it's beginning to look a lot like christmas...

Ok, there will be no image with today's post because of this....

Hope your Thanksgiving was great! At our house, we've jumped right from pumpkins and fall leaves into egg nog and Christmas lights! And not only are we busy getting the house ready for Christmas, we're also sewing like crazy in preparation for the Holiday Urban Street Bazaar this Saturday, December 6 in the Bishop Arts District! Like always, the Bazaar will have lots of great vendors, and is the perfect place to get all of your holiday shopping done in one place, all while buying handmade and local.


give thanks....

Image via Concierge.com.

On this day, I remind myself that I have so much to be thankful for. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. 


so who are loop and lil???

I am asked often "Who are Loop and Lil?" I've been asked if they're my kids, my niece and nephew, or my dogs. The answer to all of those questions is No!

When I started my line, I thought long and hard about a name, wanting something that really meant something to me. I was taking a bath one evening, and started humming a song I've loved for years by my absolute favorite songwriter, Townes Van Zandt, called "If I Needed You". I came to my favorite line in the song – 

Loop and Lil agree, she's a sight to see
And a treasure for the poor to find. 

On a live version of the song, Townes explains that Loop and Lil were parakeets, which I love. It was perfect. Check out Townes here

Note: the song has also been covered by lots of people – Lyle Lovett does a great version, and just recently, Dashboard Confessional. (I haven't heard this version, but decided to post on this subject because I saw that they had done a cover of the song, and I'm wondering if that will bring more attention to what a great songwriter Townes was. I hope so.)


are you ready for some football....and chips and dip???

Tonight, we'll be locked down watching my alma mater play in the most important game since I can remember. And we'll be snacking on fresh tortilla chips and the 1-2-3 Mexican Dip from this book.


1-2-3 Mexican Dip

1 can refried beans
1 1/2 c. medium salsa
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. onion powder
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 c. grated cheddar cheese

- Combine beans, 1/4 c. of the salsa, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Spread evenly over bottom of 9-inch round ceramic casserole dish. 
- Combine sour cream, mayo, red onion, cilantro and onion powder in another bowl. Spread over top of bean mixture.
- Combine bell pepper and the rest of the salsa, and gently spread over sour cream mixture, being careful not to mix layers. Top with cheese, and refrigerate until chilled, at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips. The dip can be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated.

Go Tech! 


etsy pick friday: clementine press

One of my favorite things about Etsy is that it gives people all over the world access to artists and studios they would never have access to. It makes it easy for the average person to buy affordable, original art. One day when I was browsing the print section of the Etsy site, I came across today's pick of the week. 

Clementine Press is a one-woman letterpress studio located in LA's Koreatown. A lot of the prints have a slightly musical bent to them. Check out her shop. We have the print pictured above "Hit Song", hanging in our sewing studio/music room, and I would love to buy a few sets of the records to hang on our Christmas tree!


getting ready to run the rock...

So the marathon is a little less than a month away now, and I did my second to last long run of 18 miles this morning. On my own two feet! I can't believe it! Next weekend, I will run 20 miles as my long run for the week, which will be the longest I'll run before the actual race. This sounds weird to some people who haven't ever looked at a training schedule for a marathon, but "they" say if you can run 20 miles, you can run 26. Adrenaline on race day and the shorter runs I've been doing during the week (mostly 5 and 8 miles) will take care of the extra 6 that I've never run before. I'm hoping what "they" say is true!

Training and other commitments have left little time for sewing lately, but I will be a vendor at the December Urban Street Bazaar, in the Bishop Arts District on December 6. More details to come.


etsy pick friday: drikab

In my "old life", I had a bit of a handbag addiction. I would buy bags in every  color, shape and size. Since I quit my full-time job to start Loop and Lil, I've become a lot more discerning in the clothing and handbags I buy (since starting your own business doesn't make you rich instantly!), and I am much more excited by handmade things than anything I can find in the store. So lately I've been browsing Etsy to find handmade gifts, and things to put on my wishlist for Christmas. During my browsing, I found this week's etsy pick – DrikaB.

DrikaB makes great handbags, totes and cool little pouches. I love her mix of colorful fabrics along with upholstery webbing. Many times in the fabric store, I've stared at those rolls of webbing trying to figure out how to use them – I love how she uses it as handles in her bags. They are the perfect mix of modern and traditional, and completely original. 

A DrikaB bag will definitely be on the top of my wish list for Christmas this year! Check them out here

shopping trip: wisteria outlet

If you don't get the Wisteria catalog, I highly suggest you sign up! It's more like going to a flea market than looking through a catalog - there's a great mix of antiques, reproductions and little accessories from all over the globe. All of their items are so unique and charming. I received the holiday catalog a few weeks ago, and it reminded me I had never made the trip over to the Outlet store. It did not disappoint!

The outlet has lots of overstock, previous season's items, and items that are currently in the catalog at drastically reduced prices – I got the candleabra above for $25 (priced on the website now at $89) because it had a little candle wax on the back! Maybe it was the one used in the photo above??? I also picked up a cool little side table with branches as the base and a glass top for 40 bucks!

Right now, they have a great selection of holiday stockings, tree skirts, and other decorations, as well as larger pieces of furniture. The stock is constantly changing at the outlet, so you never know what you'll find. If you live in the Dallas area, it's certainly worth the trip!


etsy pick friday: nerdbomber

This week's Etsy pick is Nerdbomber. I first found Nerdbomber at their booth at the Urban Street Bazaar in April of this year, and couldn't help but pick up one of their book clutches. The clutches come in a wide variety of colors, and are made from vintage Reader's Digest books, along with vintage plastic buckles. Cute, but brainy, right?

We also checked out the Nerdbomber shop when our niece had a birthday earlier this year, and picked up one of their tote bags made from vintage t-shirts. She loved it. And it isn't always easy to find a gift that will please a tween!

In addition to the clutches and totes, they also have funny greeting cards made from old Reader's Digest pages, great little pouches, and other random vintage finds. Check them out.

need help deckin' the halls?

Can you believe that it's time to start thinking about getting everything ready around your house for the holidays? If you need any help, my friends Hailey and Dean have just recently launched their own business that can help you out with exactly that – Holiday Helpers. They can help with all things holidays – wrapping those special gifts, decking out your house, inside and out, throwing that perfect party, or baking yummy holiday goodies!  Hailey is hands down the best party thrower I have ever known, and a box of her delicious homemade cookies would make a fantastic hostess or neighbor gift! Good Luck Hailey and Dean!


what's growing on...

Last night, we cooked a delicious Turkey Meatloaf I read about here. I altered it a little – I used less onions. It turned out absolutely delicious! I was worried about the turkey being too dry, but it came out moister and better than any other meatloaf recipe I've made, and we made it using parsley he grew in the garden!

Now, I just have to find some good recipes that use tomatoes...



This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me

I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me

As I was walkin' - I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side .... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.

- words by Woody Guthrie