merry christmas...

It's been a very busy year at Loop and Lil world headquarters, and I'd like to thank everyone who has helped make this year so successful for my little business! I would never have been able to make a go at this without the support of my friends, family, and our great customers! We've been so many fun places and met so many fantastic people this year, and I hope everyone has a peaceful and joyous holiday. 

Oh, and Pete would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas too!


holiday road...

It's here! We're getting ready to head way north for Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse this Saturday and Sunday. We'll be at booth #97 (near where the food is!) so stop by and see our new designs (cute new tees) and Christmas goodies!

Our last Renegade was such a blast, and we're so excited to return to Chicago, even if we're a little nervous about braving the cold. See you there!


jingle bash...

Head over to the Sons of Hermann Hall today from 1-7pm for the Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash! We'll be set up downstairs in the bowling alley.

There'll be food, music, cocktails and you can get your Christmas list whittled down buying handmade! See you there!


what's in the bag...

Here's a shot of the giveaways I just finished putting together that will be included in the swag bags for the Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash. The bags will go to the first 50 people in the door. 

I racked my brain to come up with something that I wanted to do for a giveaway - the small muslin bag holds a purse-sized sewing kit, and the piece of paper is a 20% off coupon for anything purchased at the show. I'm really pleased with how they turned out.

This will be my first Etsy Dallas event to participate in, and I'm so excited! And the show was voted "Best One-Stop Shop" by the Dallas Observer. So mark your calendars for November 21st from 1pm to 7pm! And get in line early so you can get your hands on one of those bags.


under the weather...

This poor neglected blog. After last weekend's Urban Bazaar, I was stricken with a serious case of the flu, and I'm still recovering. But I'm happy to report that I just found out that I'll be returning to Chicago for the Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Show! I'll check in again soon when I'm fully recovered.


what to do this weekend...

After a great time last weekend at the October Market, we've jumped right into readying ourselves for the Urban Street Bazaar. Come by the Bishop Arts District this Saturday (12-8pm) and Sunday (12-4pm) and visit us, as well as over 85 other great artists. And while you're down there, bring us a burger from Hunky's too! See you there!


front and center...

I've just listed a new style of blouse, the Bridget Ruffle Front Blouse, in the shop. It's great not only for the Indian summer, but is cute layered over a long sleeved white tee or turtleneck for the winter as well. And each shirt features a few vintage buttons from the button stash. 

I'm making these up in a few different fabrics for the October Market this Saturday, and for the Urban Street Bazaar next weekend. Come check them out!


coming up...

This Saturday from 10am to 6pm, we'll be at the October Market at St. Thomas Aquinas in East Dallas at Mockingbird and Alderson. We're excited to be doing a show close to home after traveling this summer.

Here's the scoop from the October Market:

The October Market is a one of a kind shopping

experience featuring items such as jewelry, home

accessories, art, antiques, personalized gifts, clothing

and more. With over forty new vendors, this year's

October Market is bigger and better than ever!

So, come join us for a day of shopping, lunch at the

Mom’s CafĂ©, and photos in the Pumpkin Patch.

Stop by and say hi! If you mention this blog, we'll extend a 20% discount to anything you buy! Hope to see you there!


fun in the city...

I'm back from Renegade Chicago, and I can't even describe what a great time I had! Met super nice people, ate lots of good food, and the weather was perfect! 

We were in a great location, next to Caitlin from
Nice. She and her family couldn't have been "nicer" (I know, I know) and I love her sweet prints. I'm mad at myself that I didn't pick one up before we packed up! Hopefully I'll see her soon enough at another show!

We were really busy in the booth most of the time, but he did manage to sneak away for a minute to pick up one of these from abbeychristine. There were so many talented artists there, and I was so honored to be included!

After the long weekend and drive, I'm trying to get reorganized and then start preparing for a few shows here in Dallas in the coming weeks. Looks like it's going to be a busy fall!


there goes the neighborhood...

While I was in Los Angeles for Renegade, I met Joshua from Neighborhood Venice in Venice Beach. And I'm excited to let you know that you can now pick up one of our Sea Creature tees there, as well as lots of other super unique stuff for kids and adults. 

Neighborhood Venice
1644 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291


that toddlin' town...

It's super busy around the studio, getting ready for Renegade Chicago. I'll be in Booth #28 close to Division and Damen. Stop by!


public service frog announcement...

This weekend, I went to Lubbock, Texas to watch my best friend's public defense of her thesis in order to get her PhD in microbiology. And I'm proud and happy to say that I now have to call her "Doctor". 

She's been researching infections that are wiping out frogs (my simple way to describe it). It's no surprise that I didn't understand 90% of what she was presenting. But what I was reminded of during her presentation on these tiny fungi (I think) too small to even see, is that every living organism, no matter how big or small, is connected to us and we are to them. These researchers say that amphibians are the canaries in the coal mine for our planet’s health. And many of these amphibians are on their way to extinction! It was a definite eye opener. If you want to find out more, watch this video, or click here.


happy birthday to me...

I received this little package in the mail:

I opened it up, and here's what was inside:


It's a coupon from Anthropologie for 15% off during the month of September, in celebration of my birthday which is next month. And it's packaged in a little sewing kit. A small gesture, but it really made me feel like a special customer. Boy, they've really got my number at that place...


things to do: style stay-cation trunk show

I'll be out of town celebrating somebody's birthday this weekend, but if I wasn't, I'd be headed over to Move Studio to check out the Style Stay-Cation Trunk Show. If you're in the DFW area and want to beat the heat inside while doing a little shopping, check it out on Friday evening, August 21st from 5-9pm and Saturday, August 22nd from 3-7pm. I've never been to a trunk show with this much fun stuff going on. Not only are there great vendors including Harrilu and Tara to the T (who were the other two Dallas artists at Renegade LA), but there are also going to be chair massages, makeup and hair consultations (I could desperately use), and other fun stuff. 

Click here for more information!


on my nightstand: chocolate and zucchini

Preliminary note: I promise I don't work for the library, nor do I get paid by them. I just go all the time!!!

I went with some good friends to see Julie and Julia this afternoon (two thumbs up), which inspired me to head to the library to check out Julia's legendary book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Well, I wasn't the only one with that idea – every single copy was checked out, along with every other book by Julia Child. So I browsed the French cooking section a little longer, and stumbled across this book by Clotilde Dusoulier. I recognized the title from her blog, which I've been to on more than one occasion, so I'm excited to check out the print product. I'm particularly interested in trying some things from the "Savory Tarts" section. I'll post whatever I cook from it. Bon appetit!


my budget tip of the week: checking out coupons!

I don't know about your local library, but ours has a Coupon desk. The librarians cut coupons out of the papers they carry at the library and organize them according to category. You just stop by the desk and take what you need. I'm usually there a few times a week to check out books anyway, so I just make it a habit to stop by and grab coupons I might use as well. It not only gives us the coupon savings, but also the cash we spent on a newspaper that we didn't even read. See if yours does the same.


on my nightstand: access chicago

I just found out that I'll be heading to Chicago in early September for Renegade Handmade Chicago, so I stopped by the library to check out this book to get some tips for the trip. Like I've told you before, I stop by the library every time we go on a trip to pick up a guide book. It's much better than shelling out the money for a book when the info becomes outdated so quickly. Every little bit helps, right?


movie rec: 500 days of summer

Ok folks, I promise to get back to regular blogging soon! It's been crazy busy the last few weeks - I've been working on new stuff for fall, and also trying to figure out my fall and holiday show schedule. Now that I have that out of the way, I should be able to at least try to keep this thing updated regularly!

This weekend, we saw 500 Days of Summer, which I thought was fan-tastic. Main reason I probably loved it: I want to be love Zooey Deschanel. But she wasn't the only reason to love this movie, there were also the credits and art direction of the scene transitions, the wardrobes (I want one of everything Zooey's character was wearing), the music, the set (loved the chalkboard wall in Tom's bedroom) and the ending (not a typical Hollywood ending). We give it two thumbs up. So, what about you? Any new movie recs for me?


life gets in the way...

Since I returned from LA, life has gotten in the way of blogging. Which is how it should be I suppose! I have been really busy, and can hopefully share some of what I've been working on soon.

I've been trying to photograph some new items - and newly listed in the shop are the Sea Creature tees, pictured above. More to come soon!


renegade recap...

Wish the image was a little brighter, but here's a shot of my booth on the second day at Renegade before the doors opened. I had a great time, and it was a great event. I wish I had taken more pics, but it was so busy I didn't even have the opportunity to see even half the artists there. 

Our booth was next to kg + ab, and I was super excited to walk away with one of her fantastic porcelain owls, and she walked away with some L+L gear for her little one. We were also just one booth over from Harrilu, also from Dallas, so it was nice to have someone from home to borrow hole punches from, eat dinner with, etc.! 

I'm getting back into the swing of things here now, and am ready to take some time to do a big organization of the studio. 



Well, Renegade is over! A more detailed recap will follow (after I get back home to the cord that syncs my computer to my camera), but for now, I'll just say that I had a great time, and am dog tired. 

Tomorrow I'm planning on getting a bit of sightseeing in before heading home. 


hooray for hollywood!

Hope you had a great weekend – I'm in the home stretch and getting ready to head to sunny Southern California for Renegade Los Angeles. I'll be taking time off from the blog to do my final preparation and travel out there. Stop by Booth #203 if you happen to live in California! And check back next week for my recap of the show and the trip. I'll also be stocking up my Etsy shop after I return with lots of new items. See you next week!


whale of a weekend...

A peek at another of the Sea Creature tees I'll be bringing along to Renegade. And while we're on the subject of water, we're headed to the lake this weekend to celebrate the holiday, then I'll be coming back and making the final push before heading to LA next week. 

I hope you have a safe and relaxing holiday. Happy Fourth of July!


at the movies: food inc.

If you are at all interested in food (other than just in eating it), definitely go out and see this movie. Now that I think of it, even if you aren't interested in food, go see the movie! Shouldn't we all know where what we eat comes from?


under the sea...

I wish I had as many arms as this guy does to help me out with preparation for Renegade! In addition to my other dresses, shirts, pants and skirts, I'll also be bringing a new group of t-shirts, whose little sea creatures were designed and printed by a good friend. I've added fabric pieces and button embellishments to some of the designs, and I'm really excited to be able to offer more things for little boys. Stay tuned for more of the designs later this week. These will also be available in my online shop after the show.


local love...

L+L has gotten some virtual ink on NBCDFW.com for their Buy Indie Wednesday feature!

Check out the article here!


snack attack...

I wish I had known just how easy and delicious it was to make homemade pico de gallo, because I would have been making it all along!

I chopped up a few tomatoes and a jalapeno from our garden, then added about a half a diced onion, the juice from one lime, a few pinches of chopped cilantro, and a pinch of salt. Make sure and let the pico sit for a while so the flavors mix together. We put it on our turkey tacos for lunch, and have been dipping tortilla chips in it for a snack. Yum.


me and my dad...

Happy Father's Day!


thank you!

A big thanks to Indie Mom for featuring the Little Birdie Mobile and the Fabric Flower Brooch on her blog! I'm sending good thoughts her way as she anxiously awaits her new arrival!


Four years ago today. Happy Anniversary!


walk a mile in my shoes...

I have not been able to stop wearing these shoes, which I won in a silent auction benefitting Friends of TOMS, a non-profit dedicated to mobilizing, connecting, and empowering individuals who want to give further aid to communities served by the TOMS One for One mission. If you haven't heard of TOMS - it's a shoe company founded by native Texan Blake Mycoskie. What separates it from every other shoe company, or any company really, is that for every pair of shoes you buy, TOMS gives a pair of shoes to a child in need. Since they started, they've given away 190,000 pairs of shoes to children in Argentina, Ethiopia, South Africa, and New Orleans. 

Root Fashion in Fredericksburg, Texas held the event and local businesses decorated and embellished pairs of TOMS for auction. Read more about the event here. I loved this pair, decorated by Enid, and they also happened to be my size. It was fate. Now that I know how comfortable TOMS are, I'll be buying more. And now that I know how much I love all the stuff at Root and Enid, I'll be heading to Fredericksburg as soon as I can.



I've posted before about making labels for my garments. My method has worked for a while, but as the amount of clothing I am making has increased, I realized I needed to come up with a solution that's not so time consuming. So I contacted Etsy seller WorldwideLabel to get them made. It was a fairly easy transaction for anyone looking for clothing labels and not wanting to buy a huge quantity, and it took about four weeks from my initial order to delivery. All in all a good experience. And I'll be really glad I got these in a few weeks when I'm delirious from the all night sewing in preparation for Renegade!


confucius says...

The other day at lunch at a Chinese restaurant near our house, he got this fortune in his fortune cookie:

This gave us a such a good laugh that we wanted to keep it around as a reminder. I taped it to a piece of scrapbook paper I had lying around, then popped it in a frame:

Now we're just waiting for the fortune to come true. How long do you think it means when it says "near future"?


shopping trip: gardens

Last week, I met a friend at a local shopping/dining area for burgers, then took a stroll over to Gardens

Gardens carries not only supplies for the urban gardener - pots, seeds, bulbs, tools, gloves and small plants - but also a beautifully curated selection of furniture, pottery, books, artwork, lotions and soaps, and paper goods. As you can see in the above photo, I picked up this piece of wrapping paper to hang up in the small dining area in our kitchen. 

Gardens also offers a service for apartment dwellers where a landscape architect will help you develop a garden plan for your balcony, and even help you with potting. If I didn't have this guy taking care of things around our yard, I would definitely call in the pros! To contact them, go here.


on my nightstand: los angeles 2009

On my nightstand this week is this book, which I picked up in preparation for my trip west

Here's a budget friendly tip that I use: The library has guide books for any city you might be planning a trip to, and I think it's better to check them out rather than buy them, as the information becomes out of date rather quickly. I'm glad I picked up this book ahead of time, because I've learned that there's a better airport for me to fly into than I had originally planned. That info alone will save me around $30 each way on cab fares - not bad for a book that didn't cost me a penny!


everybody's doing it...

So if you've read this blog for very long (I know there are 2 of you that have!), you already know that Loop and Lil was named after two parakeets. Which makes it completely fitting that I can now be followed on Twitter! You can keep track of what I'm doing and working on here, and I will also post special discounts and specials for my Twitter followers. It's a tweet deal! (I know, I know...I couldn't help it.)


etsy pick friday: and furthermore

I realized the other day that I never know what time it is. I don't wear a watch, and the clocks we have in our house are in two rooms that I don't spend a lot of time in. I spend most of the day in my studio when I'm sewing or in our living room (when I'm cutting fabric or on the computer). So rather than move the microwave (which has a clock) into my studio, I'm thinking that this Doily Clock from Etsy seller And Furthermore is just what I need to hang up to make sure I'm never late for an appointment again.


on my nightstand: jamie at home

This is the first installment of a new kind of post here on the blog, where I'll detail what I'm reading from the library down the street!

On the nightstand (and kitchen counter sometimes!) is
Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life by Jamie Oliver. This is the first cookbook I've read by Jamie, but I'll definitely be checking out the rest of his books now that I've immersed myself in this one. It's not only beautifully designed and photographed cookbook, but it has tons of information for people with veggie gardens. The book is divided into the four Seasons, and has recipes using ingredients that are in season for that time of the year. It also has tips on growing different fruits and vegetables and cooking techniques. I'm particulary interested in the short section on pickling, which I hope to take up with some of our okra harvest.



Here's a look at some of the fabrics I'll be using for the pieces I'll be making for Renegade. I'm trying to find fabrics now that work together, rather than just fabrics I like on their own. It makes it a little harder, but I think it will make things more cohesive. 

I've also found a nice floral knit (second from the left on the bottom row) that I'm excited to be using. Thus far, I've only made L+L pieces using wovens. We'll see how it turns out...

We've got a busy weekend ahead, we're headed to the Ballpark this evening, then babysitting my two favorite people tomorrow evening (one of whom is pictured here). We also need to work on finishing up some home projects, and I'd like to find time for a trip here for some potatoes and onions. Whew! 

Whether yours is busy or not, I hope you have a good weekend!

wednesday in the park...

After I had been in the studio all day, he came home from work and asked if I'd like to make a spur-of-the-moment trip over to Fretz Park to see one of the Community Parks Concerts put on by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The weather was perfect, so I put down my patterns and we headed over. I'm definitely not a classical music expert, but the music was great - a sampler of pieces from composers around the world. It was still a fabulous and relaxing evening. 

We went with just a blanket and some bug spray, but next time, I think we'll bring a picnic and this guy. The Chinese Traditional piece they performed would make him feel right at home!

If you're in the area, more community concerts are scheduled throughout June. The schedule and locations can be found here.


thank you...

Thanks so much to Keri for the kind mention on her blog A Bookish Life. She picked up one of the Louise tunics from Make for her lovely little one, and I couldn't be more pleased!


the doctor is in...

Well, Dr. Beach has come out with his annual Memorial Day ratings of beaches around the country, and Hamoa Beach, which we frequented during our vacation, was ranked #5!

Hamoa Beach is a tiny beach – there are no real markings outside of the beach to direct you there. It's so secluded that we drove by 3 times without seeing where the beach and entry were located. It's set at the bottom of a stone stairway, and it sits crescent-shaped in a small cove, surrounded by lush vegetation, with sand they call "salt and pepper" because of its mixture of white and black grains. And because of its remote location, it isn't overrun with tourists. The days we were there, less than 20 people were on the beach at any one time, giving us the feeling it was our own personal oasis! 

It's on Dr. Beach's list, and it should be on yours as well! If you're lucky, you can hang out on one of the beaches on his list this weekend! Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!


back to reality...

Aloha! I'm still alive - trying to get back in the swing of things after 8 days in paradise!

He and I had a great time on Maui, spending the first 5 days in Ka'anapali, then heading over to east Maui to Hotel Hana for the remainder of the trip. (My favorite part.) We learned to surf, ate great food, and spent a lot of time just laying around. I'll go into more detail in future posts. 

And I came back to great news – L+L has been accepted to Renegade Los Angeles! We'll be taking the show on the road, and hitting the City of Angels in July. I've never been to LA, so food recommendations are needed! And I'll keep you posted here of everything I'm doing to get ready for the show! 


gone surfin'

New posts will be non-existent for the next week and a half, as we're headed off for an island vacation!



recipe: apple pie without the pie

The last few weeks, my supermarket has had some really good specials on huge bags of apples. Since there are only two of us, I have to come up with creative ways to use the apples, since even if we eat an apple a day, the bag still seems full even after a week. 

It's too hot for a full blown apple pie, so I'm sharing the way I've been cooking them, and you really must try it. The concoction tastes like apple pie filling, but I'm convinced that it's pretty healthy. We've been using it as a side dish, but I think it would also be delicious as a dessert with some vanilla ice cream. 


What you need:
4 apples (the ones I use are Fujis, which I've read are good for cooking)
About 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
About 3 tablespoons of maple syrup. Not Aunt Jemima, but real maple syrup. Mine is "Cooking Maple Syrup".
A couple of dashes of cinnamon
Note: My measurements are pretty loosey goosey, so you can put as much/little of these ingredients as you want. I think mine are different every time.

Peel and core the apples, then cut them in smaller slices. Not too thick. Heat a skillet on medium heat, then add the butter and apples. Stir this together until the apples are coated with the butter. Then pour the maple syrup over everything and stir. Then, add your cinnamon. Cook all of this for about 5 or 6 minutes,  stirring often. You'll be able to tell when they're done when the apples become soft. 



Thanks to the L+L Webmaster, you can check out the facelift over at the "official" website. Enjoy!


the 3/50 project...

(Click to enlarge)

Thanks to Julie from Make, who let me know about The 3/50 Project. (Make is the brick and mortar location that carries Loop and Lil.)

To support the project, you pick three independently owned businesses, and commit to spending $50 a month in those three businesses (that's just $50 a month total, not $50 in each business). The premise is that if half the employed population spends $50 a month in those businesses, $42.6 Billion dollars of revenue is generated. And that for every $100 dollars spent in those independently owned businesses, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. To compare, if you spend that same amount in a national chain, only $43 stays in the community.

I'm thinking that we may already do this – we're lucky enough to have a shopping center within walking distance to our house that includes lots of independent retailers – a restaurant, our dry cleaners, a pharmacy. And most of the time we go out to eat it's at an independently owned restaurant. I'm going to start keeping track of our receipts to make sure.

What are the three local businesses you would miss if they disappeared?


save the frogs...

I was made aware that today is Save the Frogs Day by my best friend, who is finishing up her PhD in Microbiology. Turns out there is some pretty bad stuff going on with the world's amphibian population. Maybe the frogs need a poster boy like this guy. Until then, see what you can do to help their plight here.

feelin' hot hot hot...

The Funky Art Queen snapped this candid shot of Pete at the Spring Fling and posted it on her blog. Now can you see how hot it was?


dog tired...

I told Pete he shouldn't wear his fur coat to the show, but he insisted, and regretted it! It was a tad warm at the Funky Finds Spring Fling (that's Texas in the spring for you), but we had a good time and met lots of great people. Thank you to friends, family and everyone who came out!

Our booth just happened to be next to Jessica from Rose and Duke - whom I had admired last year at Bazaar Bizarre for her beautiful hand embroidery and lovely dresses made of vintage embroidered pillow cases. We ended up having a great time sitting in the oven together. It's always nice to find out that the people whose work you admire are nice people too! I also got to chat with Robie from Parsimony. I'm definitely going to pick up one of her dresses soon!

And thank you to Jessica and Joe from Funky Finds for bringing handmade to the Fort Worth area and for letting L+L be a part of it! 

Now it's time to get the house and studio back in order. The sewing operation managed to creep into the living room, dining room, bedroom and even the kitchen. It's time to corral it back where it belongs!


recommended music...

For some reason, this is just perfect to listen to while sewing...

get funky!

I'm busy as a bee here in the studio! Click here for the who/what/where on the Funky Finds Spring Fling on Saturday! Hope to see you there!

Oh, and mention you saw this post on my blog for
20% off anything!