etsy pick friday: handmade julz

Today's Etsy pick is a bit of a Six Degrees of Separation pick – my friend Rob forwarded me the email newsletter for this Etsy artist, who happens to be a good friend of his. I'm glad he did! 

Handmade Julz is the creation of Portland designer and artist Julie Briggs, and features graphic rings, bracelets and necklaces. You can choose a ready made piece, or you can choose one of her images, and have it applied to the piece of your choice. She also has little screenprinted pieces of art, if jewelry isn't your thing. I'm thinking I may pick up the little ring above, in honor of the movie we watched the other night. Check her out here.


guess who's coming to dinner...

Well, we're in clean up mode here after the annual Newberry Drive block Christmas dinner party. This year, hosting duties fell to us, so we hosted our first official dinner party as a married couple! And we've been married for over three years... 

On the menu, pork tenderloin, the maple-glazed carrots from the November issue of Real Simple, super hearty mashed potatoes, and this variation of Julia Child's green beans. Plus cookies for dessert. I made the centerpieces from grocery store white carnations and cranberries. We're in the middle of our first load of dishes, and it will take another load or two before we're back in business. All in all, it was a great success!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. 


happy cupcake holiday...

I totally missed wishing you a Happy National Cupcake Day yesterday!

If you want to do some late celebrating, I'd suggest ordering up a batch of cupcakes from here. Delicious.

Image copyright Andrea Lenardin via sprinklescupcakes.com.


i did it...

And now, I think I'll rest.


the dream tree...

My oldest friend came into town last night to stay for the weekend, and on the agenda: attend King Tut today, then be part of my crowd support tomorrow during the run. After dinner last night, we strolled over to the flagship Neiman Marcus store for our annual scope out of the Christmas tree, and our drive around to look at lights. (We usually do this while drinking hot chocolate, but after last night's dinner, no one could eat/drink another bite.)

This year, NM asked 52 kids from St. Philip's School and the Scottish Rite Children's Hospital this question: What would your fantasy Christmas Tree look like, and why? They then chose 6 of those entries to build and display in the windows, using the drawings as blueprints. View the winning entries here. The theme for the grand prize tree was "The Clean Tree", and it was made of large balls made of recycled materials, and had facts about the environment in the balls. NM also powered all the lights and trees with wind technology. 

Each year, I am surprised and delighted with what the folks at Neiman's show, and this holiday tradition is one of my favorites for our little family. These "dream trees" were a reminder to me of how when you're a kid, you're not worried about how a tree made of pencils will hold together, or whether a tree made of clouds makes any sense at all. You have the freedom to dream without self-doubt, or worry, or second guessing. I need to dream like that more often. 


etsy pick friday: lesliejanson

In honor of what I'm doing this Sunday, I thought I'd type the word "marathon" into the Etsy search engine to see what came up that tickled my fancy. I'm glad I did because I stumbled on this week's Etsy pick, lesliejanson. I found this pillow, which is made from vintage feedbag cloth. Her shop is full of great handmade pillows made from vintage textiles and other treasures made from repurposed items. I also love this pillow, made from a vintage handkerchief. When I look closely, I can even see a tiny snippet of my hometown, Wichita Falls! For the holidays, there are also some great vintage ornaments that would make beautiful additions tied to the top of a package for that special someone. Check her out here.


season's greetings...

Well, I may be spoiling the surprise for those of you who receive our Christmas cards every year, but I couldn't help but show you an outtake of last night's photoshoot. If this doesn't get you in the Christmas spirit, I don't know what will!


trim a tree...

New item posted in the shop - we whipped up several sets of these sweet little ornaments to sell at the Bazaar. He even helped. 

I used this great old set of alphabet stamps that a friend of mine found in his closet to stamp the letters for the words on the ornaments. In the photo, the ornaments are sitting on the wooden box the stamps came in. Nowadays, if you buy a set of alphabet stamps, they come in a plastic tray. In the good old days, they came in a beautiful wooden box. 


feelin' the chill in the air...

We took today to recover from all the fun we had at yesterday's Bazaar. The day was beautiful (although after the sun went down it got a bit chilly), we got lots of sweet comments about our stuff, and we had an all around great time. It was so nice to see so many people buying handmade for the holidays. The Bazaar was open until 10pm, so we decided to have a tapas picnic for dinner while manning the booth. So delicious! Next up...restoring my studio to some sense of order after the tornado that's been through it getting ready for the Bazaar!


etsy pick friday: urban street bazaar

This week, my Etsy pick is all of the Etsy vendors at this weekend's Urban Street Bazaar, including me! There will be handmade clothing, jewelry, art, candles, skin care, home decor and stuff for pets, and I'll have some new stuff made especially for the holidays. The Bazaar runs Saturday, from 11am to 10pm, in the Bishop Arts District. As I've told you before, the District has some really great places to eat and they'll be featuring specials for the event. I highly recommend the Trio of Fries at Tillman's and I've heard great things about Bolsa, which I really want to try. So make a trip for lunch or dinner and also get some Christmas shopping out of the way! Stop by and say hi if you make it down!


home for the holidays...

As I've mentioned before, our good friends Hailey and Dean have recently launched a new venture, Holiday Helpers, offering catering and decoration for the holidays. Last night, we had a great time at their open house for clients and friends. 

I am always surprised by the thoughtful details Hailey puts into her get-togethers, and this evening did not disappoint. From the delicious cake bites and holiday-themed cocktails, to the fresh holly greens for decor, to the delicious smells as soon as you walked in the door (a mix of orange juice, red wine, apples, cinnamon and other spices, and apple slices all boiling away on the stove), the open house was a hit! If you find yourself overwhelmed with everything you have to do for the holidays, give them a call!