiday gifts I love!

I’ve been doing quite a bit of Etsy browsing lately.. mostly shopping for friends and family, and maybe a LITTLE looking for myself. Here are a few items that I kinda really want. There’s till time to buy something for someone, from this list, for someone you know… like me. ūüôā

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Ch-ch-ch-changes

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.

WE’RE MOVING TO AUSTIN, TX!


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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Brrrrr!

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.

IMG_2127

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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Hot Etsy Finds: Paper Jewelry by Rely Design

I saw one of Rely Design’s items featured in an Etsy.com treasury (don’t you love those!?!) and was a wee bit floored. Paper? Really?! The intricacy and whimsical aesthetic of the designs are quite charming. I’m especially digging the paper brooches pictured below, and some of her paper earring designs.

And these chili peppers are just too fun. A little dose of the spicy Texas culture I grew up in!

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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 IndieFixx.com! 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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Happenings

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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Hot Etsy Finds: jewelry favorites

I browse Etsy sometimes. OKAY… I browse Etsy A LOT. I have a shop on Etsy, I’m web-friendz with bloggers who have Etsy shops and I really try to buy handmade if at all possible, so it makes sense. Plus, handmade stuff on Etsy is sooo much cooler than the crap you get in the stores. Am I right?

All of these jewelry finds are currently in my Etsy favorites. I’m totally craving some fun jewelry-stuffs, even though I just got an amazing glass ring from Glass Elements and an awesome crossed pistols necklace from Foamy Wader at the recent EtsyRAIN Pre-Holiday Craft Show.

Scissors Necklace by LaRu

Embroidered Wood Pendant by The Spotless Loop

Vintage Green Swarovski Bling Ring by Jorgensen Silver

Fools Gold Polyhedron Earrings by Ball and Chain

Anatomical Heart Brooch Pin by House That Crow Built

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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
(more…)

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Breakfast: banana squared

Banana bread + a banana + Earl Grey tea in a mug. Sorta healthy, very delicious.

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